How did you get a dx?

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Karmar
Karmar Member Posts: 42
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
My question is how did many of you discover you had cancer? Was it a routine exam,a certian test or the actually colonoscopy? To date I have had a cat scan that only showed Fibriods,an enlarged spleen-Next test were a complete sono of all my organs and a barrium xray at witch time I noticed part of my colon was very enlarged in one area. I have not gotten the report as of yet as my doctor has not recieved it yet. My next step is a colonoscopy and I was wondering if the doctor will explain what he found after. My GI doc is doing it? All your help has been greatly appreciated. I have learned so much and feel so much more ready for what lies ahead. Thank you everyone-Its nice not to be alone.
Karen
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Comments

  • angelsbaby
    angelsbaby Member Posts: 1,165 Member
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    dx
    well my husband had some pains in his stomach and some vomiting went to our family doc they said he had the h pylori virus which was wrong but two weeks later he is in the er for severe stomach pains 5 days later they did a colonoscopy and found a mass did operate but the cancer had preferated the colon so he was full of poo poo in his stomach but they said they got it all but 5 of 15 nodes were positve . he is stage 4 now but i pray that he will get better.

    michelle
  • Karmar
    Karmar Member Posts: 42
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    dx
    well my husband had some pains in his stomach and some vomiting went to our family doc they said he had the h pylori virus which was wrong but two weeks later he is in the er for severe stomach pains 5 days later they did a colonoscopy and found a mass did operate but the cancer had preferated the colon so he was full of poo poo in his stomach but they said they got it all but 5 of 15 nodes were positve . he is stage 4 now but i pray that he will get better.

    michelle

    Me too
    Sounds so much like me-I to went to the er and they did an endoscopy.Mild chronic inflamation-My colonoscopy is the 29th of this month-Only cause I pushed and when GI doc pushed I told him I was in excruiating pain. His main concern was the pain was in my liver.Still there to-But my organs are not in the normal spots-Something about when I was born my Appendix and colon never dropped. So my colon is up under my rib cage. So I am hoping the colonoscopy finally tells me the problem. I to vomited and am constantly sick to my stomach. They also have me on 10 pills a day. So the sooner the dx the better.
    Karen
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
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    Tailbone pain. DX as an injury....
    3 weeks later, on a Sunday night, blood in the toilet. Next morning, in my GP's office. After that, much is a blur....2 inch fungating tumor in the first rectal fold. GP felt it...it had gotten big enough that it dropped...I had just had a yearly exam in June. Who knows why it wasn't caught then....one doctor estimated that I had been 'growing' this for at least 3 years!!!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • ldot123
    ldot123 Member Posts: 272
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    KathiM said:

    Tailbone pain. DX as an injury....
    3 weeks later, on a Sunday night, blood in the toilet. Next morning, in my GP's office. After that, much is a blur....2 inch fungating tumor in the first rectal fold. GP felt it...it had gotten big enough that it dropped...I had just had a yearly exam in June. Who knows why it wasn't caught then....one doctor estimated that I had been 'growing' this for at least 3 years!!!

    Hugs, Kathi

    Blood Test
    My GP noticed a drop in my red blood cell count during a regular check up. Did an occult fecal blood test (not sure why they call it occult) Anyway there was blood in the stool. Next went to have a colonoscopy where surprise I had colon cancer. Stage 3 2 nodes involved. Had ascending colon removed and chemo almost 2 years ago.
  • VickiCO
    VickiCO Member Posts: 917
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    Colonoscopy
    I was seeing the Gastroenterologist for esophageal problems when I mentioned I had blood in my stool and was anemic. He immediately ordered a colonoscopy & found a tumor in the rectum, 40mm x 10mm - ugly Morpheus looking thing. Within days I was in treatment and preparing for surgery in January. Yes, they explained right after the colonoscopy and gave me the reports on the spot.

    Vicki
  • mom_2_3
    mom_2_3 Member Posts: 953 Member
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    I was diagnosed...
    during a c-section.

