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Hello everyone I am Jeff's sister

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi, I am Jeff's sister Patti, He was so sweet to find me positive stuff to read. I have been diagnosed with stage 4 colon with mets to the liver, lymphnodes in stomach and some stomach lining. I had no symptoms I was what I thought healthy. I went in every year for full physicals and female exams. I am 41 with two children and a husband of 20 years (high school sweetheart) who is amazing! I was at my daughter's Field Day when I got this horrible pain under my right ribcage. It was the kind that was sure to take me to the ER. They did extensive testing on me. They eventually came into my room to tell me that I had nodules on my liver, and that was usually secondary to a primary source of cancer in my body. They just did not know where. The next day my friend got me an appoinment with a GI doctor and he scheduled a colonoscopy, and endoscopy the following day. While trying to insert the tube for the colonoscopy he was unable to get it to even go in. They stopped the procedure and I was admitted into the hospital and had surgery the next day to take out a good bit of my colon. My life now has completely changed!! I don't even know how to think, what to think, is this the end for me? I have so much more to do. I am a Mother, a wife, and a Christian heavily involved in my church.A lover of life, and a good friend to everyone. I cry everyday, the unknown scares me so much. I feel alone, even though I have soooo much support from family, church, community. I am trying so hard to hear positive and stay away from negative. I am truly terrified of the chemo side effects. The sheets of info they sent home will scare the heck out of you. Will I be able to go around people again, eat lunch with my daughter at school, go to church. Watch my daughter and son cheer and lay football? I pray so much, I even went to a healing room where they pray for miracles for me. It was very powerful! I have so many people praying for me and my husband and I pray together nightly, this isn't something we did before. The one thing that is bringing me so much peace is this forum, and the wonderful people helping others cope. It is truly a blessing my brother found you all. I was hesitant to write but as am doing so I feel a since of relief already just getting it out. I would love to hear from all of you. God Bless and pray for me and my family! Patti

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Patti,

Welcome to this discussion board! (but sorry you have reason to be here). This is a very active board- you'll usually get lots of replies in just a short while. It's been very helpful to me. I wish I had found this board back when I was first diagnosed, but it's been a little less than a year since I've been coming here now.
I posted a long reply on the discussion thread your brother started. It sounds like you have read all those, so you must know my story by now. I had just turned 41 when I was diagnosed & never thought I had any health problems either, nor did I have any family history of any kind of cancer at all- so I was much in the same situation as you now find yourself. I'll be 43 in another month and am doing pretty well- just got back from the gym a few minutes ago and am feeling strong!
I'm also a Christian and would love to chat with you about that and be of support to you in that way. My faith in the Lord has definitely gotten me through all this and I believe I've had a couple of miracles along the way. Let's talk more through the PM system (private message) for that. If you haven't done that yet, go to CSN Home, then new message & enter my avatar name lisa42 to send me a message. You hang in there and I'll be praying for you.
There is HOPE!!
Hugs,
Lisa

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

It's nice to meet you and your brother, I'm glad you came!

Yes, there is hope, I was just as scared as you when I was first diagnosed as well. I have no history, had no signs or symptoms, my bowels were working fine, no blood in my stool, I just had this hardness in my abdomen, to the left of it, and it felt weird when I bent over to tie my sneakers or something, I had a hard time doing that, so that's when I decided to go to the ER room to have this "Hardness" looked at.

The "Hardness" was a big fat tumor in my liver, I was swollen, and like 152 lbs on my 5'2 frame, I have never been that big. I used to associate weight loss with cancer, not weight gain. The ER doctor had some scans taken, and found that I had a thick mass on my colon, and tumor in my liver, then transferred me to the James Cancer Research Center by ambulance, which is a 2 hour drive from me, but they are very reputable, and in the top 20 cancer hospitals, there they did 5 days of tests on me, and that's where I found out what I had, and was referred to my Colon cancer doctor, who I been seeing ever since, she is lovely and really knows what she's doing.

I have 4 beautiful children as well, married for 14 years this July 1, I was 43 when I was diagnosed, just a month before my 44th birthday...and I swear, I thought I was going to die within a month! the doctor told me on a scale from 1 to 10 from being Treatable to Untreatable, I was right there at 1, being treatable! even if there is no cure, he told me about all the people still going who have what I have for like years and years! he was very encouraging!

Yes, you will be able to do things with your kids. Chemo may knock you out abit, but you will have good days, just don't push yourself to be supermom anymore. You may miss some, and that's ok! the main thing is getting the chemo to heal your cancer, rest when your body tells you, you'll be ok! a positive attitude, and the will to live and not let this cancer rule your life is key! live every moment like it's your last, I go to my daughter's softball games when I can, their plays, they understand if I can't be there because I'm too wore out, they'd rather see me get better!

Just give yourself time to get better and heal, and rest when your body tells you, I wish you good luck on this new journey, and you will be fine! if I can do this, so can you, and I'm a big wuss! ask anything, post often, and if you ever need a good cry, we're here for you.

