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In need of emotional support

krysta
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

Hi, I am new to this. I was diagnosed in december with stage 4. I have just completed my 3 round of chemo. I was wondering if anybody out there could help me understand if what i am feeling is normal. I am feeling pretty hopeless, i cry alot and am wondering if anyone could give some advice on ways to cope.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2883
Joined: Jan 2010

Welcome to the board. Sorry for the need but you have found a place where folks not only offer support but also suggestions based on their own experiences.

There are a number of long term survivors here who are stage 4, so take that as the first good piece of news. It can happen. There is hope.

Have you talked to your doctor about your emotions? A diagnosis of cancer, regardless of the stage is tough to take. Perhaps he can offer you some light medication for the times you are feeling your worst.

As strange as it sounds, I found getting my personal effects in order helped me. It was something I could control. I wasn't planning on leaving this earth anytime soon, but wanted not to leave things hanging for my family.

Your doctor could also recommend a support group of folks who have traveled or are traveling in your shoes. If he can't then check with your local American Cancer Society.

Hoping that soon the shock of all this begins to lessen for you. Just remember, there is hope.

Marie who loves kitties

steveandnat's picture
steveandnat
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

This cancer ride id a real emotional roller coaster. I have experienced more raw emotion after being wiped out for several days from a chemo treatment. I was dd stage four June 2009 and have many ups and downs. I now look forward to the good days so I can enjoy doing things I like. If there are local supportvgroups you might try to join one. Keep in touch with us to. Pray you feel good soon. Jeff

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry that you have to be here,but there are a lot of stage 4 survivers.It will help if you just take your treatments,and go on with your life as normal as possible.4 years ago I was stage 3.I completed chemo,radiation,surgery,and went on with my life,with a colostomy.Now the cancer has returned,and spread to my liver,making me stage 4 now.I am doing my chemo,and have an upcoming surgery.I am living my life normally,and plan to continue after surgery.I am even working every day.Don't let it get you down,don't get sad,get angry.It is time for you to start fighting,and win.Don't ever give up.I'm going to keep going,and survive,and so should you.Your feelings are normal,just come here if you have any questions.Good luck.

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry that you have to be here,but there are a lot of stage 4 survivers.It will help if you just take your treatments,and go on with your life as normal as possible.4 years ago I was stage 3.I completed chemo,radiation,surgery,and went on with my life,with a colostomy.Now the cancer has returned,and spread to my liver,making me stage 4 now.I am doing my chemo,and have an upcoming surgery.I am living my life normally,and plan to continue after surgery.I am even working every day.Don't let it get you down,don't get sad,get angry.It is time for you to start fighting,and win.Don't ever give up.I'm going to keep going,and survive,and so should you.Your feelings are normal,just come here if you have any questions.Good luck.

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry that you have to be here,but there are a lot of stage 4 survivers.It will help if you just take your treatments,and go on with your life as normal as possible.4 years ago I was stage 3.I completed chemo,radiation,surgery,and went on with my life,with a colostomy.Now the cancer has returned,and spread to my liver,making me stage 4 now.I am doing my chemo,and have an upcoming surgery.I am living my life normally,and plan to continue after surgery.I am even working every day.Don't let it get you down,don't get sad,get angry.It is time for you to start fighting,and win.Don't ever give up.I'm going to keep going,and survive,and so should you.Your feelings are normal,just come here if you have any questions.Good luck.

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

"don't get sad, get angry!"

Love it!

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Krysta, glad you found us, sorry you needed to. I am stage 4 and one year out from my second liver resection. When i was first diagnosed with colon cancer, i was scared and just felt lost.
As i took each step, i got stronger and more able to cope. When it went to the liver twice! i thought OMG i'm gonna die. Well i am still here, feelin great and looking forward to each day. No One knows our future. Be proactive, make sure you have a good dr. and question everything. I do have days when it all seems too much. So I come here to vent. the amazing people on this board ALWAYS come to my aid. Read some of our stories and know you are not alone. Is what your feeling normal?? Oh yeah, you betcha.
Hugs,
Judy

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

What you're feeling is completely normal---you are probably still in shock and can't believe it is happening. Chemo too, can make you feel weird, so that isn't helping you get a grasp on your life, which is suddenly out of control.
For me what helped was going one step at a time. I didn't have to like it (the diagnosis or the treatment)....I just had to do it.
One step at a time.
People are going to start asking what they can do for you, and you know what? They mean it. This is an excellent time to have someone start a meal train, walk your dogs, give you a ride to treatment--whatever will make it easier for you to get through this.
You can do it.
Once again, welcome.

