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OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Everyone.
My name is Bev. I am 50, being born at the tail-end of 1960... I am definately nerdy. So if you can't get past that, please don't go on reading any further!

I had my "screening colonoscopy" (you know the one you're supposed to get passing the big 5-oh) the day that poor Japan suffered the worst disaster! Friday 3-11-11. Maybe that should have clued me in!

Anyways, I can say my world quaked as well. I had 3 or 4 (?) polyps removed but the biggest one 15mm (about 1.5cm) was trouble. I won't bore you all with the details. Anyhow the little devils were just benign, but the larger one...well you must by now have figured out the reason why I am here?

So that was last Friday. Next Monday (21st March) I will be having my CTA and other blood work (liver function, etc.) and a CT (oooh that will be new for me) and talk to the surgeon. I am also scheduled for an endorectosonogram for the following day. Sounds like a fun way to start the week?!!

So that is where I am right now. I don't know the "stage", so have no idea beyond what happens on Monday and Tuesday.

My "username":
I chose OtherShoeFell because I feel that the shoe has dropped. I have been waiting for some time now. I don't know what I am feeling (other than scared because I hate needles - more on that later) exactly at this point.

So why do I feel like the other shoe has fallen? Because I have had too many close calls, and feel that this is THE ONE.

Presented for your reading pleasure is the following missive of my ?? surviorship?? I don't know if I am even able to call myself that.

My most recent "close-call" (4) is the biopsy on my right boob. Am I supposed to say that? Is breast more preferable? I don't want to offend. False alarm - just my wonderful genetically predisposition to cystic boobs. I thought breastfeeding was supposed to help with that stuff? This was in the fall right around my Birthday. Yea!

Close call 3: A small horizontal scar on my back is the result of the removal of a basal cell carcinoma. It was not a hospital procedure and no further stuff was done. I have been going for annual derm visits since, but nothing more has appeared (to my knowledge).

Close call 2: I have a larger and longer scar that runs from my hairline down between my shoulderblades. I had a tumor removed from my spinal cord - called an ependymoma - from C2-T4 (those are the vertebrae that were split open to get to the tumor).

That was in 1996 - the previous Pope Paul had his appendix out on the same day of my surgery. I guess that was a good omen. I had a baby girl who was still nursing at the time and she is now going to turn 16 in September.

I feel lucky to have had those 15 years with her, as I am now not sure how many more to expect. Ependymomas are "rare" in adults and usually brain not spinal, so yeah, that was weird. I am scheduled for my annual routine MRI follow-up for that on March 30th. Much of the whole scene is hazy in my brain, but my husband told me about 3 years ago that they had wanted to radiate me but I refused, so basically the tumor was just "removed". No chemo. Close call, really close call. What is so ironic is that at the time I was working in a neuro-oncology research laboratory and I was "intimate" with knowledge about brain tumors. They couldn't tell me until after the surgery and resulting pathology findings that it was an ependymoma, because you can't biopsy the spinal cord - yeah, it's kinda protected by those vertebrae! LOL!

Close call 1: Before my daughter was born, I had fun with a hyatiform mole (isn't that a funny name? And please note, I may have spelled hyatiform wrong?) which is basically a false pregnancy, where the placenta is there and grows like crazy and is generally thought of as a "precancerous" condition. My blood hCG hormone (pregnancy hormone) was drawn weekly following a D&C. The D&C procedure was to remove all the crazy growing placental tissues. The hCG level in women who aren't preggo is normally very low, but in molar pregnancy the hormone is used to track recurrance, so I do understand how the CTA counts will work when they get there. I know how obsessed I was with my hCG counts because they kept bouncing up and down and up and down and it was a sea-saw! It got to the point where the oncological gynecologist had ordered my chest x-ray and blood work to administer methotrexate, but by sheer luck the blood hCG had fallen to "normal" range at that point. We retested thinking that the lab had mixed up the blood work - yeah, it was that strange! Well, I did luck out and after a full year of monthly hCG "normal" tests, I was given the go-ahead to try another pregancy.

