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Colon Cancer 24yrs old any input shared experience .

Bruce24AA
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

hi i found out on the 15th of july i got colon cancer. i am a recovering alcoholic 24yrs old. my sponsor suggested i reach out to some one get some input on people dealing with my problem and survivors and share my experice maybe i have something to offer i dont kno. just going in for surgerie prep 2day cancer has not spead thank god not since phone call few days ago cancer is toward the lower part of of colon. plan is to cut and reasemble the colon thats all i kno right now. surgerie on august 5th

jmaddox915's picture
jmaddox915
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Bruce!

Welcome to the board. First of all, I am sorry you have to be here and going through this challenging time.

It sound like you caught this early. Colon cancer has a high cure rate if caught early so I am praising God for this now.

You will find alot of support here and there are no dumb questions. I was dx at age 39 last year and had a colon resection done last August. They removed about 8 inches of lower colon and reconnected it. I really didn't have any problems and was in the hospital for close to 5 days I believe.

My advice right now is praise and thank God that this was caught early and to have faith in Him that all will be well.

If I can answer any questions for you or if you need some one to talk to, let me know.

God Bless you.

eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

Take solace in the fact that you are young and that colon cancer is very curable if caught early. There are people on this board who have been cured even after it had spread to places like the lungs. So, take solace and have faith. Keep a positive attitude and everything will go well for you. Although, I know surgery is not fun.

Eric

Bruce24AA
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

appreciate your advice and support thanks

Bruce24AA
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

thx alot

Bruce24AA
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

thx alot for the information god bless

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Welcome Bruce,

I am glad you found this forum, although sorry you have colon cancer. I think you will find this forum helpful + you in turn will find yourself helping others. I want to wish you all the best with the surgery, + hope to see you again soon.

Bruce24AA
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

thx for commenting and supprt god bless

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

Your tumor must be in the sigmoid colon? That is the last bit of the colon. And yes, thank God it hasn't spread. I can well imagine you are scared- but think you are right in reaching out to others and letting us reach back.

You are so young, *sigh* We used to see this cancer in old people, ya know? Not in youth. But more and more it is showing us that age has nothing to do with it. You are a great example of how to pay attention to one's body and seek out medical attention when things are not right. Even then, the medical profession still sees this cancer in old people and it is hard for them to think and act outside of the box. So thankful that whoever you saw took your symptoms seriously!

Bruce24AA
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

thx alot ya god is in the impossible buisness i belive tful they caught it early yes the sigmoid right

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Cancer scares us all, but you have to know all the facts, and most
people try to look at the best side of the situation, to keep from
drowning in fear....

So, with that really baaaad sounding preamble......

Surgery is invasive. Many of us found out we had a colon cancer
tumor while in the ER for an intestinal obstruction.

When it's an emergency situation, you don't have the time to spare
to get other qualified opinions, or the time to learn about procedures
and outcomes that manage to happen when you least expect it.

I had a major tumor removed, along with a whopping 4 feet of
colon. That left me with one foot of colon. Resected (reconnected),
I thought it was over, but they had to re-open me and do essentially
the same operation again due to an error. That left me with a dandy
new device hanging off my side, called an Ileostomy. I had no idea
they were going to do that, and they gave me no choice, since I was
still considered an emergency.

I was lucky that the GP assigned to me hired a colorectal surgeon for
the operation. They made errors that almost cost my life while in
ICU and "step-down", but they did one thing perfect: They placed
my stoma (that's the part of the intestine they stick out through
your skin to attach a bag to) in the perfect spot.

The spot for a stoma, is very important, since it should be placed
where it will be best for -you-. There's a 4x4 rule.... 4" to the side of
the navel, and 4" below the beltline. That allows you to wear clothes
as you normally would, allow for sexual relations without discomfort,
etc. They also should be careful to not place it on an uneven skin
area, since it has to be glued to the body... The stoma should protrude
between 3/4 to 1" out of the skin.

