Hello Colon Cancer Warriors--
I had my 18 month post-surgery and 12 month post-chemo appointment about 10 days ago. The scans show no evidence of disease and my CEA and lab work is holding stable. After spending last summer feeling so ill from chemotherapy and recovering from surgery, I hoped and prayed for at least one more great summer with my kids. They are now 14 and 11 years old. We managed to have a great summer. We went to the zoo, to 6 Flags, Purina Farms, a family vacation to Florida, days at our subdivision pool, and other days just lazing around and enjoying each other. I used to take such "normal" summers for granted. Now, I can file in my personal history books, a great summer after cancer. I am so very grateful.
Physically, I still have neuropathies in my hands and feet and am quite clumsy. Fortunately, I have a good sense of humor. I also continue to have difficulty with bowel regulation if I am not careful of what I eat. Mentally, I think that every single twinge in my stomach means the cancer is back. I actually visited the ER in late July because I was having escalating pain. The whole ER thing was a crazy mess with me being there from 5 pm until almost 2:30 a.m. I believe I likely had an ovarian cyst. The CT scan was clear. The morphine dulled the pain. Within two days, I was back to whatever we cancer people call normal. I still keep thinking that the cancer will be back. I am not sure how long it is going to take for me to not hold that kernel in the back of my brain.
I have seen a few messages from others with Signet Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma of the Sigmoid Colon. I am currently a survivor of 18+ months with no evidence of disease. Cancer is a scary diagnosis and when they ice the cake with cell type "Mucinous SIgnet Ring Cell" it is super scary. My best advice to you is to limit your googling and do simple things like take walks, listen to music, sink into your favorite TV series, and LIVE. Also--ask your doctor for Xanax for the "crazy" times. I am not ashamed to admit that I am on Zoloft and I take 0.25 mg Xanax prn when my head starts spinning. The only moment ANY of us have guaranteed is this very moment, right? Make a choice to enjoy it.
Best wishes to all of my fellow colon cancer warriors out there. Keep fighting the good fight and while you can.....LIVE!
DX: Suspected Colon Cancer January 29, 2016
2/8/16: Removed 17" Colon (Sigmoid area) & 1"Rectum & 58 lymph nodes
2/12/16: CA in 35/58 lymph nodes
Cancer: Stage 3C T3N2B
Path: Signet Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma
Chemo: 12 rounds of FOLFOX, (3/17/16 to August, 2016) Leukovorin DC'd after WBC decrease.
Scans: F/U scans every 3 months; last one 8/2017--All NED.
CEA: Stable b/t 1 and 2