Cancer News

Perhaps I should call this health news and break this to y’all more gently. I saw the surgeon on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Everything is healing up well, no problems with that. Apparently though I was hiding a carcinoid tumor in my appendix. This is a different sort of tumor to adenomas and is much easier to contain as carcinoid tumors typically grow slowly. Not that that is much comfort, as mine was the length of my appendix (5×2 cm2) and had broken through the wall of the appendix. There were also signs that two of the lymph nodes (13 had been removed) had signs of metastasizing. I saw an oncology the next day; yep, Wed before Thanksgiving. He was very reassuring especially after he had done a thorough physical exam which showed no further signs. Nor were there any on the Cat Scan I had had before surgery. Apparently the only other abnormal sign from my Cat Scan was some cysts on my spleen. In the excitement, I forgot to ask if that was some I should get sorted out. What does the spleen do any way?

I have to go for more tests and then it is a case of “watch and see?. Carcinoid tumors are apparently easy to remove by surgery. They show up because carcinoid tumors give off chemicals which cause the brain to release too much serotonin which then causes flushing, heart arrhythmia, and wheezing. All of which, of course, I have started suffering the moment I was told they were the symptoms to look out for. I’m joking. Apparently this is so common that it is a called “carcinoid syndrome?. About 5000 people a year are diagnosed with carcinoid tumors, 7% are in the appendix (carcinoidtumors).

My surgeon said that I had the right operation for the wrong reason, but the polyp stopped the colonoscopist going up any higher into the colon. Also, he predicted, that within five years the polyp would have become an adenoma. So at least I don’t have to worry about that.

Other than this news, I am doing very well. I rest a lot. I started back teaching and singing with my choir. We have a concert Sunday afternoon and our CD should be ready. I took part in one of the recording sessions, and was able to sing for most of it. I did have rest for the rest of the week afterwards! Actually, lots of fellow choristers had colds, which made me feel pretty healthy in comparison.