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Just recently diagnosed with colon cancer

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

My name is Justin I am 24

I am in the Hospital as we speak, I have had a history of drug use for about 6 years. Started as pain in the back pain doc gave me narcotics well that went to being a bad junkie, I am now getting help from the methadone clinic. If not for them giving me blood test 4 diffrent times I would have never known I have cancer, My hemoglobin kept getting lower and lower, they finnaly said go get help or we will have to detox you, "we do not want you dieing". So I got help and will be starting chemo soon I am so scared my wife is scared. this is alot for us.

Sucks.. but gotta do what you gotta do.

thanks for reading :)

 

--UPDATE

I just found out through the grape vine the meds ill most likely be on is

Fluorouracil (5FU)

and Radiation, ill keep you guys updated if it changes

renw's picture
renw
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

Hello Justin,

Its never good to have to join the club and sorry to see u here, especially at 24. If you caught it early at stage 1, your odds are very good. If you are at stage 4, you will have quite a fight on your hands. In that case do a lot of research and get educated in what treatments are available other than chemo. Even though it pisses oncologists off, you want to become more knowledgeable than they are and believe me that is not very hard to do.

Ren

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 1858
Joined: Jan 2007

 

Re:

“If not for them giving me blood test 4 diffrent times I would have never known I have cancer”

 

I don’t know of any blood tests that would prove one has cancer, especially colorectal cancer; is there more to this story? CT or other scans that would have caused your physician to give that diagnosis?

 

It would be in your best interests to get other opinions from physicians (especially surgeons) that are not of the same group or organization as your present physician(s). Accepting chemotherapy treatments or surgery can change you life, you shouldn’t accept anything radical until you know for certain that you even have cancer.

And even then, staging of cancer, and treatments of all types, can be very different.

 

Do yourself a major favor and get other opinions! You and your family deserve at least that much!

 

Don’t allow fear to guide you; listen to your built-in survival instincts, that’s why we have them.

 

Wishes for your better health,

 

John

PatchAdams
Posts: 272
Joined: Nov 2011

Justin said he was anemic four times so they went searching for the cause. 

 

Justin, so sorry for your news and I also hope this has been found early.  INSIST they check you for genetic conditions since you got ill so early.  That would be of great importance to your family and any children you might have. 

 

 

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

I had the blood test done my hemoglobin was getting lower and lower, they wanted to find the reason for my shortage of hemoglobin so I had a rectal test thingy done with a little amout of blood in the stool. this led to them wanting to do a colonoscopy and the one down me throat. nothing in the upper half, they went in the bottom saw a lump, but I was not "cleaned" out enough lol. so more mag citrate and this big jug of what tatsed like salt water, finally after 2 more times they got the biopsy sure it is cancer, now they need to find out what stage and then the chemo if need be to shrink it abit I reallly dont wanna have a colastomy bag, I will if I have to but I will try anything else to fight it off. any who sorry for not being more detailed on what happend my laptop was dieing that night and I had to type super fast was too tired and couldn't sit up to plug it in.

 

thanks for all the support

Justin

Dyanclark's picture
Dyanclark
Posts: 289
Joined: Apr 2012

The bag may not be necessary.   It will depend on how much they have to cut.  My husband had his tumor removed & 6" of colon no bag.   He has a bag now due to return of cancer & blockage from treatments.  Take care of your health and get on a good healthy diet to  get well and hopefully get cancer free.

danker's picture
danker
Posts: 868
Joined: Apr 2012

I had fu5 coupled with radiation  prior to my resection. Various comlications,but have been NED  for last 22 months.  Good luck in beating it as I have!!!

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2496
Joined: Oct 2011

and welcome to the board.  I hope you're getting the help you need, in terms of both the cancer and the drug issues.  You have a lot on your plate for a young man.  If you want to share more details about your cancer situation, there are many here who can provide you with information and support.  Pretty much anything cancer-related has been addressed by someone on this forum at some point; there's really a wealth of knowledge here.  Sending strength your way~Ann Alexandria

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2475
Joined: Jun 2006

so so glad you found us....welcome to our band of warriors.....cancer warriors that is.  You must be very frightened....the beginning is always the very worst when cancer is all new and there is soooo much to learn.  Stick with us.....let us know more if you feel like sharing.

