Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

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MeAndMine
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby MeAndMine » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:55 am

I had my follow up appointment with my GI. He is sending me for an MRI & said he's going to consult with his partner as to if EUS would be beneficial. He told me to make an appointment with a surgeon & an oncologist.

I finally have the biopsy results. I have a precancerous tubular adenoma in my descending colon and adenocarcinoma arising from a tubulovillious adenoma in my rectum.

First question, does anyone know about how long I will be inside the MRI machine? I've never had an MRI so was trying to read up on it to see. I need to ask if I can take benedryl or something before hand to relax.

Also, I'm wondering if I should ask the surgeon and/or oncologist about the EUS as my GI doctor said if I get it, his partner would do it & I would have to go to another city because they don't do it here.

My GI said a few times as we were speaking that his job was done & he will see me in a year so I'm wondering if I should let the other doctors be in charge of the tests from now on. Hopefully it's okay that I went ahead & scheduled the MRI but the earliest they had an appointment for is next week.

My CT results were:

Lung bases are clear

Hepatic steatosis. Gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, spleen, adrenals and kidneys are normal.

Stomach, small bowel and appendix are unremarkable. Moderate to severe diverticulosis of the descending and sigmoid colon. No abdominal or retroperitoneal adenopathy.

Bladder is unremarkable. Subtle asymmetric mural thickening of the distal rectum may reflect the clinically indicated rectal mass. No regional adenopathy. No adnexal mass. No pelvic or inguinal adenopathy.

No agressive osseous lesions. L5/S1 degenerative disc disease.

What will the MRI show differently than the CT has shown? Is it possible that it will show more involvement that the CT missed?

What typically happens at your first surgeon visit and your first oncologist visit? My daughter said that she wants to go with me to the surgeon.

My blood pressure was up at the GI appointment again. They always ask if I'm on medication. The heart doctor last week said I don't need medicine but it's always a little high so I'm not sure what to do about that.

They also said I had a "slight temperature" of 99.1 yesterday. I think it doesn't matter but the way the nurse exclaimed & shook her head makes me wonder. The doctor said it was fine. I was on my way to visit a newborn after that appointment so I worried if I need to stay away. I'm so afraid of making someone else sick with things that I'm taking or exposed to, especially the little ones that I love. I understand soon enough I will need to be wearing a mask to protect me from the germs the older ones bring home from school but I am just really worried about me making someone else sick.
F 56 non-smoker
8/5/2019 - Colonoscopy - 4-5 cm rectal mass, 2-3 cm proximal to anal verge and 6mm polyp
8/13/2019 - CT - No mets
8/19/2019 - Rectum: Adenocarcinoma arising from tubulovillous adenoma. Descending colon: tubular adenoma
8/23/2019 First visit with surgeon
8/26/2019 First visit with oncologist
8/26/2019 MRI
CEA 8/19/19=3.9, 8/26/19=7.1
9/6/2019 - T3N2a
9/11/2019 - Radiation begins - 5.5 weeks along with oral capecitabine

NHMike
Posts: 2198
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby NHMike » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:15 am

In my case, the GI doc consulted with an oncologist and radiation oncologist for me and I ultimately went with them. They were local and I got second opinions from a top cancer hospital and they agreed with the plans of the local doctors. He suggested surgeons as well but I went with a board-certified surgeon at a top cancer hospital an hour away. It would be nice if the GI doctor provides suggestions or even puts together a team but I guess this varies by GI doctor.

I'd say that the Oncologist was the doctor in charge while I was on Neo-Adjuvant Chemo and Radiation. After that, the Surgeon was in charge. Then it was back to the Oncologist for Adjuvant Chemo. So control gets handed off as you go from phase to phase of treatment. At least it did in my case.

I'm not sure what EUS is.

I think that it was about 35-45 minutes inside the MRI machine. It is a relatively enclosed tube and some get claustrophobic in it. My manager has this problem and I think that she took some medication to help her get through it after cancelling a few times. You will have to hold your breath many times through the MRI and they will likely use contrast which gives you a warm feeling in a lot of your body and make it feel like you want to pee.

The MRI can show things in much finer detail compared to a CT scan.

