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Joined: Jun 2007

Hello Everyone,
I am a 18y/o female who was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer. I am so lost. I dont know where to begin. I have choosen to only tell my fiance and my sister about this because of my distraught family ties. I am so confused about what to do and all of my options. I have been presented with a lot of options but they are all from a third party prespective. Anyone have any opinions about the different treatment options? At this point I am really screaming at the top of my lungs and am so scared and lost.

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Oh Sweetie, I am so sorry you have to travel this road. It is cruel for such a young person as yourself to have to deal with this. The best advice I can give you is to act quickly and aggresively to treat this. Your treatment will depend on what stage your cancer is. Surgery is almost inevitable, but chemo and which chemo would depend on the stage of your cancer. I'm assuming you have spoken with an oncologist, yes? Do you feel comfortable with and trust him/her? Get a second opinion if you feel the need. The feeling of being out of control is usually what panics us. Educate yourself about the disease; the unknown makes us more scared. Speak frankly with your oncologist about your fears and concerns. Discuss things with the people you know you can rely on to support you through this. It is scary to hear the word "cancer", but colorectal cancer is one of the most treatable cancers out there if it is caught early.

This discussion board has been a real support to me during my cancer journey, and I think you will find all kinds of great advice and support here. Know that we are all pulling for you and sending prayers your way.


Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I echo everything Kirsten has said. I am so sorry that you have this diagnosis. It is normal to feel like screaming and to feel overwhelmed. Right after diagnosis is like getting on the wildest rollercoaster you can imagine. You will slowly gather a lot of information. Feel free to visit this board anytime -- there is a lot of experience here. Your doctor or doctors should outline your options. I encourage you to ask them questions - any questions you wish (I like to make a written list). But they should be able to tell you which treatments have the best results. Seeking out a second opinion can be a good idea. I did that, and ended up with a much better treatment plan. If you wish, tell us a little more about your diagnosis (stage, etc.). Thinking of you and sending prayers and best wishes your way.

alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi sweetie
It is very tough at the begining....but I guess you have a good chance to be in the early stages ( we will be praying for that).just start thinking about how you are going to fight it and what at you are going to do after everything is gone....You will receive a lot of information here....read about diets, vitamins, attitude etc....
God bless

Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

I'm so sorry that you have to be here, but you have come to great place for support. Everyone has given you good advice. You will probably feel better once you start treatment. I know I did because I felt that I was doing something. Please post and let us know how you are doing.
Take care,

sladich's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Ditto on all of the above. My thoughts are with you.


sladich's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Ditto on all of the above. My thoughts are with you.


Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

I'm so sorry you are dealing with the beast at such a tender age, but with the support of your fiance and sister and the wonderful members of this board you'll come out OK. Really.

I agree with what the others have said... talk with your medical team and listen intently to what they have to say. But remember, you are in charge. If you don't like what you're hearing politely tell your doctor(s) you'd like a second opinion and they might even arrange one for you with a colleague.

I don't know where you live, but if there is a major cancer center nearby that would be an ideal place to go.

I've been told that colon cancer is largely a slow-growing beast so the fact that you are so young could mean you are in the early stages. There are also some hereditary versions of the beast that your medical team will want to rule out.

So don't panic. Girder up with faith and prayer (or good vibes if you wish) and get talking with your doctors. Then come back here and let us know how you're doing and we can share our experiences with you as you take on the good fight.

Tally ho!!! Like Bruce says, never give up!

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Though you can't sit on your hands and wish it would go away,(wouldn't that be nice?) you do need to take enough time to make sure you have a surgeon who is in a large medical hospital if possible a teaching hospital. Try to get a recomendation from your gastro doc or someone else who is in the med field. Make sure your insurance covers the doc you find. Do not rush so much that you make a poor decision here. This is very important. I hate that you have to deal with this, but you will feel better about it when you do something concrete and have a good doc to rely on for information.
Jo Ann

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi -

I am so sorry you have to be here, especially at such a young age. But you have come to a place where you can get great support and information.

