Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Genetic Testing

Back in early November I had some genetic testing done. They wanted to see if I had Lynch syndrome which is an inherited condition that increases the risk for developing colon cancer and other types of cancers. Doctors estimate that about 3 out of every 100 colon cancers are caused by Lynch syndrome.
People who have Lynch syndrome have a significantly increased risk of developing colorectal cancer and an increased risk of developing other types of cancers such as, endometrial (uterine), stomach, breast, ovarian, small bowel (intestinal), pancreatic, urinary tract, liver, kidney, and bile duct cancers.
In addition, cancer is more likely to be diagnosed at a young age. The average age for colorectal cancer to be diagnosed in someone with Lynch syndrome is 45, as compared with the average age of 72 for a new diagnosis of colorectal cancer in the general population.

I recieved a phone call today with the results of the testing. They said everything looked normal. I do not have Lynch Syndrome or any mutated genes that would lead to cancer.

So there is no answer as to why I developed colon cancer at such a young age but I find it comforting to know that I don't have Lynch Syndrome and can't pass that on to my children...although they will need to start having colonoscopies at the age of 30.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

PET and CT scan results

Friday I went in for  PET scan. I haven't had one before. I wasn't sure what to expect.

I know some of you won't believe me when I say I have been sitting on my duff for too many days now. And just when the thought crossed my mind that I should take advantage of the treadmill in my house, I remembered that the PET scan required me to NOT exercise for 48 hours before the test. No problem! I sat back and continued duff sitting.

The test was interesting. I got a nurse in training. She was very nice and very attentive, but...
She was putting an IV in and couldn't find a vein. Once she had the needle shoved all the way in she moved it around looking for the vein. Ouch. She couldn't get it so she tried the other arm. Same thing. Ouch. Then she got the nurse who was training her to do it. Then I got a'll just leave it at that.

Then the "nuclear technician" came in and injected something radio active into me and everyone left the room. I was to sit there for 30 minutes and sit still and not read or move. Every once in a while I would catch myself reading the IV bag or the contrast bottles and then I realized I was working my eyes, and that I should just close them. It's amazing how many things there are to read,when you're not supposed to read!  Then I had to drink 1 1/2 bottles of contrast for the CT scan. Then I walked to another room where the PET and CT scans would take place. I laid down and put my hands up over my head. They placed a towel on both sides of my face to keep my head still and a pillowcase over my arms so that my arms could totally relax and the pillowcase would hold them in place. Then I went inside the machine and had to lay still for 40 minutes. 20 minutes was a pieces of cake but then they clamped off my catheter and filled my bladder beyond reason and I still had to stay still. THAT was hard! Finally the end came. Whew.
Yesterday we went in and got all the results. The reason my doctor ordered the PET scan was because of my tailbone pain. He was concerned that there might be cancer in the bone. That came out negative. Good news.
My numbers only went up by 1- -now at 306. And the scans showed tumors growing by just a millimeter. The doctor told me before that at some point I would need to go back on the chemo pump and it looks as though things are trending that way. We're going to try to up my dose of the maintenance chemo I'm on now to see if I can handle it and to see if it makes a difference. So we're just watching and waiting. Still feel great. :) Thanks for all your prayers!