Buzzard's Journey with Adenocarcinoma, Colorectal Cancer

Survivor: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer > Adenocarcinoma

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: over 9 years ago, Male, Age: 62

  1. 1
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    DX-March 25th 2008........The Oh No of being diagnosed and thinking at that instance " I am going to die"and not knowing any different until I threw myself into self absorption of knowledge about cancer and how people are living with it everyday, even at Stage 4 as I am...

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  2. 2
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    I did 5 weeks of radiation 5 days a week ...It took about 15 minutes from the time I got there until I was walking out the door. It is relatively easy and can be adjusted time wise to suit the persons lifestyle. I had mine set up to do at 9:00 so that I could get the kids on the bus... They will work with you. It does burn severely what ever it is radiating just as sun does. I have found there are several ointments including AQUAPHOR that really help in these areas that hardly ever see sunshine and burn rather quickly...... I did tend to lose weight during radiation and had bouts of constipation and diarrhea but that soon settled after about 3 weeks post radiation... Doing colorectal radiation it will make the tissue in the rectal area very susceptible to burn cut, scratching.tearing...etc...Be absolutely sure that if you are a cashew,pecan filbert etc nut lover, do not try these while doing treatment. It will tear you a new one...I am here to tell you "NO NUTS"...a week of steroids and Lortabs and screaming every toilet run was enough for me to warn anyone I come across about this "No Mans Land"

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
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    Removal of rectal tumor

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had anus sewn shut after tumor was removed. Margins were to low to save it. I now have an ostomy and yes it is a life changing event but one that I can live with. They removed my spincter muscles inner and outer, my rectum, and I have an ostomy at the sigmoid. The procedure took about 5 hours and recovery was about 7 weeks. My tail felt as if a small pair of socks had been sewn up inside me . I had the clear/red fluid that comes with healing buildup inside my tail and the pressure was awful. Then finally after squatting down one day it released and it seems as though I had urinated in my pants when actually it had simply opened up and drained. The pain subsided instantly. I ended up trying to drive after the 2nd week, bad idea. To sore and wasn't ready for an outing. Was walking fairly easily after a week but was gingerly watching where I stepped and how far I went.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I was the poster child for side effects of chemo...I did the Folfox/Leucovorin/5fu and it kicked my butt...Nausea from start to finish but seemed the second week after chemo was better than the first week of chemo. I could eat a little something and keep it down. All I really wanted to do was lay in bed and sleep the first week, 2nd week I did manage to get out and do little things, but all strength was gone...I did 6 months of it every other week...12 cycles. I did 10 with Oxaliplatin and the last two without because of neuropathy in hands and feet. My fingers are ok now, toes are still numb, most likely permanent....Seems as though spicy food was the ticket for me...Chili was a staple as it seemed to overwhelm the nausea feeling. Also warm Ocean Spray Crangrape and finally Sunkist Orange also warm was basically all I drank....Looking back now I wished I would have taken on more plain water to flush the chemo out quicker. I seemed to feel better when I really hydrated myself with plenty of water, but never seemed to keep it up for very long....

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Side Effects

    Yes, the old faithful chemo brain as if when you walk into a room and forget why you came in there... You make a list then forget where you put it, or better that you remember that you even made one... Names are non important..chemo brain allows for the use of "Hey You" to be sufficient.. It is something that will slip up on you as you enter into the chemo arena, but will just the same leave you when chemo is complete...It does take a while, patience in this journey is a large plus...

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  6. 6
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Side Effects

    Depression....goes without saying why...I had to focus on other things to keep from focusing about death or dying. The inability to face your fear about being mortal is where the fear lies. Once you find, and come to grips with the fact that you are not immortal then and only then can you cope with the possibility of not being around forever. Its a fact, that all of us are born with a dire prognosis, its how and when we face that and deal with it that determines how our emotional journey will be when the subject arises with real substance. Once that is dealt with then we have always got something concrete to grab hold of when the possibility arises again, as it does so often in this disease. All thoughts thought out and rationalized within yourself are weapons to bear when the beast wants to try and mess with you and your mind. For me I found that medication does tend to keep the goblins at bay somewhat. It just keeps me from dwelling on the bad things and allows me to actually smile and think and do other things that keep my mind occupied other than with this journey. Its not for everyone but for me, it takes the edge off and allows me to be nicer and not as quick tempered as you can get without it......

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  7. 7
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Body part/function

    Loss

    I have lost the ability to have normal bathroom routines and until you lose that ability then you have no idea what the term "Phantom Feeling" is... With an ostomy I generally take care of that after morning coffee, but to satisfy my "phantom urge" to "Sit on the Throne" I simply sit down when I urinate in the morning. That gives me the same involuntary feeling that it gave me when I was "normal" and actually satisfies the body, that it has done its natural function as it has for 53 years prior. Muscle memory is just that, "memory", and without it it does something inside you that messes with you if you don't contribute to helping it obtain what it wants, even if it means fooling it. I know, seems crazy, but it works like a charm..

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  8. 8
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Decision Point

    Most Likely the most important part of your journey. I immersed myself into trying to learn as much as possible about the particular disease and situation I was in. In order for us to make the "Decision of our Life" it is very important that you become an advocate of your own destiny, even meaning if you have to make difficult decisions for yourself. Most medical individuals I have spoken with will only recommend what they think will do you the most good for your particular situation and then ultimately let you make the final decision, so as not to be at fault if things go "south" on us...so to be overloaded with knowledge is a good thing when large decisions have to be made with regard to quality, quantity, or life and death itself.........its simply not a choice that we can allow to let someone else make for us when we have the ability to control the only thing left we can control....our treatment protocol..........

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  9. 9
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Still here to tell my story.........

    Celebration

    I now celebrate everyday as if its my last, I take nothing for granted anymore. I try and be to others as they are to me. I try and teach care, love, and hope aspects to any that will listen. I have my faith that carries me everyday to the end. All my strength comes from my faith, and I rely on that faith to get me through the dark times as well as the good times... I celebrate every little tidbit in this journey, for most of us there are no big wins, only small victories and usually one at a time. We must celebrate each as if they are monumental, and they truly are. We must pull the good out from the bad and relish it, for that what makes us the survivors that we are...... Celebrate Life !!!

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  10. 10
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    September 7th 2010...Cancer had returned into my upper left lung lobe...1.4 CM mass was removed and was determined to have colorectal cells in it, deeming me Stage 4. It was removed and all margins were clear as well as all surrounding nodes...No adjuvant chemo was recommended.

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  11. 11
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    Not sure as of todays writing whats in store for me.....They have found a 2.5 cm mass in my Hilar region and I am to have a bronchoscopy in the morning Aug 18th 2011... It wasn't found in a CT scan but actually was found on a routine blood draw when my CEA started elevating..It seems to be an indicator for me...After a PET scan it was found that it is located on the same left side, just above the heart and next to the peritracheal cartilage...There is evidence of a high calcium content which could mean possible histoplasmosis, but with my uptake in CEA its likely I know what I am dealing with...There again for the most part, knowledge is good, though sometimes it tells you things that you might not want to know just yet. In any event, I'm still kickin' and hope to be for a long time....I guess we will see .....

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  12. 12
    • Buzzard
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 6 years ago
    Buzzard's Avatar

    Decision Point

    OK, So the PET scan did lite up cancer in the hilum area , most likely nodes, and when going in to do a needle aspiration they found more cancer on the throat...So I am now considered incurable and on maintenance chemo for life as of now. I will absorb this and then after a brief hiatus start to look for alternate possibilities in the medical field. I don't go down easily............ :)

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