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Thread: Anomaly ? Moms CT scan results

  1. #1
    Newbie Regular User
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    Aug 2013
    Northern CA

    Anomaly ? Moms CT scan results

    My mom (55 yrs old) had a right hemicolectomy in March of this year. She was staged as a 2. They tested almost 30 lymph nodes and they were all clear. After two opinions and much soul searching the decision was made not to do chemo. She has severe psoriasis which would have been exacerbated and chemo was slated to only improve her chances by like 2%.

    In any case she had her first CT scan two weeks ago. All her blood work has been consistently improving since surgery, and is still "good". But there was an anomaly on the scan where her intestines were rejoined (forgive me if my medical terminology isn't perfect I'm still learning). Initially her oncologist was going to order a colonoscopy, but then changed her mind and has ordered a PET scan first again due to the psoriasis. Psoriasis increases scar tissue formation and her oncologist wonders if that is what was on the CT scan... But I hate to say this I feel like we are being given false hope almost. The PET scan is scheduled for Monday. What should I expect? Tumor recurrence? Or more anomalies?

    I know I should just wait and stay positive but we have a family trip planned for the holidays and my mom was SO excited and feeling better... I don't want her or my father or me for that matter to be filled with false hope when it's possible the CT scan results were just down played...

    I think she has fabulous doctors whom I trust, I just have a bad feeling.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User Hope2012's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Unfortunately you are in the "hurry up and wait" period. The waiting for results is so stressful and the "scanxiety" can be debilitating. The fact that scar tissue is a real possibility because of her psoriasis makes that more likely it seems. Hold on to the positive if you can...and try not to dwell on negatives and what ifs. I know it's hard, but at least her scan is Monday and there isn't a long time before that happens.

    My fingers are crossed that things will work out for the better and that you all can still travel for the holidays!
    This dark night shall end and the sun will rise again...

    - Dad diagnosed in 1992 with primary bladder cancer
    - bladder removed and new one made from resected intestine
    - chemotherapy regimen started
    - mets to large intestines discovered in 1993...more chemo...tumors disappearing
    - complained of neck pain Dec 1994. Mets to brainstem confirmed
    - passed away Feb 24, 1995

  3. #3
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    May 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Hope2012 View Post
    Unfortunately you are in the "hurry up and wait" period. The waiting for results is so stressful and the "scanxiety" can be debilitating. The fact that scar tissue is a real possibility because of her psoriasis makes that more likely it seems. Hold on to the positive if you can...and try not to dwell on negatives and what ifs. I know it's hard, but at least her scan is Monday and there isn't a long time before that happens.

    My fingers are crossed that things will work out for the better and that you all can still travel for the holidays!
    What he sayes!!! The results will be what they are. You will deal with them accordingly.
    Age 49 Male
    5/18/12 - Family Dr ordered emergancy CT and colonsopy
    5/23/12 - Diagnosed with Stage 4 Rectal Cancer w/mets in Liver
    6/28/12 - Combined lower bowel resection and liver resection.
    9/7/12 - Last day of Chemo. Folfox Blood Clot in Leg.
    1/25/13 - Last day of Second Round of Chemo Folfox
    4/25/13 - Ostamy Reversal
    9/9/13 - Clear Scan-High CEA
    9/16/13 - Pet Scan shows 4 new spots in Liver
    10/3/13 - Second Liver Resection removes tumor #6,7,8,9.
    11/1/13 - Started FolFiri
    5/13/14 - Pet scan shows 3 large tumors in the Liver. Time to see Surgeon again.
    6/12/14 - Third Liver Resection removes Tumor #10,11,12.
    7/16/14 - Started Xeloda and Avastin
    9/22/14 - Fistula goes septic. 2 Major Surgeries later Permanent Ostomy.
    12/19/14 - Started Xeloda and Avastin again
    5/22/15 - 3 new tumors in my liver. No surgery this time.
    12/15/15 - micro-spheres(Y90) failed completely All tumors growing
    2/5/16 - Started Lonsurf and antibiotics

  4. #4
    Moderator Top User Fourlegsgood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    UK Leicestershire
    I went to meet my consultant 2 days ago as part of my post operation check up procedure. It is now about 2 years and 4 months since my operation.

    I didn't have a scan or any other tests and it was just a "how do you feel? Any problems?" Type of meeting. But also it was to discuss my future testing schedule.

    I will not have a scan until summer 2014. I asked about colonoscopy scheduling and he said probably every 5 years.

    The reason for posting on this thread is that my consultant said that a reoccurance at the same site is very unlikely if there were good clear margins and even so the tumours are so slow growing that it was pointless to test any more frequently. I would therefore hope that what has shown up with your mum is indeed scar tissue and is not anything else particularly bearing in mind how recent her operation was.

    Also, I seem to remember that Barry on here had some issues with the join which he at first feared was the beast coming back. No doubt he will be along soon to comment.

    I hope there is an innocent reason for what is showing up. I know it's hard not to let the mind wander towards suspecting the worst but I wouldn't panic just yet.

    Last edited by Fourlegsgood; 11-03-2013 at 08:25 AM.
    Age 1/2 way to 120 plus 1. Symptom of blood in stools May 2011. Colonoscopy June 2011 confirmed rectal cancer. CT scan June 2011 showed no spread to other organs. Anterior resection July 2011 plus 50% bowel removed due to thickening observed during operation. Biopsy confirmed stage 2 in rectum only. Completed 8 cycles of precautionary capecitabine (4600mg Xeloda). Returned to horse riding 6 weeks post op, jumping after 8 weeks and first competition 10 weeks after operation. July 2012 - CT scan clear. June 2014 - CT scan clear. December 2014 - Colonoscopy clear. July 2017 - 6 year CT scan clear.

