First Meeting with Surgeon

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Catmein
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:52 am
Facebook Username: Catherine.meinhardt

First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby Catmein » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:39 am

I have my first meeting with the surgeon today. A 4 to 5 cm tumor was found in my transverse colon. Up until a week before colonoscopy I was asymptomatic. Now I feel as if I have to move my bowels every time I eat or drink anything. The feces is really skinny and I don’t feel as if everything was eliminated.
I have two pages of questions to ask, but would like y’alls advice on what to ask the surgeon. I have not seen an oncologists as yet. Is this putting the cart before the horse?

Thanks.

rtcasper
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:12 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby rtcasper » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:32 am

The most important question is whether he is a board certified colo-rectal surgeon. I just met my surgeon on Monday, and let him do most of the talking. I had already prepared myself for various scenarios by reading through the many posts on this site,so I already had a good idea of what he was going to tell me. I can't offer anything specific since I don't really know your situation, but best of luck to you,and I'm sure many others will chime in!
By the glory, by the grace, by the strength of God, I will be made whole.

43-M
Aug 3, 18-colonoscopy, 5cm mass 12cm from AV rectal cancer
Aug 16-MRI
Aug 17-CT,chest and pelvis
CEA-.99-likely not a good marker
Clinical DX-T2/T3n1 -3cm mass, 13.5 from AV-might be colon? - let surgeon make determination
Sept 10-14 radiation
Sept 25-CR lap surgery, temp loop ileostomy
Oct 2-path stage pT1N0M0-no chemo recommended
Jan 8-stoma takedown
Jan-April- C diff
May-Fecal matter transplant
Sept-Clean scan NED

hiker
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:15 am

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby hiker » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:36 am

Hey Catmein,

When I was told I had cancer, I was told I had less than 2 years to live so I figured I'd just go ahead with the surgery since I had serious blockage. So I had the colon resection surgery at a local hospital. After surgery I met with a new team (an oncologist/surgeon from a major cancer center) and was informed they were going to do their best to cure me.

Long story short, if I had it to do over again I would have gotten as much info as possible before having the colon resection. That way I could have had the colon and liver resections done at the same time at MSK (and only one recovery period). My haste resulted in two major surgeries with recoveries.

hiker
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

Lee
Posts: 6101
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby Lee » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:20 pm

Second opinions are always a good idea. Do you know if you have colon or rectal cancer? If rectal, you will probably get radiation prior to surgery.

Good luck, sorry for the reason you are here.

Lee
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 - 16 years and counting!

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O Stoma Mia
Posts: 1600
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby O Stoma Mia » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:52 pm

Catmein wrote:... I have two pages of questions to ask.

My advice would be to prioritize your current two-page list of questions, then be sure to take a notebook with you and write down the answers as you receive them. Be sure to check off each question after you ask it, then before you leave the appointment make sure that at least all of your high-priority questions have been addressed.

Here is a link to the NCCN Patient Guidelines on Colon Cancer:
https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/colon/index.html

This booklet covers most of the topics you might want to cover in your meeting. Have a look at the Table of Contents on page 5, then focus on the specific sections where you need more information or clarification. The booklet also has a Glossary at the end that explains some of the technical terms that you will encounter.

You should also bring your colonoscopy report with you and ask for clarification on any item that you don't understand.

Here are some suggested questions from the mayoclinic.org website:

"Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

Where is my colon cancer located in my colon?

What is the stage of my colon cancer?

Can you explain my pathology report to me?

Can I have a copy of my pathology report?

Has my colon cancer spread to other parts of my body?
Will I need more tests?

What are the treatment options for my colon cancer?

Will any of the treatments cure my colon cancer?

What is the chance that my colon cancer will be cured?

How much does each treatment increase my chances that my colon cancer will be cured?

What are the potential side effects of each treatment?

How will each treatment affect my daily life?

Is there one treatment you feel is best for me?

What would you recommend to a family member or friend in my same situation?

How much time can I take to make my decision about treatment?

Should I seek a second opinion?

Should I see a specialist?

What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?

Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me?

What websites do you recommend?

Do my siblings or my children have an increased risk of colon cancer?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment."

Reference: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353674



Ans here's an older post that suggests some things you can do over the next few weeks that might make a difference in the long term:

Colonoscopy yesterday - tumour found
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53644&p=425698#p425698
Last edited by O Stoma Mia on Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Catmein
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:52 am
Facebook Username: Catherine.meinhardt

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby Catmein » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:14 pm

Thank you all for your replies. I have my notebook and my lists.

