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menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

I am 46 and Dx with colon cancer. Trying to work through the uncertainty of both treatment and what it means long-term for me and my family. Married with two kids, Son is a freshman in college and daughter is a sophmore in high school.

This discussion board looks like a great resource and a place for hope.

I live in Connecticut. My treatment is at the St. Francis cancer center in Hartford, CT. Any specific advice or experience at this facility is welcomed.

I wish us all well and hope and pray we all become NED's.

Mike

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

Well Mike,

I was DX Oct 22, so we are on track with each other. This is a great group and I have found solace here. I am a bit older - 58 - with a great husband, grown daughter, wonderful SIL and 3 grandsons. The baby is only 7 months and I want to dance at his wedding!

As my oncologist says "Keep your eye on the prize...CURE"

Vicki

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks Vicki. I too want to dance at my kids and someday grandkids weddings.

CURE seem like a real possibility. Thanks for your encouragement and best to you in your battle toward the NED club.

Mike

fred1247
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Mike I am a bit older 59 to be exact when I was diagnosed with colon cancer July 28th of this year. This is a great group of people to bounce things off of. It is easy to become confused and depressed when you hear the news, but stay strong for your family. My kids are grown and gone and you need to be around to bounce those grand kids on your knee. All the best of luck going forward, this is a tough journey for anyone and our prayers are with you and your family.

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Fred:

Thanks and I will accept your prayers and offer you the same in your battle.

Mike

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

I was also 46 when diagnosed with rectal cancer 5 1/2 years ago. Life will never be the same. I was so scared. I have remained NED since my surgery. If you have any specific questions just ask. We have all been there. I have a great husband and my kids were 14, 17 and 21. Now they are 20, 24 and 27 and the oldest is married. Life did get better after all the treatments and surgeries.

Good luck.

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks for your story. I look forward to getting started with treatment and surgery so that it can someday soon be done, where you are today.

Thanks,

Mike

dave03
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008

First what level are you? and when do they want to start? do they have the equipt. radiation; to zero in and not do damage to surrounding area? You need to know this now. My advise is get a good quality internal cleanse from the nutrition place and start now.Second NO RED MEAT, NO DAIRY, No WHITE pasta, bread, rice, flour..if it's white stay away from it.Drink lots of claen water 8 glasses a day. No tap water!. Get a good juicer. The Juice Man was right all along. one that you can fit large carrots, apples into. take seeds out of apples add handfull of parsley ,2 apples and 4 carrots; juice. Drink down right away. 8 glasses a day. every day don't care what the doc. says. Look up max Gearson on the net .Get his book. My doctors told me to get my affairs in order before I went to the OR. That was in 2003. I made it through the surgery and my wife made me juice every day and brought it to the hosp. The doc's and nurse's laughed. Im still kicking.They don't like alternative medicine.Take care. its your body! I'll look in again.

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Dave:

Thanks for the input. I am uncertain at this point about the Stage of cancer. If it proves to be in the liver then I guess that would mean stage IV. I hope and pray this is not the case.

I have a juicer somewhere in the cupboards. My brother shared the book "Fit for Life" and I tried the juice thing once before. Maybe it is time again.

Thanks,

Mike

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Mike,
Thanks for replying to my post. I hope it helped you to see that others have gotten past what you are experiencing right now. Maybe you can share these stories with your family. I hope for the best with your liver biopsy coming up. I hope it is not cancer, but if it is, hopefully it can be resected or otherwise dealt with. I know things are scary right now and you are like, How did this happen to me? Who the ____ knows, but you can take charge of the situation. You don't have to rush into anything rash right now either. Take in the information, make sure you feel comfortable with the doctors and the answers you are given. Once you have gotten through the hard part (surgery/chemo, etc.) you can start working on what you can do to STAY healthy. Dave gave some good advice here. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion if need be, and feel free to ask whatever you want on this forum! There are loads of people here who can help.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Susan H.

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Susan:

I appreciate your comments and look forward to using this forum for our mutual good.

Best of luck and my prayers to you for good health.

Mike

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi Mike. I was diaganosed stage IV August 2007 at 43. I'm still in treatment but making progress! Married, 3 sons....

You will find wonderful support here and (hopefully) NED will stick around,too!

Nice to meet you,

Kimby

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Kimby:

I am eager to claim I too am making progress. Still in the diagnosis review with one test after another. Tomorrow is the liver biopsy. Wish me luck!

Keep me updated on your progress.

