After a few months of digestive issues, Lanny went in for some imaging in early March. The results came back positive for colon cancer. Things moved quickly after that. He had the first CT scan done on Thursday March 12. We got him in for a dr appointment on Friday. The orders for a colonoscopy were marked STAT and the surgeon was able to squeeze Lanny in on Monday. The colonoscopy showed a large mass in his colon and the surgeon recommended removal right away as Lanny was SEVERELY anemic and there was an abscess near the mass. Surgery was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and Lanny was admitted so he could be treated for the anemia before surgery.
Surgery was a success and the surgeon was confident he got it all. He was able to remove the entire tumor but because of how it had grown, Lanny lost a kidney, at least 15 inches of small intestine, 1/3 of his large intestine and a portion of the abdominal wall. Lanny spent a week in the hospital recovering from surgery and amazed the nurses when he walked nearly 2 miles in the hallways the day after surgery. However, there were some bumps in the road later on when the pain meds wore off but we eventually got things under control and he went home without any complications. He had a port placed a week after discharge and after a month long recovery, he started chemo at the end of April.
Pathology results on the tumor and the tissue proved to be so-so. Of the 57 lymph nodes the surgeon removed from Lanny's abdomen, only 3 were enlarged and only 1 of those had cancer cells. Testing showed that cancer cells were found in the abdominal wall but it was where the tumor had grown into the tissue and as the doctor put it 'it technically metastasized but it really had nowhere else to go'. So, it technically metasisized (which makes it Stage 4) but it is very encouraging that it hasn't actively spread and that there was only 1 lypmh node with cancer cells in it.
He's had 2 CT scans, 2 Ultrasounds, and a PET scan done in the last 3 months. The initial CT and ultrasound scans showed a cancerous mass in his colon and a small spot on his liver that turned out to be a benign hemangioma-a cluster of blood vessels that grew close together. The second CT scan showed no masses in his chest or abdomen but a new spot had formed on his liver. A second ultrasound told us it was another hemangioma and nothing to be concerned about. (This spot was not seen on the first CT scan because the tumor was in that region and there was a large abscess there as well. ) A PET scan was done at this time and showed no cancer activity anywhere.
The current plan is to do chemotherapy over 2 days with him going in for a few hour infusion of one medication and then coming home with a pump for the second medication. He then goes in two days later and the pump is disconnected. This is then repeated every two weeks for a total of 12 treatments. It is the doctor's recommendation that he then do a round of radiation but we have yet to meet with the radiology doctor to get that set up and it won't be happening until after chemotherapy is done anyway.