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Two types of cancer.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2009

I was just diagnosed with two types of cancer. I've been told that it is very rare that one person would have two types of
cancer. I'd rather not have any but, here we are.
I was diagnosed through a colonoscopy and was sent to a colorectal surgeon. He in turn sent me to a Radiologist,
but I'm getting ahead of myself. My appointment time has not arrived yet.
I am totally frightened, I just remarried after being widowed for 10 years and I have one child who has been diagnosed
with ovarian cancer. This is such a shock to me that I can't seem to get my head to stop spinning. I need someone
to talk to and I can't seem to find anyone who can do that. I realize when I go to the hospital for my treatment,
whatever that is going to be, I can get some feedback and hopefully help. I just don't know what to ask or what
to expect. Can someone tell me of their experiences. I feel so alone and afraid.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5054
Joined: Feb 2008

Willow, it's understandable that you're very scared right now. This is hard news to take. Nobody ever thinks they're going to hear the words, "You have cancer." Unfortunately, far too many of us do.

Try to stay as calm as you can until you have all the information about your treatment and such. It's wonderful that you have found this site, because there are people here who've been through all kinds of treatments, and everyone is so willing to help.

Let us know what you find out from your doctors.


eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

This is a good site for anyone who is going through cancer treatments. It does make you feel alone and scared but there are plenty of people here who will be in your corner. A cancer diagnosis is scary enough especially if you are experiencing it from both sides. It is devastating enough to watch a family member go through it with out the stress of having it yourself. There are people here who have made it through some seemingly impossible situations and have come through it. I am stage 4 and this site has given me great comfort and I have developed some real friendships. We are family here and you are welcomed in. You will not be alone here and hope abounds. Sometime soon you will get a post from someone that has a similar story to tell that you will relate to and it will give you great hope and the resolution to fight this beast. It`s never easy but it is necessary to reach your goal which is to get rid of cancer once and for all and it is possible.


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi, Willow

First I would like to say hello to you. I'm sorry about your story, but am so glad that you found this site and so quickly. It is home to so many wonderful people with so much direct experience. I know it will be a blessing to you as soon as your head stops spinning. You've had alot to absorb in such a short time.

As Gail said so well, try to stay as calm as you can, getting too worked up before you have the facts will just aggravate things further, wait until your doc gets you some info...believe me I know how hard this is. I'm facing confirmation of Cancer for the 3rd time in 6 years and so I understand how you're feeling.

I tell you what...get some information from your doctor on what type of cancer that you have and then you can begin asking any questions that you have on the board...we'll all be real happy to help you....we all have it or have had it and are people who has directly experiences surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and a host of other things that go on in the fight against Cancer.

I'm so sorry you have to endure this, but you have found a good place to go. I went 5 years totally alone and just found this site recently myself, so you have a place to come to when you need it...and we talk about anything and everything...and I do mean anything/everything. But that's the beauty of this board and the people who live here.

I'm saying a prayer for you to give you quiet strength and I just asked God to provide you a sense of calm so you could have a little peace while you sort this all out.

All my best to you

Posts: 960
Joined: Nov 2008


First of all, what a beautiful name you have. It sounds very relaxing and soothing.

Second, we are here for you as a support group and will help in any way that we can. You are not alone.

If you want to read about anyone's experiences in particular you can always click on the username and many people have posted their diagnostic and treatment experience. You can click on my name to see my story.

Third and most importantly, I will keep you and your daughter in my thoughts and prayers.


idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

That was the first piece of advice I was given when I got to this site. I stumbled on it accidently.... and I am soooooo glad I did. These people can relate to almost any situation you are facing. Not all of us are exactly alike but some are very similar. The medical knowledge I have learned here is phenominal..sp? Please keep the faith .


karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

be calm, and wait untill you get all the information from the doctors,and all your options.If you have any questions,you can come to this site ,and someone will be able to help.While you are waiting for your appointments,ask questions that you want to ask the doctors,and write them down.That helped me when I talked to them,because I tended to be on information overload.We will pray for you and help as much as we can.You can get alot of information,and advice here.

VickiCO's picture
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008


Welcome to the site. I am sorry you had to find us.

15 years ago I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. While doing the work-up before surgery, it was discovered that I had uterine cancer as well...two separate primaries at the same time. I was lucky in that they were both Stage 1 and easily defeated. Fast forward to Oct 2008, and cancer of the rectum was found, another new primary. Lucky me...3 cancers! This time it was Stage 3. And here I am 9 months later NED (no evidence of disease).