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

Tommycat!

great advice.

you rock!

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

When I first came here...as a stage IV... I was a cry baby wreck!!! That was back in 2009 after I "overheard" the doctors talking that I only had a few months..... Only 1 person knows that information and obviously they were wrong. The people on the forum became my 2nd family and saved my sanity. No one in the "outside" world really knows or understands what you are thinking or going thru unless they have "been there, done that" like these people. I was SURE i was facing my last 4th of july....SURE I would never see my daughter graduate from nursing school or get married...SURE I would never be NED(no evidence of disease). WRONG ON ALL COUNTS!!!! I have celebrated 3 more 4th with my husband...daughter IS an RN delivering babies...we are planning her wedding for this come dec 1st and I have been NED 3 times and am now. Your "Stage IV" can be treated like any other disease that has no cure...like diabetes... with medicine and/or surgery,TCM,diet and many many other options..... YOU HAVE OPTIONS.... YOU HAVE LIFE.....Now dry up those tears and SMILE girlfriend!! Quoting a favorite song of mine "The old me is dead and gone .... but the new me is gonna be alright"

Jennie

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2011

Jennie, you are awesome.

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Why thank you Girlfriend....... Just keeping it real. :-)

Jen

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

Krysta

I was dx'd in November, Stage 4 with over 30 large mets to the liver and 100 microspots.
not good.

first oncologist told me to get my sh#t in order, and barked out some chemo regiment.
fired him the next day and went hunting for a positive oncologist that would talk about life and beating this crap and not so much about the statics or death or how much time we have.... etc.

so, i found positive doctors and surgeons. I also met a support group and spoke with a social worker at the hostpital. Turned out, January i was depressed and lots of axiety. I had positive people around me, i was "positive" to everyone around me by day... but over 25% of my thinking was negative. I could stop thinking and i couldn't stay asleep.

I complained to the doctors and we met and they gave me Zoloft to balance out my high and low emotions. then, for those nights when i couldn't fall asleep or felt i needed it, they gave me ambian. It's a good med for catching a full 8 hours of sleep.

It was VERY hard for me to admit that i needed these two drugs to keep me moving, but it has helped greatly. the first couple weeks i felt strange, but for the past three months these two meds have helped me make it through some very difficult times.

My advice for you is to Complain.
when they survey you and ask how you are doing or what hurts... TELL THEM!
tell them if you puke, itch, diarea, constipation, tingling in your hands, feet, jaw... complain about balance or about nasean.

they have a med for everything... and they just need to know how you feel.
pull them into a conference room if you need to talk very personal stuff... but take control of you and your health. And, never be affraid to complain. Never be affraid to admist that this cancer beast is winning, and you want to beat it. So you might need some help from a counselor or cancer support group.... or with meds.

i wish you the best.
I plan to beat the heck out of this cancer... but it's not going to be easy.

I am 16 weeks in on my chemo treatments.... 8 weeks to go and it might ALL be gone!!!
so far, in 16 weeks the large liver spots have reduced from 7cm x 4cm x 4cm down to less than 1cm x .25cm x .25cm.

this stuff can work... just need to let that chemo do it's job and you'll get some good news down the line at your first CT or PET scan when they tell you the progress.

I wish you the BEST
we're all here for you and each other.

joe

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Krysta:
Hi-I am stage 4 and recently had 2 surgeries (both lungs) and a tumor removed from
my Liver. I know I am so fortunate to have it discovered and the surguries but I find sweeping emotions come over me and are hard to deal with.
I do take ativan at night to help me sleep and I am possessed with reading about cancer.
I should be filling each day with positive thoughts etc., but sometimes I cant.
Maybe its part of the process thru treatments.
I thank everyone on the boards for their help and sharing they've been there or are dealing w/these feelings too.
I have more healing ans chemo to follow.
Praying for wellness and positive outcomes as we all move through our treatment plans.(
Sincerely-Barb!
I am six months in my treatment.......

