Hello, I have been reading everyone's posts trying to learn as much as I can. On Oct 5, 2017 I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer during a colonoscopy which I had because I started seeing blood three weeks prior. As someone who has been a vegetarian for 42 yrs, exercises regularly, is at a healthy weight, I was quite shocked to find out I had cancer. I was supposed to be low risk and was told by my general doctor not to have a colonoscopy because the risks outweigh the benefits in my case. Boy, was she wrong! Instead she had me do fecal occult testing each year. I am so angry at myself for listening to her. Of course, now I wish I had a colonoscopy years before.
I am currently upset that the doctors have taken so long to get me into surgery which will be this Thurs, Nov 9, 2017. I have had blood work, CT scan, MRI all of which do not show spread, but I know that we will not know for sure until the lymph node pathology. My cancer surgeon said he must have another surgeon assist so we have been waiting for them to be able to coordinate their schedules.
It will be 5 weeks from diagnosis to surgery, and as I know you all can relate, I feel like each day they are giving the cancer a chance to grow. The surgeon is doing "open" surgery because the 4 cm cancer is in the lower colon and upper rectum and he thinks with the open surgery it will give me a better chance to avoid a colostomy. If any one here has had the open surgery, could you please share your experience in terms of recovery the day of surgery and going forward. I was really hoping for laparoscopic surgery, as I know that the pain is not as severe and the recovery is easier, but I have to trust that he is doing the right thing in terms of being able to get a lot of margin around the tumor and avoid the colostomy if possible.
The most difficult part so far has been seeing how sad my daughters are. I am praying that the surgery goes well this Thurs and that there are no involved lymph nodes. Any advice you can give me prior to surgery so that I am better prepared physically and mentally would be sincerely appreciated.
F 9/14/17 blood, 10/05/17 endoscopy/colonoscopy 4.5 cm tumor lower colon/upper rectum/left side -11/09/17 open Rectosigmoid Colon Resection remove invasive adenocarcinoma, moderately diff marg clear.15 lymph nodes neg malignancy. benign liver w/fibrous nodule- rectum at 15cm Tumor location: above peritoneal reflection 4.2 x 2.7 cm Tumor inv muscularis closest 1.5 cm. pT2pNO Stage 1. No Lynch