There is hope. Breathe. Get the facts from your doctors and prepare to fight. A positive attitude goes a long way to helping your journey. Come here and ask any questions. There are many folks here that can help.

Many hugs, Vicki

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. On the PET scan, a lump I had had for 10 years plus in my breast showed up, also. I was told that we would fight the rectal first, since it was more serious, and then worry about the breast. We did, and we did.

Nearly 5 years later, I am cancer free on both...

If I can do it, anyone can!!!! Hang in there!

Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 220
Joined: Feb 2009

I, too am sorry you had to look us up. You will be so glad that you've found this site, tho. The folks on this board are so helpful with information and experiences with their particular treatments. Get as much information from your onc as you can, take someone with you to help you remember the words and comments that are used. It seems that the main thing that we all remember is the word cancer. Then tend to zone out and everything else is a blur. My very best to you and to your daughter as well. I look forward to more posts from you.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 4898
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry that you are experiencing an overwhelming amount of news right now. It is ok to be scared and afraid but you have found a wonderful board here with a lot of people with knowledge. You can ask any questions you want and I hope that you feel like you have a new family here when you post. Let us know how you are doing.


Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Willow,

My family is going through a similar situation. My brother was diagnosed with cancer of the adrenal gland (ultra rare) in January. While they noticed his appendix was enlarged, they thought nothing of it. He finally got his appendix out 2 weeks ago in what we though was a routine appendectomy only to find out yesterday that he has cancer of the appendix (also ultra rare). We are baffled and upset that he has not only 2 cancers but also two extremely rare cancers and at such a young age (29).

I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Please know that you are not alone and that there are others who are dealing with this.



krystiesq's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2008

She was DX Nov 07 colon cancer and Feb. 09 with thyroid cancer. Thyroid removed, doing well with the fight against colon cancer!

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2009

I am 39 years old and recently diagnosed with both breast cancer and ovarian cancer. My dad died young of colon cancer. I tell you this not to be depressing, but to tell you that it sounds like you are either BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive. If so, there is MAJOR good news happening right now. PARP inhibitors are turning out to be amazing. Right now there is a Stage III trial set to begin in the summer, and MD Anderson in Houston is about to start Stage II trial in January or February. If you and your daughter are BRCA positive and are unable to reach remission or you have a recurrence, you should seriously consider this trial. Google it. You'll see. It is being called the "holy grail" of the latest family of cancer drugs and the investors are going wild. If you don't know your BRCA standing, please get it done immediately. It's just a blood test.

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

I've had two primary cancers, but not at the same time. I fought cervical cancer for a couple years before finally beating it (NED over 5 years now).

I was dx'd with colon cancer this September (stage III or IV - we'll never know for certain). The tumor was almost completely blocking my colon, so they think I'd had it for several years. I'm still in the middle of treatments, but had a PET scan last week that showed I am currently cancer free!

I know it is very scary, and overwhelming, to get one cancer dx - two has to really leave your head spinning.

My suggestion is to do some research on both of your cancers, and the treatments available for them. Write down all of your questions. Don't count on remembering them even if you normally have a good memory. When you meet with your doctors you'll get so much information at once, you'll be in overload mode. Keep a notebook that you take to your appointments. Also ask for copies of all labs, tests, and surgeries to keep in your notebook.

Yes, it is uncommon to have more than one primary cancer, but you aren't alone - there are others that have been through it and have won the battles! This is a great site to get information and support from others that have been through this, or are going through it now. Come back and post your questions, or fears, or when you just need to vent. You'll find great support.

Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

The last few months I been dealing with Acid Reflex/ Gerd. I had an endoscope and colonoscopy by a local GI DR. He found the cause of the acid reflex (so he thought), H-Pylori that I had caught in some third world country. as a child.  (I have had gasritis for years.  I was just told to keep changing my eating habits. Eat like a bird basically.)  He also found a Pre-cancerous Polyp in my Cecum area of the colon at the site of my appendix opening. (They removed my appendix BTW at age 42. Dr. said aren't you a little old to get your appendix taken out? May have been a sign something was wrong woth the Cecum?)

The first Gi Dr. now referrs me to a second GI DR, who was to remove the polyp. He couldn't remove the precancerous polyp in my cecum. 2nd GI Dr. sent me to a surgeon.

