Here we are in 2023, nearing on 5 years since diagnosis. 2022 was rough for DH, with LAR surgery, ileostomy reversal, then recurrence in DH's L3/L4 vertebrae. But there were also great moments, including several fun trips.
Two months after SBRT, he just had an MRI for his back and PET scan for upper body. Results are mixed. There's still uptake at L3/L4, although less than before radiation. More concerning is new grossly focal uptake at the rectal anastomosis site:
"Bowel: Postoperative changes of low rectal anastomosis with focal FDG avidity of the rostral sigmoid colon (SUV max 8.1). Unchanged surrounding presacral scarring/thickening [...] Superior to the anastomosis, there is relatively focal FDG avidity, which could be physiologic in nature or represent recurrent disease. As clinically indicated, consider direct visualization."
How I wish this to be "physiologic in nature"! But wishes have nothing to do with the reality of the disease, so I suppose another MRI (of the LAR anastomosis) will be scheduled soon. Ugh.
But, I learned this morning of the passing of a friend's brother, from aggressive leukemia; he was only 41. So, I'm still grateful that DH's cancer, although relentless, just creeps up slowly, and I hope that if it is a rectal recurrence, it can be resected (again). Meanwhile his onc is looking into clinical trials; DH's genetic testing came back with low tumor burden (4), confirmed KRAS G12A and added TP53 mutation, for which there are trials out there.
Keep fighting, always keep fighting!
Wife of Dx 04/18 (51 yo). MSS, KRAS G12A, no primary
Tumors: L4 vertebrae 04/18; left adrenal gland & small lung nodules 03/19;
rectum 02/22 (pT3 pN0 stage 2A); L3 vertebrae 09/22
Surgeries: intestinal resection 05/18 (no cancer - Crohn's); adrenalectomy 02/20;
L3-L4-L5 fusion and corpectomy 05/20; LAR 04/22; ileo reversal 09/22;
L2-L3 fusion and corpectomy 09/22
Treatments: EBRT 04/18; SBRT 02/19; Failed adjuvant Xelox ; Folfiri/Avastin 03/19 - 01/20;
adjuvant chemorad (Xeloda) 06/22; SBRT 11/22