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RFA and colon surgery

annad723's picture
Posts: 44
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi everyone,

Just got back from NY. Met with oncologist and surgeon. Since I have had a great response to the vectibix, the docs want to proceed with surgery. I never had the original colon site removed as I was so sick and the liver so full of tumors. I now have 4 small lesions in the liver, and the colon according to the scans has been clear for almost 2 years. (I was diagnosed stage IV metastatic colon cancer, mets to liver in 12/08).

The surgery involves removing the diseased part of the colon, no colostomy. I am told they should be able to reconnect me right there, and then do the RFA to the liver lesions. Doctor says I should be in the hospital for about 6-7 days.

I am excited to have come this far as I was always told that due to the amount of lesions in my liver, there wasn't anything surgically available to me. All my blood work, liver functions, enzymes are always good. CEA is down to 4.8 Originally was 2800, had gotten as low as 2.1 then crept back up to 23, but now down to 4.8. Oncologist feels response to vectibix has been "remarkable."

I continue to feel extremely well despite this stage IV diagnosis. I guess my question is, has anyone out there had this done, and can you tell me what recovery is like. Even if you've only had the colon surgery, I would like to know what I can expect.

Thanks for listening and sorry for the long post. Anna

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I haven't had this done, but I want to send lots of good thoughts to you. I also haven't had surgery for cancer removal, so your story is very inspirational to me.

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

resection, not other surgery, in my case had both liver and colon so all I was feeling then maybe is not valid for you!.But any way! congratulations since things are improving a lot!

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

I have had it done twice.

It depends a lot on the skill of your surgeon. Both surgeries I was in the hospital 8 days. The recovery the first time was 4 months, and the second time 1 month. Recovery meaning being able to walk a mile, and go back to work. My work is physical, so an office worker may be able to go back to work sooner. (I own a contracting company and am out there working with the guys.) There will be pain for the first two weeks, and it subsides each day. It is not horrible pain, but more constant. I used pain killers for the first 4-5 days.

The faster you start moving around the faster you will heal. The second surgery I moved around a lot more and I recovered a lot faster. Walk often for short walks, and increase as your body allows. This clears fluid in the chest and starts strengthening the abdominal muscles. I needed Lomotil to help slow down the diarrhea.

Best Always, mike

annad723's picture
Posts: 44
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks so much Mike. A lot of good info.

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