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When your world fell apart....

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

I am a survivor...NED..and very thankfull. But it was not always that way. Do you remember the day you were told you had cancer? Of course you do! What was your reaction? I am assuming the very same reaction Jen and I had. My point?
Well....and this is mostly for our newly diagnosed friends here.This site is a godsend to us and the advice, support and bonding between all of us is incredibly unique.
The help given here is something that is difficult to find outside the cancer circle. I see the emotional side of cancer...the initial dx, the trauma of surgery, the chemo and ongoing clinical visits......as a major part of the journey.
For the newly diagnosed here I don't need to tell you how I felt...you already know that because you are now experiencing the very same feelings...it is a universal feeling of fear, anger, anxiety....and trying to control it is almost beyond our reach. What I will tell you is that along with the tears(yes...this guy cried too), the tiredness, fatigue, insomnia and every other problem thrown at us, there are stage 1 thru to stage 4 survivors that know the fear that you have.
In a way I feel selfish because here I am NED...and so many of my friends are still fighting desperately. But I also feel humbled because by knowing that I can come here with other survivors and tell you that there is hope, there is a very good chance for you all to meet our "NED".
Back to my point...oops..I went off on a tangent, didn't I!
EMOTION.........no matter how bad you feel, no matter how often you want to post(then don't because you think you are having a whinge), no matter if you want to cry, yell, curse, vent...all the emotional stuff.
LET IT ALL OUT......do NOT bottle it up! Come here unashamedly anytime....for you deserve never to be alone!
Medication/chemo/radiation, juicing,eating well, excercising can help beat this disease.....but the mind needs a special kind of treatment which only those who "have been there" can fully understand.The fear never really leaves us but it is the power of undrstanding from our friends here that will make it easier.

I shall crawl back under the log from whence I came now.(I was sharing it with a wombat)
btw.........cry by all means...but just occassionally smile in the face of adversity.

huggs to all, Ross and Jen

terril
Posts: 297
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Ross and Jen!!!
This disease is a monster. What a shock to me when I was diagnosed in Feb 04. Chemo and NED for 22 months...then Wham...recurrence. It is just like being diagnosed the first time. Fear, especially fear of death. Thank God for all of you on this web site. When I come here I feel nothing but hope and faith. Thank you all so much!!! I too shall be NED!!! Terri

HowardJ
Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Ross,

Very nice post--Well said.

Howard

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Ross - really nice post. I mostly have a pretty good attitude, but you are certainly correct that only those who have been there can really understand what it is like. The people I love all want to look on the bright side - and so do I mostly - but sometimes I just want to talk about how I am feeling emotionally and the people in my life don't really want all that or don't understand it. I have people coming up to me at work and saying things like "you look good - great they caught it early - that's the only way for a cure". Early? Stage IV? (This is supposed to help??) Yeah, right!

One of my friends at work went through breast cancer treatments about the same time as my treatments. Karen (friend) and I could talk in a way that I couldn't talk with other people. We were gifts to one another. Except for Karen, you all are the only other folks who I think really understand. This is a great place to come and we are probably all actually more restrained than we should be when it comes to "venting".

And, it does seem like the world is falling apart at first, but then after a while you begin to see that maybe it will all be well. This site helps so much with that. All of the wonderful survivors fighting this nasty disease give me much hope and will to fight for the future.

Betsy

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I never knew angels lived down under. :)

Such a powerful post. All I can say is "ditto".

Stay NED. jana

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

What a great post, Ross. I also will never forget the day my world fell apart. Life will never be the same. I have been a nurse for almost 30 years and had no idea what cancer patients went through. I thought my life was over.

I love this site because evertone has been there.

To all the newbies, I feel sooo much better and can't believe how far I have come.

To all those still struggling, my heart goes out to each and everyone of you.

I also think of those who lost the fight.

Maureen

oneagleswings
Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi..nice post- but ya know- there is the time when "your world falls apart" (if you are stage 3 or a stage 2(95% cure rate)..as in oh my God CANCER) and then there is the time when your world REALLY falls apart such as when after being a stage 1,2 or 3 -going thru the initial cancer diagnosis, treatment, hope and THEN being told the cancer has spread and you are a stage 4...that is when your world REALLY falls apart...for THOSE patients and caregivers- they know what I mean...how I long for the optimist stage 3 days and cheer each one of your NED's...I pray that you never graduate to Stage 4
Bev

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Ah, my thongman, we must be on the same wavelength. Don't know why I was thinking about my diagnosis day, today, but there it was. I got the "great" news in March of 2004. ( March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month)

I guess coming up to that anniversary got me thinking.

