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aaahhh!! Im scared :-(

Send26
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

First of all I would like to say that you guys and gals are such strong amazing individuals. Keep up the good work. God is with all of us.

okkk.. I dont know where to start or what to do.

I am 25 and I just found out I have stage 3 colon cancer and I am in freak mode right now. I have been crying all week and I am just terrified of what's to come. How am I going to react to the chemo? what's gonna happen to me? Am I gonna live? I just graduated and just started on my career, will I be able to work? go out ? You see all of these questions?? I am just so terrified of everything right now. I am going to see the oncologist later today to discuss my treatments and what they are going to give me. I don't understand anything he says so I hope this will work out well for me. I don't know if I can do this, I am scared..:(

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I'm so sorry to hear that you have this awful disease at such a tender age. You are not alone, we are all scared. I know you are so young, but that could be in your favor, being young you will be able to fight this even stronger. I know those words don't help much, but all we can do is try and beat the beast.

Face it a day at at time, as hard as it may be. Don't give in to the what ifs. Tackle Chemo and try and start that career! It can be done.

We are here for you.

Lots of hugs!!

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...Stage 4 Colon cancer with tumors in my liver, and I am also scared, we all are. You never know with this disease, honestly, but there ARE survivors out there who have been living with this for years and years, it's a battle, alot of Appointments, tests, and so on.

I was diagnosed in January, 2009, a month before my 44th bday, and I was freaking out as well. I have 4 children, just graduated from going back to school with my Associate's Degree in Medical Office Administration, and went back to work after graduating, and being a stay at home for years. I did theater, and am very involved in my kids activities, we all did theater.

After I was diagnosed, I was referred to an onc, who was supposed to be awesome, and am still with her, she is very encouraging, and offers alot of hope, she put me on a chemo regimen of 12 rounds of Folfiri with Avastin, which I was to get every Wednesday, at the infusion center, then am hooked up to a small pump for 46 hours, which a home health nurse comes and takes it off on Fridays, then I have the week off, it's an every other week thing I was put on. So far, the onc has said my liver tumors have vastly shrunk, which is encouraging.

You do have to watch yourself of germs on chemo, your immune system is low. I have had at least 5 surgeries, including putting the port in a couple times, which is a little drum looking thing that is connected to your arteries so that they don't have to stick your veins with the needles, this is placed in your collarbone area, and can be uncomfortable at times when you touch it, mine moves around alot, but it's better then having them stick the chemo needles in your hands. Chemo isn't what it used to be, it's really not that bad, but you must get good anti-nausea meds, Emend is the best for me, with Dexamethasone, zofran, compazine and ativan. I am on painkillers, not that I'm in pain, but just in case, Oxycotin is my painkiller, and for breakthrough pain, Oxycodone, others are on other things, all depends on what you need, and what works for you.

I had to quit my job when I started chemo, because I got so tired, the fatigue was bad after I got unhooked, it was like, you felt abit like you were hit by a truck, you must rest when your body needs it, and about a day after I got unhooked, I was in bed for about 3 days till I bounced back to my old self, and don't worry, you will bounce back..my kids and hubby are huge help to me, in fact, I think my hubby is going to request early layoff since these 70-80 hour 6 day workweeks have left us with so much to do around here, and nothing getting done.

I'd request an anti-depressant, or anti-anxiety medicine, I am on Zoloft and Ativan, and do take Xanax, these do help me stop being so weepy and negative all the time, you will hear or read all sorts of survivor stories, some who been here for 11 years! just take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, and think positive, don't let the cancer take over your life. It's scary hearing it at first, but you get used to it, and then just want to kick the *** out of it. Keep going, and you'll be ok, get 2nd and 3rd opinions if you aren't happy with how things are going, make sure you find a good onc.

This is a really great board with alot of caring people, and we welcome you, ask anything you want, we will try and answer anything you need, some people even work all through their chemo, I don't know how, but I couldn't. It's all up to the individual.

