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  • #399556
    Erica Lightly
    Participant
    Registered On: June 5, 2020
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 24
    Has thanked: 210 times
    Been thanked: 253 times

    First, thanks to everyone for all your support and loving comments and messages.  They really mean a lot!

    Well, I’m still processing it all, but here’s what I know as of today.

    They confirmed it’s colon cancer, based on the pathology report and the CT scan, although they did mention they were waiting on the slides to do their own pathology report.  It’s likely not to change anything though.

    They aren’t yet able to completely stage it.  The CT scan also showed some very small spots in the liver which were too small to definitively categorize.  The probability is that they are benign and unrelated, but they want to do an MRI to make absolutely sure it’s not a sign of metastasis.

    Assuming the MRI is clean, I will need a “minimally invasive colectomy”, which basically involves removing around a third of my colon.  I’ll spend 4-5 days in the hospital and at least a couple of weeks for recovery.  They will biopsy the lymph nodes they remove as part of the surgery, and that will determine whether or not I also need chemotherapy.

    The other scenario that would require chemotherapy would be if the MRI showed metastasis to the liver; then I would need chemotherapy before surgery.

    So while it’s all very scary sounding and doesn’t sound like it’s going to be much fun, based on what we know right now the prognosis is pretty good.  I don’t have an exact timeline for all this yet, but the next step is to get the MRI scheduled which will hopefully be very soon, and we’ll determine the next step based on that.  The doctor says colon cancer is very slow growing and so I’ve probably had it for 5 or maybe even 10 years, and just now got to the point where it caused any symptoms (the anemia).

    I’m 49, and based current conventional wisdom, I wouldn’t be due for a screening colonoscopy until next year.  My doctor says that the guidance is starting to move to 45 now, due to the increasing rates of colon cancer.  Something I hope everyone that applies to thinks about – because the earlier it’s caught the better the prognosis.  I have no family history of it; I didn’t think it could happen to me either.

     

Viewing 6 reply threads
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    • #403152
      Nancy Gamms
      Participant
      Registered On: March 1, 2017
      Topics: 11
      Replies: 187
      Has thanked: 22 times
      Been thanked: 402 times

      Keep us posted and best wishes.  I just hit 50 and there is now a test where you submit a fecal sample via UPS.  But it is only good for 3 years versus the 10 of a colonoscopy.  A box shows up, you poop in it (its a little more complicated) and ship it off.  My wife’s got rejected for being too volumous so she got to do it again and that has made for some great jokes as well.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #403151
      Bridgette Vonsmirff
      Participant
      Registered On: October 18, 2020
      Topics: 4
      Replies: 40
      Has thanked: 561 times
      Been thanked: 194 times

      Caught soon enough and treated properly it is one of the easiest to beat. At least you’ve got a plan forward now. I’ll pray for you.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #399930
      Maria Pink
      Participant
      Registered On: October 18, 2020
      Topics: 3
      Replies: 73
      Has thanked: 139 times
      Been thanked: 252 times

      Hi Erica,

      Keep your chin up and I will be thinking of you. I lost both parents to lung cancers and I know how tough it is when you get diagnosed.

       

      Love and Prayers ❤

       

      Maria

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #399890
      Sarah Du Hessisse
      Participant
      Registered On: September 16, 2020
      Topics: 6
      Replies: 75
      Has thanked: 453 times
      Been thanked: 311 times

      Hi Erica

      I have friends and family who have beaten cancer, the one thing they all have in common is positive determined attitudes. Easier to say I know but it really does help, vent off as much as you can we are here for you.

      Love and Very Best Wishes will be thinking of you.xx

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #399668
      Kay Anderson
      Participant
      Registered On: June 1, 2020
      Topics: 17
      Replies: 554
      Has thanked: 5617 times
      Been thanked: 2949 times

      Dear Erica,

      I will keep you in my thoughts! Sounds like you are staying positive, that is important!

      Lots of love and hugs to you!

      Kay

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #399641
      Grace Scarlett
      Participant
      Registered On: July 26, 2020
      Topics: 22
      Replies: 599
      Has thanked: 3414 times
      Been thanked: 3175 times

      Best wishes Erica…

      I will be thinking of you…

      Grace xx

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #399636
      Paula F
      Participant
      Registered On: August 7, 2019
      Topics: 11
      Replies: 665
      Has thanked: 1439 times
      Been thanked: 2407 times

      Erica, my thoughts are with you on this.  When we found my tumor (stage 111 colo-rectal) it was due to major internal hemorrhaging as the tumor formed right over a major artery.  I had exhibited no unusual symptoms, so we don’t know how long it had been growing. The only sign or anything was a little blood ‘back there’ which I chalked up to ‘roids, treated them and went on.

      My time line from discovery to final surgery took 2 years and 5 months and involved an Ileostomy for 51 weeks before I had it reversed and got rid of the ostomy appliance.

      Keep your spirits up and always think positive through all of this as it will help a great deal.  There will be both good and bad days, but they pass.  The chemo drugs I had were not unusually harsh on me.  I did not go bald at all.  The hair I lost was on my legs, and they are still smooth today (2 1/2 years) after my final surgery.  It did make my finger and toenails brittle and that is getting better with supplements.

      You can make it successfully.  Search and read up on your chemo drugs and their effects on your body and ask your oncologists for every scrap of paper they have in the way of pamphlets and books and contact your local survivors group to see if they can put you in touch with someone who has gone through what you are facing now.  The ACS is a wonderful organization and will try and help you in very many ways, use them and their resources to the max.

      Please let us know how you are progressing and always remember, our thoughts are with you, always in this.  Chin up and shoulders back, no matter what.  Always think forward.

      PaulaF

      3 users thanked author for this post.
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