wolfinindy's Journey with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Survivor: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 10 years ago, Male, Age: 63

  1. 1
    • wolfinindy
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had not had any symptoms until the day of October 4th, 2007. Symptoms (bleeding) came on rapidly and I was actually admitted to the hospital on that night. The next day a colonoscopy was performed and found a tumor low in the rectum. After staging of the tumor at IU Cancer Center it was termed as a T2N0 tumor.

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  2. 2
    • wolfinindy
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Began my own research into the disease and types of treatments available. Also I received around 4 opinions from doctors in the Indianapolis area, as well as talking with others around the country with the same disease or involved in health care. After my research I chose IU Cancer Center for treatment and met with the Medical Oncologist, Radiation Oncologist and Surgeon on the same day about 2 weeks after diagnoses.

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  3. 3
    • wolfinindy
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Chemotherapy and radiation were prescribed to try to shrink the mass prior to surgery. Through my own research I found that there was an oral method available instead of having a pump installed. Though there was an insurance issue involved my Medical Oncologist was able to work around that. I really think that the oral medication was a reason that I had virtually no problem with the chemo other than some appetite loss. This particular chemo Xeloda was used to increase the radiation effects to shrink the tumor. Started this program of 5 days a week treatment for 6 weeks.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    • wolfinindy
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    The radiation treatment was a very easy procedure. After the preliminary procedures of marking and tattooing the "target" area, I would go in Monday thru Friday for the treatment. Normally I would be in and out within 15 to 20 minutes. Even though the first time I was a little nervous there was absolutely no pain and no problems.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • wolfinindy
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Removal of rectal tumor

    Procedure or Surgery

    I was told at first that I would be having an abnominoperineal resection with a temporary colostomy. In this procedure in easiest terms the rectum is removed and the colon is then brought down and stapled to the "stump". The colostomy allows this to heal. Obviously it is much more involved with trying to maintain the sphincter muscles, etc. but it is a very invasive surgery. Again, through my research I found that a new procedure called Transanal endoscopic microsurgery had been performed with very good results. In this procedure the tumor is removed through the rectum as a localized treatment. The staging of the tumor will dictate whether this approach can be used. I was a T2N0 which is on the outside of when this would or could be used. I approached my surgeon with this and he finally agreed. Even though he had not done this a partner had so they worked together during the surgery. What originally was to be about three hours ended up taking maybe five due to the fact that they had to move me around to get specific angles is what I was told. After the surgery there was VERY little pain and I was allowed to go home the next day. While I did develop an infection a couple weeks later (which DID cause LOTS of pain) and was readmitted to take care of it, I had very little problem afterwards. They were working very close to my prostate so I have had slight erection issues as well as some prostate enlargement but in the long run it went well.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    • wolfinindy
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    I have gone through checkups, sirst every 3 months then every 6 months since the surgery in Feb. of 2008 and every one has been clean !! My next checkup will be in November 2012 and at that point my surgeon says that I will be "cut loose" !! We were very lucky to catch this fairly early on. I am also VERY glad that I did LOTS of research on my own and basically made the call as to the type of surgery.

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  7. 7
    • wolfinindy
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    A great checkup on November 12th. Full colonoscopy and rectal ultrasound. The doctor wrote on the report " no evidence of rectal cancer recurrance" !! I am now out to every three years for a checkup. Wishing everyone a great holidays and very similar reports !!

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