At 2:00 a.m. on March 6, 2006, I woke up itching. It persisted through the rest of the morning when I decided to go to ER and have it checked out. I was given a prescription and sent on my way. I had been having a dull bellyache for about a week which continued as well as the itching. The following Monday I called in sick and arranged to go to the hospital for an ultrasound. The technician keep looking at the screen and then left to bring back two other people. Again I was sent on my way. That night a doctor called and asked if I wanted to be admitted that night or the next morning. When I showed up the next morning, I was put in a room with a bed and a doctor came in holding a box of tissues. I thought to myself that he must have a cold. I didn't realize that the tissues were for me as he informed me that I had bile duct cancer. I was too shocked to respond so he went on to explain that I had jaundice which was why I was itching (my eyes were yellow as well). A stent had to be done that day. Then he left with his box of tissues. I went into the bathroom and cried; however, when I returned to the room, I had an utter calmness within myself. From then on I was not afraid or nervous. I later knew that God had given me this sense of peace to help me get through this. I had the stent done and two wonderful doctors found just the doctor I needed at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. One arranged for me to be transported there by ambulance, Once there, I was kept for a week while another stent was done and my jaundice taken care of. Then I was sent home for a week while surgery was scheduled. I had a liver resection and bypass with an incision down my middle and to the side. I was in the hospital for 10 days and went home the Saturday before Easter. For the rest of that year I underwent radiation and chemo. In September, I got shingles on my inner thighs. I ended up in ER again not knowing what to think. I was given a prescription and told to be careful around anyone who hadn't had chickenpox yet as I was highly contagious. That person was my youngest daughter. Luckily, I was careful and to this day she has never contracted chickenpox.
I was told that bile duct cancer was very rare and usually Chinese men were susceptible to it. Well, I'm neither a man nor Chinese so I don't know how I got to be so lucky. I have even met nurses who
would ask about my symptoms because they had never seen anyone with this type of cancer before.
I am interested in communicating with anyone else who might have had this cancer and what their experience has been.