It Would Be HIGHLY Unlikley...

     And yet, here we are. It's been six months since we were told the news. It feels like yesterday and a thousand years ago all at the same time. I still remember feeling the pit in my stomach when the words "cancer" were stated. That feeling has never really gone away.
     Cody was diagnosed with Stage II Cholangiocarcinoma on September 11, 2018. A Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare form of Bile Duct Cancer. The bile ducts create the tubing system that allows the bile created in the liver to drain into the small intestines. Bile helps your body digest fats and is needed to allow your GI tract to function normally. When the bile ducts become clogged, the liver will compensate for as long as it can, but eventually, the bile has nowhere to go but into the bloodstream. When this happens, you will typically see yellowing of the skin and eyes, also known as jaundice. The tumor had grown large enough to occlude Cody's bile ducts and causing his symptoms.

Photos from our first day at MDA with significant jaundice of the eyes and skin.

     We were transferred to MD Anderson in Houston and initially met with their surgical oncology team. The plan was to remove the tumor in its entirety. Our spirits were lifted with their confidence in removing the tumor. They wanted some more scans and needed to get his bilirubin levels in line, but they were hoping to set a surgery date in the near future. Co underwent two endoscopies to place stents in his bile duct to help relieve the pressure, but they were unsuccessful. A biliary catheter was placed and Cody was finally able to get some relief from his jaundice, itching, and overall feeling of crumminess. This procedure was more invasive than the endoscopies, so we were in the hospital for a few days. The catheter drains internally to the small intestines and allows his body to bypass the tumor and function normally. This procedure alleviated his jaundice and keeps Co feeling well.  

Biliary catheter placement in mid-September 2018.

     Over the next couple of weeks, we had several appointments with the surgical team. Endless tests, and scans, and evaluations were conducted. Co was still in a lot of pain and we just wanted answers. Waiting was the hardest part. It still is. The moment someone tells you your husband has cancer, you want to sprint to the finish line and find a way to heal him as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that's not an option in this case. So, we anxiously awaited the news at our next appointment. 


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