I’m new here. Diagnosed last summer 2017 with Stage I TI rectal cancer. Had rectum and sigmoid removed at MD Anderson (originally from Houston now in Virginia) because I was 40 with a kid (too anxious not to know about lymph nodes). Pathology came back CLEAR! All malignancy was actually removed at colonoscopy but in too many parts to know about margins. 24/24 nodes CLEAR. Ileostomy reversal two months later on 9/22. It’s been tough since. Acid reflux led to upper GI in April 2018 with all biopsies normal. A little gastritis in lower stomach maybe due to gallbladder removal at same time as resection (there was a polyp but it was benign) so put on bile acid sequestrant, Cholestipol. Constipation more an issue than other extreme. Colonoscopy in April 2018 perfectly clear (and this time I went with a well-respected colorectal surgeon over a GI).
My CEA in Virginia just after polyp removal 6/2018 was 2.something and normal. At Anderson last year and two weeks later it was 3.2 which was then a little above their normal which they have since changed to 3.8. In February it was normal according to lab in Virginia (can’t remrmber the number). At Anderson last week scans were perfect but CEA was 4.2 to their new normal of 3.8
At the time of blood draw, I had an active UTI and had just gotten antibiotics two days before and just started my period. Also a small bowel obstruction on May 25 which quickly resolved without NG tube, etc. but I’ve been crampy if I eat too much fiber. Traveling, I forgot to take my Omeprazole and bile acid sequestrant. I live with terrible anxiety and have Fibromyalgia.
I have 2 confirmed hemangiomas on my liver. Confirmed on May 29th three simple cysts on ovaries (there had been a complex in April so this was to re-check and it was gone...I’ve always had cysts and have endometriosis).
I know CEA is not reliable. I know these are small numbers at different labs. My surgical oncologist at Anderson was not worried but I’m LOOSING MY MIND! He wants me to repeat it up here in VA in three months so I’m going to do more exercise, maybe only have a glass of wine once a week vs 3, eat a low inflammation diet (if that’s a real thing...I eat well to begin with). I was eating more simple carbs due to obstruction but that’s not what I like to eat. No coffee. I only ever have 1 cup anyway.
I need perspective, please. I also have dense breast tissue and have had mammograms and a biopsy recently. Nothing. Oh, and I was tested for Lynch. 95% unlikely or something like that. Neither parent had cancer and dad lived to be 93. Mom still going at 77. No aunts or uncles or siblings with hereditary cancers (sister had cervical from HPV). Grandmother had bladder cancer and lived to be 90.