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catherine58's picture
catherine58
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2007

I last posted on this board ten days ago when I was amazed to get so many lovely, supportive messages (and from such articulate and well informed people too).

My worst fears were confirmed yesterday morning when the GI doctor confirmed that I had a four inch tumour in my ascending colon. I saw a surgeon later in the day and am booked to have a right hemi-colectomy on Monday. The only good news is that, from the scan, the liver looks clear. They won’t know what stage the cancer is at until ten days after surgery.

I am very scared (of the pain, of dying on the operating table, of leaving my children who are only 8 and 12) although, oddly enough, calmer now that the situation is clear and I feel I am on the medical conveyor belt (fast track too - things don’t usually work so quickly in the UK). I have been so healthy all my life (don’t smoke or drink to excess, eat mostly organic food, walk at least two miles a day, go to the gym, have never been overweight, haven’t had a day’s sickness for years) and have no family history of bowel cancer (although both my parents died from cancer of the oesophagus). I just cannot understand why this thing has struck me.

I probably won’t post again for some time, but it’s good to know you’re all out there.

Catherine

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

glad that you could get scheduled so quick; they will go in there, get a self-contained tumor before it had a chance to break apart or through, and leave you clean as a whistle.(I'm not sure where they got that term, because whistles aren't necessarily clean..) but you know what I mean..

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

Catherine,

I'm glad you are finding support here that is SO important when fighting this battle! I felt like you did, my kids were 2, 4, & 7 when I was diagnosed. But that was over 5 years ago, and I am proud to say that I'm a stage 4 survivor. Our stories of victory and hope prove that there are winners. There are happy endings. Channel the fear into strength and get through this so you can enjoy LIFE! That is one huge benefit I got from having cancer....a lesson on how to live. Prior to cancer, I never even got colds or the flu, so this diagnosis really caught me off guard, too. And after cancer, I'm back to healthy....whatever that is!

Chin up! YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs,

Stacy

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

I'm sorry it wasn't better news Catherine. Waiting is really hard and I"m glad your on the "fast track " now. You'll handle the pain. The drugs they give you will do the job and you'll get thru the surgery just fine. Look at it as your first step toward recovery. Will keep you and your family in my prayers. Keep us posted. We care. God Bless.

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

Catherine,
Best of luck to you on Monday; all the fears you have are completely understandable pre-op worries. I also felt calmer and more resolved once the plan was set.
You will get through this, one step at a time. I am now 3 years post surgery, and back to my old self. I think being in good health prior to surgery helps greatly with recovery.
Stay strong and focused; keep us posted when you can. Judy

moniquebar
Posts: 57
Joined: Jun 2006

Hello Catherine,

I am sorry to hear that your worst suspicions were confirmed. The tumor I had in my sigmoid colon was very near the size of your tumor. And as most people are inclined to compare their tumors with items of fruit, I would say that mine was the size of a tennis ball. As with you, my liver appeared to be clear. Prior to my surgery I was also scared of the pain, of dying on the operating table and of leaving my loved ones behind. However, given the right drugs, the pain was barely noticeable, I did not die on the operating table and a year later I spend quality time with my loved ones. Too much quality time—I could use a little break every now and then.

One thing about my hospital experience that was very unfun was when my boyfriend tripped over my catheter line. Watch your catheter line. Guard it with your life. The good thing is that you’re on the road to wellness. For a great many people the surgery alone is curative, but considering the size of your tumor it is likely that your oncologist will suggest chemotherapy. Asking yourself the question, “Why me? is fruitless and a lesson in futility (although hard to avoid). I heard of one man who asked himself, “Why not me?”

Good luck with your surgery. You’ll be amazed how much your fear will lesson with time.

Best wishes,

Monique

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

OUCH!!!!!!! Is he still your boyfriend????

moniquebar
Posts: 57
Joined: Jun 2006

Just barely.

Did I mention the time my catheter got a kink in it and my newly stitched belly blew up to the size of a football? Ouch indeed.

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

Catherine,

I'm sorry to hear that your fears were confirmed but I'm glad that you listened to that inner voice telling you that something wasn't right. I had the same fears you did. I found prayer the night before my surgery and have prayed every since. It helps. They didn't do any scans on me before surgery so I was very afraid that they would just sew me back up and say there was nothing they could do for me. I have been cancer free since surgery 10/04 from Stage III one node positive.

I think the anxiety comes with waiting. Things start getting less scary when you "are doing something." Surgery, chemo, radiation, whatever. When you are set in motion, it gives you less time to be scared. I continued the fight in a different sense after chemo by changing diet and excercise habits since I wasn't doing the right things before.

Your healthy lifestyle will help you heal quicker and you will fight stronger. Don't give it up, it will come through for you.

Let us know how surgery goes.

You are in my prayers.

Tricia

pink05
Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Catherine,

I'm glad you found us right from the start. My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer in his ascending colon in Dec.05 and I wish that I would have found this site right away rather than go on other sites and get devastated by statistics. Sounds like your doctors have a game plan mapped out, which is good. Waiting for results is definitely the most difficult thing I've had to go through, so I know what you are feeling. You will be allright and will get through all of this. Stay strong. You are in my prayers.

-Lee-

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