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Rectal cancer metastasized to lung

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

Had non-hodgkins lymphoma 13 years ago. Got rectal cancer in 2011. It was stage IIa. They did chemo and radiation, removed the tumor and put in an ostomy bag. Then they reversed the ostomy and did more chemo. All looked good for almost a year. CEA levels went up so the doctor did a CT scan. The scan showed nodules in both lungs (3 total). Had a needle biopsy done and found cancer cells. The nodules are tiny so they didn't get enough tissue to determine if it's metastasized from rectal cancer or if it's a new lung cancer. Doctor thinks it's a rectal cancer, but to be sure, they are going to remove nodule and also do an MRI to make sure there are no nodules on the liver. Since it's probably stage 4 cancer, can anyone tell me the survival rate is with chemo?? without?? They have to use different drugs this time. Just want to know what's coming this way! :)

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1343
Joined: Apr 2010

Only God knows for certain...

A short story;

When I was 16 and had just gotten my drivers license, my dear elderly aunt called me to ask if I would come to pick her up and go to the hospital since she wasn't feeling well.  When we arrived, the doctor told me that her heart was in very bad shape and she may not last the week.   To this she simply said, "Oh nonsense, I'll be back home in a few days, even though her prognosis was grim.  But home she went! And as time went by, she attended three of my graduations, attended my wedding, saw her grandchildren born, attended her own son's funeral (officer killed in line of duty), and watched the towers fall on 9/11/2001, but then lose all of her memory on 9/12/01.  It was if that attack was just too much to take.  But you know what?  She OUTLIVED her healthy cardiac doctor by 15 years!!!   So my point of course is, only God knows when your time is up.  Just enjoy your time on this beautiful earth while you can.

All my best,

Cyn

Miss Cindy L's picture
Miss Cindy L
Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2011

What a wonderful story to share and you are absolutely right only God knows for sure. This is such a beautiful inspirational experience to share with us we need to hear these things a little more often! Thank you....I needed this today.

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

Thank you! It's true, we never know when our time is up. Sometimes it helps to know what path you're heading, though. I think everyone is different that way. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. :)

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 912
Joined: Jun 2013

...in Star Wars said: "Never tell me the odds."

Never look at the statistics, but be ready for anything. We should make arrangements so if we die tomorrow we don't leave a mess behind. Hundreds of happy, healthy people woke up this morning like on any other day and by evening they died of car accidents, work related or something really odd. Two little kids in Canada went over to friends for a sleepover and they were suffocated by a large snake from a pet shop downstairs. Crazy!

Just find out what it will take and do it. 

We all support you and wish you the best outcome.

Laz

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

Laz, thanks for the positive outlook. It's true, we never know when our number is up, with or without cancer.

danker
Posts: 772
Joined: Apr 2012

Coudn't agree more!!! When my mother died, her 10-year older sister said:"I'll be the next to go." She used to tell her son who she wanted for pallbearers.  She out lived 4 sets of them!! She lived 33 more years after my mom. So God knows and nobody else does.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3492
Joined: Apr 2010

I've been Stage 4 for 3 1/2 years, diagnosed with lung tumors among others at that time, have had all the other tumors taken out or gone through chemo, but as for the lung tumors still have them, still here.  if the other tumors will stop appearing here and there I believe we'll get around to getting rid of the lung ones at some point, many have calcified my onc thinks from the chemo and I believe there are three left To deal with at some point, the chemo has worked well with keeping them in check so far.

Winter Marie

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

Will find out tomorrow if they're going to take all the tumors out or just one lung. It sounds like herdizziness, you have had success with the chemo. I'm told that you have to treat this as a chronic disease and just keep on truckin. Thanks, it doesn't sound as bad as people are telling me.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3492
Joined: Apr 2010

That's what it is for quite a few, I had a liver(2nd) resection done in May and am having another colon resection here soon.  In between all of that I graduated from full time 2 year school, travel, go camping, babysit and go to the water parks, etc., with grandchildren and try to live life at it's fullest starting as a Junior in 4 year college in two weeks full time, along with part time work.  It interrupts life a bit, but it sure doesn't stop it.  Hope you get good news tomorrow!

Winter Marie

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

Wow, you certainly are living an exciting life. Thanks for sharing. Good luck!

Hooley's picture
Hooley
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2012

Think I'm like u Marie.  I have 4 mets to lung from bowel cancer 3 yrs ago.  Been on chemo pretty much fortnightly.  Currently nn cetuximab. Left Timor scar tissue now and right lung with three mets largest shrunk from 69mm to 45mm.  GOD is good.  If start to grow will have to decide on surgery or diff chemo...........keep the faith!

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

Marie how come they don't place as much importance on removing the lung stuff as the others?

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3492
Joined: Apr 2010

Because if they did I could be refused the many surgeries that I've needed on my liver and colon.  They have been shrunk before and three calcified (died) so as long as they stay small from chemo and they don't biopsy them I can get surgery for other areas.  So we haven't worried about them too much until after I can quit coming up with other tumors (new primary in my colon) That need surgery.

Winter Marie

Hooley's picture
Hooley
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Marie,  did u get new primary tumor in bowel whilst on chemo ?