Sounds bad, right? Well..... if you're not prepared for the unexpected,
you can end up with a situation that leaves you in a mess for a lot longer
than the cancer.... The cancer can be in remission, but you can be forever
fighting the ravages of it.... as in a poorly placed stoma.

So..... what you should do, as long as you have the time that most
others did not.... is get a good colorectal surgeon for another opinion,
and make sure they -mark out- the best spot for a stoma, should in the
rare event, you need one. It's a precaution worth taking.

Getting the entire tumor out (and as much as an experienced colorectal
surgeon feels will give you the safest future), is important. Too many
general surgeons try to save as much intestine as possible, and let the
oncologist try to use stuff to kill any other small growths. I much rather
lose 4' of colon, than have reoccurrence due to growths in other areas
of the colon that could just as well have been taken out in one-shot.

So, if you have the time, get a qualified colorectal surgeon, and get
another opinion to his, also. It's worth the effort, and doesn't get
anyone mad at you for doing so.

And... as long as you have the time... do some research regarding
chemotherapy, radiation, etc. You'll find a wealth of info in favor,
but you should look at the info regarding the down-sides, as well.

Hopefully, things will go as smooth as my very optimistic friends here
feel it will. Me? I'm a realist. I try to examine the "worst case scenario";
learn the bad side first, then I don't have to worry about being shocked,
or confused, when I wake up out of the anesthesia...

"Realism, realism, realism"

Ya'know what I'm sayin'?

Think healthy.

John

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

Just wanted to welcome you to the board, please keep letting us know how you are. Any questions you may have whether you think they are silly or not, please ask. We all know what you are going through. Btw I wanted to tell you, I was relcutant to have a full blood count and cea test done, but after reading your post I marched myself to the hospital. So your post inspired me to do that. Please keep in touch.

atrue
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2010

well you are in the right place...let me tell you this the people on here are great and listen to their tips..they help out alot...they have for me...i;m sorry that you have this monster too..but know you are not alone and we are all here...best wishes and prayers

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

Hi Bruce,

You can do this! Keep positive thoughts going for the healing of your body, spirit, and mind. You are not alone. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Colon Resection Surgery

Details of the procedure ---

**What do I need to do before surgery?
Please contact your insurance company to verify the coverage and determine whether a referral is required. You will be asked to pre-register with the appropriate hospital and provide demographic and insurance information. This must be completed at least five to ten days before the surgery date. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.
Before surgery, your colon will need to be emptied. Your physician will give you directions on how to do this. You may be put on a liquid diet and instructed to drink a solution that will induce diarrhea. You may also be instructed to give yourself an enema.

**What happens on the day of surgery?
You will report to a pre-operative nursing unit, where you will change into a hospital gown. A nurse will review your chart and confirm that all paperwork is in order. You will be taken to a pre-operative nursing unit where an anesthesiologist will start an IV. Before any medications are administered, your surgeon will verify your name and the type of procedure you are having. You will then be taken to the operating room. After the appropriate form of anesthesia is administered, surgery will be performed.

**What type of anesthesia will be used?
You will have a pre-operative interview with an anesthesiologist who will ask you questions regarding your medical history. Colon resections are performed under general anesthesia, which will keep you asleep during your surgery.