I, too, am NED. And I am concerned each and every time I go for my tests. Will it come back? Will I be able to handle it again?

What this disease has robbed me of, is my strength, agility and flexibility. I believe it to be the radiation and the chemo. I was a pure soul ( hehe). Truly, though, I hardly ever even took an asprin. Worked out all the time, and dreamed of getting my black belt.

Now, my hands hurt when I open a jar. My hips and pelvic area feel terribly old.

I guess I'm just taking your advice, Ross. Having a pity party tonight.

BUT, and here's to your big butt...I am grateful to be here. Living. My 3 great kids and wonderful husband by my side.

To all fighting this crappy disease: hang in there. You will feel better. Treatments will end, and life will resume.

Try to stay positive. And try to laugh. It's been my best medicine.

Love to all,

Barb

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Ross,

You are my hero!!

Kerry

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Aww...now hang on a mo guys n gals...kanga ain't no angel, one in a million or for that matter a hero!
What he is tho is a sensitive guy that calls it as it is.....and can be an emotional one at that. After coming here for around 2 years it would be pretty amiss of me not to have some pretty deep thoughts about everyone on this board. That is nothing special....guess it shows I care like the rest of you. I just wanted to make it perfectly clear to our new friends here that it we are "all" here to suport each other and we all have asked for help at some time.
As I said..."no-one should ever suffer cancer alone". Nor should anyone think that posting their fears will be seen to be a weakness by anyone here.
"DO UNTO OTHERS.........."
Thanks for your kind replies.

------now...where was that box of tissues...I have something in my eye.

foxy
Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2005

You are one in a million, love Virginia.

3greatkids
Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2005

thanks for such a wonderful post. This message board helped Mike and I through a really difficult time when he was first dx. in Sept. Since then lots has happened, the best being no signs of spreading and no lymph nodes affected! I havn't posted in a while because now I seem to be the one who is falling apart, and I feel like I have no right to feel that way since he is the one going through this terrible thing. Thanks for saying it is okay to feel miserable. Seems since we found out there was no spreading I am worse (go figure). I guess everything has finally caught up to me. But that is okay, since my wonderful husband is going to be okay, and I can share the rest of my life with him. Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration. God bless and stay well to all you wonderful people. You guys are my heros!
sylvia

Btrcup's picture
Btrcup
Posts: 287
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi all, it's been a while since I've posted but I still read. Today is the 4 month mark for Scott's passing...and Monday, Feb. 6th he would have been 44. Just reading your post brought back so many memories. Scott was diagnosed with the cancer monster on 2/24/04. If I can make it through this month, I will be ok. But it's going to be a tough ride.

Thank you again for all your support for the past 2 years. I couldn't have done it without you all. The kids start grief counseling tonight. Hopefully, they will be ok throughout this month. They seem to be doing ok. Scotty is going through some tough times at school...his teacher said he is in "grave danger" of failing...but ya know what...he is a bright kid and I'm sure this all has to do with losing his father...so I'm not so concerned. He will be 9 on Saturday. And Kerilyn (5 y/o) just got a gift certificate for the Rainforest Cafe for a free kids dinner because of her outstanding behavior at school....so I think they will be ok.

Anyway, Ross, congrats to you and everyone else who is NED and to those who will meet NED soon! My prayers go out to all of you.

Linda

PS: Kerry has sent me the CD of ColonPalooza II in Las Vegas, but I can't seem to play it. We're working on getting another. Can't wait to see it.

ccartwri's picture
ccartwri
Posts: 82
Joined: Jul 2005

Ross
I am bawling. My shirt is soaked from tears as I write this. You are so right. I am so glad to have this group! Thank you all.

claudia

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Mona6518's picture
Mona6518
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2005

Ross (and the rest of the semi-colons),
I had a somewhat different experience at my diagnosis in late Dec 05 ...
There's a lot of cancer on my Dad's side of the family so for me ... being diagnosed was more of a 'well duh' experience (although it was still a bit of a shocker due to my age - 37).

However, this board has been a great high point during this journey. Being only T1N0 makes me feel like a 'poser' compared to those of you with T2, T3, & T4. But it also tells me that if y'all can do it, so can I :)

Monkey

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

Aw Ross, you big softie...(lol, I mean that in a GOOD way! LOL) Honestly, I think I am part alien. I didn't cry, didn't freak out, nothing. I admit, I wasn't sure who they were referring to when they began to talk about chemo and radiation and surgery (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but I felt it couldn't be me. Afterall, I was a perfectly healthy 33 yr old female with no reason to think I would have cancer! I just remember asking the doc to let's get on with getting through this because I have 3 little kids depending on me for their social lives, and I couldn't let this get me bogged down! At the time, my kids were 2, 4, & 7, and I was too busy for cancer!