The shock of diagnosis is intense, so try and take it one day at a time and take the treatment one step at a time.

What treatment options have you been given? Have you had colon surgery yet? (You most likely will have that surgery, perhaps after radiation or perhaps without pre-radiation). Let us know and we can provide more information. Usually colon surgery is the first step (but not always). Try and get thru this one step at a time. There is MUCH hope. If chemo is required, there are many regimens depending upon stage. Let us know more details about your diagnosis and we can help.

Everyone is correct in that if you are not comfortable with your oncologist or colorectal surgeon (depending upon where you are in the process, you should seek a second opinion.

Feel free to email me on this site (see the envelope icon at the bottom of this email). I was diagnosed Stage IV (liver met) in May 2005, had colon surgery and 6 cycles of chemo and am doing well.

Everyone else has given you good advice. Please also try to ignore Internet statistics. Most of them are out of date and even when you look at "data" about individual drugs, it often comes from early clinical trials which were quite possibly done on the sickest patients and don't represent the norm.

Please keep coming back here for support. I of course know nothing of your family situation, but it does get easier with every friend / family member you tell. And, the more you learn, the more you will realize that this disease is very often treatable.

Take care,

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


First welcome to our CSN family ~ I want to say how very sorry I am that you had do come here at such a young age. Having said that you know your not alone in this " Battle " and we are all here for you. We are a wonderful group of survivors, caregivers & friends and through the good & bad we are all in this fight together.

Also I wanted to let you know about the support groups below, they are geared for young adults so you may want to check them out. If I can help in anyway please feel free to drop me a line through this site. Lisa

The Colon Club

Planet Cancer

4law's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Dec 2004

You've received good advice so far in the replies already posted.

I'm so sorry you don't have more family support. Lean on your sister and fiance -- of course, you'll find support at this website.

We don't know where you live and other details of your diagnosis -- but I agree with the others that if possible, head to a teaching hospital within a reasonable distance from your home. It is important to have confidence in your oncologist and that he or she takes time to listen to you and explain things so you understand.

One piece of advice I can add is to take someone with you when meeting with your doctors, to take notes and give you moral support, and to remind you to ask all the questions you have (make a written list of your concerns in advance). You will have to make some important decisions, and you should do everything possible to make the decision-making process as easy on yourself as possible. Because of the stress you are under, you may forget details of your meeting so having another with you person is a great asset.

One thing to keep in mind during this stressful time: this is a dreadful disease BUT it is beatable and as numerous people at this site will attest, YOU CAN BEAT THIS DISEASE and lead a long, normal life. Never give up.

4law's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Dec 2004

....having another person with you is a great asset

Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

I am so sorry for what you are going through. You have come to a great source of information and support. Everyone here will help you get through this. It is so scary for you , I am sure. For my husband and I, the worst part was in the beginning and getting over the shock. After you get all of your information and find the best plan of attack to fight this disease, you may find that things get a little easier. I hope you can find the support you need from others close to you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please let us know how things go.

Have Faith!

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

Hello 'Nora,

I guess the question is where are you getting your information from? You mention that your options are from a 3rd party perspective, but why aren't you getting them straight from the doctor? You mention that you were actually diagnosed, so what does THAT doctor tell you to do? Be careful when seeking information from the internet rather than a physician who actually knows you, your symptoms, and your family history. The internet is filled with folks who are not always honest with who they are or what they can help you with. Especially if you are only 18. You can be perceived as someone who may be naive and easily manipulated when that may not be the case. Additionally, if you mentioned your diagnosis with your fiance, and he intends to marry you, he should invest in your future by getting you medical attention, not self-help through a computer.

Good luck and best wishes to get through this. Be as strong as you can be. Just be very, very careful when seeking help through the internet. The world is full of lunatics!



Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi and welcome, but also sorry you have to be here. What is your onc telling you? Be sure to discuss all options thoroughly with him or her and don't be afraid to get a second opinion from another doctor if necessary. Keep us posted. God Bless.


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