I went to see the surgeon... I didn't trust the surgeon when he asked me, "how much of my colon did I want removed?" YES, he asked me that question? Should he take just the cecum, or if I want to be safe,  let him take about 6 inches to cover myself for cancer? Told me to go home and think about it.  I asked the question, if this is precancerous would it not be logical to order a CT scan?  (I did't trust the precancerous diagnosis. Even though I have  ZERO signs of anything colon related.) His answer of well you do not have any signs, so we don't order them. Only if you show symptons. I said well could it be possible the tissue sample taken by the second GI DR., missed the spot, as well as the first DR? He said yes, that is why I  might want to consider letting him  take 6 inches of my colon out?

I will be honest I thought his approach to having me decide how much he should remove was insane? I lost complete trust in the man. I am no medical Dr., nor do I have that much experience with cancer. My Mom died of cancer at 59 and I thought the DR she trusted was an idiot. He wasn't thorough. Maybe that is why I questioned my diagnosis? 

I called Mayo clinic as a self referral when the second GI DR a week earlier couldn't remove the polyp.  As I was leaving the surgeon's office,  Mayo called me back, I was lucky my appointment would be in 3 weeks.  

The GI DR. at mayo clinic confirmed that the polyp was cancerous and needed to be surgically removed. They are assuming stage 1 but a true stage cannot be determinned until they do my colon resection on next Monday.  

The surgeon at Mayo clinic ordered a CT scan of my chest, stomach, and pelvis area. The Ct scan showed a lymph node in my chest swollen. He said it was one of 3 things 1) nothing, 2) the colon cancer spread or a 3) secondary cancer? He then ordered a Pet Scan to be done.. The spot lit up in my chest. They seriously took me straight from the Pet scan to a CT Guided Biopsy of the lympth node in my chest.  

Sure enough I had a secondary cancer Follicular Lymphoma. ( I will admit it explained alot about the  small vague minor issues, I have had from time to time over the years. Itchy legs(dry skin I was told), my bloody noses (dry air so they claimed)  and blood sugar dropping (eat small frequent meals),alleric reactions to antibiotics, Folliculitis so the Dr's said. No DR's,  could ever give me a good reason for these minor issues I was having.   It even made me think of when I was a small child, my high white count and numerous Dr's my Mom would take me too. They found nothing.)  Obviously the real cause of acid reflex, although I am assuming. ( saw others post they had this with follicure Lymphoma).  I had taken antobiotics for the H-prylori . My stomach issues I was having are gone. But the acid reflex remained. The lympth nodes swollen are next to my aorta.  I will most likey need Chemo treatments? They gave this a stage 2.  I have this sense I will handle all the treatments well. I am not sure why? Something tells me not  to worry, that I am in good hands after going to Mayo Clinic.

I am pretty healthy otherwise. I walk about 5 to 6 miles a week. I was riding my bike and going to the gym before all this started back in September. I feel fine only issue is acid reflex. I been taking medcine for that which does help. I have really only had one bad vice in life, I have smoked on and off for years. I am not smoking now. So I don't have to stop doing that. I don't drink. So I am hoping that will make everything easier for me to handle?    

My Life will be changed forever now. So you know I am 53 yrs old. I will also admit I went into shock when I was first told, I hyperventilated a few times from crying.  But then as I was taking a couple mile walk this week.   This popped into my head. "You will be an inspiration for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Stay strong and you will overcome it all. " 

I know I am very early in my Journey in the world of Cancer, but I have this feeling of peace over me, that it will all be OK and not to worry.  I shall keep youu all posted. And God Bless us all!

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 3723
Joined: Jan 2013

and to the world of Cancer. 

Going into shock is a normal reaction to such a diagnosis. Staying in shock and moping around like a wet blanket normal. It sounds like you have a great attitude, a positive outlook and have healthy habits, all will take you a long way as you journey through treatment..

can I suggest you start your own thread, so that we can all greet you. This is a very old thread, and sadly, some of our friends have passed on. If you need directions to the page where the thread starts, just let us know. 

Sue - Trubrit

Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

Thank you

I just started a new forum ...

Will Keep everyone posted..

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 637
Joined: Aug 2013

Wecome, sounds like you have the right mental atitude, and got the second opinions from the right doctors to get a handle on this thing. A contained second cancer may be better than a spread of the first. I had scopes at both ends just last Nov., they found H.Pylori and treated it, but I haven't had reflux since the original colectomy, eight years ago. They took a swollen appendix at that time too Dropping significant weight after the initial surgery, resolved the reflux and snoring issues. Let us know how the appoinments go, and what the plan is, and put it on a new thread, so we can focus on you and not those who came before.........................................

Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

Thank you for responding everyone.


I just figured out how to start new forum. I just copied and pasted this post to that.


