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Apr 5, 2017 Latest post:
Jul 28, 2017
For those who have not already heard of my situation, a brief summary (dated February 24, 2017): Long story short, after a few months of relatively minor abdominal pain and discomfort (arriving around spring 2016), the pain increased in the fall. Thinking It might be an ulcer, I cut back on alcohol and did a couple cycles of OTC Prilosec. Around the holidays the pain jumped another level, causing negative effects on my everyday activities. I walked into the to the Swedish Hospital ER at the beginning of January with what had become severe abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, aches). They found a mass, measuring about 4.0 x 3.5 cm, located on my biliary tract, just underneath my liver and next to my gallbladder. After that initial 5-day hospital stay and numerous tests, scans and endoscopic procedures (as well as all the bureaucratic gymnastics that unfortunately accompany my insurance plan), over the last 6 weeks we have been able to determine that it is malignant, a form of cancer called cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). I had my first meeting with my oncologist that week, and chemotherapy was decided on as the first course of treatment. The chemo consists of two drugs: Gemcitabine and Cisplatin. One cycle includes administration of the drugsone day a week for two consecutive weeks, followed by a week off; so one complete cylcle takes three weeks total. The initial plan is to do two cycles, then re-evaluate at that time depending on how the tumor responds. My care will be taking place through Denver Health Medical Center, but as many of you know there are deep associations and cross pollination of doctors and staff between Denver Health and University of Colorado Hospital, so I will benefit from the expertise and treatment capabilities from there as well (CU Cancer Center is the state's only National Cancer Institute designated comprehensive cancer center and is widely recognized as the top cancer care center in the region). My endoscopic procedures and biopsies were done at UC Hospital, so I feel confident that I will be receiving excellent care. I will do my best to update this site weekly at minimum, and of course whenever something newsworthy comes up. Feel free to call/text/email me individually as well, I love hearing from you. I cannot properly express how much your love and support means to me, and how much your words boost me mentally, physically and emotionally. Love you,Brandon