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Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:15 am

New to site

Postby hiker » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:16 pm

Not new to this cancer journey. I discovered this site a little over a year ago, right after being diagnosed with stage iv colon cancer. The information and emotional support I've received here from just reading the posts has been such a blessing. I've wanted to join numerous times, but for whatever reason never did. I feel now is the time and I hope to be able to help others in the same way I feel I've been helped by members here.

A little background. There's no history of colon cancer in my family. I was diagnosed March 2017 at the ripe old age of 49 with a 5cm tumor in my colon and multiple liver mets in both lobes. Over the following month, I was told by at least 4 doctors (oncologists and a surgeon) to get my affairs in order because I had less than 2 years to live. Obviously, my family was devastated as I have 3 kids (ages 9, 11 and 13 at the time). I've always been told I'm hardheaded (I call it being determined) which I believe helped me tremendously in this situation. On May 1, 2017, I traveled to NYC to get a fourth opinion from MSK with the great Dr. Nancy Kemeny (oncologist) and Dr. Michael D'Angelica (surgeon). This proved to be the best decision I have ever made. At that visit I heard the word "cure" for the first time. Both doctors were incredibly confident in their abilities and fully intended to do their best to rid my body of cancer. My last surgery was July 21, 2017 and chemo finished up on February 28, 2018. After 2 major surgeries (colon and liver resections), 14 rounds of systemic chemo and 5 rounds of liver directed chemo (via the HAI pump MSK implanted), I am cancer free.

It has been a difficult struggle - the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But over the past year, I have met some truly incredible people that I would never have met had I not been diagnosed with this terrible disease.

I hope to be a help to new members who feel overwhelmed by a recent cancer diagnosis or anyone just needing someone to listen.

Colonoscopy 2/17, 5cm tumor descending
Diagnosed stage iv, liver mets 3/17
Colon resection 3/17
Told surgery not an option, get my affairs in order
Meet w/MSK team 5/01/17
Folfox(3rds) 5/17-6/17
Liver resection/implant HAI pump 7/17
HAI pump chemo(5rds) 8/17-2/18
Folfiri+Vectibix(11rds) 8/17-2/18
Spot on chest CT 10/17
Lung biopsy (that was fun) 11/17
Nocardia bacterial infection w/spread to brain (this is serious) 11/17
IV antibiotics 12/17-2/18
Oral antibiotics 3/18-12/18
Clear of cancer since surgery

Posts: 5848
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: New to site

Postby Lee » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:52 pm

Welcome, and THANK YOU for sharing your journey. Yes I'm sure it is going to help a lot of new members.

Yes this forum is wonderful and yes, Dr Kemeny and gang are great doctors. Many members on this forum can vouch for what she and Dr. D'Angelica have performed.

May you ALWAYS reside in NEDville,

rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

User avatar
Posts: 2923
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: New to site

Postby juliej » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:16 pm

Congratulations, hiker! Thanks for sharing your good news. I know how much those kind of posts meant to me when I was first diagnosed!

Dr. K and Dr. D'A are my docs too! Both are brilliant and I would not be here today if it wasn't for them. Thanks goodness you were hard headed/determined enough to seek a second opinion. :D Stage IV patients have to be their own advocates for more aggressive treatment or most oncologists will just write us off.

Stage IV, liver/lung mets 8/4/2010
Xelox+Avastin 8/18/10 to 10/21/11
LAR, liver resec, HAI pump 11/11
Double lung surgery + ileo reversal 2/12
Adjuvant Xeloda 3-9/12
VATS rt. lung 12/21/12 - benign granuloma!
NED 3/17/12 to 2/1/2019, CEA<1

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