My name is Ingrid and I have stage IV terminal Cholangiocarcinoma. I am a 44-year-old mum with three adult children. I was diagnosed in late 2015 and had a liver resection almost immediately following my diagnosis, as a lifesaving surgery. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be and after six months of hard work recovering from my surgery, I had a recurrence. Due to my previous surgery being so significant, and the tumours that had developed, surgical removal is no longer an option. The only alternative left for me is treatment to slow the tumour growth, possibly buying some time to get onto a trial that might have a lifesaving outcome.
I have since been on three different regimes of chemotherapy, each of which have taken a massive toll on me. I have exhausted all three options but was fortunate enough to stay stable for six months. This qualified me for a treatment called SIRT. This is a radiation treatment that is only available privately and comes with a massive price tag. I was advised that I could only access the treatment once and there are no guarantees of its success rate, but at best, it could buy me 9-12 months of treatment-free time. I was excited by the prospect of the treatment but found myself questioning “Who does this? Who spends thousands of dollars for a treatment to buy time?”
My oncologist then put through a referral to the John Logan Foundation to assist me with some of the costs. I spoke personally with Katherine Logan and was reduced to tears when she offered the amazing gift of some financial assistance. I have since received the treatment in January this year and am now on the other side. I am seeing the benefits of the treatment in terms of quality of life and whilst I continue to be terminal, I am excited to be able to embrace living in the now and exploring opportunities to travel and build memories with my family. I have recently celebrated my son’s wedding and have become a grandmother. These were events I grieved for, thinking I would miss out on experiencing. I am so very grateful to the John Logan Foundation and hope that in some way in the future, I can give back to their cause in a way that will assist others on their difficult journey.