Last weekend I was in severe pain from the top right quadrant of my abdomen. I decided not to go to work on Monday and made an appointment with the doctor. His initial thought was gallstones and he sent me off for blood tests and an ultrasound to confirm.
On Tuesday morning he rang to say that the blood test confirms gallstones but I was still waiting to have the scan on the Wednesday morning. I had the scan that seemed a lot more thourough than I expected and had made an appointment to folow up with my doctor on Thursday afternoon. On Wednesday afternoon I received a phone call from the doctor's surgery asking if I could come in earlier. Alarm bells rang at this point.
I went to the doctor in the morning and he informed me that there were no gallstones but several solid lesions on the liver. He organised a CT scan for me immediately and some more blood tests.
I had a follow up appointment with him on Friday afternoon. Here he confirmed the lesions and that they were most likely cancerous and were most likely a secondary cancer. The primary being most likely in the bowel. He has organised a visit with the oncologist and I will also have a colonoscopy and an ultrasound with a biopsy to confirm the primary cancer.
Generally I feel very well. The only symptom I have been experiencing is localised pain around the liver which has been nowhere as severe as last weekend. He has prescribed me some endone to help with the pain when needed but I have only used it twice. I don'e appear to have any symptoms related to bowel cancer either.
So, at this point it is a matter of seeing what we are dealing with and then looking at the best treatment options.
I will keep everyone posted.
Emotionally, I am well. Maybe the full implications of this haven't set in despite seeing that if it is secondary bowel cancer then survival chances are around 11% after 5 years. I guess it feels a bit surreal and don't really feel it is happening to me.
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Wow, what a week you have had and it would definitely be feeling all quite surreal for you right now.
Thank you for sharing what has been going on, please do keep coming back and letting us know how you are going or if you have any questions at all, we are here to help no matter what.
Keeping in good contact with your treatment team is key, don't be afraid to go in armed with questions either, they are there to answer them. If you need to chat with one of our health professionals, please feel to call 13 11 20 during business hours.
When is your visit with the oncologist?
Thank you Kate,
I have received a call from the radiology people and I will be going in for a biopsy next Wednesday. I am hoping to hear about the colonoscopy tomorrow when I have a visit at the outpatients clinic in the morning.
I contacted the oncology unit today and they said they are awaiting results before making an appointment.
hi, thanks for sharing your story!
i have battled cancer for the last 5 yrs and i can tell you it is like being on a roller coaster. Some days are better than others.When i first found out i had cancer i didnt tell anyone for a good month as i felt i was about to be a problem for everyone, but once i had spoke about it i realised that poeple just want to help.
I'm very lucky i have a big support unit around me so on bad days i tend to reach out to that network of people to help me through. something for you to think about for yourself anyway.
one of the main things to always remember is dont be afriad to ask for help, or even just some company during this time. it will make a difference to you, even if or when you think its best to fight alone!
i really hope things work out and remember that your not alone, there is always someone out there that can help and support you :-)
All the best, and please keep us updated
Thank you Melissa,
I had a visit to the clinic to speak to the surgeon yesterday. He Showed me the CT scans and the lesions in the liver. He doesn't want me to have a biopsy until I have an endoscopy top and bottom, which I will now have next Thursday. He also feels the primary is more in likely in the oesophagus as there is some thicking obvious on the scan. He tells me they won't operate on the liver lesions or the primary so my treatment plan is likely to be chemotherapy.
Generally, I feel positive and don't feel like much has changed in my life. I have been fairly pain free since the initial sever pain and, in fact, the pain seems less obvious everyday.
So I was booked in for a colonoscopy and gastroscopy yesterday. The surgeon told me he would do the gastroscopy first and if he found something then he wouldn't bother with the colonoscopy.
He found a likely tumour at the base of my oesophagus so didn't do the colonoscopy. He took a biopsy of it as well.
The report says it was 'fungating', which Google tells me is ulcerating. That doesn't sound pleasant.
I have to see him next Wednesday.
No prognosis at this stage but I have already been told that they won't operate so I guess it is chemo to hopefully reduce the tumours in my food pipe and liver.
I still feel very well overall. The only symptom I am experiencing at the moment is some discomfort when swallowing. I haven't lost wait, don't feel unusually fatigued and have no pain around my liver (I had pain here initially, which alterted me to something being wrong). I plan to stay positive and not give up.
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