Best love and sending good wishes your way...

 

maggie

bigman4christ's picture
bigman4christ
Posts: 87
Joined: Oct 2012

Sorry about your diagnosis with colon cancer, it sucks especially at a young age.  i just turned 31 with stage 4 so i have a good idea what your going through.  well to be honest everyone on here has a good idea of what your going through.  so dont be afraid to ask questions or just vent on how your feeling, this is a great place to do that and the people here are friendly and knowledgable.

zach

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

Just wanted to let everyone know I am home out of the hospital, still waiting on medicaids anwser well not an anwser but a direction if it is a yes the clinic I am getting chemo from will start if its a no(hopeing and praying not) there will have to be other things put in play.

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

I was just diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer too. Have my first oncologist appointment on Monday. Good luck to both of us on this journey we're on!

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

Hey Justin, I have a friend who followed the same kind of path at about the same age.

She got into the drugs, she got out of the drugs, she was diagnosed with stage 3A colon cancer at 26. Surgery, chemo, a little misbehaving led to one more surgery, and now she is seven years NED (no evidence of disease) and as healthy and fiesty as ever.

You're young, and you're healthy, you will kick this just like my friend did. 

We're here for you along the path. Surgery was a doddle but the chemo sucks. 

Think positive all the way. Cry when you have to, but only for a short time. 

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

wow thats soo crazy sounds just like me lol, I plan to get off the methadone after I get rid of this for good.

Also I wanted to let everybody know I had my port put in Yesterday! I am so sore lol but I am happy this will make life easier for them taking, giving blood plus giving me the treatments also.

anywho I will keep you guys Up to date on whats going on in my life and how things are

much love

Justin AKA Magik

hippiechicks's picture
hippiechicks
Posts: 499
Joined: Sep 2012

Wishing you the best of luck as you begin your journey.  I did not see a stage for you, but am thinking they must have that done if treatments are beginning.  I hope they are easy for you and you respond well to them.  There is a lot to learn and this can be really overwhelming.  I also know someone who was diagnosed the same way you were by the blood counts being very low.  Surgery and 5fu treatments were a success and they are still NED for 2 years now.

Sending positive energy to you! 

 

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

Honestly I do not know the stage either I kept asking but no anwser ill ask on my appointment monday and let you guys know :) thanks for the words a encouragement they really do help

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

Remind me, was the surgery to remvoe the tumour or placement of your port?

If you've had your tumour biopsied then they will have a pathology reprot which they base their staging on. This can take up to a week, though mine came in a few days thank goodness. 

I suggest you ask for copies of your medical records. Regardless of your concerns, you should have copies of all your medical records for your own files at home. That includes blood test results, scans etc. 

Its an emotionally trying time, espeically at the beginning when you are waiting, waiting, waiting. We are all here for you and wishing you well. 

Continue to keep us posted. 

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

I had the port put in they wanna shrink the mass before removig it as do I I would preferr not to get a bag for my life, if I have to then I will but i am tryin this first. and I do I have this pretty sweet book from the lance armstrong foundation, it have like pockets to save all my info and place to right how i feel when i start chemo, and my appointments. I will get all my info from the appointment on monday and save it so I know what is happening, as of now we are waiting to see if medicaid is on the yes track to apporving me so they can start.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

My husband always has something funny to say about my port. 

Its a wonderful invention, and I am glad that you were able to get one, as some people can't. 

Now I wonder if they can stage your cancer if they don't remove the tumour. I'm still new and fairly ignorant, so I'm sure others here will be able to help you with that. 

I really can't see why they would not tell you up front what your cancer is staged at, so maybe they have not determined that yet. 

Good luck with medicade. I was born and bred in England, and find the American insurance system terribly frustrating. 

KayeKay's picture
KayeKay
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

i was diagnosed stage 4 at 22. had 12" of my colon removed and no bag. 20% of my liver and 12 rounds of 5 FU, oxaliplatin, and avastin. i was just diagnosed again. it came back to my liver. u can do ghis. i know exactly what your going through. Any ?s feel free to ask anytime. Stay Strong! Cancer is only as strong as u let it and surgery followed by chemo is always the most curative way.

