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Gallbladder cancer - 2012 (any stage)

Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi there, my name is Libby and I am a new member. I am 55 years old and have been diagnosed with unoperatable gallbladder cancer that has spread to my liver and bile ducts. I live in New Zealand and would love to talk with anybody about this dreadful disease that has invaded my body. I think this website is amazing, there is so much positive feedback, not like what you get on other sites with all the doom and gloom. Keep up the good work, looking forward to some replies :-)

westie66's picture
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi from Canada: I've visited your beautiful country and right now have friends there on sabbatical at the university in Christchurch. Anyways...yes, this is a dreadful disease but many of us are still even when we were given only a few months. The problem is, the disease is rare, there don't seem to be any symptoms until it is (almost) too late, and the treatment protocols are not well established. As you can see on my previous posts, I was diagnosed in October 2009 (elevated liver enzymes), had surgery in April 2010 that removed the gallbladder, its tumour, and part of my liver (but it was done laparoscopically so I ended up back in the hospital the next day with bleeding - the surgery should have been open surgery with a lot of things removed or at least checked). I had 12 treatments of gemcitibine and cisplatin (not difficult at all) but that treatment didn't do much for the cancer that had spread to the peritoneum and the liver. I then had 14 treatments of a rather nasty chemical combination - oxaliplatin + irenotecan + 5FU - which had lots of side effects. I ended up in the hospital for 3 long months with a perforated bowel that left me on life support for 2 weeks and temporalily paralyzed from the nose down. But I can now walk and do most things. I am probably getting radiation to the liver tumour but not sure I want to do that chemo regime again even though it seemed to work.

So my advice would be to get as many opinions as you can and explore all options - don't believe it necessarily when they say "nothing can be done". There is always something.

I didn't have any symptoms but since my gallbladder was removed I have a hard time digesting fatty foods.

Oh, and I am 69 (just!). Keep us posted!


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