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Colo/rectal check-up

Doreen65's picture
Doreen65
Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2005

Hi everyone, well yesterday I went for my checkup with the colo/rectal surgeon. I have not seen him since April every 4 months. For those of you who didn't know I had a rectal mass that I had a complete response to from chemo and radiation. The surgeon decided it was incredible and we keep a close eye on me. I went yesterday and he did his hand exam and thought it was remarkable. Then he used his protoscope I believe and said HMMMM... he was doing a sigmoid I think. I never know what they are doing back there. Well he tells me he sees a small something could be risidual scar tissue from radiation, could be the tumor coming back. Now I am terrified and deaf you all know how that goes. He tells me to get dressed and we are going to see about my having an endorectal ultrasound right away. They squeeze me in thank GOD I had prepped. I have the ultrasound and the nurse tells me to bear with her she can't see anything. Long story short she found nothing other then a slight thickening on the rectal wall where the tumor used to be. She couldn't see anything else. She seemed a little upset because she wanted to give the surgeon a report on her findings and she found nothing to report. I am so confused on how to feel. Should I be glad they see nothing? Or am I terrified of this little thing he sees being more cancer. Anyway what he wants me to do is go for a PET scan Monday morning. Then he has me scheduled for outpatient surgery next Thursday to go in and remove what it is he sees. He is calling it Trans anal excision. After this he will know for sure whether what he sees is cancerous. He told me he will send that off the lab and take this steps at a time. Please tell me what you all think. Scared and confused.... Doreen ~

Doreen65's picture
Doreen65
Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2005

I forgot to add this.... Suppose this is cancer again. I am thinking its chemo all over again. What do you all think? I really hope they don't tell me chemo/radiation all over again. I don't know if I can handle radiation AGAIN.... Doreen

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Dooreen,
If it were me I think I would be happy if they were erring on the side of caution. My attitude to cancer was that I was prepared to do anything to beat it . That turned out to be surgery and a year of chemo. You have had incredible results from chem and radiation ,that in itself should give you some confidence . Let the docs do the tests and worry when you find if there is something to worry about,that would be my approach. I think that the greatest step in beating cancer for me was to overcome the fear of it. I remain vigilant for new cancers and I am prepared to fight again if neccessary. Good luck with the tests ,I'm sure everything will be fine ,Ron.

alihamilton's picture
alihamilton
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

I can imagine your anxiety at this point...the PET should determine if there is a problem. However, as far as I know, they do not give radiotherapy more than once to the same area. I would like others to confirm this if possible but that may at least make your anxiety a little less. Let us hope the nurse is right. It could be scar tissue and even if it is a local recurrence, it must be very small if it is not showing up on the ultrasound.

Try not to worry until you know what you are dealing with...sorry, I know that is hard to do. What is good that you do not have to wait long for the tests.

All the best...of course, let us know how it goes.

Ali

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Doreen,
I can understand your confusion and concern. But I still think you should be feeling very pleased by the great response you got from the chemoradiation. (I had a rectal tumour myself -- I had a some shrinking from the chemoradiation, but nothing like the response you got). I should think it is highly likely that what the surgeon saw was some scar tissue. But the important thing is that you have already had the ultrasound (which I understand has good accuracy) and will be having a PET. And the transanal excision sounds like a good plan, too. Presumably he will send the excision to the pathology lab -- and that is the "gold standard" for whether any cancer cells remain. I am not a doctor, and this is just my own understanding. But it sounds like a solid plan to me. It is a frightening time. Hang in there. Best wishes,
Tara

Kaye2003
Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2004

My husband's situation was alot like yours except the rad/chemo shruck the tumor to the size of a dime, so he still needed surgery. His first colonoscopy after surgery showed a mass where the tumor had been removed. His doctor order a ct scan and ultrasound. Both determined is was only scar tissue. He did chemo after, but not rad.
Don't worry about the surgery. My husband had the transanal excision surgery and was up and around within 24 hours and took pain meds only once.
You will be in my prayers.
Kaye

Kaye2003
Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2004

My husband's situation was alot like yours except the rad/chemo shruck the tumor to the size of a dime, so he still needed surgery. His first colonoscopy after surgery showed a mass where the tumor had been removed. His doctor order a ct scan and ultrasound. Both determined is was only scar tissue. He did chemo after, but not rad.
Don't worry about the surgery. My husband had the transanal excision surgery and was up and around within 24 hours and took pain meds only once.
You will be in my prayers.
Kaye

HisJoy's picture
HisJoy
Posts: 113
Joined: Feb 2005

Hey, Doreen! I am very pleased that your onc is being so thorough in checking this out. It's most likely nothing, but if it IS a few cancer cells coming back, it sounds like they've caught it in plenty of time to do a quick surgery and get it OUT of there. You know the importance of early detection! No one is guaranteed tomorrow, of course, but I have a feeling that you'll be just fine. Please make sure you post again once you know what's going on so that we can celebrate with you. We CARE.

BB

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Doreen. You are doing so well. Try not to let it get to you. I agree with the others. It seems that erring on the side of caution is your doctors priority here and that is far better than being complacent. IF...and I said IF...there is something to be concerned about, better to find and act on it now. We hope things will be fine gal,huggs, kanga n Jen

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