  5. #5
    Newbie Regular User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Northern CA
    Thank you everyone for your input and reassurance. You are making the "hurry up and wait" period more tolerable for me!

    Fourlegsgood that's really interesting what you said about your post op testing schedule. My mom was having blood work every three months, this was the first ct scan and it was going to be a colonoscopy every year. I am not sure why this course was chosen, maybe because she did not have chemo therapy? She did have clean margins though thankfully. I know in terms of spreading they were concerned about her liver but nothing has shown up there so far. They had mentioned needing to keep an eye on where it was rejoined too though.

  6. #6
    Top User DulcimerGal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    I am one of those people who also had clean margins in 2008 when they did my first surgery.

    By two years later it had grown back.

    In retrospect I wish I had insisted on a scan sooner. A year is too long in my view.
    Of course it's easy to second guess, but think of it this way, by the time my recurrence was taken out with the APR surgery and colostomy, four of my twelve lymph nodes were impacted.

    Now I am stage four, with mets in my pelvis and lungs.

    I would suggest to everyone to be aggressive getting check up scans done. Just my two cents.

    Rectal Cancer diagnosed Valentines Day 2008 - stage 3
    Finished 6 weeks of radiation and chemo 4/23/08
    Surgery to remove tumor - June 18th 2008
    Colostomy Reversal August 20th 2008
    Chemotherapy 5 months (Xeloda) finished Christmas 2008
    Local recurrence found May 2011
    Permanent colostomy and salvage APR surgery June 3rd 2011
    Stage 3C - 4 of 12 lymph nodes involved
    Finished 12 treatments of FOLFOX 6 - January 17th 2012 - Happy Dance!
    March 2012 - clean CAT Scan
    August 2012 - Cancer moves to stage 4
    CAT shows cancer cells implanted in pelvis/abdomen
    September - PET shows lung lesion 1.4 x 1 cm
    October - begin sessions of Folfiri.3 - Avastin, Irotecan, 5fu
    February 2013 - tumors shrinking, continuing biweekly chemo
    April 2013 finished all 12 Folfiri treatments, scan shows only lung lesions
    May - October Blessed chemo break!
    October 2013, scan shows more growth in pelvis and lungs
    Continue with biweekly Folfiri.3 - Avastin, Irotecan, leucovorin, 5fu
    April 2014 CAT scan shows tumors in liver
    June 2014 More tumor growth, stop Irinotecan cocktail after two years
    June 2014 Begin Regorafenib (Stivarga)

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    As Nick pointed out, yes I had and still have "something" where they joined me up again.
    That was after 70% of my colon was removed.
    They can't figure out what it is despite CT and MRI scans, forgive me I know but they won't officially tell me.
    It is a restriction at the join or should I say constriction.
    How do I know a little birdie (our consultant anaesthetic friend) quietly mentioned it, yet they have never mentioned it and when I asked they avoided answering directly.
    So as long as it doesn't threaten my health, I'll live with the grumblings, gassing and BM's.
    Other than that I'm going to get on with my life as I have no intention of going back in for them to stretch it during a colonoscopy procedure unless it is absolutely essential.

    I'm guessing what showed up is a innocent result of surgery.
    Good luck
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2.
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+4.
    Active surveillance ceased and intervention recommended.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 07/09 to be done.
    Just a little recurrence and another 20 cm of colon vanished under the knife.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  8. #8
    Newbie Regular User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Northern CA
    Thanks Barry,

    I'm glad you are able to get on with things as normal despite whatever it is!

    My mom was asymptomatic when she was diagnosed and her only symptom now is feeling bloated she says so yeah, hopefully something that doesn't get in the way of her getting on with life!

    Fingers crossed for you and for her xx

  9. #9
    Newbie Regular User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Northern CA
    Hi everyone,

    Firstly thank you again for those who replied, your words mean a lot to me.

    Secondly it was good news! No cancer on the PET scan! (Honestly it's been so long since good medical news in my family i forgot what this feels like). She will still be having a colonoscopy in a few weeks because the oncologist wants her surgeon to figure out why there is inflammation at the surgery/join sight. But that's not bad at all.

    Next oncology appointment in 3 months for blood work.

    I hope everyone has a nice weekend, and has Veterans Day off if you're in the US. You're all in my thoughts.

  10. #10
    Senior User Alllison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Princeton, North Carolina
    So glad for such good news!!! We LOVE to hear the good news around here!!!!!
    Age: 38
    March 18, 2012: Emergency Appendectomy w/ Adenocarinoma & Carcinoid Tumor;Adenocarinoma spot on liver (Stage IV)
    April 2012: Micro Liver Ablation/ Folfox 6 Chemo begins
    September 23, 2012: Last Folfox 6 treatment
    October 2012: Otreatide scan all clear/ MRI - spot on liver barely perceptible
    November 28, 2012: Liver resection (15%)- Clear path report
    December 7, 2012: CANCER-FREE!!!!!!!
    March 1, 2013: Clear CT scan
    June 14, 2013: Clear MRI-
    August 2013: 3 spots found (1 on each ovary/1 in rectouterine fossa)
    Sept 2013: Folfiri +Avastin begins
    Nov. 2013: PET & CT =1 spot undetectable and other 2 spots 40% shrinkage
    March 2014: Finished 12 rounds of chemo
    April 2014: Total hysterectomy, partial rectum resection
    May 2014: NED
    June - July 2014: 25 rounds of pelvic external beam radiation (precautionary)
    August 2014: CT scan = NED
    Nov/Dec 2014: CT/PET- enlarged lymph node on ascend. colon
    Dec 2014: begin 5 FU, Leuc. and Avastin


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