Mike

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I am not that much older than you (49) or further along, I was diagnosed in September, Right Hemi-Colectomy on October 15th and still recovering. I am getting ready for Chemo and I both eager to start the fight and nervous and scared. I will be here if you want to talk, or share. I have two boys 12 and 10 and a stepdaughter 7. I have long term plans and lots to look forward too as do you. Hang in there, we are stronger than we believe. Just read some of these stories at this site, it will make you see we can do this.

Mike B.

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks Mike.

I do plan to use this site for our mutual good. Keep me informed of your progress.

Mike E.

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Mike,

Welcome to this board, although I am sorry you have cause to be here. You are right, this is a great place for both information and support. It has been a goldmine and godsend for me.

I was diagnosed 5.5 years ago at age 44 with stage III rectal cancer. I am still alive and kicking! My kids were 10 and 12 when I was diagnosed -- now they are 16 and 18, and I've enjoyed every second those teenage years!!

My treatment after diagnosis was chemoradiation followed by surgery followed by more chemo. Good luck to you in your journey and don't hesitate to post here anytime.

Tara

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Tara:

I think my treatments will mimic yours. I look forward to sharing our journey and providing and receiving hope and encouragement.

Mike

trainer's picture
trainer
Posts: 242
Joined: Sep 2008

This is a great place and it's a wonderful extended family. You've come to the right place for support and hope and information. I couldn't have done it without the good thoughts and suggestions from everyone.

Despite the top drawer medical treatment, there was still a decided lack of helpful information from my medical team. I don't know if I was expecting too much or if lawyers have everyone so scared to say anything anymore. Nevertheless, this group will jump right in.

I was dx 9/9, had surgery 10/20 and spent a week in recovery in the hospital. The surgeon tried using the daVinci lap assist method, which is totally awesome, but couldn't find any evidence of cancer, so the team opted to slice and dice and go in the old fashioned way. Even though they could locate the site which was marked by the colonoscopy doc, they could find no cancerous tissue and the path tests proved this out.

All this is really a rotten experience, I just don't know how to explain it any other way, but this web site is a Godsend and I'm glad you found it.

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Your story is what I hope and pray for. I have heard of the possibility but love to hear from someone who had it happen. I take it you had treatment before surgery which took care of the cancer?

Thanks,

Mike

trainer's picture
trainer
Posts: 242
Joined: Sep 2008

I know I've read on this site where others have done chemo and rad prior to surgery, but for whatever reason, my docs took out the polyp during the colonoscopy that was cancerous, marked the spot on either side in the colon and then scheduled my surgery. They had me do a CAT scan, which showed some irritation closer to the stomach, and although the surgeon though it wasn't anything significant, he nonetheless had me to an upper GI. The radiologist who did that one was great and when she couldn't find any evidence of an irritation, she called the CAT scan doc and had him talk her through it while I was still on the scope. Nothing showed up, which was why she called him. Then it was time to resked the surgery and I went in on the 20th. They couldn't find anything cancerous and instead of taking out 18 inches and affiliated lymph nodes, they took 5 inches and several nodes. So the only pre-surgery treatment was the colonoscopy and follow up scans and Xrays.
And now, I'll do a PET scan every three months twice and then if nothing has been revealed, do one followup after another 6 months and then no more oncologist and just an annual colonoscopy to make sure everything is OK or to stop a recurrence early. I'm all for that. We're praying that your swift recovery and NED status.

Patti1
Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2006

Mike,

I am so sorry that you and your family have to facew this battle,you
can win. Thank you so much for your posting. I wanted to share an interesting
piece of information with you. Dennis and I are both from Ct, Dennis was
born in Hartford Hospital and my son and I were born in St Francis. We live
in Florida now, been here for 16 years now. I will pray for you and your family

Patti

Faith88
Posts: 55
Joined: Sep 2007

mike
I pray for you that there are no mets to the liver.
My DH went through this same thing with the liver scan, and it showed no mets.
His was stage 3 and recovering 1.5 years now. It's a battle that can be won.
Keep the faith.

Faith88

claud1951's picture
claud1951
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Mike,

As the others have said, to bad we have to meet this way but you've come to the right place.

I was Stage 3 colon (ascending). 12" removed, 2 lymph nodes cancer, 6 Mos (12 rounds) of chemo and as of Dec 07, I am still NED!

Keep your positive attitude. It's such a big help. Try and surround yourself with positive people and always keep your energy for moving forward.

