Hi everyone, I've been lurking here for a bit and decided to introduce myself. I was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and I'm still in disbelief. My husband and I already had a very difficult year in 2017, as my mom had serious declining health issues due to needing an organ transplant. We were constantly in hospitals, seeing doctors, having emergency ER visits, etc. During this sad and scary time we also lost one of our pets, my heart dog, in a very fast and traumatic way (who I am still mourning). My mom, thank goodness, was able to get her much-needed transplant just in time, and as her health as been improving we were looking forward to a better 2018.
Unfortunately that's not to be as I was diagnosed with colon cancer a few weeks ago. i'd been having intermittent lower left abdominal pains for months, and as it worsened I went to my GP, then my gyn to rule out reproductive issues, then finally a GI who had me do an MRI which showed "vague findings" so he wanted more tests. Before I could do them, my husband, mom and I took a vacation together to see family, where I ended up in the ER due to the pain (apparently the flight exacerbated my pain and it was worse than ever). They did a CT scan which showed thickening of the intestinal wall and some spots on my liver and they suspected it could be cancer. I got home and my GI quickly scheduled me for a colonoscopy which confirmed it, they couldn't even get the camera past the mass in my colon.
I just had colon resection surgery (laparoscopic) on 3/6. He removed about 12" (from descending colon) and saw more cancer on my omentum which he removed, and told me that means I am Stage IV. He wanted to biopsy the spots on my liver during surgery but was unable to do so. He wants to start me on chemo (I believe he said it would be Folfox) in a month, once I've sufficiently recovered from surgery. He said I would get a port and the chemo would be every other week.
I was already released from hospital and came home yesterday 3/8. I'm still in a lot of pain, they told me that laparoscopic surgery results in a lot of gas which has been true for me and quite painful. I've been trying to walk around per their recommendation which helps slightly. They had me on solid food already before I left the hospital, which I am tolerating, but I am having very frequent bowel movements which is annoying (but to be expected I guess).
I am 42 years old. I still can't believe this is happening. It was so hard to tell my friends and family "I have cancer." I don't know much of my family history on my father's side so I don't know if it is genetic or not. I believe I have had IBS for most of my life, but never went to a GI doc to get formally diagnosed (am kicking myself for that now, I should have gone years ago and perhaps I would have caught this sooner).
I do live in NY and have read on the boards here great things about Nancy Kemeny at MSK, so I am hoping to make an appointment with her. The personal accounts I have read here about her helping people give me hope. However I am still scared and saddened that this is happening. Plus I feel terrible right now since my surgery was so recent which isn't helping my state of mind!
Thank you for reading my story. I'm glad I found this supportive community with so many brave and amazing people.
Female, age 42, Stage IV CRC
2/13/18 - went to ER for abdominal pain, CT scan done, advised possible cancer.
2/23/18 - colonoscopy and virtual colonoscopy, diagnosed colon cancer.
3/6/18 - Left hemicolectomy, 12" removed, clear margins. Multiple mets removed from lymph nodes, multiple mets to omentum and liver, one possible lung met. Officially diagnosed Stage IV CRC.
4/6/18 - port installed
4/9/18 - started Folfox (oxaliplatin & leucovorin, plus 48 hours of 5FU)