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darcher's picture
Posts: 304
Joined: Jun 2017

 Hello all!  It looks like I'm cancer free for now.  I had a colonoscopy last week which had to be done twice.  If you already had cancer they want to get a real good look around on follow up exams. On the first try they stopped and said I wasn't clean enough even though I drank the Galvylite and followed the instructions. So, I had to go two days without eating and come back the next day. On the second try it came back completely clean. Yippie, not even a little polyp. I did the CEA test yesterday and it's also dropping.  Not that it was high to begin with.  Mine was well within the range of normal right from the beginning. It never got over two but still, a dropping number is encouraging regardless.

 The brain tumor which was what caused a lot of my "off" behavior especially over the last couple years is also gone. It took two very long operations to get it all. One in November last year and another this past February. I was told I was very lucky that it was even seen. It was found during a post treatment PET scan which normally doesn't look at the brain for colrectal cancer.  Since I was sitting so low on the table the machine caught just enough of it to make it known. The neurosurgeon said it will take the better part of a year to completely heal due to its size. It was a big one, roughly the size of a tennis ball.  It slowly grew over 20+ years and would have eventually taken me out via an aneurysm.  

 I was informed I'd notice gradual or in some cases punctuated changes in my personality during the next year or so. Nothing on speech or other physical impediments since I didn't have any to begin with which the doctors were very puzzled about.  I can't believe some of the things I did in the past.  A few were embarrassingly reckless financial decisions which I'll regret for a while and others were damaging to those around me. At least when it was discovered a lot of people said the same thing.  "That's why ...."  (fill in the blank.).  From what I read I got off light... again.  Most people have ongoing issues with coordination, speech, or halucinations even after their surgery. I didn't have any of that except some problems trying to maintain a train of thought while talking for a couple weeks after the operation. At this stage I'm pretty close to being my old self from a few decades back.  At least I think so but that's debatable, lol.   

 In closing, It's great to be alive!  Many people told me I've been given a second chance.  Question is, to do what?  I guess I'll wait to find out.  I hope everyone is doing better and getting to NED. 


beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1170
Joined: Aug 2013

Glad it's looking good for you, the brain tumor part seems incredible, and damn lucky that they caught it and you aren't wrecked by something that size. I felt like I dodged a bullet[well more like three], but it sounds like you stepped on a landmine, and landed on your feet. Congrats, and ride that feeling for all it's worth...............................................Dave

SandiaBuddy's picture
Posts: 1189
Joined: Apr 2017

It sounds like you have been through the ringer and back, and it is great news that you now have a second chance.  Let us know what you decide to do with it. . . It is always interesting how cancer (and the escape from cancer) affects one's decisions.  Congratulations on your good health.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Wow can't believe it was the size of a tennis ball.  I'm surprised you didn't have more motor disability, speech, and feelings of it being there being that big.  Wonderful you had such a great surgeon that got it all.  Enjoy your NED status and glad that the colonoscopy came out clean.  Hope that you continue to respond well to healing from that major surgery.



JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Dan, you're amazing! I love that you've been given a clean bill of health, good for you!! You deserve it! Thanks for letting us all know. The good stories are what we all want to hear and give us hope. 



darcher's picture
Posts: 304
Joined: Jun 2017

 Yeah Annabell41415, the doctors were very perplexed at my lack of motor function impedement. At first the doctor didn't want to show me the MRI image because he thought it would scare the hell out of me.  Truth is, it did.  I couldn't believe I was still walking around with that monstrosity in my noggin. I forgot I had cancer when I saw it.  To see the look on the surgeons face I knew he was surprised I was able to move, talk, or even respond with answers that made any sense. He did a bunch of tests on me from walking to explaining my line of work and nothing was wrong. The only symptoms were me getting more and more like Mr Hyde instead of Dr. Jekel and not having a clue about it. My wife brought that up and that's when he said  "Finally, we got something because there is that too."  

 BeaumontDave, I'm going to steal that expression, stepping on a landmine and landing on my feet.  I'll add, unscathed no less. More relatable is the feeling you get when you slip on a trail and nearly fall off the edge but catch yourself before going over. That rush of excitment is with me most of the time now when I think back on what happened over the last couple years.  

 Sandiabuddy, I agree I've been through the ringer, washing machine, and a long spin cycle but got out clean and pressed ready to go. Actually, we all have.  Cancer is no slouch when it comes to trying to take our lives so we always have to remain vigilent in our continual fight against it.

 Thank you JanJan.   Always happy to hear from other survivors.

Canadian Sandy's picture
Canadian Sandy
Posts: 721
Joined: Jul 2016

Great news Darcher. Your amazing! Someone is watching over you.

Posts: 420
Joined: Apr 2018

Your story is truly a miracle! thank you for sharing and congratulatons on NED!

Msboop15's picture
Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2019

 Miracles do happen!  Thank you for reminding us of that. Congratulations!! 

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