Gwen's Journey with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorectal Cancer

Survivor: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer > Carcinoid Tumor

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 13 years ago, Female, Age: 48, KRAS mutation positive: No, BRAF mutation positive: No, Stage IV

  1. 1
    • Gwen
    • Experience with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorect...
    about 5 years ago
    Gwen's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I went in for a colonoscopy to find out why I was anemic. When I woke up my doctor was standing there telling us that they had found a tumor and he was certain it was cancer.

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  2. 2
    • Gwen
    • Experience with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorect...
    about 5 years ago
    Gwen's Avatar

    Laparascopic colon surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had surgery the day after diagnosis. My surgeon was fantastic! The recovery was rough - but then again my kids were little so I had a hard time not doing too much. I had a lot of help, but it was still hard. They determined that the cancer had spread to several adjoining lymph nodes, but there were no other tumors.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  3. 3
    • Gwen
    • Experience with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorect...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had chemo every other week for 6 months. It was pretty easy as chemo goes when you compare it to some of the more caustic drugs. I did get to have a pump I carried around in a fanny pack for 48 hours after each treatment. That was a major nusense!

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    • Gwen
    • Experience with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorect...
    about 5 years ago
    Gwen's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    The side effects were pretty manageable and were more inconvenient than distressing. The neuropathy was cumulative so by the end my fingers and toes were numb for about 9 months, but they came back. I didn't lose my hair (yea!) and didn't feel very nauseous. I was allergic to one of the chemo drugs so I had to have a monster shot of Benedryl prior to every treatment. That knocked me out for about 4 hours - which was actually pretty handy as that was how long the rest of the treatment took! I did have chemo brain for awhile after I completed treatments - that was somewhat unsettling. I had low white blood count and had to have shots which caused a lot of bone pain each time. I had sores in my nose and throat (rather than the mouth like I was promised). All in all the chemo wasn't as bad as I anticipated. I was able to work out on the off weeks and care for my 3 young kids.

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  5. 5
    • Gwen
    • Experience with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorect...
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    10 months after I was diagnosed with the colon cancer I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

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  6. 6
    • Gwen
    • Experience with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorect...
    about 5 years ago
    Gwen's Avatar

    Hysterectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    This surgery went well and I was back up and around fairly quickly. They caught it very early and I didn't even have to have any further treatments.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  7. 7
    • Gwen
    • Experience with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorect...
    about 5 years ago
    Gwen's Avatar

    Family diagnosis of Lynch Syndrome

    Oh No

    My grandfather and and uncle both had colon cancer last year and through genetic testing it was determined that my family has a DNA mutation that predisposes us to colon cancer (and women to ovarian cancer). I haven't had the testing yet, but my doctors are fairly certain I have it. Now I need to determine when to have my kids tested so that they can be monitored as needed.

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