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Don't Know where to start

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2003

I'm a truck driver and do this as a contracter.
I have been diagnosed with COPD 6 years ago.
Two and 1/2 years ago I had half my colon removed. The tumor had been bleeding and my hemo count was 6. The tumor had just started to push thru the lining. They checked lymph and other areas and found no signs of cancer. Everyone told me how lucky I was. After a couple of months I went back to driving cross country. The company I contract with changed the medical coverage they offered, and the new coverage was more than all my other bills together, and I lost my insurance. No chemo or radiation.
I switched over to the VA. That was a little over 2 years ago. Last month (dec 19) they did my first ct since I went back to work. They found a thickening where the colon was reconnected, and my CEA is up.
I was told to come off the road and concentrate on following up on this. I did , the VA has set me up for a colonoscope(??) Feb 3rd and they tell me they are going to do a biopsy of the thickening at that time. They are also talking about the possibility of chemo no matter what the results are.
I am 56 and single. I have been in AA since June in '84. I get some support there, but most people are uncomfortable with my condition, and I tend to feel like a whiner when I talk about my middle of the night fears and the dread I feel about living with a return to surgery and all that entails.
There seems to be a fine line between denial and staying positive, I try to do everything the doctors tell me to do and get my affairs in order, then expect the best and get on with my life. I'm not sure how my emphasyma will get along with chemo, and ....

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi. I'm a 36 year old with 2 kids and pretty much in the same situation as you are. I agree that it's hard to be positive and I resent it when people pressure me to feel positive all the time. I'm really really mad and sometimes I need that mad energy to get through it all. One thing that I try to focus on is (trying) not to worry to much about what hasn't happened yet or what I don't know about yet. After learning that I had a 50-50 survival chance I decided to ignore stats and just concentrate on what is known about my condition and what can be done. It is horrible and scary, but there are many survivors and there is hope. There are also many survivors who were once in much worse shape than you are. Hang in there.

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2003

Hi...I'm new to all this. It doesn't sound as though there is a final cure no matter what, does it? My husband just discovered his cancer, and we are just trying to be as normal as possible, not falsely positive as everyone keeps telling us to be. I don't know how we will be after it all begins....just tests so far and the beginning of chemo and radiation next week. I'm so glad to find people here to talk to about this. Our friends are kind and wonderful, but I can tell they are frightened by it. So are we!! swantia

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