• recurrence of tumor after surgery and chemo.

    Asked by spirithorse on Sunday, April 28, 2013

    recurrence of tumor after surgery and chemo.

    I had surgery August 2012 and they removed all the cancer. I was a stage IV. After the surgery I was deemed cancer free but did chemo for 8 treatments as a preventive measure. I went in last Thursday for my CAT scan and blood work and was told I now have 2 tumors in my abdomen. One is 2 inches and the other is one inch. I am to start a 6 week different round of chemo consisting of folfiri, leucovorin and irinotecan next week. Does anyone have any words of wisdom as to how you are handling or did handle your situation? I am getting so depressed and scared. I didn't expect this. Has anyone else gone through something like this? Did your tumor(s) go away after the chemo or did you have surgery? Are you now cancer free? Also any information on what I should expect from this round of chemo regarding side effects, etc. would be much appreciated. I was on 5FU, ociliplatin and leucovorin for the preventative chemo. Thank you for any replies. Kim

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • PaulaT's Avatar

      I just recently had surgery (Feb 2013) to remove a tumor in my abdomen. Our situations sound very similar....I was diagnosed with colon cancer in Nov 2009, had surgery and found out 4 months later that it had metastasized in my liver. I had a liver resection in Aug 2010 and 12 round of 5FU, Leukovorin, oxalaplatin and was cancer free from May 2011 to June 2012 when the tumor in my abdomen was discovered. I did 6 rounds of 5FU, leucovorin, avastin and irinotecan which caused the tumor to shrink. Because there was no other occurrence of cancer, I had 6 weeks of radiation leading to the surgery two months ago - AND I'm now cancer free again. Because the margins of the tumor were dirty, I had radiation directly into my body on the operating table. My doctors feel there is no reason to do followup chemo so I'm back in the monitoring phase.

      So....I know how you feel. I was scared and thought I'd be looking at chemo forever when the tumor in my abdomen was discovered.....but now I'm cancer free again. I've learned that everyone's situation is different and to trust my team of doctors - I go to Mass General Hospital - and they are excellent - and my surgeon is amazing, he has done all three of my surgeries.

      I can give you some advise on the chemo you are about to begin, based on my experience. The irinotecan, for me, was really nasty stuff. I had extreme nausea and vomiting for the first two treatments until my doctor prescribed Emend. For me, it was like a miracle drug - really worked for the nausea and vomiting. It is very expensive but my insurance covered it at the highest co-pay tier, which for me was $45. I also had what the nurses called "anticipatory nasuea" where the day before I was scheduled for chemo I was horrible nauseous. I'd never heard of this but apparently it's not all that uncommon. I took lorazepam 1mg the day before and the morning of my chemo and that helped.

      One thing that has helped me get through these last three years is not to think too far ahead. I developed a "get through this" attitude when I was doing chemo and radiation. When I would see the doctors after completing that treatment, I'd try to go in with an open mind and not think too much about the what if's. So far, I've been told I'm not the "typical" stage 4 colon cancer person - and that works for me!!!

      over 8 years ago
    • spirithorse's Avatar

      Thank you all very much. I am being treated at the Mayo clinic in Rochester. They want to do the chemo first and hopefully this will shrink the tumors or even get rid of them. Surgery would be the next option. I have absorbed everything but the problem I am having is major depression. I am on an anti-depressant but I can't shake this. I suppose I will call my doctor but I really hate taking so many pills. Anyway one day at a time and thank you all for your responses. It really helps.

      over 8 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Kim, the depressiion you are experiencing is not your fault it is caused by the chemo. Chemo affrects tyhe seretonin levels in the brain which is what causes depression. It is chemical and not something wrong with your head. I am amazed at the number of people here on WhatNext that, like me , have experienced this but that thier oncologists, like mine, where not really aware of the depression cause and prepared to recognise and treat the depression. I do know that people respond to different anti-depressants so you may have to try a couple of different ones to find what works for you and it csan take a couple of weeks for any anti-depressant to fully work so it may take some time to get it all worked outy. Good Luck and let us know how else we can help.

      over 8 years ago

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