    My story begins in Oct 2007. I went to a GI dr for some bleeding but I thought it might be from adhesions from my previous 2 c-sections. He gave me an exam and said to eat more fiber. Said I could get a colonscopy if the bleeding didn't stop. It did stop a few weeks later and I forgot about it. On 2/16 my husband got "lucky" (the only time that month -- thanks to 2 young kids in the house and a tired mom). We used protection and at 42 my husband is pretty well-versed in how to use it. Fast forward 6 weeks and I started to feel yucky. My husband asked "what does it feel like?" and I said, "like when I was pregnant with our son..." Uh-oh. I found out I was pregnant the next day. It was a complete shock as we had decided to stop at 2 and were definitely doing things to avoid pregnancy. From day 1 I called our baby the "immaculate conception."

    Fast forward to 11/4. We went into the hospital for the c-section. We had a last minute switchout of attending surgeons and the woman that scrubbed in with my OB/GYN was head of the resident program at the hospital and quite experienced. After they took the baby out she apparently was feeling around the abdomen (I'm not quite sure why) and felt something on the colon. They called in a surgical oncologist (who happened to be between surgeries) and within 5 minutes he was there and took a biopsy.

    We found out the biopsy was positive and a CT scan 2 days after the birth they found 4 mets on the liver. The dr said they were resectable. I found out about the diagnosis on my birthday. Our wedding anniversary and my husband's birthday were 2 and 4 days prior.

    Right now I am doing chemo in hopes that we get to surgery (I am at MSKCC and need to get the go-ahead from their tumor board for surgery). Right now we plan on completing my 4 rounds of chemo (FOLFOX) and re-scanning on 1/13. If the tumors are shrinking we will continue another 4 rounds and scan again. If they are not shrinking we will go into colon surgery for the primary (sigmoid) and insert an HAI pump directly to the liver.

    That is the story of my dx. I like to think that God sent my daughter as an angel and that my life will be saved. The synchronicity of the events leading to the cancer discovery lead me to believe that a higher power is at work. If we hadn't had our daughter the dr told me I would have been asymptomatic for another 8-9 months at which point our treatment plan would have been different. In the months before my diagnosis I had acquired 3 cross-stitch patterns for making Christmas stockings for our children. When I went to get them 2 weeks ago to start on them I found that the one I bought for our newest daughter was in fact of an angel. My sister tells me that years from now when the youngest wants to date and I put up a fuss she will say something like, "well Mom, I did save your life..." I hope and pray that happens....
  • trainer
    trainer Member Posts: 241
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    Symptoms, nada
    I had no physical pain symptoms to indicate something was wrong. My primary, during a routine physical tested for blood in the stool and had noted minor anemia in my blood tests. I already had scheduled my first colonosopy for 9/9/08 about a week following and he told me not to miss it. The screening found two polyps, which were removed and tested, one was benign, the other malignant. From there it was a colon resection 10/20/08. No cancer was found and the ONC said I was lucky (no kidding) as it appeared we got it early in the polyp and it wasn't even a stage 1. So, I'm thrilled, of course. But finding this discussion board was the best medicine ever. What great people. Better than family! Good luck to you, there's a lot of prayers going on with your name in them right about now. Mike
  • impactzone
    impactzone Member Posts: 551 Member
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    Mine was a colonoscopy after
    Mine was a colonoscopy after some bleding. I was getting near 50. They found it and a CT scan showed liver mets.
    Chip
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
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    mom_2_3 said:

    I was diagnosed...
    during a c-section.

    My story begins in Oct 2007. I went to a GI dr for some bleeding but I thought it might be from adhesions from my previous 2 c-sections. He gave me an exam and said to eat more fiber. Said I could get a colonscopy if the bleeding didn't stop. It did stop a few weeks later and I forgot about it. On 2/16 my husband got "lucky" (the only time that month -- thanks to 2 young kids in the house and a tired mom). We used protection and at 42 my husband is pretty well-versed in how to use it. Fast forward 6 weeks and I started to feel yucky. My husband asked "what does it feel like?" and I said, "like when I was pregnant with our son..." Uh-oh. I found out I was pregnant the next day. It was a complete shock as we had decided to stop at 2 and were definitely doing things to avoid pregnancy. From day 1 I called our baby the "immaculate conception."

