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Just diagnosed

jhart2018
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2018

Hello, 

I just had a colonoscopy yesterday and was told I have rectal caner. They found a 8cm mass, but said they found it early. I have a follow up visit scheudled for next Tuesday to go over the biopsy and treatment options. Obvioulsy my mind is going crazy and I cant stop doing research online about treatment and outcomes, but I found this site and figured I would join for support and info. 

airborne72's picture
airborne72
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2012

Almost to the day one year ago I was where you are now.  Your mind is spinning and you can't get enough information fast enough.  I used to say that I earned a PhD in rectal cancer by reading everything Google could find.

I recommend that you devote most of your research time to reading the posts on this forum.  We are real people, without any hidden agenda's, who have and/or had CRC.  The information on this forum is true and blunt.

You will also discover new friends on this forum - people that you will most likely never meet, but people who will positively affect your life.  You are not alone in your journey.

Jim

danker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

Since I will be 86 in 10 days. I asssume you are much younger than me.  I have been NED (no  evedence of disease) ever  since I went through various procedures in 2010.  If I can beat it at my age i'm sure you can also.  It may be a bumpy ride, but it is doable.  Just take it a day at a time, believing you too will be NED one of these days.  Good Luck!

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Stay with this site and don't look at anything else. The 'facts' are often old information or are not even accurate and everyone with this is different. You can't base your situation on someone else with the same cancer because it doesn't go that way. There are many success stories and there are new drugs coming out all the time. We've all been through it and you'll get through it, too.

Jan 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Your story is identical to mine to the day exactly 5 years ago. Although cancer is a terrible illness it’s not a death sentence as we often perceive it at the beginning.

These are the things that helped me to cope the most:

Where you are now is the worst part mentally. As soon as you know what needs to be done and the treatment begins you will feel much better guaranteed.

Share this news with whoever is affected ASAP. Family and friends. This is too big of a load carry alone.

And finally: you are the same person as you were the day before you found out you have cancer. You have the same wonderful personality, wisdom, skills. You just happen to have cancer now. It’s not your life. It’s a part of your life.

Come back here to ask questions, because you need support from those who are going through this or went through this.

All the best.

Laz

BRHMichigan's picture
BRHMichigan
Posts: 368
Joined: Jul 2017

Like Jim, I am one year into this as well. I find it interesting that so many of us have rectal cancer specifically. Mine was a 10cm mass, and after 28 treatments of radiation and Xeloda last Summer, I had my rectum removed and a permanent colostomy. I was terrified of all the above...needlessly! I am still here and keep getting stronger. If you have any ostomy concerns, let us know. I know in my heart my surgery has bought me time and a second chance. I try to be grateful for every single day. And I feel good. Hang in there. There are options and second opinions if you don't feel 100% comfortable with something. 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

Welcome to the board.  Mine was also rectal cancer and I'd never thought that I'd get it because I've never had a history of constipation, stomach problems, until seeing blood in my stools.  That changed my life.  You are going to reel from everything here on out.  Doctors, tests, more tests, possible treatments and possible surgery.  Don't go online anymore, as it is outdated and not accurate.  I've been here many years and I'm a survivor of rectal cancer.  Please read my "about me" page as that will give you some insite as to what I've gone through.  Not saying your treatment or situation will be the same, but it will help you understand what is possible.  Good luck on Tuesday and let us know how you are doing. 

Kim

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2017

I was diagnosed with RC about 11 months ago and it was shocking and I didn't know what to do or what the options were. I wound up Stage 3B and am going through the standard treatment protocol. Today there is a fair amount of experimentation with what's done and in what order. My schedule was 28 days of chemo and radiation, six weeks of rest, surgery to remove the tumor, recovery, six more months of chemo, wait three months for scans and then schedule reversal surgery. Some of the newer approaches are to do all of the chemo and radiation up-front and to do less chemo.

You will likely have scans done to get the precise staging and to ensure that it hasn't spread to other parts of the body. There is a huge learning curve so we usually don't throw everything at someone just starting but we're happy to answer questions.

DD3's picture
DD3
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2013

My wife was diagnosed with rectal cancer over 5 years ago.  Listen to the folks on here...  Some great people with even better advice.  I will add (as others have) stay away from doctor Google.  Lots of misleading and outdated information.  

jhart2018
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2018

Thanks everyone! I apprecaite the kind words. Was anyone ever told they had cancer before the biopsy or scanned was performed? My doctor told me right after the colonoscopy that I had cancer because he said he was absolutly positive thats what the mass was. Is that possible? I thought the biopsy and scnaned needed to be performed before he could be certain. I called and asked him that and he stated he didn't to give me any false hope, it was definitly cancer. I am transfering my care to MD Anderson here in Houston after my visit tomorrow. 