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Krysta:
Hi-I am stage 4 and recently had 2 surgeries (both lungs) and a tumor removed from
my Liver. I know I am so fortunate to have it discovered and the surguries but I find sweeping emotions come over me and are hard to deal with.
I do take ativan at night to help me sleep and I am possessed with reading about cancer.
I should be filling each day with positive thoughts etc., but sometimes I cant.
Maybe its part of the process thru treatments.
I thank everyone on the boards for their help and sharing they've been there or are dealing w/these feelings too.
I have more healing ans chemo to follow.
Praying for wellness and positive outcomes as we all move through our treatment plans.(
Sincerely-Barb!
I am six months in my treatment.......

janderson1964
Posts: 1502
Joined: Oct 2011

Your emotions are totally normal. Only people who have experienced cancer can understand what you are feeling. I am glad you found this forum. I was diagnosed stage IV 6 1/2 years ago and at times it is still hard for me to believe what i am going through. I an pNED for tbe third time. Like Jennie said this disease is treatable.

Jeff

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

There are good answers from everyone here. You are early into this and it is perfectly normal to feel shocked-still.
We are here for you. It does get better. Being around positive people helps me the most. I like to take long walks and being with a "talker" who makes me laugh sure has been food for the mind and soul. Those are the times I don't think about cancer.
Family wont have all the answers. If there is a support group locally, or just one other colon cancer survivor you can talk with in your community, that may be beneficial. When I was first diagnosed a year ago, i felt terribly alone. I did not know one other person with colon cancer, let alone any cancer. I focused on finding the right doctors for me.
You learn a lot from others experiences. It helps with knowing that all is not hopeless, and no way are you alone.
Trying to enjoy things again will get better, as the mind eases. Everything feels so heavy right now.
I'm a good sleeper.....after I watch my way too many favorite tv shows, so I haven't needed anything for sleep, but if you aren't getting adequate rest, I would not hesitate to have a little help with that.
Rest/sleep is so important to keep your body strong going through chemo. Surround yourself with anyone that you really feel at ease with. I really had to make a few changes there. One of friends really thrives on the misery-loves-company friendship, but that just brought me down to a whole new level. Walking with my talkative funny friend does wonders.
~ from one of your new friends.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2707
Joined: May 2009

it' all crapola huh! Stage 4 here. I have been NED for 2 years and hope to continue. In a few months, I believe you will get used to the idea that you are not gong to die anytime soon. We have to fight, with all our might. Be good to the body, rest, drink plenty of water and try to just keep one foot in front of the other. We have no other choice but to be strong. You will be okay, keep thinking that...

Big Hug!

JayhawkDan's picture
JayhawkDan
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

I was diagnosed stage IV 3 months ago and I keep thinking I'm going to wake up. This disease sucks, chemo sucks, but it's also helped me see what blessings I have. I have more people praying for me than I even know. I'm understanding how much family, friends and co-workers care about me. But the one thing that has totally surprised me is that I'm enjoying everything I do (at least the good stuff) more than I ever have before. It's such a cliche about enjoying the journey and all that, but this crisis in my life has brought that into focus. It's nothing I've really thought about, I've just noticed it. Whether it's having a meal with my wife, walking the dog, looking at the stars at night -- I'm enjoying all of it more. It sucks that it took something like this to open my eyes, but it has. I don't know how much time I have, but I think I have a few years anyway, and that in itself is a blessing. Don't get me wrong, I'm still in a state of shock and can't believe this crap is happening to me. I have a short fuse and I'm quick to anger, but I'm working on that. But I'm realizing that in a lot of ways I'm a lucky guy. I'm glad I found this board -- there's a lot of good folks here that want to help and have helped me understand this disease more everyday. Mostly what I've learned is that nobody is the same and none of us fit neatly into a given treatment and prognosis. You'll find lots of encouragement here and I pray that you find a path that helps you get through this. I pray every day for the same thing for my family and myself.

Hugs, Dan

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1198
Joined: Oct 2010

Welcome to the Forum. Our thoughts and prayers are with you to find the strength and treatments that you need.

