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Hi-New and anxious!!!!

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Just want to let everyone know how scared and nervous I am. I had a colonoscopy yesterday, the doc came in and said that it was bad news, that I more than likely have colon cancer. Shock!!! Was not expecting that! Now I have to wait until Thursday for the biopsy result, but he seemed pretty sure. I haven't slept, I can't eat, I'm consumed by finding out everything there is to know about this. How does everyone get through these days of waiting?? They're pure torture!

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi! I had a similar experience in Nov. I had sudden, severe bleeding. Went to my doctor, who put me right in the hospital. Next day I was diagnosed and had surgery 3 days later. Whoops! Mine was Stage I, so no chemo, but I understand the anxiety. I'm still worried all the time, thinking it will come back or whatever. Lean on all support you can get from family, friends, church members, this group. Let us know what you find out!

Gail

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

I'm sorry to hear of your shocking discovery. Nobody needs to hear those words. I applaud you on wanting to learn everything you can so soon after diagnoses. I just put my head down and did what the initial doctors suggested. My outcome has been great as I am 3 1/2 years out of diagnoses, surgery, and becoming cancer free and 3 years out of chemo and doing great. However, I think I would have done things a little differently had I known then what I know now.

First, I would have requested more tests before surgery to determine the extent of the cancer. Because of my age, every doc was sure it wasn't cancer, and it was. They were sure it hadn't spread or been there long, and it was. My surgeon only took 5 lymph nodes... one of which was positive. I have always wondered about another node and worried because it has been swollen in ct scans. I think if more nodes were sampled, or more testing done, we wouldn't have been nearly as shocked.

Just a word of advice. Don't believe everything you read on the internet about cancer. Learn what you can about current forms of treatment and cancer prevention. Learn what you can about the best ways of getting through chemo, if that is the road you end up on. But please, ignore anything that gives you statistics or odds. Many or so very outdated and there is absolutely no reason that you can't be the one to beat this. We have a saying here... odds are for vegas and expiration dates are for dairy products.

Waiting for the results are hard. Just try to keep busy and You will know soon enough. The initial days are difficult, but you must keep taking care of yourself. If you need help for the anxiety, let your doctor know. It is important that you get sleep and food.

I pray for you.

Tricia

Starleen
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi, Tricia. This was an excellent post. Those statistics are often odds of survival without treatment. We all know that's just foolishness. And I can't believe they only took five nodes. They took 24 nodes from me, and one was positive. I had colorectal, so a larger portion of mine was removed.

Denise, I mentioned that you would be too busy fighting, but what I really meant to say was that you would be too busy fighting AND living your life doing the things you love to do. I hope to heck it's not the big c but if it is, I assure you that you can get through it.

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

Hi Denise,

Waiting is a drag. But before you get too worked up look at the good aspects. If your doctor didn't schedule surgery right away then most likely the potential tumor isn't big which means hopefully it hasn't gone throught the colon wall, which means if it IS colon cancer then most likely an early and highly curable one.

If you are dx'ed a Stage I or II then, according to how things are done at the Mayo Clinic (world renowned) you would NOT need any kind of chemo. So that would be a huge relief.

Then you would begin a life of follow up colonoscopies so that any kind of polyp would be nipped in the bud so to speak.

If it IS colon cancer then here are some things you can do:

being that colon cancers are 80% dietary related then improving one's diet is key to future cancer prevention.....

1) stay off all sugar and whites (flours and grains)

2) check your pH (acid/alkaline balance) cancer likes acid pH

3) increase veggies and fruits and make plant foods the bulk of your diet with some whole grains and nuts and seeds. Juicing fresh organic veggies is an excellent way to increase your live enzymes which are what help to heal diseased tissues without having to put stress on the digestive system.

4) avoid meat when possible -- meat has a slower transit time through the colon rotting and putrifying along the way creating a ripe environment for disease.

5) increase fiber with things like flax seeds which are great cancer fighters--sprinkle it on everything from your oatmeal to salads and put it in your smoothies (blueberry ones for an antioxidant punch!)

There, now you can be proactive and take some power back and not allow some potential colon cancer to take over your life!!

:-)

Hope this helps.

Oh, and welcome to the boards!

peace, emily the juice chick

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

ps.

I was dx'ed with Stage III lymph pos sigmoid colon cancer over 6 1/2 years ago and did NOT do any chemo, just had the surgery, and followed these 5 things (and a whole lot more) and have remained cancer free all this time. My local doc declared me cured last year!

Just wanted to add that to let you know it CAN work!

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Hello, Denise! Waiting is the WORST!!! Try to distract yourself with something else...I know, hard to do...I heard those 3 words 2 times within 11 months!!!

Things will be better, once you know what it is. Then plans go into action. There are plenty of us here that have been thru it...make sure to ask any questions you have, take notes, take someone with you to appts (yes, cancer causes a bit of a temporary hearing problem...lol)and ask for all lab and scan results...even if it is not cancer...

I am sending good thoughts for Thursday!!!!

Hugs, Kathi

PS...stage 3 rectal, 3 years ago; stage 2 breast 2.5 years ago....No Evidence of Disease (closest to cure my oncologist will get) on both.....

