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My Story of Hope

SKEESH
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2004

Hello to all. I have been reading this board for over a year but this is my first post. My father died of bladder cancer at age 53. I have lived in fear of the disease ever since. I have visited my internist twice a year for a long time. When he noticed that I had turned age 50, my doc recommended a colonoscopy. I hemmed and hawed and delayed, but eventually I scheduled the appointment. As you probably suspect, the news was not good. I had a colon resection two days later. The tumor had penetrated the colon wall but all nodes were clear. This was July 2002. Given my relatively young age, my onc wanted to be aggressive. He sent me for 25 radiation treatments and 6 months of chemo with 5FU and Leucovorin. He told me that my chance of recurence was very small. Well, I beat the odds. My scan approximately 1 year after the surgery show some nodules on the left lung and a growth on the left kidney. A biopsy of the kidney showed the growth to be renal cell carcinoma. Needless to say, I was quite flummoxed. I sought a second opinion in Houston. Although I believe second opinions are a great idea, let's just say that mine didn't work out well. I came back home and dedided to follow my onc's advice: in the fall of 2003 I had my left kidney removed and my left lung resected. The pathology reports brought bad and good news. The renal cell was so early stage that the docs regard the surgery as having been curative. The lung nodules, however, were a metastisis of the colon cancer. Worst of all, traces of the colon cancer were found on the removed kidney. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, a December 2003 PET/CT showed another nodule on what remained of my left lung. Sound hopeless? I certainly thought so. But guess what? The nodule is now gone and I have been informed that I am in remission. After the December scan, I began 6 months of chemo with oxaliplatin and 5FU. At my next scan in February 2004, the nodule had disappeared. Two more scans since have shown the same. I finished the chemo this past July and have lived a relatively normal life for the last 6 months. I know full well that the news could turn bad again at any time, but compared to where I was a year and a half ago, this is just great (as long as I ignore the neuropathy, reflux and unpredictable bowel habits). My law firm is quite pleased to have me back billing hours again. My message to the newly-diagnosed and those with a recurrence is this: When you think there is no such thing as good news, it is natural to become discouraged but do not give up hope. I am living proof that you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

andreae
Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your inspiring story. Hope was needed tonight and you provided it. Thank you.

On another note, congratulations on the remission! That's awesome! Wishing you continued health and wellness!

Hugs,
Andrea

goldfinch's picture
goldfinch
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

Skeesh, I second Andrea's response. Your story came at the perfect time. Helps pump up the hope factor! Thank you!
Mary

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

SKEESH -

Excellent story and no doubt your words of encouragement will ring loudly inthe ears of many here who have been having a rough go of it lately. Are you a member of the HNPCC club? If I was a betting man, I'd put money on it.

Thanks for sharing - and welcome to the Semi-Colons!

- Cheers

- SpongeBob

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1075
Joined: Aug 2003

What an inspiration you are to others on this board. May you have continued good news.

Maureen

alihamilton's picture
alihamilton
Posts: 344
Joined: Jan 2004

Thank you so much for posting...your story is an inspiration to all on this board. So often, when we hear of recurrence, the feeling is that any treatment would be purely palliative....well, you have shown that it is much more than that! Good luck to you and please post from time to time to encourage those who are going through difficult times.

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Thank you so much for sharing your story!!!!!! I had a thoracotomy to remove a single lung met, and my last scan shows a new nodule that isn't growing, but needs to be watched!

I really needed to hear your story!! Thanks again. jana

taunya's picture
taunya
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

Skeesh,
I almost cried reading your story. I am so happy for you, I just can' tell you. What an inspirational life you are living! Thank you for sharing, it really means a lot to me to hear other s stories. I feel like I am not alone and that there is always hope for the future. Bless your heart!
Hugs,
Taunya

timlou
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2004

Dear Skeesh, Ihave thanked my Higher Powers for your story of perserverance. My husband Tim has stage III ca with much lymph involvement. He was diagnosed in April, operated in May and has 2 cycles of Fulfox to go. I really do not know how he is handling it, he just goes day by day works when he can, sleeps when he must. We don't talk much but we didn't talk much before the diagnosis, he is a man of few words. Besides the fatigue and leg pain a new symptom has cropped up. Neuropathy in his thumb, pointer and middle fingers of both hands, this is worrisome for me because he is a machinist and depends on those fingers to work with tools. Any suggestions? I have asked his onco but she is against almost everything I ever suggest or inquire about. Again thanks for your story. You are truly blessed with an attitude I wish for all cancer survivors. Louise

JKendall
Posts: 186
Joined: Nov 2004

Hey Skeesh....thanks for the encouragement. My wife was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer this past October. I'm worried and nervous everytime she has a pain or discomfort. Guess I should buy stock in the company that makes Pepcid, I'll certainly be using a good amount of it myself. It's good to hear about the good outcomes. This is a very good site, because everyone here is pretty positive, despite all the stuff they go through. I appreciate you Skeesh, and all the semi-colons.

Jimmy

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Skeesh, thanks for the inspiration and welcome!!My cancer also went thru the bowel wall but with no node involvement...stage 2. I guess your case certainly proves the point that vigilance is really required to keep on top of things. I am glad that you are now NED. No matter what stage of the disease one has there is always the fear that it will return. Immunity of a re-ocurrance just does not seem to be a part of our world no matter what stage we have but at least people like yourself can give us all that extra hope. I have just completed more bloods and scans and am very relieved to say for the moment I am showing NED.
cheers from OZ, kanga n Jen

rejoyous
Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Thank you. We all need to hear these stories, too, not only because of the outcome but also because of your perseverance. You are an inspiration.

slammer
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Hi And what an uplifting(in a way) life story, The C-word stuff scares all of us but to have an outcome as well as yours well Right On! I am kinda new here to message and am awed buy what everyone writes & shares! This is great even somethimes sad but nice to know others in the same boat, pills scans tests chemo illness it all sucks but live well and God Bless all of Us
Amy

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