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Need inspiration

wendy_21
Posts: 30
Joined: Nov 2005

I am newly diagnosed with stage III colon cancer and am 43 with 3 children. I have had a sigmoid colon resection that went well, have had the porta-cath implanted last week which still is very strange, and am scheduled to start the FulFox routine (with oxilaplatin) Nov. 28. I am very scared about the prognosis and need to hear some positives from other Stage III survivors please. I have had a clear CT scan and clear lung x-ray, but the onc. doesn't want to do a PET scan until I am 3-4 months into chemo to give the surgical sites time to heal. She said they would "light up" the PET scan and create false positives all over. input?

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 594
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Wendy,

Welcome To Our Semi- Colon Family...

My name is Lisa Rose. If your looking for inspiration , love & friendship you've found it.

I had my surgery March 20, 2002 for a stage 3 rectal cancer with 10 positive lymph nodes. At the time I was 40 years old & my son Andrew was just 10 years old. Now 44 months later life is good again.

Just take it one day at a time right now....

Lisa Rose ( Baby Lisa )

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Welcome to our club. Unfortunately, noone chose to be here. We are a great group and share your concerns.

I was 46 when diagnosed on 3/17/03. Life will never be the same. I HAD stage 3 rectal cancer with 2 positive nodes. I am also the mother of 3. It hasn't been easy, but I remain cancer free since my first surgery on 6/26/03.

You have every right to be scared, BUT you will get through this. If you have any more specific questions just ask.

We have all been there and know what you are going through.

Maureen

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1250
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Wendy,

I cannot help you regarding stage 3...since I was STAGE 4! I also have 3 children who were 2, 4, & 7 when I was diagnosed. I still have my port-a-cath, and have been clear 4 years now. YOU CAN AND WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

Our motto here is 'FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION'....learn to live by it! Many success stories here from stage 1 to stage 4....all equally inspirational!

Yes, cancer sucks. It sucks bad....but your determination, attitude and faith will get you through this. You have 3 kids depending on you!

Keep us updated,

Stacy

RunnerZ
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

Wendy, I remember well the feeling of needing a little inspiration...well here is some! I was 36 when I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in February, 1999. had chemotherapy and radiation then surgery, then more chemotherapy. Here I am almost 7 years later, 43 years old, and in excellent health! I run 5 miles every weekday and more on the weekends and help coach my kids in sports and work full time as a prosecutor. Treatment and surgery were both hard, and that first year of waiting to see how things went was rough too. But pretty soon life takes over again and you worry less and less each day. I also have three children who are now 13, 10 and 7. Wondered if I would see them grow up...well I have so far! Surgery and treatment is so much better than even 10 years ago...we all have better prognoses than even the published studies. Live as positively as you can (do good things for yourself, excercise, reading, gardening, crosswords, etc.). I also found, afer finishing chemotherapy, that a glass of wine did wonders for an evening! Let us know how you are doing. You will be fine, I can tell!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi Wendy,

Welcome to the Semi-colons! Bummer huh? I bet you thought that colon cancer was an old man's disease! Well I surely did!

I was dx'ed Stage 3 lymph positive (2/19) sigmoid colon ca over 4 years ago. I was 39. I have 5 kids-- the youngest was 20 months old and still nursing at the time. It was pretty devastating especially since I had watched my 33 year old sister die of intestinal cancer 9 years before. (leaving a 5 month old baby girl).

So basically I freaked. But the chemo scared me more than the cancer so I told my onc no thank you when he recommended adjuvant chemo of 5-FU/leucovorin to "clean up" any wayward hiding cancer cells. Also, for me, chemo really doesn't make sense. But that's another story.

I decided that I was going approach healing this cancer a different way and hopefully not have the failures my sister, aunt, and grandfather had experienced.

so far so good. FOUR years and almost 4 months later I am remaining NED!!! (No Evidence of Disease).

But I didn't just do nothing. Au contraire. I changed my diet, detoxed, juiced, did coffee enemas, went for "treatments" with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner that consisted of counseling, acupuncture, massage, lymphatic drainage, aromatherapy. I took chinese herbs, I drank bentonite clay, I drank Essiac Tea, I restarted a yoga practice that I continue today, I rid myself of toxic people and emotions, I exercised, I prayed, I relished every moment I could, I cried my eyes out on more than one occasion, I sold my farm and moved to a log cabin on 40 acres to find peace and tranquility, and I came on here every day and nagged people to get off sugar (cancer feeds on sugar) and start juicing!!

