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persevere
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2008

I am 35 years old. I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last January. Immediately after being diagnosed, my colorectal surgeon removed 98% of my colon and 33 lymph nodes. Of the 33 lymph nodes, 3 came back positive for cancer. In June (6 months after my initial surgery), I had a liver segmentectomy to remove the 2 spots on the right side of my liver. The first spot was 1.30cm and the second was 2.4cm. After my liver surgery, I had another 6 sessions of chemo. My last chemo session was on October 31. In mid November, I had a PET/CT scan that came back 100% clean. Last week, I had my 3 month PET/CT scan and it showed a 1.2cm spot on the right side of my liver – the PET/CT showed a SUV uptake of 4. When I sat down with my oncologist last week, he was a little puzzled by this new finding. My CEA has fluctuated between 0.9 and 1.4 over the last 6 months. Last week, my CEA came back at 1.2 (since my CEA was 11 at diagnosis, my oncologist has said that this is a good marker for me). Although my liver function tests are slightly on the high side, they have been consistently going down over the last couple of months. That said, my oncologist ordered a MRI for this past Monday. Needless to say, our entire family was quite nervous about the potential outcome. We were all so very relieved when my oncologist called me and said that the MRI did not show anything at all! He did mention that he wanted to have my PET/CT images sent over to where the MRI was performed. Although he said he was extremely confident that everything was still going to be just fine, he wanted the radiologist to look at both scans together at the same time. On Thursday evening I had a quick conversation with the radiologist that was going to perform this analysis (this is the same person that read my MRI results). He said that there was a 99% chance that everything was going to come back just fine. On Friday morning, I talked to the radiologist about his findings. He said that after comparing the 2 images together, he now was able to see the small spot that the PET/CT scan had identified (he said that the spot measured approximately 9 millimeters). Since this spot has never been there before, they said that they have to presume that it is cancer. This coming Monday, we will be sitting down with my liver surgeon to discuss what our next steps are. Has anyone else been on a rollercoaster ride like this? At this point, we are all very scared and confused by all of the developments over the last week. One minute we are worried – the next minute everything is alright – then the minute a spot is definitely there. I appreciate any feedback that you might be able to provide.

Fergus2007
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2007

Yes - they are "presuming" it's cancer.
They don't KNOW for sure unless they open you up or do a biopsy.
Non of the imaging systems are fool prove.
The CT scan might be showing a mass that is scare tissue from your operation or calcium deposits showing that your liver has been damaged.
The Pet scan might be showing the liver regenerating and healthy liver cells forming.
All they know is that there is "something" there and there is "something" going on.
I'm sure they will come up with a plan how to monitor what is going on.

Faith4Cure
Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Hello. Sorry for this roller-coaster ride that you are on. It seems like we've all been on one at some point during diagnosis. First it's good news, then it's bad news---up and down. I wish I had some answers for you, but only your doctor can give you those. It does seem like your doctors are trying to be on top of this, so whatever they are seeing (if it is anything at all) will be caught as early as possible. Your CEA level seems very low and since that is a good marker for you, that is positive news. Try to think only positive thoughts and keep the faith! Keep us updated!

Faith

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I had a similar rollercoaster ride with a very small lung nodule. Many tests, many consultations. The nodule didn't look like cancer and most of the drs didn't think it was. BUT, it wasn't there before and then it was and obviously I was at high risk for it to be cancer (stage 3). We did a "wait and see" for a few months. Eventually I had surgery (couldn't do a biopsy because of the location). In my case, it was cancerous. I sure hope yours is NOT. (CEA was never a good marker for me). But, if it does turn out to be, I want to say that the good news is that it is tiny and solitary and caught very very early. Good luck to you.
Tara

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Cancer is one big rollercoaster ride after another!

I certainly hope that after further discovery it is not another brush with the beast. I just want to say that it is great that your doctors are staying on top of things and making sure they can give you a certain answer. It would not be a good thing if they were to write it off as a clean scan only to have it continue to grow.

On the same token, I really hope that they are able to give you another answer for the spot.

Whatever the outcome, my prayers are with you and your family.

sladich's picture
sladich
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

My situation was similar to your's. I underwent a liver resection and a year later my PET showed another tumor. I had a chemoembolization, Radio Frequency Ablation, and then another Chemoembolization done on the liver. All is good now. It has and will continue to be a roller coaster ride for me. There's so much more out there they can do. Best of luck and keep us posted.

Debbie

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