My Latest Stage IV Cancer Checkup Update

A Little Background On My Battle With Cancer

In December of 2011, I was diagnosed with colon cancer and went in for emergency surgery. I started chemotherapy in March 2012. That was an awful experience. I had a colostomy bag when I awoke from surgery. I had surgery in March of 2012 to remove colostomy bag and put my colon back together.

  • In December of 2012, I had surgery to repair several hernias.  That surgery I was opened up with 38 staples to close me back up.
  • In June of 2014, my cancer spread to my ovaries. Had to be opened back up on the same incision as the previous surgeries.
  • October of 2014, I started chemo again. This was a different kind of chemotherapy and it was way worse than the first chemo I was on.
  • June 2017 I was scheduled for surgery but canceled because I needed to lose weight. Doctors reason was that the surgery would not be safe. So I had to lose weight.
  • October 2017 I was able to have the surgery, 5 hours long. The doctor repaired many hernias and removed the mesh I had that was in pieces and attached to my organs.

Checkup on 01/04/2019 With Cancer Doctor.

I am always so nervous when I go to my cancer doctor. Although I will be coming up the end of April of being cancer free for 4 years. Every time they take my blood and I wait to see the doctor for my results I get anxious. I think they should take my vitals before they take my blood. My blood pressure would be so much lower. I can’t complain though because my blood pressure is usually really good. So I sit for an hour or so before they take my vitals and see the doctor.

So here I am watching a really cool fish aquarium. After many visits, I realized that the fish aquarium was based on the movie Nemo. There was fish that looked like Nemo, Nemo’s dad, Dorie, and others in the movie. I liked the fish aquarium even better, although I don’t know why.

I get on my phone and play spider solitaire hoping that the time will pass by faster. It doesn’t. I watch other patients in the waiting room and I wonder what stage of cancer they are in and hoping they all are in remission or cancer-free. Then I wish there was a cure for all cancer. I hope someday there will be.

I am called back to do my vitals. I sit down and they take my vitals and go through all my medication. Which is a long list. Although the list is shorter than what is used to be. I then go back into the exam room and wait for my doctor. I have never had to wait more than a couple of minutes before he comes in.

The Exam

Within two minutes my doctor walks into the room with a smile on his face. He logs into the computer and checks my vitals and the test results. He asks how I am doing and how I feel. He then tells me that my tests look great. Kidney and liver function is good, my red and white blood cell is good. My blood sugar is a little high. It was a lot high at 216. Cancer marker results are not back yet.

He feels around on my stomach. looks good. He talks about what’s new in the cancer world. We talk about off the subject things. Which we always do. He looks at the computer once again and says that the cancer marker test is back. The moment I have been anxious about. The one test that I am always afraid of. Then with a smile, he says to me ‘ It’s great at 1.1’ Yea, I am so relieved. Here is a snapshot of the test results.

Tumor Markers – 01/04/2019
Component Name Result Normal Range
Carcinoma Embryonic Antigen* 1.1 ng/ml 0.0 – 4.6

What Is Next?

I have another cat scan in 6 months and blood work before I see him in 6 months. I have gone from tests, labs, and see the doctor every 2 weeks to once every 6 months. PROGRESS. This has been a very long road, with hills, bumps, and curves. But I have made it. I continue on the road only this time it is much smoother. I will NEVER give up this fight!

I always have thoughts in the back of my head of cancer returning. Some days I just sit in my house and work on my blog and my course. Keeping busy so that my thoughts are not on cancer returning. More recently I have had fewer thoughts of cancer and more of spending time with family and my adorable grandson as well as spending a lot of time working on my blog and figuring things out. I am still young and have so much to be grateful for and the wonderful future that I have been given that is yet to be explored. Living one day at a time!!!!

In the doctors report that I received it read ‘Stage IV KRAS mutated sigmoid adenocarcinoma grade 2, fully treated’. Which sounds bad, but I have been through the surgeries and chemotherapies and in April of this year I will be 4 years cancer-free. Yes, I am doing a happy dance.

This cancer doctors visit has been wonderful. I am still in stage IV and always will be. There is always a chance of it spreading to my liver. But why should I spend my life worrying about that? I want happiness and no worries. Ok well, I can always wish for no worries. I have a 15-year-old daughter who has recently got her permit, a 32-year-old son who will be finishing college this semester, and a 5-year-old grandson in kindergarten ( he will be 6 on the 19th of this month). Family and friends that I will spend time with and enjoy my life.

Thanks for reading my story and have a great day!

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38 Comments

  1. jen
    January 28, 2019

    wow. congrautaltions on being cancer free. it is something to share that story.

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 28, 2019

      Thank you!

      Reply
  2. Bettye
    January 24, 2019

    I hope you continue to have good news! I’m almost 2 years from my cancer diagnosis, surgery, treatments, etc. I have a scan every 6 months and so far, so good – but I understand how it really never leaves you. Every little pain or irregularity in my body pushes my THE CANCER IS BACK button. But I try to keep the worries to a dull roar.

    Hugs to you.

