My Stage IV Story

1irish1 Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
First of all, let me apologize for waiting so long to post. I posted almost a month ago and then did not post again. I was offered a job that will require me to relocate across the country, so things are very hectic right now! I really appreciate the warm welcome everyone gave me on my initial post.

I was diagnosed when I was 32 years old, right after I had given birth to my second child. The doctors initially thought I had ovarian cancer because it had metastasized to my right ovary, but the pathologist insisted the cells looked like colon cancer. So after recovering from a total hysterectomy, I had to be reopened and have a colon resection, removing 1.5 feet from the right side. I was told there was no hope of survival, but I could try chemotherapy if I wanted. I refused to believe there was no hope, so I went to MD Anderson. After my colon resection I had no measurable disease, but they wanted to put me on FOLFOX anyway. I underwent a full course of FOLFOX (6 months), got very, very sick, and actually think I did not need chemotherapy now. My scans have actually been clear since I had my colon resection. I never had any metastasis to my liver or lungs, just to my ovary.

I returned to work in May 2004, but I continue to struggle with returning to normal. I am a lawyer and work a very high stress job, which I believe I handled quite well before I got sick. Now I find myself having trouble with concentration. I do not know if that is a function of the chemo, having been sick or just a psychological side effect. I am grateful to be alive and to be doing so well, especially in light of the dire predictions I was given. I hope I can provide some inspiration for others here. Doctors are not always right. I know I have shocked the hell out of mine!

Thanks for listening.



  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723 Member
    Hi Tracey,
    Welcome to the world of the semi-colons. I'm sorry to see some one your age join us . Don't worry about chemo brain it is real and it does fade with time , try to concentrate on the things that are most important, staying happy and healthy, and as far as work goes write yourself plenty of clear notes,they aren't much good if you can't remember what they mean(from experience). Good luck for the future,stay vigilant and stay well ,Cheers Ron.
  • kangatoo
    kangatoo Member Posts: 2,105 Member
    Hi Tracey and welcome to our family. Sometimes I wonder if some doctors are living in the real world. There are so many here on CSN that are kicking some major cancer butt...and they were dx'd stage 4 too. Congratulations on joining our illustrious and inspirational "butt kickers!" As for your concentration levels I fear that you are not alone. Many here I think can relate to what you are saying. I know that personally my concentration and particularly memory went right down the drain after I did chemo. I have to say that the 'ol memory just keeps on eluding me and I continually find it frustrating. Metinks that the chemo has a bad habit of killing off some brain matter. In any case my GP's here in oz pretty much tell me that the chemo can have major effects on memory...and I definately agree with that. I imagine others here will also agree.
    Thank you for your story, nothing like good news around here to inspire.
    Keep belting tha hell outa tha demon Tracey!!!!!
    Cheers, kanga n Jen from "down under".