Your doctor should prescribe you a good anti-depressant, and some anti-anxiety meds, they help relax and divert your outlook on life, they did help me, pain killers, and make sure you get good anti-nausea meds for that chemo!

Hugssss!
~Donna

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Hi Patti,
sorry to hear of you diagnosis (dx as we say on the board) but I'm glad you stopped by. I think you will find this board a great place for information, support, and caring. We all have a common goal but there are many paths to get there. Your brother sounds like a heck of a great guy. I too am a Stage IV person who is living with cancer for over 5 years now. I have a somewhat similar story, I went for yearly physicals (no female exams ;-) and was dx at 46. No symptoms or family history either. It came out of the blue. My primary was colon but I had mets to my liver and lungs.

This can happen suddenly for sure and you will find yourself dealing with "new normals" as I call them many times over. It is scary, most everyone is afraid of the unknown. The great things about all of us is that we've been there, are still there, are going there, so you are not alone no matter what part of this new journey you are at. While there is much prayer support here, there is also another part of this site where people can explore their spirituality, religion or whatever else they want. It's interesting. It's not to say that you can't pray here or ask for prayers. It can be refreshing to visit the other site to see what others have to say.
Here's the link if you wish to see it http://csn.cancer.org/forum/190

There is no reason at all why you can not be around people or visit you daughter and son at school or watch them do sports. I went to see my oldest son get his black belt in a martial art the day after I got home from a operation. Yes, your life is different from this point onward but it is not all negative by any means. I've found more enjoyment in little things that I would sometimes take for granted. It can be a roller coaster like you said but sometimes it's not a bad ride.

Hang in there, you'll be OK.
You're in my thoughts and prayers.
-phil

JR's picture
JR
Posts: 140
Joined: May 2009

Dear Patti,
I can relate very well to your story. I was dx with stage 4 cc this past November. Cancer in my colon had spread to my liver (fully involved) and several mets to my lungs. What a shock it is to get the news. I didn't know what to think. I had colon surgery in November and wasn't able to start chemo until March. I have my 7th treatment on Wed. I sounds like you have alot of support and that's wonderfull. I recomend that you don't read all the stories on the net about colon cancer. They tend to only post the bad ones. This forum is a wealth of support and information. Please come here often. Colon cancer is not a death sentance. You will read many stories of people who have survived a very long time, and you will to. We all fight this monster together. Welcome to the board. I'm sorry that you need to be here but we are here to help. God bless you.

John

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

I am JR'S wife. I joined this site first looking for help, answers and to find hope. I found it here. I am so sorry you have had this DX. I know how you and your family must feel. It is so much to take in and so much to learn about.
I have found that by coming here and reading people's post that they are a very helpful and supportive bunch. It has opened my eyes to things that are available. Most of all people do LIVE. Keep up hope, read what these people say, we are here for you. My prayers are with you. Don't ever give up. Paula G.

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

Welcome to this wonderful, encouraging board. I am sorry we had to meet this way.

My story is a bit different than yours. I was DXd stage 3 rectal cancer after a colonoscopy. I was being treated for esophageal problems when my gastro doctor LISTENED to me when I described other symptoms (anemia, constant constipation, bleeding from the rectum, etc). He found a tumor just inside the anal opening. I went through 6 weeks of chemo/radiation and, my miracle, the tumor was completely eradicated. I had surgery where they determined my lymph nodes were cancer free and had not spread, and now I am on 'mop up' chemo to be sure that cancer cells that they can't see with scans aren't floating around in there.

During my chemo,both pre- and post-surgery, I am able to be around people and participate in activities as long as my blood counts (red and white cells) stay in the normal range. Once I had a cold, and was anemic, so had to ask folks not to visit, but it was only a few days. The bigger problem for me was the exhaustion that the chemo brought on. It kept me home more than worrying about other people's germs. Everyone is different, and side effects for everyone are different. Go in with a POSITIVE attitude and it goes a long way to helping you stay stable. And tell your oncologist and, especially, the wonderful nurses about ANY problems you have, no matter how minor. there are drugs to help you, and they have a wealth of tips to get you through.