You will be in my prayers, and good luck to you, we're all in this together :)

Hugsss!
~Donna

mommyof2kds's picture
mommyof2kds
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi , yes cancer is scary and it sucks. I was diagnosed at 35yrs old. ut apparently the tumor was probley there in my late 20's.. I have gone through radiation/chemo, surgery and then more chemo and then a break for surgery and now back on chemo. I amm stage 3 also. Treament will basically be about a year. Hope you get some answers today and be aware that it is normal to feel the way you are feeling. We are only human and to be told you have cancer just turns your world upside down. Let us know what your treatment plan is and we can all offer more info.. Hang in there. Petrina

jillpls's picture
jillpls
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2008

I am so sorry to hear you have been DX. However, there are many survivors out there. Go to the colonClub and read all the young survivor stories. Maybe you'll be in the next colendar (calendar)... I order the calendar every year to remind me and my kids to get checked. It's a disease that effects all ages, not just the "elder 50+" as thought. Please get a second opinion. It's amazing how many times I've had a second opinion that has changed my path. I went to UCSF for my second opinion and now I follow their protocol but have all treatment locally. You will survive this and be fine. Know it and believe it! God bless you on this new path in life . There are many blessing in cancer and this site is one of them.

God bless you
Jill

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I am a caregiver, but I have a couple of suggestions. Write down questions for your dr. and take notes. If at all possible get a friend or family member to go with you to appointments. Of course, you're scared. You are going to have trouble listening and understanding the dr. A second person will help hear the things you don't, and ask the questions you don't think of at the time. Remember that cancer treatment has come a long way in just the last few years and new treatments are being tested all the time. You can beat this. Find a support group in your area if you can. Take it a day at a time but plan for the future, too. There is a future for you. Stay strong. Fay

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Send26. I am guessing you've already seen your doctor by now and hope it went well.

I'd guess that your oncologist told you that you have about an 80% chance of being cancer free at 5 years.

May I suggest you get some Vit. D3, Calcium.

The studies were all done on Stage III colon cancer patients.

A: an aspirin a day
B: Better diet with no red meat or limited to 4 ounces a month
C: Calcium
D: Vitamin D3 which is only found in a few foods. Note: this is NOT the Vit. D in One a Day, etc. It is in Centrum Ultra, etc.
E: Exercise The Dana Farber Cancer Institute has done several studies which prove recurrence can be avoided at a rate of 55% in Stage III women who exercise regularly.

ASPIRIN:
CHICAGO – Score another win for the humble aspirin. A study suggests colon cancer patients who took the dirt-cheap wonder drug reduced their risk of death from the disease by nearly 30 percent.

Aspirin already is recommended for preventing heart attacks and strokes, along with its traditional use for relief of minor aches and pains. Its merit in colon cancer prevention has been tempered by its side effects, bleeding from irritation of the stomach or intestines.

The new study suggests patients who already have colon cancer may benefit from taking aspirin along with surgery and chemotherapy. In a separate analysis of a subgroup of patients, only those with the most common type of tumor, those that overproduce the Cox-2 enzyme, saw a benefit.

"The paper is absolutely incredible, and I don't gush normally," said Dr. Alfred Neugut of Columbia University Medical Center in New York who has done similar research but was not involved in the new study. In an accompanying editorial, Neugut wrote that the study "comes as close as it can to offering patients a way to help themselves.".....
The yahoo link for this article is now old but a search can be done online for more information using the doctor's name.

BETTER DIET: The Mediterranean Diet is believed (study being done at U of Mich) to raise survival rates from Colon Cancer by 6%. Mediterranean Diet HERE:
http://www.mhbroughton.com/new_med_plan.htm

CALCIUM:
Should Everyone Take Calcium and Vitamin D?
Written by Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD.

Only about five years ago, every patient of mine who finished chemotherapy was given a vitamin cocktail to further reduce colon cancer risk. It was calcium, selenium, vitamin E and folic acid.

