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newbie here

rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

just haad a colonoscopy today and found a large mass in the sigmoid friable.  ct scan and additional blood work scheduled for tomorrow.  doesn't sound good but I am always up for a good fight.  what should I expect.  Kinda scared for my wife , kids and grandkids

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6179
Joined: Feb 2009

Welcome to our boards and sorry that you had a mass found.  They probably took a biopsy and you will get the results of the tumor once pathology comes back and then if it comes back cancerous you will go to a surgeon to discuss the options.  Also, a lot of the treatment will be determined once the scans come back.  Wishing you luck on the scans and please let us know how you are doing.  Once you get more details, let us know so we can help you along the way.

Kim

rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

thank you

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3327
Joined: Jan 2010

Sorry you have the need for this board but glad you have found it.  Full of supportive folks who have been on the journey.

You are right, it doesn't sound good, but no certainties until the scan results.  I guess you are having a CT scan..chest to bottom of pelvis, with contrast.  The scan is easy.  If with contrast be sure to dring lots of water after, to flush it from your system as it can be harmful to kidneys if you don't.  You might want to ask if you can get a copy of the scan on CD.  Not that you necessarily want to view it yourself, but to keep as part of your medical records, in cas you want/need additional opinions on how to proceed.

The scan will do two things...determine size and location of the mass and also see if there is any envolvement in other organs.

Being scared perfectly understandable.  Once you and your medical team have a treatment plan in place, you will feel more in control.

Know that searching the web for statistics is a bad thing to do.  They are based on old (years old) outcomes, and treatments have changed since then.  If you do venture into that area, know that it is always possible to be on the good side of the numbers. 

As you go for appointments, it is good to have someone go with you to help listen to what is said and to take notes.  You should also keep track of any questions you have so they are not forgotten.

I hope you will keep coming back and letting us know how you are doing and letting us help as we can.

Wishing you the best possible outcome.

Marie who loves kitties

rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

thank you

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4826
Joined: Jan 2013

True, it doesn't sound good. 

If the mass is big, then surgery may be the first step. You don't want a blockage which will rupture. The surgery is doable, and with the right preparation, you'll breeze through it. 

But, first things first. Lets see what the scan and blood work show and go from there. 

If it indeed Cancer, then you will have a fight on your hands, but you don't need to fight alone. We're a great bunch of people, who are fighting for ourselves or fighting alongside our loved ones. 

The more info you have going into this, the better off you will be.

One suggestion for starters. Get yourself a good notebook and pen. Jot down any and every question that comes into your head. Doesn't matter if it sounds silly or not. Make sure you get and write down the answers. If you do have Cancer, you will get a whole slew of info fired at you, and it can be overwhelming. A note book is a Godsend. 

Good luck!

Sue - Trubrit

rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

thank you

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I know how you are feeling. It seems like yesterday although it was almost 10 years ago. Hopefully your scan will be clean. If so and it is early stage you will have a colon resection most likely followed by 12 rounds of chemo with regular blood work and scans every 3 months to be sure everything still looks good.

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

I'm afraid cancer never sounds good, and it's very scary stuff, but keep in mind that many people get through the journey just fine!  If your tumor is confined to the colon, surgery alone can cure you.  Throw in some chemotherapy and your odds go up even more.

It's not an easy or fun process in any way, but you can do it, and we can help provide you with some info and support as you go along.  There are some real fighters here who have been through about evey possible aspect of treatment.

Hang in there, and keep us posted!

AA

John212's picture
John212
Posts: 116
Joined: Jan 2015

Rick, your story sounds very familiar. Like most people, I learned about my cancer from a colonoscopy. Mine was also in the sigmoid region. For me, the next step was bloodwork to check for my CEA level (you'll hear a lot about CEA as it's a fairly reliable marker for the presence of colorectal cancers) and a CT scan with contrast. After that, a visit with a surgeon, who had to use a solid sigmoidoscope to determine the precise location of the tumor. Because the sigmoid region is located so close to the "exit ramp" there was some question whether to start with radiation therapy and then proceed to surgery and chemo, or to go straight to surgery. Mine was far enouh into the sigmoid part of the colon that we went straight to surgery. It's possible that your scan alone will tell your team enough about the location.