Let us know what you find out as far a what stage, what treatment, etc.
Keep a notebook and write all question down (for the Onc). Make sure someone goes with you to the Doctor. That person will pick up things you don't.

My best to you and yours.
Claudia

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

Hi, Mike. You seem like such a kind and caring person. Even in your fear and worry, you've taken time to answer every person!

I'll be praying that you'll have good results from the liver biopsy, and that any treatments you have will eventually bring you a state of NED (no evidence of disease).

I was diagnosed almost a year ago. I was fortunate enough to be Stage 1. The surgery has cause me some ongoing problems, but there's no evidence of further cancer, so that's a blessing.

I'll be praying for you!

*hugs*
Gail

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Dear Gail:

Thanks for your note. I find this web exhange board helpful.

Good luck with your ongoing issues. I will pray that the cancer remains gone for you.

Mike

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

I was 43, just shy of my 44th birthday when I was diagnosed. Stage IIIB, in August of 2004. Surgery, chemo. Recurrence in my abdomen in 2006, surgery and chemo again. I am now waiting for results of a suspicious area in my liver from my last PET, but doing well. At the time of diagnosis I had 17 and 20 year olds. I have since seen my oldest get married and am currently enjoying my first grand child! I am looking forward to more grand children and to seeing my youngest married at some time in the future! Treatments today are so much better than they have been in the past, and there are so many of us living with this beast. How is your wife doing? Does she have a support group? This will be hard for her as well, and I am sure she is trying to be strong for you. Keep us posted.
mary

doris2657
Posts: 39
Joined: Mar 2008

I was diagnosed in february with stage 4 colon cancer with mets to ovaries,after 2 surgeries with in 7 weeks I was told yesterday by my oncologist my pet scan came back clear NED,now I will try to stay on maitenance chemo,plus I do want to dance at my Girls wedding.Good luck.

God bless you

Doris

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Dear Doris:

Thanks for your comments. Good luck to you and your family.

May we all dance long into the future.

Mike

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I was thinking about you and your liver biopsy, too soon for results but how's Mike? I have a procedure on Thursday (unless they reschedule tommorow when I go to clinic) they are going to put in a Porta-Cath to use for the Chemo-Therapy infusions.

I hope you made it through and can communicate tommorow.

Later,
Mike

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

First Mike - hope all went well today.

Second Mike - I also will have my port inserted on Thursday. We can hold good thoughts for each other.

Got my surgeon lined up - I am ready to go!

Vicki

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Vicki:

I wish you the best with your port and the beginning of Chemo. Like you, I am eager to get started. It is really odd to be anxious to start poisoning ones body, but it is for the greater good.

I am going on a month since Dx and still no treatment. A question to the collective group would be: When should I become concerned about the delays to treatment? I hope to start next week yet I am preparing for doctors/nurses telling me about further delays. I have the Xeloda pills already and just waiting for instructions.

Sorry for ranting in your space.

I hope all goes well for you Vicki. I hope we can continue to share our parallel journey, if for nothing else to know we are not alone.

Best wishes!

Mike

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Mike said: "Sorry for ranting in your space."

Well Mike, this is YOUR space too. I'm sorry that it is, sorry for anyone that needs to be here. Please feel welcome here. Rant, vent, scream, cry, encourage, laugh, and have fun. It is all allowed here, and we don't even dock for spelling.

You have added to our group already. Please rant here!

Kimby

trainer's picture
trainer
Posts: 242
Joined: Sep 2008

I'd be all over them about the delay and if they can't get their ducks in a row, I'd find a medical team that can. You're the one who has to live with this. I was frustrated with the lack of specific info I was getting up and down the line and it wasn't until I met with the oncologist that I finally got the specific answers I needed. Don't be shy, you're the reason they are there.

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

Vicki, We will be there together and we're going to be better off with the port from all I read. Good luck

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Mike:

You are right. No results yet. I will anxiously await word from the oncologist. The liver biopsy was a breeze. I pray it comes back negative.

How am I? I am progressively more anxious to get started with treatment. Let's keep in touch as we begin the battle.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Mike

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I am glad the biopsy was a breeze, we'll stay in touch.

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Mike. I'm sorry for why you are here, but this is THE PLACE TO BE if you're diagnosed with the beast. Glad your biopsy went well. We will be with you all the way.

Hugs,
Kirsten

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Well I just received word that there is one small spot on the liver that is indeed cancer. I so hoped otherwise.

Now my treatment plan will change and become prolonged.

