My medical oncologist called late this afternoon to confirm that the gastrointestinal tumour board of the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre recommends I have another scope test (probably a sigmoidoscopy) during which the surgeon will take more biopsy samples for analysis.
Evidently the MRI was not only "suspicious", it also had evidence of "soft tissue" growth in the area of the anastomosis since the CT scan in December. My surgeon had told me in early December that we would do a sigmoidoscopy near the end of March just to take another look at the anastomosis, but that schedule has been accelerated to some time in February because of the tumour board's consensus review and recommendations. I will be contacting the surgeon early next week to get details.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm relatively optimistic because of the results of the last biopsy in late November. The pathologist's report then indicated that the "suspicious" tissue was merely granulation tissue - no evidence of recurrent cancer. I think that bodes well for the next test. I am also pleased that my medical team is taking no chances, no matter what the last pathology report stated.
It is hard realizing that I'll have to go through my fourth scope test in less than fifteen months. My last colonoscopy really took all the energy out of me and left me barely able to walk into the hospital. We'll try another preparatory routine this time to see if it is any easier on my body.
But by ambivalent news is far better than the news another relative gave us this week about his tests. His biopsy revealed a sarcoma attached to his kidney. The surgery will mean the removal of the kidney as well as the tumour in all likelihood. We've been commiserating a little recently, but I suspect there will be many more conversations about cancer in the not-too-distant future.