I will keep u all posted as how I am doing and what actions the Doctors take.

God Bless Us All..


impactzone's picture
Posts: 505
Joined: Aug 2006

So sorry to hear. It is a marathon not a sprint. Ask questions... be aggressive if you can... When I was first dx I was so worried that I did get on an antidepressant as I hated the up and down emotions and that helped me mentally. Find things you enjoy and people that are positive and stay around them as much as you can. You never really know how strong you can be.

Best always


Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

Thanks Chip

Just started a new forum board or whatever they call it on here.

I asked for antidepressants the first week and they wouldnt give me any.

Said to take Tylenol PM that would help me sleep.

Well I took the Tylenol PM once and woke up feeling like I was hit by a cement truck. So I said that's it. The only way I have ever felt better was to walk and exercise. Constant moving will keep me focused I hope. :)

I have met many people with cancer in my life and those who keep moving have survived the longest. And I plan on being one of those who kills the cancer. :)

When my oldest son was diagnosed with learning disabilities they said he would never learn to read,  write,  or get a drivers liscense. I had one Doctor tell me, if I didn't put him on ridalin and anti-depressents he would end up being a future convict in prison. I was even told by teachers I was delusional if I thought he would ever be capable.  At age 15 his reading and writing skills were that of a 7 yr old. 


 Today,  I am proud to say that same child has grown into a fine young man who managed to defy all his past teachers odds. He learned to read and write. Graduated High School, went onto college to get a College degree. He has a double major in Business and Marketing with a minor in Geology . Plus he also has a Masters Degree of Science.  He is self employed today and is fantastic at his work. :).  


God Bless and never give up hope.. :)



danker's picture
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2012

At age 77 I was diagnosed as stage 2 bordering on 3.  It was a bumpy road,but now at 83 I have been NED for Nearly 6 years.  Don't be afraid!! You too can be NED.! Isn't traveling fun?  My wife and I saw most of the world.  She is gone now,but I have so many fond memories of our travels.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2016

Hi, my wife is only 28..with  family history of colon cancer, numerous uncles had it. even with that history i found out her family doctor she had growing up, his prescription for any pain in stomach area was go home , take a laxative. i know she is strong and will fight this. but its tearing me up inside. at least was found before it worsened, so prognosis is good. shes my life, i don't know what i would do without her.

Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

You sound just like my husband. He is devastated. 

My husband keeps waking up all night checking on me. He keeps telling me he won't be able to survive with me. Sighing..

i had to tell him to stop and please be strong. Right now I need you to be my rock in case I do fall. But I know he is still sick to his stomach about me being diagnosed with cancer.  Last night I kept waking up and seeing him wide awake. So I know he a nervous wreck.

i will wish you and her the best..


God Bless..

Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

Thank you,

Yes I love to travel been to too many third world countries In my life.

H-pylori I was diagnosed with, is probably the cause of some of my issues. Well that was according to two GI doctors I saw. 

I plan on taking many more trips too. Lots more places I need to see in the world on my bucket list.

it will take a lot to keep me grounded.

God Bless you my friend. 

Thank you for the encouraging words.

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 637
Joined: Aug 2013

Couldn't find your new thread, but wanted to suggest you ask the doc for an anti-anxiety pill like Xanax or Ativan. Anti-depressants are different and require taking daily, whereas Xanax or the equivalent can be taken when your feeling scared or anxious. I'll take one before doctor appointments, and it takes the edge off any panicky feelings you might have, without being habit-forming. At least, that's how it works for me..........................................Dave

Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

thank you ..

i started the new thread under rare and unusal cancers... Headline .. two primary cancers diagnosed at once. Colon and lymphoma 

no one has answered it.. Lol .


i had my colon resection surgery 13 hours ago. 6 hours ago I started sitting and walking around the hospital floor.  

i am not experiening any pain. They have given me some great drugs...Mayo likes to keep people off of narcotic drugs as much as possible. 

Now I understand why they won't prescribe anything. they are more of a drug free hospital. 

I am meeting with a new primary doctor in two weeks. depending how I feel by then I will be asking him.  

Thank you for the advice 


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 3723
Joined: Jan 2013

OK, I found it!  Some of the forums are not well attended (is that a good thing?), but our forum is popping and pretty much gets hits every single day. 

Here is the link to the Colorectal forum  http://csn.cancer.org/forum/128

I am glad that you have the surgery behind you. And walking is THE best way to recover. Walking and then not overdoing it. 

We look forward to having your input here on the forum, and getting to know you better. 

Sue - Trubrit

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