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A New Journey Has Begun

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

I live in Australia and just wanted to introduce myself and write about my cancer diagnosis and treatment.

I had a colonoscopy in February 2012 which discovered a large polyp. The polyp was removed during the colonoscopy and biopsy results revealed that it was malignent and I was referred to a colorectal surgeon. It was determined that I needed surgery to remove a section of the diseased bowel. My surgery was scheduled for late April. I had Laparscopic Ultralow Anterior Resection surgery with covering loop iliostomy for rectal cancer and a polyp in the rectum. Histology showed that I had a tiny residual cancer in the speciman removed but there was no evidence of major invasion, no lymphovascular or venous invasion. There were hardly any nodes in the mesentery, although I had an extensive resection. I have a T2 cancer, a Stage 1 cancer, which should not require any chemotherapy. I had my iliostomy reversal surgery in September 2012 and am slowly recovering. Over the coming months and years I will be conducting regular surveillance to make sure that there is not distant spread.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who wants to respond and those with Stage 1 cancer who have had chemotherapy or may think it is recommended?

Cheers,
Rob

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1308
Joined: Nov 2001

Sorry to see you on these boards but I am glad that they caught it early for you. These days they often don't do chemo for stage 2. I would hope it is not required in your case. I had extesive chemo for stage 3c in 1998 and I am still suffering the consequences. If you can get away without chemo or radiation all the better. My surgeon had a preference for Rad specially in rectal ,it is not used in colon as the target keeps on moving. But if there is a good option to stay safe without further treatment I would go that way if it were me. Best of luck mate,Ron.(sunshine coast QLd).

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2427
Joined: Jun 2006

hello Rob and welcome to this forum. I see you have met another wild colonial boy called Ron....and I am in Canada....Stage IV with many surgeries and rounds of chemo behind me.....haha little unintentional pun there.

Welcome

maggie

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Maggie,

Thank you very much for your welcome. I am finding this site and the people here to be a source of great inspiration. I hope you are well and in good spirits.

I am from Minnesota and have been living in Australia for 11 years. I've spent some time in your great country as well, our lovely neighbours to the north :)

I really appreciate hearing from you and your support.

Kindest Regards,
Rob

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

HI Ron,

It is nice to hear from you. Thank you for your kind thoughts and advice. I will make sure to put in place a thorough surveillance treatment plan so I can really keep an eye on things as I move forward. If I have learned one thing from all of this, is that I need to be much more proactive with my health and healthcare. Procrastinating just isn't an option.

I hope you are well Ron.

Cheers,
Rob

fatbob2010's picture
fatbob2010
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2012

Glad you are here and sorry to see you here. I had a similar progression minus the rectal concern. There was no recommendation for chemo or radiation. Cancer came back in the liver three years later and I am now considered Stage IV. After liver resection and chemo the last CT was NED; for now. Art

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Art,

It is nice to hear from you. Thank you for telling a little about your journey and treatment. I am sorry to hear that your cancer has progressed. I worry about the same thing for me, but I guess that is common among all of us. I am not sure if chemo is even an option for me considering it is Stage 1. I do know that I can't be 100% assured that cancer cells have not spread to other parts of my body.

Wishing you all the best,
Rob

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Welcome to the forum, Rob. I am from Ontario, Canada. My husband, Steve, has stage 4 cancer. Your situation sounds very good to us. I wish so much that we could go back in time and discover his cancer when it was in your stage. You're so fortunate to have caught it early. (Although it would have been nice for it to not have happened at all)! I would recommend that you find a balance between putting the experience behind you and getting on with your life but yet remaining careful and cautious with regards to regular testing. As far as chemo, I would go with what your doctor recommends. Good luck!

Chelsea

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Chelsea,

Thank you very much for your welcome and wonderful advice. I am very sorry to hear about your husband. I was presenting symptoms for a long time before I had a colonoscopy and I am very fortunate indeed that it is Stage 1 cancer and not more advanced. I am going to be much more proactive with my health and healthcare and am not going to procrastinate.

Sincerly,
Rob

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1252
Joined: Oct 2010

Hello and Welcome Rob!

Not many of us are Docs to recommend a treatment. Unlikely for Chemo at stage 1. However, I would recommend looking into Chemo Diets. High Anti-Oxident foods. Reduce your risks for future cancer. Juicing for Life, Anti-Cancer Diet, & Gerson Diet, are good places to start.

Just food for thought.

Best Always, mike

PS Sending good thoughts and Prayers your way for a great future.

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your welcome and great advice on Chemo Diets. It is an area that I will definitely explore as I really need to change and improve my diet. I appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers.

I hope you are well.

Kind Regards,
Rob

Semira's picture
Semira
Posts: 297
Joined: Mar 2012

... glad you finally found the way to this board :-)

(@all: I was chatting with Rob since quite a while in the CSN chat and was really surprised he never found this board)

So, a heartly welcome from Germany to the other end of the world and a big hug.

Petra
(caregiver to husband with stage 4 coloncancer)

Btw... what is my cat "Hexe" doing down there?