About my whimpiness:
I appear to have a very strong "vagal" (related to the vagus nerve, I believe) response and generally faint when I see my own blood. Luckliy for me in the 1996 surgery, I couldn't see my back so I wasn't too grossed out. My tiny boob biopsy nearly made me faint when I had to take off the bandage for a shower. I am very whimpy. I gave birth to two kids without an epidural because I was afraid of the needle. I decined the IV for the second child because just looking at the IV going into my arm set me off. After the sigmoidscopy or colonoscopy or "whatever in my butt-scopy" my BP dropped and I got nauseaus and shook like a leaf. I handle my "butterfly" IVs for the yearly MRIs just fine (I make the techs cover it with gauge and stuff so I don't see it) so that is how I cope. Maybe I can just pass out and let them "have at me" - they can wake me up when it's all done - or not!

Is this the end of trying to eat right and be healthy for most of my life? Darn! I don't smoke, drink occaisonally and I have been married to the same man for more than half my life. What did I do wrong?

I hope to be able to see my kids' graduation day in June 2013. That's a couple years away, so I don't know what my chances are. Our oldest will be graduating from college and the youngest high school. Right now they're both in their sophomore year. I don't have little ones any longer, and I used up my prayers to stay with the youngest for these past 15 years (Oct 8, 1996), so I can't ask for more time. How do I gracefully say goodbye and ease my loved ones pain?

I got the news on Tuesday, and haven't yet told my husband "the news". I haven't told anyone. I don't know how to. I have been writing and writing and writing...

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

So sorry that you have to be here but, I am glad that you found us.

Overwhelmed? Ha! I felt like I had fallen through some black vortex into an alternate universe when I got my diagnosis. So you are not alone. Until you get further information I'm not sure that I can give you a lot of help except to say welcome to the board. What happens next will depend a bit on your staging. Stick around because as your questions pop up there will be someone here who has experience that can be so valuable to you.

You need a strong support group around you and I personally would tell your husband. You are fortunate to have someone close to help you through this. There are others on this journey alone and would give anything to have someone to share these things with.

BTW ... saying boobs, butts, bunghole, poop etc are all acceptable here. Colon cancer is a *C*hitty disease so we've heard it all!

Glad to meet you and HUGS

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for your kind response. Since I am scheduled for quite a few tests early next week I should be better able to get a handle on things. Sorry for the outgushing. I am really just trying to absorb it all. I haven't wanted to tell my husband yet because it was so rough on him when I went through the ependymoma. His job is so stressful, that I worry about his health! Isn't that Ironic? LOL! :-D Today I am feeling more "upbeat" and better able to approach things with a clearer head. Thanks for the shoulder!

Bev

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3357
Joined: Jan 2010

Welcome to the place where there are lots of good folks who are ready and willing to share what they know and to offer emotional support too.

First of all, in my opinion, I don't think there is anything that any of us did or did not do in life which caused us to be here. I will soon be 64 yrs old and for nearly 63 of them was in what I consider very good health. Stuff happens. The most important thing we have to do is deal with what we know, ask questions about what we don't know and once a decision is made not look back to what if's.

As Lori said there isn't much limit put on vocabulary here when it comes to parts of the body or bodily functions. We do try to steer clear of politics and religion as those topics seem to get us in trouble and cause some hard feelings.

As to your situation, once you have more details about location, staging, etc. I am sure there will be folks here who can share their experiences along those same lines. We seem to have a wide variety of CRC related ills and many different varieties of treatments past, present and ongoing. So any quesitons that come to mind...ask away.

As to saying goodbye gacefully or otherwise I think you are way far away from needing to consider that. We can all relate to the fear and how overwhelming the news is, but you will see that you can get past that and move on to understanding and hope for a long future.

