December 13th, 2012 · 27 Comments
With more than three decades of experience as a nurse and nurse manager, Carol Bolton of Exeter, Calif., was acquainted with most medical conditions. But in 2004 when she began experiencing abdominal pain along with episodes of diarrhea or constipation, she was baffled by what it could be. Most likely, she thought, it was related to grief over the abrupt death of her husband of 35 years.
But when the pain persisted and grew worse, she saw a gastroenterologist, who ordered a computed tomography (CT) scan. Carol was shocked to learn that a mass (about the size of a quarter) had been found in her mesentery. The mesentery, a membrane that anchors the small intestine to the back of the abdominal wall, is comprised of delicate folds or leaves filled with blood vessels and nerves. Read the rest of this entry »
December 13th, 2012 · Leave a Comment
Calling Ning Chien "active" would be an understatement.
She enjoyed a healthy and busy life in Fremont, Calif., with her husband, Liang, and their son's and daughter's families nearby. Coming up on the calendar was a family trip to explore majestic Hawaii. But sudden sharp pain and an uncertain diagnosis of liver or pancreatic cancer seemed to indicate her active life was about to change.
In October 2008, Ning experienced sharp pains in her abdomen. Blood tests showed a highly elevated liver function panel, indicating something was seriously wrong. Local doctors recommended surgery to remove her gallbladder, but the cause of her pain was unclear. Then, a CT scan revealed tumors in her liver, pancreas, kidney and lungs, consistent with late-stage cancer. But biopsies did not capture useful cells to confirm a diagnosis. For three months, Ning had no answers. Read the rest of this entry »