**What happens during the surgery, and how is it performed?
If your surgery is performed laparoscopically, your surgeon will make three to four small incisions, and insert tube-like instruments through them. The abdomen will be filled with gas to help the surgeon view the abdominal cavity. A camera will be inserted through one of the tubes that will display images on a monitor in the operating room. In this manner, your surgeon will be able to work inside your abdomen without making a larger incision.
Your surgeon will perform the colon resection with the laparoscopic method unless other factors require open surgery. If the procedure will be performed with the open method, your surgeon will make one larger incision to enable him or her to view and repair the colon.
Once inside, the surgeon will clamp off the diseased section of colon and then cut it free. The diseased colon will be removed, and the healthy colon stitched back together. In some cases, a colostomy (link to colostomy procedure) may be performed.
*** What happens after the surgery?
Once the surgery is completed, you will be taken to a post-operative or recovery unit, where a nurse will monitor your progress. It is important that your bandages be kept clean and dry. Mild discomfort may occur at the incision site, so your surgeon may prescribe pain medication. You will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment within two weeks after your surgery.
*** How long will I be in the hospital?
Most patients are in the hospital from five to seven days with an open colon resection and three to five days with a laparoscopic colon resection. You may need a ride home when discharged from the hospital.
What are the risks associated with a colon resection?
As with any surgery, there are risks such as bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Other risks include injury to the ureter, bowel, or spleen, and anastomotic dehiscence, which is the separation or leaking of the sutured colon. Your physician will inform you of the risks prior to surgery.

**What should I watch out for?
Be sure to call your doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:
• Fever
• Worsening pain
• Redness or swelling around the incision
• The incision is warm to the touch
• Drainage from the incision

**Will there be scar(s)?
If the procedure is performed laparoscopically the incisions should heal well, leaving small discrete scars. If the open method is used, a larger scar will be present.

** When can I expect to return to work and/or resume normal activities?
This can vary from patient to patient. There are no restrictions after laparoscopic colon resection. You will be encouraged to return to normal activities such as showering, driving, walking up stairs, light lifting, and work as soon as you feel comfortable. Some patients can return to work in a few weeks while others prefer to wait longer. You should not perform heavy lifting or straining for six to eight weeks after open surgery. If you are taking narcotic medications for pain, you should not drive.
http://www.debakeydepartmentofsurgery.org/home/content.cfm?content_id=274&proc_name=colon+resection

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

Also....

I had a colon resection on May 15, 2009. Approx. 6" was removed. I was in the hospital for 3 nights. I slept in a recliner when I got home since I was not comfortable in the bed. It was easy for me to get up and down by myself that way and I used a comforter and was cozy.
Things went better than I expected. I hope things go well for you. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask. That's why we are here - to support each other.
Colon Resection Surgery
I was prescribed a Low Residue Diet after my surgery.
A low residue diet eliminates coarse fiber and other indigestible material that may cause distress to the gastrointestinal tract and designed to reduce the volume and frequency of bowel movements. It is similar to a low fiber diet, but also restricts milk and milk products and prunes.
---------Foods to Choose:
Ground, well-cooked fish, poultry, beef, pork, or lamb.
Eggs --Strained fruit -- Canned or cooked fruit without skin or seeds -Bananas, soft cantaloupe or honeydew melon
Well cooked fresh or canned vegetables------- Cooked potatoes (no skin)
Enriched white bread, rolls, biscuits, muffins, bagels, English muffins, waffles, French toast, pancakes - White rice, noodles, or pasta - Cream of wheat, grits, farina - Puffed rice, corn flakes, or other refined cereals
Milk, yogurt, custard, ice creamCheese, cottage cheese
Juice Soft drinks Decaffeinated coffee or tea - Cake, cookies, pie, pudding, ice cream, sorbet, popsicles - Oil, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing

------Foods That May Cause Distress:
Tough, fibrous meat with gristle-- Dry beans, peas, and lentils-- Baked beans---Chunky Peanut butter
Prunes and prune juice --Raw or dried fruit---All berries and raisins
Raw or steamed vegetables------Asparagus--Sweet potatoes---Whole asparagus---Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, sauerkraut, onions, cauliflower, corn, winter squash
Bread or muffins with nuts, seeds or fruit---Whole wheat, pumpernickel, or cornbread---Brown or wild rice---Whole grain cereals, bran cereals, granola, or any cereals with nuts, seeds, coconut, or dried fruit
Yogurt with nuts or seeds
Desserts made with nuts, seeds, coconut, or dried fruit-Popcorn

---- These are some suggestions others have posted:

While you are in the hospital for recovery, stay ahead of the pain curve and if you have discomfort, don't be afraid to ask the nurse for the pain killers. Even when you start feeling better, and you will, stay on the pain meds. They make the stay more bearable.

