Anothe milestone reached in my journey

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Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby MikeManess » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:15 pm

Today I had my chemo port removed. That's one more step toward getting back to where I was before my life was upended by cancer.

I finished my chemo treatment in June. During my first appointment after chemo, my oncologist asked when I wanted to remove my port. Being cautious, I wanted to wait for a couple of scans first. I was a bit nervous about having ended chemo. When I was receiving chemo, I felt that the cancer was being kept away. Chemo was sort of a lifeline. Those just starting chemo don't understand, yet, but ending chemo is a brave new world. I wanted the option of resuming chemo quickly if needed. The first week of November I had my 3rd scan, which was clean. My oncologist asked about port removal again, and I'm actually a bit tired of being flushed every 6 weeks, so I agreed. I will miss seeing the chemo nurses that I got to know so well, but not having to flush all the time is nice.

Port removal was easy, but I'm really sore right now. Wide awake for removal, just like insertion. My wife was in the room when it was being removed, so it really is no big deal. Took about 30 minutes. I wondered how removing the line from my vein would go, but the doctor kept pressure on the area for a couple of minutes and that was all that was needed.

It started hurting a bit when I got home - the numbing shots were wearing off. I took a hydrocodone I had left over from my liver surgery last year and went to sleep. Woke up, and my shoulder area where the port was is fairly sore. I was given instructions to keep the bandage on for two days and let the steri-strips and dermabond wear off.

While it's one more step to getting back where I was, I'm still left with reminders of chemo. My fingers and feet are still pretty numb from Oxaliplatin more than a year after I ended that toxic sludge. I'm having arthritis issues from over a year's worth of Avastin. I apparently will never have to worry about constipation for the rest of my life. I have developed a small hernia in an old incision that will need to be dealt with soon. Butt - I'm stage 4 and still alive, so I'm not complaining. Nearly two years after diagnosis and I'm NED. That's worth celebrating.

And I celebrated by buying a new truck and by taking my wife home to Philippines for her first visit in 2 1/2 years. A wonderful country, full of the friendliest people you will find anywhere. And it was nice to travel somewhere other than for another round of chemo. My scans are now every 6 months instead of 3 months - yet another milestone.

To those stage 4 that are just starting your journey, there is hope for the end of treatment. I never became worried, or depressed, or even considered any other option except to be where I am today - even at initial stage 4 diagnosis. A positive mental attitude is SO important. I also received prayer from more people than I can count - prayer does wonders! Just get yourself to a major cancer center, do what your oncologist suggests, and stay with it. The road can be rough but hang in there. You can survive this.
3/11/16 Colonoscopy - 9 benign polyps, 1 large cancerous tumor in right ascending colon
3/23/16 First meeting with Oncologist
4/19/16 Right colectomy
4/21/16 discharged from hospital
6/3/16 Two liver spots detected, added Avastin to Folfox
10/5/16 Oxaliplatin stopped after 10 rounds
12/20/16 Liver surgery. Pathology shows no active cancer cells
1/18/17 Mop-up chemo, Folfiri + Avastin
2/7/17 Baseline CT and MRI show no cancer - in remission and NED
6/7/17 Final chemo
12/5/17 Port removed

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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby Steph20021 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:05 am

Congrats on the milestone Mike and enjoy your new truck :)
DX 1/31/14 @ 33- SPS-T4a(invades visceral peri), N2a(6/106 LN), M1a(ovary) (Stage 4a) MSS
2/1/14-subtotal col, lost R ovary, temp ileo
3/14-9/14- folfox; sepsis
11/14-CT/PET: L ovary met, pelvic met, (?)ghost liver met(?)
12/14-folfiri -13 rds kept me stable from 3/15-6/15
8/15-HIPEC, hysterectomy et al, 2nd temp ileo, NED?
09/15- cea 0.9
05/16- recurrence in abdo wall and lymph nodes
Jan/17- pulmonary embolism
Feb/17- 1 wk radiation to abdo wall
Currently stable suce Aug/16- on folfiri

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Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby CRguy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:15 am

Keep ON ... fightin' the good fight

Cheers and Harmony
Caregiver x 3
Stage IV A rectal cancer/lung met
10 Year survivor
my life is an ongoing totally randomized UNcontrolled experiment with N=1 !
Review of my Journey so far

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Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby AussieAssCancer » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:11 am

Great news! I’m due to get mine out as soon as I get back home from working away!

