Sep 06, 2013 - 1:03 pm
Just found this site and it looks like a great place for support, and finding out what others have been through. Here’s the thumbnail sketch of my situation. I’m a 57 year old male, and my name is Ron.
May of 2010… Abdominal pain took me to the emergency room where Stage 3 colon cancer was diagnosed. During discovery a colonoscopy was performed and the wall of the colon was punctured allowing the abdominal cavity to be filled with #&*+*. Surgery removed the tumor and 10 lymph nodes (4-cancerous & 6-clear), and placed a colostomy bag. Spent 16 days on a respirator, and a total of 72 days in the hospital fighting infections (went septic) and recovering. (should have died twice during this ordeal but evidently God wasn’t done with me yet.)
July 2010 thru February 2011 … 12 chemo treatments (1 every other week)…. 5FU & Oxy
March 2011 …. Was told I was cancer free, and we did quarterly check ups going forward.
September 2011 …. Take down surgery
December 2012 … Abdominal pain once again drove me to the emergency room and surgery discovered the cancer was back. Metastatic Colon Cancer was the official word and it was on the outside of the small intestine and tumors had closed off the small bowel causing an obstruction and the pain I experienced. Two surgeons and 6 hours later they had removed the worst of the cancer but there was still a lot of smaller tumors remaining, however all the other organs were clean. (God still wasn’t done with me yet.)
February 2013 … Started (12) chemo sessions (1 every other week) with 5FU & Irinotecan – only made it through 7 of them as I couldn’t tolerate the side effects of the Irinotecan.
May 2013 … Did the KRAS test and found that Erbitux would be an effective next option for treatment so I did 8 treatments (1 per week). Did a CT scan and found that the cancer had not spread anywhere else so that was a positive, (evidently there is no way to see cancer in the soft tissue of the small bowel – so we don’t know if it’s getting bigger, or smaller, or staying the same… so if it’s not spreading we’re calling that a victory). Started a second session of 8 Erbitux treatments and only made it through 3 of them before having a terrible reaction.
August 2013 … Reduced the Erbitux dose by 20% and will do treatments 2 out of every 3 weeks. This seems to be a good protocol as my body is adjusting. Just hope the drugs are being effective on the cancer. We’ll do another CT scan after finishing this 8 treatment cycle. This scenario will probably go on for as long as I’m alive.
Question: I’m told by 2 different oncology groups that there is no test available (CT, PET, MRI, X-ray, etc.) to actually see the cancer on the soft tissue of the small intestine, (except for cutting me open and looking). Can anyone confirm if that is accurate from their experience?