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Another Surgery

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

Well, the results are in and more tests are needed.

I continue to recover from the resection surgery well. The stapes are removed, I have been cleared for light driving, and I’m feeling pretty good physically.

Unfortunately the lung nodule has grown larger from 12mm (per X Ray on 11/3/2011) to 18mm (per CT scan on 5/21). That is a 50% growth over 200 days. The next step is to biopsy the lung nodule which will probably be scheduled sometime this week. We need to determine if the lung nodule is either benign, a metastasis of the testicular cancer, a metastasis of colon cancer, or a third primary cancer. Depending on the results of the biopsy either chemo or possibly another surgery will be the subsequent step.

I am also looking into a second oppinion; either with University of Michigan or Cleveland Clinic. This is a stressful process as there really isn't a guide that helps you pick good doctors / oncologists -- and I guess I'm simply not comfortable with my current oncologist and there are not many options in small towns.

The current oncologist is planning for me to proceed with chemo in a couple weeks. He wants to put me on fluorouracil, 5-FU, oxaliplatin, leucovorin... I'm assuming this is the standard chemo for colon cancer but want to find out for sure. I also think this plan is tenatative based on the lung nodule biopsy. In addition to the biopsy I'll probably have a port installed in prep for the chemo (same surgeon).

This is very surreal!

I feel fine considering I'm recovering from surgery. But mentally and emotionally I can go from stable to basketcase and back to stable in seconds!

Cancer really does suck!!!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philip

Minnesotagirl
Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2011

Philip,

I really love your last bible verse ~ love your attitude also! Yes, cancer is a terrible thing. It plays not only with our bodies but our minds as well. I pray that your lung nodule is clean...you have had enough on your plate for now!

Keep battling back with good nutrition, exercise when possible and rest at night if you can (I don't sleep very well so that is a big problem for me). Surround yourself with positives...stay busy and don't let your mind dwell to much on the negatives (and yes, there are plenty of them flying through our minds at all times). Be vigilent on finding your best treatment plan, facility and care. I had/have Mayo in Rochester, MN involved in my surgery, followup scans and bloodwork because they are a National Cancer Center. I have a local Oncologist here in the area which helped me through the chemo, radiation, etc...

Blessings to you from Minnesota Philip. May "God hold you in the palm of his hand" during your journey.

"Minnie"

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I live in a big city (Seattle) and was seeing a very reputable cancer doc, but even he suggested I get a 2nd opinion, due to the complexity of my case. Sounds like you've got a lot going on, and having more than one doctor looking things over seems like a wise move. Good luck, and keep us posted on how things go. Sending strength your way-Ann

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I live in a big city (Seattle) and was seeing a very reputable cancer doc, but even he suggested I get a 2nd opinion, due to the complexity of my case. Sounds like you've got a lot going on, and having more than one doctor looking things over seems like a wise move. Good luck, and keep us posted on how things go. Sending strength your way-Ann

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Phil, I too love your verse. :)
The 5fu is the first chemo my husband did and it worked very well ( got him to liver resection and clean scans). Of course get a second opinion, if we would have listened to the first doc we would have done chemo and planned a funeral. Hang in there, there are lots of us out here listening and rooting for you. You keep praying and I will too!
GOD bless you!
Brenda

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Yep....I agree on the second opinion...even a third...Attitude will get you everywhere in this war and you have a very positive awesome attitude.... You go Phillip! Take care man....

Jennie

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

I'm now scheduled for a lung resection surgery for this Friday. The thoracic surgeon felt that the fairly rapid growth in the lung nodule and the history of both colorectal and testicular cancer that the odds of the nodule being cancer where greater than the odds of it not being cancer. Furthermore she felt that the location of the nodule made it more difficult to biopsy and that there was a fair risk that a biopsy would be false negative. Given all this she recommended that I get the lung resection done as soon as possible.

So just completed the colon resection surgery on 5/11 and now going in for the lung resection surgery on 6/1. If the nodule does turn out to be the colorectal cancer I will be officially stage 4.

I'm still staying positive, but I can tell that others in my family are starting to think the worse and it does make me sad and more afraid.

