I am 69 years old. I have Stage IV colon cancer and there is no current cure for my diagnosis. Nine years ago I had a colonoscopy that was perfect, with no polyps or abnormalities of any kind. About seven years ago I began to notice unintentional weight loss. That was my only cancer symptom, since my prior one was perfect no doctor suggested another colonoscopy . I was concerned about the weight loss because my mother died of pancreatic cancer when she was 66 and that was her only symptom. I finally convinced a doctor and the insurance company to approve the CT scan. As it turns out my pancreas was fine, but they noticed a huge tumor in my colon that had metastasized to my liver and lungs.
I am now approaching my third year of treatment. At the time of my diagnosis, the average live span was 22 months, so I’m ahead of the curve. My first year of treatment was initially successful. But the cancer mutated and began to grow again. The second line (group of chemo drugs) didn’t work at all. The third line of treatment did slow down the cancer buying me some time, however it is now showing signs of losing its mojo. There is no fourth line of treatment that meets my cost/benefit analysis, the cost of the treatment is measured by the toll it takes on my body and quality of life. I am now researching immunotherapy clinical trials and hope to start one soon. Immunotherapy, by unleashing my immune system to fight the cancer, has the potential save me from certain death.
I had none of the none of the classic colon cancer symptoms. I strongly suggest a colonoscopy or at least a sigmoidoscopy every five years. It ain’t fun, but it sure beats death. Oh, I like to paint critters, below is a sample.