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colon cancer surgery: kindly share your experiences and guide me

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2010

Hi group,

Last week I was diagnosed with colon cancer (7 cm long). I am due for surgery coming wednesday (May 26th).

This is a shock of my life. I am a 51 yr old man. Otherwise very healthy.

Everything else in my body as shown by CT scan, x-ray showed normal.

Doctors say, I do need to stay about 5 days in hospital. Luckily I dont need a bad.

Biopsy showed colon cancer (invasive adenocarcinoma).Few Lymph ndes adjacent to the tumor. I will need chemo doctors say.

I am so scared of everything. Is there a complete cure?. How can I set this right.

Please, kindly, share your thoughts.


dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Hope999! Well the good news is it sounds like you're Stage III. Stage III is curable. You'll have surgery and six months of chemo. I was dx'd at age 58 in Jan. 09 and am cancer free today. Now, it could always 'return' but chances are stacked in my favor.

I was only in the hospital 42 hours. :-) I tolerated all 12 chemo treatments. Hair thins but you don't lose it. Fingers and toes tingle. Can't drink anything cold. Some have nausea and some have diarrhea. I didn't.

There's loads of things you can do to help prevent recurrence/ spread. Once you're finished with chemo, you can check into some of those things... but try to relax and think positive.


Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008


Actually, all stages of colon cancer are curable, not just Stage III.

Best of luck with your chemo treatments. I had very few side effects from the chemo.

Best wishes,

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6694
Joined: Feb 2009

First off I would like to welcome you to the message boards, although this really isn't the way we would like to meet under these circumstances. You will find a wonderful family here for you to share your thoughts and journey.

Sorry for the diagnosis and it is a scary one. I was diagnosed in December, 2008, had radiation/chemo January/February, 2009 and surgery in March, 2009, followed by more chemo. I did have a temporary ileostomy and a takedown in November, 2009.

You will be considered cured once you have been cancer free for 5 years. Glad to hear that you have no other organs affected.

Do let us know how you are doing and how the surgery went.

It is scary now, and you will have a lot of unanswered questions, but we are here to help you get through the rollercoaster that you will be going through.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

December 2004, stage III squamous cell carcinoma of the rectum. My first treatment was chemo/rads...as it turns out, that did the trick. BUT, after consult with my gastric surgeon, because I was a healthy 49 year old woman, he suggested we go ahead with removing my rectum and sigmoid colon, and fashioning a 'new' storage facitity out of descending colon (called a J-pouch procedure).

I just celebrated 5 years free from colorectal cancer. My oncologist kicked me back to my G.P., using the 'other' C word...'cured'!

Welcome to the site, there are so many here to help...ask anything you wish...except my weight...lol!

Hugs, Kathi

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

and the rest will take care of itself. You will do fine. Simply allow your body to do what it wants naturally as far as healing. Give yourself patience and time will heal all. Most of all do not look for large battles won, enjoy the small victories along this journey . There will be setbacks but as in any treatment there are always good days and bad days. Just remember that you are beating a monster, and it is a battle that you will win. You must have and keep that control and confidence. Now, today is the first day of kicking cancers butt......Love and Hope, Buzz

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 2010

I experienced this recently (Feb 2010) when my 25 year old daughter had surgery for colon cancer. She had her entire colon removed, then her small bowel hooked up (no bag). She spent about 8 days in the hospital, she had a hard time getting her colon working again. I think the key is to get up and move around! But I have to tell you the timeline - Surgery Tuesday, still taking morphine and dilauded Sunday, next Tuesday, no more morphine pump, just oral pain meds and sent home. By Friday she was out running errands. Once home, she recovered 100% every day and actually went back to work to a desk job 3 weeks to the date after surgery! She has only missed work for chemo treatments and then goes right back to work and even out at night for trivia at a bar. So, don't let this worry you - she's stage IIIC and she's gone right back to her normal life as muh as possible.