To top it off, I had my 27 year old nephew come over to visit for memorial day weekend. He is diagnosed as bi-polar and it turned out to be a challenging weekend for me emotionally. I love him a lot but when he starts talking nonstop nonsense it makes me sad and stressed. My wife was about to leave the house as she was finding it very difficult to take. I was supposed to be "taking it easy" as I'm technically still recovering from the colon resection; however, I found myself chasing after my nephews two year old daughter, doing extra cleaning, shopping, etc. I don't know if I have the energy for any more visitors, at least high stress visitors.

On the flip side, my brother has been an amazing support. He has come over the last three weekends and done all of my household chores (grass, fixing broken things, and spending quality time with me).

Well, I'll know for sure on Friday what this nodule in my lung was. And the surgeon did say there still is a chance it is not cancer (e.g. it could be a fungal infection or something like that).

God Bless all of us and everyone!

Love and Positive Energy to you all!

Phil

danker's picture
danker
Posts: 1179
Joined: Apr 2012

Good Luck with your upcomming surgery. May the outcome be what you want. And a speedy recovery too.

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Phil,
I will be thinking of you on Friday and praying for the best of outcome. I have a little experience with bipolar as a foster parent and I know how draining it can be. This is when you need to be resting/recovering and preparing for Friday. Stay strong and stay in the word.
God bless you!
Brenda

lauragb
Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

Phil, You are going through so much. I just wanted you to know that I am sending light and prayers your way and hope for a good outcome to your lung resection. I'm hoping it's a growing nothing.
To your health and healing.

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 507
Joined: May 2012

Phil
Good thoughts and prayers for your lung resection.
Sandy

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Wow, that's quick to surgery on your lung nodule. Best of luck on your next proceedure, sheesh you've been through a lot in a short span of time. Keep us posted.

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1388
Joined: May 2012

Hi Phil, I wonder if doctors give second opinions without being seen. Sort of a look over your scans and slides. I guess there would be some level of risk on their part not to see the patient but I wonder if it's been done at cancer hospitals.

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I have to say I have not heard of people having so much surgery so quickly. I hope that you are finding a way to recover and cope wtih all this assault on your body and things go well for you,

steve

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

Steve, I just came back from the pre op visit at the hospital this morning. Yes, it was just three weeks ago (5/11/12) when I had the lower anterior colon resection done. Luckily I've healed very well from this without any complications. I have walked everyday and lately I've been walking about 4 miles per day. I believe the walking along with taking naps when tired has helped me heal quickly.

The thoracic surgeon took time to talk through the options with me and my wife and it sounded like the resection was the best option given the circumstances. The growth of the lung nodule (from 12 mm to 18 mm in 200 days), the possibility of false negatives from biopsy procedures, the added time of doing the biopsy and then resection, the history of two cancers, etc... I do believe the resection is the right choice for me and I'm happy to get it done.

So now I will check in the hospital about noon tomorrow. The surgery is scheduled for 2pm. I'll awaken around 3:30 or 4:00pm and I'll hear the pathology findings (they are doing it real time as part of the procedure). If it is a met of the colorectal cancer than I'll officiallly be stage IV instead of stage III. If it is a met of the seminoma I guess I'll be considerd stage IV testicular cancer. If it is lung cancer than I'll simply cry or something. If it is not cancer than I guess we will celebrate!

In any event I'm facing chemo as a next step, probably in a week after tomorrow's surgery. Although my daughter is coming to visit on 6/10 (from Boston) and I was thinking about trying to push off the chemo for a week so I can spend some time with my little girl (my wife doesn't want me to push off anything).

Life is full of adventure for us cancer patients, isn't it?

God Bless us All

Phil

** If you’re going through hell, keep going – Winston Churchill

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Phil
I am praying for you.
I think its fantastic u walked so far after first surgery!
I was in a similiar place as you in Sept., and had two surgeries to remove tumors from lungs and a
Tumor from my liver during second surgery. It was all a shock to mind but managed physically and happy it was discovered.
I have a baseline scan tomorrow and chemo for mop up one hour after scan (I don't want to make two trips to the city)
My surgeries were about 8 weeks apart. Still healing more from first which was a lobectomy...
I like your quote and inner strength.
I still struggle emotionally but try to put it inperspective by looking at far Ive come.
Never a dull moment with cancer....
Positive thoughts for you.
Barb

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