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Say a little prayer

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

I don't post often, but I'm here every day. This group has been a great source since I was dx'd in Oct. 2007. Recap: dx'd Stage iv cc Oct 2007. 2 surgeries and 6 mos of FOLFOX which ended in June 2008. I have been NED since Feb. 2008. Huge blessing! For the background, I was in school finishing my master's to be a CPA when I was dx'd and couldn't finish the semester and missed the spring one, too. No job, no insurance, but did get SS disability.

After I finished chemo, I returned to school to finish the semester I had to drop. I am in the middle of finals right now and am scheduled to have a colonoscopy on Monday, a resection on Friday the 12th, and a PET on the 23rd with results on the 29th. So my stress level is a little high!

To top it all off, I was supposed to start working part-time in January while I finished my degree and then full-time for the same firm when I finished this semester. The firm I would work for specializes in auto dealerships, so I guess it shouldn't come as a big surprise that they called me today and rescinded my offer of full-time employment. I can still work part-time this spring if I want, but if I do, I lose my disability. That was okay when I had a full-time job to look forward to, because I could hold on until then.

So I'm feeling a little down and a little stressed, and guilty because I have so many blessings that I shouldn't even be complaining. So please say a little prayer for me (for the surgery and PET) and I'll give myself a kick in the rear and realign my attitude. Thanks for letting me whine--it's just been a bad day.

Rebecca

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

You do have many blessings and I am glad you do. I am very happy to hear you are NED, so many here are working so hard for that. Great job going back to school and completing your degree, Kudos to you! I will pray for you that everything comes out good and that you have a fast recovery. I have a great feeling that you will find a job and one that will be even better then the one you had lined up. God does answer prayers, Mary and I are proof of that just this week. You give me hope, I was orignally DX as stage 3, was NED from June 08 till Nov 08, then the cancer came back so now I am stage 4, so hearing that you were stage 4 and are now NED, gives me so much hope, and I really need that because I have been feeling really down about being stage 4. So thank you for that. Good luck to you, but you wont need it you have something way better than luck on your side, GOD and he wont let you down.
Beth

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

Beth,

Thanks for the support. I am so glad I can give you encouragement. When I was first told the "realities" of Stage iv, I was reeling. I contacted Cancer Hope Network and talked to a man named Dan who had been 14 years NED. He was Stage iv with mets to his liver and at the time he had treatment, they only used 5FU. He pointed out that there are more drugs available now for better treatment. Shortly after that, a client told my best friend that his dad had Stage iv cc and had been NED for 10 years. Those stories along with the survivors here, like Scouty, have proven to me that we can beat the odds. We're not numbers, we're not average, and in 10 years, we'll be encouraging all the newbies! So you keep going and fight hard. When I get scared or discouraged, I say to myself "I'm NED, I'm cancer-free" over and over. Believe it or not, it really helps. You've just finished your surgery, so you can say the same thing. Try it and let me know what you think.

Thanks and prayers,

Rebecca

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Rebecca,

I can echo what Beth said. You will find work and you WILL be okay. Even during the times it doesn't seem like it, God carried us through- cling to Him and He will see you through. I pray that you'll be able to look back on this time in your life and see that you made it through safely and well.
Also- don't feel bad for venting- we all need to do that and this is a safe place to air your feelings. I think we all understand and many of us will be here for you, as I know many people have been there and will be there for me in the future, too. Take some deep breaths- you'll be okay!
I'll say a prayer for you regarding all of your concerns.
Take care,
Lisa

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

AW, feeling sad is part of this deal! And SHAME on them for doing this...there is recourse, if you can prove that they rescended because of your cancer...but it will be a long, stressful process. Something you don't need right now!

Take a deep breath. Calm down. My mantra is that "My colon cancer was caused by stress. I can't be stressed, because then I'll have another visit from the beast!"

Sending BIG hugs and strong vibes for the surgery.

HUgs, Kathi

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

I'm a little confused as to why you would be having a resection in Feb when you have been NED since Feb? Sounds like you have been a real fighter so far, and i don't doubt that you will continue. That really sucks with the job offer being rescinded, like there isn't enough suckiness with this disease already. God has something in mind for you, and in His time it will be revealed. Just wish He would hurry up and show his hand! You need your strength right now anyhow, so maybe that just wasn't the job for you. I pray everything goes well for you and that you find comfort here.