Please stay in touch with us here. Everyone is super about lending a hand or an ear or a shoulder!

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

We have two "fat boys" at home. :-) One is a shelter cat (Hamlet) - all black and mouthy! The other is a stray we found hiding in the motor of a neighbor's truck. He was so small he fit in one of my husband's hands! After isolating him from Hammie and bringing him to the vets to be sure he wasn't FIV positive, we adopted Figaro (Figgy or FigPig). Now they're both BIG boys (14 pounders)and really sweet pets. They get along great and it's funny to see them do "sumo wrestling" now and again.

Thanks for the advise and I am really apolitical so prefer not to get into politics or religion, as I agree they tend to create friction and this is supposed to be a supportive environment. Thanks for your support and encouragement, and virtual hugs!

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi,

My husband has a new diagnosis of Colon Ca...I thought, until today, that his diagnosis was Stage 3 of the small intestine...BUT, I stand corrected. The cancer involves the Colon and the small intestine therefore the oncologist stated it is Colon cancer....He, the doctor, told us that this is very curable not just manageable. So we are very happy.

I hope that when you get the "stage" etc you will see light too....Prayers for you.

We will look for your post, the other shoe....that is so appropriate for how I feel too.
Gail

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

I think maybe the caregivers have it the roughest. Although I think that I am stronger both physically and mentally to go thru this journey, it is a hard road for the caregivers!

Please remember to take care of yourself because that is important too!

Hopefully all the staging information will be revealed next week and I will be able to better visualize my pathway!

Have a great weekend,
Bev

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi,

My husband has a new diagnosis of Colon Ca...I thought, until today, that his diagnosis was Stage 3 of the small intestine...BUT, I stand corrected. The cancer involves the Colon and the small intestine therefore the oncologist stated it is Colon cancer....He, the doctor, told us that this is very curable not just manageable. So we are very happy.

I hope that when you get the "stage" etc you will see light too....Prayers for you.

We will look for your post, the other shoe....that is so appropriate for how I feel too.
Gail

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OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I am feeling better today. Maybe I just needed to get things off my chest a bit. Writing seems to help me with that.

As you and Lori have both told me (and really I know it too) I DO need to tell my husband. That's going to be tough. I will and it will work out okay, it's just that I have to be strong when I tell him, and I wasn't at that point at first. It seems that I am getting there.

If you all know me, although I am a whimp when it comes to seeing my blood and stuff, I am "a tough old bird" when it comes to pain, so I don't mind the stick of needles, it's the sight of the blood or seeing the stitches that make me faint dead away! Funny too, because when I was a kid, I worked at veterinary hospitals as a technician, so dealt with blood and guts and all that wonderful stuff. As long as it wasn't mine, I was fine. I assisted the veterinarian in surgery, so I literally had my hand in it! LOL! Just have trouble dealing with the stuff sticking out of me! Haha!

Thanks for writing and I hope you have a pleasant weekend!
Bev

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OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Yep, I got my AAS in Animal Health Technology; even taking the NYState licensing exam. After all that it seemed better to go on with school and I wound up still in science but at the administrative end of things.

I worked a long time in research laboratories; so I have a fair amount of knowledge about basic science research. Not so much clinical, but enough to have a competency in some basic stuff. I can see how working at vet clinics would help with nursing! Wow! Thanks for your dedication in that profession! To me nursing would be difficult. Do you still practice?

jararno's picture
jararno
Posts: 189
Joined: May 2010

Wow...You have been through the ringer!
Try to relax and breathe! I too am a super needle/blood freak! But I made it through 12 Chemo treatments and lots of needles. The thing that saved me was the Chest Port that is implanted for Chemo infusions. I still get sick or faint at times, but actually had very little trouble during the actual chemo.

I have had the nurses position pumps and blood transfusion bags where I cannot see them.
I never watch any proceedures and keep my eyes shut!