Over the last three years, folic acid has been shown to increase growth of polyps, and in patients with metastatic disease it may shorten life. The protective value of vitamin E has been questioned, and there was evidence that it might increase prostate cancer risk. Selenium did not show benefit.

So we are down to calcium. This supplement has been shown repeatedly to benefit patients by reducing cancer risk for a variety of solid tumors including colon cancer. A recent publication by Dr. Yikyung Park from the National Cancer Institute showed that supplementation of 1200 mg calcium in women and men over the age of 50 decreased cancer risk by 17% for men and 23% for women (Archives of Internal Medicine, February 23, 2009). These were cancers of the gastrointestinal tract mainly colon cancers.

The usually source for calcium in our diet is milk products (yogurt, cheese etc) as well as meat. The calcium pathway is very interesting because it requires activity of vitamin D. Without vitamin D it is difficult to absorb calcium and put it into the organs where we need it, but to make sure we have sufficient vitamin D we need some sun exposure (vitamin D is activated in the skin) and we need a functional kidney.

When vitamin D was tested in patients with colon cancer it was found by Dr. Charles Fuchs in the Journal of Clinical Oncology published in June last year that the patients with the highest vitamin D levels lived longer suggesting that low levels may be associated with shorter survival. I recommend all my patients take 1500 mg of calcium and 1000-3000 units of vitamin D daily.

If you have a history of kidney stones or inflammatory bowel disease please check with your doctor first before starting calcium supplements.

D3: Watch this video on Vitamin D3 and cancer
Watch the Youtube video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FMlQeH8RFA

In a new study, researchers at the Moores Cancer Center and Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, UC San Diego used a complex computer prediction model to determine that intake of vitamin D...

EXERCISE: Do a web search for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute colon cancer exercise Using all those words should bring it right up. 55% is amazing!

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

Being told I had cancer and not hemorrhoids totally changed my life and scared the S--- out of me. At first it paralyzed me,particularly after being told the stage and the treatment required to beat it.In the past year,we,meaning myself and my girlfriend-who without I would not be alive now--lost our 12 year old doberman,my mother and then my 13 year old cat (my cat two days before my diagnosis.).Since beginning of June I've been thru chem and radiation and five weeks ago I had surgery and I have four more months of chemo awaiting me. I have never in my life been as weak as I currently am, it is difficult to get comfortable and sleep is rare but I'm still alive and I will get better and stronger and beat this thing called cancer. You're much younger than I so you should be starting off stronger and healthier, hopefully, than most of us. You also started using this web site early on (I started after op) and its a great site as people here have been thru what you're going to go thru. Also start using internet to research what you can as to what to expect from chemo, radiation and potential surgeries.ABOVE ALL you MUST believe you can beat this. I was never a positive person but I'm certain I will beat cancer, as have all the others on this site.

GOOFYLADIE's picture
GOOFYLADIE
Posts: 233
Joined: Aug 2009

I was dianosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 31 that was 11 years ago soon to be 12. I have been clear that long. Do not let fear and what ifs set in. You are schooled you are young and you are a fighter. You stated you just graduated and started your career that is not a JUST item. That is a lot of work and determination so do not discount all the hard work you have just accomplished you were meant to do great things you just have to keep moving forward with a new adventure along the way. Take a small notebook with you to Dr. appointments and write things down. Take a family member or friend with you because when we are upset we tend to let things kind of slip thru and don't hear everything. Write your questions on the notepad. That way you don't forget in between doctor visits your list my get quite long. That's okay. You'll get you're questions answered and won't go home beating yourself up, because you forgot to ask something. Take it as it comes, if things get hard ask ask ask, and ask again, lean on everybody. Thats what friends family and this board is for. I give you a room full of hugs!! Make it a great day. Goofyladie (Cass)

