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More good news...

Posts: 186
Joined: Nov 2004

Hey everyone...Jerri had her colonoscopy today and the dr said all was clear...not a single polyp, no signs of further disease, and the colon resection is healing well!!!

Just might buy myself a lottery ticket...

But now we're a little confused. Jerri is stage 4 with the mets to her ovaries; the October surgery removed all visible disease according to the doctors, including the foot-long section of her colon. The bone scan, cat scan (no cats were found SpongeBob), pet scan (none of these either!), and now the colonoscopy, are all clear after the surgery in October. If all those things are showing clear, then can adjustments be made to lessen the toxicity of the chemo? We wonder if chemo is an absolute necessity now? We don't want to be foolish, but is the benefit greater than the problems incurred with the chemo? Is it a given that there are still cancer cells floating around in her system and that the chemo is still an absolute necessity? Am I makin' any sense at all????


kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Jimmy and Jerri. Great to hear the good news coming. For my 5 cents worth I guess this needs to be discussed with Jerri's surgeon and oncologist. My specific chemo only really bettered my odds of re-occurance by 3% but my thoughts were that it just might be that 3% that gives me the edge. I got thru my 6 months chemo--although the last 2 months were horrid. Would I do it again--yup--certainly would if need be but with reservations. I guess that Jerri needs to look at all the advice her surgeons/oncologists will offer.
Many here at some time simply find it impossible to tolerate chemo and need a break--others cope fine. We are all affected differently.
I was told "all" the cancer was removed too but chemo is a necessary "mop-up" for any horrid little cells still lurking in the lymph or blood system.
I chose to do the chemo and continue although got very sick. Was it worth it?--for me--I hope so. I wanted to give myself the best chance of getting rid of the little beastly cells!
Of course if Jerri wanted to take the "natural pathway" I am sure Emily could offer some advice--she is the "natural hero" on this site(and that was said with sincerest endearment to our lovely Em!)
give Jerri a hugg for us, kanga n Jen

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Jimmy,

I was Stage 3 lymph pos zero mets.

My onc wanted to do what is called adjuvant chemo. From what I understand they want to chemo-ize you to get any little buggers that may have set up camp in other areas that are not visible yet.

I said no thank you.

You DO have a choice. Always remember that Jimmy and Jerri. The CHOICE is yours to make.

I decided to take the Eastern Medicine healing approach to curing cancer that focused on building up the immune system and correcting imbalances in my body so it could KILL those buggers.

Chemo does the opposite. Chemo kills your immune system and leaves you open to all sorts of problems. Just ask the folks on this board what they have gone through due to their chemo.

There are chances of secondary cancers from the chemo not to mention kidney and heart damage. For me that was not worth the IF factor. I was willing to take my chances on curing the cancer without damaging the rest of my organs in the process.

I watched my sister die of intestinal cancer 9 years before my own dx and I did not want to go through what she did. Granted, we are all different and we respond differently, but deep in my gut I just knew I had to do it differently.

I have not been disappointed.

I just celebrated my THREE year cancer free anniversary.

If you are curious what I did you can read my webpage on this board.

80% of colon cancer is diet related so that is where I started. It made sense to evalutate my food intake and clean it up and then add healing foods and supplements that are known cancer killers and immune boosters.

My initial oncologist explained the chemo in terms of stealth bombers and bullets and bombs and obliterating etc etc. I did not want to be a war zone!! I wanted to *build* my immune system not *destroy* my body.

There are many healing systems out there that do not use chemo. They are tried and true but your oncologist is not going to tell you about them. He has no vested interest in you buying a juicer and juicing veggies or popping vitamins or detoxing your system or drinking Essiac Tea.

So you can really think about the benefits and the problems that incur with chemo. You are making sense absolutely!! It is worth researching your options.

Questioning Chemo by Dr. Ralph Moss

A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm
A Cancer Battle Plan Sourcebook by David Frahm

Options by Richard Walters

When Hope NEver Dies by Marlene McKenna

Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch and Balch

The Makers Diet by Dr. Jordan Rubin

Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quillin


Think about it.

peace, emily whose only side effect is being orange

Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi JKendall and Jerri,
I have stage 3 colon cancer with 6 lymph nodes and no mets. My surgery also went really well, the doc said I was all clear, no signs of anything further, and my cancer markers (that blood test) have always been negative. I love thinking of myself as being cancer free, and hope that I am.

Still, I chose to go with my oncologists' recommendations (I saw three different doctors at three different clinics, including Dana Farber in Boston) and they all said I should treat this aggressively with Folfox every other week for six months. There seemed to be absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that statistically speaking, this would give me my best chance of long-term survival.

Who knows what the truth is? The statistics are just numbers; the "all clear" pronouncements are just what they are able to see. Nobody can know whether I'm overtreating or doing what's necessary.