At my first surgeon's visit - I think that the doctor probed with a finger, asked me a lot of questions, reassured me as I was pretty stressed out and then gave me a rough idea as to a schedule as the surgery would be sometime after Neoadjuvant Chemo and Radiation which would be six weeks. Then 4-8 weeks of recovery, and then surgery. Your stats so far are similar to mine though my tumor was higher up. There are a few visits in-between Neo-Adjuvant Chemo/Radiation for an MRI to see how well the Chemo/Radiation did, and then meeting with an Ostomy nurse and then planning with the surgeon.

Keep asking questions and we'll do our best to answer them.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

MeAndMine
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby MeAndMine » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:28 pm

I'm not sure what EUS is.

I had read that on another post earlier & didn't know what it was either but it's an endoscopic ultrasound. Ultrasound sounds like it's easy & quick but the nurse who called me to set it up says it's only done at a hospital & that "we try to keep it 4 hours from car to car" meaning from the time you get there, register, etc. until you leave. I think the endoscopy part is why it takes longer & you also have to do the same prep as if you were getting a colonoscopy.

I'm a bit worried about the MRI but I'll have to ask if I can take a benedryl or something beforehand. I need to not dwell on it & just get it done. We will see. I don't do well with sounds. I can close my eyes & try not to think about the tube part but the noise my push me over the edge. I have issues with sounds in every day life & rarely have even a tv on at home.

I'd really rather go to my appointments alone but my daughter really wants to go to hear what the next doctors have to say. My husband went to my other appointments with me but I do better if it's just me. I've never been one to want help in any way so it's hard for me to have someone else with me. I tend to worry more about them than myself if I'm not alone. Also I don't want anyone in the room with me if they're doing an exam like that so I have to tell her to wait out front until we actually talk, only I worry if she'll be able to come back at all if she doesn't come at the beginning. Eh, in the scheme of things, I worry about little things that do not matter.

I would love to have a team of doctors who work together but I'm not going to be able to go to a cancer center & have to go with what I am able to work with. I did make sure the surgeon is a board certified colorectal surgeon. He did a fellowship in the UK, surgical residence at Yale & a fellowship at Mayo and has good reviews from patients. I can't remember more about the oncologist at this point but I had help in finding someone that we thought was good.

I'm all over the place with my thoughts but thanks for your input!
F 56 non-smoker
8/5/2019 - Colonoscopy - 4-5 cm rectal mass, 2-3 cm proximal to anal verge and 6mm polyp
8/13/2019 - CT - No mets
8/19/2019 - Rectum: Adenocarcinoma arising from tubulovillous adenoma. Descending colon: tubular adenoma
8/23/2019 First visit with surgeon
8/26/2019 First visit with oncologist
8/26/2019 MRI
CEA 8/19/19=3.9, 8/26/19=7.1
9/6/2019 - T3N2a
9/11/2019 - Radiation begins - 5.5 weeks along with oral capecitabine

User avatar
juliej
Posts: 3036
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby juliej » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:54 pm

MeAndMine wrote:I'm a bit worried about the MRI but I'll have to ask if I can take a benedryl or something beforehand. I need to not dwell on it & just get it done. We will see. I don't do well with sounds. I can close my eyes & try not to think about the tube part but the noise my push me over the edge. I have issues with sounds in every day life & rarely have even a tv on at home.

The electromagnets used in MRI machines vibrate slightly during the procedure, which is what makes the noise. However, it's no louder than sitting in the cabin of an aircraft - around 90dB.

That said, most MRI centers have headphones or earplugs for patients who are sensitive to noise. Call ahead and see if yours has them available. They will also give you a "button" to hold during the procedure. If you feel panicky, just press the button and they'll pull you out of the machine until you feel calmer.

Also, MRI centers cannot give you anti-anxiety meds so if you need to take something before your MRI, just ask your oncologist for a prescription. Benadryl will make you sleepy, which might work, but it depends on how intense your anxiety is. Don't be afraid to take a single dose of something stronger that calms you down.

Hope this helps!
Juliej
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 6/13/2019, CEA<1

CF_69
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:44 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby CF_69 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:55 pm

I’m by no means qualified to comment on medical issues, but your CT scan report looks pretty encouraging to me.

My hospital has two MRI machines. One you go in feet first, and the other is head first. Neither were that bad. I’m pretty tall though, so my head wasn’t all the way inside on either machine.

