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Just diagnosed with rectal cancer

mc1717's picture
mc1717
Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2008

I just found out I have rectal cancer. The stage will be determined in the next few days. I just happened to find this site while searching for information about rectal cancer. I have hundreds of questions for the doctors, but Right now I am in the hurry up and wait mode with the doctors. MC

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

Welcome to our group. I'm so sorry about your diagnosis, but this is a place where you'll find help and comfort. Please let us know what you find out and what treatmemt you have. I know some of our other rectal cancer survivors will chime in with lots of helpful words.

*hugs*
Gail

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi,
Welcome to the best group of cancer fighters on the planet. I too HAD rectal cancer. As your doctors will tell you it is different from colon cancer. Please let us know when you get staged and we can help you during your treatment. Try not to worry and concentrate on getting a plan of action against it. Lots of survivors around here so it can be done.
I am almost a year out from treatment and feeling much better. I will be gone for about a week but will check in when I get back.
Good vibes to you, Robin

mc1717's picture
mc1717
Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2008

I'm new to this site. How do I keep in contact with a person or people that I feel a conection with, especially someone I may happen to find that has or had rectal cancer?

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

You can send CSN members e-mails = go to CSN Home page, under the header Connect, go to CSN E-Mail and you can send private messages to members.

mc1717's picture
mc1717
Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2008

I see how it works, thanks

Faith4Cure
Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

You have found the right place for support, information, and understanding. My husband was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in September, 06. In the beginning, we were scared and wondered how we would ever make it through. Well, it has been almost 2 years, and he is going great! We are all here to provide support and maybe help ease some of your fears. Keep us posted and stay positive!

Faith

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

I think that you are wise in learning what you can about this disease so that you are armed with information and questions for your doctors so that you may make the most informed decision about your treatment. That is one thing I would do differently, if I could. I kept my head in the in ground and just rushed through my decisions on getting the cancer out as quickly as I could and while I have been lucky and cancer free for almost 4 years, something could have been missed. Every time I tried to learn anything about cancer, it stopped my heart as soon as I came across the statistics... so I just ignored the whole thing completely.

Anyway, not to get going on something else... while you are searching for information, please try to ignore statistics. Many are outdated or no longer valid by the time that you are reading them. Plus, who is to say that you won't be that small percent that will win this time? Odds are for Vegas and expiration dates are for dairy. Just try to stay positive and fight the fight.

I wish you the best in your upcoming battle. It may be tough, but it is manageable.
Keep us informed and always come back if you have any questions, need to vent, or just want to talk.

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi,

I'm so glad you found our group and know you will make lifelong friends here while learning invaluable information as well. You will learn that "waiting" becomes part of the healing process, but it will definetly be one of the hardest parts of your cancer journey. Hopefully, some of your questions will be answered soon. Please know that we care and keep us posted on your treatment decisions.

Hugs,

Kay

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Sorry you have to be here, MC. It's tough getting the news of a cancer diagnosis - all of a sudden the mind kicks into high gear and you're flooded with questions, concerns, what-ifs...it's like a record that keeps repeating itself or an irritating song you can't get out of your head. It can be a bit crazy making, but it's a completely normal reaction.

You've come to the right place to help you find some of those answers crowding your mind, but always lean to your doctors for medical advice specific to YOUR situation, and if something doesn't feel right, go for second, third...or more...opinions (I'm glad I did recently and avoided having my stomach removed to a misdiagnosis of a second cancer). Just know this is a great place to get feedback, support, friendship, or whatever you need.

Keep us posted on your news...we're here to help and support you.

