CarolLHRN's Journey with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Patient: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Female, Age: 43

  1. 1
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
    CarolLHRN's Avatar

    Removal of rectal tumor

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a rectal tumor removed not thinking it would be cancer. The procedure itself wasn't that bad but the journey that has begun has been a tough one.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I really couldn't believe I had cancer. No one in my family had cancer and I was so young and healthy.

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had 5FU continous infusion. Although the treatment itself wasn't terrible, carrying around a pump all the time was not fun and I felt like everyone knew something was going on even though I was choosing not to share my diagnosis.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  4. 4
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Radiation treatments were not terrible but it was a pain to drive to the hospital every day to have the treatment. The team I had was outstanding and made me smile everyday. I was able to get through all of my treatments without a break but once the treatments stopped, I had a lot of side effects.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    2 Comments
  5. 5
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Virus Reaction

    Other Care

    I am on my 8 months of "rest" between radiation/chemo and surgery. During this time I managed to get a virus that has left me with lots of pain in my legs and really ugly spots. I was initially really disappointed that some of my "time" would be ruined but with a little Motrin and a little extra rest, I am managing to move forward with my plans to have a good time before surgery.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Visiting Family

    Celebration

    I am traveling this weekend and next to visit my family. I have not seen anyone from my family since before I was diagnosed. I am sure it will be an emotional reunion. I'm hoping to have lots of fun and not dwell on my diagnosis. I'm doing a good job fighting and I'm on break from treatement between chemo/radiation and surgery. This is the perfect time to celebrate with my family!

    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Celebration

    I have completed my radition therapy and was released from the doctor this week. It was very exciting to be officially done but the nurses in the office were so fantastic, I am really going to miss their support.

    0 Comments
  8. 8
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Other

    Other Care

    I had my pre-op appointment yesterday with my surgeon. I feel really good about the upcoming surgery now. He explained a lot of what will happen post-op in the hospital as well as show me where the incisions will be. It's going to be a lot better than I thought it would be. I also found out I can start chemo about 6 weeks after the surgery and have the reversal surgery 4 weeks after completing chemo. That means that I can be wrapped up with chemo and surgeries before 4th of July! Yesterday I was also tattooed for where my ileostomy will go. I was glad the surgeon and nurse took the time to do the marking. This morning when I was showering though, I saw the tattoos and it reminded me of what will come in 3 weeks. I think it's actually a good thing as it will give me time to get used to the idea of the ileostomy and do some mental processing to get ready.

    0 Comments
  9. 9
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Ileostomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a laproscopic, hand assisted J-Pouch with loop ileostomy. The surgery went really well and the nerve blocks were amazing. I was out of bed the same day of surgery and was discharged one day earlier than expected. Recovering well at home.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Hospitalization

    Other Care

    After just a day and a half home, I had to be readmitted to the hospital. I had extreme abdominal pain and nausea and couldn't get any relief. It ended up that I had a food blockage that couldn't pass through my new ileostomy. After some pain meds, being NPO, and starting back on foods very slowly, I was discharged after 4 days. I'm home now and taking it a little easier than I did after my first discharge.

    6 Comments
  11. 11
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Negative Pathology

    Celebration

    After over a week and a half, the pathology report finally came back - NO CANCER!!!!! This is the best Christmas present ever!!!!! Granted, I still have to finish a round of chemo this spring but knowing the disease is out of me is such a great feeling.

    3 Comments
  12. 12
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

    I had my follow up appointment with my oncologist today. My case of rectal cancer is a bit backwards. My tumor was removed before any treatment started because no one thought I actually had cancer. They are guessing I am stage III because there were some lymph nodes seen on the CT scan, my CEA was slightly up, and the tumor came back positive and was into the wall of the intestine. Still, no one will ever really know. Early on my oncologist and I decided it was best, since I was young, to have the full regimen of treatment for stage III even though we may be at risk for over treating. Today I had to commit to that plan even though the path report came back clean from my second surgery (as we thought it would). The side effects of FOLFOX are many but since I did so well with radiation and 5FU, I am hopeful that I can make it through 8 infusions without too many side effects. I have given this second round of chemo a lot of thought over the last couple of months. I have come to the conclusion that I need to see the treatment regimen through. I am willing to deal with 4 months of chemo in order to feel that I did everything I could to beat this cancer. I also feel it betters my chances of not having the cancer return.

    3 Comments
  13. 13
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    over 5 years ago
    CarolLHRN's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I started FOLFOX this week. I will have a total of 8 treatments. I sit in the infusion center for a couple of hours and then have a pump with 5FU for 46 hours.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    1 Comment
  14. 14
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 5 years ago
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    Low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia)

    Side Effects

    Had number 4 of 8 infusions yesterday. My platelet count was 97. My doctor's protocol is to be no less than 100. I was allowed to have my infusion yesterday but I am concerned about future infusions. I see my oncologist before my next infusion to discuss the next steps. I was really caught of guard with the low counts because I was feeling so goos this past week.

    2 Comments
  15. 15
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    It feels so good to be done with treatment but still dealing with fatigue. I know that the last treatment has side effects too. It's just so hard because I am so ready to move on but the fatigue is holding me back. I know another 2 weeks or so I will start to feel better but it feels so far away!

    2 Comments
  16. 16
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 5 years ago
    CarolLHRN's Avatar

    Cancer Free!

    Celebration

    I received my CT Scan results yesterday afternoon. The CT Scan is clean - No More Cancer! I'm not sure what I am feeling: joy, elation, relief, overwhelmed. I didn't expect to be so affected by the news but I am just so happy. 23 days until my reversal surgery and I can close this chapter of my life!

    4 Comments
  17. 17
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    almost 5 years ago
    CarolLHRN's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had the reversal to my ileostomy on June 14. It is so nice to be free from the bag. I am healing well and thankful that I live where I can have easy access to world class healthcare.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    4 Comments
  18. 18
    • CarolLHRN
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    almost 5 years ago
    CarolLHRN's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Just had my last "active treatment" appointment with my oncologist. I have been cleared to have my port out and I am on the road to just follow up appointments every 4 months. It feels so good not to be "sick" any longer.

    1 Comment