You are a trooper! You have been through so much and you will be able to make it through this newest adventure! It will not be easy, but you can do it!

Let us know how things are going!

Take Care,

Barb

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OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Wow, you have been through enough!! I do understand about wanted to work because going back as soon as I could after the ependymoma surgery made me feel more "normal". Your heart has been "broken" a couple of times, I see, and I hope you can heal from that. I cannot yet imagine what you have been through - you are extraordinary (and I am edu-ma-guessing that most peeps have similar stories to you and are all amazing!) My story is nothing compared to you, yet you took the time to write and comfort me, so thank you from my heart!

So glad to hear you are feeling great!
I think western medicine is starting to "get" some of the actual benefits of alternative medicines, so that is cool that you are seeing a naturopath.

I am sure you will keep us all posted!
Bev

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Oh yea! I am not the only one with a needle/MYownBlood reaction! Ha!Ha! So far I haven't fainted thru my 3 (or was it 4) IV lines (contrast, fluids, you all know the drill, I'm sure!) and the clinical staff was very understanding about me not seeing it. I told them all upfront and they were great!

I don't yet know my path, but I am resolved to be strong and carry on the best that I can! Thanks for your encouragement!

Bev

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

Welcome aboard the semi-colon train! Lots of room here, but so sorry that you had to find us. Now that you have though, there are perks to this club :) Perks being... the best support group, online or off, that has a wealth of knowledge that they can share. So whatever you are going through, or going to go through, there will always be one or more people who have been through similar experiences and can guide you through by answering any questions you might have :)

It looks like you've already met some of the gals here... and reading all your responses to them, plus your first post... I feel like I know you already :D Oh boy do we all know what you mean when you say your world turned inside out and you feel so overwhelmed right now. The reason for that is... your world HAS turned inside out and upside down. No matter what the news after your tests, your world's "normal" will have changed. You've been through so much other non-related stuff, to have to now go through this... well, your toughness certainly is being tested, isn't it??

Now... as for talking about this may be the "One" and you wonder how much time you have left with your family, etc.... it's only human to think like that. After all, haven't we for generations and generations only whispered the word "c a n c e r"?? It was a word we didn't want to talk about, certainly not out loud, because everyone knew if you got cancer that was a death warrant. It's amazing how many success stories there are, that really and truly don't get the same press as "dying from cancer". The reality is... some do lose the battle, not because they haven't been fighters but it's just the nature of the beast. But just as many, if not more, survive cancer and/or just live with cancer in their lives. They adjust their "normal" to fit it in and treat it as a chronic disease. One we'd rather not have, for sure, but who wants any kind of chronic disease?

Sooooo, until we know more about what that tumour has been up to, whether it can come out and that's that, or perhaps it has to come out and you have to have the standard forms of chemo, perhaps radiation... all of that is unknown until they do the tests and figure out where you are at. Then once they have you staged and know where you are at, then they will come up with your unique, individual plan. And we all will be here to cheer you on because chances are, whatever your plan is, it will be one some of us have been on.

Anywho... just wanted to welcome you to the group and to say I LOVE your humour and strength! You are going to fit very well into this group, so I hope you can set up a corner here and feel right at home :) This can be your new cyberhome where you can say or do whatever you want (uh... but ya, politics and religion... not a good idea ).

Oh... and about the telling the husband. I realize you are just getting yourself together before you break the news, but I think the sooner you tell him the better. Granted, you don't want to stress him out anymore than he already is with his job and with what you've been through before, but at the same time, the longer you put off telling him, the more isolated he will feel when he finds out you've been carrying this all by yourself and not sharing with him. Sometimes withholding information (for very good, thoughtful reasons) can backfire and then every time you have a test or get news and you tell him, he's going to wonder, "Are you telling me everything?". Neither of you need that hanging over your heads for this journey.