Peace!
Katie

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KierstenRx's picture
KierstenRx
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi MC,
Welcome to the site. You have come to an amazing place. I found this site a couple weeks after being diagnosed. There is soooo much information and support here. This group helped get through treatment and beyond. I was diagnosed with Stage III rectal cancer in September 2006 at age 32. I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for over a year and am going for my 2 year PET/CT scans in a couple of weeks. I know your mind is racing and for me the not having a plan was my worst time. I also did a lot of reading and this site became a Godsend. Treatments and plans vary but this is what I had done. I initially was going to have surgery, but had a bad gut feeling that I had not seen a oncologist first. I listened to my gut and made an appointment with an amazing doctor. I got a second opinion from another surgeon (glad I did) and my oncologist decided I should do 28 sessions of radiation and 24 hour IV 5-fu. After that I healed for about 8 weeks, then had surgery in Feb 2007. My tumor was extremely low lying so I did end up with a permanent colostomy (yes an adjustment, but hasn't slowed me down at all). I healed for another 4 weeks then started 8 rounds of chemo (folfox and avastin) every other week. It wasn't too terrible except it made me very tired. I finished chemo in June 2006 and did have some lingering side effects (neuropathy in my feet) that has gotten better with time. Overall, my life is getting back to my new normal. I have daily reminders that I had cancer, but I am moving on with life.

This is going to be a long and sometimes scary journey. Don't be afraid to reach out to any of us. We have been there and know what you are feeling. You will be amazed at the strength you posses. Don't be afraid to ask for help and to rely on friend and family. Please keep us posted and I will keep you in my prayers.

Kiersten

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi MC! Stage IIIB rectal here! I just finished my last round of FOLFOX6, and it has been a long road. Like Babs, i was completely symptomatic by the time i was diagnosed at age 38, and thought i was bleeding to death. I was so blocked by the tumor, i was vomitting instead of pooping. It seemed like forever before they began treatments, and i wish now that i had made them put in a shint. I continued being blocked throughout my radiation/chemo preadjuvant. However, the radiation kicked the tumors ***! By the time i had my surgery, all margins were clear, and four out of fourteen nodes were involoved.

The big difference between rectal cancer and colon cancer is the rectal cancer can be treated with radiation, which is what killed my tumor. The down side of that is all the side effects radiation can cause. I would be sure to have your radiation oncologist explain all of the possibilities, and make sure he/she treats your symptoms right away. You will have more than one oncologist, so take advantage of their expertise, and ability to write prescriptions.

Another thing that has been extremely helpful for me was talking with my pharmacist about all of my meds, and taking her recommendations on what meds work best for whatever. They know a lot more about drugs than the docs do, so take advantage of their knowledge.

The best thing to do now is to come to this site often. There are so many of us that would have been much more scared and confused if it wasn't for the true experts of this disease who frequent this site.

Keep us posted on how your treatments go.

Many hugs,
Krista

ac
Posts: 84
Joined: Aug 2008

I am so sorry to hear this mc1717. I understand exactly how you feel. I was diagnosed on 08/28 and will be staged this week. I had a hunch something was seriously wrong even earlier after my colonoscopy from my gastroenterologist's body language. So the biopsy report didn't exactly come as a surprise to me. Nonetheless, I was devastated. To be honest, I have been rather lapse in my religion (I am born Catholic). I have been reconnecting with God and praying for strength. I will pray for you too.

I find that it also really helps to talk to someone who understands. My wife has been a great help to me. I have 2 kids, a 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. I hope to be around to see them grow up. Has anyone any experience with coping with children who do not understand? It seems really difficult to me.

Take care and God bless.

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

mc1717, i am so sorry to hear of your recent entrance into the battle. As you can see, we are all glad you found us; it can be a big help when the dark clouds roll in as well as when the good news comes in! I am one of those who surfs the web for all the info i can get my hands on whenever something new comes up and am grateful for this method of communication! Good luck on the journey and please come back often. Mary

Limey's picture
Limey
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

Welcome to the board. you will find, love, support, and allot of useful information here. first take a breath and don't assume the worst. consider 2nd. opinions and ask every question that comes to mind. If you doctor does not have the time to spend with you on your questions. get anotherr doctor right away.

Also if you are from a small town, Certainly check out options. I just had a friend diag with prostrate can. He was suggested to not do surgery and do annother procvedure. It really came down to the small hopsital in his home town did 3 surgeries per year where the university in a large city did 3 surgeries per week. Surgery was the best option for this case and he would have never known had he not gotten a 2nd opinion from a more focused cancer center.

good luck with your journey
Mark

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