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Mom's 1st doctor visit

jewelbabejcj
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2004

Well, we met with the oncologist today. It looks as though the cancer has not mestasised to the liver or any other organs. That was a relief to hear. There was thickening near the urethra which she couldn't tell if it was near or actually touching it. She has ordered an endoscopic ultrasound and an mri. Mom has been having trouble urinating so she wants to be sure. She has also ordered a bone scan because the back of mom's legs down to right above her knees have been hurting alot. The doc said the tumor has spread through the rectal wall and is in the lymphs surrounding the rectum. She will be getting radiation as well as chemo. But they are unsure if she will need surgery. They hope to shrink the tumor because it is so close to the sphinctor and they want to avoid a colostomy bag if they can. She said she will stage the cancer after the results to the tests she has just ordered are in. Mom is in great spirits and was relieved after the visit knowing her liver and other organs are not affected. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and wisdom during this confusing and frightening time. Love, Julie

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

Julie,

It sounds as if you are with a great Dr. and that you are very informed about all this stuff. I had to have a hysterectomy due to fibroids in 1996 and it was amazing what the fibroid growths did to my legs, bladder and back. I felt relief immediately upon their removal. I bet that nasty bad tumor is doing that to your Mom's legs!!!! There ain't but so much room down yonder and when things get too tight, somethings got to give in (like blood vessels and other key things) to make way for the new growth.

Stay positive and continue to learn as you progress with this.

Lisa P.

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Julie,
What wonderful news, that there is no metastisis - that must be a huge relief for you both/all.
It sounds like she is getting excellent managment. I had a low rectal tumour, very close to the sphincter. I had 5.5 weeks of chemoradiation, followed by surgery, then more chemo. Like your mom, they hoped to shrink the tumor during radiation. It did shrink but in the end I did have to have a permanent colostomy -- the tumor was just too close to the sphincter. I hope your mom has better luck than me in that regard. But, if not, having a colostomy is really not that bad...Thinking of you both and sending warm wishes your way.
Tara

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Great news about the lack of metastases as this is one of the most important predictors of prognosis. If lymph nodes are involved it is likely to be staged a Dukes C although other ways of staging it are also used eg the TNM classification (you will see these kind of terms mentioned as you read more about it all).

My tumour was very low and looked like it had invaded local tissues like your mums so I had the preop chemoradiation. It wasn't too bad and I managed to work full time through most of it. Some diarrhoea and skin burns but these were fairly minor and more inconvenient than a real problem- made sitting still for long periods of time difficult which made my wife's delivery of our first baby the day after I finished the treatment an interesting time!

With the shrinkage from the treatment it makes it more likely that they will be able to do an anterior resection (take it out through the belly) rather thanr an abdominal perineal approach- having to take it out both through the belly and an incision down below (which is the op that results in permanent colostomy). She may still need a temporary ileostomy (bag linked to the small bowel where it is brought to the surface of teh belly) but these are things to consider further down the track.

It is a long haul though with many ups and downs. I am still on chemo now 7 months after the diagnosis and willbe till feb next year. So do prepare yourself for the long term but it all gets easier with time as the initial shock of it all wears off. It sounds like you have a good doctor blessed with an ability to communicate which is vital through all of this. Let us know how things go and best of luck,

Steve.

vanser
Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Julie,

Thats great news !

Just to give you some background on me, my mom was diagnosed in January 2003 with Stage III colorectal. (it was in the sigmoid section of the colon, so sometimes they call it colon, sometimes they call it rectal). Anyways, she had 4/20 lymph nodes test positive and received chemo and radiation. Today she is doing great. (I am very nervous these days because her follow up CAT scan was yesterday and we receive the results Tuesday..)

I will be thinking about your mom.

Vanessa

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Julie,

I was so glad to hear that your mom's cancer was confined. The chemo is manageable and her attitude and spirit will help her through the bumpy parts. She is also fortunate to have you as her advocate.

Keep us posted on her progress. We will be thinking of you both.

Hugs,

Kay

jewelbabejcj
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2004

Thank you all for your wonderful support and well wishes! I feel very uplifted by your own stories and words of wisdom. I was thinking the same thing about her legs Lisa. I hope the scan is negative. We are still working on getting her approved for some type of medical insurance but we have had the most wonderful doctors that seem to be more concerned about mom and less concerned about money! Love, Julie

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