Lanie34's Journey with Adenocarcinoma, Colorectal Cancer

Survivor: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer > Adenocarcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 10 years ago, Female, Age: 44, KRAS mutation positive: Don't Know, BRAF mutation positive: Don't Know, Stage IIIC

  1. 1
    • Lanie34
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 5 years ago
    Lanie34's Avatar

    Colon surgery (colectomy or hemicolectomy)

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had 12" of my Sigmoid colon removed successfully, along with a 'pie' shaped area of tissue removed, which showed I had 14 + lymph nodes out of 32. A very high #. But 4 yrs. post chemo & I am still alive & well! (Minus permanent side effects from chemo) What surprised me most was trying to wake up out of anesthesia. Not a good feeling. I told my mom she couldn't leave me. My husband was home with our kids, then ages 5,3,&6mos. The morphine helped, but covered the pain better in the evening. I had to ask for more. They sat me up the 1st nite & it was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do. Worse than childbirth. I just couldn't move! They got me to a chair & all I could withstand was 5-10 min. I also wasn't prepared for the abdominal spasms. Felt like my stomach was punched or electrocuted. Any light touch on my stomach would trigger a spasm. The nurse dropped her stethoscope onto my stomach too. No fun. The walking for the week in the hospital was literally like 1/2" scuff at a time. I cannot imagine a c-section. I suppose it's similar, but of course a colectomy is worse. I was surprised that I didn't have pain or discomfort when using the bathroom for the 1st time. Day 3? post surgery. So the reconnecting isn't a problem, but there are those who do have issues, but rare?

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  2. 2
    • Lanie34
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 5 years ago
    Lanie34's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Being that my cancer had already flared up anal fissures for 5 excruciating years (not to mention the churning razor wire like pain in pelvic area) I was very ill with diarrhea constantly. It felt like razor blades when using the bathroom. I ended up having a procedure done by Dr. Klatt, Tacoma, WA to relieve the pain. Many numbing meds used. Proctofoam being the best. Now I also had Erbitux (trial med) which caused a horrible acne like condition on my face only. I couldn't drink anything but sips of water, due to the Oxaliplatin side effects w/ cold or even room temp drinks. Food tasted like cardboard & I lost 55 lbs. The mouth sores were really awful for me (felt like mouth & tongue were cut up in blender) and I also really suffered with big toe ingrown toenails. I was performing bathroom surgery to cut the nail & relieve the pain. I did have a podiatrist fix both nails surgically. I felt like my body was at war after chemo. I had to wear a fanny pack & with a portable 5FU pump for 46 hrs. after my main office chemo trips, which lasted sometimes 6 hrs. I froze the whole visit & quickly learned how to curl up and zone out. Being ok with doing nothing. Because I had no concentration. The worst of it was the permanent peripheral neuropathy that I have now. The numbness & tingling was so sever after chemo that I thought if it weren't for my family, I wouldn't be able to go on anymore. There is just no getting used to the constant almost painful vibration from elbow to fingertips. I became weak & arthritic. I could hardly type for a long time. My feet hurt so badly all the time that I've had no choice but to become sedentary the past 2 yrs. I conserve my energy for school pickups & driving. I can't go for walks or I wouldn't be able to make dinner & stand in the kitchen. My balance is off because my ankle muscles are non reactive & my feet have lost feeling, more in certain areas. I've found that Sketchers shape ups feel the best with the ultra cushion sole. I also went thru about 20 band aids/day, because the tips of my fingers were splitting (nail? I can't recall) & so that was the only way I could use my fingers. Shopping & pushing the hangers over was painful. I took a lot of Percoset for rectal & foot pain...& played alor of mindless computer games late at night, which helped relax me. Nowadays, an iPhone is sufficient. But holding it & typing would be next to impossible due to hand cramps, etc.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    3 Comments
  3. 3
    • Lanie34
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 5 years ago
    Lanie34's Avatar

    Erbitux ....computer randomized lottery....1 of 3300? Selected

    Clinical Trial

    Pimples! Feeling of sunburned lips & face! Extra day of infusion! It's possible it made my mouth sores worse?

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  4. 4
    • Lanie34
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Colore...
    about 5 years ago
    Lanie34's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    Good ol' peripheral neuropathy. I walked like a zombie at times. Nearly considered needing a walker! Falling over easily. I can't feel my children's skin like normal & because that is a nerve sensation, I can't recall how it felt to be able to feel. Unlike someone losing their vision but still being able to recall the color blue. Memory loss, chemo brain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, ....unable to grasp dates with months. I have to really think about it. Because its no longer just something engrained in my brain. It could be April and I could easily think its Aug. Slow to process details as to why it would be April. I have to recall details about what holidays are coming up in order to make a connection. It is remarkable for me to be able to articulate that. No longer embarrassed. I've given myself the liberty to express the details. But not all the time. As its hit or miss as to when the PTSD flares up & when I am ok to talk about certain things. But my desire is to help others, and find this site user friendly. :)

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