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Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Hi everyone, I hope everyone's having a good day. Mine is going by slowly, still waiting for biopsy results tomorrow. After the results come back and I'm sure it will be colon cancer, how long is it that I should wait to have the surgery? I have two options, one would be quicker with a doctor that did my father-in-laws surgery, which turned out good. My other option is a doc that my family doc recommended for me, I can't get in to see him for about 2 weeks. I really want this done quickly. Do they rush everything if it comes back at a later stage as opposed to an earlier one? Thanks again for all your answers.

KierstenRx's picture
KierstenRx
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Denise,
I haven't said hello yet. I was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer in September 06 at age 32. I went thru chemo/radition (6 weeks), surgery (ended up with permanent colostomy), and another 8 rounds chemo (FOLFOX and Avastin). I have NED (have another CT scan next week). I now feel good and am getting on with my "new normal". Just know that we have ALL been there and you can never ask too many questions.

Waiting was the absolute worst time during my diagnosis and treatment. I know you are scared and your mind is going a million miles an hour. After you get your results tomorrow things will start to get a bit easier in the fact that you can start to make a plan. Take a deep breath and take a day at a time. You are going to have to make some very important and informed decisions. You are going to discover that you have this amazing strength that will get you through this journey.

The doctor question??? PLEASE ponder this. Don't do ANYTHING till you find a good oncologist. I know you want this tumor to go away as quick as possible, but take your time and do the research. Ask questions!!!! Unless the tumor is causing immediate problems such as obstruction you have time. A majority of the time, colon/rectal cancer is very slow growing. Find an oncologist that you trust and feel comfortable with. Having surgery right away may not be the best option for you. He may want to do chemo and radiation first. The first surgeon I saw immediately wanted to do surgery. He said I would need a colostomy and didn't think I needed to see an oncologist till after surgery. He also said he didn't think chemo and radiation before surgery would benefit me. My gut instinct told me that wasn't a good idea. I found my oncologist (who is amazing) and my entire treatment changed. My outcome and prognosis could have been changed if I wouldn't have made an informed decision. By doing chemo and radiation the tumor was a burnt out shell. I was able to have a successful surgery because of that. I also went with a surgeon my oncologist recommended for a 2nd opinion. My timeline for treatment looked like this.....diagnosed Sept 06, chemo/radiation Oct 06, surgery Feb. 07, chemo March 07, finished chemo June 07, pet scan/ct clear Sept 07. Treatment takes a long time, but you will get through it. Take one step at a time. You are already ahead of the game by finding this group and asking question. I didn't find this board until I had almost finished chemo/radiation. Everyone here helped me to get through and now it is an honor to pass on my knowledge to new people.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Kiersten

llb1601
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2008

Hi Denise,

I am a newbie to this website and already have found comfort in reading about others.

I had a colonoscopy which found a tumor on 11/16/07. I saw a surgeon on 11/30/07 who scheduled surgery for 12/11/07. He did a colectomy and I went home four days after the surgery. The pathology revealed the cancer was found in two out of 16 lymph nodes. I saw an oncologist on 1/14/08 - the earliest appointment I could get and chemo was recommended. After a PET scan which showed no evidence of disease and blood work which also showed no evidence of disease, the cancer was diagnosed as stage 111. Chemo is preventive nor curative based on these tests. I had my first chemo on 1/28/08, the second had to be postponed a week due to low white blood cell count and the third was on 3/3/08. I will continue to have chemo every other week until I have completed 12 cycles. I have had some side effects, but have continued to work. I feel fortunate that the side effects for the most part are tolerable. The biggest problem I have in being unable to drink liquids other than very small sips for several days after the chemo.

I am much older than you - 59 - but there is so much hope for beating this cancer. Take advantage of any and all resources available to you and lean on your loved ones for their support. llb

I don't think anyone rushes anything unless there is immediate danger.

jenhopesprays's picture
jenhopesprays
Posts: 129
Joined: Sep 2007

Denise,

I think it is important to find the best surgeon who can often be found at a comprehesive cancer center. You have time to research this. What area do you live in? Maybe we can help with that.

I have stage 4 and was dx 8/07 at age 39. I had to have emergency surgery because the tumor was blocking my descending colon completely.

I have since had a liver surgery and went to all three cancer centers in the LA area. I'm glad I did because I believe it did make a difference.

It may end up being cut and dried but I say search out the best surgeon.

You are so not alone. My prayers are with you!!

Jen 1968

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Jen,
Thanks for the answer. I live in Michigan, just outside of Detroit. If you have any suggestions let me know. Right now I'll look at everything and anything. My best to you.

Starleen
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2007

Right. Don't rush into surgery. You need an oncologist asap. I hope there's a cancer center in your area, then you have a whole team to help you.

