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Its 2 years since diagnoses... does it get any easier!?

irishrover
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2010

Its 2 years since diagnoses, primary in colon and secondary in liver! I had 13 months of treatment which I coped reasonably well with. I am happy and appreciate being a live but it’s tough and it does not seem to get any easier!

Just joined the site in hope of some inspiration!!!

Maybe I just need longer to accept all that has happened!?!

Thanks for reading and any advice would be appreciated :)

Rich :)

Note, also posted on Liver cancer discussion board

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

Rich,
In the short form “hell no”. In reality we all have bumps in the road. I think we just learn that it is just part of the journey we are stuck with. The most important thing is to keep your attitude up. I intend to beat this crap. If I do croak from this crap, it is going to know I put up one hell of a fight.

Kerry

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

Welcome to the board.

You are ahead of me on the journey as I'm just 6 months into it so, I can't help with does it get better after 2 years, yet. One thing I've come to realize being a part of this board is that I had to adjust my expectations. At first, I thought ok, I'll do this ... then I'll do this ... then I'll be done and go back to my "regular life". Yep, I had it all planned out Ha!

I've come to understand that I changed and my life changed forever in some ways that I'm still finding out about. I have adjusted my expectations along the way and it seems to have really helped me keep a better attitude. Believe me, sometimes I just want it to go away like it never happened. But, this has become a defining of part of my life and I just had to accept that. You can do this and be ok, you just have to find a way to incorporate everything into your new life. I call it redefining myself. I think we do this throughout life anyway as we grow. Hang in there.

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

Seriously, it does get "better", but in ways that only you (as a victim)
can understand.

The ravages of cancer can be from the cancer itself, the operation(s)
to remove it, the radiation to kill it, or the chemotherapy side-effects.

And the ravages can come in all forms - from neurological problems,
psychological problems, intestinal problems, to other surgical related
problems.

And even when none of those exist, we all suffer the "worries" that the
damned cancer will sneak up on us when we least expect it to....again.

Take a stroll over to the "long term survivor" forum here, and read
some of the comments. It's a new forum, so there's not too much
on it as yet, but there will be...

I personally suffer from what is known as intestinal adhesions and
hernias, due to the invasive abdominal surgery. The symptoms include
intestinal blockages that cause one to feel like they're attempting to
pass a bowling ball.

I have an ileostomy, but it doesn't make a difference as far as pain
involved from a blockage, since the gas from the waste build-up
will cause one to bloat in excess of the amount of skin they have
holding the intestines inside the body. Yes, it is an "ouch" period
of time.

And of course, with any type of ostomy, we have permanent disfigurement
and a major change of life-style that can be easy for some to adjust to,
and extraordinarily difficult for others to adjust to.

There is no easy way out of all this..... it will be, what only -you-
care to make it to be.

It can drown out the "happy to be alive" moments at times, and yet,
we are all thrilled to be able to feel even those depressing moments.

Welcome.

Stay as well and as healthy as you can.

John

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

if you have been operated or expect to be operated! .This is the turning point in this crap!
Hugs!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

It does get easier Rich. So much of it rests with YOUR attitude on things. So it sounds like you're out of treatment for a while (10-11 months?). I have been dealing with stage IV colon cancer for well over 6 years. There are times when it's still rough but for the most part, it is tons easier than it was 230+ treatments ago. I'm still going for treatment every other week. I have a small node in my left lung and I have had some nice breaks in treatment but never had an "all clear" announcement. Perhaps some day I will, or some day I won't. It's not that important (to me), it's only a label applied to yourself.

I don't know if one ever fully accepts what has happened as far as getting cancer goes but you can control how your diagnoses continues to affect you. My main advice would be to enjoy your days as much as you can and keep things on the positive side whenever possible. I've never considered myself to be a victim either as I saw in one post. I find that to be nonsense and totally useless. It's not like I was mugged or something. I got cancer. Since that time I've had to adjust to a series of new normals. That continues to be the case and most likely will go on until it stops.

While it may (or for some, may not) get easier I do not think that if you were diagnosed with a later stage cancer (III or IV) that things ever go back to what they were prior to having been diagnosed. I imagine that it has for some people but all of the people I know with a later stage cancer, the old self is a thing of the past.
Best wishes.
Live the life you love and love the life you live.
-phil

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AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I can + do welcome you to this forum. I can't tell you with certainty that it will get better, as I am still in the midst of treatment + haven't been at it as long as Phil has. I think Phil gave you great perspective, + because he truly is activley involved in it, I listen to what he is saying. It is really important to enjoy the wonderful moments (+ there are so many) + I think, acknowledge the bad ones - fear, pain, loss. My husband has said for a long time, "Life isn't easy". There are may bumps in the road, some larger that others. We have to drive over them. Good luck!

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

I'm laughing at Anne's directions on bumps in the road...I'm stealing that one!!! ROFL!!!