Just try to relax and stay as still as possible. Some have music and blow cool air on your face.
47 year old male
Distal sigmoid near rectosigmoid junction adjacent to upper rectum
Adenocarcinoma
2.8 x 1.8 x 3.5 cm
G2
T3N0M0 after pathology
CEA 1.9
Xeloda / radiation x 25
Laparoscopic LAR April 2019
0 of 12 nodes
Stage 2A
4 cycles of adjuvant Xeloda
MRI on liver for 2mm hypodensity not suspicious.

NHMike
Posts: 2198
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby NHMike » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:14 pm

If your hospital has an Electronic Medical Records system like EPIC, then you can see your visit notes and labs and, if you are using multiple hospitals and they ar on the same system, then they should be able to talk to each other. This can avoid duplication of tests or even errors. If not, then save everything and take notes. Sometimes you have to carry imaging from one hospital to another.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

Punky44
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby Punky44 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:41 am

Great CT results!!

From my understanding, the CT is a great tool for finding cancer in the liver/lungs (which yours didn’t—yay!) and the MRI is a great tool for seeing the depth of invasion (T Stage) of the tumor as well as any regional lymph nodes that may be affected. My mom also had a CT first, then MRI (and then actually a PET due to something they saw in the MRI which turned out to be her ovary (lol) but these tests ultimately staged her.
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68)
10/1/18 DX with rectal cancer; CEA 17 at diagnosis
MRI/CT/PET puts staging at T3N2M0
Total neoadjuvant therapy:
8 rounds Folfox 11/5/18 - 2/11/19
Short course radiation 3/14/19 - 3/20/19
Robotically assisted laparoscopic LAR 3/21/19
Pathology report says yT2N0M0 with 0/38 nodes
CEA 4/23: 2.1; 7/24: 1.9
6/28/19 Reversal and port out

Me: 34, first colonoscopy 11/16/18—normal! Come back in 5 years.

MeAndMine
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby MeAndMine » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:09 am

Thanks everyone, the info helps a lot to understand it more. I'm trying to get through one day at a time. Today is another dental day. I've got to have a good bit of work done & wish I was more like others in the dentist chair. All of my siblings have it, I think my older brother is the worst though. Poor thing gets up in the middle & says "Whew, it's hot in here!" We had awful times with a childhood dentist.

Speaking of that, the MRI place asked if I had any metal in my body & I said that I have fillings but really I've had so much done, does dental work cause an issue? I like amalgam fillings but I still have some old fillings. Also had a bad root canal where they had to go back & drill into the crown & do a second take which they filled with the old type of filling.

Everything seems to go so slow. I want to hurry, hurry, hurry but I know I need to learn to wait. I'm still so anxious. I've never been one to take medicine but feel like if I could just take something my brain could rest. I've not slept well for too long.

My dentist closed his office here so I have a good bit of a drive to get to him today. I'm going to try to find something to do over that way to try to break out of my mindset.

Wishing you all happy thoughts & a productive day. Thanks for being there.
F 56 non-smoker
8/5/2019 - Colonoscopy - 4-5 cm rectal mass, 2-3 cm proximal to anal verge and 6mm polyp
8/13/2019 - CT - No mets
8/19/2019 - Rectum: Adenocarcinoma arising from tubulovillous adenoma. Descending colon: tubular adenoma
8/23/2019 First visit with surgeon
8/26/2019 First visit with oncologist
8/26/2019 MRI
CEA 8/19/19=3.9, 8/26/19=7.1
9/6/2019 - T3N2a
9/11/2019 - Radiation begins - 5.5 weeks along with oral capecitabine

NHMike
Posts: 2198
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby NHMike » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:38 am

MeAndMine wrote:Thanks everyone, the info helps a lot to understand it more. I'm trying to get through one day at a time. Today is another dental day. I've got to have a good bit of work done & wish I was more like others in the dentist chair. All of my siblings have it, I think my older brother is the worst though. Poor thing gets up in the middle & says "Whew, it's hot in here!" We had awful times with a childhood dentist.

Speaking of that, the MRI place asked if I had any metal in my body & I said that I have fillings but really I've had so much done, does dental work cause an issue? I like amalgam fillings but I still have some old fillings. Also had a bad root canal where they had to go back & drill into the crown & do a second take which they filled with the old type of filling.

Everything seems to go so slow. I want to hurry, hurry, hurry but I know I need to learn to wait. I'm still so anxious. I've never been one to take medicine but feel like if I could just take something my brain could rest. I've not slept well for too long.

My dentist closed his office here so I have a good bit of a drive to get to him today. I'm going to try to find something to do over that way to try to break out of my mindset.

