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Understanding How The Process Works

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2018

I'm trying to understand the next step.  I was diagnosed with Stage IV Rectal cancer.  I went to my Dr in December with bloody stool, weight loss, and fatigue.  He sent me for a blood test on 12/21 (the only claim the insurance has denied) and it showed cancer in my blood.  I had a colonoscopy on 1/15/18 and they found a friable tumor, biopsy showed cancer.  CT scans and PET scan showed liver mets and possible lung mets.  Started on Folfox and Avastin.  After 3rd treatment, white blood was down to 2 so they stopped something. I thought it was the avastin but last week the nurse said something about I was still getting it.  After the 6th treatment, I had another CT and tumors are shrinking and all but one spot on lungs have cleared up.  I went back and listened to initial appointment with oncologist and he said treatment will depend on what CT scan shows, if no change in lungs then they are not cancer and we will do surgery on liver and remove tumor and lymph nodes in rectum.  If the spots do respond to treatment then they are cancer and we will need to make some decisions.  My appt isn't for 2 weeks and I'm wondering if anyone else has had this diagnosis and what treatment path they decided.  I currently get the Folfox and then two days later I receive 2 hours of fluids before the pump comes off.  I still get nauseated but not nearly as bad. I feel fine by two days after the pump is off.  Still working full time, no pain.


Thanks for any guidance.


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5193
Joined: Jan 2013

They are so hard, when you are given more than one option for moving forward.  Hopefully, your Oncologist will have more information and be able to present a plan. What that plan might be, all depends, as you know, on what they do or don't find. 

If they do find that the spots on your lungs are cancerous, then they may want to target them first. Surgery maybe. 

There are a few different options for liver surgery. A resection, which is a big surgery, removing part of the liver that has the tumour. An Ablation, which targets tumours of a certain size and location. A much easier surgery to recover from and the one I had done on my liver. They can implant beads into the liver, that target the tumour.  If he is talking about removing lymph nodes, then he is thinking resection. 

I also did the FOLFOX followed by the pump - 5FU - it was no walk in the park, but there is ligth at the end of your tunnel, almost over with this part. Try to take it one day at a time, and not jump too far ahead. Deal with the side effects from your current chemo, and tell yourself that you'll face the next step when it arrives. 

Welcome to the forum. Its not a forum people care to join, but when you do, you won't regret it. We are a great bunch of people, patients and caregivers, with a vast amount of information, support, advice AND friendship. 

Visit often with all of your concerns. Pretty soon, you'll be out the other end and givng advice to others. 


Posts: 3
Joined: May 2018

Thank you so much for the input.  I forgot to mention that I had the second CT scan and tumors are shrinking, and the spots in the lung are gone except for one so that means they did react to the treatment so we won't do surgery but will decide on another course, just don't know what that is.  He said he would explain that course after we see what CT shows so now will wait 2 weeks to meet with him.  Feeling better today so this one is in the books and I should feel fine until the next one!

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6528
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry that you are here.  You've been through a lot and you sound like you are dealing with it as best as possible.  I've not been in your situation but wanted you to know that you are being thought of daily and wishing you the best.  It sounds like the treatment is working so far so that is a positive sign.  Let us know how you are doing.


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