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

l am so glad you have found us. firstly its ok to feel how you are feeling right now everything will piece itself together.and you are amongst some of the best people l have come across online to be there for you. l was diagnosed in feb 09 had my operation ln march stage 3 with lymph nodes lnvolved.lm 33 so tumor was probably growing for a year or two l had to do lvf first which failed now on my 5th session of chemo with 3 more to go.l didnt think l would get as far as l have but with god a supportive husband & family friends & this board l have and you will too.big hugs sonia

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

First, I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Second, you can become one of us strong amazing individuals too. It's all very overwhelming as you have found out. My first suggestion to you is to NOT go online and research everything on colon cancer. It's old data and it's NOT accurate. You will only worry yourself for no reason at all. My second one is to make sure that when you go to meet with your oncologist or any other appointments that you bring someone along for support and to take notes. I usually also bring an mp3 player that has a built in voice recorder so I don't miss a word of things. I am stage IV colon cancer, still in treatment, I've worked throughout this whole thing. It's not the end of the world by any means. You have a lot to digest so I would suggest taking small bites. Also, make sure you have a good team of doctors working with/for you. Modern medicine practiced by Good and Great doctors goes a long way, if you don't like what one doctor says, get another opinion. I think most of us have gotten second opinions here.
Stay in touch.
-phil

hollydancer
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2009

positive is huge. And you are right lots to digest. Yes, trust modern medicine. Stay strong and help others to not feel afraid. If you need some help, email me. I will be there,
Hollyd

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis at 25 - that's a very young age but I've heard of a few that have been that young and has gotten it.

Does anyone on either side of your family have any type of history of colon type of cancers?

Everyone that has posted has given you such good advice and will certainly help you take the 1st step in this journey that you are now undertaking.

There will always be someone here who can help you or provide support and comfort when you need it.

All the best
-Craig

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

Hello, and it's nice to meet ya. Kind of hate meeting you this way but life is funny sometimes. I was told that I have stage 3 Colorectal cancer April 14th 2009. I have went through 6 ½ weeks of chemo and radiation and then on August 13 surgery to remove the tumor. Surgery went great and the tumor showed NO signs of cancer left from the treatments. Now I’m at home recovering from the surgery and have done 2 treatments of my final round of chemo. I know it’s tough but you'll be okay. Make sure to bring somebody with you to appointments... Your brain isn't thinking clear and you'll need somebody to tell you what they said. Email me anytime you need to talk.

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Keep a positive attitude. It is very preventable and treatable. There are many places to help you. Call your local American Cancer Society and they can give you lots of information. For me, it has been manageable. It is tough, but you can do it. We are here for you. Ask any question you want and we will try to answer it for you. Please let us know what the Oncologist told you.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Lots of great info here...First hopefully you have insurance of some type. Secondly, The younger you are (and I am truly sorry that you are so young with a diagnosis like this) the better your body will react to medicines and radiation and chemo both pre and post.....
You are young, but you do have the knowledge in here to be with you and guide you SUCCESSFULLY through your journey...Come in here often, to cry, to vent, to gain knowledge, to get an idea of what this journey holds in store for you, but most of all for support. You will be amazed at how much the people in here genuinely care about each other. You will soon find out. Don't leave us here alone, stay with us and we can all carry each other through these paths. You will be very strong when you finish this journey in mind and will. You will go through emotional roller coaster rides with this disease, but above all else, you will remain in our hearts, good thoughts and prayers and that alone will keep you strong enough to fight this and win...We are living proof that even though we may not win a few battles, we will win the war.......You at the tender age of 25 will learn lessons that take the normal person their whole life to learn, and most of these lessons will be about the great things that life itself has to offer but so many of us that go through life and never realize what is around us, we as cancer survivors figure out. It is a beautiful world around us and through the journey you'll take through this you will come to realize exactly what I as well as all the others in here are talking about.....You can PM me in private or on this board if you have any problems or questions you need to know about or simply just want to talk...There are no stupid or silly questions in here either and we talk openly about everything. That is how we gain knowledge in this battle, its also how we become so close to each other. Its going to be a year of ups and downs but take all the small ups you can get and let the Drs worry about the downs...Take each step one at a time as Phil said and simply ease your way through, it will soon be a distant memory as a year with this goes by pretty quickly. Keep making long range plans for your future because everything will be ok.....its just going to take a while. The main thing is patience, and keeping in contact with us. We'll make sure you stay up to date with everything you need...Now, you have to continue to live as if nothing is any different, you can't let this take over your life. You as we all do have a life to live and it doesn't slow down for something like cancer, so we live it as we also travel this path. Sometimes it not easy, and sometimes we stumble, but we keep our chin up and heads held high and we fight tooth and nail to get back what cancer tries to take away , and that is quality of life....Its not gonna get us and its certainly not gonna get you, as soon as you wrap your head around that statement the sooner that you will take back the control that you thought you lost....You seem very smart, use that to your advantage and lets do this, get it completed, and then move on with our lives as usual......you my dear are in the finest of company being in here.......{{{hugs}}}}, Clift