Two weeks after my colonoscopy I was in for surgery, and it took 3 days to recover well enough to go home. While I was in the hospital we got back the results from the pathology lab. That gave us the cancer stage so my oncologist was able to give me a rough outline of my treatment plan. Six weeks after that, I had day surgery to implant a chemo port in my chest wall. It's a brief procedure and people who get a dozen or more chemo infusions will tell you that the port really is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It makes the process of connecting you up to what I called the Poison Pump much, much easier than having the nurse hunt for a good vein on your hand ever few weeks.

Chances are good that you'll experience most of what I did simply because of the size and location of your tumor. Beyond that, though, it all depends on details we don't know yet. Do please stick around and let us walk you through this. We're here to answer questions, tell you bad jokes, and generally do what it takes to make this little adventure with cancer as manageable as possible.

All the best!

 

rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

thank you so much.  had the ct and cea this morning.  as a kicker, I was about to start treatment for hep c but I don't know what happens now.  I love challenges but I am not so sure about this one.  Your words mean a lot and I take comfort in having an idea of what is next.  Maybe soon I can answer concerns for those that are scared and a little shaken.  Again.....thank you

rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

got my CT scan results and states that there is "no evidence of metastatic disease".  cea test result is 3.7.  what does that CEA test level mean?  what should I expect from here on out?

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1087
Joined: Feb 2015

http://csn.cancer.org/node/294922

 

It looks like you are posting part of the report maybe?  Did you get something that said you had a tumor and this part "no evidence of metastatic disease" is included?  Could mean that it has not spread from the initial site, that is what it looks like.  Ask your doctor about it to be sure, different places have different ways of saying things..  My CT scan mentioned lymph nodes lit up and also possible things elsewhere (before my surgery), so it sounds like you have a better one?  Fingers crossed for you.  (Was this the report from the scope in the other thread?)

CEA is a marker that is an indication of CRC.  Though people go back and forth on the value, 3.7 may not be that high a number if you smoke tabacco or pot.  There are also other things that affect CEA.  (Some people seem to be lock-step with CEA results.)  Mine was about 8 before surgery, dropped down to under 2 after surgery and has recently gone back up to about 6.9 (three months after surgery).  The Onc said this sometimes happens on chemo where CEA will bounce.  My next scan will tell me more.

 
rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

Update:

pretty much done with all of my testing and lab work except one chest x-ray on Friday the 19th. it is confirmed that the mass in my large intestine (colon) is cancerous.  Met with the surgeon on Thursday who filled me in on this process.  looks like early next week I will have surgery.  he will enter through my abdomen and removed about 18 inches of colon.  the surgery should take about one and a half hours.  I will be hospitalized for 3-5 days, inactive for 2 weeks and full recovery in 6 weeks.  The cancer has not spread and at this point it is doubtful that any chemo will be necessary.  still to be determined for sure.  should be a painful time ahead but given the alternative...I will take it.  haven't slept much lately as my mind won't give me a break.  as soon as I have recovered from this one, I get to start my treatment for the Hep C.    2015 is the year that I get to kick cancer and hep c's ***.  not many people get to say that.

 send me some positive vibes.  I may need them.

Rick

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1087
Joined: Feb 2015

I had surgery in mid May,about same amount removed.  From check in to check out was 4 days.  Not that it was a walk in the park, but all things considering, not as horrible as in my mind.  In fact a friend of mine had hernia surgery about 15 years ago and it was a lot worse than what I went through.

I was on weight restiction (no more than 10 lbs for lifting) for 6 weeks.  Coughing the first few days kind of stunk, so a pillow to press is a good idea.  And as others told me beforehand, try to walk when you can.  The first day I could barely go three feet, but by the end of the first day was doing more.  Helps with things and gets you sprung quicker :)  The pain was not really bad overall, though I had some spasms days 3-4 after surgery.  There are some drugs that help with that, they hooked me up and was good to go.

Very good news to hear that you look to be missing the chemo part of things.  

In a matter of a week or so after the surgery, the surgery will be more a memory than anything else.  Try not to psych yourself out too much about it.  One thing I have found is that my mind and getting amp'ed up for what is coming, surgery, chemo, etc., often is worse than the actual to some degree.

Hang in there, it will be fine.

 

rick shiver
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2015

love them the words of encouragement.  thank you so much/

 

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