Hi all my friends, I am sorry to report that the mass was choliangiocarcinoma. At this moment I do not know if there will be a treatment or just palliative care. I have numerous appointments over the next 2 weeks in addition to paracentesis. A large amount of fluid continues to accumulate in the belly. The radiologist who did the biopsy pulled the fluid off today. I asked him if he had heard - yes he knew. He said there was some discussion around here for a couple of days because the sample was small but there were too many malignant cells to ignore.
Some really interesting things have happened which just lets me know I am still in the flow. The week my chronic back pain stopped was the week the ascites started. Finally after one year of pain and being bedridden I was free of debilitating back pain. I had done much work with a pain clinic getting nerve blocks. During this time I lost 56#. Truly thin for a 6'4" Great Dane. :)
And then my belly started growing. It took me a bit to realize it was ascites because I've never had it. So now I have a bloated starving child look - without the flies, but a healthy yellow.
And the week my gastro decided to hospitalize me to do ERCP and try to control LFT's, is the week all the above happened. And of course continued investigation led to cancer diagnosis. '
As soon as I got the news I asked for the chaplain. We had a great talk. I told him one of the things that bothered me most was that the remodel I had started on condo I bought just last year was dropped where it still lies when my back was injured. He told me the church he works at has a group of men who volunteer to help people with home repairs. What a gift!! I assured him I would be calling.
What a relief and how easy was that! Well the oncologist visit is in one week. I will certainly keep you updated not because I think you need to know - BUT because I need the support of peers who understand what exactly we go through. The fear, uncertainty, loss of control, time, learning info we didn't necessarily wanted to learn and more.
I find already that I am the one maybe having to comfort others, I couldn't tell my parents - my sis had to and the best thing to say right now is a sincere "I'm sorry." That is the most comforting. Nothing more or less. I say 'Thank you!"
Right now I have a great deal of peace - I have prepared for the inevitability of this for years. My first mass was resectable without chemo/rad. That was in 2005. God has given me 8 great more years!
My goal is just to be happy here in beautiful Denver, Colorado. To laugh and smile no matter the activity. To see the beauty around me. To bring joy and beauty to others. To be the best me I can be.
I will keep in touch here but also at my page 'debpetersen' at www.caringbridge.org.
Cheers and love! Deb