Just needed to touch Base, all happening so fast

I dont know if anyone can relate to this but I started have epigastric pain, across my upper abd below the rib cage, and then came the thin yellowish discharge that burned from my rectum.  UGH!  So I went to see my Doctor about 6 months ago stating my symptoms and concerns.  he kept thinking that it was GERD.  Prescribed some medication omeprosole and that was that.  But the pain didnt go away and the seepage from my rectum continued.  After several more visits, and r/o STD's, proctitis etc. etc.  I went to see my doc but he was at some seminar, thank god, because I saw another MD, who immediately orderd a colonoscopy, and a CEA lab.  

Being in the medical profession myself, MSN RN, Dec 6th:  I decided to forego the anestesia, as I had assisted in a number of colonoscopies in my 20 years as an RN.  I can tell you that its bearable.  However, I knew immediately when he discoverd the large lesion in my transverse colon that it was concerning.  It was not a polyp, but more flat and he could not get it to raise to snare it off.  The GI doc cut it into 3 pieces to get it out, lasered, and then cauderized.  Stating hopefully if there were any cancer cells in that lesion, I destroyed them.  Well the pathology report came back with these words.  High grade dysplagia, suspicous for invasive adenocarcinoma.  (What, not me).  Then the GI doc called to tell me that cancer cells were found in this lesion.  Which led to a Dec 22:  CT with contrast dye.  Which revealed that I had nodules in the bases of my lungs, and spotts on my liver.  (What, not me).  I am 60 years old, I suppose if i try hard enough I can convince myself that these are non-specific and could be anything.  The Radiology report read, highly suspcious for metastisis to the Lungs and LIver.  The CEA came back at 1.6 which is normal.  

I am scheduled for surgery on Thursday January 19, at the VA Ann Arbor.  My surgeon is on staff at the University of Michigan.  Laparoscopic transverse colectomy versus extended right hemicolectomy......Is this really happening to me?  A part of me does not want to go thru this.  I expressed that to the surgeon, and he said, If you were my son, father, or brother I would insist you have this surgery.  He then stated that if the pathology report came back with lymph node involvement, I would have to begin chemo therapy...

OMG, I would love to here someone who is in this predicament.   

Wish me luck,

Robert Farrell




  • blessed39
    blessed39 Member Posts: 90 Member
    Been there, done that

    Robert, I can certainly relate to what you are going through. If you will go to my blog you will see my story entitled "How I Beat Stage Four Colon Cancer"  God bless you in this journey.   blessed39

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,768 Member
    Yep, that would be us

    You found a forum filled with folks who are walking the same road as you are. 

    These first few weeks after diagnosis are the worst, I must say. Well, they were for me. So many 'What ifs'. I found it much more tolerable once I had the surgery and started treatment. Doing something about it, was a huge positive.

    Like your surgeon, I say 'get it out of there'.   Then, one step at a time. The big picture can be very overwhelming, so take it step by step.  First step, Surgery. I wish you luck on the 19th (we have another member, here on the forum, having surgery on the 19th). Eat a good, healthy diet and prepare for some discomfort. Be good and follow Doctor's orders (yeah, you're an RN, so know all about that). You will do well. You're still young, at 60. 

    We're here for you. 



  • Robert Farrell
    Robert Farrell Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2017 #4
    blessed39 said:

    Been there, done that

    Robert, I can certainly relate to what you are going through. If you will go to my blog you will see my story entitled "How I Beat Stage Four Colon Cancer"  God bless you in this journey.   blessed39

    Your blog

    I wouldnt know how to find your blog,  can you give me some instruction

  • Robert Farrell
    Robert Farrell Member Posts: 4
    Who is the other person on the 19th

    Perhaps we could stay in touch,,,I am so happy to find this discussion.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,768 Member

    Who is the other person on the 19th

    Perhaps we could stay in touch,,,I am so happy to find this discussion.

    Joan M

    Our friend, Joan M is having an ablation on the 19th.

    Here is Joan's post http://csn.cancer.org/node/307401


  • zx10guy
    zx10guy Member Posts: 273 Member
    edited January 2017 #7
    I'd ask for a PET scan before

    I'd ask for a PET scan before you have your surgery.

  • nateswife
    nateswife Member Posts: 65
    Hi Robert

    Hi Robert,

    i am sorry that you've ended up in this situation.. I hope that it's some consolation to find others who are going through the same thing.

    i have a similar diagnosis to yours, was diagnosed in Feb 2016, so it's not as new to me. But I remember the feeling of unreality that you seem to be describing. It was completely surreal. I've come a long way in a year as far as accepting what is happening to me and what's going to happen. I expect that your process will be similar. It may never make sense, but you will probably come to terms with your diagnosis.

