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Year Two Scan - Hoping for Reassurance!

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and hoping for some help / reassurance! At the age of 37, I was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer in August 2016, I had two tumours in my rectum and four spots on my liver. After lots of chemo, radio and two major operations, I'm clear of cancer! Well, I was as of last November...that was my year one scan and this week, I have my year two scan. And I am petrified.

Just to give a background of my treatment, I firstly had six rounds of Oxiliplatin, 5FU and Cetuximab from Aug 16 - Nov 16. A scan in Dec 16 showed a marked reduction and I had liver surgery in Jan 17; no liver was removed, they literally cherry picked and ablated the spots, which turned out to be just scar tissue so no active cancer cells left.

In March - April 17 I had chemo radiotherapy and in July 2017 I had an APR (so they removed my rectum and a good margin around in including all the lymph nodes, I now have a fetching 'Barbie Bum'!) The histology after that was good, the cancer left was a teeny bit in my rectum, all of which had been removed and under the microscope there was an even teenier bit left in a low down lymph node, also removed with a good margin around it.

I had six more rounds of chemo from Sept 17 - Dec 17 followed by six rounds of 'maintenance' chemo from Jan 18- April 18. I was scanned throughout and each scan was clear, after I finished chemo in April 18 I had a scan in June 18, which was clear then another scan in Nov 18, which was clear.

So, it's been a whole year since that last scan, I had my bloods done two months ago and my CEA was 1.9, which my surgeon said is entirely normal. I think mine only ever went up to 5 or 6.

I have no symptoms, I am well, I look well, I'm not losing weight and I'm not tired.

But even though I read all this, I am so petrified about this scan and the results that I can't think straight. I have two little boys and I'm losing my patience sos quickly with them, my husband keeps telling me to look at all the good evidence but I just can't think logically. I keep thinking my CEA can't be counted as it was never that high in the first place and worry that what if I've had a reocurrence but it's so small it won't show in my blood or cause me any symptoms??

Every scan takes me straight back to 2016 when it was so awful and I just can't feel positive.

So, even though I'm new here I'm hoping someone will take pity on me and tell me it's all going to be fine! :(

Thanks for reading,
Vic :x::x::x:


Hi @Vickers1979 as your husband says everything is, on paper, reassuring. Of course you feel as you do, we all have that deep fear and every time we have a test or get something in the post it rears its ugly head. So, lost of sympathy and understanding :x:


@Vickers1979 First off you have done amazingly getting to this point, I know how gruelling it is from my husbands journey. Hold onto the fact your Cea is good and you feel well, all very positive! No advice on waiting for scans from me sorry I fall apart at every one we have, and we are now on two monthly so it comes around so blimin fast! Sending you as much luck as I can and keeping my fingers crossed for good results! Take care and let us know ❤️🤞🏻:x::x:


if your CEA is 1.9 and all blood test ok I should not worry about liver it seems clear your case is same is mine when i have liver spot my CEA went to 6 after liver surgery it went to 1.6 each of my scan is clear so relax and dont think too much about it


I am a similar age to you, and my two year scan is also coming closer. When I start to lose my patience with my two little ones (they are five and four) I usually ask my GP to prescribe me something for my anxiety. We have planned together that after Christmas (scan due early Feb) I will start to take meds to help me through until my results. I think it is especially difficult when you have young children to think of as well, so you have my full sympathy. It might be worth speaking to your GP?

You are fit and well, your CEA is perfect so no reason to think anything bad is going to happen.

Jodie :x::x:


Wow, thanks so much everyone - I wish I had joined sooner! Your comments really do help and are making me try to think more clearly. If my CEA was sky high I would be obsessing about it and yet I can't seem to take notice of it when it's low! I'm glad a few of you have said the CEA is good as I was honestly starting to think I couldn't use it as any kind of indicator.
I guess I just can't believe I would be so lucky for it to be gone and stay away...also, hard to believe but my eldest son was diagnosed with Leukaemia five months after I was diagnosed (he was four at the time) and he's still having treatment until next March so it's just cancer cancer cancer!
Jodie, I didn't think about taking meds to manage my anxiety as it gets so bad but maybe that's what I need to do next time. My scan is this Thursday and I've got to travel to the Midlands (from Wales) tomorrow as my little boy has chemo on the same day!
Thanks everyone
Vic :x::x::x:

Quote from @farahat:
if your CEA is 1.9 and all blood test ok I should not worry about liver it seems clear your case is same is mine when i have liver spot my CEA went to 6 after liver surgery it went to 1.6 each of my scan is clear so relax and dont think too much about it

Thanks so much, it's good to read others who've been in the same position and are now OK :x::x:


Dear @Vickers1979 , hugs and more hugs- of course you're apprehensive!!. You have said so much that is good though in your post and all I can say is that I am very hopeful of hearing that there is good news for you. Nothing can make this easier, I know but you have all our thoughts on here. Love Gypsyxxxxx


Oh, love to your little boy- what a lot you have on your plate.:x::x::x::x::x:


Thanks so much Gypsy - honestly I could cry with these supportive messages! Just to talk to people who know what it feels like. If I wasn't having a scan this week I wouldn't be thinking I had cancer, but all logic goes out of the window :x::x::x:

Quote from @Gypsy:
Oh, love to your little boy- what a lot you have on your plate.

Thank you! He's doing really well and finishes treatment in March next year, cure rate for him is 98% and I look at him and know he's OK - wish I could look at myself in the same way! :x::x::x:


Oh wow i have only just read the part about your little boy, gosh you are one strong lady dealing with all this!! My heart goes out to you all :x::x::x:


Good luck, I'm sure you will be okay, sounds like everything is looking positive, but the worry is totally understandable. Look forward to hearing your news!