33 years old with peritoneal mets
I've been reading this forum on and off for over a year now, and have found it very helpful, but felt that it was time to join and introduce myself in the hope of some extra help, advice and support following my latest cancer curve ball.
I'm female, 33, and was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in August 2013 after being admitted for emergency surgery after my bowel became obstructed by my tumour. Prior to this, I was being investigated for IBS / coeliac disease following some mild symptoms, but the cancer diagnosis was a shock - I hadn't appreciated that it is possible to feel almost perfectly well and have advanced cancer. My bowel surgery was successful, and the only sign of further spread was to 3/23 surrounding lymph nodes which were removed during the op. I had 4 cycles of capox chemotherapy, then thought I was done with cancer - I went back to work (I chose not to work through chemo) and got on with life.
A few months ago my routine 1 year CT scan showed a new tumour in my liver. The follow-up PET scan showed another tumour in my spleen and some dodgy looking spots in my peritoneum. Three weeks ago a surgeon resected my liver, removed my spleen and removed the lining of my diaphragm. They went ahead even though they could see numerous cancerous deposits around my abdomen. I'm enormously grateful that they removed the tumours they could, but there's still lots more cancerous rubbish inside my abdomen to deal with. I've just found out that the next step is 3 cycles of chemo (capox + avastin) to see whether they can get the cancer under control. If they can, HIPEC at Basingstoke might become a possibility, but there are no guarantees.
Throughout all of this, I've been fortunate enough to barely feel ill, which makes it really hard to get my head around the fact that I have this disease. I'm recovering well from the latest operation and have fantastic support from family, friends and work. However, today I'm having a gloomy day, having heard that a cure is now a very remote possibility. It feels that my prognosis, which was initially ok, is getting more and more grim by the day. No doubt in a few days, once I've readjusted to the latest news, things will look brighter, but right now I'm very sick of hearing bad news.
On the bright side, I already feel a little better for having read some of the recent posts on this forum, and reminding myself that I'm not the only 30-something going through this.