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Quick question re: recurrence

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi All,

This question is for those of you who have had recurrence. What made you suspicious (apart from our general paranoia, that is?) Did you have changes in bowel habit again or was it found on the regular checkups? Thanks.

Kirsten

angelsbaby's picture
angelsbaby
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

In different place of the pelvic region from time to time he knew that it was cancer don't ask me how but he new.

michelle

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

some were subtle, some not so ... Initially, I was getting UTIs often. Then, I was having pain every other month cyclically with my periods. Then, least subtle of all was the enlargement of my abdomen as it began to fill with fluid from the tumor that was growing on my right ovary. Keep in mind that very few recurrences are in your bowels, so you most likely won't have symptoms similar to your initial diagnosis. The one symptom I didn't really pay much attention to, but should have, was my inability to exercise for any length of time without bringing food to consume. I would go line dancing and have to stop to eat an apple/half sandwich I brought with me or I couldn't continue for the full 2 hours of the class. The tumor was beginning to steal much of my nutrition and my body was having a hard time getting what it needed.
mary

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

To be honest, I don't know if I had symptoms; at least nothing
stood out. I was a Stage 2, no lymph node involvement, at the
section of colon closest to the appendix; had surgery 2004.
Since it was early stage and my oncologist said no chemo
was recommended, I think I believed that I was cancer free
permanently. Not so. In 2008, a large lesion was found on my
liver. Quite a surprise to me. And I had missed a CT scan
thinking the onc. office would call me when one was due and
schedule it......they did not and I didn't schedule it....hence
a lesion that could have been kept smaller went undetected until
it was a large one. And I was involved in a project that was
consuming a lot of my time and energy so any subtle hints may
have been ignored. Guess morals of the story are: don't miss
any CT scans and don't expect doc's office to schedule and be aware
the beast can return and does.....even to those in early stage
who have good chance of non-recurrence.

Barbara

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Okey Dokey....

That is scary. I was stage II-b no nodes. I opted for adjuvant chemo (Folfox5.) I managed 9 of 12 treatments and called it quits (had to.) The adjuvant chemo was described to me as a percentage advantage--i.e. I increased my chances by about 5% (from 85 to 90%) of not getting a recurrence.

Well, for the last 3 months I've been having bowel issues again and feel something like deep menstrual cramps every now & then. Menstrual cramps are impossible, since I got endometrial cancer 4 months after ending the adjuvant chemo and had a full hysterectomy in 2007.

So. Do I run, not walk to my GI doc & get a colonoscopy immediately, or do I wait until August, when I am supposed to have the next one? My next CT is scheduled for September. I went for my regular blood work at my onc's a couple of weeks ago. He mentioned that my white count was up, but we attributed it to my stupid case of impetigo for which I was on antibiotics.

Advice, anyone?

funnyguy
Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

If you are scared enough to be asking for advice here, there may be something to it.

Why wait.
You know the risks.

Go for a check up; colonoscopy, pet scan, ct...something. But go.

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hey Funnyguy. Stop with the logic already! :-) You're right. I think I'll check in with my GI doc. I just didn't want to be stupidly paranoid. You convinced me. Thanks!!!

Kirsten

funnyguy
Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

Hey a little paranoia never hurt anyone...

But lack of attention has.

Like others have said, talk to your Onc as well and get the work up. Worst case they find nothing and your conscious is clear and we all have a big laugh (of excitement for you)

:)

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

have a scan done. Let your onc know you are having symptoms that are scaring you and request you be scheduled for either a PET or CT scan. Remember, like Buzz says, they work for you not the other way around! And they aren't mind readers ... it is your responsibility to pay attention to your body and let them know when things change!
mary

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

Not that it will be anything serious but you do sound like you are
having symptoms of something, may not be recurrence at all, but
you need to check with your docs, have a scan done and see what
it is all about......that way you know and may be can relieve your
mind that it is not ca again.
Good luck,
Barbara

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi,

I have not had a recurrence in the colon/rectal area at all. I did have it in the liver and lungs. I had absolutely NO symptoms & wouldn't have known at all if it hadn't been for the CT/PET results that I had after waiting 4 months.

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I'm the same as Lisa42. I have had 3 recurrences, all in lung. No symptoms whatsoever -- all picked up on routine follow-up scans.

That being said, I agree with others: if something is troubling you, get it checked out. Most likely they will rule out something sinister and you will be able to sleep better at night!

Best wishes

Tara

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I'm the same as Lisa42. I have had 3 recurrences, all in lung. No symptoms whatsoever -- all picked up on routine follow-up scans.

That being said, I agree with others: if something is troubling you, get it checked out. Most likely they will rule out something sinister and you will be able to sleep better at night!

Best wishes

Tara

snommintj's picture
snommintj
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

if you have any doubt what so ever get checked.

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Thank you, Everyone, for your input. Now I don't feel so stupid requesting an early checkup. This is why I come here--you are all so super!!!!!

Hugs,
Kirsten

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