Can’t wait
Dx Oct '15 w/ Stage 3c RC
Nov '15 - Jan '16: 3x FOLFOX and 5wks Chemoradiation w/ Xeloda
March '16: ULAR w/ temp ileostomy
Complete pathological response incl 0/12 nodes
April '16: Clear CT (NED)
May - Aug '16: 9x FOLFOX (dropped Oxaliplatin for final Rd due to neuropathy)
Dec '16: Clear CT (NED)
Feb '17: Ileostomy reversed
Aug '17: Clear CT (NED)

Blog: kickingrectalcancerintheassblog

Posts: 691
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby NHMike » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:26 am

That's quite the year that you've had and really glad that things are looking up for you. Also, thank-you for the description of the port removal. I'll save that away as it's in my future too (probably six months from now). One suggestion on your signature: you're going to have to indicate the year soon.
6/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy+Biopsy
7/13: Stage 3B rectal cancer. T3, N1b, M0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6 mm, 5 x 5 mm
7/31-9/8: Xeloda 3,400 mg/day+radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 9/8: 1.8. 11/30: 0.6
10/6: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 mm (-75%), 5 x 3 mm (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/30: Surgery: LAR, Temp Ileostomy
Path report: Tumor regression grade: 0 (complete response).

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Facebook Username: Robin.lawthers
Location: Florida

Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby Robino1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:21 am

Congratulations on your milestone. :D

I've just had my 10th session with chemo. I'm getting a CT scan on Friday and I'm confident that there is even more good news.

My journey is so up in the air right now as I'm inoperable, or was at the beginning. I can only take it one step at a time as far as treatment goes but I continue to live my life. Going north for Christmas and playing with all 6 grandkids. :lol:

Like you, I haven't gotten depressed nor do I think about not winning this battle. Whatever happens with long term side effects I think I can handle. At least I'll be alive to have a chance at long term side effects ;)

I want at the minimum 10 years. 20 is my goal.
At 54 2014 1st colonoscopy colon cancer detected.
Colon resect right ascending
margins clear. No chemo Stage II
Distended abd, pain in intestines.
CT scan shows seeding
Lap diag - cancer on the omentum
CEA 217
CEA 219
PET cancer on the omentum, susp activ right abdomen
FOLFOX started 6/17
CEA 202
Not genetic
8/29/17 CT scan showed excellent melting of the tumor. Chemo is working!
Ascites is gone
CEA: 9/30/17 -109; 10/12/17 - 99.1; 11/4/17 - 90.7; 11/30/17 - 70.7
BRAF V600e mutation :(

Deb m
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Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby Deb m » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:32 am

So happy for you. What a wonderful Christmas present you have been given!

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Facebook Username: Susan DeGrazia Hostetter
Location: Michigan

Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby susie0915 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:36 am

Congrats. So awesome. I do understand your feelings after you finish chemo. When you're in the middle of treatment, you feel like you are doing something to kill the cancer. After completing treatment, even when you are ned there is kind of a feeling of helplessness. I too have a hernia now. My surgeon doesn't want to do anything as it is tiny and not really causing me problems. I think he figures my abdomen has dealt with enough between my hysterectomy, resection, and surgery to repair a blockage and reverse ileostomy 4 weeks after the resection. So I am happy to wait and watch to see how it goes. Make sure you wear a belly band anytime you do heavy lifting as to not aggravate. Congrats again, so happy for you and the purchase of your new truck.
58 yr old mother of 3 Dx @ 55
5/15 DX T3N0MO/ 2A
6/15 5 wks of chemo/rad
7/15 sigmoidoscopy/scar tissue left
8/15 Pet scan NED
9/15 LAR
0/24 nodes
10/15 Bowel blockage. 3 1/2 weeks in hospital,early ileo rev, c-diff inf :(
12/15 6 rds of xelox
5/16 Clear CT lung scarring/inflammation
9/16 clear colonoscopy
4/17 CT 4mm lung nod onc thinks scar tissue
monitored for autoimmune disorder/interstitial lung disease
7/17 no change lung nodule
10/17 Clear CT
11/17 CEA<.5

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Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:28 pm

Re: Anothe milestone reached in my journey

Postby SweetC80 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:42 am

That's awesome!! What a fantastic milestone, congrats!
Mom's history
68yo at diagnoses
12/16 Stage IIIb Rectal Ca CEA 1.2
1/17-2/17 Chemoradiation CEA 4.4
5/17 Entire Colon, Rectum and Anus removed Perm Ileostomy Bag
9/17 Stage IVb 9cm Liver Met and suspicious 7mm Lung Nodule CEA 197
9/17 Irincotecan CEA 160
10/17 Confirmed KRAS Positive CEA 210
11/17 Met growths, Liver 10cm and Lung 8mm CEA 425
12/17 Onco Apt to discuss options after treatment for abscess. Mom's not giving up

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