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martid
@martid

Posts: 32
Joined: Mar 10, 2016

Recurrent HER2+ Suspicious lesions on liver

Posted by @martid, Mar 11, 2016

I have been a survivor of HER2+ – first diagnosed Oct 2012. I had been doing great but #s went whacky in January. First colonoscopy found one polyp that did end up being malignant. That doctor feels she got it all and will be doing a 2nd biopsy next Thursday. The CT scan showed lesions on liver “suspicious of breast cancer mets” and suspicious of a very aggressive tumor. Biopsy was done Tuesday; I will find out Monday if it is HER2+ mets or if it is yet another type of cancer. Seems like either way, things do not look good. I have questions about chemo when the tumor is in your liver – whether it is mets or not. I had a really hard time with chemo before and wonder how in the world a damaged liver can deal with all that poison. Is there even a chance to live a remotely comfortable life – however long it might be – when HER2+ comes back?

REPLY

Welcome to Connect @martid. What a blow to get so much news at once. I’d like to introduce you with other Connect members @kathymeyers @rajans @maureenkarras and @sue_in_delaware. While everyone has different experiences and diagnoses, I think it helps to know you’re not alone.

Your question about chemo and a damaged liver is a good one, and definitely something your care team will take into consideration. I found this interesting Q&A about liver mets and surgical options http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/recur_metast/ask_expert/conf_2007_10/question_02 Please note that this was written in 2007. And this information about liver mets http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/secondary-cancers/secondary-liver-cancer/secondary-liver-cancer

I’m sure waiting for the results on Monday will be tough. We’re here if you want to talk.

Thank you so much for your concern and information. I had read the first article; learned more from the second article. It was very helpful. I am not particularly optimistic about what I will hear from my oncologist tomorrow. Driving to Jacksonville is not an option for us – my husband is disabled and cannot sit or stand for long at all. My brother in law came there years ago and had such good things to say. Even going to Moffitt, about an hour’s drive one way, will be a challenge; my oncologist will refer me to them if we would like to get their opinion. I am sure I will have many questions after seeing the doctor tomorrow. Right now I am struggling through the thoughts of wondering if fighting this is really worth it.

I’m glad the second article was helpful. I thought it was very plainly and clearly written – the most useful type of information and helpful for formulating questions to ask your oncologist. I will be thinking about your tomorrow. Feel free to share your questions. While I’m not a medical professional, I can help find info or connect with another member on Connect who may have had a similar situation.

@colleenyoung

I’m glad the second article was helpful. I thought it was very plainly and clearly written – the most useful type of information and helpful for formulating questions to ask your oncologist. I will be thinking about your tomorrow. Feel free to share your questions. While I’m not a medical professional, I can help find info or connect with another member on Connect who may have had a similar situation.

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A brief update. Surprise to everyone, the tumor in my liver is mets. from
colon cancer. Although it is hard to understand being happy to find that I
will require colon surgery, liver surgery, and probably 6 months of chemo,
it is a better diagnosis that mets of HER2+ breast cancer. Of course, the
treatment plan may change after seeing the new doctor.

I am being referred to Moffitt; working on To Do List now. I just returned
from getting all of my scans & labs from the medical center. One (well, me
anyway) always feels better when projects can be accomplished. It is a
positive feeling to know that, even tho nothing can ever be assured, a cure
is possible. It is positive to know that, right now, there is no sign of
HER2+ having invaded any place. I understand that this will be a more
difficult fight than before because of the more extensive surgery, but it
helps to feel some hope that it is a fight that one has a chance of
winning.

I will be checking the groups to see what people have to say about their
experiences about colon cancer surgery and mets from colon cancer. I know
everyone is different, but it does help to read others experiences.

Thank you so much for your help in this overwhelming period of time. You
are providing a real service and I sincerely appreciate it.
Marti Driskell

Hi @martid – The American Cancer Society has a list of specific questions to ask that may be helpful to check out for upcoming appointments: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003288-pdf.pdf

Mayo Clinic’s guide has many useful pointers as well: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/preparing-for-appointment/ptc-20188375

Liked by martid

I am putting together a list of questions to take to the consultation. Having gone thru this drill before helps some, but when the Stage IV comes in to play, the questions sure do change.

I am trying to remember that the numbers are not set in stone and actually trying not to read too much at this point. I seem to really hit rock bottom very easily right now. I have always been a realist and always wanted to totally understand what was going to happen, how and why. Right now, the specifics just make me depressed and not at all sure I have the fight left in me. Surely my Warrior spirit did not just fly away; I am just having a hard time connecting with it.

Hi @martid, I’m just catching up with this discussion. Stage IV is definitely a different beast. I know you connected with @sue_in_delaware on another thread. She too lives with colon cancer that has metastasized to the liver. You can read more and write to her and @Laydeewinx here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/does-anyone-have-experience-with-receiving-tace-or-sirspheres-which-are-2

You’ve been very helpful to other people on Connect. I’m confident your Warrior spirit didn’t fly away, she’s just redefining herself.

Liked by martid

Thanks for the “lift up” – I am trying to keep moving in the right direction. I am back to reading again and after looking again at the email and information from Moffitt, realize that I have more that I need to get done. I hope to clarify some of the things they say I need and when they need them. It is confusing to understand what was sent by oncologist; what was sent by gastroenterologist; what I need to be responsible for getting. My anxiety is not helping here & taking the anti-anxiety meds makes accomplishing anything difficult.

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