    Fast forward to 11/4. We went into the hospital for the c-section. We had a last minute switchout of attending surgeons and the woman that scrubbed in with my OB/GYN was head of the resident program at the hospital and quite experienced. After they took the baby out she apparently was feeling around the abdomen (I'm not quite sure why) and felt something on the colon. They called in a surgical oncologist (who happened to be between surgeries) and within 5 minutes he was there and took a biopsy.

    We found out the biopsy was positive and a CT scan 2 days after the birth they found 4 mets on the liver. The dr said they were resectable. I found out about the diagnosis on my birthday. Our wedding anniversary and my husband's birthday were 2 and 4 days prior.

    Right now I am doing chemo in hopes that we get to surgery (I am at MSKCC and need to get the go-ahead from their tumor board for surgery). Right now we plan on completing my 4 rounds of chemo (FOLFOX) and re-scanning on 1/13. If the tumors are shrinking we will continue another 4 rounds and scan again. If they are not shrinking we will go into colon surgery for the primary (sigmoid) and insert an HAI pump directly to the liver.

    That is the story of my dx. I like to think that God sent my daughter as an angel and that my life will be saved. The synchronicity of the events leading to the cancer discovery lead me to believe that a higher power is at work. If we hadn't had our daughter the dr told me I would have been asymptomatic for another 8-9 months at which point our treatment plan would have been different. In the months before my diagnosis I had acquired 3 cross-stitch patterns for making Christmas stockings for our children. When I went to get them 2 weeks ago to start on them I found that the one I bought for our newest daughter was in fact of an angel. My sister tells me that years from now when the youngest wants to date and I put up a fuss she will say something like, "well Mom, I did save your life..." I hope and pray that happens....

    Wow!
    Your story leaves me speechless!

    (And that is alot considering I ALWAYS have something to say about everything...)

    Hugs, Kathi
  • claud1951
    claud1951 Member Posts: 424 Member
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    Crunching Ice
    I started crunching (eating)ice! I never used ice in my water but all of a sudden I need ice. There was a few months of this (craving ice) and I told my Husband..something is wrong. I never liked to eat ice. So, he looked that up on line and it said crunching ice could be a sign of Anemia.

    Off to the doctor I went and told him my story and asked for a test to see if I was anemic. Sure enough. Doctor decided to do a colonoscopy to see if I was loosing blood (I never saw any in stool nor did I feel bad). I was not bleeding but Doctor found a tumor. Tumors can cause anemia. Thus, my journey. I found CSN and am so glad I did. The people, here, help so much and no, Karen, you are not alone!

    I have been NED for a year now!

    My best to you and keep up posted.

    Claudia
  • pamness
    pamness Member Posts: 524 Member
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    I found out I had colon cancer via routine colonoscopy
    I was just over 50 (I had one at 45, for another reason) no history, no symptoms.

    I had one polyp, and one polyp only, it was malignant - two lymph nodes positive, despite negative MRI and CT scans.

    I am currently 16 month NED after surgery, chemo and radiation.

    Pam
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
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    I noticed blood in my stool.
    I noticed blood in my stool. Went to my doc who said it's probably hemorroids but since you've never had that before let's be conservative (he probably saved my life). So I went to a specialist -- had a brief exam -- he suspected/knew right away (my rectal tumour was very very low). Had a colonoscopy the next day which confirmed. I was 44 and in disgustingly good health otherwise. My docs reckoned the tumour could have been growing for 5-10 years.

    Tara
  • ADKer
    ADKer Member Posts: 147
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    taraHK said:

    I noticed blood in my stool.
    I noticed blood in my stool. Went to my doc who said it's probably hemorroids but since you've never had that before let's be conservative (he probably saved my life). So I went to a specialist -- had a brief exam -- he suspected/knew right away (my rectal tumour was very very low). Had a colonoscopy the next day which confirmed. I was 44 and in disgustingly good health otherwise. My docs reckoned the tumour could have been growing for 5-10 years.