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3492
Joined: Apr 2010

First it had to be a polyp at some point.  And I was warned to have colonoscopies each year after my colon resection as a couple of polyps which were not there during my colonoscopy showed up 2 months later during my colon resection (I had been off of chemo for surgery) The surgeon said I had fast growing polyps. I did not get the follow up colonoscopies religiously as I should have.  I have been off chemo for a few months in the past 3 1/2 years so I don't know when it appearedAnd grew into a tumor. I don't know if I have more tumors either, this tumor did not show up on last two CT/PT scans.  I asked for a colonoscopy and they removed one polyp and then ran into this tumor and could go no further up as they could not get around it.  Now not getting a colonoscopy every year is my fault, even though for most people this would not be necessary And I along with everyone else on my team was trusting the CT/PT scans.

Biopsies shows it is malignant and the surgeon's office called today (I missed the call and didn't see the message until to late to call back) to discuss surgery.  

I thought CT/PT scans (one 1 month before liver surgery and 1 after colonoscopy) should show all tumors that were of any size, but was informed more often then one would think they do not show in the scans when in the colon. I hate to think of it growing while I was on chemo, but it is a good possibIlity. I have been off chemo since April and colonoscopy was in July, I don't think that was enough time to grow this large, so I do have to seriously consider that it grew while I was on chemo.

ALLRIGHTY THEN, just looked at my CSN Space and read what I had written on 10/01/2012, it showed a tumor from scan in my sigmoid colon (where it still is) and then on another just before thinking of surgery (which they didnt do due to excess tumors) scan on 11/05/2012 it showed as gone, and three scans since then have also shown it as gone, I had been off chemo (I was still on Avastin which at the end of Decmber 2012 it was shown along with Oxi and Xeloda to longer be working for me) for  about six  months at the October point. So the one scan showed it was there and every scan since then has shown it gone, all the while it's been hiding.

Winter Marie

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

The doctor is going to remove all the tumors in the lungs. It will take 2 surgeries, but he feels my brother will have a better chance with the surgery. We don't know yet whether they will do surgery first or chemo first. The lung doctor has to discuss it with the oncologist.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3492
Joined: Apr 2010

Let us know what they come up with and what type of surgery when your brother finds out If you would please.

Winter Marie

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

Winter Marie, I will keep you up-to-date. My brother is inspired by all of your stories. The statistics for metastasized rectal cancer scared the heck out of us. He has been through so much already. I am inspired by each and every one of you. My little brother is my hero. I am so proud of how he handles all of this with such dignity. I know we have an uphill battle ahead, but he's a fighter. The doctor asked him what he thought about having surgery, he told him, "go for it!" I almost burst out laughing in the doctor's office. In a way, he's blessed to not totally grasp the seriousness of the situation (in case you didn't read my original post, he's intellectually disabled, but such a sweetheart). 

The onc and surgeon had a meeting and decided against the surgery. The onc feels it's too dangerous and could be in vain since we don't know if there are more that we don't see. I'm looking into a 2nd opinion, won't hurt, but I'm guessing my brother's size (he's a big guy) and the fact that he has a slightly enlarged heart has changed their minds. We'll see what happens.

Lin

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

3 cm tumor in liver, too. Doctors are going to biopsy liver instead of lungs. Hope to start chemo soon. Cry

renw's picture
renw
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

God may know, but Statistically with stage 4 you have 12-36 months. Your 5 year survival chance maybe 5%, but odds will be better with surgery, and as for a cure, that is close to zero. Without chemo reliable stats are harder to come by.

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

its all on my blog.

goodluck,

in remission again after 3rd recurrence using mostly wholistic, experimental and conventional.

if your interested in lifestyle therapies and the latest experimental therapies, pm me.

hugs,

pete

ps ketogenic diet from day one essential in my view, but living joyfully even more important, lots of options do your homework and be happy.

nothing succeeds like success!

UncleBuddy
Posts: 714
Joined: Aug 2013

is my brother. He is intellectually disabled. I have signed up for him so I can read him many of your stories of hope. I've seen the statistics where it says the 5 year survival rate is 6%, but my brother has already kicked cancer's butt when he had non-hodgkins lymphoma in 2000. People told us he wouldn't make it, but he did and he did will. Unfortunately, cancer decided to rear its ugly head with a whole new cancer in his rectum. He was diagnosed in 2011 after I kind of nagged him and dad enough that they switched to a new doctor that I recommended. His old internist had never given him a rectal exam and he was in his 40s, so I thought this was not a good enough exam since he had already had cancer. When he went to the new doctor, the rectal exam showed blood, so he sent him for a colonoscopy. Then the story began all over again. He had radiation and chemo to shrink the tumor, had the tumor removed (it was inthe rectum touching the beginning of the colon, had temp ileosotomy but had it reverse) and then did more chemo. All the scans came back fine until a couple of months ago. His CEA levels were SLIGHTLY elevate from a 3 to a 7. The doctor felt he should have a CT scan again and they found 5 tumors in both lungs, The tumors are very small, maybe the size of a pea. Then they decided to do an MRI of the liver and found a 3cm tumor on the liver. We have an onc appointment tomorrow to see what his options are. Next week they are doing a biopsy of the liver. He feels great and has no symptoms, other than a tickle that causes him to cough on occasion. The reason I asked this question is because I need to prepare myself for what is ahead of me. I'm not working so I can help my brother with his appointments. My husband has been a blessing being very understanding of this. Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions. I will keep you up to date once I know what's going on.

BTW, he was originally diagnosed with stage 2A rectal cancer in 2011. Now, since it metastasized to the lungs and liver, it's stage 4. 

Lin

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