bedrock's Journey with Distal (Extrahepatic), Bile Duct Cancer

Spouse/Partner: Bile Duct (Cholangiocarcinoma) Cancer > Distal (Extrahepatic)

Patient Info: Receiving hospice or palliative care, Diagnosed: about 5 years ago, Male, Age: 73

  1. 1
    • bedrock
    • Experience with Distal (Extrahepatic),...
    almost 5 years ago
    bedrock's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    On 12/30, Bob was diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer. Here is info based on his 12/30 visit with the Oncologist: Appointment with Dr. Howard Zipin from the Bux-Mont Oncology Hematology group on 12/30 and from the notes I took, below is what we understood from him: Bob has tumors involving the liver and he used the terms Mesentery and Adenocarcinoma. The chemo approach Dr. Zipin is using is a "generalized chemo" which should cover abdominal area, liver and pancreas. Dr. Zipin is hoping that he will see the tumors shrink after 3 months of chemo and that by his 6th month, this will start working in the right direction. There are too many tumors to operate plus they are in the liver and the peritoneum wall and radiation is out of the question because there is no one targeted area and radiation is a very targeted procedure. Bob will have another CAT scan in 6 weeks instead of the usual 3 months so that will determine if he will continue the chemo treatment or if it will be changed. From the CAT Scan and MRI, Dr. Zipin said this started in the biliary area and is treating this as stage IV biliary-duct cancer. It is a rare form of cancer and the diagnosis is not cut and clear as if it were lung or colon cancer. The chemo being used are: Cisplatin, which is hard on the liver so he will need to stay very hydrated so the kidneys stay flushed; Gemcitabine is the other chemo which has enough side effects. Both chemos can decrease the number of white blood cells and decrease the number of platelets for blood clotting along with a decreased number of red blood cells. As for a second opinion, Dr. Zipin was fine with that, except, he wanted Bob to start treatment right away then if Bob wants to seek a second opinion, that is fine. I say Bob because ultimately it is his decision, I can suggest! As you all know, Bob is not a traveller so I do not know how he will react if he did agree to travel, even to Phila., for a second opinion.

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  2. 2
    • bedrock
    • Experience with Distal (Extrahepatic),...
    almost 5 years ago
    bedrock's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    First round of chemo was gemzar/cisplatin - after 6 rounds, the CT scan showed no improvement and some growth. Next chemo cocktail was 5FU/leucovorin - only 2 rounds; chemo was not recommended on 4/23 visit due to severe fatigue and decline in cognitive functions.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • bedrock
    • Experience with Distal (Extrahepatic),...
    almost 5 years ago
    bedrock's Avatar

    Decision Point

    We have reached a cross-roads; chemo now not recommended due to decline in health. Palliative care/hospice are the options being offered. Explore a third opinion....

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