Joy535's Journey with Papillary Cancer (Adenocarcinoma), Ga...

Patient: Gallbladder Cancer > Adenocarcinoma > Papillary Cancer (Adenocarcinoma)

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: about 5 years ago, Female, Age: 76

  1. 1
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 4 years ago
    Joy535's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I was a 6 year survivor of breast cancer (lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, ) and getting tumor marker tests to keep an eye on that. For the first time the C27/29 marker was elevated from around 20 to the mid 40's. After two more repeat tests over a 2 month period a CT scan was ordered which showed tumors in the gall bladder and liver and enlarged, necrotic appearing lymph nodes. I had no other symptoms, (and still have no symptoms at all, except the symptoms from chemo treatment...) A liver biopsy determined the tumors were from gallbladder cancer. We were hoping it was a recurrence of the breast cancer because that would be easier to treat with a better prognosis, but have accepted the rarer diagnosis.

    2 Comments
  2. 2
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 4 years ago
    Joy535's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    After very bad experiences with my original doctor's office, I was referred to the Northwest Oncology & Hematology offices in Kalispell, Montana. The Drs. and staff are exceptionally wonderful, caring, and knowledgeable. After 4 cycles of Gemcitibine & Cistplatin I had another CT scan and tumor marker test that showed that the tumors were shrinking and the C27/29 markers were "normal". I have completed my 5th. cycle of chemo, and I'm about to begin the 6th. and last cycle. By the end of October I'll have another CT scan, and then surgery will be scheduled, I think.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 4 years ago
    Joy535's Avatar

    Other

    Side Effects

    The chemo side effects are less than I expected, and they are almost completely controlled by my Doctor and nurses, as well as my understanding caregivers (my husband and daughter). I'll be glad when those side effects go away, as I know they will.

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  4. 4
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 4 years ago
    Joy535's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    IT FEELS SO GOOD TO FEEL GOOD!!! My last chemo treatment was 2 weeks ago; I had a Ct scan on the 29th. that showed everything had continued to shrink; I had a blood transfusion on Halloween; and life is good! Yesterday we celebrated... I walked a little more than half a mile and it felt good to be outside; Bill cooked a delicious dinner of shrimp and mushrooms in a wine sauce over angel hair noodles. I even drank two glasses of the same Sancere wine that we had at Place Pigalle on our last trip to Seattle. It's wonderful to get back to being "me" even though my body is still trying to figure out "who" I am now... It's a gray, rainy day outside, and the prediction is for some sunny, warm days coming up soon.

    1 Comment
  5. 5
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 4 years ago
    Joy535's Avatar

    Appointment with surgeon after chemo & last CT scan

    Other Care

    Our surgeon is on vacation until the 14th. HOWEVER, I just got a call from his scheduler asking if I wanted to come into the office for a "visit" TODAY!!! WE'LL BE "VISITING" WITH HIM AT 1 PM TODAY!!! IS THAT THE BEST NEWS EVER, OR WHAT???!!!!! So by this evening we'll have news of some kind... And the news is: I'm probably NOT having major surgery any time soon. Even though the chemotherapy has shrunk all of the tumors a great deal, the surgeon says that IF there is cancer left in the venal aortic lymph node it means that cancer will pop up someplace else down the road. Therefore, the recovery after such a major surgery would be at least 6 weeks of feeling very bad, not being able to get around well, as well as being dangerous. It also won't guarantee me any more time to live well. His exact words were, "Before having any major surgery look your Dr. directly in the eye and ask him, 'Will this surgery make me feel any better than I do right now, and will this surgery give me any more time with a good quality of life?' Base your decisions about treatment on the answers he gives you,and the alternative choices he gives you." He said that before he did any operation he would recommend a biopsy of that lymph node. There were other ways to do that, but we immediately chose the biopsy of that questionable lymph node (which has shrunk by half of what it was in May and which appears necrotic - a good thing). Fortunately his partner, Dr. Yaccovone, is able to do such a biopsy on an out-patient basis with an endoscopy procedure where he goes with a tube down my throat to the duodenum and takes a needle through there to get the biopsy. Dr. Yaccovone is the only Dr. in Montana doing such procedures!!! So it's "Star Wars" medicine for me... I feel a little let down because I was hoping a major surgery would make all of the bad cancer go away; but now that we've gotten through that, I'm eager for that biopsy. If the cancer isn't going to pop up somewhere else he'll be happy to take everything out. Dr. Sheldon said that regardless of what happens from now on I should feel well until at least my only grandchild's 6th. birthday over a year from now... Who knows, I may continue to make medical history with my Drs.; I have so far!

