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Hello everyone!

hoosier_kitten
Posts: 39
Joined: Aug 2003

I'm so glad I found this page! On May 14th, much to my surprise, I was diagonsed with either colon or ovarian cancer, big tumors in both areas. On May 31, 2003, I had emergency surgery and part of my colon was removed, hysterectomy, lymph nodes involvement, and on and on it seemed. Finally they said the words...colon cancer, stage 4. In surgery they removed 99% of the cancer, which I understand is rare. Now I am recieveing chemotherapy (5FU etc) for 6 cycles. Fatigue and anemia seem to be the biggest side effects for me. I hope to become better acquainted with you all. Thanks.

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

Ahoy, Hoosier_Kitten! -

Welcome to the "semi colon" club;

Is there something in the Indiana water? I'm from Indiana and so is Stacy (I'm sure you'll hear from her momentarily - she's a "reformed Stage IV")

Sounds like you have a great attitude and that's the most important tool in your kit. I'm with ya on the fatigue and anemia. Hang in there and keep up the great attitude. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

- SpongeBob

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 589
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Hoosier- Kitten,

Welcome to the club , I also remember the first day I found this web site I was so happy that there were people of all ages going through the same roller coaster of emotions and feeling as I was... You'll meet some pretty wonderful people here who always have big hearts and great shoulders and good sound advice.AS for me I had a stage 3 with pos nodes ,it's been almost 18 months since surgery and I can say LIFE is good again .Fatigue I know can really bring you down but you have to go with the flow and after treatment each you will start to feel like your old self again .

Here are the names of 2 good inspiring books.

1. Here and Now and it's by Elena Dorfman and Heidi Schultz Adams.

2. Lance Armstrong. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE.

Lisa

hoosier_kitten
Posts: 39
Joined: Aug 2003

Good Morning SpongeBob and Lisa! Thanks ever so much for replying. I love the name "semi-colon club". I have been accused often of having a wicked sense of humor, so I feel at home here. Thanks for the book ideas Lisa. Will look them up soon. What part of Indiana, Spongebob? I am east central near Richmond. Take care all, will look forward to more contact with you and all others.

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

First of all...your name literally jumped out at me, as I too am a hoosier! Live in Lowell, Indiana (Northwest Indiana). Don't let the stage 4 diagnosis scare you...you'll get through it, as did I. SpongeBob & Lisa are awesome, and no matter what SpongeBob says, he is here AS MUCH AS I AM (smile!). I think he, Lisa, & I all feel like we need to "give back" to others diagnosed, as we were all very blessed to get through it. YOU WILL TOO!!!!!!! Everyone here can give you the support you need to make it through the rough times. Take each day as it comes!

Let me know if I can answer any questions or concerns you may have...I'll try my best to help out!

Get Healthy & Get On With Life...

Stacy

hoosier_kitten
Posts: 39
Joined: Aug 2003

Glad to meet you Stacy. I hope to get to know all of you better and hope to help with others as I can. This is the first I've shared with other survivors. I forgot one of the other side effect....family concern ;) Bless their hearts!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

hi hoosier kitten,

Welcome to the club no one wanted to join! haha. Stage 3 lymph pos survivor of 2 yrs here.

If I can add to the book list:

A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm
Beating Cancer With Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quillin

Check 'em out. They have helped me a lot.
Didn't do any chemo so I can't empathize with you but I can attest to the fact that it can take a long time to feel 'normal' again when healing from cancer. As far as concerned family goes....I have been on that side too as my sister had intestinal cancer. I think being the family member was harder but being the survivor has been more fearful....as in I have 5 kids (youngest being 3) and I need to stick around ya know?

Come to the chat room too. It's a great place to hang.

peace, emily

hoosier_kitten
Posts: 39
Joined: Aug 2003

Thank you Emily. These book suggestions are very helpful. Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed. Everyone here seems to know what they're talking about...I can't even tell you how many lymph nodes were removed! It all happened so quickly, didn't know what to ask. Altho I trust my drs without question, I find they don't offer information that you don't ask for. Does everyone else find this to be the case? Thanks all!

Rita

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

hi rita,
i questioned my doc lots but mostly I referred to books to learn about my cancer. The docs really don't tell you much. I found that I really needed to be my own patient advocate and find things out for myself. And yes, it is very overwhelming.
Look at your discharge papers from your surgery and it should tell you all you need to know about your lymphs and such. I found mine to be quite interesting. If you did not receive any then request them!
I do not trust my doctors without question since they are human and prone to error as we all are. And you'll find that different docs come up with different info.

I seeked alternative care and info from Naturopathic doctors and believe me they had very different info than my oncologists. I picked the brain of many different sources to come to my decisions on my treatment.
Hang in there. You'll be a pro in no time!

peace, emily

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

Hi again, Rita -

You know, I hate to say it but emily is right-on about the docs (just kidding, emily!). I like to think of my docs as consultants. We are a team working on the same problem. If I don't like what one of them is telling me, or if it seems counter-intuitive, I make him or her show me where s/he got that info or what led to that conclusion/recommendation. I hold them accountable for what they say (of course, the fact that I am senior in rank to a lot of my docs helps bolster my ability to do that!) Seriously, though, so many folks have the notion that whatever the doctor says is gospel - and it isn't. There are often LOTS of ways to achieve the same end-state and there are often lots of end-states to choose from. Work with your doctors to pick whcih one you want and how YOU want to get there. emily forwent chemo and she's doing great. I said "bring on the drugs" and I'm doing well.

I don't mean to sound down on docs, I just recognize that they are human, and, as such, they are subject to the same old issues that haunt the rest of us in the human race.

Have a great day!

- SpongeBob

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