newbie can't get passed the doom and gloom

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Hi I'm a56 yr old female diagnosed in Nov with stage 4 colon cancer multiple mets to liver and lungs. I'm having a hard time getting passed the doom and gloom. I'm on an antidepressant helps some and I'm very anxious major panic attack landed me in the er. I had surgery to remove mass in my colon and have had 2rounds of chemo so far. I have a wonderful husband 2 grown daughters a 5 year old grandson and a 3 month old granddaughter . I'm not ready to leave them yet. I guess what I'm asking is has anyone had multiple mets and any positive feedback

 

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  • Easyflip
    Easyflip Member Posts: 588 Member
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    Hello

    I'm your age and I know this can be a very scary and terrifying time. Yes there is doom but there is reason for plenty of hope as well. My doc said the statistics are skewed because they are old and don't reflect new treatments. Also, we are relatively young to have this and many older patient are at the end of their life and would have passed soon anyways. He even has elderly patients they've decided not to treat at all. The head of MD Anderson feels a CURE will happen on his watch, he's confident and excited by the new breakthroughs,  especially in DNA testing and immunotherapy. Finally there are plenty of long time stage 4s here and on other boards that are living it up!

    I know you can't always will away anxiety but you can choose what you think about. I try to dwell on the positives in my life, maybe when you're in that dark place whip out a picture of your grandchildren, I'll bet that'll make you smile no matter what. We choose how and why and the way we live. A wise man who had cancer said that's how we beat it. I agree!

    Faith of any kind helps too, better than drugs in my opinion. Best wishes and good luck, come here for support whenever you need it, be gentle with yourself : )

    Easyflip/Richard

  • cravelife
    cravelife Member Posts: 7
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    Stay positive and enjoy life

    Hello,

    I do not have cancer but my 47 year old wife of 20+ years does.   She has a similar diagnosis as yours.   She had a large tumor in her sigmoid portion removed in Sept 2013, 7 lymph nodes, 2 mets in liver, multiple (10+) scattered on both of her lungs.   She has since stopped working as her Dr's wouldn't let her work in the hospital anymore.   We were both depressed and scared about the statistics of the outcome being Stage 4 with so many organs involved, Kras gene mutation and the typical stats of life expectancy.   She decided there was nothing she could do about the diagnosis except try to be as positive as possible and try to get better.   She has gone through 30+ rounds of chemo the first 20 with Folfox and Avastin and then switched to Folfiri with Avastan as the spots on her lungs were getting worse.    She tries to work out at least 5 times a week even on days when she has the pump attached to her.   She has changed her diet (even though we eat healthy as a family) and takes supplements.    Having smart 14 and 16 year old daughters asking pointed questions is the hardest.  You tell them as much of the truth as you think they need to hear.

    Thinking positive and doing your normal things helps a lot.    She was able to travel to Italy with my daughter's choir last summer and we have made other trips to the mountains in Arizona to just enjoy our family and the outdoors.  Any positive energy helps.   We still plan for the future praying that everything works out but we are still living in the present.   Not working has allowed her to go to all the kids sporting and musical events and has given her time to volunteer more.    Yeah she feels crappy on chemo days and a few days later but tries to still do her normal things.    We all make her take naps to keep her energy up.    Somedays you just want to cry and that is OK.    Just don't dwell too long on the negative and try hard to stay as healthy as possible.   A strong body and will can get you through the worst days.  

    What the future holds, no one knows but you still have to live and have as much fun as you can.   Enjoy your family and especially your grandkids.   Spend lots of time with them as they always provide positive energy, make you smile and want to have fun.  

    You can make it through this.   Enjoy life.        

     

  • sflgirl
    sflgirl Member Posts: 220 Member
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    Hello,
    I'm 55, diagnosed in

    Hello,

    I'm 55, diagnosed in early January, stage 4.  Rectal tumor and 2 mets to the liver.  Had the rectal tumor out last week and hopefully starting chemo in 2-3 weeks. 

    My biggest mistake was looking at all the stats and having the same reaction you are having.  I was devastated.  But Richard is right, that's old news, most of the stats seem to end around 2010.  A lot has happened in chemo and treatments in the last 4 years.  I think you should concentrate on you, your chemo and stop googling.  This is a wonderful board to join and you will read stories of continued survival from lots of people and lots of support.  There are many examples of Stage 4 multi-year survivors here, start reading the different threads.

    Listen, we are the same age.  I'm not ready to leave either.  Young adult children, great job.  Your attitude can be your best friend.  I have decided that this cancer can kiss my a--.  I am not supposed to have it and I am certain that the chemo is going to work and possibly a liver resection is in my near future.  I can't wait to get on with my life.  There is no other option.  There isn't one for you either, you have too many great memories to make with your grandchildren.   Please, get mad, get positive, and believe.

    My best, Andrea

  • jen2012
    jen2012 Member Posts: 1,607 Member
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    I'm sorry.  It is difficult

    I'm sorry.  It is difficult news.  I think things do get a little easier with time.  My husband was diagnosed August 2012 and I can remember being on the verge of tears constantly, for several months.  We went to a concert at church that November and I cried through the whole thing.  I don't know why and I couldn't stop.  I felt bad because he wanted a nice night out and I just couldn't pull myself together.  

    As the others said though, there are many people still here, years out from that stage 4 diagnosis.  Enjoy your family, enjoy life.  Try hard to be happy, stay busy and enjoy life.  And this is a great place to vent your worries and anger.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    I am 56 as well

    I am sorry that you have been diagnosed. It truly sucks!