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Petra,

Thank you very much for the heartly welcome and big hug. I deeply appreciate your frienship and support. But you already know all of that :)

I don't think Hexe and my cat Boris have been introduced :)

Kindest Regards,
Rob

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Petra,

Thank you very much for the heartly welcome and big hug. I deeply appreciate your frienship and support. But you already know all of that :)

I don't think Hexe and my cat Boris have been introduced :)

Kindest Regards,
Rob

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Nice to welcome another antipodean(am a kiwi living in the uk). I had stage three rectal cancer with a recurrence so quite different from you. I just wondered if they did preop chemo radiotherapy which is quite common. Postop in stage one is often not done- are you being offered it or not at all? In truth your prognosis is very good and chemo won't alter it much but I know there is always that niggling doubt about if it came back, did I do everything I could to prevent it? It's a hard call esp as you move into the monitoring phase which is ful of natural anxieties.

Sorry no clear advise but pleased to have you on board here,

Steve

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

but sorry you have to be here. Catching this crap early is fantastic. I did not, being a stage iv, mets to liver. I saw that it looked like you and Semira had the same cat, but evidently not. But I do have a pretty good idea what your kittens would look like! Take care, Dan

Semira's picture
Semira
Posts: 297
Joined: Mar 2012

But would be a loooooong way just to let the cats meet :-) And even if... there would be no little black Kittys... my 2 black Ladies are neutered

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Steve,

Thank you for the welcome. Hope things are going well for you. Yes, I am not very far from your old stomping grounds. Just across the ditch I think is what they say. :)

I didn't have preop chemo radiotherapy. I am wondering if it is because the polyp was removed during the colonoscopy and my anterior resection surgery was scheduled for shortly after. It is something that I may have benefited from it though as cancer was found in the area of intestine removed during surgery. I am happy with this as surgery took place soon after the polyp was removed.

Chemotherapy postop hasn't really been considered. Maybe because there is no evidence of spread and my surgeon indicated that the margins were good and clear.

I will make sure to put in place a rigorous surveillance treatment plan and keep on top of things.

Cheers,
Rob

danker
Posts: 765
Joined: Apr 2012

I had stage 2 rectal cancer. Resection with iliostomy. After reversal, developed a fistula which healed it self. Colonospcopy after 1 yr
showed NED. Been NED ever since(17 more months) Good luck to you. Other than for various tests, You are probably cancerfree forever!!!

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Danker,

Thank you very much for your words of encouragement. It is great news that you have been NED for such a long time. It certainly makes me feel optimistic about things and I hope that I am cancer free forever.

Sincerely,
Rob

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

Greeting Rob!

welcome to the CSN board. Sorry of your cancer news, but I am so happy to hear that you caught this at stage 1. that is great news.

stay on top of this and be sure to never miss those check ups, blood work or anything else.

did they do a CEA blood test on you?
What was that level.

Prayers your way from Toledo, Ohio!

Joe

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Joe,

Thank you for your prayers and kind welcome. The support that I have received here has been wonderful. Yes, I am very fortunate to have caught this at Stage 1. I will make sure to put in place a rigorous surveillance treatment plan and keep an eye on things. I know that I had blood work conducted and different times (just prior to surgery and after). I am not sure about a CEA blood test but would like to assume that it was part of the blood work test(s). I will follow up with this.

Many thanks,
Rob

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 315
Joined: Jun 2012

At MINIMUM, I would get a second opinion, and maybe a third or fourth. You need to be your own health advocate, and not rely on just one doctor's opinion, based on my experience. I am stage 4, so I have a very different situation than you, but still recommend that you make sure you are 100% comfortable with the doctors' advice.

Tedd

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Tedd,

Thank you very much for the advice. I will certainly ask alot of questions and seek other opinions. If there is one thing that I have learned through all of this is not to procrastinate and to be more proactive when it comes to my health.

Cheers,
Rob

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2989
Joined: Jan 2010

I am a bit late, but welcome to the board.

By the way, don't forget to email me your mailing name and address if you are still interested in participating in the card list. Either use the email function on this site or send to csncardmail@yahoo.com.

May your future be bright and long,

Marie who loves kitties

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4347
Joined: Feb 2009

You are one of the most fortunate to only have found it at stage 1 so at that stage most oncologists wouldn't recommend treatment. Just keep up with the regular visits with doctors and their recommended tests and good luck in the future.

Kim

Rob65's picture
Rob65
Posts: 16
Joined: Oct 2012

HI Kim,

Thank you very much for your advice and well wishes. I am very fortunate to have caught this at Stage 1 indeed. I will put in place a rigorous surveillance treatment plan and keep an eye on things over the coming years. If there is one thing that I have learned from this is not to procrastinate when it comes to my health.

Regards,
Rob

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

sorry you found us, but now you are here, you can at least here some amazing stories from some very caring and experienced survivors and carers. i am from sydney but am in germany getting some personalised non standard treatments involving a mix of conventional, alternative and biological medicine.

as i cannot give advice, but what i would do if i was in a similar position is have an rgcc molecular test and then if the level of ctc's were not very low i would fly over to germany and have some treatments aimed at boosting the immune system and having a dendretic cell vaccine made. to my knowledge and research this is the state of the art preventitive but of course unproven and not accepted or recommended by mainstream oncology at this point. why even in australia they still don't recommend exercise and diet of recurrence risk prevention tools. but you can do far more than these actions and of course tcm is worth a look.

the risk approx 15-30% i think most of us run post surgery is peritoneal seeding, that happened in my case i suspect, so about a year post surgery i had a rise in the blood test. stage 4 is not fun. to be honest with what i have learned about how persistent recurrent disease is i would be over here having my immune system trained.

the greatest disabler of our immune system is stress, so i firstly would relax and do some research in the areas that seem right for you.

welcome to the csn family. pm me if you got specific queries.

hugs,
pete

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