Today, the only tears I shed are still tears of happiness when I get to share a few stories with my semi colon friends!

Stacy

nettie4
Posts: 145
Joined: Mar 2004

hey there my friend. so glad to hear from you. oh yea i remember the day i was dx. the first thought was for the baby i was carrying and the second for my dauther and husband. there are times when i feel like i could crawl out of my skin and others when i feel like i could slay this monster with my bare hands, and then i look at my family and look at all those who have either been ned or have passed and of course those who continue the fight and remember i can and will make a difference as long as the good Lord keeps me here. i am really glad for you that all is going so well. i dont really have anyone older in my life where i can go and talk and get wisdom, but just reading sometimes helps. take care ross and jen.

nettie

jeanl
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2004

Ross,
Well said - my world trembled New Year's Eve 2003 - stage 3c and as a dedicated oncology nurse I knew what was ahead. All we survivors face so much but this group are such a great support for us. In fact I recommend it to many of my newly diagnosed patients. Currently I'm NED but as testing is coming again soon have those thoughts of "what if" that we all get. I do enjoy your letters and those of everyone on this site - don't reply much as you all say it so much better than I can. Jean

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Great post, Ross... thanks.

Kiss Jen and pet the wombat for me!

- SB

amysangel
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2006

I couldn't of said it better my self!
Although i am a new-be i am a daughter of a mother who is a patient. I couldn't amagine being diagonsed myself. I was with my mother when her world fell apart and i know how i feel just watching her go through it.
My angels were giving me messages, they were telling me all about this before we got the tests back and I know it's the path my mother is on.
It has made me more aware of my body and to take better care of it. It scares the hell out of me to know this disease is on both sides of my parents family. You all have given me strength, and your angels are with you to.
amysangel

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 595
Joined: Mar 2003

My world fell apart on March 5, 2002 and I'll never forget that day. I always thought that cancer happened to others but not to me. It's been along road back but now almost 4 years later my life is good again. I just want to say Thanks to all my fellow semi-colons. You Guys Rock !

Lisa

lfondots63's picture
lfondots63
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Everyone,

As I am reading this I have the tissues handy. I want to just agree how much this site helped me after my dx on Dec 19th 2005 which was the day before my birthday. I found this site by accident and am so glad that I did. Everyone here has been a god send from helping me understand what I should be doing from just being there to vent or hold my hand. Like others it is tough to explain the feelings to family who you are trying to stay strong for but to tell others that totally understand takes away the stress. Hugs to all and keep fighting to those that are not NED. I can't wait to meet the guy everyone is talking about!

Lisa

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Posting this topic has produced an incredible number of replies.Thank you so much everyone for helping out. There may well be lots who come hear, read and are a little shy...so these replies here hopefully will comfort them. When I talk to some of our friends here by phone it is extremely hard to compose oneself knowing that many are still doing some very tough miles. Throughout chemo I knew that it was supposed to help but there was always the unknown and I guess that in itself makes things so very hard for us all. Our families and carers suffer a great deal with us.....this is why I posted the topic. To use all YOUR inspiration to make it clear to all that everyone shares this, carers as well..........to know that nobody ever needs to be alone.

to ifondots........Lisa......it would be great to meet Bob too...and we will meet him.....yay!!!

ps....Bob...if you think I am gunna kiss that smelly wombat you are nuts mate!
Now kissin Jen?..........mind your own business...lol!

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Yes, my world fell apart on Dec. 19, 2002. Isn't it strange how we remember the exact date, day and time? Friday afternoon at 4:30pm. That was my first explosion, then thinking all was well, pieces started falling all around me again with my recurrance. I've been battling that for over a year now, with some success.

This site has been so wonderful for me. The advice, the place to vent, the friendships are all priceless. Where else can you talk about puking, pooping and feeling tired?? and no one thinks you are crazy!!??

Thanks everyone....as Lisa Rose said "SEMI-COLONS ROCK"

Kerry

jerseysue's picture
jerseysue
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

I woke up from my surgery I was having a hysterectomy or so I thought. My husband was looking down at me and I said how'd did I do and he just lost it. He exlpained to me that I had stage 4 cancer I cried for just a bit and then the calls started coming from my family in Jersey. It was a whirl wind I was in the hospital for 9 days and then I had to give my body 6 weeks before starting chemo. I did my "protocol" which I completed in November. I have been NED since then and get blood work every 4 weeks. I keep telling myself this isn't coming back I have too many kids to raise and a wonderful husband that I don't want to leave.

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