    Tara

    I had stomach cramps
    I was 50 and due for my first colonoscopy. I was overwhelmed working full-time and as mother to 2 early teen daughters. I had stomach cramps which got worse when I was busiest at work. My primary care physician thought I had stress related irritable bowel syndrome and ordered a colonoscopy - which was scheduled almost 4 months later. Fortunately, I was busy at work with resulting discomfort and called to see if my appointment could be moved up. I am forever indebted to the nurse who listened to me and got me in within a couple weeks. The tumor was so large that the doctor could not get the scope through. My diagnosis in 2/08 was stage IV with mets to the liver. I have had colon resection, chemo, liver resection and now Xeloda. My first CT scan post liver resection showed a clear liver but several very small mets to my lungs. My current CEA is about 2, down from just under 7,000 before I began chemo last March. I was disappointed with the spots on my lungs but am certainly much improved from the time of diagnosis.
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
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    Surprise
    I was at my daughter's house taking care of my grandsons. All of a sudden I felt like I was going to have diarrhea (very unusual for me!). Surprise! When I went to the bathroom, all I produced was a toilet full of blood. That got my attention! My doctor told me to get right to the office. After an exam and some discussion of what might be going on, he sent me immediately to the hospital. I was admitted and had a ct scan and a colonoscopy the next day. I was diagnosed after the colonoscopy. I was severely anemic, so I was given 2 units of blood, and I had my colon resection 3 days after my surprise event. It was all very fast and shocking.

    Gail
  • Karmar
    Karmar Member Posts: 42
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    tootsie1 said:

    Surprise
    I was at my daughter's house taking care of my grandsons. All of a sudden I felt like I was going to have diarrhea (very unusual for me!). Surprise! When I went to the bathroom, all I produced was a toilet full of blood. That got my attention! My doctor told me to get right to the office. After an exam and some discussion of what might be going on, he sent me immediately to the hospital. I was admitted and had a ct scan and a colonoscopy the next day. I was diagnosed after the colonoscopy. I was severely anemic, so I was given 2 units of blood, and I had my colon resection 3 days after my surprise event. It was all very fast and shocking.

    Gail

    So much sounds like me
    God so many stories sound so much like me. My first blood test showed I was severley enimic-HAd the same test a few years prior that showed mild anemia. But my GP thinks it is from my cycle. Then the cramping of diareah began a few weeks later-Me to very unusual. I told my GP that I go every 5 days always had since I was a child. Now going everyday was very unusual for me. ANd the pain as My gi says it is in the liver area. Strang tho since i did the BArrium now I am unable to go. Took laxatives sunday-Barrium was friday finally went monday and now it is 5 days since I have gone. A little wooried and dont know if I should call the doc or just wait for a colonoscopy. All the information has been so great on this site. I feel blessed to have found this site.
    Mery Christmas
    Karen
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
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    Karmar said:

    So much sounds like me
    God so many stories sound so much like me. My first blood test showed I was severley enimic-HAd the same test a few years prior that showed mild anemia. But my GP thinks it is from my cycle. Then the cramping of diareah began a few weeks later-Me to very unusual. I told my GP that I go every 5 days always had since I was a child. Now going everyday was very unusual for me. ANd the pain as My gi says it is in the liver area. Strang tho since i did the BArrium now I am unable to go. Took laxatives sunday-Barrium was friday finally went monday and now it is 5 days since I have gone. A little wooried and dont know if I should call the doc or just wait for a colonoscopy. All the information has been so great on this site. I feel blessed to have found this site.
    Mery Christmas
    Karen

    Don't wait...
    If you aren't feeling yourself, go to the doctor and let him/her know!! So many of us wish we could go back in time and been more insistent when we just "thought" something wasn't right but it wasn't bad enough to complain about. All the "what if's" in the world don't help the present... "What if I had had a colonoscopy 10 years before?" "What IF I had told my doctor that the tests not showing anything serious were wrong because I'm in pain and I have a high tolerance to pain, so something is wrong".