The surgeon told her she just needs to get through the next 18 months and then she'll be cured. So far, so good! So yes, you can be cured. A slight inconvenience for a period of time, then life will be back to normal. You can do it!

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Welcome!!! I'm sure as hell am not going to tell you it is a walk in the park.

The most important thing I can tell you is keep a good positive attitude. If you dwell too much on the dark side it can and will suck you in.

All doctors are not created equal. If you gut tells you your doc is a well educated idiot, get another one. Never be afraid to fire one.

Build a data file on yourself. Get copies of all scans, drugs and blood work. Makes it easy when you fire a doc.

If you have questions about farts, sharts, poop, or anything else that you would normally not talk about in mixed company, just type it in here and you will get a lot of opinions.

You will find these are great people here. We are not going down with out a fight. Some of us like myself get an easy ride. I was dx stage 4 and cancer free in 7 months.

imagineit2010's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey, like the name cause, that's what you need. I'm pretty new here so I can't speak from my personal experiences but I will give you some tips.
1)There is a wealth of information on here and many stories. Some turn out great, others not so good. I will tell you that NO ONE on here is an expert. But neither are all oncologists.
2)Each doctor "specialist" will give you their "opinion" on treatment and outcome. Some are very optomistic and some are kinda negatively realistic. Don't think twice about getting a second opinion.
3)Depending on the tests you've already had, your staging could change once they open you up. Things have been know to present themselves that didn't show up on tests. This is not to scare you but to inform you. Being prepared for setbacks and surprises will lessen the "shock". With cancer, ignorance is NOT bliss.
4)You've made a good step by searching for information. Don't let this website (American Cancer Society) be your only source. NCI is good.
5)There is a "standard course of treatment" for most diagnoses but that doesn't mean you don't have options. If you don't feel comfortable with what is being told to you, get a second opinion or ask what else is available. Maybe even a clinical trial.
6)There are also alternative routes that can compliment or replace any or all recomended treatments but they must be thouroughly investigated. Start by searching Key Words on here and spend some time reading. Your doctor will not/can not recomend any.
7)Most people on here have unique experiences with cancer so take all outcomes with a grain of salt.
8) I would suggest getting your mind in the game. Attitude is everything. You can cry, get angry, feel alone but Stay Positive in your hope that things will work out.
9)Don't focus too much on statistics from medical testing. They are easily swayed to benefit the party funding them.
10) Nutrition. Ask for the detailed report from your blood work. Check the numbers and get information online about what they mean. Take steps to correct any areas that aren't normal. Vitamins and supplements can do a body good. Your body must be healthy to aid in recovery from whatever treatment they throw at you. Your doctor will likely not mention nutrition at all. This does not mean it isn't high priority, it's just because that is not their field.
Bonus) Prayer, all I can say is to those who believe, it helps in every way....
I could go on and I'm sure I missed stuff but this is what I would have liked to hear when I joined on here.
Best of luck next week. Get some rest, take some vitamin C, meditate or pray. Be strong....

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Welcome. There are people with ALL stages of colon cancer here and it's treatable. Your prognosis sounds promising but more info would help as far as what stage the doctor said you are at, what protocols of treatment they are offering, do you like what you've heard so far, did you get a second opinion... Keep in mind that nothing is written in stone and I found it's not good to over-research it online either. Stats are often misleading. There is no complete anything in life, if anyone offers it be wary.
That's the best I have to offer with the info you stated.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Should be performed by a colorectal surgeon. If your surgeon
isn't an experienced colorectal surgeon, it would be in your best
interests to get one. If you have to postpone surgery, postpone it.

A colorectal surgeon will advise you or the possibility of needing
an ostomy, even if temporarily. If it is a possibility, then time will
be taken to locate the area where an ostomy will be best for
your lifestyle. The location of an ostomy is very important.
The wrong placement of any type of ostomy will cause more
problems than imaginable.