    When my cancer was found it was stage IV colon cancer with 50% of my liver involved. Now it's metastasized to my lungs. Surgery for my liver has never been an option and surgery on my colon wasn't necessary because of the size and location of the tumor. However, if your oncologist is strongly suggesting surgery, there must be a good reason. I'm guessing that maybe the tumor could cause a blockage? That is a scary scenario as I've seen people with an intestinal blockage and thE pain is horrible. I would avoid that at all cost.

    If your liver is resectable (depends on the location and amount of tumors), that is a good thing as it may give you several years more than the median survival time for stage IV colon cancer. Chemo will probably also set back the clock to give you more time, but it is rough. I am at the point of not wanting any more chemo because I am feeling pretty good without it and would rather spend the time I have left traveling, taking vacations with family, and spending time with friends rather than being wiped out and sick half of the time. 

    Everyones cancer is different, the treatments vary and our responses are different. Take the time to decide what is right for you- you do have options. I hope that you find peace as you go.




  • Robert Farrell
    Robert Farrell Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2017 #9
    My hat is off to you


    Thank you for responding to my post.  Your words are comforting and informative.  I must say that at this point I am going ahead with the surgery, as you suggessted our disease processes may vary... I have lost family members to colon cancer, usually between the ages of 50-60.  The Physician is concerned that infact I have mets to the liver and lungs, so he wants to do the resect to ensure that the lymphnodes are not involved, and of course if they are, chemo.  If not this is early stage and I can rest my mind that I can ly this to rest for sometime.  Its all so confusing when it happens to you... I am looking forward to Thursday, well maybe not, but I need to be  in the solution..  The sooner the better.   

    thanks again, 

    Please stay in touch


  • impactzone
    impactzone Member Posts: 549 Member
    edited January 2017 #10
    You can read my profile but I

    You can read my profile but I am now almost 10 years out after initial dx with colon cancer, lung and liver mets. 4 thoracic surgeries and 10 months chemo along with lots else... I am still teaching, surfing and coaching. It is a long process and you are never stronger than right now. Surgery is a great option and each day after you get better. Best wishes, don't second guess and do what you can to control negativity around you.

    All my best


  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited January 2017 #11
    Hi Robert, 

    Hi Robert, 

    As Tru said, I am having microwave ablation on a tumor in the left lobe of my liver tomorrow.   I will pray for successful surgery for you as well myself. 

    I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in February 2016.  I did not have any typical symptoms or family history of the disease, so it was a real complete SHOCK to my entire family.  They would not operate on me at all due to the number of  tumors in my liver and lungs.  I was also told I could not have radiation because it would damage too much good tissue. I was told by 5 oncologists that my disease is incurable. Still can't believe that I have a disease that will likely be the cause of my death. I have had minimal side effects to treatment, and usually feel pretty good - just get tired more easily.

    I THANK GOD daily for the medical care that has allowed me to survive so far and has extended my life for possibly many more years to come.   

    I have been lucky to achieve good results so far with chemo.  I had 8 rounds of oxaliplatin, leucovorin, 5FU and Avastin.  I have been on maintainence chemo since July 2016.  Many of the tumors have dissappeared including the one in my colon.  However, many still remain in my liver and one in my left lung.  My doctor said I have a "liver dominant disease" so referred me to an interventional radiologist who will use targeted treatments to kill the remaining liver tumors.     

    As the others stated above, surgery usually increases your chances for long term survival.   As you know, being in the medical field, they consider radiation and surgery the best way to eliminate the cancer and "cure" the patient of cancer. 

    I learned about radio frequency ablation from the members on this forum, and was happy that the doctor is willing to perform a similar procedure to kill the liver tumors. He said the microwave ablation is less invasive and more precise. After that heals, he will perform a procedure injecting radioactive beads into the right lobe of my liver to kill off those tumors. These procedures are supposed to help achieve a disease free period and have been shown to increase survival rates dramatically.  I am excited and also frightened - just not used to having any type of surgery done.   I was upset though that my regular oncologists never mentioned these treatments to me until I asked about them... guess they didn't think I was eligible for them due to the number of tumors. I am very thankful that there is a doctor who performs the procedure locally so I don't have to travel away from my family. It has been hard on them too.   

    I guess surviving cancer is my new normal.  

    My prayers go out to you that God will Bless you in a successful surgery and treatment to rid you of this cancer!

    Joan M