Dear Ones, Len, daughters Emily, Julia, and I, welcome you to our CaringBridge website. We hope to keep family and friends updated here. We are--I am--deeply grateful for your support, your words.
I'd been having the odd symptom--fatigue, gut issues--for a while, Had missed a 2020 physical. Playing catch-up, I called to schedule one; I also have forever IBS and gallstones,so a surgery consult--plus dermatology, etc, etc. Gut symptoms increased, tired--I set up a web visit for sooner.
Sept. 3 pre-visit blood draws. My doc, Martina Hartmark, called, told me her suspicions, had me schedule an immediate ultrasound, Mounds View, I think, more draws and an MRCP (like an MRI). A mysterious mass warranted a further look. She found me a bed and Peter Hurley, my oncologist.
Sept. 13-17 I was admitted to Regions Hospital and stayed through Friday, going home home with stented bile ducts, purple veins, a ton of paperwork, appointments scheduled, and a confirmed diagnosis of cholangiocarcimoma--cancer of the bile duct--with metastases in more than one lymph node. Surgery consult and other appointments out the window. Chemotherapy port in.
My schedule which started Sept 24, will include chemotherapy (I use the whole word--want my brain to hear therapy) infusions, Fridays from 9 a.m. till 1:30 or so, 2 weeks on and one off, for the foreseeable. Stay tuned. And thank you for visiting, commenting, sharing.
Three months later, and after the report on my first set of scans:
Dr Hurley was super happy that the tumor shrank by 25% after just one cycle. Celebrate that! He feels we hit the sweet spot the first time out, don't need to take a tour through the possible--or perhaps needlessly harmful--alternatives that he has at his disposal. We've gained some time, can step up the treatment intervals with more confidence. #2, only one stent was needed to break through the blockage to assure a functioning liver--no small gift. Whee! And number 3, the MRI reader has such good eyes that she saw something the clinician absolutely cannot. He sees only one tiny shadow (not two), to be watched at this time to be sure, on the outside edge of the liver where function is less crucial, that may or may not turn out to be of concern. A fervent huzzah!