Just wondering....

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Denise1966
Denise1966 Member Posts: 90
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi everyone,
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this beautiful spring weather. Last year at this time I had just finished chemo/rad and was getting ready for surgery so this nice time of year just passed and I didn't even notice it.
Next month I have my first colonoscopy after chemo, my CT was clear last month, so I have my fingers crossed that all will go good.
I've been feeling really good, my energy is back, and I'm trying to move on as much as I can...my question is if there is a recurrence or mets anywhere, do you feel different? Are there symptoms? Can you tell if there is something wrong or is the CT scan, bloodwork or colonoscopy the only way to tell?
Thanks and hugs to all,
Denise

P.S. Just want to note that I am staying positive, but these creepy thoughts keep coming up!

Comments

  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
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    Interested in the answers, too
    Hi, Denise.

    I've not had a recurrence, but I'll be very interested in the answers provided by others. I wonder the same kinds of things myself. Creepy thoughts can really get you, can't they?

    I'm glad to read that you're doing so well! I remember when you first joined the board, not long after I did. You've come so far!

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
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    Hey Denise! It's good to see you posting again... and yes, after the long winter, it sure is good to feel the spring warmth!! Summer will be right around the corner :)

    Unfortunately, for the most part I think people will tell you there is nothing "physically" to let you know that the cancer has returned, hence why the regular scans/bloodwork/monitoring that the oncologist/team does for us.

    I have no idea when my cc started to spread. I was diagnosed with Stage III in Dec 2006, had the surgery, then had chemo/radiation which all ended in Oct 2007. I was feeling great! It was over... and now it was just a matter of waiting and monitoring (or so I thought). 2 months after I finished the chemo I had my first post-chemo CEA bloodwork. It showed a slight elevation. Had it done a month later and it definitely was on the rise. I still felt great... no complaints other than the usual recovery from chemo stuff. After the second CEA test, my onc ordered a PET scan... and that's when they found the right adrenal gland lit up and one nodule on the lung lit up. Followup lung CAT scans show more nodules scattered in both lungs, but are too small and not metabolically active at the moment... but chances are, some of them will be cancer as well.

    Mind you, others will also tell you that they have had pain in areas and it turns out that the pain is a symptom of tumours... usually tumours that are leaning on nerves or something to cause the pain. Unfortunately, that is why they call colon cancer one of the "silent" killers... because there are no symptoms to give us warning... and by the time there is pain, the cancer has advanced.

    Now, having said that... do NOT freak out! It is just a friendly reminder to, just because you are feeling good, do not let your guard down and say, "Oh, I'm feeling great... I don't need to do the followup scans/bloodwork/colonoscopies" Of course you do! The whole reason for doing them is exactly for that reason... if there IS a problem, you want to catch it early and not wait until it cause pain or symptoms.

    If you realize that the whole reason you are doing the followups to keep on top of things, then it takes away the "creepy" factor :) Another way of looking at it... for all of us here who have been dx'd with cancer and have gone through the treatments, we now are rewarded with the team continuing to monitor us, so IF anything should appear, we can nip it in the early, early stages. Think how many of your family/friends/neighbours/etc. who have not been diagnosed with cancer... they are NOT being monitored like a hawk and they will never know if they have something going on inside of them unless they insist on screening and screening often. How many do? Not many... most of us didn't prior to being diagnosed either.

    But we are still here now to change that... and now we have our team of docs on our side too :)

    Hugggggs,

    Cheryl
  • angelsbaby
    angelsbaby Member Posts: 1,165 Member
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    Hey Denise! It's good to see you posting again... and yes, after the long winter, it sure is good to feel the spring warmth!! Summer will be right around the corner :)

    Unfortunately, for the most part I think people will tell you there is nothing "physically" to let you know that the cancer has returned, hence why the regular scans/bloodwork/monitoring that the oncologist/team does for us.

    I have no idea when my cc started to spread. I was diagnosed with Stage III in Dec 2006, had the surgery, then had chemo/radiation which all ended in Oct 2007. I was feeling great! It was over... and now it was just a matter of waiting and monitoring (or so I thought). 2 months after I finished the chemo I had my first post-chemo CEA bloodwork. It showed a slight elevation. Had it done a month later and it definitely was on the rise. I still felt great... no complaints other than the usual recovery from chemo stuff. After the second CEA test, my onc ordered a PET scan... and that's when they found the right adrenal gland lit up and one nodule on the lung lit up. Followup lung CAT scans show more nodules scattered in both lungs, but are too small and not metabolically active at the moment... but chances are, some of them will be cancer as well.