I am 6 years past diagnosis, 5 years in February cancer free. I had most of my rectum removed, as well as my sigmoid colon. Cool part is, that my descending colon was folded in half, and an internal 'new' rectum made...so, I have no external bag...

Our lives are changed forever after those 3 little words "you have cancer". With colorectal, it directly affects our long-term daily living. I, personally, now have osteoporosis and assorted pains and junk....

BUT, I also live in 2 countries, am now retired, and living life LARGE! Cancer's lesson for me was that my 'someday' is right now....

I agree with John...check out the 'long term survivors' board...it's for all cancers, but there are many of we 'semi-colons there'...some that were MY inspiration, 5 years ago....

Hugs, Kathi

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

is an idiot and doesn't take his own advice.
Thanks for the nice comments...
;-)
This is just how I am able to deal with it. Remember, we are unique (just like everyone else) so my situation is not the same as so-and-so's and I can tolerate chemo better than most I think considering I've never had it postponed due to low blood counts or anything else. I do think the trick if you want to call it that is to find things you enjoy and try to make time to do them. Part of it is distraction. I could sit and dwell on negative stuff which I do do (doo-doo?) at times. Hey, everyone loves a party. Even if it's a pity party

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

Hi Rich,

Yes and no- as you may have picked up on from what the others have already posted. My stage IV diagnosis was 3 yrs, 3 months ago. I've gone through many different stages in the way I think and the way I deal with things during this time. My thoughts, fears, and hopes were different in the first few months of diagnosis and treatment than they were the following year. I can say today that although I am still in treatment and getting mighty tired of dealing with chemo side effects, I am a much stronger person today and it just doesn't get to me like it used to. I can talk casually and openly with my family and friends now about things that I used to never be able to talk about without getting teary or emotional about. It definitely changes you.

It sounds like, however, that you must not be in treatment now. If that is the case, then you are most likely dealing with moving on with life and trying not to let the "what if it comes back" thoughts stay in your head too long. You may still be dealing with some long term side effects of the treatments too. I was told the radiation damage to my rectum will be life long, which means I will probably never experience using the bathroom in a normal way like most other people- when I have the urge, I've got to find the bathroom immediately, or fear of an accident. No fun. Although I get tired of that, I am actually getting used to it, so that I'm prepared, takes meds for it before going out, etc., so that it doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to.

In spite of still dealing with chemo, constant dr. appts, feeling crappy about half to two thirds of the time from chemo, I am still going to make my mark on this world and on my family and friends not by complaining about having cancer, but by living life to the fullest I can and by sharing my faith and beliefs with others. I will not let the world define who they think I should be, but I will go out of my way to be kind, help others, etc, etc. Not that I don't fall short of that goal all the time, but that is my goal the same. It's all in your attitude!
On a side note, if anxiety or worries about dealing with everything overcomes you, ask your doctor if you can be prescribed something for anxiety or depression, if you should ever need help in those areas. Eat healthy, exercise, research what you do to increase your chances of fighting the cancer(or keeping it away, whatever your situation may be)- many of us take several natural supplements that are considered cancer fighters. Know that you are doing all that you can do!

Best wishes to you and hopes for you-
Lisa

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3346
Joined: Jan 2010

So far the posts you have gotten here have pretty much covered it.

"Does it get any easier?"...bottom line is that it is what you make of it. Will you ever be the same as you were before cancer, probably not due to treatments which can have some lingering effects, but even those seem to vary from person to person.

From an emotional perspective, that too depends on you. I am 11 months from diagnosis and 7 months from major surgery. One of the things I have noticed is that 'cancer' is being talked about everywhere...advertisements...tv shows...the fiction books I read...seems like everywhere. Was it there before I was diagnosed or am I just now more aware of the word and what it means in your life?

Some days are very good and some days are kinda hard, but that is life. While I don't ever try to pretend it didn't happen, I also don't let the why's, what if's, if only's get too great a foothold. As the saying goes...it is what it is...and I will try every day to make it a good one for me and others.

Hang out with us and let us know how you are doing.

Marie who loves kitties

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Stage IV here and I just wanna say ..... YA! to what they all said. and like Marie says... Come hang out with us!!!

Jennie

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6512
Joined: Feb 2009

It's hard to say if it gets easier. Having rectal cancer leaving me with no rectum but j-pouch, struggling with bathrooms sometimes gets in the way. Like today is a bad day, but they come fewer and farther between and sometimes just don't have that get up and go like it was before. Keep your attitude positive though - it can get you through some of the dark days. Try to keep yourself busy too. Once again, welcome to our board.

Kim

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

welcome Rich////another stage four here....6 years now of colon and liver still going. Stack us end to end.....there's quite a few of us here. I think it gets easier. Every fresh threat....every new met is still hard but somehow you start to feel like an old pro. Good days/ bad days....

welcome

mags

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