What I can tell you is that so far (I just finished #7 of 12 sessions) my chemo is exhausting, but not debillitating. I have found that the more I walk and drink water, the better I feel. The anti-nausea drugs have worked well in my case, I am scrupulous about keeping my mouth clean and have suffered NO mouth sores, and my white blood cell count is fine. Red blood cells are a little low. I'm planning on taking a break after the next session, delaying what is supposed to be a Christmas Eve session for one week (Happy New Year!) and am looking forward to the boost that will give me. But really in my case it has not been so bad.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you decide to go with the chemo there are still choices to be made along that path. You can see how it goes for you--maybe you'll find it bearable, maybe not, but you can modify as you go along.

One other thing: I really like my doctor. I don't have a lot of interaction with him, but he is gentle and optimistic, and I really feel that he's on my side with this.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Bert, my husband was diagnosed state III with four nodes involved, no metastesis back in July 2003. Went through colon resection and recovered very quickly. At that point, there was no evidence of disease but we still went ahead and did six months of 5fu/leuc...just to get a little of an added edge. After those six months, we switched oncologists and did an additional six months of 5fu/leuc/oxaliplatin due to high risk of recurrence because of four nodes being involved. Again, Bert's considered "cure" rate after surgery was about 55%....chemo upped that to maybe 60%....another six months with oxal...about 65%. To us, about 10% edge was worth it. Would he do it again, hands down he would.

That's my five cents worth but I feel it is something you really should openly and frankly discuss with your oncologist.

Hope this helps a little.

Monika & Bert

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Jimmy and Jerri,
What good news from the colonoscopy results; you have both certainly had a time of it!
I'm not sure if I responded to your earlier posts; this time of year is my 1 year anniversary of surgery: resection, 1 positive node, then on to 6 months of chemo. I am now 1 year out and counting, with No Evidence of Disease.
The questions you raise are good ones, and ones that I hope you both can discuss with Jerri's docs. My positive node did not show up on my pre-op work up, and "looked good" to my surgeon's "naked eye" when it was removed. It was this microscopically positive node that was my ticket to chemo. My surgeon was the first to endorse adjuvant chemo, saying that, in her experience, there is no way of knowing who has "micrometastasis" to other nodes or organs. She recommended doing whatever I could to "blast those errant cells." My onc concurred; so although the choice was mine, I decided to pursue chemo.
I should add that my father also had colon cancer, eventually succumbing to a recurrance. His first course of chemo went very smoothly, part. for an 80 year old man; the level of tolerance seems to be quite individual. His subsequent few years of good health seemed worth it to him.
I also opted for 6 months of chemo, and had problems with fatigue and a low red blood cell count. Overall, I tolerated it quite well, too (with many friends and family saying "You look so GOOD")! I did take 12 weeks of leave from work to focus on me for the last half of my chemo.
Sooo....sorry for the lengthy comments. As a nurse, I find myself turning to science for all the help it can give. If my course had felt too rugged, I would have had the opportunity to review my decision.
Good luck to you in this next phase of decision making. You wife is lucky to have your support and concern.
Regards, Judy

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Jimmy and Jerri,

I was diagnosed Stage 3, no mets, 2 pos. nodes and that was 2 years ago. My colonoscopy last year showed all clear and the resection was nicely healed. All my CT scans were clear with NED and my CEA was also very low. I went on 6 months of chemo for to "clean up" what might be microscopically hanging out there in my system.

Well, I'm sure you've seen my most recent posts - the cancer has come back, it has not struck any organs yet, but it has spread in the lymph system.

Talk to Jerri's doctors, but you must make a decision you are both happy and feel safe and confident with.

I am now back on Chemo for another 6 months. This is the route I have chosen, even though I know I will be very sick for the next few months - it is what I believe will work for me and my mind.

I wish you both the best of luck. I am so happy for all the good test results. Congratulations.

Happy holidays coming up. Enjoy.


Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I can jsut add my personal experience to all this and offer the kind of thought process we went through in making our decisions about treatment.

I was stage three with two nodes involved and had a resection in June this year. Statistics for this are around those quoted- somewhere around the 50-60% clear mark. Chemothereapy improves that a little and so we decided to go for it- I am 4 months into the 6 month regime and not finding it too bad. I work full time through it and get some nausea and tiredness but work stops me from dwelling too much on these.

the decision to have it was based on the question that if I didn't and it came back I couldn't say I had done all I could have to prevent it. I am a fighter and will do whatever it takes to beat this. It is a game of odds and anything that improves those are worth it to me- I have a 6 month old son who I want to be around to see grow up.

That is my situation- it is different from yours and nobody can make these deicsions for you. Arm yourself with as much info as possible and talk it through with those that matter to you and whose opinion you respect.

Let us know what yo decide and we will be there to support you no matter which way you go,

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