So just know that there is a lot you can do to empower yourself in healing your cancer.

Cancer is a symptom of a greater problem. Find out what that means for you.

Recommended Good Read:

Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil.

I have a whole list if you're interested!

Again, welcome.

peace, emily the detox diva

foxy
Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2005

Hi Wendy, I also have 3 children seems to be a trend here! I had a hemicolectomy with a liver resection at age 42 in 1993. I did a year of chemo. But here I am 12 years later and NED for years. There is plenty of hope for a successful return to NED for you. My very best wishes for you. Virginia.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1720
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Wendy,
Iwas 48 when diagnosed with an aggessive stage 3 tumour of the descending colon. They removed most of the descending colon and found cancer in 6 lymph nodes . I had 48 sessions of chemo over a year and have been cancer free for 8 yrs in jan. All of the survivors here seem to share one trait ,we stubbornly refuse to give in to ca ,welcome to survival ,Ron.

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Wendy.

You asked for input, so you shall receive.

Add me to the list. 43, healthy, active, woman. No booze, drugs, smokes or late night caroussing. ( well, maybe once or twice :)
Diagnosed stage 3 aggressive rectal cancer. chemoradiation, surgery, chemo. Took 95% of my rectum, a foot of colon, tubes and ovaries.

Today, 1 year and almost 5 months later...NED. There is no reason to think you can't beat this thing. We have.

Stay positive, stay relaxed, stay happy. There will be times when those things sound impossible, but they will pass. I never thought I would feel "normal" again. But, I do, now.

We are here for you. This is unquestionably, the best group of people I have ever not met! ( face to face)....yet.

Barb/Elaine/Pool chick ( stick around, you'll find out)

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Wendy,

I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer 1 node out of 5 positive the day after I turned 27. My baby was only 15 months old at the time. I had a colon resection with the sigmoid colon removed. Not really sure how much because I have always been too scared to learn too much of the details.

That stopped when I came to this site shortly after finishing chemo and hit depression because I was sure that I was not going to be able to watch my little girl grow up. I realized that although I recognized each day as a gift I wasn't utilizing it to the fullest and what good was I too my baby if I was sad because I was afraid of leaving her. I came here and learned that I can fight through diet, excercise, and lifestyle changes. Listen to some of our nutrition nuts... there's something to be learned. At minimum, you will give yourself more energy and feel better about yourself.

Anyway, I have been NED since my surgery in Oct 2004. There can be life after cancer.

Yes, it is scary. It sucks. As my oncologist told me, how many people do you see each day that have cancer and don't even know it? The difference is that you KNOW you have cancer. Now, we can do something about it. How true is that? I probably had cancer for at least five years before diagnosis. That would have put me at roughly 21 or 22.

Knowledge is power. Even scary knowledge. You can fight this horrible disease from many different fronts and you CAN beat it. When you hear statistics; ignore them. They are based on averages and outdated information from lesser treatments. As has been a great motto from some great semi-colons on this board, "Odds are for Vegas and Expiration dates are for dairy products." Nobody can predict the future and so you just have to keep that hope in yourself alive and make those changes in your life that might have contributed to you getting cancer in the first place. Pick up some recommended readings on this board. Do as my Oncologist recommended and keep a constant reasearch about new treatments and alternative methods to prevent and cure cancer.

And most of all, love your babies and your family.