And the last little bit of advice I can think of... first tell hubby (you will feel much better once it's out in the open) and then go to your nearest stationary store and pick up a little notebook. You have said that it helps you just to write things down.. well this is where your writing skills will come in handy. You are going to have a ton of questions... some simple, some a little more difficult and some that only pertain to you that your oncologist will be able to answer. Anytime you come up with a question, write it in your notebook, so that you have them to take to your appointments. Likewise, write down the answers they give you. Now this may all seem like overkill, but trust me... whenever you go to your appts., you THINK you are going to remember all your questions, but you will be lucky if you remember 2 or 3. And chances are you won't remember the answers, or you will have heard them one way and remember them totally differently after you have left the appt. There were things that were told to me that I do NOT remember my oncologist mentioning... but I had taken a friend with me to all my first appts. and the stuff she told me ... well, it was amazing how much of it I didn't hear.

Ok... there you have my babble! I'm a babbler from way back, so my posts tend to reflect that :)

Welcome aboard!!

Cheryl

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

....a train engineer?!

Hi Cheryl, I noticed a few of your posts prior to taking the jump into the boards. Thanks for making me feel welcome!

I do have a wacky sense of humor, and so I hope I don't offend. My husband gave me a nickname after my ependymoma ressection surgery "Zipperneck"! I had a line of black stitches running from under my hairline at the base of my skull down to just between my shoulder blades....like a zipper on a dress! Good thing I couldn't see it - well, I guess I could have done the hand mirror thingy like they do at the haircut places - but you know I would have gotten sick or fainted, so better left alone! Anyhow, that was a funny nickname, don'tcha think?!!

Thanks for the great advise as I get ready to have surgery! I don't know yet what the other "plans" will be....

Thanks again for making me feel welcomed!

Bev

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

hi bev,

tell em when your ready, the right time should come soon, you'll know in yuour heart.

if you were not overwelmed i'd be surprised. any cancer diagnosis and all that it means is one of the most life challenging extreme events you can go through.

its not a walk in the park our disease, so be very overwelmed.

its a dam overwelming condition!

i'd recommend meditation from the start, get second opinions if you feel you need them. try and hang onto to hope.

i have a dream of beating the disease everyday i live.

like cheryl, said your on the semi colon train now. Its really really long and stretches around the globe.

again sorry to welcome you aboard, but that said
"its nice to meet you"

hugs,
pete

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for the encouragement! I understand that you're a walker! I am not a runner (bad knees - they are "rice krispie knees" according to the Physical Therapist! LOL! But!! I do love to walk and I can use certain elipticals to "run", so I do what I can to get exercise during the week.

I don't think I have ever "officially" meditated, but I do love yoga, and I try to remember to "breathe" each and every day. I like best to walk outside, but darn it, where I live is not always so weather nice. We take those beautiful days outside with relish! Today for example it is greatly overcast and rainy. Blah!

What are you wearing in your photo? I hazard to guess either some kind of parasailing thing or you enjoy scuba diving (ok, that's another thing I would LOVE to try- but only in WARM water!) or maybe you jump out of airplanes as a hobby? Otherwise, I am not sure but it does look wet-suit-ish (is that a word? - If not, it is now) so do tell if you ever have the chance!

And WHY are you lost at sea? Because you are a pirate and lost your ship? Did the crew mutany? Or are you being metaphorical?

Cheryl told me to write down questions, but I don't think that she meant these types of questions! :-D

Yes, I have told my hubbie. And our 15 year old (the girlie). I did have to "get myself together" before I could and part of that, I think, was the "unloading" that I did here. Thanks for your kind words! Thanks also for making me feel welcomed!

Bev

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

Hi Bev,

I'm Lisa and welcome to this board, even though it's lousy that you now have a reason to be here! I've been coming on this board for almost two years now- I was diagnosed as stage IV rectal cancer in 8/07, over 3-1/2 yrs ago now. I'm still here, still kicking, and still fighting. I understand that you are overwhelmed, but it does concern me that you are carrying this alone. I know by coming here- and I'm so glad that you did- you are really not totally alone, but it really is important to share things with your husband and family. Yes, it will be stressful and very upsetting to them, but they are your family & I don't think they'd want you to have to carry it by yourself. Tell your hubby soon, maybe wait on telling the kids until you have results back from your CT and know your stage, etc. Hopefully it will be in the early stages and will not have spread. There is a high cure rate for colorectal cancer found in stage I and II. If it does turn out to be a stage III, well there are several people on this board who were stage III and are now considered cancer free. If for some reason it ends up that it has spread and is a stage IV, well there are even a couple of people on the board who have become cancer free even after a stage IV diagnosis. I don't happen to be one of those, as I'm still taking chemo and still fighting it, but I am still here after all this time and still function pretty well day to day- I still drive my kids to and from school, go to Bible Study, go to lunch with friends, and actually appear pretty normal- people tell me they'd never know I even have cancer just by looking at me. I guess I've been pretty fortunate and blessed in that respect. I actually catch less colds now than I did before my cancer diagnosis- so the irony is that since I've gotten cancer, I've been pretty healthy in all other ways.
Stay away from reading internet survival statistics, as tempting as it may be. Most of them are far outdated and old. Statistics, by the very nature of being a statistic, are ALWAYS outdated, as they are based on people who were diagnosed and treated at least five years beforehand. There have been several advances made in that period of time!

So far as being squeamish ("wimpy" in your words) about needles, blood, etc.- well, that is a hard one. I used to practically pass out when my blood was drawn, and now I get my blood drawn once a week without even batting an eye about it. I've discovered that the nurse at my cancer center draws blood so well, that I truly can barely even feel it. The lab tech at the LabCorp center where I used to go was a beast by comparison- it really hurt every time she drew blood! My chemo nurse's expertise and gentleness in that area proves that it does not have to hurt & when it does hurt, the person drawing blood just isn't very good at it! I think you should be better off getting it drawn at your cancer center that you'll end up going to.

Well, depending upon your stage, you may end up having surgery first, having radiation first, or having chemo first. That will all depend upon location/size of tumor and if the cancer has spread to other locations in your body or not. If it has, then you will probably do chemo first, unless your tumor is causing a blockage.
When I was diagnosed, I first did chemo for six months & then became a surgical candidate afterwards. My rectal tumor actually disappeared following six weeks of radiation (which was a month after my 6 months of chemo), so I never did end up having a colon/rectum resection surgery. The only surgery I have had was a liver resection, in which 55% of my liver was removed. Not a cake walk, but I actually did recover pretty quickly and well.

Hugs to you my dear- I know you're going to need lots of them- prayers for you too.
Keep in touch here & anytime you want to talk further, you can always send me a PM (private message- like an email, but within the CSN system. You can find that on "Home").

Take care-
Lisa

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

I don't yet know my stage (although presumed to be "earlier") and I don't want to worry about it just yet. Getting my head together enuff to be able to tell my husband was part of my own issue, and I needed to do that to present a strong face, and not fall apart on him. That would only be all the more rough for him to bear.

They've mentioned chemo, but I am not sure "when" at this point. I figure I will hear shortly, afterall, that was "just yesterday" that I had the tests...

Thanks for the virtual hugs! I have felt so welcomed by everyone here, that I do plan to stick around for a bit.

What kind of "puppy" is your little sweetie in the photo? We had a Lhasa years ago, but I did always have troubles identifying Shitzus and Lhasas unless I saw them side-by-side. Our Daize Mai lived a full doggie life of 18 years!

Thanks again for your kindness!
Bev

AncientTiger's picture
AncientTiger
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2011

Greetings Bev & Welcome!

I think just about everyone here can relate with the "world has dropped out from under me" feeling you're experiencing right now. I know I sure can. On Monday, March 8th of last year I was admitted to the hospital with several abdominal pains, Tuesday I was under the knife to remove the obstruction in my colon, and that Friday my surgeon was explaining to me that it was stage 3 colon cancer.

