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Smokeyjoe Welcome to the Board!

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

Hi Smokeyjoe. I saw your first post on another thread and wanted to make sure that you didn't get lost. I'm sorry that you have to be here and deal with this cancer but, I'm glad that you found us.

Welcome to the board

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks Lori, I've actually been following this board since Jan., but felt I had nothing to add, just taking in the knowlege you all have, following the stories almost daily. You are such a wonderful group. I've actually used some of the suggestions, eating coconut macaroons and bars the past two days to help firm things up!!! I'm on Folfiri, so far three treatments only, but no side effects except the diarrhea, but basically that's been going on since the colon surgery any way. When I first went to hospt. they thought it was ovarian cancer, my CEA is .8, so no tumor marker from the colon cancer, even the surgeons were surprised it was colon cancer spread to the ovaries.

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

I always said that I think I was lucky to have had a hysterrectomy just 2.5 years befgore my dx. It probably kept mine from spreading further than it already did.

I might be starting FOLFIRI soon ... not sure yet as FOLFOX gave me a lot of trouble and didn't stop my recurrence. Happy to see you posting. I did the same thing. I watched the board for months before I joined. Great group here!

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am glad you found this little spot in the sun; it really does make a big difference in our fight against cancer. Please post away.

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

This is just so overwhelming....stressful, depressing....cannot believe it...where did this come from, and why!!!! No symptoms till upset tummy the week prior, but sons girlfirend had stomach flu figured I had same, then the shortness of breath finding I had blood clots in lungs....then the cancer diagnosis. My poor family, what am I putting them through :( One of my sons is in University, made him promise to me that no matter what happens to me he will finish his education, such a dream for him to be a year an a half from graduation. Poor guy he would sit and study while I slept in hospital. I went in last weekend of November and didn't leave for a month while surgeon waited till he felt it was relatively safe for him to do colon surgery, I was on TPN for that time because of blockage. 2 different surgeons did my surgery, one gyno. complete hysterectomy, and other surgeon to do colon resection. Every time I have onc. appt. I feel like I'm going to see the grim reeper. My gyno. is much more optimistic, saying need to treat it as a chronic illness. Knew nothing about this disease prior, felt once they cut the mass out did a bit of chemo to clean up and floating bad cells that I would just coast and be healthy from then on ..... boy was I wrong!!! P.S. Anne I just live north of Toronto...

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

We are practically neighbours! I live just west of Toronto. Do you mind saying where you are being treated? You are right, this is overwhelming, stressful, etc., but try to deal with it one day at a time. It sounds like you have a terrific son, to sit with you in your hospital room like that. You had a long difficult stay in the hospital, you have had the surgery, so hopefully the worst is in the past. Try to remember, you are not putting your family through this ordeal, cancer is. This board truly is excellent.

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Stronach Cancer Centre in Newmarket. Everyone says my onc. is one of the best. Heard comment he is the best doctor at the hospital period. He was off for a year himself battling cancer. He's very professional, too professional.....I've seen and heard other oncs. talking to their patients about their colon cancer (okay I have big ears and listen to the conversations in the other rooms!!) and those oncs. are upbeat telling their patients they are going to keep this colon cancer away. My onc. will say, hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones that chemotherapy works for! My head started to spin..."hopefully"?? How do you respond to that, only words out of my mouth was "yeah, hopefully. Got disconnected from my bottle this morning, so that's good. Wore it to work yesterday with a bulky sweatshirt, no one could tell I was hooked up. Physically I feel great, hair is good, doing everything as before surgery, working keeping up housework, going out weekends. No one would know I'm sick. If I didn't have to go for chemo. life would be wonderful again!!! Feel I'm living in this fog I can't wrap my head around that this is happening. My poor cat smokey obviously knows something is very wrong, he doesn't like for me to be out of his sight since I came home from hospital, he's very clingy following me everywhere.

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Smokey Joe,

What you typed above was like me replaying my ordeal... which was back in Dec 2006. I knew nothing about the disease... and to tell you the truth, call it pure ignorance, I had never heard the word "colonoscopy"... so I was such a newbie. I had had no symptoms until over the summer I would get this ache in my left side. It was a chronic ache... nothing too serious but strong enough that it was uncomfortable and bothering me. They ran me through umpteen tests and couldn't find anything that would be causing this. Blood tests didn't show any sign of infection. Finally, they decided I had divurticulitis because a CAT scan did show an inflamed part of my colon. Put me on antibiotics, said that would clear up the infection and then in the spring I would have to have a colon resection to cut out the damaged part of the colon (this from the gasterentologist I saw). Was he ever wrong!! It was NOT divurticulitis! It was a huge tumour that had perforated through the intestinal wall and because of that had formed an abscess attached to my abdominal wall, and I was riddled with perotinitis throughout my whole abdomen. Thank goodness my surgeon said that he wanted to do a scope himself before sending me off to come back in the spring... for it was him that found this horror of a mess. He could not believe I was even walking, let alone conscious. He was not going to let me leave the hospital... but I was in shock and said I most certainly was going to leave the hospital... I had a dog at home that I had to make arrangements for. Not only did I leave the hospital (he gave me one hour to get back and checked in), I WALKED the 12 blocks home! Ya... I was in shock ;)

I made arrangements for a friend to come stay at the apartment and look after my darling schnauzer, thinking I'd only be in the hospital a couple of days (after all, they do try to get us out quickly, no?) and I ended up in the hospital for 5 weeks... like you, they had to wait to try and get the infection under control. For 5 weeks I was on TPN.... and some incredibly strong IV antibiotics. I was given the talk that there is a good chance I wouldn't be leaving the hospital... that we were dealing with two very serious, potentially fatal conditions. My surgeon said there was a possibility that when he went in to do take the tumour out, that he may find the cancer had spread... in which case I'd get sewed back up. Scary scary times.

But here I am... I overcame the peritonitis, the surgeon removed the tumour and did the resection without needing to give me a colostomy bag, it took an additional 4 hours to get the abscess out, but I'm walking, talking and living a good life 4 years later. I'm still in treatment, still doing chemo, but hey... I'm not dead and I'm not near death... I'm treating this as a chronic illness, something I just have to deal with and fit into my lifestyle :) Make note... the cancer has to fit into MY lifestyle... I don't work my life around cancer. I do not give cancer a priority or importance in my life because he is not worth it... my life is my priority, so cancer, you just have to deal with :)

So welcome to the boards, Smokey!! You are amongst friends here.... friends who know exactly what you are going through and can understand, sympathize and support when you need the support :)

Cheryl

PS: I'm from Canada too... live in the heart of the West End in Vancouver :)

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

That's the trip I took for my 50th birthday, hubby asked me where I wanted to celebrate this milestone and I said B.C.....so off we went and we stayed at River Rock casino resort. Very beautiful there...we were at Whistler the night they celebrated 100 days till Olympics opening. Saw bears at the side of the road up there, amazing drive with the mountains and water.

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