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Scan results...

JayhawkDan's picture
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

Mixed bag, but of course the "bad" is getting my attention. I have rectal -- mets to liver. Last scan showed liver mets dead...caput. That still looks good. But my diahrea/constipation has increased, as well as frequency -- kind of like when I got dx 10 months ago. Anyway, the onc said it looks like the rectal tumor has grown "some." He wants to do a scope to see exactly what it's doing. Not a full colonoscopy, but a simple scope of just that area. Not familiar with that -- anybody who's had that done please, I'd love to know what's entailed. Is it colonoscopy-lite? Basically the same thing, just not as far reaching (for lack of a better description)? He called me with the results so I was kind of flat footed not expecting the call. I believe the course of action after that would be either surgery, and probably a permanent bag, or radiation. This is my local guy where I receive tx. I'll also get a second opinion at the NCI hospital an hour away that is pretty much dictating my plan. Sometimes I think I have too many cooks in the kitchen and probably need to just switch to the NCI and do the driving. I'm beginning to feel that having 2 oncs on my case is like having no oncs on my case, if you know what I mean. Anyway, that's fodder for a different thread. As always, waiting on more information to plot the next move. Merry Christmas, Dan

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Hang in there. I had my results and new small lesions in liver and a lung nodule they were watching that has grown a bit.
I hate when the oncologists throw out generalities like mine did before they have the radiologist report! (yesterday after my scan....)
I am working full-time again and trying to stay calm until I hear their next plan.
Have to have a pet scan next Tues., and info to tumor board for a new treatment plan.
I am treated at an NCI Center - I think you said this summer you are in Kansas?
Wishing you the best as you move forward!
It stinks that the waiting game is around the holidays. I just finished 10 months of treatment and was hoping for at least 3 more months of a clean scan.grrrrrrr

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

It sounds to me like it will be just what you described, Dan...."Lite."

More than likely, you will have to drink a prep...not the full blown stuff to completely empty your intestines...but a Fleet type of drink tand a couple of laxatives hat will clear out the lower portion of you.

This will allow the scope to get to that particular part of the area for him to view...more than likely will be sedated with some Versed or Fentanyl or both...or maybe just regular old Profofol.

I've never been a fan of "Split" doctor services...I left the local yocal...and headed to the big city...put all of my care under one roof.

Less headaches...and one hand can't seem to talk to the other one in this day of such instant communications as we're being afforded today.

Planning for the next move is the best plan...absolutely best of luck!

Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

That's good about the liver, Dan. That is one hard organ to get under control sometimes, i presume because it is so vascular. Feel good about that.
As for the rectal tumor, i hope that can be removed, no matter what it takes....bag, etc. I am a big fan of surgeries.....take out anything, and then some, dear doc. Get it out, preserve it ....and come back and make a vaccine from it.
Hang in there.....as always!


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

While it may be a mixed bag, it is good that the liver mets appear to have stayed gone.

As for the colon...it may be he will want to do a sigmoidoscopy, which is just less length on the scope. I had one done with no anesthetic or twilights meds, but still had to do the full prep route.

I guess if it were me, I would opt to go to the NCI hospital for any further testing and treatment. For one, I find it odd that he can't tell about turmor size change from the scan. Also, like Craig, I feel that once you find the best docs you can it helps to get rid of teh rest. Not saying that your local onc can't still administer the chemo, just not to rely on him for planning. But as always you have to do what you feel is best for you.

If you need to have a perm colostomy, know that life can still be good with one. I have had mine over 2 1/2 years and it is just a part of who I am these days.

Wishing you the best and Merry Christmas to you too.

Marie who loves kitties

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I understand the feeling. I had a new tumor show up once out of the blue while doing chemo, and couldn't believe it when my doc said it looked like "good news". From his perspective it was good, because I didn't have a bunch of crap all over the place. In the long run, I came to agree with him, but in the short term...well, it's a hard place to be. It sounds like you will be getting a sigmoidoscopy perhaps? I have one scheduled for next month (because, although NED-ish, my scans do tend to light up some in the rectal area). It involves three enemas (whee), but no other prep. I was told that apparently you get to be awake for it, much to my horror. You'll have to let us know how that goes. Are they hesitating on surgery because of the possibility of needing a colostomy after? Anyway, hoping they can get a good plan in place for you, and I am happy for you that the liver mets are looking good and dead. Hugs~Ann Alexandria