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  6. 6
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 4 years ago
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    Endoscope ultrasound and biopsy of lymph node

    Procedure or Surgery

    Mom's update: The biopsy showed that there are still active cancer cells in a deeply embedded lymph node. Yes, a miracle would have been nice; but I think the way things are is really better because now I have more of an incentive to live and enjoy life to the fullest; and I certainly intend to do just that!!! If I have to have more chemo to shrink the tumors more, or even get rid of them, I can handle that because I know how good it feels when the chemo is over; and chemo isn't really all that bad. It's worked before to shrink it all in half or more, and even gotten rid of some of the lesions. The Doctors and chemo nurses are angels who do anything they can to make you comfortable and relaxed. Their spirits are always up; they smile and joke, or are quiet and relaxed if that's what they think you want or need. They are loving, and become family... I have no pain; I feel healthy; I certainly feel loved and cared for; my body is in good shape; even the Doctors say that I'm some sort of "medical history" case in how my body has responded. I don't look or feel any different (probably better) than I did a year ago. So far I'm beating all of the odds, and I will continue to do so for many years! Many years ago, in Stevensville, I had a colleague and friend who had cancer. He used to say when asked how he was, "If I felt any better I couldn't stand myself". I never exactly understood what he meant; now I do. I feel so good that it's almost sinful; my only sorrow is that those I love have to worry about me so much... My glass is at least 3/4 full; and in my mind and heart it's overflowing...

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    about 4 years ago
    Joy535's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Since my gallbladder cancer has metastized to my lungs I'm going off of Cisplatin, keeping the Gemzar infusions on a 3 week cycle, and beginning therapy with Xeloda.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  8. 8
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    about 4 years ago
    Joy535's Avatar

    Feeling good and starting back on another chemo

    Celebration

    OYCE SULLIVANMay 10, 2013 - Limited Guess what...You'll never guess; but today after the new infusion I feel better than when I got there this morning! Everything went very well, both at the appointment with Dr. Hunt and during the 5 1/2 hour infusions. Dr. Hunt said that, if my body can stand it, I'll be getting Gemzar and Oxaliplatin every other week for 6 months. Then that will be it for chemo, I think. She also ordered a new CT scan to get a "baseline" result to see how well the new combination is working. I'll have that on Wednesday, the 15th. and then have an appointment with her to go over it on the following Wednesday, the 22nd. My next infusion will be on Friday, the 24th., and then again on Friday, June 7th. Then I'll have a full week to recover before the Solstice gathering. I can't get over how good I feel... I even felt so good that I decided to walk over to the hospital to visit with Sharon for a few minutes before I called Bill to come and pick me up. I suppose by the time I got all the way to the back of the hospital where the lab. is I probably walked about 3 or 4 blocks. It felt good, and I wasn't short of breath, winded, or anything. Then I walked back to Dr. Hunt's office, picked up my stuff, and waited for Bill to pick me up; and, again, I could have walked much further! I visited with one of the old patients today that I've visited with before. She has decided to take a couple of weeks off of chemo and go to Hawaii. She's going to take a helicopter ride, do a zip line, and everything else she can think of that she's always wanted to do! And I met a newer patient who I also enjoyed visiting with. So today was a VERY GOOD DAY!!!

    2 Comments
  9. 9
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    almost 4 years ago
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    When to have my next chemo treatment.

    Decision Point

    My body and platelets were too low to have chemo on Wednesday, so they sent me home. I never really recovered from the last chemo, and if I had been able to go in tomorrow instead of two days early I probably would have been all right. The heat just took everything out of me. What little energy I had was given to enjoying Morgan. We fed the ducks and saw baby geese. We watched him play in the playground and make new friends. We read stories and enjoyed each other. We did little things in the garden, and he helped me pull a few weeds and helped Bill tie up some fencing for the beans and peas to grow up. They wanted me to come back for chemo early next week, but I made an executive decision and decided that it was better for me to continue with my Friday appointments; so I scheduled my next two appointments for July 12 and 26. I see Dr, Hunt on July 15th

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  10. 10
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 3 years ago
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    Celebration

    I'm celebrating because, although the cancer has spread and is growing like crazy in my lungs, I feel very good (like a normal, healthy 73 year old woman); I really still have no symptoms; I can do whatever I want to do; and life is good!

    3 Comments
  11. 11
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 3 years ago
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    Questions and recovery from small stroke

    Other Care

    I am a little surprised at how confused, unstable, thirsty, slow in my movements and thinking, and lacking in my perception of myself in space I am at times. However those symptoms are only when I first get up in the morning, and only last until I've eaten, had a lot of water to drink, and had some exercise and used my mind for a while. By around 10:30 I feel and act pretty normal; so, you all must be right. I'm definitely on the way to an A- or B+, and that makes me feel much better. For those of you who don't already know this...PHYSICAL THERAPISTS ARE GOD'S GIFT TO THE WORLD! And before physical therapists come caregivers and family! So, please don't worry... I intend to be "back to normal" full time in a month or so! I am questioning whether these symptoms, as well as pain and gas in my stomach, gall bladder, liver, and lung area, for the first time since diagnosis, are caused by the stroke, low blood sugar, Crohn's disease, or growing cancer in those areas. I guess time will tell... 

    3 Comments
  12. 12
    • Joy535
    • Experience with Papillary Cancer (Adeno...
    over 4 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments