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    Two of my doctors that I have been seeing confirmed that the newest CAT scan showed no spots on my lungs and no T3 tumor in the colon/rectal area. This comes as a shock because I still hurt and bleed from the radiation treatment and chemo in that sensitive area. It's such good news that I don't want to let myself believe it and be let down again. So far though the doctors act like they still will recommend surgery and the chemo that follows it to be on the safe side. I see the surgeon Monday. With this new results, I would like to push this surgery past Jan 1st if I can because the holidays are so important to me.

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    Radiation: The radiation therapy effects built up each time. The therapy itself was painless. However the side effects was very noticeable. By the 3rd week I started to notice the burning and severe diarrhea. By the 6th week the pain wasn't managed with pain pills. It was two weeks after therapy that I was finally able to deal a bit better after applying the creams to the burned area and started to feel the healing. I have 4 more weeks to heal before they can finally remove the tumor.

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    Celebration (Birthday): Yeah!!! 60th birthday.

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    I'm celebrating my 60th birthday tomorrow. That's a biggy everyone says. My son and his wife have a secret thing planned for me in the afternoon. They won't give details about it. I'm looking forward to something fun to get my mind off the rectal cancer. After having a second opinion on the tumor, I opted to go with the radiation and chemo therapy prior to surgery and a second round of chemo. They said it was best to stop the cancer from spreading to have therapy pre-surgery. I was scared to death about chemo but the pills I took after each radiation therapy and later again the same day produced no side effects. The chemo Dr. ordered a CAT scan of my chest because for some reason rectal cancer likes to spread to the lungs. Two weeks into the 5 days a week therapy for stopping the spread of the cancer, I find out I have 3 small spots on my lungs. All the tests to this point said I had T3 cancer or stage 2. They have no idea until surgery if the lymph nodes had been effected. If it has spread to my lungs, doesn't that mean stage 4? They said they would watch the lungs too and I have another CAT scan for the abdomen scheduled next week. I continued on with the radiation and chemo regardless that the cancer might have spread already. The radiation burned me inside and out for very painful urination and BM's. It also caused diarrhea that could be only controlled by prescription after trying the off the shelf medications for a couple of weeks. The insurance company gave me a very difficult time getting prescriptions filled too. By the time the 6 weeks plus another two of therapy ended, I was screaming into a towel even with pain killers. I had to apply a numbing agent first then the creams the doctor gave me. Then after the 8th week I started feeling better, started moving around again. I still tire easily and BM's are still a bit painful where the tumor is. I am not in pain any other time so I have stopped taking the pain pills. I don't want any problems with anesthesia for surgery. I have about a month for healing and then the surgery to have the tumor removed. I have a bunch of tests and doctors to see this coming month to get ready for it. At some point I was told that I would need a port put in for the chemo I would have to have every two weeks for six months following surgery. I hope that chemo goes as well as the first round. Now I know why I keep being told to take one day at a time. Recovery from surgery will be at least 10 days in the hospital and then 6 months after that plus learning how to use a permanent colostomy bag too. That's all I can handle even with prayer. I have a lot of kind souls praying for me and I really appreciate it.

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    User: agrogan

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    Oh No: Last week the colonoscopy revealed a tumor in my rectum just above the sphincter muscle by Dr. Heinzelmann of Saginaw. I chose to recently transfer doctors and was on a 3 month waiting list to see the new Saginaw primary care doctor, Dr. S. Rivette that I was transferring to from my Bay City primary care doctor, Dr.Ahmed that I have not been pleased with for quite sometime now. A lot of doctors retired recently and many patients are scrambling to find a new doctor so the waiting list to transfer was longer and more complicated. I moved closer to my son and into a smaller home after my husband passed away from Brain cancer on April 2011 and live near the Saginaw border and want Saginaw health care after my husband's experience, plus my son works for a Saginaw hospital. I started noticing blood in the stools and not on the outside like my hemroids had produced in the past. After having my last colonoscopy done over 10 years ago by Dr. Islam in Bay City with no medication and tremendous pain, I was in no hurry to ever have another one done. Later I found out he was one of the rare doctors that performed it without medication and putting people out. I tried going to another doctor in the area but he refused to take me because I was someone else's patient. There are problems in Bay City's doctor circles that I care not to be involved with anymore. I guess that was stupid not having one done. Dr. Heinzelmann refered me to Dr. Dean, a colon/rectal surgeon who I saw two days after the report came back cancer. I saw pictures and the turmor is low, flat, different colors and bleeding. He said it is probably a step two possibly 3 cancer and it had been there for at least a year. They won't know if it is a stage 3 until he has the lymph nodes tested. My daughter-in-law went with me to hear what he had to say. His frank discription of what I should expect left me suicidal for a couple of days and on the verge of tears when a thought about my problems entered my mind which was almost every waking moment. Things are happening so fast but that's good in away. The idea of a permanent bag gets me really upset. I want him to try to save the muscle and see if I can regain control after he takes out the colostomy temporary bag. If it doesn't work I would have to have a 3rd surgery with the permanent bag anyway. He says I already have a weak sphincter muscle that he thinks he can still save being that the tumor is near the muscle. Even though I lost 120 pounds with the lap band I had installed almost 3 years ago, I still have 100 pounds to be under the obese category. For that reason alone the surgeon thinks I am going to have huge problems and says there is a 5-10% chance I won't make it through surgery and 25% chance of complications. Since I was leaning towards saving the sphincter muscle that controls the bathroom urge, he is not going to go with pre-surgery chemo or radiation treatment on the tumor. No guarantees that it will function at all when he removes the colostomy bag. They are pretty sure it's not stage 4 because I had a recent CAT scan done and it didn't show any other tumors. He said I probably should have a second opinion and had suggested a few places to have that done and to think about it for a day and call him back to have his office make the appointment. I chose to go with Beaumont in Lake Orion near where my other son lives for the second opinion. The following day, I went to a female specialist and he took tests and assured me that he didn't see anything that would indicate that the cancer was spread into what little I had left in that area. I had a complete hysterectomy over 10 years ago. At this time, I would still like to stay in Saginaw for my surgery, recovery and treatment though. The 4th of July holiday week has slowed things down a bit for me to catch my breath, get things done that I have been putting off. To make things more upsetting, I was told when my husband died that our BC/BS health insurance was put on COBRA status by the GM/UAW and that after April 1 of 2013, I will not have health insurance. I have heard that insurance get extremely expensive with prediagnosed cancer. I do not work, was a stay at home Mom and only had retail jobs now and then. Currently I am trying to survive on my husband's pension which was only 40% of what he used to have when he retired from GM along with a small allowance I pay myself from an annuity that will disappear in less than 20 years. My husband's life insurance policy money is almost gone. I currently am trying to get my cottage and larger other home to the point where they could be listed in this poor housing market and will take less than half of what we paid for them. I wish I could hold unto them until this recession is over but might not life that long. The insurances and taxes on them are horribly expensive. I am too young for government health care at age 59. I will receive my husband's SS check possibly this fall when I turn 60. I cannot file for disability for myself because his pension check to me is just a little too much to qualify for help. My cousin who was my age just recently died of a different kind of colon cancer after a 10 year battle with the disease. I hope I last that long.