    Bettye
    https://fashionschlub.com

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 24, 2019

      Congratulations on being cancer free for 2 years. I hope you continue with no cancer returning. It is hard sometimes to keep the thoughts of returning at a dull roar when you are sitting in the cancer doctors office awaiting test results. Although I am better at keeping calm it is always in the back of my mind. Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
  3. T.M. Brown
    January 18, 2019

    What a story!! Great news with the lab results ~ here’s hoping and praying that you continue to heal and that the cancer never returns.

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 18, 2019

      I hope so too. Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
  4. Shanna
    January 16, 2019

    I love how brave you are for sharing your journey. My mom was Stage IV with colon cancer and it did indeed spread to her liver. She had laparoscopic surgery, and has been cancer free for almost ten years now. Love and light to you in your own journey!

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 17, 2019

      That is wonderful about your mom. Thank you for sharing with me about your mom, I wasn’t sure what would happen if it spread to my liver.

      Reply
  5. Monica
    January 14, 2019

    Yay!! This post made me nervous to read at first then so happy. You’re a strong person. My mom has lupus so I can imagine some of the struggles. *hugs*

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 15, 2019

      Thank you. It makes your stronger than I even thought I could be. Prayers for your mom.

      Reply
  6. Dana
    January 14, 2019

    SOOO happy for you!! That is amazing news. I, myself, have not had cancer. But my mother in law has, twice. Each time she beat it. Your story sounds very similar to what she went through. I can only imagine the anxiety every time. Good for you for living your life!!

    Reply
  7. Katie
    January 14, 2019

    Waiting for test results is always nerve wracking, but I can only imagine how heavy those test results feel when you know the journey attached to them! Congrats on winning the battle and having the courage to share and inspire others through your journey!

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 14, 2019

      Thank you. I hope I am helping or at least inspiring others going through the same thing.

      Reply
  8. Georgette
    January 13, 2019

    Fearing the unknown is a horrible feeling. I can relate with your fears. Although I have not been diagnosed with cancer I did have a couple scary bouts with a mammogram and palpable nodules on my neck. So, I know how you feel. I hope you can get your mind off of it. Easier said than done, I know. I truly enjoyed your post and your openness to share. God Bless!

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 14, 2019

      I am glad that you have not experienced cancer. But I know that any test result for any reason can be nerve-wracking

      Reply
  9. Susan Franklin
    January 12, 2019

    What a happy report! I can’t imagine what you have had to go through, but after reading your story, I can certainly understand your anxiety when you visit the Doctor. I agree with you to live each day to its fullest and enjoy your family. None of us know when our time here on earth will end, only God knows that. We should all live each day with that in mind. Be blessed!

    Reply
  10. Amber Dunn
    January 12, 2019

    Congratulations on being cancer free! I could not even imagine how difficult those doctor visits are.

    Reply
  11. Pauline
    January 12, 2019

    My sister just finished her treatments and has been declared cancer free! My brother has been in remission for over 30 years.

    Reply
  12. Mary
    January 12, 2019

    So glad for your good news. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I love your positive attitude!

    Reply
  13. Karie
    January 11, 2019

    Great outlook for such struggles. Great reminder for us to all take one day at a time and enjoy what we can and be grateful. So glad your 4 years free.

    Reply
  14. Laura
    January 11, 2019

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this! It’s always good to hear other people stories! Best of luck to you! Take good care!

    Reply
  15. Meagan
    January 11, 2019

    You are so strong!

    Reply
  16. Janice
    January 11, 2019

    So glad you are cancer free

    Reply
  17. Lauri
    January 11, 2019

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am so happy your are doing well!

    Reply
  18. cara
    January 11, 2019

    happy for you! Hope you continue to be well!

    Reply
  19. Stacey
    January 11, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you had great news. You are so brave, and I’m glad you can focus a little more on living your life and your loved ones.

    Reply
  20. Janine
    January 11, 2019

    Such great news! Here’s to many more positive progress reports.

    Reply
  21. Nicki
    January 11, 2019

    So happy for you! This sounds great. It is so hard to not worry. I am the queen of worrying. I’m working on it though.

    Reply
  22. Rachel Newlon
    January 11, 2019

    I am happy to hear that all is good and you are continuing with good health!

    Reply
  23. Brittany
    January 11, 2019

    Such great news! My coworker is just finishing up chemo for breast cancer – one more treatment. Every milestone is a celebration!

    Reply
  24. Tricia Snow
    January 10, 2019

    Sounds like you are on the mend with a great attitude to boot!

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 12, 2019

      Yes. Thank You.

      Reply
  25. Junell DuBois
    January 10, 2019

    I’m so glad you’re cancer free now. My friend has been clear of her cancer for a few years but she said every appointment is met with the same anxiety before. You’re so strong!

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 12, 2019

      Happy to hear your friend is free of cancer.

      Reply
  26. Beth
    January 10, 2019

    I’m so happy for you! My dad had colon cancer a few years back and it was such a scary time. I am so, so glad you got great news. You have so much to look forward to! Give that grandbaby a big hug!

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 10, 2019

      Thank you and I will!

      Reply
  27. Christa (ArtisticWord)
    January 10, 2019

    Prayers for the journey!

    Reply
    1. kathy phillips
      January 10, 2019

      Thank You.

      Reply

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