    I remember the horror, the fear that came with the diagnosis. I have two grown lads, but I still do not want to leave them. Maybe if they were married and had someone to love them, maybe, maybe not, because then I would probably get a few grandbabies, and surely I would not want to leave them. Truth is, there is no good time to go. 

    One thing that I tell myself and others is that I am not dead yet, and that I am going to live until I die. I don't want to be treated like I am dying, I don't want to act like I am dying. 

    Another thing that helped me personally, when things ran too fast in my head, was meditation. First I started with guided imagery, and then I learned to meditate to music. It worked like a miracle for me. 

    There are many wonderful people here who are working with their multiple mets. You have found the right place for help and support. 

    Sue - Trubrit

  • UncleBuddy
    UncleBuddy Member Posts: 1,019 Member
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    Live life to the fullest!

    Here's what I told my brother: None of us have an expiration date on the bottom of our feet. We don't know when our time will come. All we can do is live our lives the best we can.

    My brother had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is 2000 and my sister, who is a nurse, told the family to prepare for the worst because he was so sick. My brother had chemo and they removed his spleen. He was cancer-free until he got rectal cancer in 2011. He started as stage 2a but within a year he was stage 4 with mets to the liver and lungs. He is not eligible for surgery because he has a weak heart, but he continues to fight, He keeps saying that he's going to beat this. I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Everyone is right, don't read the statistics because they're old and don't take the new chemo meds into consideration. Also, I've seen many people on here who started as stage 4 but had surgery and were declared NED. Just think optimistically!

    Lin

  • janderson1964
    janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member
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    All your feelings are normal

    All your feelings are normal but please know that a stage IV diagnosis isn't an automatic death sentance. There are several on here who have been living for many years after a stage IV diagnosis. I am one of them. Going on 9 1/2 years since diagnosis. It is not easy but many times stage IV can be treated as achronic disease.

  • Fight for my love
    Fight for my love Member Posts: 1,522 Member
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    As a caregiver, I have been

    As a caregiver, I have been through fear, anxiety,worries and many many other emotion ,sometimes  it is even hard to name it. I treat these as normal, because I understand if it was me, my husband might go through all these emotions too. It has not been an easy road, but we have some many kind people here to inspire each other every day and help each other everyday. It has been very helpful.

  • marbleotis
    marbleotis Member Posts: 720 Member
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    Hi and Welcome

    Sorry you are here.  I am just slightly younger (53) and was Dx'ed at 49) with stage 3b signet cell, had the right hemi-coloec surgery and 6 months of OXi and 5fu chemo  - that was 3 years ago, today in fact.  I am 3 years NED today and back then I never though that would happen. 

    I know you are terrified .  Please get alot of opinions from Drs', take a notepad with questions and lean on this board.  It is full of wonderful people at all stages of fighting this fight.

    Do not forget to breath.............................

  • Helen321
    Helen321 Member Posts: 1,459 Member
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    Trubrit said:

    I am 56 as well

    I am sorry that you have been diagnosed. It truly sucks!

    I remember the horror, the fear that came with the diagnosis. I have two grown lads, but I still do not want to leave them. Maybe if they were married and had someone to love them, maybe, maybe not, because then I would probably get a few grandbabies, and surely I would not want to leave them. Truth is, there is no good time to go. 

    One thing that I tell myself and others is that I am not dead yet, and that I am going to live until I die. I don't want to be treated like I am dying, I don't want to act like I am dying. 

    Another thing that helped me personally, when things ran too fast in my head, was meditation. First I started with guided imagery, and then I learned to meditate to music. It worked like a miracle for me. 

    There are many wonderful people here who are working with their multiple mets. You have found the right place for help and support. 

    Sue - Trubrit

    Hi Sue, on the topic of

    Hi Sue, on the topic of meditation.  This woman taught me this pose called "Legs on the wall" that works wonders.  If you are medically able to get your legs on a wall, it rushes all the blood to your organs and causes the body to instantly relax.  I spent so much time with my legs on the wall at some point, I could have just slept that way.  it is recommended that this be done before bedtime whenever possible.

  • Helen321
    Helen321 Member Posts: 1,459 Member
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    Hi, It's very difficult.

    Hi, It's very difficult.  I've been there myself and the only way to get through it is to just keep going.  One thing that I will mention is that some antidepressants actually cause anxiety so if you found the anxiety started after you took the antidepressant, try a different drug.  I switched and did much better.  There is a drug called Ativan that really helps with the anxiety and also stops nausea so it works for two things.  Just have to watch because it can be addicting.  I was very concious of that and able to wean myself off.  Hang in there, it will pass! (Diagnosed at age 41, 45 and still kicking=))

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
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    Helen321 said:

    Hi Sue, on the topic of

    Hi Sue, on the topic of meditation.  This woman taught me this pose called "Legs on the wall" that works wonders.  If you are medically able to get your legs on a wall, it rushes all the blood to your organs and causes the body to instantly relax.  I spent so much time with my legs on the wall at some point, I could have just slept that way.  it is recommended that this be done before bedtime whenever possible.

    Yes and no

    I can indeed get my legs up the wall, trouble is, I can't get them down. "HUSBAND, HELP! I'M STUCK"

    I must give it another try. Maybe I'm more flexible now. 

    Thanks, Helen.

    Sue - Trubrit