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Introducing Mike

Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

New to the group, here is my story; My cancer was discovered by colonoscopy this past September (08), I just turned 49. I had been sluggish and had recently developed some anemia and vague abdominal discomfort. I had a right hemi-colectomy on October 15, 2008. I am still recovering from the surgery since I had a wound infection. I met my Oncologist this past Tuesday and I was very impressed. He was supportive and kind and the resident working with him was prepared and familiar with my case when I first arrived. The current staging is 3c, the tumor had gone through the wall and there were lymph nodes involved. The have not identified other spread, I will be getting a PET Scan as soon as I am off of a wound VAC device that is needed to resolve the wound issue mentioned before. My Oncologist plans Folfox 12 cycles using the combo 2hour infusion, bolus, then 22 hour home infusion pump, 2 days in a row then repeat two weeks later for 12 cycles. I think I have this right. I am a veteran and have been getting my care at the Phoenix VA Medical Center, the staff during my inpatient stay was great, the comradery with other vets was priceless and I have kept up with one of my roommates. I was nervous leading up to the oncology appointment but the initial introduction to the DR., combined with my online research give me confidence in him.
I have to tell you VA has exceeded my expectations, the wound infection most likely resulted when they were forced to convert from laparoscopic removal to an open surgical rescection. There openess and support with homecare services to resolve the wound has impressed me. I get lots of telephonic follow-up too.
I am just starting this process and look forward to keeping in touch, the surgery was big but I handled it better than I thought, the colon is working better than it has in years, I just remember being sluggish especially if I ate heavy. I am on a normal diet and taking an active role in learning about the disease, the treatment etc.. I believe my attitude is critical and my attitude is positive, I have long term plans. Thanks for listening. Mike

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Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2006

Hi there Mike. Welcome to the club in which you never wanted membership! However, this lst will help you all along the way. My husband has Stage IV with liver mets. he was Stage IV at diagnosis 3 days before his 48th birthday. That was 3yeras, 3 months ago. He has been through many different chemos, radiologic treatments, surgeries etc. He is currently waiting for SirSpheres which will be done the first week in December. So, you see, we all have a lot of information. In your case, you'll receive chemo and hopefully that will be that! We'll get you through any questions or concerns about chemo. Almost everyone on this list has had Folfox. Everyone got through it, so will you. So take care, don't worry excessively and get well soon.

wife of Michael, aged 52 Stage IV cc dx'd July'05

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

G'day mike I was dx at age 48 with stge3 cc into 6 lymph nodes. Had surgery and 12 mos chemo . Have been ca free nearly 11 yrs. Good luck and best wishes Ron,.

Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I was bolstered by your message, thanks for the good words and I glad to hear you are doing so well, gives me great hope, thanks so much; Mike

Posts: 55
Joined: Sep 2007

to my husband who went through being diagnosed in april of 08 (Friday the 13th no less) with CC - turned out to be stage 3 also. He also had anemia and sluggishness but otherwise no other symptoms. he had right hemicolectomy in May and started Chemo the 4th of July. went through the 12 rounds and did very well with it although had problems and still ongoing with neuropathy (nerve damage), caused by the oxiliplatin in the folfox regimen. so be very aware of that as you go along. otherwise he recently had a followup colonsocopoy (15 months later) and only had one polyp which was benign. no scans were recommended.

Amazingly the colon functions quite well with so much removed, and I am sometimes envious that my stomach problems are so much worse than my husband's now with his semi colon.

The road is not easy but there is so much support and with a positive attitude you will be fine. This is a great support group here and you came to the right place, I wish you the best in recovery and many happy healthy years.

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Welcome to this board, and sorry you have reason to be here. I'm sorry that you have had the wound complication after your surgery. But it sounds like you are in excellent hands. I am glad you found your oncologist and resident so prepared and also kind -- thats the combination we like! The treatment plan they have outlined sounds state of the art and similar to what many on this board had had (or are having). I myself was diagnosed with Stage III (one lymph node involved). I have had FOLFOX. As you get closer to that, you can find lots of information on this board about possible side effects and experiences with FOLFOX. I think it is great that you are taking an active role in the management of your condition, and taking a positive attitude -- I am a great believer in both these things! Best wishes to you on your journey and welcome again to this board, which is a gold-mine of information as well as support.


Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Mike,

Welcome to the semi-colons. I hate the reason you're here, but this is the place to be if you been "hit by the semi" (really lame joke.)
At any rate, I'm glad you're getting such excellent care. Very sorry about the infection, but your team sounds like they know what they're doing. As far as the chemo goes, I was on the same regimen (Stage II-b), and it was very doable. My fellow patients at chemo and the chemo nurses were the greatest--and, of course, this discussion board. There's no such thing as a dumb question here, and we all need to vent sometimes. I think the people here are all angels; they hold you up when you are down, and they give you a swift kick in the pants if you get into self pity. Just what we all need.

Keep us posted. We're all in your corner!


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi, Mike. Welcome to the board. I love the way you say you have long term plans. Keep those plans in mind as you have to go through the treatments and such. They should help sustain you.

Come by often and keep us informed of your progress.


kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Hello Mike, and welcome! Hope to hear more from you and your progress as you go along. This is a wonderful place to get advise. The long term veterans of this site have many answers you may find that your doc doesn't even have!

Good luck on the FOLFOX!

trainer's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Sep 2008

Saw your notice. Like everyone else, sorry you're here. I had a colon resection Oct. 20 also in Phoenix, but not at the VA. I'm retired Navy and have Tricare which is outstanding. I'm due to get stitches out on Vet. Day. They started off with lap. technique, but couldn't find the cancer area, so I was opened up also. Really sucks, doesn't it? Mine didn't get infected, but it sure seems to have taken a lot of stamina away. My name is also Mike. We're going to get everyone around this board confused.

Good Luck in your recovery.

Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I am thankful to hear from so many so fast, I want each of you to know that I appreciate the community represented by this site and rather than respond to each and every post, I want all of you to know I appreciate the info, the involvement and look forward to staying engaged.

Mike B

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Mike B!

I don't remember if I welcomed you yet or not... it's late (3:45am) and I just got in from a Girls' Night (ok, so there ended up being some of the Guys too) out at a Grand Opening of a new Casino/Convention Centre in town. Oh dear... what can I say??? Not only were there the evil slot machines calling my name, but the band that was playing in the show lounge happened to be a bunch of friends, and since we were sort of celebrating one of the gal's birthdays... well, suffice it to say, it was a late night tonight :)

But that's what I wanted to mention... even though we all are in the same boat in that we get up to our eyeballs in appts., scans, blood tests, more appts, etc.... there is no reason not to continue one with your normal life... social and otherwise. The more you keep to your regular lifestyle, the easier it is to work through the battle of the beast!

There are soooo many great stories here on the board... where people have been told they have the worst condition, that there isn't a whole lot of hope... and heaven help you if you go out and read on the internet about the various stages of cancer (it's all doom and gloom)... so read, absorb, and remember that not everything is factual and if you are reading statistics... well, don't!! The statistics that are in print, even the newest, latest and greatest, are always 5 years out of date by the time they are published and let me tell you, a lot can happen and change in 5 years.

Listen to your doctors... it sounds like you have a great team... and if you have questions about what it's like to actually go through some of these treatments, or what can you expect, then ask all those questions here. You have a whole audience who have all been through the journey, if not once, then a couple of times... so they/we can give you all sorts of pointers that the doctors may forget to tell you. No question is a dumb question... and for ever question you ask, there is another newly diagnosed person who is eagerly reading posts on this board to try and ease their fears... so the answers are for everyone :)

You are going to do just fine!! :)



