Fast forward from January 1, 2020….
March 2020 CEA 2.7.
August 2020 - scan shows new lesions in the right lobe of the liver so an MRI was scheduled.
Sept 2020 CEA 2.9
Sept 2020 MRI was not definitive other than to confirm there were new spots on the liver that had not been seen before. Oncologist tells me they could be cysts, hemangioma, or metastases. All were under 1 cm so it was decided to wait and have a repeat MRI in March 2021.
April 2021 CEA 3.3
MRI April 2021 showed growth in one lesion from 0.5 cm to 1.5 cm, the other two were unchanged. This was the prompt for me to start the Covid vax process, as it was obvious that something had hit the fan.
Biopsy May 2021 confirmed met in section 8 with ultrasound showing growth to 1.9 cm.
Phone consult with liver surgeon’s team followed by an in-clinic consult with the surgeon in June. Liver resection was scheduled for Monday, July 12, 2021 and the surgeon also requested a colonoscopy be done prior to resection. The only day it could be scheduled was July 9th. Colonoscopy was clear.
Plan for resection was to start laparoscopic, with the possibility of going to open. No anticipation of follow up chemo, as surgery should remove all cancer. I volunteered to participate in the HeLiX (Hemorrage During Liver Resection: traneXamic Acid) https://webapps.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/cris/detail_e?pResearchId=9345869&p_version=CRIS&p_language=E&p_session_id=1333597
trial. My two previous surgeries required transfusions during surgery so I am a good guinea pig…
I woke up in the ICU and could tell by the pain that I’d had open resection. I really didn’t want to lose my gall bladder. Spent the night in ICU and moved to a regular bed on Tuesday. I could picture Ginabeewell’s avatar in my head as I remembered her encouragement to all here to start walking asap after surgery. So I did. Thanks Gina! I also thought about Stu’s Mum and her recovery from losing such a large portion of her liver. Thanks Stu!
Pathology had tumour at 2.2 cm. Home on Friday, but by Sunday I could tell something wasn’t right. Several set backs over the next 2 months included a 25lb weight loss, a partially collapsed lung due to pleural effusion, and 7 weeks with a drain to relieve a bile leak. But by October 1 I was somewhat back to normal.
November 2021 CEA 2.0
Scan on December 10th shows that there is still a small collection of bile in the abdomen, and the lung has not reinflated. I’m not surprised as I still don’t feel the same as pre surgery.
Reflections after all this:
Do not have a colonoscopy three days before major surgery. I was not as strong as I should have been going in to the resection. Not likely to have been the cause of my issues, but it didn’t help. Talk to the anaesthesiologist prior to surgery. I did. We reviewed my experiences after my colon resection and came up with a plan for how my arms were to be placed so that I had no stiffness when I woke up. Extra care for eyes as well so that I didn’t wake up with dry eyes. According to the surgical notes I lost almost 1.5 litres of blood during surgery. I’m going to guess that I got the placebo in the HeLiX trial. I’ll find out in another two years or so.
Most importantly, the 15+ years of experiences shared on this board are so appreciated. Thanks to everyone who has spent the time to share their histories and comments.
Happy New Year all, and strength on the journey.
CC Dx 102017 age 58
Lap. right hemi-colectomy Dec 2017
Adenocarcinoma ascending colon – 6cm x 6cm x 2cm, Low Grade, penetrates to peritoneum
T4a N2a M0, Stage IIIC
lymph nodes 6 positive out of 18
FOLFOX start Jan/18 end Aug/8 (felt like a year)
CEA - 01/15/18-2.8; 07/29/18-5.3; 09/19-2.4; 03/20-2.7; 09/20-2.9
CT scan 08/18 - Clear; 10/19 - Clear; * 10/20 - 8mm & 6mm nodules in liver
PET scan 09/18 (thought about bringing the cat
) - Clear
Colonoscopy Dec 7 2018 - Clear - Next in 3 years?