P.S. I read further posts and saw why you need resection surgery, sorry! I am sure you are right, I would definitely have that spot removed! And as much of it's little neighbors as possible! Hang tough!
mary

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

Lisa, Kathi, and Mary,

Thanks for caring and for the words of encouragement. After a night's rest, a few tears, and another final, I had a moment of light. Yesterday I was talking to a friend about how tired I was, that I always seemed to be rushing and stressing. Where was the fun? Plus I was worried how I would juggle having surgery on the 12th, starting work on Jan. 5th, and taking my last 4 classes (at a university an hour away). But my biggest concern was that my son is a senior in high school, works part-time, and this will be his last semester at home before he leaves for college. I felt like between our work schedules and school, I would miss this last special time. So believe it or not, I think God gave me a gift yesterday. He gave me time to enjoy life and to appreciate the love that surrounds me. Thanks for helping me through--you guys are a blessing!

Rebecca

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

I'm so glad you can see this time as a gift from God. Do enjoy that time with your son. It's so precious.

*hugs*
Gail

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I'm also glad that you now see this as "a gift of time". I guess I feel that I've also received time with my family as I never had before. I had always worked full time as a teacher and majorly felt the stress that comes with balancing that with my family (plus I always felt the guilt of "giving my all" to my students, then feeling too drained and tired to give that same kind of attention to my own kids in the evenings). I always felt a little bit jealous of the women who had been able to afford being stay at home moms. Well... this certainly isn't the way I'd recommend becoming a stay at home mom, but it has been accomplished for me! Last year, I was out of it a lot of the time, but this school year- even though I'm doing chemo again- I feel much more with it (about 2/3 of the time, anyhow) and I DO have the time with my kids that I never had before. It is best to try to see the glass half full instead of half empty, isn't it?!

Take care,
Lisa

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

(giggle).

I started writing a book. And REALLY examined what I wanted to be 'when I grew up' (53 years young, as we speak). I'm still searching, but it's exciting to look! Right now, I'm looking a culinary school...

Hugs, Kathi

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

Hi Rebecca,
I also don't post here often, but did when I was in treatment nearly 5 years ago. I HAD to respond to your post to let you know that things do get better. I was out on short term disability at the end of chemo, and got a call from my boss on my last day of chemo (also the last official week of Family Medical Leave) to tell me that my position would no longer be held open for me....and I'm a nurse working in health care!
I was stunned, upset, angry, worried...but I did have the time to spend with my kids. My daughter was a senior in high school, my son 1 year behind. My relationship with my daughter, which had been really tense, did a complete turnaround (she says cancer made me get off her case!) and I did find a job in a division of the same company, with a boss who felt I had a lot to offer.
Fast forward 4 and a half years out of treatment; I feel great, remain NED,love my job and continue to be thankful for seeing my kids grow up...both are now on track to graduate from college in '09.
Best of luck with the surgery (are you having a reversal?) and continued best wishes for a bright future.
Judy

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

Judy,

Thanks for taking the time to share. You've given me lots of positives to focus on. Congratulations on your NEDness! I know that I've relaxed a lot with my son and it has helped so much. I'm having a resection because when my cc was discovered, it had spread to my ovaries. The doctors thought I had ovarian cancer and removed my ovaries, etc. and then through the biopsy discovered it was cc. I had to have a second surgery a month later for an adenocarcinoma and then started chemo. So, long story short, this resection is to remove the portion of my colon where the cancer originated. Even though I'm NED, my oncologist wants this done and if it helps me beat this or prevents a recurrance, I'm on board. Thanks again for the support! You are an example of what's ahead and it's all good.

Rebecca

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

I'm interested to hear about your biopsies on your cancer during the initial surgery. I had a recurrence on my ovaries 2 years out from original dignosis and they weren't sure if it was a recurrence or new primary. I had the surgery done, removed a bunch of stuff and the initial biopsy showed ovarian so I was treated as such during the surgery. However, the final biopsy showed it was recurrent cc and I was bummed that I didn't get the abdominal wash while it was open (I don't know why they were only going to do it if it was recurrent cc ... I suspect it had more to do with insurance but that's another story). I find it hard to believe that initial path showed ovarian, but final path showed cc. But, it sounds like indeed this was the case with yours as well. Just wondering.
mary