Faith4Cure
Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Hi Denise,
I know the waiting is so hard. I am sure you want to get on with this and begin to heal. I agree with everyone else that you need to take your time and find someone that you feel very comfortable with. My husband was diagnosed with stage III in September 06. The first doctor wanted to do surgery immediately with a permanent colostomy. We got a second opinion and found a team of doctors who took a different approach. He ended up with Chemo/radiation for 6 weeks, followed by surgery for a temporary illeostomy, followed by more chemo, and finally a reversal on the illeostomy. He is doing great now. Take your time and research your options so that you can feel good about your decisions and not look back with regret.

My thoughts are with you tomorrow as you wait for your results. Keep us posted!

Faith

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I was like you. When I first got my diagnosis I wanted the tumor gone like today. I went to a colorectal surgeon who was part of a large cancer center. In retrospect I realize how fortunate I was in the surgeon I chose. Because I went to a major cancer center I had the advantages of a team of doctors even before I selected my oncologist. I was lucky I could have ended up with a surgeon who only knew surgical treatment of cancer instead of one who was at least familiar with the whole gambit of treatments. It is hard to take the time to do the research when you just want it gone. Take a deep breath and think. The standard of care for cancer varies greatly. You are dealing with your life and you want to get the best care possible. Take the extra time to do some checking so you get a good oncologist, surgeon and treatment center. It's well worth the effort.

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Thank you everyone, it helps hearing it from people who have been through it.

Sam725
Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2006

Hey Denise,
My husband was dx in Oct. of 2006 with stage 2b. No nodes involved. It did perforate the colon wall. After his dx by the colon doctor he led us to a wonderful surgeon and the surgeon led us to a great onocologist. They are both out of Beaumont in Royal Oak. My husband had his surgery in Nov. 06, and started his chemo in Jan. 07. Just had his six month check up after the end of chemo and he is NED. I know their is also the Karmonus Cancer Center in Detroit. If you want any more info let me know.

Sandy

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Sandy,

Please let me know the names. I live in Macomb Twp. and I had my colonoscopy @ Beaumont in Troy.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Sigh...my answer got trashed when my laptop shut down....

I agree with others. Even tho you want it gone yesterday, the slow, sure course is better. If surgery is involved, it can change your life. I have 12 inches less colon, but it was removed by a surgeon that specialized in low bowel resection, and he fashioned a new rectum for me...no external bag....
My original surgeon told me my chances of an external appliance was 50%....my actual surgeon said 3%.....be sure, this is a part of your body where you want to keep as much as you can...

Hugs, Kathi

jerseysue's picture
jerseysue
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

You always have Ann Arbor to go too.

Sam725
Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Denise,

The surgeons name is Dr. Jordy Sackner and our onocologist is Dr. Jeff Margolis. Both work out of Beaumont Royal Oak. They both have a good senses of humor, but when it comes down to business they are all business. I know each person is different when it comes to doctors and what they like but as everyone says look around and find one you are comfortable with.

Sandy

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Thanks Sandy!

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

I tend to be a bit spoiled sometimes, so when I was diagnosed with cancer, I wanted it out and I wanted it out now!!!

My mother-in-law, bless her heart, kept asking me to slow down and get another opinion. I ignored her completely, of course I knew best. Even though things turned out well for me, I really wish I would have took the time to "interview" my team. Don't get me wrong, I love my team and they saved my life... but I think I rushed into things. It took about 5 years for my cancer to grow from a juvenile polyp to Stage III cancer, found in one node right at cancer site. At that pace, I could have taken my time to do the research.

I wish I would have known about this site before I made my decisions.

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

Hi Denise,

Since my tumor was blocking my colon and i was in considerable pain, mine needed to come out ASAP.

I saw the tumor during my colonoscopy on a Monday, we met with the surgeon on Tuesday and he wanted to do the surgery the next day. I have 5 kids (was nursing a 20 mo. old at the time) and was in no shape to get my life together that fast. The surgery was that Friday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. My surgeon came highly recommended and I loved him. He has done subsequent surgeries on me since--not cancer related.

I saw an oncologist in the hospital after my surgery but my surgeon told me to go home and heal and NOT to see an oncologist yet. I went home and thought things over hard and decided against the chemo--I had no CEA, nothing was showing up on my CT scan or chest x-ray. I had 2 out of 19 lymphs pos. But I didn't want to take the chance of doing chemo and getting a secondary cancer, or dealing with heart and/or kidney damage. Frankly, the chemo scared me more than the cancer. I watched my sister suffer from intestinal cancer treatment. It wasn't pretty.

I was 39 at dx and the doc said the tumor was 5-10 years old. My sister died at 33 and we had no prior family history.

Some things will never be explained. sigh.

So, it all really depends, I think, on tumor size and location and if you like/trust your doc.

Hope this helps!

peace, emily

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