    Mind you, others will also tell you that they have had pain in areas and it turns out that the pain is a symptom of tumours... usually tumours that are leaning on nerves or something to cause the pain. Unfortunately, that is why they call colon cancer one of the "silent" killers... because there are no symptoms to give us warning... and by the time there is pain, the cancer has advanced.

    Now, having said that... do NOT freak out! It is just a friendly reminder to, just because you are feeling good, do not let your guard down and say, "Oh, I'm feeling great... I don't need to do the followup scans/bloodwork/colonoscopies" Of course you do! The whole reason for doing them is exactly for that reason... if there IS a problem, you want to catch it early and not wait until it cause pain or symptoms.

    If you realize that the whole reason you are doing the followups to keep on top of things, then it takes away the "creepy" factor :) Another way of looking at it... for all of us here who have been dx'd with cancer and have gone through the treatments, we now are rewarded with the team continuing to monitor us, so IF anything should appear, we can nip it in the early, early stages. Think how many of your family/friends/neighbours/etc. who have not been diagnosed with cancer... they are NOT being monitored like a hawk and they will never know if they have something going on inside of them unless they insist on screening and screening often. How many do? Not many... most of us didn't prior to being diagnosed either.

    But we are still here now to change that... and now we have our team of docs on our side too :)

    Hugggggs,

    Cheryl

    Angel did
    He knew that something wasn't right after chemo finished he had some slight pains in the pelvic area he just didn;t feel right.

    michelle
  • Shannonlw7
    Shannonlw7 Member Posts: 27
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    dont ignore anything
    hi denise1966,
    i dont want to scare you or bring you down in any way, but i finished my treatments in june last year and was feeling good and then i noticed a little blood after a bm. so i had a biopsy a couple weeks ago, and my cancer is back. the only reason why i would tell you this is because i was going to ignore the problem, and brush it off as something else because im feeling soo good that i didnt want to be sick again. but, i made myself call my doctor anyway. so, please just listen to your body and have even the smallest things checked up..
    all my best to you....
  • rmcgraw
    rmcgraw Member Posts: 15
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    dont ignore anything
    hi denise1966,
    i dont want to scare you or bring you down in any way, but i finished my treatments in june last year and was feeling good and then i noticed a little blood after a bm. so i had a biopsy a couple weeks ago, and my cancer is back. the only reason why i would tell you this is because i was going to ignore the problem, and brush it off as something else because im feeling soo good that i didnt want to be sick again. but, i made myself call my doctor anyway. so, please just listen to your body and have even the smallest things checked up..
    all my best to you....

    Once diagnosed, always paranoid
    I think for me anyway, every new ache or pain gives me cause for concern. I pay closer attention now to those aches and how my body functions. I also get frustrated with the Doctors when they don't pay as much attention to what I have to say as I think they should. I guess it goes with the territory. I'm not sure you can ever put the "Cancer" diagnosis behind you but I'm sure as heck trying.
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797
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    Denise,

    I'm sorry to tell you that I had no symptoms when I had my recurrence, but I didn't have symptoms when I was first diagnosed, either.

    I have to say that I tell people all the time - A cough will never be just a cough again. I'll always see a cough as lung mets, pain as a tumor, etc. I think that is normal for us. canzerLand is a strange place to find yourself, but here we are.

    I can't say don't worry (pot/kettle and all) but I can say that if you do FUN things it will keep your mind busy. Plan stuff that you find fun. Do things that are fun. Watch trash tv. LIVE and it will fill up your time.

    Hugs,

    Kimby
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
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    kimby said:

    Denise,

    I'm sorry to tell you that I had no symptoms when I had my recurrence, but I didn't have symptoms when I was first diagnosed, either.

    I have to say that I tell people all the time - A cough will never be just a cough again. I'll always see a cough as lung mets, pain as a tumor, etc. I think that is normal for us. canzerLand is a strange place to find yourself, but here we are.

    I can't say don't worry (pot/kettle and all) but I can say that if you do FUN things it will keep your mind busy. Plan stuff that you find fun. Do things that are fun. Watch trash tv. LIVE and it will fill up your time.

    Hugs,

    Kimby

    I was dxd in March 08
    and went through all the treatments and stuff and I am just now going for hours on end without thinking about cancer at all...I do have an ostomy but without it I think I would think of it a lot less. I just keep busy. I have a years of honeydoos to get caught up on to dwell on it for very long...I am really genuinely starting to enjoy my life again after cancer.....If it comes back I'll beat it down again, and again, and again...but I won't let the idea of reoccurence direct my lifestyle.....it tried the first time, but no more.....