I was told this is a roller coaster ride and they weren't kidding.

Wish me luck. I have an appointment with the chemo oncologist tomorrow to review the biopsy and lay out the treatment plan.

I guess I will be setting aside the Xeloda pills and going to a more agressive Chemo plan. Any ideas what that would be?

Any questions I should be asking tomorrow from your collective experience?

Mike

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

Mike, I know that was the last thing you wanted to hear, its tough news but, this is one of the more treatable cancers and we can beat this too. Is it possible to excise the liver lesion surgically in addition to more aggressive chemo? I don't know if that is even a question you want to ask. I know from my treatment team and my internet research FOLFOX may be the chemo regimen. 12 courses of IV therapy delivered of 2 1/2 days. That is the regimen they are preparing me for. If you hear that term tommorow we can talk some about it.

My day pales in comparison, but preparing for the IV chemo is why I had the Port-a-Cath placed today. They may suggest that to you if they go the IV chemo route.

There is a treatment plan that can work. I hope you are finding your Oncologist to be someone you have faith in. I hope you have a good visit tommorow and a plan develops that you can quickly begin is formed.

Mike B.

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

Oh, Mike. I was hoping I wasn't going to read results like that from your biopsy. Do know that we'll just all pray harder about this and wait to hear about huge improvements in your situation.

*hugs*
Gail

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Mike,

Naaaa... don't think "biopsy gone bad"... in the old days, before they had biopsies, no one had any idea if the cancer had spread until it was too late. Now, with biopsies, PET scans, CAT scans, blood work and then the various treatment options... having a met in your liver doesn't have to be as scary as it appears when you first hear the words. Granted, it would have been music to your ears to hear they didn't find anything... but consider yourself lucky that they did find it now and can treat it.

As someone said above, there are so many new drugs/treatments/options for Stage IV (or any stage) that it almost makes sense that they re-invent the staging system.

When you see your onc tomorrow, it's true, you will be given so much information about treatments, IV/Port installation if appropriate, further testing, various appts. with various medical personnel...you are going to feel like your head is spinning like in the Exorcist ;) So, if at all possible, have your wife go with you with a notebook. As a matter of fact, I strongly advise you to pick up a nice notebook for yourself, be it one you can carry in your pocket, or a briefcase or whatever it takes to have it with you at all times. When you think of a question, write it down... and refer to your questions when you meet with the doctors. For this first appt. have your wife or someone write down answers... or even better, if you have a tape-recorder or dictaphone type machine, tape the appt. so you can go over what was said later.

For the next little while, everything will seem confusing... but trust us, this does all calm down. You are young, have the right attitude and if it weren't for this darn monster, you'd be healthy to boot! You've got all the ingredients to come through this with flying colours :)

Hugggggs,

Cheryl

JulieAlan
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008

Get a port installed in your chest so you dont have to be stuck 8 million times. Ask what your pre-surgical treatments will be (what type of chemo-radiation), how long, what are the side effects. What is the typical disease progression with your type of cancer? How we will shrink the tumors in my liver? Is liver resection possible? Am I a surgical candidate on my liver? How long will I be in treatment? Will I be on maintenance chemo forever? Can I continue working?

These are Q's I just came up with off the top of my head. Hope they help

Julie

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

I am so sorry about the liver biopsy. Where are you getting treatment. I would suggest a major cancer center.

Sometimes you can have surgery on a liver biopsy. There are many long term stage 4 cancer survivors on this board.

Another test to have is a pet scan. It is similar to a cat scan. It would be good to have one as a baseline.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Your good attitude will get you through this.

I know you were asking about working. I also worked through radiation and chemo. It kept my mind occupied and life somewhat normal. Radiation made me tired and lots of diarrhea. I could only work and was unable to do anything around the house.

Maureen

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

Hi Mike,

Welcome to our group....even though you didn't seek membership. There is a wealth of information here as well as genuine, caring people who will quickly become your friends.

If possible, take someone with you to your visit tomorrow. Since so much information will be given to you, it would be very helpful to have another pair of ears. Also, if someone takes notes, that proves useful as well.

Please let us know your new plan of attack. There are many new drugs and procedures for stage 4 that weren't available even a few years ago.

Thinking of you and your family.

Hugs,

Kay

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

I was thinking about you yesterday. I am sorry you have to take this next step, but remember, there is a prize at the end of all this - NED. Don't give up the fight.

I did have my port put in - and they did knock me out for that (Yeah!) Please consider a port now.

Vicki

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