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

Hello Denise

I am really sorry you are having to go through this - I was in a similar situation to you this time last year and had to wait nearly two weeks for the results. I was a wreck, sobbing over strangers, couldn't sleep or eat, spent hours imagining my own funeral. Funnily enough, as soon as I knew what I was fighting (cancer) I pulled myself together, decided to become proactive and do everything I could to get better (I have young children - I simply couldn't allow myself to die!). Things were never that bad again. As others have said, it may well be a stage 1 which will almost certainly be cured by surgery alone. Even if it's more advanced, it's not a death sentence! I had a huge tumour (football sized, the doctor said) and three lymph nodes affected but here I am a year later feeling better than I have for years. Courage! It won't be as bad as you think ....

Catherine

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Hi everyone, thanks soooo much for the advice and support! I'm on day two of the wait and it's getting a little better, my hubby took me out of the house today to try and get my mind off of things. He even took me to my favorite restaurant (although that didn't work---no appetite). I have a new question, can a doctor tell if the tumor is malignant or benign just from the size or color? Because how could he just tell me that that's what he thinks it is? The only thing I think is he's seen so many, that he knows. I had a parotid tumor taken out about 15 years ago and that was benign, so I'm hoping (maybe!!!!!) that could be the case again. It's so nice to come on here and read your messages, it's very comforting. Thanks again!

Starleen
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi, Denise. Your doctor wouldn't just say that if he didn't know, so prepare yourself. Same thing happened to me, and you know what? Once we got confirmation and started talking about fighting it and the plan to lick it, that's all I had time for. I know it's torture now, but just know it isn't a death sentence and these days they can keep you pretty comfortable during treatment. You have a hard road ahead, but you'll make it! You will! This board has survivors, and that's what you are. You are not going to have time to get moribund about it, you'll be too busy fighting. If you were not having symptoms and just happened upon this tumor, odds are that it is at an early stage and totally cureable with far less harrowing treatments. You can't have a large tumor in your colon without pain, bleeding, something. I went to the doc with symptoms last year, and I had a big one, advanced. I had radiation, chemo, surgery, more chemo, and I get my CT scan Thursday to see if I'm all done. If I'm gonna be ok--and I am--you'll be fine. It's going to get you down, it's going to disrupt your life, but as long as you stay positive and maintain a good sense of humor about all of this (after all, it's your butthole, hee), you'll be fine. Do you hear me?

kat1960
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2008

I understand completely. In Nov. 2007 I had what should have been a fairly routine colonoscopy. My gastro doc came into recovery and told me and my family right there that he was 99.9% sure it was cancer. He scheduled me with the colon cancer surgeon (I did research, as well) and I had my resection done Jan 4. I just had my port-a-cath put in last Friday. Stage III because it got 2 out of 17 lymph nodes but the prognosis is excellent. I start chemo next week - scared, scared, scared! But from what everyone says, there are few side effects with the 48hr twice monthly stuff and should be pretty easy, comparatively speaking. The waiting games are awful but you will be surprised how time goes by. I am usually the same as you as far as researching and wanting to know how, why, what do they do, what can happen, etc.... BUT, let me tell you now, listen to your docs, don't go looking into the details of everything on every web site or you can literally drive yourself nuts. Most of us can admit to trusting our oncologists completely so go to them for info. I am at the point of needing Ativan because of my need for too much knowledge. When I was first diagnosed I was looking for anything. There is a point of TMI - but when something needs to be done, it needs to be done. Listen to docs, make sure they are all on the same page and ask them the questions. They will do their part, you do your part (heal!) and pray, meditate, share, beathe deeply, etc when you find those tough moments.
Good luck to you
KathyM

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Thanks again for all your words of encouragement. I know this won't be a walk in the park and I'm ready to do whatever needs to be done. Just this waiting that I think is driving me nuts. But tomorrow is the big day!!! I have the last appointment 6:30 pm. I keep telling myself, it's almost here!

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

In a similar situation, in the recovery room after my colonoscopy, my gastroenterologist gave me the name of a surgeon. I didn't need to wait for the pathology report to make an appointment with the surgeon for the next morning, and I had an LAR later that week. Maybe that was a little hasty, but I'm just saying: you don't necessarily have to wait for the lab results.

-greg

Denise1966's picture
Denise1966
Posts: 91
Joined: Mar 2008

Greg,
Was he able to tell just by looking at it? What is a LAR? I tried to get in with the surgeon and all he has is an appt 2 weeks away!!!!

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Yes. He said we'd have to wait for the lab report, but he was pretty sure it was cancer.

When I called for an appointment with my surgeon, I was offered an appointment a week off, but I told the receptionist that my GI doc hoped I could get an early appointment. And she said okay, then. Sometimes you have to push a little.

"LAR" I think stands for Low Anterior Resection. It's a common operation for CR cancer -- they get to the rectum or colon through a large vertical incision in the lower abdomen and clip out the cancerous portion. But there are other alternatives.

I'm not implying that an early appointment with the surgeon is important for you. I don't know much about it, and cases differ.

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