As Cheryl stated, we're trained that cancer is the absolute worst thing in the world, no one can survive such a fierce disease, etc, etc... Ummmm... I beg to DIFFER. I think many others in here would second my opinion that talking about it, and hearing about it are worlds apart from actually HAVING it. You'll find out that it very likely is NOT the end of the world, that it CAN be fought, and that you CAN win. So, it's a big damn dog, it looks mean and it makes a fearsome noise.... but it ain't as mean as it lets on. YOU can be MEANER than IT ;)

Without knowing you or your hubby, it's not my place to give advice on how to approach him with the news, but GENERALLY speaking, your spouse is your #1 source of support. Don't do yourself a disservice by denying yourself that. And if he's any sort of man, HE is going to want to know so that he can step up and do what he needs to do to help you through this. I CAN tell you from personal experience... the battle I've fought with my wife by my side has brought us closer together than I thought possible. We were close BEFORE, and I really didn't think we could be any closer... boy, was I wrong!

As for the needles and such.. I have to confess to being a bit of a wimp about them too. Not quite to the extent of passing out or losing my lunch, but definitely not on the top ten ways to spend the weekend. During the five weeks I spent in the hospital after my colon resection surgery (not the normal length of stay, by the way...I had complications, which made me "special" lol) I was poked on enough that they become boring. A nurse would come in every morning to draw blood, and it got to the point I'd wake up just long enough to flop my arm out for her to work on, then would doze right back off.

It's truly amazing what a person can learn to endure.

This is a great place to be, Bev... lots of caring folks who have a wealth of experience to draw upon. Glad you found it ;)

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

I thank you kindly for your greetings! I think I had already read some of your posts and saw your comments about your dear wife.

What Pete said was that I needed to tell him when I was ready, and I know in my heart that I needed to do this, but as you recognize, my world had been shaken, and I was just so overwhelmed emotionally with the news that I needed that time to process. I think I must be a slow processor! LOL! That's not always such a good thing, but hey, NO WAY am I perfect, and don't I know THAT! LOL! :-D

We've been married like forever. We met in college first semester - I was 17 he was 18(until November - our birthday month) and in 1983 we married.

Hummmm...."Ancient Tiger"...is that a reference to Horoscopes? My hubbie, he's a Scorpio and I am mostly Sagitarius or cusp baby as I was born right about the cut-off dates for those dates. For fans of the Chinese Astrology, I am a "Metal Rat". If you know what this means, great, for I sure don't, but it sounds like fun! Ahhhh, but I digress...(as I am known to do and I am unappollogetic for it or bad spelling....) Anyhow, my question to you, is why that particular "username"? Maybe you're fighting fierce like a Tiger....in that case, I shall remember to tread lightly and behave myself around you! :-)

Back to the story: I have known this man (my before-mentioned spouse) for more than half my life (ooooooh gads, that sounds OLD!)and we're approaching the big 30 years! I WANT to make it to there! I would love to go to some place romantical and tropical (but wearing lots of sunscreen so I don't get sunexposure!) But we'll have to seeeeeee about that. Right now I am just waiting to see what is next.

Thanks for the welcome, and encouragement!
Bev

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Love2Cats
Posts: 127
Joined: Dec 2010

Love your username.

I totally understand you wanting to not stress your spouse out. I try to act well, even when I don't feel it. I try never to cry either, but sometimes it comes out.

I would try and find a therapist to talk with. Of course their are a zillion therapists out there, so perhaps you could get a recommendation through the American Cancer Society, to find someone who has dealt with these issues before. I believe it is important to reveal it when the time feels right for you, but I worry about it causing you additional stress by having to hold it in.

