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Colon Cancer

terry427's picture
terry427
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2010

Hi,
This is my first time here. I was diagnosed a few weeks ago after having the colonoscopy and advised that I must have surgery to remove the cancerous polyp & possibly some lymph nodes. Besides a CT scan and blood tests which I had are there any other tests that you would recommend prior to the surgery. I also have COPD-Emphysema and will have a set of breathing tests this Wednesday. From how the doctors addressed the situation I felt it was imperative the surgery be done immediately but now it doesn't seem to be the case. Have any of you encountered "hurry up and wait"? I don't know how else to describe it. Is this how it is with doctors?

~~Terry427

hoya1973's picture
hoya1973
Posts: 37
Joined: May 2010

I am also new, having been diagnosed April 19 as stage 4. I have also had a PET scan. I also was very anxious and felt the Dr's knew the cancer was not a sprinter and we had time. I am now on chemotherapy.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Diagnosed November 2008, Stage 3 to the ascending colon. My ONC was very aggressive, tumor out, Diagnosed Stage 4 after Pet scans, chemo ASAP, liver resection 4 months later, chemo 1 month later for 3 months. I have been NED (no evidence of disease) since....September 2009. No too long ago.

Hope other than the cancer you are doing okay, this is the place to be to ask questions. Although we don't give advice, we can sure let your know about our experiences!

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

in this game I hate to say it but it often feels like hurry up and wait. I remember after my first colon surgery it took at least 5 months to get set up with chemo. Then there is the situation where you drive 5 hours to get to an appointment and then sit and wait....sometimes hours.

I think everyone will have felt this at times Terry

welcome to the forum

mags

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terry427's picture
terry427
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2010

Thanks Gracie,
I posted more information further down regarding the location etc. Hope you see the explanation. If not, let me know. Terry

terry427's picture
terry427
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2010

The surgeon said he could not tell me the Stage I am in until a few days after the surgery. Is this when you were told the Stage you are in? I have no idea if this is a fast growing polyp or not. Perhaps they can't tell at this time. Thank you for your input. I appreciate it. ~~Terry

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Terry,

Welcome to the forum! I have discovered everyone's situation + protocol are unique, depending on many factors such as location of the tumour, size, etc.

WinneyPooh's picture
WinneyPooh
Posts: 318
Joined: Jul 2009

hi, your in the right place to ask this kind of question.

from what i understand from my oncologist, Chemo is done because it treats the whole body and since you have to recover from surgery about 6 weeks, it is best that they get the cancer under control first to retard the spread of the cancer. which with colon cancer can happen quickly as things progress to other organs.

I hope all is well but there is no time line, you will just have to come to terms with that.
this a fight for your life and it will not be done overnight with the cut of a surgens knife.

I know that is what i usta believe. One year later and two major surgeries later I am farther away from the end then when i started.

My last oncolgy visit consisted of him say he didnot want to mislead me but i was looking at a hard two more years and if we are lucky then surgery might be possible.

So my advice is hang in there don't loose hope and by all means ask questions, and prepare to fight with all your might.

There is much hope and sucess here so it canbe done.

Live, Laugh, play
winney

terry427's picture
terry427
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2010

Winnie, thank you for your encouragement. The surgeon did not mention chemo prior to the surgery and my PCP is to refer an oncologist after the surgery. I just hope that I am making the right decisions with the advice the doctors are giving me. At this time, I would just like to get it over with and get on with my life regardless of how difficult the next years will be. ~~Terry

Sunblazer88
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2010

My wife is the one with colon cancer. She is a stage iv with mets to the liver. She had her colon resection done on Feb. 25 and started Chemo around April 20th. It took her some time to recover from the surgery. She is not a big lady to start with and her weight dropped from 121 down to 107 in about a monthes time. Other people on the board have mentioned the nutrition aspect of cancer and it is very true. Be sure you are getting your calories and keeping your weight up.
She also had the side effects of suffering from anemia (which we did not realize at the time), but once that was treated, her recovery just took off tremendously.
Good Luck,
Sunblazer88

