It has taken me a while to post this, as the news was not good.
I went to the appointment fully expecting a clean bill of health and entering the monitoring phase of my treatment (five years of frequent imaging and checkups). That is not what Julie and I got. Instead, I felt like I was punched in the gut and in a bit of shock as well.
After the great success with my surgery and my ability to take most of the chemo, my oncologist informed us that cancer was in my liver.
Way back in the beginning, before any treatment, the images then showed two small spots on my liver. The oncologist explained the images after undergoing radiation and chemo would tell us more about the spots. The images taken after the first phase of treatment showed no change in the spots. From this, it was assumed the spots were benign and non-cancerous as the chemo should have had some kind of effect on them if they were cancerous.
Then came surgery to remove cancer in my rectum and give me an ileostomy bag, another round (six months) of stronger chemo, and surgery for the ileostomy take-down followed by a new set of images. This image showed a different story. One of the spots had grown significantly, and the other spot had shrunk. Either way, it’s not good and is cancerous.
From these results, and previous images and tests, we can now say the cancer was stage four at the start of all of this. And it looks like Julie and I have a bit more to finish up before we enter the surveillance phase.
Things happened pretty quickly and the future schedule so far is:
- October 8th
- surgical consult with a pair of doctors that specialize in liver operations;
- PET scan;
- liver MRI.
- October 24th
- review of the more in-depth imaging taken on the 8th with the oncologist;
- consult with my oncologist to find out what the chemo regimen looks like.
- surgery to remove the known cancer sites and any new ones found in the imaging;
- begin my third round of chemo.
Julie and I both do not like this, but we are both determined to fight as hard as we can. She is my number one advocate and is always there to support me. I have to make sure I am around to take care of her into our very senior years.