Take care,

Sandy

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Kitty antics are sure fun to watch! My dad has Alzheimer's so he's in a VA hospital in the Memory-loss wing; and I am reading "Making Rounds with Oscar" by D. Dosa. It is interesting in that the author is a medical doctor specializing in gerontology (older populations) and gives the reader the sense of his own perspective on life and living and the effects (of the disease) on the caregivers. It's quick reading and although the subject material would appear to be sad, it really appeals to my scientific-quirky background. Oscar is one of the cats that reside in the resident home in which the author works, and appears to somehow sense when one of the residents is ready to pass to the great beyond. It is not sad for me to read it, so I am enjoying it. I can appreciate it for the science background and for the social relationship value it presents.

Thanks for your advise, and it is appreciated. I did have "the talk" with my spouse, so that is good. I just needed the time, I guess, to get my own emotions under a stable state so that I could really talk and not be a "train wreak", now that I am officially a passenger on this train!

Thanks for writing!
Bev

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Welcome -- and I'm sorry you have reason to be here.

As your probably know already from your previous medical 'adventures', in many ways, what you are going through now is the toughest part -- the shock of diagnosis, the tests, the waiting for test results. Treatment is almost a breeze in comparison!

I was touched by what you wrote about your children. My kids were 8 and 10 when I was diagnosed. I ended up being diagnosed with Stage III rectal cancer -- not great. But that was 8 years ago! I've had quite a lot of treatment over those years -- but I'm still alive and kicking. This year, I got to see my youngest graduate from high school -- that was my dream, when I was diagnosed. Here's hoping you get to see those graduation dreams come true. Then, like me, you'll be needing to set new dreams!

Good luck and warm wishes

Tara

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

You never run out of prayers...... :) ........buzz

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Oh surly you are more of an expert on that than I. Thanks for the smile!

Are you really a Buzzard or why did you choose your username?

Bev

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for your welcoming words!

Wow, I am happy inside that you found my "histoire" ("story" in French) interesting and maybe a bit emotional.

At that time was working in a neuroncology lab (irony, n'est pas ("right" in French)) so I knew well that a diagnosis of gliablastoma was pretty much bad news - of course that was over 15 years ago now....yes, I have been thankful to have had these years with my sweet daughter. Darn that she's wayyyy taller than me now! Talk about a train wreak - the night my doctor called, my spouse was on a business trip and I wasn't able to reach him. That will be the most horrendous night of my life. This abeit upsetting, didn't have quite the same emotional impact as that one did. Probably because I do have 15 more years life experience on me (and a little more pudge probably too) AND because the oldest is almost 20 and she's almost 16, so it would not be so bad for them at this age than if they were younger... I know I didn't word that just right, but I can't figure out yet how to say it gracefully, but I could let go now knowing that "they'd be alright" whereas when they were really little, that was just devastating. I still don't say it right, so hopefully you understand what it is that I am trying to convey here.

You're alive and kicking and I sure hope you are feeling good about that! Thanks for the encouragment and kind words!

Now what are your dreams?

Bev

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5063
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm sorry you have to be here, but I know you'll find it helpful! Praying your news will be much better than you're thinking at the moment. And I don't think you should be worrying alone. Tell your husband!

*hugs*
Gail

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

I guess being "here" with "you guys" isn't so bad! Thanks for your prayers, and yes, I did tell my husband. I just needed time to collect my thoughts so I wouldn't be so scared of what I am about to face.

Thanks for taking time to say "hi".

Bev

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am sorry that you need to be here, but it is a fantastic support group. I want to wish you good results with your tests. Remember to take things 1 day, 1 hour, 1 minute even, at a time.

OtherShoeFell's picture
OtherShoeFell
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

You know I must ask is that "Anne Can Do This"! I am on your side as you are on mine! Thanks for the support, and good advise on taking each day as it unfolds!

The sun came out from the clouds and drearyness (is that a word? Is it spelled right?) so I went outside and marveled at the day!

Enjoy your day too,

Bev

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