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

I was dx over 6 years ago. I did chemo first (since there was no obstruction) for 6 months, then surgery. It worked out very well for me. Each case is different and there is not one fix-all protocol. Thankfully they have developed new ways of dealing with this and many times it's treatable and even curable. Many times it may seem like hurry up and wait but they (doctors) have to wait and see how you will respond to treatment. They are not fortune tellers and if they start to act like one then I'd be wary. No one knows how you will do, only time can tell. Make sure you are at a top-notch facility for cancer and that you are comfortable with your medical team is the best advice I can offer.
-phil

terry427's picture
terry427
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2010

Phil, you are right about each case being different. I am encouraged by what you said about the doctors being certain and that I would be fit for surgery. Thank you. ~~Terry

terry427's picture
terry427
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2010

Thanks to all of you for your comments. I am not sure if I am posting this correctly since I am new at this.

The cancerous polyp is located in the ascending colon & is 2cmm. According to the biopsy it is called Low Grade. I don't know how aggressive this cancer is and don't know who to ask or if they could tell. In other words, must I rush to get this surgery done or can I wait a month or two. Will waiting, do you think, make a difference?

I inquired about having a PET scan and was told it was not necessary. The CT scan indicated no other organs were affected although the pictures of the liver were a little hazy but they feel the liver is okay too. I wonder if I should insist on a PET scan.

Also asked my PCP if I should get a 2nd opinion and he just said another doctor would tell me the same thing. I would be scheduled for open surgery and was told they would tell me after a few days what Stage I was in.

Also, I was told my PCP would recommend an Oncologist to be seen after the surgery to determine the next steps.

I would like your opinions regarding all of this.

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

Terry427,
You are the only one who can make the call on whether to rush to surgery. I am a rectal cancer patient, I was dignosed Novemeber 3 2008, saw a surgeon and oncologist within 2 weeks, my choice. I began chemo oral chemo and radiation soon thereafter, then waited about a month, had the resection in Feb 09, rested a month and then 9 rounds of 5FU iv chemo. I was diagnosed at a stage 3, I had a lymph node possible affected but by the time I had the radiation and surgery it was not cancerous. So they kept me staged at a 3.
You are in for the ride of your life, but it can be done. There are many of us here who are doing well and we are here for any question, concerns to even to vent to, We understnd all that you are going through!!!!!
Kathy

Lifeisajourney
Posts: 217
Joined: Apr 2010

I had a routine colonos. on Wed, said I needed surgery, they were pretty sure it was cancerous. I had a c scan that day, saw surgeon, next day, had surgery Friday. I can't say it was the best decision, but it has worked. I would probably do more research now, but I was in shock and wanted to get it out. This was my first major surgery, but recovered in 6 week, got a port at about 5weeks, started chemo about 7 to 8 weeks out of surgery. Chemo was a whole other thing. My diagnosis came back 5 days later, I was in hopital for 10 days. Cancer stage 3b 3 nodes positive out of 30. Did research my onco. a little better and so far so good. This worked for me, but I got lucky with my surgeon, if I have to go back for more surgery on colon(in remission) I would probably go for specialist. Mine was ascending colon also, they knew I would not need a colostomy(?). So getting it out was a priority, don't remember size of tumor, but was large.
One comment on pet scans, I have never had one and now that I am becoming so knowledgable about all this after the fact, I asked and was told no pet necessary yet, scans were at this point were all that were needed. I see everyone is different on that subject.
Good luck, I know you are probably on overload right now, but take it day to day. Good for you to question what to do..Pat

terry427's picture
terry427
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2010

Thank you for your input. I have seen a surgeon but he did not indicate one way or the other about it being a rush. I didn't ask, to tell you the truth. I am seeing my pulmonologist today and have requested all my reports from the cardiologist. I am assuming the surgeon needs this information to be sure I am a good candidate for surgery. ~~Terry

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