Julie 44
Posts: 479
Joined: Oct 2008

Hey Mike
Just wanted to let you know that I am in the same boat as you. I had a mass removed from my colon on 9/15 with many lymph nodes involved stage 3 . I had my first reatment last week. It also involved Folfox and a pump for 48 hours every two weeks for 12 cycles. It is do able. I had some nausea and the tingeling in my hands with the coldness..BE VERY careful of breathing in the cold air. It will make your chest get very tight and feel like you are having a heart attack.I wrap a scarf around me at all times but I live in N.Y. state so its pretty cold here now...You CAN deal with all of this. It does really stink at times and carring the pump around to work and stuff is a pain but again it is do able. Also remember that everybody reacts differently to treatment so you may have some or none of the after effects just keep that in mind...
You will have GOOD days and bad just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on going. I am there right now so know that you are not alone in this journy..We are all here to help. Please keep posting here cause it does help knowing you are not alone..Good luck

Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I appreciate the comments, with any luck I will start this week with Chemo. I will keep you posted.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

I'm sorry you are having to become a member of our group, but we are an awesome source of information and support. I am five years to the day ahead of you with the exact same staging. I was treated with the same chemo regimen as you will be, and I tolerated it well and completed all 12 cycles. Please keep us posted on your progress. You wil do great.



claud1951's picture
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Hello Mike,

You are officially a Semi-Colon! Ha.

I was stage 3, Ascending colon, sugery removed 12", 2 lymph nodes cancerous, 12 rounds of chemo and as last December, there is No Evidence of Disease or NED!
You're so cool already about having a postitive attitude. That works wonders and surrounding yourself with friends and family that are positive and will help.

Let us know, for sure, what Chemo "cocktail" you'll be taking. We'll help you along with that as far as what to expect (side effects). We are all different and handle the chemo differently but will be able to give you some helpful information.

Keep your energy for moving forward

msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Welcome aboard, sorry you had to find us. I was diagnosed shortly before my 43rd birthday with 3B. I am happy to say i am now 48 and still here! Looking forward to my 50th, we are going to have a big blowout! The road can be tough sometimes, but you will meet some of the most AMAZING people along the way! Good luck with your continued recovery and we look forward to seeing you on in the future, letting us know how things are going for you.

Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I am cleared to return to work today, 5 weeks post-op and feeling pretty good. I have a Pet scheduled for December 1, 2008. Should start Chemo on the 4th, as I said before, I had a problem with my incision and it caused a delay of the start of chemo, healing is progressing well now and work will help to pass the time until the next phase begins.


VickiCO's picture
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

Don't try to do too much too fast...

I start chemo/rad today. I plan to work (at home) as much as I can. We will hold good thoughts for you.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Take things slow, don't try to be a Superman. Especially after the chemo starts. You WILL be tired. This is a battle WITH your body FOR your life...treat it well during the process. Go home if you are tired. Stay hydrated...

Stage III, rectal cancer...4 years ago, Stage II, breast cancer, 3.5 years ago...NED now!

Hugs, Kathi

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Mike,
I'm not often on these boards and just saw your post. Sorry you have to be here, but what a great site this is. I joined in Dec of 03, right after my surgery, just before chemo, and found friends and info to see me through.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 at age 53 following my baseline colonoscopy, no symptoms. Although I'm a nurse, I was really nervous about chemo; I just had 5FU and Leucovorin weekly for 6 months, Oxalyplatin was not yet out of trials. I'm so grateful to be able to report that I remain No Evidence of Disease, coming up on 5 years out of surgery on 12/3! Thanksgiving has special meaning for me each year!
I can't say that chemo was a day at the beach (never liked those anyway, I'm more of a mountain lake person!), but it was all manageable, and the results are worth it. It's crucial to have good rapport with your onc team; I switched once when things just didn't click, and glad I did.
Best of luck to you on this journey; like you, I have many long term plans, some of which we've already realized!

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Judy, my jaw dropped....

I was diagnosed just about a year 'behind' you 12/04. And I WAS given Oxalyplatin!

I am so grateful to all of the 'trials pioneers' that made my survival possible!

Nice to 'see' you again!

Hugs, Kathi

Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I am taking everyones comments to heart. I am eager to get started even though its "no day at the beach". I am also lucky to have a very supportive boss and a fair amount of banked sick leave. My boss is a Breast Cancer survivor and is very supportive, understanding and has been a positive person for me facing this challenge.

Thanks again.

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