Carcinoid Treatment – Tammy’s Story – The Nebraska Medical Center

I’m Tammy Kleymann, in October of 2008 I
was diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer, I was having some occasional diarrhea, and
I just thought that when you turn 50 you know,
that kind of comes with the territory, I shouldn’t have ate that, I should have eaten something
else. After a few months, I decided, well maybe it was a gall bladder, I went to the
doctor. When I went to the doctor, she said my blood pressure was very high. Doctor came
in and said, we found some spots on your liver, we’d like to see if we can do a CT scan,
as long as you’re here we can schedule that right now. They did a CT scan and it revealed
numerous tumors on my liver, they did a biopsy, it came back as Carcinoid Cancer. I had no
idea what that was. Oh my heart just dropped, yeah, I thought, how could that be, I mean
I feel fine. After they basically said, you know there’s really nothing we can do, you’ll
get your sanistanton shots (1:20) once a month and that kind of slows the tumors and stops
them. My son called me one day, probably two months after, and said you need to look at
this video, that I just found on the YouTube, about a gal with the same kind of cancer that
you had, went to this doctor at The Med Center, Doctor Botha, and she’s now cancer free,
and so I grabbed my husband, we looked at it and I was like, oh my gosh, and it’s
right here in Omaha, I don’t have to go to Europe or Switzerland or you know another
state, even in the United States. It was right here in Omaha, and I thought what do I have
to lose. When I first met Tammy, she was relatively
well controlled, with the drugs that she was on, in terms of just preventing the effects
of the hormone. However, her life span would be limited if we did nothing about these tumors,
and that’s when we offered her, if she was up for it a fairly radical procedure.
So when Dr. Botha said, you know, you could be cancer free, I was like going from stage
4 cancer to cancer free, yeah that was big, that was really big.
In Tammy’s case, a huge mass of tumors in her small-bowel and the largest tumors in
her liver. She in fact had heart disease, as a result of all this hormone that was coming
out of her liver and affecting her heart, so she required a lot of surgery to repair,
to remove the primary tumor, remove the metastatic tumors and to fix the valve disease that the
tumors had damaged the valves in the right side of her heart.
I had to call a heart surgeon and they replaced my tricuspid valve, which was kind of a bumpy
road. After six months, they said I was fine to do my liver surgery, went to Dr. Botha
and he’s like let’s go. So this relies on the innate capabilities
of the liver to be able to regenerate, so what we do is take out the primary tumor,
which is in the Intestine. At the same time then take a tumor from one side of the liver,
the side of the liver that we envisage as being the future remnant, that’s going to
be left behind, and so that all happens at the first operation. We then stimulate the
liver that left side of the liver to grow. We do this by ligating or blocking one of
the portal veins and that allows that half of the liver to grow and become bigger. Once
that has occurred we then go back in and remove the other side of the liver that has the remaining
tumors, and so by doing that, rid her liver of all the tumor that’s in her liver, as
well as taking care of the primary. So it’s a fairly cool procedure, but again very demanding
on the patients, to undergo multiple major hepatic surgeries is a big deal.
There was some ups and downs with that surgery too, I mean that’s a big surgery, and they
forewarned me about this, and after that was healed, my liver grew back enough to do the
next surgery on the right side of my liver I had a tumor that was the size of a baseball,
plus numerous other tumors and they resected that one also, after six months and I just
had a six month scan done, and my liver’s brand new and there’s no tumors and I feel
great and thanks to The Med Center and all there it was wonderful.
I look back on her now and I’m so proud of her, she, she did it and she did it with
style and class and I’m very proud of her. Oh, he’s wonderful, he’s the kind of Doctor,
you go in and he just you know, he just says this is what we’re gonna do and this is
gonna work for you and you know everything will be great and there could be ups and downs
but we’ll work through that and he just kind of tells you like it is, he’s one of
those like he’s your friend, you know, somebody you’ve been friends with forever, he’s
one of those kind of doctors. And that’s how our approach to these patients
are, we plan to follow them for their entire lives. Patients have made the effort, and
they come and see us and I think it’s because of this multi-disciplinary care that we offer
these patients. You know going from maybe five years of living,
to maybe ten, twenty; you know, you don’t know so I get to see my son get married and
maybe have grandkids and yeah, that’ll be great.

2 thoughts on “Carcinoid Treatment – Tammy’s Story – The Nebraska Medical Center

  1. Please could anyone offer me some help/advise? I'm in the UK. I have microvascular angina, which causes chest pain and breathlessness on exertion. But recently the breathlessness has become much worse, along with perfuse sweating and very red face. I had an endoscopy seven moths ago because of bad heartburn and nausea. I was diagnosed with Gastritis and prescribed Lansoprazole. The heartburn has subsided, but the nausea has returned with a vengeance. My doctor has referred me to a endocrinology clinic, but they cannot see me for three months. I am stressing out, as my father died twenty years ago with a brain tumour. It was a secondary, the main tumour was in his stomach. Three moths is a long time to wait and see if I have a tumour, or not. Should I push for a quicker appointment?

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