toosywoots' Journey:

Patient: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: over 4 years ago, Female, Age: 63

  1. 1
    • toosywoots
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    over 4 years ago
    toosywoots' Avatar

    Oh No

    Last week the colonoscopy revealed a tumor in my rectum just above the sphincter muscle by Dr. Heinzelmann of Saginaw. I chose to recently transfer doctors and was on a 3 month waiting list to see the new Saginaw primary care doctor, Dr. S. Rivette that I was transferring to from my Bay City primary care doctor, Dr.Ahmed that I have not been pleased with for quite sometime now. A lot of doctors retired recently and many patients are scrambling to find a new doctor so the waiting list to transfer was longer and more complicated. I moved closer to my son and into a smaller home after my husband passed away from Brain cancer on April 2011 and live near the Saginaw border and want Saginaw health care after my husband's experience, plus my son works for a Saginaw hospital. I started noticing blood in the stools and not on the outside like my hemroids had produced in the past. After having my last colonoscopy done over 10 years ago by Dr. Islam in Bay City with no medication and tremendous pain, I was in no hurry to ever have another one done. Later I found out he was one of the rare doctors that performed it without medication and putting people out. I tried going to another doctor in the area but he refused to take me because I was someone else's patient. There are problems in Bay City's doctor circles that I care not to be involved with anymore. I guess that was stupid not having one done. Dr. Heinzelmann refered me to Dr. Dean, a colon/rectal surgeon who I saw two days after the report came back cancer. I saw pictures and the turmor is low, flat, different colors and bleeding. He said it is probably a step two possibly 3 cancer and it had been there for at least a year. They won't know if it is a stage 3 until he has the lymph nodes tested. My daughter-in-law went with me to hear what he had to say. His frank discription of what I should expect left me suicidal for a couple of days and on the verge of tears when a thought about my problems entered my mind which was almost every waking moment. Things are happening so fast but that's good in away. The idea of a permanent bag gets me really upset. I want him to try to save the muscle and see if I can regain control after he takes out the colostomy temporary bag. If it doesn't work I would have to have a 3rd surgery with the permanent bag anyway. He says I already have a weak sphincter muscle that he thinks he can still save being that the tumor is near the muscle. Even though I lost 120 pounds with the lap band I had installed almost 3 years ago, I still have 100 pounds to be under the obese category. For that reason alone the surgeon thinks I am going to have huge problems and says there is a 5-10% chance I won't make it through surgery and 25% chance of complications. Since I was leaning towards saving the sphincter muscle that controls the bathroom urge, he is not going to go with pre-surgery chemo or radiation treatment on the tumor. No guarantees that it will function at all when he removes the colostomy bag. They are pretty sure it's not stage 4 because I had a recent CAT scan done and it didn't show any other tumors. He said I probably should have a second opinion and had suggested a few places to have that done and to think about it for a day and call him back to have his office make the appointment. I chose to go with Beaumont in Lake Orion near where my other son lives for the second opinion. The following day, I went to a female specialist and he took tests and assured me that he didn't see anything that would indicate that the cancer was spread into what little I had left in that area. I had a complete hysterectomy over 10 years ago. At this time, I would still like to stay in Saginaw for my surgery, recovery and treatment though. The 4th of July holiday week has slowed things down a bit for me to catch my breath, get things done that I have been putting off. To make things more upsetting, I was told when my husband died that our BC/BS health insurance was put on COBRA status by the GM/UAW and that after April 1 of 2013, I will not have health insurance. I have heard that insurance get extremely expensive with prediagnosed cancer. I do not work, was a stay at home Mom and only had retail jobs now and then. Currently I am trying to survive on my husband's pension which was only 40% of what he used to have when he retired from GM along with a small allowance I pay myself from an annuity that will disappear in less than 20 years. My husband's life insurance policy money is almost gone. I currently am trying to get my cottage and larger other home to the point where they could be listed in this poor housing market and will take less than half of what we paid for them. I wish I could hold unto them until this recession is over but might not life that long. The insurances and taxes on them are horribly expensive. I am too young for government health care at age 59. I will receive my husband's SS check possibly this fall when I turn 60. I cannot file for disability for myself because his pension check to me is just a little too much to qualify for help. My cousin who was my age just recently died of a different kind of colon cancer after a 10 year battle with the disease. I hope I last that long.

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  2. 2
    • toosywoots
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    about 4 years ago
    toosywoots' Avatar

    Birthday

    Celebration

    Yeah!!! 60th birthday.

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  3. 3
    • toosywoots
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) ...
    about 4 years ago
    toosywoots' Avatar

    Radiation

    The radiation therapy effects built up each time. The therapy itself was painless. However the side effects was very noticeable. By the 3rd week I started to notice the burning and severe diarrhea. By the 6th week the pain wasn't managed with pain pills. It was two weeks after therapy that I was finally able to deal a bit better after applying the creams to the burned area and started to feel the healing. I have 4 more weeks to heal before they can finally remove the tumor.

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