Diagnosed while working abroad

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MeAndMine
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: Diagnosed while working abroad

Postby MeAndMine » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:46 am

Thanks everyone for your responses. This will be my last week of pCR. Thursday is a holiday, so it's actually only 4 trips to the Rad clinic, but I have to keep taking the Xeloda through Friday.

I know I won't feel better immediately. I already get weekends off from radiation, and Sunday is usually my worst day. But I'm hoping that without the Xeloda and radiation I'll start feeling a little more normal within the week.

Two weeks after the end of pCR we've got a flight to the US to visit family. That will be nice, but in my current state, that flight will be rough.

How are you doing? Hope the healing is going well and you're feeling better by now. It's been slow going for me but it's better. How did you do on the flight? I hope you had a good trip and things are looking up!
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

jts
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Re: Diagnosed while working abroad

Postby jts » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:02 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. It is almost two weeks since the end of Chemo-Radiation. I am feeling much better. Not good or normal, but every day I feel distinctly better than the day before. During the therapy weeks I got gradually worse, and can now see that I lost track of how crappy I was feeling. I'm happy that I was able to ride my bike to treatment and work during the whole treatment, except on really rainy days. In the last two weeks I had to be really careful going over bumps, but stretching my legs and getting some fresh air and some endorphins flowing was absolutely needed.

During the last week of treatment my tiredness mostly went away. That was a little problem because I really wanted/needed to sleep. Up to then I was always ready to sleep and would have really vivid dreams. In the last week that just went away. The bottoms of my feet also got really sore. It felt kind-of like walking on bruises, but the skin looked normal. Getting out on the bike and raising my heartrate also helped with that.

We fly to the US on Friday. It should be no big deal. I've told a couple friends that I'm sick and they're trying to make time to come visit. Either in the US or back in Germany.

The food drama continues. Going home at night and dinner time is like walking on eggs, and several time per week ends with me getting screamed at about how I'm killing myself because I didn't eat the right amount of fruit at the right times, or just more screaming just because. But always so much screaming. Last night I tried to cook a vegetable noodle dish that I like and got stopped because anything I find appetizing is a bad influence on our daughter and probably causes cancer. There's no law that says it has to make sense.

Scans scheduled when we get back, and surgery in mid-december. Almost certainly systemic chemo after that. So I'm done with the easy part! Lol.
Male 42
Most likely stage III, RC
DX starting 14.08.2019
Pooping blood, urgent care, colonoscopy, biopsy, CT, MRI, next step TBD
6 cm long tumor, 5cm above anocutaneous line
At least one lymph node likely
Tumor may touch seminal vesicles
23.Sept - 25.Oct Chemo-radiation, Capecitabine
Mid-December Surgery

Claudine
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:41 pm
Location: Montana

Re: Diagnosed while working abroad

Postby Claudine » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:23 pm

So sorry about the food drama, jts. Cancer and the battle against it are so incredibly stressful, not only for the affected person but for close relatives and friends. I'm not too happy with my husband's diet (lots of carbs) but try to bite my tongue because he's already going through hell, so if food can bring him some comfort, then so be it...
Wife of Dx 04/2018 (51 yo). MSS, KRAS mutated G12A
No primary, lytic tumor L4 vertebrae, CEA 10
Radiation 04/2018
Resection small intestine 05/18 (no cancer found - Crohn's)
Xelox * 6, 05/2018 to 10/2018
6.7 cm left adrenal mass 03/14/2019, 4.4 cm 05/21, 4.1 cm 09/16
SBRT L4 02/2019
Folfiri + Avastin
CEA since 03/15: 58, then low of 3.2 now 6.9
Scan 03/14: Multiple small lung nodules
Scan 05/21: shrinking
Scan 09/16: lungs show no abnormalities (YAY!!!)

jts
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Re: Diagnosed while working abroad

Postby jts » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:47 am

The trip to visit my family in the US went without any real health issues. I tried not to eat much while in transit, and we took it relatively easy. Unfortunately it was unseasonably cold, so I didn't get out to ride my bike at all. I interviewed for a job while in town just to gather options.

I had a my post-nCR CT scan. Thankfully there was no new bad news. The suspect lymph nodes have disappeared or gotten small. The doctor could not say anything about the status of the tumor. Just that the rectum is still swollen from the radiation. Next week will be the MRI which is supposed to give more info. My CEA has fallen from a high of 11 to a steady 7-8. As I understand lower is nice, but it doesn't mean much at this stage of the treatment. Since the end of chemo-radiation I regularly have weird blobs of flesh exiting my body. I hope that's mostly tumor I am flushing down the toilet.

The food/relationship drama was muted in the US because we were around other people almost all the time. Now that we are back it has gotten crazy again quickly. My current surmise is that my wife desperately wants to be rid of me, but is wrestling with the fact that it looks bad to leave someone after they get DXed with cancer. She needs it to be my fault or my idea somehow. I wish i could just focus on surviving the treatment and keeping healthy. I see some people on the board have been through cancer-induced relationship problems.
Male 42
Most likely stage III, RC
DX starting 14.08.2019
Pooping blood, urgent care, colonoscopy, biopsy, CT, MRI, next step TBD
6 cm long tumor, 5cm above anocutaneous line
At least one lymph node likely
Tumor may touch seminal vesicles
23.Sept - 25.Oct Chemo-radiation, Capecitabine
Mid-December Surgery

Rock_Robster
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:27 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Diagnosed while working abroad

Postby Rock_Robster » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:12 pm

Hi jts,

Thanks for the update - glad to hear the US trip went well!

Do you have a surgery date?

Sorry to hear about the relationship issues. It really sucks when you already have one major battle on your hands, and you’re forced to fight on another front simultaneously. You need all your mental and physical energy for your health battles, but sadly that isn’t always possible. My wife and I had a strong relationship going into this, and it’s been a challenge even for us. My only suggestion would be to get some help - counselling, ideally; and preferably together as well if possible. If she’s not interested in that, then just go yourself. My wife and I both see counsellors separately and are thinking of restarting joint sessions too (we did this for a while a few years back).

Good luck,
Rob
Male 37; Melbourne, Australia
10/2018 Dx 3.5cm RC adenocarcinoma, 12cm from AV
Mod diff, EMVI+ LVI+ PNI-
3 LN; 4 liver mets
pT3pN1aM1a; Stage IVa. MSS, NRAS (G13R)
CEA: Oct-18= 12; Nov-18= 14, Mar-19= 2.4, Aug-19 <2.0
11/18 - FOLFOX x 6
3/19 - Liver resection
4-5/19 - 25 x pelvic radiation; complete met. response
07/19 - ULAR (robot), temp ileo, 1/27 LN
08/19 - Missed liver spot
08-11/19 - FOLFOX x 1, FOLFOXIRI x 1, FOLFIRI x 5
12/19 - Planned liver resection #2 & (01/20) stoma reversal

jts
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Re: Diagnosed while working abroad

Postby jts » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:50 am

I also found out there is some family history of colon cancer. Apparently my great grandfather (dad's mom's dad) died young from CC, and the same grandma's nephew died young from CC. I don't know how that relates to my risk, but it's a lot more than the zero cases my parents were aware of.
Male 42
Most likely stage III, RC
DX starting 14.08.2019
Pooping blood, urgent care, colonoscopy, biopsy, CT, MRI, next step TBD
6 cm long tumor, 5cm above anocutaneous line
At least one lymph node likely
Tumor may touch seminal vesicles
23.Sept - 25.Oct Chemo-radiation, Capecitabine
Mid-December Surgery


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