My Diagnosis

My Cholangiocarcinoma was discovered incidentally on a follow up CT scan for an unrelated issue by a primary care provider in July 2009.  I had no clinical symptoms.  My Alkaline Phosphatase was elevated;  I sought a consultation with a gastroenterologist who ordered a variety of liver function tests and tumor markers as well as an MRI.  My Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 was 419 U/mL on a reference range of 0-35 U/mL and my Alkaline Phosphatase was 154 IU/L on a reference range of 0-150 IU/L.   Bilirubin, AST, ALT and AFP where normal and I was negative for HCV, ANA, Hep B, Hep A, ANA and M2 Antibodies. It presented as a very vascular lesion on MRI and CT and it wasn’t confirmed histologically until a CT guided needle biopsy was performed after consultation with a oncological surgeon at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

History of note includes a Wilm’s Tumor during childhood with radiation, right nephrectomy and chemotherapy in early 1960s.  Subsequent follow up showed no metastasis.  Also of note is a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus in 2005;  I manage this quite successfully with metformin and prn humalog insulin on a sliding scale.  My A1C averages 5.8 for the last 3 years.

  1. Ken Smith
    February 11, 2010 at 15:56

    Wow Mark,
    This is incredible and what a great resource for others that find themselves in a similar situation. You’ve done a great job and I’m impressed with the multitude of information and resources that you’ve offered. You certainly seem to be keeping a positive attitude and as you describe, giving yourself a day every month or two to let it all out is probably important and necessary. Feel free to lean on your friends if you need us. I have no suggestions or comments beyond simply stating that you’ve really done a good thing with this blog and I’m sure others that need your very knowledgable comments will find them both enlightening and informative.

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