hfrench's Journey:

Survivor: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 4 years ago, Female, Age: 59, KRAS mutation positive: No, BRAF mutation positive: No, Stage II

  1. 1
    • hfrench
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    hfrench's Avatar

    Routine colonoscopy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Went in for my first colposcopy at age 54. No symptoms, no history of colon cancer in my family. Found a rectal mass low in my colon, surgeon did not think it was cancer but still recommended it be removed.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  2. 2
    • hfrench
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    hfrench's Avatar

    Removal of rectal tumor

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery itself was a breeze. First 10 days was excruciating during bowel movements. After that no problems.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • hfrench
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
    about 4 years ago
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    Rectal mass turned out to be cancer stage II!

    Oh No

    Was shocked to find out from my surgeon that the mass was, in fact, cancer, was referred to an oncologist.

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  4. 4
    • hfrench
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    hfrench's Avatar

    more surgery, chemoradiation, or wait and see?

    Decision Point

    Oncologist recommended colon resection to be absolutely sure none of the cancer was left behind or might have gotten into lymph nodes as none were removed. Most likely would have resulted in colostomy as location was low in rectum. After the initial shock wore off I decided no more surgery, but would agree to 6 weeks of chemo/radiation as insurance.

    1 Comment
  5. 5
    • hfrench
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    hfrench's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Dragging around the pump was inconvenient, but side effects seemed to be minimal unless they were partly to blame for the pain from radiation.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  6. 6
    • hfrench
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    hfrench's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    Had to stop treatment after 4 weeks because of the pain of radiation/chemo combo. Was going to the bathroom many times a day, diarreah, which felt like acid coming out, just burning. Most painful thing I have ever experienced. Never got an answer as to if this was caused by radiation alone or if the simultaneous chemo was making it worse. Just "everyone is different." Doctor asked me if I would continue two more weeks (as prescribed) if he could help with the pain and I said okay. Even with hydrocodone, numbing creams, etc. etc., after one more week I said I've had enough, just flat out quit and never looked back. Still took another two weeks for the pain to subside.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  7. 7
    • hfrench
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    hfrench's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Finished treatment, three month bloodwork, CT scan and ultrasound all came back clear. Have to go back at one year mark for another colososcopy, feeling GREAT! Really feel like I am DONE with cancer, hope I am right.

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