BeenThere5
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

I got a port too and had 5-FU with radiation before they did surgery.

They didn't stage mine right so I really don't know what stage it was although I think I had a 2b even though it grew through the colon wall and attached itself elsewhere. I will never know what stage I really had. Also the first surgeon wanted to give me a permanent colostomy but I resisted and got a second opinion and found an awesome surgeon who put me back together.

I still have a temporary ileostomy but hope to be able to have it reversed soon and be back to normal.

They even wanted me to have a colostomy before I had treatment because they thought I would block up because of the size of the tumor. I refused. I was fine...

My advice - pay close attention to your body. I cut out all fast food and processed stuff. Don't drink alcohol during treatment.  If you don't like what they tell you go for a second opinion. Supposedly only 5% of people have to have a permanent ostomy now, so have faith, believe you will beat this and eat healthier than you ever have.

I took molasses for the iron thing and also clam chowder and iron pills. Don't know what they told you but ask what you can do. Also ate a lot of steak for the iron during all this - now my hemoglobin (which was 7.4 and I had a transfusion) is up to 11 or probably higher and my energy is back so hey.

This disease is a wake-up call for all of us but if you have a positive attitude and are determined, you will make it through and come out ok.

Best wishes to all in this forum and know you can do it! I did :-)

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2496
Joined: Oct 2011

oxaliplatin is often added (refered to as FOLFOX).  Did they say why they wouldn't be using that?  And I saw you got a port put in.  Those things are awesome.  I would recommend asking for a numbing cream if they have it available.  You put it on about an hour before the port is accessed and it's pretty much pain-free.  If they can't presribe the cream, they will usually have a little shot they can give you in the area of the port.  It stings a little, but less so than having the port accessed with nothing to blunt the poke.  Good luck, and keep us posted.  You're in the scariest part right now, too many unknowns, but it will get better, I promise!  Hugs~Ann Alexandria

wts's picture
wts
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2012

Hey Justin..   I am going through similar path.  I had my port put in and had Chemo (5fu) and Radiation start in June of last year. After that I had a 6 week break before surgery in October. Surgery went great but I had the bag for 6 weeks while healing. I had another surgery to remove the bag. I'm now going through 12 Chemo treatments with 5FU and Oxaliplatan (probably spelled wrong). It's not as easy as the first regiment of 5fu but still ok.  You'll do great!

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

for all of your support, I just got measured up for my radiation treatments yesterday. I found out I will be carrying the chemotherapy treatsments Monday - Friday and radiation Monday - Friday, I am so scared atm. They Prescribed me some anti-depressants (Clexa). They help a little bit but I am stressed out I sleep all day and night it sucks :(.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

Fear of the unkonwn is a natural repsonse, Justin.  Once you start the treatments, your fear and thus your sleepless nights will subside. 

You are young and healthy (except the Cancer) and thats a huge plus. 

Also knowing that many people are supporting you through this, is a huge help. People around you who know and love you, people here on the forum who don't know you, but are travelling the same road. We're all here for you.

One thing that helps me handle things better is to look around at the other people having treatment, some of the older, more frail patients look so terribly worn out, that my heart goes out to them, and I find that helps me be stronger. 

Good luck!

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

As Tru said, once you start tx, you will start sleeping better, as you will feel like you are doing something about it. I was in the hospital for 13 days after being diagnosed, with a new colostomy, listening to my surgeon who didn't have a great prognosis. It wasn't until I got out, met with the oncologist who knew more about cancer than the regular surgeon did.  Do I worry? yep...I will have my sixth fulfox tx next Friday. I have been very fortunate w/very minimal side effects. But, I sleep better because I feel like I'm going after the little suckers (cancer cells). Sitting in the hospital with my thoughts did not help w/depression, sleep, etc. Even the sleeping meds didn't help. You will start sleeping better, and then you will start feeling better after getting some sleep!!! Keep positive thoughts!

