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Surgery scheduled

Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2019

So I finally got in for my MRI on Monday, and the results were good (or is it just not bad?). The CT in February was also normal.

Today I had an appointment with the surgeon, and she said because the scan results showed no evidence of disease the plan would be for no chemoradiation before surgery and if lymph nodes test positive, then we'd be looking at all that. The surgery would be a robotic proctectomy with coloanal anastomosis. Unless she can't get clean margins, or something else doesn't go right, and then it would be an APR and permanent colostomy. The weird thing is that I don't feel afraid of the idea of a colostomy. I'm afraid of cancer. If a bag is the price of a potential cure, that sounds like a decent trade-off.  I've read articles about people with severe IBS who asked for a colostomy bag because it gave them freedom. And they don't regret it. 

I think I'm supposed to feel relieved about not needing the chemoradiation pre-surgery. But, quite frankly, that's scary too. There are so many "what if's". The original biopsy report indicated lymphovascular invasion was present. What if the lymph nodes actually test negative after surgery? That would be great.... but if there's a recurrence could chemo have prevented it? Trying to take things a day at a time, but it's not easy.

Surgery is scheduled for May 30. So I have two months to get my head wrapped around everything. I have a consult with a radiation oncologist next week. Surgeon said even though we're no longer looking at any pre-op treatment it's a good idea to have the consult anyway in case it's needed later. And I finally have an appointment with a psych in a couple of weeks to get some mental health help. (And hopefully some meds!)

And now I wait.....

Kazenmax's picture
Posts: 450
Joined: Feb 2016

I can understand your anxiety. You want to be doing something to kill that cancer. But really it is a good thing that the scan was good. But then again, it easier to deal with stuff if you have a definite plan. Well for me anyway. LOL I need a plan of action to solve any problem. If I don’t have one, I just flounder.

but again... a good scan is a good scan. If it would make you feel better, take your records, scans, etc and get a second opinion. 

I had the APR. I knew I would going into surgery And even so, it was pretty traumatic. If You have any question, feel free to send me a message and I will try to help.

good luck


Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2019

I think rather than a second surgical opinion I might seek out a regular medical oncologist to help sort out my feelings about the whole LVI thing.  And I certainly will message you if (when) I have questions.  Thanks!

JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm one who has an ostomy that I could have reversed but due to previous IBS I'm keeping it. It has it's own issues that make it not an ideal thing to have but the nightmare of living with IBS is over and I love it. It's just there. At first I hated it but now it's just a part of me and I never have to wprry about the terrible cramps, feeling faint, being embarassed in public or any of that crap.



Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2019

My brother has Crohn's, so he's had to deal with a lot of the issues you mentioned. I'm grateful that there are folks like you here who can share their experiences for those of us just embarking on the journey. 

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6711
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks for the update and it seems like a good plan ahead.  Don't look for different outcomes right now as you need to concentrate on the surgery and if the nodes come out not so good you move to a different plan.  Having an ostomy and no cancer is the best possible outcome if it needs to resolve to that option.  When wearing my clothes, no one ever knew.  Actually out of 8 of our kids only 2 knew.  Mine was temporary but unless you share that information, you are going to be very happy being cancer free.  Wishing you the best.


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