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Gallbladder Cancer

Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi.....I just joined CSN and I notice there are no discussions on gallbladder cancer.  Is anyone out there familiar with this type of cancer.,


cherleger's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2013

My name is Cheryl and I'm fairly new to this site.  I was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer on September 9, 2013.  Here is my story:

I live in Massachusetts.  I'm 38 years old and I've been married to my wonderful husband, Mark, for almost 8 1/2 years.  We have 2 beautiful boys.  They are 5 and 7 years old.  

About 10 years ago, I had an internal ultra sound because of kidney stones.  The tech told me that my gallbladder was full of stones.  Since they never bothered me, nothing was ever done.  In December 2011, I had gastric bypass surgery.  I lost about 120 lbs in less than a year.  Since rapid weight loss can cause gallbladder issues, I wasn't surprised when I had an attack on November 20, 2012.  I went to my local ER.  They did a CT with dye and sent me home with pain meds.  I met with my primary care doctor and was told it was my gallbladder.  The said there was a chance this was a one time issue and that if it recurred, we would discuss removal of the gallbladder then.  

On August 31, 2013, I woke up at 1am with that familiar pain.  I went to my local ER again and told them I was having a gallbladder attack.  They gave me pain meds and sent me home.  The pain meds did not help, so I went back to the ER at 4:30pm.  This time they did an ultra sound and determined that my gallbladder was infected and possibly rupturing.  They admitted me and I had emergency surgery the next morning.  

I had a follow up appointment on Septmeber 9, 2013, and this is when I was told about the tumor in my gallbladder.  There were also 2 lymph nodes that came out with the gallbladder and they were cancerous.  I was diagnosed with stage 3 gallbladder cancer and was referred to a medical and surgical oncologist at this time.  I met with both and was sent for a PET scan.  

They did not see anything on the PET so I was scheduled for surgery.  On September 23, 2013, I had surgery to remove lymph nodes and 10% of my liver.  They also ended up having to fix my bile duct and remove a small hernia that I didn't know I had.  When pathology came back, 2 of the 4 specimins had cancer.  There were more cancerous lymph nodes and they found cancerous nodules in my liver.  I was then referred to a medical oncologist at Dana Farber Cancer Institue in Boston.  

I met with a gastrointestinal medical oncologist October 16, 2013.  She explained that my cancer is stage 4 and is not considered curable.  They recommend chemo (Gemzar & Platinol).  They said I will go through a 3 week cycle (1x week one, 1xweek 2, and week 3 off).  They said I will most likely have 3 of these cycles.  Then a scan after the 9 weeks to see if its helping.  I was also told at this appointment that the tumor is visable on the CT with dye from November 2012.  I can't believe that I was never told about this and I am sooo angry!!!  I can't help but wonder if we could have caught this at stage 1 back then.  

That brings us to today.  I start chemo on Wednesday November 6th.  I find myself crying A LOT!  Everything that happens with my husband or boys, I can't help but wonder if its the last time I'll experience that.  My family and friends have been so supportive, especially my husband.  He is my biggest supporter and he pulls me out of every melt down!  He doesn't care what the doctors say and he's convinced that chemo will kill this!  I wish I could be so sure!  I am trying to stay positive but I am so scared!  

I know that I have just started this long and hard journey...I guess I'm just looking to connect with other people like me.  I'm looking for HOPE that even against all odds, people are beating this disease.  I'm hoping that I can beat this disease too!!!!  

Thanks for listening!


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