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

Mary,

My diagnosis followed a wierd path, like many others. I had no symptoms, no family history. I developed a bladder infection which my primary treated, but after 2 weeks I was still running a low grade fever. I had a CAT done, which the radiologist misread as a benign leiomyoma. Followed up with my gynecologist and she said I had an aggressive growth that was cancerous and referred me to a gynocological oncologist. Two days later, I had surgery to remove my ovaries, cervix, and appendix (I had already had a partial hysterectomy 2 years earlier). They were expecting ovarian cancer, but the biopsy showed cc, Stage iv which had spread to my ovaries. Three weeks later, I was back in the hospital because I couldn't stop throwing up. The docs discovered I had a second primary cancer, an adenocarcinoma of the jejeunum, which was causing a blockage. They did a small bowel resection, but because of the difference in locations and fear of contamination, were unable to remove the area where my cc had originated. So I did 6 mos of FOLFOX and have been NED since Feb. 2008. The rush to surgery on my ovaries was because one was the size of a grapefruit and the other was the size of a canteloupe and growing. Didn't realize I was growing fruit, I just thought I was fat.

On a better note--I am so glad your insurance situation has turned out so good! I didn't have insurance at diagnosis, but quickly bought a policy through our state risk pool. My cc was excluded for 1 year, but as of Dec. 1, my insurance has kicked in! What a relief. So I am so happy for you. Also, I just got home from my colonoscopy and I have a healthy colon with no sign of the flat lesion that started this mess. So I'm feeling a lot better already. Friday is my resection, which they're doing laproscopically. Hopefully, I'll be home in 4 days. Then my PET is the 23rd and I get my results on the 29th. So pray hard that there's no recurrance. Unfortunately, that fear seems to lurk in the back of my mind.

Here's to better days ahead for all of us and a wonderful holiday season! Thanks for thinking of me and sharing your story. I tried to convince my oncologist that ovaries are actually near organs, so I should be a stage II based on some staging information I read online. He thinks that's hysterical, but I vote you and I just upgrade to Stage II and quit all this Stage IV nonsense! Good luck--I really enjoy your posts and now that we share an ovary connection, I feel like we're on the same path--we're going to win and be around for the next 20 or 30 years!

Rebecca

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

Too funny that your surgeon chose to describe the size of your tumor using fruit references while mine chose sports references! Mine was the size of a soccer ball! Maybe actually it's because fruit doesn't get that big... she didn't really strike me as the sports nut type! And I hear ya on the thought I was just fat thing! Although I knew mine was tumor related because the amount of ascites made me look 10 months pregnant :), i didn't realize I was losing so much weight cause I couldn't see past my huge belly! And who needs those darned female organs now that the baby producing years are behind anyhow! Of course, now that those items are gone, along with my omentum, I am having a hard time blaming the size of my girth on anything related to the insides of my abdomenal wall!

Upgrading from stage IV to stage II along with you! What do those darned onc's know anyhow, huh?!!! Have a good one!
mary

star5
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2008

you are in our prayers, this is my first time on this web site. My husband has cancer and he is in his early 40's . When we got the bad news , our lives change. I went into depression and felt alone . I can't imagine life without him.. so I ask of you please keep us in your prayers. Thanks for taking the time to read this .

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

I'm sorry you have to be here, but I'm glad you found us. You will definitely be in my prayers! This board has so many wonderful survivors and caregivers. They listen to you when you're scared, when you're happy, and any time in between. This is a great place to ask questions and get advice. I'm so sorry that your husband has been diagnosed, but please know that you are not alone. There is always someone here to listen or help. When I was first diagnosed, I didn't know if I would be alive right now and I was so scared, I couldn't stand to be alone. Gradually, as my doctors gave me a plan and I began treatment, things got better. There were many times I just read the posts here to get hope. Also, I started seeing a counselor a couple of times a month and still see him once a month. There were many days that I cried in his office when I didn't feel I could show anyone else how scared I was. Things do get better. I was diagnosed last October and had 2 surgeries and 6 months of chemo. I am now NED (no evidence of disease) and feel great. Hang in there, know that you will be in our prayers, and please keep us posted on how you and your husband are doing. Good luck.

Rebecca

changing2
Posts: 118
Joined: Jul 2008

I have prayed for you before but doing so again today! Keep us posted.

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