Stephen Fain Stephen's Journey

First post: Mar 29, 2021 Latest post: Apr 11, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.

Not excited about being back here after a very improbable cure of cancer in the late 1970’s following 2 years of surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy including various clinical trials. During the subsequent 40+ years I have been richly blessed in so many ways, including a 30-year marriage to my beautiful bride Cheryl before her passing in 2012, fathering 2 beautiful children, and making new deep friendships and cherishing many going back almost 60 years! And more recently connecting with and sharing life and love with Carla, a beautiful and caring high school classmate.

So what brings us here this time? In late December my primary care doctor performed bloodwork as part of a routine wellness check and to check on how a recently started and common med for was performing. Everything looked good except for some elevated liver enzymes (ALP & AST), which had not been elevated in the same test in August 2020. Elevated levels of these indicated something nefarious was going on with my liver. Then, after a lot more bloodwork and an abdominal ultrasound and MRI, they found masses on my liver - one of them quite large. In February they performed a liver biopsy and found the masses are cancerous, but the liver is not the primary source of the cancer. That was bad news in that it indicated the cancer had spread (metastasized) from somewhere which takes the staging up to highest levels, but possible good news is that the origin/source of the cancer might respond to treatment better than if it was primary liver cancer.

After more testing and procedures to identify the origin of the cancer so we can discuss options going forward, last week these additional tests led to a >90% probability that the primary cancer is a cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer. It appears to have originated in the bile ducts going from my kidney. These ducts flow from the kidney area, to the gall bladder, and eventually to the small intestine. This is fairly uncommon type of cancer with pretty poor treatment results using conventional approaches.

I apologize for all the unreturned calls and messages. Communication has been a bit overwhelming and hopefully this site will allow for regular communications/updates amongst a lot of people and less stress/guilt on my part. And I am reminded daily how blessed I am to have so many amazing friends and loved ones. Thanks for visiting.


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