sealdog wrote:Thanks everyone for your calming replies in the early days. I know I haven't posted any updates but I haven't felt myself at all, it's a strange limbo where some days I don't even feel like I exist, not to be too dramatic ha! Four months in and I've realised you just have to ride the rollercoaster, I'm impatient at the best of times so this is the ultimate test.
I'm approaching surgery in a couple of weeks, an ULAR using the Da Vinci Robot at Peter Mac in Melbourne after I got a second opinion with another surgeon. Needless to say I'm terrified of the surgery and the potential life long side effects, but more terrified of the cancer inside me. My tumor was located at between 7-8 cm, so while I've read an ULAR is total removal of the rectum, they're saying they will still leave me with a stump of rectum.
The tumor itself has shrunk to the size of a small ulcer supposedly, a near complete response so that's good news I guess. Still no avoiding surgery in my Doctors eyes though, but at least the odds are better for the treatment plan to work entirely.
Mum got her genetic results back and it's been confirmed she has lynch syndrome via the EPCAM gene, which correlates with MSH2. Once they confirm my genetic results after surgery then they are proposing a possible mix of immunotherapy + chemotherapy post surgery but more on that to come, one researcher even hinting at a possible vaccination coming out next year for this strain I guess, they were pretty flippant about it but just had to tell me. Where was it last year mate!?
My surgery is scheduled for October 30 so I'm walking a similar path though you are considerably younger than I am.
I discussed the vaccination with my oncologist but he didn't think that I would be a likely candidate (maybe they save the slots for Stage 4 patients). I think that the vaccination may be one of those that are designed individually for each person but I'm not completely sure on that. That would make it very expensive to produce. I'm in the mode of getting my house in order leading up to the surgery.