Judy

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

I just found out friday will be starting chemo monday kinda excited also worried about side effects but it's ok ill be kicking the cancer in the butt lol

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

I'll be thinking of you on Monday.  The actual infusion is a doddle, no problem at all. The side effects, well, they come along and you go with the flow. 

You look like a slender lad, so be sure and keep yourself hydrated and eat lots. If you don't feel like a regular plate of food, eat little quantities all day. 

Its good for the soul to know that you are acutally doing something to fight the cancer, instead of just waiting around for tests and test results. 

Good luck!

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

hey thanks I got all hooked up, and radiation I am feeling ok so far I assume the side effects wont start til tomorrow. I have been drinkin lots and eating lots, tryin to get my weight up :) Chemo pump

leelee2012
Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2013

Good luck on your journey! You look are in good spirit to beat this. Is that the pack that you have to wear for chemo? 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

All hooked up and ready to go.

Radiation isn't something I've experiences yet, so keep us posted.

I hope you have little in the way of side effects, but you just never know. 

Good luck!

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 106
Joined: Feb 2013

Justin,

Lookin' good!

I'm brand new here - just been lurking for a while.  But I read your story and wanted to reach out to you - as my heart goes out to you for having to battle this type of thing at your young age...

I just finished 6 weeks of 5FU through my port/pump 5 days per week in conjunction with radiation 5 days per week, as well.  (Diagnosed with colorectal cancer 12/7/12.  Looks like Stage 3. Finished chemoradiation program on 2/13).  5FU alone is not too bad (it just helps the radiation be more effective).  There is a lengthy list of potential side effects, but I did a lot of research and the % of people who actually get the side effects from straight 5FU is about 30%, The only ones I experienced - and not for several weeks in to it, were a bit of diahrrea, very minimal nausea, and general fatigue.  Of course, everyone is different - but you are young, strong, and healthy (mostly...).   However, the effects of the radiation are cumulative, so you will likely be more tired toward the end from that.   I worked full time during chemoradiation, SO BE ENCOURAGED!  Now I'm just recuperating from the internal effects of the radiation and getting ready to schedule my surgery for 6-8 weeks out.  Take it one day at a time. I'll be praying for you! You can do it!

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

What was it like being hooked up for six weeks?

I am so happy to get rid of my bag after two days, six weeks sounds unbearable. 

My onc is still deciding between the hook up and the pills. 

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 106
Joined: Feb 2013

Well, it was a long 6 weeks...Wink

The first week - when the port was installed - was the worst.  Simply because I couldn't take a shower!  After that, it was fine.  Just an inconvenience dragging the pump around.  Showers were a challenge - keeping the area dry - but doable. I used cling wrap and tape to cover the port and hung the pump on a hangar on the shower rod (after putting it in a plastic bag to keep it from getting wet).  Weekends were the best with no pump, though.  It really wasn't that bad. 

Good luck!

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

Just the thought of six weeks makes me sick to my stomach, but alas, I will do what I think is best when I talk to my oncologist. 

I take baths, so just hang the bag outside the bath and don't sink too low into the water. 

Thank you for your reply, as you know, every bit of information helps. 

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

you definetly make me feel better knowing you went thru the same thing i am now and am praying i do not get side effects too bad i can deal with a few but the list was long, I am sleepy but force myself to go for walks to get blood flowing. I have to goto my radiation tx i will keep you guys updated

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 106
Joined: Feb 2013

Think about it: ANY RX drug you receive comes with a LONG list of potential side effects.  Have you seen all those commercials for prescription drugs?  Most of the commercial contains warnings about potential side effects!  For example, here is a great site for potential 5FU side effects:  http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/5-fu.aspx

Note that the list is divided into 2 groups: Side effects that MAY BE experienced by more than 30% and side effects that MAY BE experienced by less than 30%.  Everyone responds differently, though.  So be on the lookout for them - but don't necessarily expect them.  That said, I recommend drinking LOTS of water to flush out your body. Carry a water bottle.  You are already walking for exercise - so that is great!  It will keep your energy level up. And eat good, nourishing food to repair the damage being done by the therapy.  You will do just fine!

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3649
Joined: Apr 2010

about those side affects list.  Chances are you will get very few of them.  So here's hoping you are on the good side of side affects and on the road to recovery!!!