    Naaaa... don't become a "What if..." person. If things aren't normal, report them :)

    Hugggggs,

    Cheryl
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917 Member
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    My dx
    I had been unable to donate blood for a year due to anemia, but they always assumed it was menstrual related (pretty typical). October of 2003 I started having severe cramping in my abdominal area that lasted 2 or 3 days. I increased my fiber intake and it solved the problem for a few months. I mentioned it to my doc and she figured I had IBS (again, pretty typical). 4 months later it came back and I mentioned that I MIGHT have seen some blood in my stool a little while back. FOB came back positive for blood. First, her nurse said, we know you have hemorrhoids, but... my response was no, I DON'T have hemorrhoid issues, so she scheduled me for a colonoscopy. Initially it was scheduled in October, then they moved it up (I'm guessing they were more concerned than they wanted to let on!). Colonoscopy done 08/12/04, colonoscope couldn't pass the tumor, told i had cancer when i came out of the meds. Surgery 08/25/04, home the night before my 44th birthday. Stage IIIB. Unfortunately, with this beast, rarely do you have any symptoms until it is advanced. Obviously the tumor had been growing quite a while, but with no symptoms, and I was an extremely healthy young woman (at least appeared to be :) ), there would have been NO reason to suspect any problems. Ah, but to get my hands on a time machine to travel back to 1994 and figure out some way to force a colonoscopy!
    mary
  • Madre
    Madre Member Posts: 123
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    Anemia should be a red flag
    I had a complete hysterectomy in 2004 and was very anemic afterwords. I even had blood in my stool but they thought only 38, not a risk factor, probably irritation from the hysterectomy and laser surgery. Anemic on and off for the next 2 years. Dumb doctors kept asking "Are you flowing heavy?"... No had those organs removed! Got new doctor. In august of 2006 had gas and bloating and constipation. Did upper GI test (negative) occult test (negative) must be diet related. Increased fiber, increased water, decreased caffeine and it got better. Went for a routine physical in Feb. 2008 for my insurance. Doc noticed hematacrits low (bleeding someplace) Upper GI (negative), test for siliac (negative), occult test (negative) couldn't find the bleeding. Scheduled for a colonoscopy "Don't think we'll find anything but worth a shot" did a CT scan and they found a 1 1/2 inch tumor in my ascending colon. Colonoscopy the next day, couldn't get through it, surgery the next week - stage 3B, 3 out of 42 lymph nodes positive, just ended 12 rounds of chemo - NED. Doc thinks probably was there about a year or so. 42, not hereditary, just a fluke. Just glad they found, even more glad they got rid of it.
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
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    diarhea and blood in stool
    I was diagnosed in August 2007 at age 41. I have no family history of any kind of cancer, so cancer was not in my mind when I experienced some symptoms. I thought maybe I had colitis, IBS, or something along those lines (actually I still think I may have something along those lines). I was someone who often got diarhea when I was nervous or stressed at work- so I really wasn't alarmed that much for a while when I was having issues of this every morning and evening. It got to the point where I realized there was a big problem because I was late for work so many mornings (couldn't get out of the bathroom). Then one day at work, I felt like I had to run to the bathroom but when I got there, it wasn't diarhea- it was just a huge amount of blood that went into the toilet. That really freaked me out. I went a few weeks later to the Dr. and the nurse practitioner (my primary care Dr. didn't have any avail. appts. for 3 more weeks & I didn't make it sound like an emergency at all). Anyhow, the nurse practitioner gave me a rectal exam and told me I had a "very large hemorroid" and that they can burst sometimes, so that's what probably caused my major bleeding incident. I told her it still was probably a good idea to have a colonoscopy done. She said okay & she'd put the referral in & in the meantime, she told me how to take care of my hemerroids. Well, I started feeling better for a while and since the nurse prac. didn't act like there was a problem, I put the colonoscopy appt off for 3 more months. When I finally had the colonoscopy, the gastro. Dr. told me right away afterwards that I'd be needing surgery for something too large to remove that day and that I had "about a 60% chance of it being malignant". Well, two days later, I got the "malignant" news. Two days later, I went down to UCSD for another sigmoidoscopy with ultrasound, which showed the tumor had grown through the bowel wall. No lymph nodes showed up, however, so I was staged as an early stage 2. Two more days after that, I was given a "routine CT scan", which showed that it had spread to my liver and both lungs- an instant jump to stage 4. All doctors were surprised since nothing had shown up in lymph nodes. I was told that sometimes rectal cancer can spread directly through the bloodstream and bypass the lymphatic system.
    That's my diagnosis story.
    Lisa
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
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    lisa42 said:

    diarhea and blood in stool
    I was diagnosed in August 2007 at age 41. I have no family history of any kind of cancer, so cancer was not in my mind when I experienced some symptoms. I thought maybe I had colitis, IBS, or something along those lines (actually I still think I may have something along those lines). I was someone who often got diarhea when I was nervous or stressed at work- so I really wasn't alarmed that much for a while when I was having issues of this every morning and evening. It got to the point where I realized there was a big problem because I was late for work so many mornings (couldn't get out of the bathroom). Then one day at work, I felt like I had to run to the bathroom but when I got there, it wasn't diarhea- it was just a huge amount of blood that went into the toilet. That really freaked me out. I went a few weeks later to the Dr. and the nurse practitioner (my primary care Dr. didn't have any avail. appts. for 3 more weeks & I didn't make it sound like an emergency at all). Anyhow, the nurse practitioner gave me a rectal exam and told me I had a "very large hemorroid" and that they can burst sometimes, so that's what probably caused my major bleeding incident. I told her it still was probably a good idea to have a colonoscopy done. She said okay & she'd put the referral in & in the meantime, she told me how to take care of my hemerroids. Well, I started feeling better for a while and since the nurse prac. didn't act like there was a problem, I put the colonoscopy appt off for 3 more months. When I finally had the colonoscopy, the gastro. Dr. told me right away afterwards that I'd be needing surgery for something too large to remove that day and that I had "about a 60% chance of it being malignant". Well, two days later, I got the "malignant" news. Two days later, I went down to UCSD for another sigmoidoscopy with ultrasound, which showed the tumor had grown through the bowel wall. No lymph nodes showed up, however, so I was staged as an early stage 2. Two more days after that, I was given a "routine CT scan", which showed that it had spread to my liver and both lungs- an instant jump to stage 4. All doctors were surprised since nothing had shown up in lymph nodes. I was told that sometimes rectal cancer can spread directly through the bloodstream and bypass the lymphatic system.
    That's my diagnosis story.
    Lisa

    Your DX
    Thanks, Lisa... your diagnosis story is very interesting! Although my story is different, I see a lot of similarities in our stories. My tumour had perforated through the intestinal wall too. In my case, they took out 17 lymph nodes and only 1 tested positive... but that gave me a Stage 3 dx. At the time, they were only focusing on the colon/intestine, so we have no idea if the adrenal gland was already positive, likewise the lung spots. They did see a growth on my right adrenal gland but they went back into the archives to a CAT scan I had had done during a stay at the same hospital for a hysterectomy and they saw that the growth on my adrenal gland was there back in 2001. It wasn't until they decided to do a PET scan that the adrenal growth lit up the PET scan. So was this a new spread, or had I had it since 2001?? No one knows. But it is gone now because the right adrenal gland was surgically removed this past June.

    Now, as far as I'm concerned, there are two spots that light up the PET scan in my lungs and I am having them blasted/killed off with the RFA procedure (radio frequency ablation). Once they are gone, then there are 5 tiny spots... too small to really determine what they are, but 2 are suspected to be scar tissue and 3 could be mets (all 5 could be mets). But we will deal with them if they start growing. So as long as no more start growing, I will at least have the beast under control.

    But it certainly is a long journey from the day you are first officially dx'd, isn't it??

    Huggggggs,

    Cheryl