Wishing you all happy thoughts & a productive day. Thanks for being there.


I have maybe one or two amalgam fillings and it wasn't an issue.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

MeAndMine
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby MeAndMine » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:49 am

I have maybe one or two amalgam fillings and it wasn't an issue.


Thanks Mike, I was wondering about them & if they were an issue.

I did get my terms mixed up but I do have amalgam fillings. I meant that I like the resin type tooth colored fillings. I have some of those but still have some of the old amalgam too.
F 56 non-smoker
8/5/2019 - Colonoscopy - 4-5 cm rectal mass, 2-3 cm proximal to anal verge and 6mm polyp
8/13/2019 - CT - No mets
8/19/2019 - Rectum: Adenocarcinoma arising from tubulovillous adenoma. Descending colon: tubular adenoma
8/23/2019 First visit with surgeon
8/26/2019 First visit with oncologist
8/26/2019 MRI
CEA 8/19/19=3.9, 8/26/19=7.1
9/6/2019 - T3N2a
9/11/2019 - Radiation begins - 5.5 weeks along with oral capecitabine

NHMike
Posts: 2198
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby NHMike » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:55 am

MeAndMine wrote:
I have maybe one or two amalgam fillings and it wasn't an issue.


Thanks Mike, I was wondering about them & if they were an issue.

I did get my terms mixed up but I do have amalgam fillings. I meant that I like the resin type tooth colored fillings. I have some of those but still have some of the old amalgam too.


I replaced a ton of amalgam fillings with porcelain onlays in the 1990s and 2000s and I also have some resin fillings. Bad teeth runs in my family. I also have two crowns with the wood filling inside. So I have some of all of the types of fillings. I don't have any gold crowns though. But no issues at all with MRIs. BTW, the MRIs that I've had were all requested by the surgeon for planning purposes. The CT scans were ordered by the Oncologists. The Radiation Oncologist must have used a CT scan as I don't recall an MRI before radiation.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

CF_69
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:44 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby CF_69 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:29 pm

I can relate to the desire to get the cancer out of you ASAP. When mine was found, I wondered why they didn’t keep me in the hospital and take it out that day.

I was abroad in Europe, so my employer had to get me back home, which took several days, and then the whole process of getting a doctor, a surgeon and two oncologists took several weeks. Staging took several weeks. Then I did chemoradiation and a two month break before surgery.

All in it took 5 months from discovery to surgery.

Hang in there. Fortunately, most colon cancers are considered slow growing from what I’ve read and been told.

I tried to focus on diet and exercise during the waiting periods. I just wanted to feel like I was doing something positive.

The waiting sucks though. The anxiety is terrible, and definitely not something you need to deal with on top of everything else, but that’s just how it is.

One thing I always tried to keep in mind was that these doctors know what they’re doing. They deal with this all day, every day.

Trust them, and best wishes going forward.
47 year old male
Distal sigmoid near rectosigmoid junction adjacent to upper rectum
Adenocarcinoma
2.8 x 1.8 x 3.5 cm
G2
T3N0M0 after pathology
CEA 1.9
Xeloda / radiation x 25
Laparoscopic LAR April 2019
0 of 12 nodes
Stage 2A
4 cycles of adjuvant Xeloda
MRI on liver for 2mm hypodensity not suspicious.

MeAndMine
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby MeAndMine » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:43 am

I had an appointment scheduled with the surgeon yesterday but they had to change it. I wasn't nervous about going yesterday & was all ready to go & in the car when they called. But now, I'm overly anxious about it. I don't know what changes my mindset but wish I'd been able to get it over with yesterday.

Oncologist & MRI is next week.
F 56 non-smoker
8/5/2019 - Colonoscopy - 4-5 cm rectal mass, 2-3 cm proximal to anal verge and 6mm polyp
8/13/2019 - CT - No mets
8/19/2019 - Rectum: Adenocarcinoma arising from tubulovillous adenoma. Descending colon: tubular adenoma
8/23/2019 First visit with surgeon
8/26/2019 First visit with oncologist
8/26/2019 MRI
CEA 8/19/19=3.9, 8/26/19=7.1
9/6/2019 - T3N2a
9/11/2019 - Radiation begins - 5.5 weeks along with oral capecitabine

boxhill
Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby boxhill » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:31 am

I am claustrophobic, so when I go in for an MRI I take something like 1 mg ativan half an hour before. The techs also put a washcloth over my eyes, which helps a lot. If I open them, I just see this light cloth, as opposed to the tube <shudder>. You also have headphones so that they can communicate with you, and a panic button should you freak out. I haven't come anywhere close to that, thankfully.

