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ramona41's picture
ramona41
Posts: 72
Joined: Jul 2004

just found out last week I had a tumor low in my colon. thought i had a fissure or hemmoraid. am only 41..and was shocked. have had the blood tests. cat scan and yesterday the colonoscopy. tomorrow i meet with the surgeon. another fun filled morning of enemas. *&***&*&* hate it. then will hopefull learn the stage i am in and the options. am scared to death of having a coloscomety bag. i know i know am vain. am scared of evrything.. needles.. pain. smell of hospital and mean nurses. have read that some get chemo before surgery ..i didnt know that. also am scared cause doc said tumor is low close to rectum.. learning more about my ass than i wanted.. thanks for listening and i am glad i found this site today. any advice is welcome.. peace to all...
ramona

KrisS
Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Ramona-I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I was diagnosed with rectal carcinoma at 46. I also had assumed that I had hemmorhoids.

You must be terrified. I know I was. I had never been to the doctor before for anything but routine stuff before. I did a lot of reading, but stopped short when I got to a book that illustrated exactly what they do at surgery. That was more than I wanted to know!

Hopefully you are at an early stage with a very good prognosis for cure. I am stage 4 and have been battling this for 2 yrs. Of all the things that I have been through though, I think the most painful and miserable were giving myself enemas for surgeon's evaluation and biopsy and drinking Phos soda to get my colon cleaned out. My tumor was mid rectum but fairly large, so they treated me with radiation/5-FU to shrink things down before going to surgery. Since my tumor was higher up they planned to reconnect things, but told me that they would at least give me an ileostomy at least for a few months so that things could heal up better. After drinking the Phos soda to get the colon clean, it crossed my mind that there might be advantages to an ostomy, because my colon would remain clean if they had to go in there to look for anything else in the future!

When I found I had metastatic disese, I discouraged my surgeon from planning to reverse my ileostomy. It was little trouble and I decided it was easier to deal with than spending all my time with frequent bowel movements until function returned.

I at first was too upset to talk about all this with friends, but once I got up the nerve, they were wonderful. I found out that there are a lot more people running around with ostomies than you would ever believe, including a friend of a friend who got a colostomy 20 yr ago while in med school at 25 because of recurrent problems with severe colitis. I thought I would have to buy new clothes but did not. The only thing I don't wear is a few pairs of very snug jeans, and one bathing suit.

Yes some of the things you go through are not the most comfortable, and everyone is a little different in their response to treatment. Most of the uncomfortable things are short term however. I worked all but 1 day during my presurgical radiation therapy and chemo, as well as for many months on chemotherapy after the discovery of metastatic disease.

As for nurses- I love my nurses. They have been wonderful and very kind.

Here is hoping that test results show that your tumor is at a very early stage. Keep us posted.

Best wishes,

Kris

AuthorUnknown
Posts: 1564
Joined: May 2006

hey, I'm new too

don't let this take more from you than it already has, no matter what the results, live your life and refuse the cancer the satisfaction of bumming you out. I have an Illeo and my Drs. don't seem too positive about my situation, so I guess I 'll have to heal myself. The bag is a drag at first, but Kris is right, it beats a dozen blood craps a day, (pardon my graphic nature) and it is very manageable. If the bag comes, learn how to take care of it quick then put it out of your mind and focus on ridding yourself of cancer.

Good luck, I hope my advice is not needed

piece, luv and apricots

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Ramona: I have lived a very normal life for over 3 years with a permanent colostomy..but you are way ahead of yourself and your doctor..wait for results, and keep posting here; things are better than you think.. Bud

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

ramona,
so sorry you are joining us; but you are in good company. I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal adenocarcinoma at age 32 - about 2 years ago. I have a permanent colostomy. I am a doctor, and my doctor friends asked me if I still have the ostomy because they can't tell - and I like to wear fitted clothes.

Try not to worry. I agree with all the others - don't let the cancer get the best of you... remain strong and enjoy life.

I also had pre-op chemo/radiation and then post op chemo. I only missed 1 week of work during radiation (when it was 2 a day - I got VERY tired) and then 6 weeks post op. Otherwise I have worked full time. Some days I am exhausted, but most of the time working makes me feel much stronger.

BUT - take it all one step at a time. Just know we are here for you. Reach out to family and friends for support and strength.

wish you nothing but good news from here on out! jana

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hullo Ramona and welcome.I did speak to you in the chat room a coupla nights back!You were very upset then I suspect and you will do well to continue coming here as I have done since aug. last year.These guys here are a wealth of love and support.Listen to what they have to offer-you will not regret it!
I had stage 2 colon cancer with surgery to remove approx. 1/3 then 6 months chemo.Have been in remission since feb. 04.The fear you have re; tests etc. is normal but the procedures sound worse than they are.As Kris says--many are not the most comfortable things to go thru but are bearable.Personally I think the "bowel cleansing prep." sucks!!!I have endured heaps from needles to barium enemas, colonoscopies(6) etc, ad-nauseum
and woul willingly give up drinking that crap and take the other stuff smiling.
With modern medicine today and great nurses to help you thru this all---sure be fearfull--but be aware that they make you as comfortable as possible--it is really not as bad as you may imagine.
As for chemo--well--I have to be truthfull and tell you it is not fun.Having said that do not despair--it effects people in different ways--not all side effects are the same nor does everyone endure them.
Ramona--take heart in knowing that your cancer has been found--and as Bud said "words of wisdom"-"wait for the results!"
We will be here and thinking of you Ramona--our love and prayers
very sincerely--kanga and Jen from OZ

taunya's picture
taunya
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

Hi Ramona,
I was diagnosed at 38 after having been treated for hemmorhoids for 6 months! They didn't bother to look for cancer because they thought I was too YOUNG! I am two and a half years past my surgery and I am doing very well. The fear is abominable though and if you let it carry you it will run! i was marked before surgery to place the ostomy if that was necessary because my tumor was very low. It turns out that I didn't have to have one, great news and news you may hear as well. please don't allow your mind to imagine the worst. I will be thinking of you and hoping you are feeling calmer and not so scared.
Peace of mind and great big hugs to you,
Taunya

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