RickinFla's Journey:

Patient: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer > Adenocarcinoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 5 years ago, Male, Age: 61, KRAS mutation positive: Don't Know, BRAF mutation positive: Don't Know, Stage IV

  1. 1
    • RickinFla
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colo...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Oh No: On June 13, 2012 my wife and I got the bad news that I have Stage IV colorectal cancer, from my colorectal surgeon at my post operative appointment. On May 31, 2012 I had surgery to relieve a “partial” obstruction in my colon. A CT scan taken during early morning hours of May 26, had revealed a 4.1 x 4.1 “apple core shaped” lesion in my colon, a lesion characteristic of adenocarcinoma of the colon. Because of the Memorial Day Holiday, a weekend, and my surgeon attending a conference, I had to wait two weeks to get the pathology report. I’m not sure if that’s a normal timeframe or not. I can, however, say when my surgeon looked at the pathology report, he did a double take and appeared taken aback. My surgeon recommended an oncologist and set up an appointment for me this Monday June 18 and a PET scan for me the next day on Tuesday June 19. I also made an appointment for a “second opinion” at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa Florida for Friday June 22. Again, being new to this whole thing, I’m unsure if these time frames are typical as I always thought cancer diagnosis and treatment proceeded more rapidly. Particularly distressing is until this diagnosis I did everything in accordance with the prevention guidelines. At 49, I had a colonoscopy where the Gastroenterologist found polyps which caused him to put me on a colonoscopy schedule of every three years. I had another at 52 and another at 55, on June 8, 2011. At that 2011 colonoscopy, I received another clean bill of health with the first line of the Gastroenterologist's written report to me stating unequivocally, "no cancers." Despite having those colonoscopies, now I find myself with an incurable cancer that is likely to shorten my life. Thus far, no one has explained how I could wind up with a 4.1x4.1 cm tumor in my colon less than 12 months after a clean bill of health from a colonoscopy, supposedly the “gold standard” for early detection of colorectal cancer. I will say that every physician and nurse I’ve said this to, including three surgeons, has done a double take, raised their eyebrows, or asked me to say that again. Hopefully, at some point, I’ll get an answer to the question of how I wound up with this tumor less than a year after a clean bill of health on my colonoscopy. In another post, I’ll talk about how I wound up in the hospital and having surgery. But, if anyone has any authoritative answers regarding how I would up with Stage IV colorectal cancer less than one-year after a clean bill of health on a colonoscopy, I would appreciate hearing them.

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  2. 2
    • RickinFla
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colo...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Met with Oncologist

    Other Care

    On June 18, 2012 I met the oncologist recommended by my surgeon for the first time. Interesting note was that first his Physician's Assistant and the Oncologlist himself used the phrase "light Stage IV" when referring to my cancer. Both were encouraging and said we needed to get started on chemo asap. Another good note was that my CEA was 3.4 well within the "normal range" of 0-6.4. Once I get the port put in we'll be starting chemo with a Folfox regimen of two days on and two weeks off for six xmonths.

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  3. 3
    • RickinFla
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colo...
    almost 5 years ago
    RickinFla's Avatar

    PET Scan

    Other Care

    On June 19, 2012 I had a PET scan and saw my surgeon on June 20 for a surgical follow up at which he interpreted the PET scan results for me. Overall he characterized the PET scan as a "good" report. There is no evidence of metastasis to the lungs, liver or any other major organs. There are, however, several "suspicious" axillary lymp nodes and one iliac lymph node that they graded as likely metastatic. In the area of my colon resection there were changes noted, however, much of that could be attributed to recent surgery and that it "needs to be reevaluated with PET/CT in short term."

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  4. 4
    • RickinFla
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colo...
    over 4 years ago
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    Targeted therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I just finished a 12-round cycle of chemotherapy. It consisted of first-line therapy of Fusilev (substituted for leucovorin (sic)), oxaliplatin, with calcium and magnesium to ward off neuropathy, Avastin and 5FU. The Fusilev, Oxi, and Avastin were adminstered by IV infusion in a five-hour session with the 5FU administered in an IV push followed by 46 hours with a medipump. These cycles occurrred every two weeks for the last 24 weeks or six months. Side effects were minimal throughout most of the cycle until the very end. Mostly, my side effects consisted of minor nausea, with no vomitting, when my pump was unhooked after 46 hours that I usually controlled with one or two doses of antinausea medication. There was also some minimal "chemo fog" that went away one or two days after each round of chemo ended. The oxaliplatin started to cause increasing neuropathy in my fingers and toes as the rounds progressed. Finally, it got bad enough that my onc stopped the oxi for round 12 of chemo. Now, I'm awating the results of a CT scan yesterday that will tell the tale of what we accomplished.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • RickinFla
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colo...
    over 4 years ago
    RickinFla's Avatar

    Radiation

    After a PET scan in October noted a single iliac lymph node that had increased in size from my July PET, my oncologist referred me to a radiation oncologist for targetted narrow beam radiation to fry the one lymph node. It was a five-round cycle of every other day therapy that took about five minutes. Side effects were minimal with the most severe being some really debilitating fatigue with some minor bowel issues consisting of moderate diarrhea. Overall not bad. Now, I'm awaiting the results of a CT scan yesterday to determine my current status and to see if chemo and radiation did the job.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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