You are in my prayers....many hugs, Vicki

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Patti....Patti......Patti.........well Im trying to find something to say that hasn't already been said above....These people are great aren't they ? They came to my rescue when I needed someone that knew what I was dealing with. These people do, they have all been there and came through it not unscathed but a lot more versatile and perceptive...and appreciate more than the average person ever will, they actually have faced their death scares and are living their lives now as most of us wish we had all along...These are articulate, outspoken, emotional people that I have the great opportunity to call my friends. They all have one thing in common, they are all "Warriors"...they have kicked or are kicking cancers tail and I don't see that you are any different than any of us...You just need to put your butt kickin boots on and climb on board here...There is a wealth of knowledge on this board, there is a wealth of comedians on this board, and it all goes hand in hand, we laugh together and we cry together, thats just how it is....and now you are part of this family as well as Jeff so tell all of your jokes and quips in here, we can use the humor, and if you have any question at all, you will find that we don't cull anything...Make yourself at home and join this party, best party on the block as far as Im concerned.......Now Smile,Relax,Breathe, and join us as we make our way through this journey..... :)

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

You came to he right place. I am so sorry you have to join us but this group has helped me a lot! They are great people with a lot of insight and advice.
I was DX's 12/01/08. I have been through chemo, radiation, 2 surgeries and now another round of chemo for follow up to make sure the cells are gone.
I am a wimp and I am doing this so you can too! My faith, my family and my 5 year old's big hazel eyes are what gets me through everyday. Some days easier than others. I heard something the other day that helps me.....take cancer in steps of an inch by inch basis...because a yard is too hard. (Or something like that??) Basically, take each step along the way and try not to see everything at once. I try to take it day by day.
Cancer is NOT a death sentence....there are too many people on this site with Stage IV proving that everyday.

Ask away when you have questions...there is a lot of good advice here!

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Patti:

I posted a message to you on your brother's thread, but I do want to, once again, wish you well and welcome you to this powerful healing community.

As I write this, I hope you are already beginning to feel better having found the CSN site. I can't begin to tell you how much information and comfort I have found here. I hope it will be the same for you.

In my opinion, this site complements what you get from your doctor. She (or he) treats your illness with (hopefully) the latest medical knowledge but it is hard (maybe impossible) to have the presence of mind to ask her all the questions you need to ask about your condition. This site is , in a sense, a bridge. Here, you can ask the questions you forgot or were too embarassed to ask. Here, you are connected with a truly diverse community of cancer survivors/warriors who are more than willing to share their actual in-the-trenches experiences with you. From the Ng tube to chemotherapy to nutritional healing to difficult bowel movements, people on this board have been there and done that. And, they have beaten the odds and survived.

Whatever you need to know about this awful disease is "on limits" here.

What a group!

What a treasure!

What a great place to find comfort when you most need it!

I'm so glad that you and your brother found this site.

Hatshepsut

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi, Patti. I know you're scared right now. Who wouldn't be? It's natural to wonder what will come next, and if you'll ever be able to do the things you've always done. We've all been there, and all of us have times when we get down again. Cancer will do that to you.

Believe it or not, though, there will be big chunks of time where you'll think of all kinds of other things but cancer. Life has a way of continuing to happen! It's very hard to do sometimes, but try to make a list (mental or written) each day of things that make you happy and grateful. It will help you focus on the good.

You're in my prayers, and I hope you'll be here often to let us know how you are.

*hugs*
Gail

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Patti,
Welcome to a wonderful group of people. The folks on this board have been tremendous support and are full of information they are very willing to share.
My husband was diagnosed with stage 3c colon cancer January 12, 2009 after a routine colonoscopy. He goes for round 7 of Folfox 6 tomorrow. I know the first few weeks after diagnosis are tremendously shocking. You're doing the right things getting support from family, friends, your church, your faith.
You will be able to enjoy your kids and continue on with your life. As those who are in the midst of the fight will tell you, you will have down days so allow yourself to have those quiet days. My husband has continued to live a very active life about 10 days out of every 14 (he has chemo every two weeks).
Take the support people offer if it is what you need.
Praying for you and your family.
Aloha,
Kathleen

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Patti. Welcome to the board! I am so very sorry that you have to be here, but this is the place to come for answers, encouragement, kindness and just a listening ear. There are no taboo subjects here when it comes to this horrible cancer. I think everyone has already given you the best initial advice. Take things one step at a time, remember to breathe, take notes and write your questions down, and never be afraid to ask for antidepressants. We are here for you--usually there is someone around day or night. I'll be keeping you in my prayers, for like you said, it's a powerful thing!

Hugs,
Kirsten

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

No, this isn't the end but the beginning. Your life is very different now and it will take time to adjust. The Lord is sending you on a new journey. It's ok to be scared, cry, worry. It's also ok to have FUN! Go have fun with your family today. Do something fun every. single. day. Laugh. Create memories. Take your daughter to lunch.

You can do this. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system. That helps so very much. I was 43 at diagnosis 8/07. I'm stage iv with mets to the liver and celiac lymph nodes. I'm proof that life goes on and is worth living. Keep going, don't slow down and never stop!

Kimby

jeffw30707
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

glad ya made it over here patti...these folks are amazing huh?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

or something like that...
There is strength in numbers... or something like that
Misery loves company???

We're just a bunch of "semi-colons" who are trying to help others in need.
A very simple idea that is so wonderful. Too bad it's not applied enough out there in the other world. I think we tend to be that way (helpful with everyone) but others (those rotten healthy people!) are blind to what some people are going through.

Jeff, thanks for getting the ball rolling for Patti
-phil

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