Stage 3 Bowl Cancer

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Hi I am new to this forum and for months been thinking of joining.

Last May 2023 I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer after months going back and to the the doctors. I didn't have much time to think about it as my GP got me an appointment at the hospital that same day and was operating on a couple of days later, I was so ill after the operation and had to gain strength within to get through it, 6 weeks later I had my follow up appointment with my surgeon who confirmed I had 16 lymph nodes taken out, 3 of which had cancer in but unfortunately there were 3 they could not take out as they were dangerous to touch.  I was transferred to Christies and was told the 3 lymph nodes are treated as tumours and the size they were, 5cm, 3cm 1cm.  Treatment plan was put in place where I had 12 rounds of chemo, upon my check up after the first six rounds there was a decrease in size, I carried on with the chemo for another 3 sessions when I started to get numb fingers and feet so my consultant abandoned the remaining 3.  My consultant had meetings with the surgeons to see if it was possible to operate and also with the Radiotherapy for radiation both came back as a No, it was sole destroying for me because at this point I had no idea what would be the next course of treatment, if any? My Consultant requested a second opinion and the results were the same for the operation but I was delighted that they could do a specialised radiation treatment.  

After the radiation treatment was completed I was given a CT Scan to see results, the tumours had infact reduced in size. Now I have to go for 3 monthly CT Scans to check on the tumours progress, I have been for my second check and the biggest tumour as reduced slightly, the second as stayed the same but they said it has changed shape? I'm not sure why this would be but didnt ask my consultant at the time as I had loads going on in my head...the 3rd as stayed the same size, top and bottom of it is i'm now in a position where im have the 3 monthly checks but knowing they cannot be removed, family/friends say its all good news, as much as I know it is and the cancer has not spread to other organs I still feel scared/worried what will happen if they start growing? what if it spreads? I did ask the consultant and she said more chemo, but how can I have more chemo if my fingers and feet are still numb? 

I have been through some really dark days at the beginning of my diagnosis and through my major operation having part of my bowl removed and rejoined, I have remained positive, but now I feel im starting to fall apart....is this normal to feel this way? and would there be any other treatment they could give me if needed, having to live with the fact that I will never be without this cancer in my body is now effected me.

  • Hi  

    Welcome to the forum . So glad you decided to join in .

    Firstly I am no doctor so please remember that when reading my reply . You are at a very progressive treatment centre . That’s good in itself . 
    Have you had a Pet scan ?

    My understanding is some treated tumours may have dead tissue remaining . 
    From my mum’s watch and wait  scanning they watched robustly but only started chemo when there was tumour growth . This allowed her to build her immune system back up . Evidence based treatment.

    However it can be hard as emotionally you are still having to go through scans .

    Our helpline can link you up with some free counselling through Bupa to help you process some of this as it’s a lot at the beginning .

    0808 808 0000

    Take care ,

    Court 

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    Helpline Number 0808 808 0000

  • Hi Court,

    Thank you for your reply - Yes I failed to mention I did have a PET scan before my treatment began.  That was my thought...are the tumours dead or still have cancer in them, I fail to understand it completely.