butterfly23's picture
butterfly23
Posts: 257
Joined: Mar 2008

Hi, Welcome to our little family. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cc at the age of 38. It's been almost 2 years of fighting. I do believe your age is going to help you, you are strong and you WILL beat this. Yes, it is a horrible thing to hear you have cancer, but everyday they are coming out with new treatments, it's not like it used to be. I felt very tired with my chemo, But I was able to work, the week I had chemo I had to take maybe 2 days out, I was very fortunate, because I liked to work, it kept my mind busy! Everyone handles everything differently, Please take someone with you to your appts. I always do, or if you can't take a notebook, because I would "YES" my dr. to death and walk out and not remember anything!!! You found a wonderful site to come to for support, questions and believe it or not LAUGHS! Please let us know what treatments you will be doing. I am sending prayers to you and your family and HUGS!
Karyn

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

You will know from the many responses to your note that you have come to the right place. You are definitely NOT ALONE.

It is natural to be scared. We all live with that to varying degrees. Let it motivate you towards becoming empowered and proactive in living with colon cancer. There are many good treatments, new ones emerging every day, and the prospects are much better than they once were.

There is still so much life ahead of you... and you will live to see all those days you dream of!

For now... deep breaths... tears... appointments...

Peace and Blessings...

Rob; in Vancouver

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm sorry you have to face this beast at such a young age (or any age, for that matter). Try to focus on all the wonderful life you have ahead of you. This will be a tough battle, but you can do it.

This is a great place to get information and support.

*hugs*
Gail

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

We here with you. As everyone has said, being scared is a very natural reaction to such shocking news. Next comes the plan and then you're off to beating this thing! You're young... you'll do it!

Aloha,
Kathleen

heatherstar70's picture
heatherstar70
Posts: 39
Joined: Sep 2009

please dont be scared...think positive... and you can do anything you put your mind too... and knowledge is power.. go online dont be afraid to research this.. learn as much as you can and use that..

i know you can do this and i will be here with you whenever you want to talk i am 26 but on wed i will be 27.. i got for my first butt check on oct 19th just to make sure there are no polyps.. my i ask wow did you find out...

sending you hugs
Heather

sfmarie's picture
sfmarie
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

Send26, you are young, and of course you are scared. But with the advances in treatment and your youth and strength, you will beat this.
Think of the great life ahead of you. Come to this board to get support. Don't take no for an answer. If you do not like what your oncologist is saying, seek out another opinion. My sister was diagnosed earlier this year. She is 39, stage IV with mets to her liver, abdomen and lymph nodes. While the chemo is no walk in the park, she is responding well. Her energy level is up an is even surfing! Hang in there and if you have any questions, ask. I'll keep you in my prayers.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

