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my journey...three times a charm????

my journey...three times a charm????

Posted by ellarose on Jun 30, 2020 12:18 pm

Hi.  My name is Ella and my journey began back in 2014 when I was diagnosed with rectal cancer.  It was a long road, chemo, radiation, a huge surgery which
left me with an ostomy for eight very long months.  Not that I am complaining.  It all saved my life.  A huge part of getting through was my cancer buddy who
called me regularly.  I was able to ask her questions that I found too embarassing to discuss with anyone else.  Finally, the surgery was reversed and after several
embarrassing moments, life resumed  to what was somewhat normal.  Bowel function has always been something that needed extra work.
Last year, during a chest ex ray a small nodule was noticed between the heart and lung which turned out to be small cell lung cancer.  Six rounds of chemo and
30 of radiation and my scans came back clear.  Time to breath again...but not for long.
I had been suffering from abdominal and lower back pains, vomiting.  Trips to the ER, scan after scan, one doctor after another saying it was nothing to be
concerned about.  Finally a trip to my original surgeon revealed there was a bowel obstruction which required immediate surgery.  All I could think was that
finally this dabilitating pain would be gone.  I felt wonderful! in spite of the long hospital stay and it being during the pandemic which was very isolating.
Don't get your hopes up too high, Ella!   Five days after the surgery, the surgeon paid me a visit, sat in a chair beside my bed and asked if there was anyone I would like to
call.  The mesh that has ben used to repair a multiple hernia four years ago had become entangled in my scar tissue, gall bladder and a small portion of the bowel.
They removed the gall bladder but found tiny white spots that they had sent in to the lab.  More cancer!!!  They thought that the original cancer had migrated.
Turns out it is a brand new cancer...gall bladder cancer.  The oncologist told me yesterday that there is no cure, but it is treatable...not exactly sure that that means.
Anyway, now I am turning to you...to see if anyone else has had gall bladder cancer or any info on it that I might find useful.
Thanks for letting me bend your ear.

Re: my journey...three times a charm????

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jul 1, 2020 7:21 am

Wow, ellarose‍ , we often say here that everyone’s cancer journey is different, but yours really sounds as though you’re an overachiever!

We have discussions here on Cancer Connection for specific cancers, and I think gall bladder has its own place (although it might be lumped in with stomach cancers). Some of the discussions are pretty quiet, too, so I’m not sure how much information you’ll find over there — checking — Here you go: it’s under Digestive cancers.

Your question about whether the difference between “treatable” and “curable” would be a great one to ask him about. My Dad’s oncologist was great at answering questions. Even if they came up between appointments we could call and ask his assistant and one of them would get back to us.

Despite your circumstance, I’m glad you’ve found this forum. It’s helped me greatly as a caregiver over the course of my father’s illness.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: my journey...three times a charm????

Posted by Whitelilies on Jul 1, 2020 9:01 am

ellarose‍ Hello
I am glad you found this site....we will ALL listen, guide and support.
OH MY, you have had quite the journey!  3 strikes; ;it OUGHT to be outta' the park by now!
As CynthiaMac suggested, try looking under digestive cancers, to get more info/support for gall bladder.
I am fighting Colo-rectal cancer myself.....and right now, the embarassing "washroom" issues arise......hourly! daily! nightly!
Keep strong.....ask any question....and hopefully you will get a reply.

Onwards we march.......we carry on.....