I was told about a week of hospital care also. I ended up in ICU
for over three weeks, and in step down for over a week. My
surgical wound didn't heal quickly; it took almost 6 months
to heal fully. Chemo can not be started unless wounds are healed
and no infections are present. At 6 months past surgery, chemo
was a moot choice, as the effectiveness is less than 50%, as
clearly stated in almost all literature; ask your onco. Chemo
should be started within a month of surgery, two months
at the most.

Lymph node involvement is gauged best with more than 20 nodes
removed and tested. Less than that tested is not worth the results.
If there are less than 4 nodes out of 20, you are in decent shape
statistically. If there are greater than 4 nodes out of twenty, you are
in line with the rest of the 3b and 3c cancer people.

If you're scared, you have reason to be, just as we all have
reason to be. Cancer is scary. HIV is scary, and so are a ton
of diseases that there are no cures for. But being scared is no
reason to lose hope. What is better, is to align yourself with the
situation at hand, and make plans for the best way to take
care of the problem.

Read, read and read. The Internet is great for research, provided
you stay awake enough to realize that most of the data can be
fabricated, false, or greatly exaggerated. The .org, .edu and.net
sites are usually more beneficial than the .com sites.

Any site that is selling something will usually be leaning towards
what they are selling. That goes for any of the mainstream cancer
web sites, as well as the holistic web sites. It doesn't matter if
it's chemo, herbs, or sea grass, if there's money involved, there'll
be some embellishing of facts.

Anyone that tells you that your cancer can be cured within a
specific amount of time is either dreaming or disingenuous.
To date, there is no known "cure" for cancer.

Your body's immune system allowed a normal cell to begin
living by the fermentation process without attempting to remove
it from your body. When that problem is resolved; when your
own immune system starts doing what it was intended to do,
that will be the "cure". Until then, all we have to hope for with
what's presently available, is to keep the condition stabilized.

On the brighter side... They are now realizing that when a cancer
cell dies, it releases chemicals that the immune system can identify
as foreign, and consequently attack. If that is the case, a cure
may be within sight for most all of us.

I think you'll do as well as any of us, but please.... make sure
you are under the care of an experienced colorectal surgeon.

Do that for yourself. It's that important.

Better days!


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Welcome to the board! It's nice to meet you, but I'm so sorry you have cancer. It definitely is a shock to the system, isn't it? You're going to be scared and confused for awhile, but there are good treatments out there, and things WILL get better!


Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Just wanted to say welcome to the group and I think you will find that the experiences and personal knowledge of many of the members will be beneficial.

I understand the shock. I think I stayed in shock or a type of limbo for about 5 months. It will get easier. Meanwhile, try to just take it one day at a time, as that helps to reduce the anxiety.

You have my very best wishes Hope.


greybeard64's picture
Posts: 254
Joined: Mar 2010

Most have already posted what I would say so I will stick with a welcome to the board. NEVER be afraid to ask anything in this group but more importantly with your Doc. I like what Buzz said the next year is going to be a whirlwind. It is not an easy road, there are no miracle pills or cures but plenty of people selling both. That being said YOU CAN BEAT THE MONSTER!!!
Attitude is very important, but dont beat yourself up over self doubt or depression realize they are normal emotions that you will experience at some level. Keep your eye on the prize, celebrate the "little" victories and remember you have been thrown into a war, the enemy is not a kind one and he will attack on all fronts physical and mental, dont expect to win every battle but expect to win the WAR!
good luck to you,and I think Buzz said this too, make today the first day of KICKING CANCERS A@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

I am a 50 year old man, who was told February of last year, I had cancer. Two stage III tumors indifferent parts of my colon. I am still here, so as scary as cancer is, it does not always have to have a bad ending. I am currently wearing Depends and can not manage much food, but this summer I will see my youngest son get married, visit my grandson in CO and hopefully a trip to the Grand Canyon. I can't say it has been easy (did I mention I was wearing Depends?), but I can tell you even with cancer there can still be plenty of life left to live.

Best wishes

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