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Keeping the fear out of the mix

grettasmom
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Well, I had a soft ball sized tumor removed from the colon on 3/15. The lymph nodes were removed and I'm told it has spread to the liver. My surgeon's partner (the grim reaper) came into the room while I was still pretty heavilly sedated and told my family and I in a MOST matter of fact voice what I outlined above and also that I would become more and more nauseous, lose all kinds of weight, have horrific diarrhia and that I was terminal...maybe 3 months to a year. WHAT THE HELL! There MUST be a better way to handle this situation. I actually feel better than I have for the past year. However, I'm constantly asking myself.....is that nausea?? Bowels are good, no diarrhia. I'm a realtor and the outreach from friends, fellow realtors and clients was so heartwarming, however, I feel like many of them are on the death watch, and that's a heck of an uncomfortable feeling. Anyway, I have taken responsibility for this cancer. I am a huge fan of Deepak Chopra and others, and I want very much to STAY POSITIVE!! Would love to hear your comments.

KrisS
Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Sorry to hear how your surgeon presented things. My surgeon was pretty matter of fact, but I had some knowledge of what I was up aginst and was pretty matter of fact myself. They still were kind. If you stay positive, I suspect that your friends will start to change. Most everyone I know knows generally what I have. I did walk around for 2 days with a chemo pump for 5-FU before I told anyone at work that I was on chemo. That gave me a bit more time to get used to the idea myself. They couldn't be quite as scared when they found out that I didn't look any different or any less cheerful than before.
I haven't told many people the extent of my disease, Stage IV. Some people would just get so scared by the thought that I won't be around forever that they would not be able to deal with it. I've only told a few people who can deal with it and not have it upset them so much that we can't have fun. I've had ups and downs with chemo and other side effects. Yes at some point I will probably have irreversible weight loss, nausea etc. but I don't now, so I am going to enjoy each day. My medical oncologist has been great - matter of fact, but always gives me the feeling he's in it for the long haul with me. That helps a great deal.

Best of luck.

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

GOOD FOR YOU, GrettasMom -

What a moron. He probably bets on baseball with Pete Rose. I would offer this:

1. I believe everything happens for a reason.

2. The "Grim Reaper", as you call him, has offered you a challenge. Prove him wrong. Take strength from his prognostication and turn it into a drive to keep on living (if only just to spite him!).

Hang tough and know you're in my prayers.

Be well.

- SpongeBob

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

Hey there!

Just for the record, if this helps, my experience sounds much like yours. My tumor was about 2.5 inches. But, it did affect lymph nodes, and I had 40% of my liver removed as well. The gallbladder was also removed during surgery, as it was in the way of the liver. Regardless, that was January 22, 2002, and I've never felt better! Sounds like a popular Thanksgiving phrase could apply to that psycho doctor of yours..."You're better off when the turkey is gone." Change doctors IMMEDIATELY. How are you expected to put up a good fight with a jackass like that around?!?!?!? I agree that things should not be sugar-coated, but let's be real.

There are times when I feel a little "queasy" in the stomach area and I wonder if it's something to be concerned about. But unless you REALLY have a bad feeling about something, chances are it's nothing to worry about.

Let me know if I can help more.

Stacy

dobeguy
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

My surgeon wasn't much help, other than the operation. In fact, he stuck his head into the ward room just once after the operation, then disappeared. Fortunately, I had a wonderful oncologist. If you find a good one, hug him. Frequently. They put me into a combo of chemo and radiation right from the start. The daily radiation went on for six weeks; the chemo lasted a year. I had been told they thought at the outset that the cancer had been caught at an early stage, only to find during the operation that it had spread all over the place. Gloom, gloom. Not much hope. That was 12 years ago. Which shows you how much medical school helps. Anyhow, I keep reading that things are changing for the better in the world of cancer research. Let us hope so. When in doubt, hug a dobe. Horses need a hug, too. We have two mares expecting in a month or so. Looking forward to that keeps me going. One mare is huge. She says she may be pregnant. Blimpo, the other one, says she isn't sure yet. I'll tell you how that comes out.

whitzw
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Honey, my heart went out to you when I read about your experience. What a total a** that doctor was. There is a better way...find a doctor that cares about you.

Anyway, I posted somewhere else about this, but I'm not sure if you will have read it.

I had 12 inches of my colon removed in May, 2001. I did 6 months of treatments for prevention. 3 months later my counts started climbing and we started looking. We finally found 2 tumors in my liver in November 2002. I was told it could be a year, 2 years or longer if we treated it aggressively. I'm only 54 years old, and as my doctor says ".too d*mn young " and so, we've gone at it aggressively.

In November I underwent RF. When they got in they found they could remove one of the tumors completely, so they did. The other one was too deep so they did the RF procedure on it. In January before I was due to start my chemo treatments, they discovered another tumor in the liver that had popped up between surgery and then. So instead of doing prevention we were going to be treating another tumor.

In January I stated Oxaliplatin and Xeloda. The Oxaliplatin really beats me up at times, and we've had to cut it in half and I'm taking it every 15 days by injection, with the Xeloda orally for 14 days. It's tough and I won't lie to you about that. But when I was told on the 11th of March that the tumor was dead, I was in remission, with the possibility of having to stay on a maintenance chemo for the rest of my life, I told him I'd even start taking the Oxaliplatin full strength again, if it meant we could keep the cancer in remission. Whatever it takes.

Your doctor is so important to your mental attitude and health. I have wonderful doctors and I thank the lord for them every day. Look around, talk to other cancer patients see who they are using and how they feel about them.

Whitzw

whitzw
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Honey, my heart went out to you when I read about your experience. What a total a** that doctor was. There is a better way...find a doctor that cares about you.

Anyway, I posted somewhere else about this, but I'm not sure if you will have read it.

I had 12 inches of my colon removed in May, 2001. I did 6 months of treatments for prevention. 3 months later my counts started climbing and we started looking. We finally found 2 tumors in my liver in November 2002. I was told it could be a year, 2 years or longer if we treated it aggressively. I'm only 54 years old, and as my doctor says ".too d*mn young " and so, we've gone at it aggressively.

In November I underwent RF. When they got in they found they could remove one of the tumors completely, so they did. The other one was too deep so they did the RF procedure on it. In January before I was due to start my chemo treatments, they discovered another tumor in the liver that had popped up between surgery and then. So instead of doing prevention we were going to be treating another tumor.

In January I stated Oxaliplatin and Xeloda. The Oxaliplatin really beats me up at times, and we've had to cut it in half and I'm taking it every 15 days by injection, with the Xeloda orally for 14 days. It's tough and I won't lie to you about that. But when I was told on the 11th of March that the tumor was dead, I was in remission, with the possibility of having to stay on a maintenance chemo for the rest of my life, I told him I'd even start taking the Oxaliplatin full strength again, if it meant we could keep the cancer in remission. Whatever it takes.

Your doctor is so important to your mental attitude and health. I have wonderful doctors and I thank the lord for them every day. Look around, talk to other cancer patients see who they are using and how they feel about them. Don't take that idiot's word for anything...never ever give up hope. It's always there.

Whitzw

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