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betsydoglover
Posts: 977
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:31 pm
Facebook Username: Betsy Lindh Williams
Location: Maryland - outside DC

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby betsydoglover » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:52 pm

One poster listed a great list of possible questions. However, I would caution you against discussing treatment options (beyond surgery), or how your disease might or might not progress, or how treatment would affect your life, or anything else that is not directly related to surgery. Your surgeon may offer opinions on his/her own, but remember a surgeon is not an oncologist, and they aren't in any way experts regarding non-surgical treatment of cancer.

I had surgery prior to any oncologist consult, but that's because I was probably within 2 weeks of a blockage, and we needed to get that tumor out. If that is not your case, then if I were you, I would also consult with an oncologist. But, again, remember that an oncologist is not a surgeon, so they may sometimes deem something "non operable", when in fact it is.

I know none of this makes anything any easier, but when you ask questions, remember what kind of professional you are talking to. Prioritize your surgeon questions so that q's related to surgery, pathology, hospital stay, pain control, recovery are at the top of the list. When it comes to the oncologist talk about treatment options, surveillance options (e.g. types of scans, scan frequency, blood tests etc.), side effects expected, prognosis (if you really want to!). In either case, most good docs end up answering a lot of your questions before you even ask them. And also remember that you can go back and ask another round of q's / make sure you have everything understood.

Take care,
Betsy
diag. Stage IV, 5/05, liver met
lap sigmoid colectomy, 6/05
6 cycles Xeloda/oxaliplatin/Avastin (NED after 2)
11/08 9x13mm right lower lobe lung nodule; removed via VATS 4/09
NED
6 cycles Xeloda + Avastin
Avastin only 10/09-5/11
Still NED 06/18

Deb m
Posts: 558
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby Deb m » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:50 am

II also believe second opinions are warranted a lot of the time and are very beneficial. Do make sure your surgeon is a board certified colo-rectal surgeon, very important!

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O Stoma Mia
Posts: 1600
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby O Stoma Mia » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:37 am

Catmein wrote:Thank you all for your replies. I have my notebook and my lists.

So, how did your meeting with the surgeon go? Do you have any feedback?

Are they making progress completing your diagnosis and staging? When will they have all of the scans and lab reports done?

It would help if you could create a signature in your profile to tell what steps have been completed so far and what steps still remain. What is your next step or intervention after this?

It doesn't take long to set up a signature, then you will have a short summary of your situation that will be displayed at the bottom of all your future posts. (You can aways go back later to update it in case the need arises.)

Here's the link to for creating your signature:
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/ucp.php?i=ucp_profile&mode=signature

And here are some tips
Signature tips

Caat55
Posts: 679
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby Caat55 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:08 pm

Catmein wrote:I have my first meeting with the surgeon today. A 4 to 5 cm tumor was found in my transverse colon. Up until a week before colonoscopy I was asymptomatic. Now I feel as if I have to move my bowels every time I eat or drink anything. The feces is really skinny and I don’t feel as if everything was eliminated.
I have two pages of questions to ask, but would like y’alls advice on what to ask the surgeon. I have not seen an oncologists as yet. Is this putting the cart before the horse?

Thanks.


Make sure you have someone with you at all your appointments, have them take notes. I know both as a patient and a therapist the take away messages are hard to hear, remember . Don't rush, listen and if you missed something follow up with an email either to oncologist/surgeon or one of their assistants. My doctor at Stanford usually answers me or has one of his assistants follow up on the phone or with an email.
Susan
55 y.o. Female
Dx 9/26/17 RC Stage 3
Completed 33 rad. tx, xeolda 12/8/17
MRI and PET 1/18 sign. regression
Surgery 1/31/18 Ileostomy, clean margins, no lymph node involved
Port 3/1/2018
Oxaliplatin and Xeloda start 3/22/18
Last Oxaliplatin 7/5/18, 5 rounds
CT NED 9/2018
PET NED 12/18
Clear Colonoscopy 2/19

DarknessEmbraced
Posts: 3489
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Facebook Username: Riann Fletcher
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: First Meeting with Surgeon

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:11 pm

I'm sorry for your diagnosis and hope your meeting with the surgeon went well!*hugs* Welcome to the group! :)
Diagnosed 10/28/14, age 36
Colon Resection 11/20/14, LAR (no illeo)
Stage 2a colon cancer, T3NOMO
Lymph-vascular invasion undetermined
0/22 lymph nodes
No chemo, no radiation
Clear Colonoscopy 04/29/15
NED 10/20/15
Ischemic Colitis 01/21/16
NED 11/10/16
CT Scan moved up due to high CEA 08/21/17
NED 09/25/17
NED 12/21/18
Clear colonoscopy 09/23/19
Clear 5 year scans 11/21/19- Considered cured! :)


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