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Colonoscopy after surgery

Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2004

Hey everyone. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have this site to come too. You guys are heaven sent. Just wish it was for another reason.
My husband had his first colonoscopy today after surgery and chemo.
(Rectal cancer, rad/chemo, surgery (removal of tumor only), post op chemo.)
The doc came in after the colonoscopy and said everything looked good, but he sent my husband down stairs for a CT Scan and has him scheduled Wed for an ultrasound. I knew that these test were going to be necessary to check for any signs of the cancer returning, but we still can't help being scared.
We've tried all day to comfort each other, you know saying everything to try to help the other one stop worrying. Things like:
1. Trust God (which we would both be crazy now w/out our faith.)
2. He had clear margins after surgery in Feb.
3. He just got off of chemo three weeks ago (on four months), surely it can't grow back that fast.
and on and on.....
I think at this point my husband is almost more scared of a colostomy than he is the cancer. I just want him alive and healthy so we can enjoy each other and his retirement.
You just sometimes get tired of going to bed and getting up everyday thinking about cancer.
Anyway, if you guys have any positive words I can pass along to him, I would really appreciate it.
Keep us in your prayers and you are all in ours.
God bless,

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Kaye,

I will pray that all of your husband's results are good and they will be. I will be having a PET and CT scan soon so I understand your worry. Let us know.

Hugs to you and your husband,


Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2004

You must learn to ask your doctor Why?
Most likely the test is just them being thorough.
I also had a colonoscopy and cat scan after surgery.
Not to worry too much they are just doing thier job.
Good luck

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Kaye,

You are in my prayers. I know the feelings you are going through. I will have a CT scan in two weeks and as the time draws nearer, I am getting more anxious - and I have been cancer free for almost 2 years. I don't know if it ever really ends - but it is something we must all go through and then we thank God that we have these procedures now to help us detect this disease as soon as possible.

Take care.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2002

Hi Kaye, I'm new to this site but have been on the ACOR list since I was diagnosed in July 2002. I was stage II colon cancer, my 2.5 x 5 cm tumor was mid sigmoid. I had 6cm clear borders, 23 of 23 lymph nodes negative and did 6 months of 5fu/leuc. I had a top notch surgeon and was treated at a dedicated NCI center in Philadelphia. My CEA was 2.0 prior to surgery and has varied from 0.8 to 2.5 since.

Every CEA test and CT scan sets me to worrying. Every little ache and pain is surely cancer returning. Tired, fatigued? Must be cancer. Restless, insomnia, upset stomach? Must be cancer. Little uptick in CEA but still below the threshold? Surely, the cancer's back.


After surgery my risk of reocurrance was estimated at less than 10%. I know those gastrointestinal pains are gas. The fatigue? Hey, that just seems to happen after chemo. The insomnia? Well, stop thinking about cancer and maybe sleep will come.

Once bitten by cancer, it seems that all logic is ignored. How do you conquer those thoughts? I'm learning it just takes time. I'd bite my nails to my wrist waiting for CEA result or a CT scan reading a year ago. Now, I don't even bother calling. Well, almost. Back in March I had a scope which revealed a severely atypical polyp, one that would have most likely grown into another tumor. That set me back a bit mentally. Logically, I knew the little booger was out of me and could do no harm. Still I worried what was next. It wasn't until two weeks ago when I had a perfectly normal 6 month followup scope that my fears were allayed again.

For me, the worrying is just part of the game that's been diminishing with time. During chemo and for 6 months afterward, I was on a SSRI antidepressant, celexa. If the anxiety continues, I won't hesitate to resume medication. As my family doctor said, you're fighting enough right now, take all the help you can get.

It does get better, but worry, stress and anxiety while awaiting test results seem to be perfectly normal.

I'm now two years out of surgery with no evidence of disease. That's what I really need to dwell on, "No evidence of disease".


kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Kaye--now chin up girl!!!! You have to be comforted by the obviuos attention being paid to your hubby. There is no greater fear that we have, worrying about a return of cancer and that is experienced by all of us. I really think in some ways it is harder for the carers. Jen is clearly worried about all my tests but doesn't show her emotions to me--ha!--she knows that I know!!!I had a colonoscopy not long after surgery and I think I told you the surgeon wanted to see how things were healing. Ongoing ultrasounds/ bloods are the norm for me now and boy, there is not a day goes by that I don't worry about the results!! It is just so hard for us all to cool it. The many friends here are testament to our need for each other--no matter how much we worry about it--our friends are here to support us and vice-versa.
Your hubbies concern about the colostomy is understanding--but don't cross that bridge yet Kaye--all the results he has so far are very encouraging.
We keep you in our thoughts Kaye--luv kanga n Jen

Oh---hiya to Ray--nice to meet you mate(although yu coulda met us in better circumstances) You were staged the same as me Ray and had the same treatment it seems--hope you are doin ok mate. Our best from OZ--kanga n Jen

Anonymous user (not verified)

Well said Ray...you summed me up completely, even though I'm the care giver and not the patient. The anxiety, worry, and fear did not stop when hubby's cancer was removed and even though he has been NED for over a year now, that little voice in my head just keeps whispering "yeah, but what if...."

Kaye, Ray is right...I don't think we ever stop worrying...it just eases up with time. As someone else already said, you need to ask the docs "why" are you doing this? I too believe they are just following normal protocol and personally, I'd rather my Bert have one too many scans and checks then one too few.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that all will be fine. Bert's next scans are October 28 and the "fluttering" is already beginning, but it's getting better.


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