I’ve been busy dealing with some serious health issues — getting scanned and scoped and pumped full of chemo. Strangely, my early stage colon cancer which was surgically removed five years ago has recurred. Strange because it was stage II, Lynch-related, and five years in the past, all usually positive factors for cancer not coming back.
But after three months of chasing pain in my side thinking bowel obstruction, new primary Lynch-related urethelial cancer, even pancreatic cancer at one point, a biopsy of a lymph node proved to be identical to the pathology of the five-year-old tumor. Final diagnosis: recurrent colon cancer.
I’ve been helped enormously by Dr. Jonathan Wright at Upstate Medical University and its Regional Oncology Center in Syracuse, as well as several specialists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Right now I am at home with the assistance of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New York who have set me up with a hospital bed that goes up and down and keeps me comfy at night, occupational and physical therapists who have gotten me stronger and back to my desk for short periods each day.
Recently I’ve been in University Hospital to get pain under control and have a couple of rounds of FOLFOX.
Last Thursday my sister Barbara and niece Holly came to visit and to take me out for ice cream. Luckily, we were far enough away from the oxaliplatin that button pecan slid down without problems.
I’m learning first hand about some of the issues I’ve been writing about for years — neuropathy in my fingers, avoiding cold drinking glasses, cracked fingers that are making getting into my computer via fingerswipe hard. Gotta remember my password. The computer thinks it is something other than what I do.
My home nurse says that sometime in the week after chemotherapy, the “shades slide up”. I am finding this true, with fewer side effects and less fatigue.
Mary Miller has been helping with the blog and will continue to do so, along with Kim Ryan, Michael Sola, and other Fight Colorectal Cancer staff.
As I feel better Mary and I will go back to the 2012 ASCO abstracts to fill you in on some of the key colorectal cancer information. Meanwhile, Dr. Axel Grothey did a great webinar What’s New in Colorectal Cancer Research which has research data focused on advanced colorectal cancer.
Thank you, Dr. Grothey.
So, while I hope to continue the research information here, I also will be writing a little bit about life with metastatic colorectal cancer. Although I’ve had six different Lynch-related cancers in the past — three colon, ovarian, uterine, and breast — none has spread to distant sites (metastasized).
And, believe me, this is a whole different world.