Recently diagnosed

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Gregw630
Gregw630 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2017 in Colorectal Cancer #1

I am 49 years old and i was recently diagnosed with stage 3c colorectal cancer.  I have gone thru the colon resection operation.  After the Dr repeatedly telling me that things looked good, CT scan came back clean, he was able to get it all out, yada Yada yada, he is now telling me that as a precautionary treatment, he wants to light me up like a Christmas tree.  5 weeks of radiation as well as a 6 month stint of chemo...All of this when he supposedly removed the cancer......I AM CONFUSED!!!! 8 out of 24 lymph nodes showed some signs of cancer in them.... i feel great (2 weeks post op) so why in the hell would I want to go thru getting all of that poison pumped into me and risk other organ damage when he can't guarantee that the problem would not come back....Boy do I need some peace of mind right now because I am afraid I am going to have a hart attack worrying about this....have an appointment with the oncologist and radiation Dr Sept 27th...Anyone else have this type of experience and worry???? Looking into other treatments as well

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  • BRHMichigan
    BRHMichigan Member Posts: 368
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    Sorry about your diagnosis,

    Sorry about your diagnosis, but glad you found this board.  Others are far more knowledgeable than me, but it seems protocol for most CRC cases includes chemo after surgery.  Some refer to it as mop-up as it is intended to eradicate stray cancer cells that can't be detected but are there.  I personally don't believe they can get 100% of the cancer out with surgery, so we need to do something after surgery to keep fighting this monster.

    I hope you'll get some peace soon.  Reading others' experiences here has been a hige help to me.

    Best wishes, '- Beth

  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member
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    If you have lymph node involvement, the cancer was not contained

    Yes, the surgeon got the visible cancer, but once its in your lymph nodes, it has ready access to circulate throughout your body.  Radiation can help eradicate cancer in the area of your tumor (and nearby remaining lymph nodes) and chemo can go after the cancer that is streaming through your lymphatic system.  

    Is there a guarantee that this will prevent recurrence?  No.  But knowing that the cancer has gone beyond localized tumor is why they want to do more treatment.  However, ultimately the decision is yours to make:  chemo? radiation? neither? both?  Find out what advantages each might give you and then determine if the negatives of the treatments are worth the potential benefits.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    Its a terrible time

    and I totally understand your feelings, having been there done that. 

    I'm thinking, if the nodes had been clear, they would have said 'see ya!' but with node involvment, they have to cover their tracks and try to 'get it all'. 

    This is my background. Like you, I had the bowel resection and they 'got it all' but found one lymph node infected out of 21.  I had nine treatments of FOLFOX with 5FU, followed by six weeks of radiation and 24/7 5FU.  Two scans clear, the third scan showed a tumour in my liver.  DARN THOSE LYMPH NODES!  It had indeed jumped from bowel to node to liver. 

    So yes, they will do chemo and if needed, radiation, to try to banish all Cancer cells that may have escaped the bowel. 

    Its a tough road, for sure. We are here to ride it with you, if you want. 

    Welcome to the forum. Sorry for your diagnosis. Join us. We'll help you through it. 

    Tru

  • airborne72
    airborne72 Member Posts: 300 Member
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    Well said

    Tru:  you offered a well-said response.  So much so, that if I did not have RC then I would want to get it to be able to join this group!

    Greg: you received some "experienced" responses.  I am in between chemo/radiation (neoadjuvant) and resection surgery, which will be followed by mop-up chemo. My latest CT scan indicates that my tumor has been reduced/eliminated such that the CT no longer detects it.  When the oncologist shared that with me I questioned the need for surgery and mop-up chemo.  The answer was cancer at the cellular level is still cancer and because it is so small it may not be detectable. 

    Roll the dice.  Don't follow the advice of the medical community or follow it? 

    My decision is to get after it hard and fast right now.  As the days/weeks/months/years pass our bodies age and our ability to respond to and recover from treatment declines.  I am in the best moment "right now" to take aggressive action to eradicate this disease from my body.  I do not want to do this, but I did not want to go to the 1st grade either.

    Cancer presents so many unknowns and that truly degrades our clairity of thought.  At a time when we absolutely need vision and confidence, we have a tendency to "freeze up" and escape from the situation.  What I have experienced on multiple ocassions with both prostate cancer and rectal cancer is that once I make a decision (choose a course of action; select a day for a procedure; etc.) then my confidence level increases and my stress level decreases.  The cancer is still there, but the "fog of war" has partially lifted and I have direction.  To quote John Paul Jones, a U.S. naval hero, "damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead."

    Remain an active member of this list and you will quickly benefit from the experience of others.  Plus, don't forget that you also have something to share with others as they join this group and this list.

    I wish you luck my friend.

    Jim

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,381 Member
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    Playing the odds

    As a primary matter, please remember that you, not your doctor, controls your medical treatment.  You may want to question your doctor very carefully about your odds of having a cancer recurrence with or without the chemo treatment.  For me, the chemo lowered the odds by about ten percent.  I was on the fence about doing chemo, but I chose to do it and it almost killed me.  If I had a chance to do it over, I think I would have declined the chemo.  These are very important decisions and I encourage you to spend the time and do the reearch to make an educated decision.  Good luck to you.

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
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    Sorry about Diagnosis

    I'm sorry you have to be here.  If you have had 8 lymph nodes involved you can consider chemo.  This would be done as a "mop up" to mop up any cells that could have escaped during chemo.  Even people with no lymph node involvement get "mop up" chemo.  When you disrupt the cancer area there is always a chance of cells getting loose.  Don't look at it as a poison but something that can save you from a return to cancer.  My radiologist told me that if there is a return to cancer, chances are very great that it's harder to get rid of.  It's your decision to go and discuss this with your oncologist.  This is my circumstance only but you are the one who is going to make that decision.  My one saying through all of this journey was I'd never want to say "what if".  You need to be comfortable with your decision and think about it.  Good luck on your journey.

    Kim