Also, get up for a walk as soon as you can. They won't let you out until your system kicks back in and the signal for this is passing gas. Walk as much as you can while in the hospital.

Holding a smaller pillow over the incision area . The pillow is comforting. Don't be afraid to ask for an escort while you walk, you wouldn't want to trip or fall.
You will also be very, very thirsty in the beginning and they'll just give you crushed ice, but if you can tolerate it, you can have more.
It takes about 3 months to be back to yourself. So, don't push going back to work or your normal routine too quickly, it will be tempting. Try to stay busy with books, light housework, tv, Internet while you are home. Get outside and walk as much as possible.
Also, if they use staples on your incisions, when they take them out, it's no big deal, most of them I didn't even feel. A couple were only a tickle while being removed. None was painful.

Please keep us updated on how things are going for you!

Lizzy

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

Hi Bruce,

As others have said, welcome, but sorry you have reason to be here, especially at your young age! Life has hit you hard already, so now it's time for things to start turning around for you! It was discovered at an early stage, and it's very curable at that stage, so that is definitely good news. Keep checking in here anytime- it's a great place to find answers to your questions (I've found out all sorts of information my doctors weren't even aware of from this board- we bring info from our experiences and our doctors from all around the world). I've vented here when I was sad or angry, have asked numerous questions, and also now feel blessed to be able to help others feel better and/or give out any advice or information I might have that can be of help. So many times other people around us just don't get it or understand how we really feel- everyone here on this board understands and gets it. Please don't be scared by some bad news on the board- we're very real here- there is also a lot of good news. Sometimes we probably hear about the bad news more than the good news, probably because a lot of people move on from this discussion board once things are going well. Just be aware of that & also that statistics online are often outdated. Statistics are actually always outdated because they're based on 5 year survival rates. In order to be a statistic, the person must have been diagnosed and treated at least 5 years earlier. Several advances in treatments have been made and added in since then, so people are definitely surviving longer now, even at stage IV. You are nowhere near that though, since yours was found early, so you are in all the better shape.

Take care and keep the chin up- you WILL get through this and come out okay!
Lisa

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

Bruce, I'm sorry you're facting this disease at all, but especially at such a young age. My cancer was diagnosed about 2 1/2 years ago, and I had surgery only. So far so good! I pray your experience will be the same.

*hugs*
Gail

luv3jay's picture
luv3jay
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

Bruce, first...congratulations on your sobriety. Second...even though I'm saddened at having you here...especially at such a young age, I'm glad it sounds like they caught it early. Always remember that we are family and you can lean on us whenever you need. Be blessed.

Sheri

2timesaround's picture
2timesaround
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Bruce, I had the same surgery. It has been 2 years since I had the surgery. I had, had a tumor in my sigmoid colon. It was at stage 2, but had not infected any of my lymph nodes. All they did was remove 3/4 of my rectum and part of my colon. I didn't have to have any further treatment. It may seem unbearable now what you are going thru, but you will get thru this. I am praying for you.

emrose's picture
emrose
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2008

Welcome. My husband had the same surgery, diagnosed at 34 years old. Please continue to ask questions, do research, get multiple opinions, etc. If you have friends or family that can advocate for you and explore your options with you, bring them with you. Lean on them for support. If you don't - cone here. There are many knowledgable people here with a variety of experiences to share.

I wish you the best of luck on this journey! I hope surgery goes well and you recover quickly! My thoughts are with ya

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I'm sorry to see you here, at such a young age too. But I'm happy for you that they caught it EARLY!!! Good luck on your surgery, please let us know (when you are able) how it went for you.
Wishes for a speedy recovery.
Winter Marie

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