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Txgirl63 posted:
Hi...this is my first time posting. I am a 49 yr old female that was diagnosed with rectal cancer back in October last year. My growth was very large and was detected by a physical exam by my doctor. It was so low in the rectum he was able to feel it. I had an anal resection to have it removed and it was diagnosed at a T1. I had no further treatment as they felt they got it all. However, at my six month check up my doctor felt another growth and I had a second anal resection on May 3rd. Unfortunatley, the biospy showed it was cancerous and this time a T2. Now I am schedule to have the big surgery. They are going to completly remove my rectum and try to use part of my colon to reconstruct a "fake" rectum. I will have to have a temporary Ileosotmy (sorry not sure of spelling). Doc said if all goes well it should be reversed in 4-6 months but also advised that it may be longer or even permenate if there are any complications. I am very nervous about this surgery. It's a life changer. I am single with a 14 year old son and my only other living relative is my sister who lives 5 hours away. I am in realitivly good health (other than the cancer) but I am so worried about how I will handle the recovery period. I have read such varying accounts of some who have many setbacks to others who seem to do really well. It's the fear of the unknown that is so hard. Not being able to know for sure even what type of completed surgery I may have until I wake up. I appreciate all of you who post your experiences. It's very helpful for someone like me who really doesn't have anyone to discuss the situation with and who has not any idea what to expect. It's helped me to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst and to know no matter how bad it gets it will be worth it in the long run if I can get this cancer beat! So thank you so much and I would appreciate any advice or information you may have to share.
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ike1954 responded:
G,morning Txgirl, I understand the toughness since your surgery is kinda up in the air. Oh, I was a 56 male when my cancer was discovered 2 years ago.. I had a resection also after an initial physical discovery. I have minor problems with the nerve endings telling my head I REALLY have to go. This may happen also with a sub/fake rectum. The removal to me is the main part of treatment. It gets ALL cells that may be cancerous out. The ostomy bag will be difficult but can be handled with extra care.Always keep your son informed - he may get kinda "oh mom don;t get so graphic" on ya but let him know everything you do.That should allow him to assist more than he even thinks about. Use him and your sister as sounding boards as well as this site.Hang in there kiddo you'll
do fine with patience and care. Best of luck
Ike
 
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Txgirl63 replied to ike1954's response:
Hey Ike,

Thank you so much for your response. Yes, I have tried to be as open with my son as possible. I've tried to make light of the subject and let him know that it may be a tough road but we will get down it. I've explained as much to him about the ostomy as I know but my knowledge is pretty limited right now so I told him it will be a learning experience for both of us. He is handling it all pretty well.

If you don't mind me asking, do you have or did you have, an ostomy bag or did your surgery not require one? If so, how long did you have it before reversal surgery? Are you cancer free now? I know every case is different but I trying to get an idea what to possibly expect down the road. Any info you don't mind sharing would be appreciated. Wishing you the best...Txgirl
 
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brunosbud replied to Txgirl63's response:
When a person faces the prospects of undergoing re-sectioning surgery, chemo &/or radiation treatment, its important to understand that this is an extremely hard and exhausting ordeal.


This is why I strongly suggest the following advice for anybody recently diagnosed with cancer, regardless of stage.

1. Get strong. 2. Get fit. 3. Get ready (for the assault).
  • Try to lose 5-10% body weight if overweight.
  • Eat a diet predominant in fruits & vegetables; eliminate processed foods whenever possible.
  • Eliminate all food or drink with added sugar or artificially sweetened.
  • Regular, daily exercise is critical; walking is excellent
  • Run Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) and Complete Blood Count (CBC) as often as allowed and thoroughly review with your physician.
  • A1C (diabetes) and test for anemia very important.
  • Address any sleep disorders, immediately.
Txgirl63, it is up to you to learn how to track and review your own progress. If you think the clinic or your doctors will do this for you, I got news for you...that will be a big mistake. Most likely, they are just too busy. Cancer is such a terribly expensive disease and operating costs for a cancer practice are enormous. Most likely, you've already noticed this during your preliminary visits. If you don't ask questions, then, its "assumed" you know whats going on. Prepare for each consultation with a written list of questions assembled, beforehand. Ask the most important ones, first, in case you run out of time.







Its just common sense. The better condition you're in, the better able your body can recover and fight.



If you're not sure what to ask, that's OK; get referrals...Registered Dietician specializing in post operative Cancer...Physical Trainer specializing in Cancer Recovery. Any Hematologist can explain your blood panels and how your body is responding to treatment, whether you're becoming anemic, how well your liver and kidneys are holding up, adverse reactions to meds, blood glucose levels, vitamin D, insulin, testosterone and key electrolyte levels, etc.





I am, by no means, trying to scare you. If you're not scared enough, already, something is seriously wrong...


I just want you to be prepared. I just want you to be as informed as possible. Your doctor will be so happy he's dealing with a patient that's proactive, asks smart questions and is mentally and physically prepared for success. Think about it...Who wouldn't want to have a client like this?



Good luck.
 
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ike1954 replied to Txgirl63's response:
I was fortunate enough to not require an ostomy. They did
a stapled anastamosis and put the ends together. I had the tumor 4 inches from the anus and that still left enough to put together. I lost the top 8 inches of the rectum and 4 inches
of the decending colon. Again I was luckly this time and none of the 25 lymph nodes removed and tested , tested positive.
I have been cancer free since. I have been getting either an
MRI, CAT, or PET scan every 6 months and will now change over to every year. Blood work every quarter with a CEA of less than 1, I have finally had my regular dr. tell me to eat more veggies other than that no one said "CHANGE" anything. If you have ??'s at all ask I WILL answer any I can and will not make up any answers I do not know.

ike