BRHMichigan's picture
BRHMichigan
Posts: 368
Joined: Jul 2017

Yes, my gastro was 100% certain immediately after perfoming the colonoscopy. I didn't believe it until he called with pathology results. They just know, unfortunately, when the see it. I say that sadly because it must be so hard for them to deliver this news. He sent me on my way with pictures and his diagnosis, and also told me exactly what to expect next... He referred me to both an Oncologist and Radiologist for pre-surgical radiation. It never hurts to hang onto hope, just please prepare yourself. It is tough, but it is doable. Praying you are early stage, but even if you are 3 or 4, like me, there is lots of hope. 

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1184
Joined: Apr 2017

Same here as with BRH.  The colonoscopy doctor said the tumor had to be removed promptly.  Actually, for me, the tests were a bit misleading, the biopsy was inconclusive and my cea was low.  But at surgery, it turns out I was "staged" as IIIb.  Keep your hopes up, but also be ready with a plan if the reality is not what you hoped.  Or, as I have always said, "hope for the best and prepare for the worst."

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

My GI Doctor told me immedietely after my colonoscopy. After years of experience, they pretty much know what is what. 

BUT, its always nice if they are wrong, so I hope your Doctor is wrong. 

Welcome to the forum. 

Tru

jhart2018
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2018

So after having 48 hours to take everyting in, we have come up with my motto for my road to remission...."Cancer picked the wrong *******!" 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I like the motto! And that kind of toughness will help you through this. Stay strong no matter what. I've never had a biopsy. Once they saw the tumour in the colon there was never any doubt. I saw it myself. It almost totally blocked me off. It looked like a piece of steak from the barbeque, pink with burnt looking edges. Sorry if that's disgusting to anyone. My level of dignity has taken quite a beating with all the embarassing tests and treatments. Having an enema and lying on my side in an inflated pool so the liquid could just dribble out with a doctor that looked astonishing like Robert Downey Jr was possibly my lowest point.

One of the things that's important to me is to not be a victim or treated like one. This happened, it happens often, and it will not conquer me.

Jan

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

Mine didn't tell me but they said they found a mass there and after seeing it, it just kind of sounded like they were trying to tell me without actually saying the words.  They wanted another test done the following Monday (some type of ultrasound).  My colonoscopy was done the day before Thanksgiving so that really was not a very good day for me to celebrate that year.  They've seen a lot and they can usually tell what is and what isn't.

Kim

betula's picture
betula
Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2017

My husband was told right was he was coming too after his colonoscopy.  To say it was a shock does not even do it justice.  My poor husband had to drive home cause I was a wreck.  I like the motto!  A sense of humor through this mess is helpful!!

PamC
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2018

I was told right away. I even remember questioning how could they know without more tests. 

My process was the same as MikeNH (radiation with chemo pills/rest/port & surgery/rest/chemo/rest/surgery for colostomy bag removed/return to living a normal life!). I was stage IIIC. Seven lymph nodes and my uterus showed signs of cancer before surgery. They couldn't confirm cancer in the nodes or uterus after surgery because my first round of treatment was very responsive and killed everything, even the large one in my colon. 

I just finished my final surgery last month. Anyone who has the colostomy bag will confirm - THANK GOODNESS that is gone. I was back to work within two weeks of my last surgery and enjoy every minute of life now. This site is very informative. I just recently joined and wished I had sooner. I was a lost puppy always asking questions and being alarmed with every pain. At one point, I had a headache for a few days and insisted it was cancer (it wasn't). 

This process will challenge you and at times make you feel defeated, but you will beat this. Take one day at a time. 

traci43's picture
traci43
Posts: 775
Joined: Jul 2007

I wish you didn't have a need to be here, but at least they think they've caught it early. I understand the need to research things because once I have a plan of attack I'm so much happier.  I would suggest you stay away from survival rates.  It really depends on the individual and there are new treatments coming online. I love your motto.  Good luck to you, Traci

plsletitrain
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

My surgeon told me that by the looks of the mass, it is most likely malignant.  So just imagine the thought of me being in intense pain, lying on the operating table with my surgeon being 3 hours late, with the thoughts of me having cancer playing on my head.  It wasn't very pleasant, but what I did was to get over the surgery first and I'll think of the rest later.  I prayed that he was wrong, but at the same time ready that he's right.  I ended up being stage 3B.  I hope and pray yours is caught early.  Chemo and surgery aren't really the best experience, on top of the mental and emotional stress cancer gives us, but once you're there, you'll learn to strive and survive.  

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