Regarding the drug, the first time (years ago) I got a prescription from my doctor in advance. The second time I had ativan on hand from my array of chemo drugs, so I just took 2 of those. The third time I was in the hospital, and when I told them about my claustrophobia they arranged to give me something. It does seem to take the edge off for us nervous nellies. :wink:
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemi
11 of 25 nodes,5 mesentery nodes
5mm liver met out
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
dMMR, MSI-H
5/4/18 FOLFOX
Neulasta 6/28
7/9/18 CT NED
11/20/18 CT NED. Enlarged spleen.
12/20/18 Liver MRI 5mm liver met? and 2 lymph nodes in porta hepatis
12/31/18 Keytruda
6/5/19 Triphasic CT LN and spleen normal, Liver node stable
6/28/19 Pause Keytruda, predisone for joint pain
7/31/19 Restart Keytruda
9/10/19 CT stable

MeAndMine
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Newly diagnosed rectal cancer

Postby MeAndMine » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:04 pm

You all are a wealth of knowledge, I appreciate it. I wanted to post a little update. No new information but I'm one step closer to a plan of action.

I've not even thought about the MRI again. I'd had to reschedule the surgeon twice & was glad when I finally got to go. On the way there, the MRI people called & said that the place I was scheduled to go to, can't do the kind of MRI that I need. The only one that can do the "rectal focus" is not close by but they were able to get me an appointment next week. I'm trying to take things one step at a time & I don't have to worry about that one today even though it's coming up.

The surgeon's office was really nice. First they didn't get my records from the other doctor, then they got them but didn't get the referral. Then the referral came in but the info was for an office they don't even have. Lots of glitches but the lady worked with my daughter & I to get them ironed out so I was able to finally get the appointment over with. He wants to see me again in two weeks. I'm not sure why but I think he said just to make sure we've got a plan in place & see where we are at. He did say that he believes I will have the regular treatment of chemo/radiation, then he will do an MRI to see where we stand, then surgery & more chemo.

The surgeon was very positive. He said things in a positive light but some of it seemed different than what I've read about from other patients. It made my daughter happy to hear it but even though I'm super glad to have someone like him on my side, I know it's not as easy as he made it sound. Still, that positive attitude can carry me a long way!

Oh, and my daughter was able to come to the appointment with me just fine. We both went back when the nurse came to get me. They did my blood pressure & weight--my blood pressure was up again. I guess I have "white coat syndrome" because it's up at every appointment even though the cardiologist said I was fine after all of his tests & that I don't need medication. After the nurse was done, the doctor came in & spoke with us both, then showed my daughter to his office to wait while he did an exam & used a scope to see more of the area. He said he was surprised I wasn't hurting more than I was. I admit I hurt more after the appointment but nothing major & that was to be expected with that exam. Makes me wonder if it was bigger than I thought though. I do tend to over-think everything. After that, we went to his office to discuss things.

When I left there, he said he was going to call the oncologist & get started on a plan. I see the oncologist next week. I do wish the MRI was done but it'll get done soon and we will have that information.

My baby girl just had her first baby & I've not been able to stay with them like I have done with my other children when they had their babies. But finally I was able to spend one night with them. I just got home & miss them already.

It's been raining & there is a huge rainbow in the sky. My friend lives where she sees rainbows so often that she sends pictures of them all of the time. It was amazing to see it right before my eyes instead of just a picture from thousands of miles away!

I'm so thankful to have you all to ask questions & talk to about everything. I hope you all are having a good weekend & things are going your way.
F 56 non-smoker
8/5/2019 - Colonoscopy - 4-5 cm rectal mass, 2-3 cm proximal to anal verge and 6mm polyp
8/13/2019 - CT - No mets
8/19/2019 - Rectum: Adenocarcinoma arising from tubulovillous adenoma. Descending colon: tubular adenoma
8/23/2019 First visit with surgeon
8/26/2019 First visit with oncologist
8/26/2019 MRI
CEA 8/19/19=3.9, 8/26/19=7.1
9/6/2019 - T3N2a
9/11/2019 - Radiation begins - 5.5 weeks along with oral capecitabine


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