The Big C is a terrible journey. One is scared, filled with doubt, and over whelmed by the information, and contradictory information given to them.

Find a medical team that you feel comfortable with. GP, Onc, Surgical team, Nutritional guidance, Massage acupuncture, and what ever else that you need to relax and get healthy.

After the initial crying and self pity, I changed my mind set to this is a battle that needs to be fought on many different fronts. The battle is not for ever, but a change in life for a while. We changed our diet, exercised more, read everything that we could find about colon cancer. I had pain and used a massage therapist, when that was not working I switched to acupuncture. I kept my mind at the task of beating the Big C.

We lost weight, got healthier, I finally got a NED from my docs. We moved to the mountains which are away from the stress of the city. Our life improved!

Do what ever it takes and realize it is for a short period of one's life time to relax and get healthy.

Best Always, mike

I was diagnosed 2007, again in 2010 w/Signet Ring Cell Colon cancer. 4 Surgeries, 50 days in the hospital, lost 45 lbs from diet, lost 7 in in the waist. My wife dropped 3 dress sizes and looks better then ever. We made a life change for the both of us.

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1062
Joined: Mar 2009

Firstly big hugs, glad you have posted. All I wanted to add is keep talking on here this is the best place for support you will ever get in my opinion. This place is my second home, be lost if it wasn't for this place.

bspangler47's picture
bspangler47
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi everyone,

I was reading the posts and seen some ppl were talking about the diet. Can you all recommend or tell me about the diet? Would like to make a change for myself and my children.

Fleurydice
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2012

The best book on how cancer develops and our personal habits can affect cancer is Anti-cancer: a new way of life by David Schriever (sp?). Very scientific but easy to understand, he walks you through the effects of diet on cancer development. Red meat, sugar, and processed foods are big culprits: the western diet. He gives good case studies on positive cancer outcomes by following his recommendations. It's great to get your kids eating right early on!!

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5001
Joined: Feb 2008

It's natural to feel scared and worried. Taking advantage of a support group like this is a wonderful way to let off some steam adn start realizing there's still life to be lived.

*hugs*
Gail

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5001
Joined: Feb 2008

It's natural to feel scared and worried. Taking advantage of a support group like this is a wonderful way to let off some steam adn start realizing there's still life to be lived.

*hugs*
Gail

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

So much good advise above reflects the quality of support that is available here from people who do truly understand what you are felling and going through. I have stage 4 cancer and have been on and off this site since my first diagnosis in 2004. I also work as a consultant psychiatrist in England so can understand your cry for emotional support. In truth I have little to add to what is written above except that you will find your own way of managing with this- it constantly amazes me the capacity of people to adapt to the most severe fo traumas and find a way of getting on with their lives which is ultimately what you need to find a way to do- find an acceptance of your diagnosis and find a way to live your life despite it. That might mean using groups like this for a time, using other supports around you, using medication if it helps or finding a way to feel back in control which often means exploring some of the ways people who live this illness adapt their lives (and you will find as many different approaches to that as there are people on this forum!)

Most of all give yourself time. I am eight years into this journey and still find myself crying when I 'shouldn't'. However, I have learnt to accept that is part of having this illness- I cry more than I used to, but it doesn't rule my life and it won't rob me of my quality of life and those things that bring me pleasure.

You will find your own way. Be patient.

Steve

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 411
Joined: Apr 2012

I had a colon resection on May 11 and it showed 1 of 17 lymph nodes positive for cancer. That meant I was stage IIIa. I had a nodule removed from my lower right lung on Friday Jun 1 and the preliminary diagnosis is that it's a met of the colon cancer. Oh yeh, I was diagnosed with Testicular cancer just seven months ago (11/1/2011).

So in seven short months I've had three surgeries and radiation treatment for the testicular cancer. Now, when I recover, I will start receiving chemo (they put the chemo port in on Fri Jun 1 as well).

And if the lung is a metatstisis of the colon cancer as they predict than I am technically stage IV. And I was just looking at prognosis estimates on cleveland clinic web site and staystrong web sites and they are not good.

So to all you Stage IV cancer surviviors! Thank you for posting your stories and making sure we know to not give up hope!

I will try to stay positive and strong but this can be mighty depressing sometimes too.

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