Winter Marie

YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 589
Joined: Mar 2010

You remind me of my son.  I did surgery/chemo/radiation/chemo and am here to tell you you'll do fine.  Do keep up with liquids and eating - a little at a time if necessary.  

Best, Vita

KayeKay's picture
KayeKay
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

Drink Ensures. The " to gain a healthy weight" ones. They'll help.

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

I have those things are sooo good I love the vanilla and strawberry ones lol I have gained 12 lbs so far started monday and stay eating so far, hopefully no nausea will come

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

I know where some of your 12 lbs come from. Me! I've lost 8 lbs this week. 

Kidding aside, I'm glad to hear that you are gaining weight. Every bit is going to help you. Keep it up. 

KayeKay's picture
KayeKay
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

i can only tolerate the chocolate ones and i cant stand chocolate. lol keep drinking them. im trying to cat h up but im assuming until they take out the tumor ill prob. keep losing. ive lost 19 lbs in 3 months. If the nausea comes dont worry there are several diff meds they can use to control it. i had to take 5 diff nausea mdds when i did chemo but i didnt throw up very much.

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

Hi - My son is 23 and it's so unfair to get this disease at any age but especially at your age. Starting chemo will be good for killing those cells. There are so many supportive folks here to help you with questions about any part of your healing. Chemo side effectts are very manageable now and communicate any concerns with your nurse. Appetite can be diminished with certain chemos but fight that with protein enriched smoothies or whatever you can tolerate for food choices. You can kick cancer's butt and take it one day at a time! Come to the boards with any questions. Lots of folks here with experience and guidance. Wishing you the best on Monday and will be thinking of you. Barb

KayeKay's picture
KayeKay
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

right there along with u. stay strong! 

magikproductions's picture
magikproductions
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013

Got plugged in today going for week too, I am not feeling sick so praying this keeps up. had a huge mood swing last night my wife was smoking in the bathroom closed door and window open but i still smelled it, I got this like rush of anger run over me everything made me mad it was hot then cold i got soooo mad about that then I got mad at my wife for moving the bed too much. I appolgized a little after this but my doc said it could be the Anti-depressants so I stopped them as of today.. see if it helps man that was crazy the rush of anger just overwelms your body crazy stuff.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2496
Joined: Oct 2011

That's a steroid (not sure if I spelled it right) that is often given to people on chemo to help reduce the side effects.  However, it also has the typical impact on mood like all steroids, and many people on the forums have mentioned having sudden mood swings, especially anger.  You might want to talk to your doctor about it, see what he/she thinks.  They might choose to reduce it or try something different.  Ann Alexandria

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 2274
Joined: Jan 2013

This would be a great time for your young wife to quit smoking. Its not healthy for her, and the second hand smoke is definitely not healthy for you.

I worked as a podiatric medical assistant until my cancer happened, and I can't tell you how many patients we had who would not quit smoking and their recovery, espeically diabetic ulcers, would not heal, ever. 

As for moving the bed, I'm guessing you meant moving in the bed too much. That rings so true. I woke my husband up one nigh because his brathing was bothering me. I felt so awful in the morning. 

Good luck in getting the mood swings in hand. 

KayeKay's picture
KayeKay
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

your going to feel just about EVERY emption with this. Talkto ur doc about some meds to help you control the stuff happenning to u

Dyanclark's picture
Dyanclark
Posts: 289
Joined: Apr 2012

Be sure & tell Dr. because you will need some mental support and TLC so keep your cool.  Your wife is probably a nervous wreck.   Glad to hear your not feeling sick. 

jen2012
Posts: 1512
Joined: Aug 2012

If they are planning radiation, sounds like it's not stage 4...so that's a good thing!  Have they done pet scans, ct scans, etc? 

It's really hard in the beginning while you are trying to process anything.  Seems like things get a little better once treatment begins and you feel like you are doing something. It becomes part of life - try not to let it become the biggest part of life.  My husband says he only thinks about cancer on days that he absolutely has to - treatment days, dr appt, etc.  I'm not sure if that's true or possible, but he does best when his mind is busy with other things.  Try to stay busy, happy and positive. 

Good luck!

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