G'day send26,
Sorry about the dx. First item to try and get over is the fear. You have a disease,a nasty one to be sure but just a disease. It can be treated and it can be eliminated and cured. It is no longer a death sentence. I was dx at age 48 with a stage 3c tumor. It was very aggressive and was into six lymph nodes. My prognosis was lousy because of the aggressiveness. My doc was confident that he had removed all the ca but he expected secondries to crop up everywhere. I started chemo three weeks after surgery and had it every tuesday for fotry eight weeks. Wasn't pleasant but it is bearable. I stopped nothing. Once I was over the op I started working and playing(I fish)just like I did before. I made some concessions. I never drank much alcohol now I don't drink at all.
At five years ca free I was given the all clear,at seven years I was declared cured of that cancer but given a warning to remain ever vigilant and have regular checkups and scopes to ensure new primaries don't start up. I have done that and I am at this time eleven years and ten months ca free. Wishing you a similar path through a very trying time.Cheers Ron.

fringetree
Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but you have taken an important first step in your fight by joining this kind and informed group. I am also a young-ish woman (I'm 34) just out of grad school. I am a caretaker, not a survivor, so I will not presume to understand what you are going through. But, if I may make a suggestion, I think one of the most important things we have done is keep a daily log (or journal if that seems less clinical!) about EVERYTHING that goes on each day. Meeting notes, medicines taken, medicines administered by health care providers (this is especially important, because doctors do make mistakes and we have had to catch some of them), what you have eaten, how you are feeling. If possible, have a friend or family member do it for you if you are going through treatments that make it difficult to do it for yourself. It can be really hard to focus and remember everything that is happening because, frankly, you will be in shock for a while and that can make it hard to figure out how to tie your shoes, much less keep track of what can be really complicated information being thrown at you. It will also let you look back and figure out what foods upset your stomach, when symptoms started or resolved, what medications have helped with different issues, etc. For me personally, it has given me a sense of control in times when I feel helpless and has allowed us to better manage my dad's care.

I know you can fight this!
(((hugs)))

lesvanb's picture
lesvanb
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

First I'm very sorry that you had to come to us and Welcome! to our group. As you can see, there's lots of support here so you'll have someone at any hour of the day to get you through whatever's going on at the time. For organizing, you can go to the Lance Armstrong foundation and request the notebook which has lots of info plus pages to keep things organized. You can personalize it. I also had someone ALWAYS with me at doctor's appts 'cause I just couldn't hear things and needed someone to watch my back. A small tape recorder works well too. Caring Bridge and Lotsa Helping Hands through the Lance Armstrong foundation are two sites to keep friends and family informed. I recommend, if you're not up to it, a good friend or family member whose job it is to post updates. That was very helpful for me 'cause I found I was very private during my year of treatments but of course needed all the help from housecleaning to meals to kind thoughts to rides to appts. And for cancer survivors in their 20s, 30s, 40+s, I also recommend the Colon club site plus Everything changes book and blogsite by Kairol Rosenthal and Crazy, Sexy cancer tips book by Kris Carr. For some, writing is a creative outlet, like painting, and engages your right brain in the fight. (Check out one of our resident artists who just discovered his hidden talents Just4Brooks. You will get through this, and as many have said, using your intelligence plus practicing patience -and gratitude for all those good things that will come your way that you can't see right now- will ease the path.

all the best, Leslie

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

Everyone reacts differntly to the treatments. I woked full time the entire time I was getting radiation and chemo. I was out of the office for 6 weeks when I had major surgery, byt after 8 days I was working remotly from home, I would work a few hours, take a nap and repeat. When I received the folfox chemo, I worked from home for 2 days every other week when i was hooked uo to the pump.. I had my chemo on Thursdays so I could have the disconnect on Saturday. I know I may be unusual, but I love my job!!!!!And I did waht I could so I could keep up, plus my boss and co-workers were amazing. You are in for a year long battle, but you can do it, we all eithere hav done it or are still doing it. Be strong,l yell and scream at us here if you need to, we kmow the feelings~~~~~~
Kathy

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