Lisa Mitchell

First post: Dec 3, 2018 Latest post: Oct 30, 2020
Lisa is my 53 year old,  beautiful, loving wife who was recently diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma.  Our journey to this diagnosis was a long and tortuous one that put us on a very difficult path.  Let me share with you how this all began.
 Lisa experienced severe vomiting episode with radiating pain to her shoulders back in September 2018.  We had thought that she was having a heart attack (as women present differently then men) so we called 911 and an ambulance took her to the Emergency Room.  During her work up at the hospital they ruled out cardiac and wound up doing a CT scan of her abdomen and chest.  They told us then that they saw a spot on her liver and on her right breast.  She wound up having an ultrasound and mammogram of her breast which appeared concerning so her Primary care physician referred her to a breast surgeon. The surgeon decided that the liver was more important at this time and referred her to a medical oncologist.   She then had a biopsy done of her liver and after a couple of weeks waiting for the results of the biopsy we where then told that it was Adenocarcinoma, believing that it was a secondary tumor with the primary tumor being somewhere in her digestive system.  An upper endoscopy was done along with a colonoscopy  which was negative for any tumors.  Lisa was told to see an oncologist for further evaluation.  The oncologist  told us that she was not sure where the primary source was but that it was most likely a secondary tumor that was on her liver, and she felt that they would find the source.  Our fear at the time was that it would be from the pancreas.  We walked out of the oncology office with so many questions and very few answers.  The next day Lisa saw a hepatic surgeon who "specializes" in liver surgery and he believed that it was Cholangiocarcinoma;  making the liver the primary tumor location.  He presented it in such a way that we believed we would have to get her affairs in order.  Of course we were devastated with the news but this information did not keep her down long. With our good friend Claudia by our sides,  we went to multiple  appointments  of tests, procedures and consultations until we knew what the procedure and process was going to be. Lisa decided that she wanted to go for a second opinion to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City where she met with a new Medical Oncologist and a Surgical Oncologist. The tumor board met (comprised of several Medical Oncologists, Surgical Oncologists and Radiological Oncologists). They all concurred that indeed it is a Cholangiocarcinoma.  It was determined that Lisa would undergo surgery to remove the tumor from her liver and also remove her gall bladder, and some lymph nodes, followed by Chemotherapy 6 weeks later. She will be going Memorial Sloan Kettering for this surgery. We are thrilled that Lisa is a surgery candidate as this will be a positive direction for her road to kicking this cancer!

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