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6733
Joined: Feb 2009

Flex sig is a smaller version of colonoscopy and you do a prep the night before but you can eat the day before. Mine were all done in the doctor's office with no sedation. It is a little uncomfortable when they blow the air in but it is tolerable. I'm not keen on two doctors either as you can get conflicting answers and protocol. Going to a bigger hospital with more resources is probably a better option. Why haven't you had radiation yet. We started out doing chemo/radiation at the same time, surgery, then more chemo? Every doctor and situation is different so was just wondering. Hope your second opinion goes well for you and you are comfortable with the plan they set forth for you.


son of hal
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Dan- Well the scope your looking at is either a flex-sig, as others have mentioned, or an Anoscope. Being a rectal cancer guy, Ive had both several times. The flex-sig they usually have you do a laxative and enema prep. No big deal but not fun either. The Anoscope they don't do any prep and do it right there in the office. I usually had those at every appointment with the surgeon. The Anoscope only goes in far enough to view the end of the rectum and anus but the flex-sig goes in much further. Although not nearly as far as a coloscopy. They are uncomfortable but bearable. You'll likely be awake for both and have little to no discomfort afterward. Eat litely the day before and it makes things easier for everyone. Good luck.
2 cents- Shrink the tumor with whatever you can, find the best surgeon specialist you can then get that sucker cut out. Living with an illeostomy or colostomy is much easier than you think. And it may not be permanent...
Take care, CJ

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

mention but wish you a good result.If it's cancer hope a very easy solution, just sending my prayers!

Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011

So true that it is the bad news that always holds our attention. Try and remember that you also got some very good news. I did find that having my care in one place, a major medical center, served me well. It is less complicated and things don't seem to take as long. Having a team that works together has made all the difference for me. Whatever the scope, I hope and pray the results are better than you are thinking..

Cathleen Mary

JayhawkDan's picture
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

for all your replies. The last couple of days have been a whirlwind. Had the ct on Wednesday, doc called Wednesday afternoon, then after posting here, they called again just before lunch on Thursday and said they could get me in for the scope at 11am Friday. I was on my way to a lunch appointment and they said "you can go, but you can't eat." Glad I had had at least a small bowl of raisin bran for breakfast...lol. Anyway, the prep was a bottle of magnesium citrate that night and an enema the next morning. And hunger...but it's probably best to have these things sprung on you and not have to think about them for a few days. Anyway, I hadn't seen this GI doc since the initial finding of this bugger in January. After the procedure (and they did put me out, somewhat) he thought it was maybe a little smaller than before. But "before" to him meant the initial look at dx. Chemo had shrunk it since then, so it does seem that it's grown recently. I'll know more what my onc thinks when I go in for chemo on Tuesday. So, not sure. What I am sure about is that the cheeseburger I had after I was done yesterday was really good! Overall, I think it's time to take this damn thing out. With the lesions in the liver looking "dead," I would think I could tolerate the time off chemo to prepare and recover from rectal surgery without allowing the liver crap to grow much, if at all. It seems I'm probably headed to a bag at some point, anyway, so let's get on with it. Radiation has been mentioned, but hasn't been acted on. I think while things were going well they just wanted to stay the course, so to speak, and didn't want to "harm" me any more than necessary. Well, this definitely isn't boring, is it? Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I'll keep you posted. Hugs, Dan

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Yes, that's one thing to say about living with cancer, it certainly is not boring. I can previously remember you referring to your liver lesions as dead and "burned out" but I can't remember what kind of treatment you've had on the the liver. Was it just the chemo that killed them or did you have some RFA etc? I'm curious about the liver as Steve(husband) has 6 liver lesions spread out over four sections of the liver. Meet with a surgeon in Jan.

Thanks and best of luck,


JayhawkDan's picture
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

It's been all chemo -- folfiri and vectibix. RFA had been discussed on the liver but the chemo has been working so well it hasn't been necessary. Radiation has also been discussed previously but the chemo seemed to be keeping the rectal at bay, until just now. I should know more on Tuesday, but I think I'm probably looking at either radiation and/or surgery. But as a realtor I make a lousy oncologist...Lol.

But my decision on centering my care under one roof is coming to a head, and there's no doubt it will be the NCI facility at KU Med.

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Well things seem to be moving quickly but make sure any major decisions are well thought through and considered. May be an opportunity for surgery which ultimately will have to happen at some point if you're going to beat this thing. Do wonder if radiotherapy may sensitise the tumour to chemo but your onc will know best. He you are feeling not too rough with all this and keep us up to date,


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