Take care,

Patricia

PS, sorry about the long novel. It really started writing itself because I so deeply related to the feelings you are expressing now. It could have turned out to be many, many more pages if I don't stop now.

optimist
Posts: 51
Joined: Oct 2005

I'm another 45 year old woman with three children. It's very interesting that we all say that we lived a healthy lifestyle before the cancer.
I first had a cancerous polyp at 41, but I was told that it was stage 0 and wouldn't recur. I took yearly colonoscopies and CEAs every 6 months. In May 04, I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and mets to my liver. The colon cancer recurred at the same spot as my polyp of '01.
Keep fighting - for ourselves, our kids and all of our loved ones.

andyc56
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2004

Hi Wendy,

My wife was diagnosed Stage 3 September 2004. Colon resection and 6 mos. of Folfox6 ended in May of this year. All scans so far are clear, she is NED and back to her normal schedule, and then some. Only problem has been neuropathy from the oxaliplatin. Make sure you keep your oncologist apprised of your hand and foot numbness, if any. Best wishes to you!

wendy_21
Posts: 30
Joined: Nov 2005

Thank you all for the information and assistance. I agree that information points toward diet changes as a positive. I am inspired by your successes. I know I will be visiting here frequently.

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Wendy, You have come to the right place for inspiration. I was diagnosed with stage 3 two years ago at age 53, with 2 kids in high school. Hemicolectomy, 1 positive node and 6 months of chemo. I just had another followup colonscopy, and it was all clear! I am awaitng the results of my 6 month CT scans of lung, abdomen and pelvis, hoping to hear that I am still No Evidence of Disease.
I came to this site right after surgery and before chemo, too, and I was terrified for my future. 2 years later I can assure you there IS a future; you will get through this, and I feel that cancer has given me a better perspective on the things that matter.
Check out some of the personal web pages when you need more encouragement; take very good care of yourself and accept ANY and ALL offers of help. I took a leave of absence from work and focused on taking care of myself and family. We all got through it and you will, too.
Stay strong and come here whenever you need a boost. Judy

shirleygirl
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2005

Hi,I'm Shirley in the UK.I'm 43,and have had 2 colorectal tumours in 2 years.My 1st was in my caecum(near my appendix),and I had a hemicolectomy and 10 lymph nodes removed.T his was very scary,and it was awful telling my hubby and my 2 boys.I then had 6 months of chemo with 5-FU,but towards the end of that treatment I started getting bleeding vaginally.I initially thought it was cervical cancer,but investigations by the gynae.dept.revealed that I had another bowel cancer tumour.(The 1st was found Jan.2004,the 2nd in Jan.2005.)I was given the glad tidings that they couldn't do anything unless it was shrunk greatly.So I then had 5 months of chemo(capecitabine and oxaliplatin),then 5 weeks of radiotherapy.My experience with the oxaliplatin was the same as you-the horrible pins and needles from touching ANYTHING cold,or even being in a cool breeze.I also had to have the oxaliplatin through a central line,as my veins are truly bad!My oncologist did the same as regarding PET,CAT and MRI scans-waited 2 months before ordering them to be sure of an accurate result.Thankfully,the 2nd tumour was localised to an area between my vaginal wall and rectum.I had surgery on 27 October,when my surgeon did a hysterectomy and temporary ileostomy.I saw him on 21 November,and he was confident he'd got rid of it all.It was a biggie,though-3cm by 5cm-and thats AFTER treatment!I may need more chemo though-that will be up to my oncologist.I feel quite confident for the future,but I do know absolutely just how scared and anxious you must be feeling.Before my diagnoses,I thought that I would just want to crawl under a rock and die,but I discovered a stubbornness that I didn't know I possessed.I coped by asking loads of questions and researching my cancer and the treatments by going onto reputable websites.I would particularly recommend www.cancerbacup.org.uk.I lived by the motto,"Know thine enemy".You WILL get through this-as insurmountable as it seems right now-it sounds so cliched but being positive will help you cope.I f you have any kind of support network,USE IT!Lean heavily on the people who are on your side,who are rooting for you to get through this and get better.I'll be thinking of you.

babybear
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi Wendy, my name is Chris and am 56 years old and live in Atlanta. I was diagnosed in September of 2003 with Stage III rectal cancer with 25+ node involvement. Went through surgery, radiation and FolFox VII (twice the dosage or typical FOLFOX) at the Winship Cancer Institute. In sum the treatment was 12 months of struggle and 8 months to recover. I rollerblade 10 miles a day and feel great. One bit of advise. The peripheral neuropathy from the Oxilaplatin can and does persist long after the treatments. Seek the latest Calcium/Mag protocol to mitigate the effects and prevent a long term neuropathy condition. Due to the particularly high dosage, the university used me to test the effects of the neuropathy.

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