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New to the Boards-looking for virtual support

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

I am a 52 year old woman who was recently diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. I was diagnosed June 28th 2012 and had my surgery on July 6th . I am currently undergoing chemo. I go to the cancer center and get hooked up for about 4-6 hours then I leave with a pump attached for an additional 46 hours. If all goes well I will complete my treatment by christmas Originally I was told I had stage 4 and that my liver had multiple lesions but those turned out to be benign so I was downgraded to stage 3 I had been feeling tired although I joined crossfit hoping to get my stamina up. I went to Alaska with our daughter and had difficulty walking up the steps to the ship I was very lucky that through it all I never had a serious problem. When I got home I realized I should go see a dr. I called, got in was told I needed a stress test , had 6 vials of blood taken. I never believed I would complete the stress test but I never had to go. The morning of the appointment I got a call from my dr saying it was cancelled and I had to go to the hospital for a blood transfusion. I was surprised but at the time it did not register how sick I was. Our daughter was celebrating her sons 2 birthday and we had rented a house on the water, I was determined to go. She was also due to deliver their second child 8/3/12. I had plans and I was determined to go. My cancer had other plans After the blood transfusions I was told they wanted to do a colonoscopy and endoscopy to determine where I was bleeding from. The dr assured me there was nothing wrong with me but he would do both tests regardless. I had had a colonoscopy 5 years earlier and it was clear. When I woke up he looked at me and said you have colon cancer. It never registered with me. I had other plans and was determined to continue with my plans regarding our grandchildren. It didn't happen, instead I had the surgery and began the. Chemo. I was able to travel to charlotte for the arrival of our new grandson "Brooks" in between my chemo. I'm tired all the time , nauseous most of the time regardless of the meds I take.
I'd love to hear from others going through what I am. Sometimes I look around at people and wonder how many people I pass have been given the same news. I p,an on surviving, I plan on living. I'm currently not working since I find it difficult to work and go through all I am going through. I have a wonderful support system but sometimes I feel it would be great to talk to someone who is going through what I am. What I hate most is what this does to those you love. I hated telling our children. I hated what it did to my best friend , the love of my life , my soul mate my amazing wonderful husband of 30 years. That's what has been the most difficult for me. I know I'll be fine. I just hate all the crap you have to go through to get there. Would love to talk to someone going through what I am. Thanks. Sue

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Posts: 506
Joined: May 2012

I'm right there with you. I was diagnosed 4/11/2012 with stage 4 colorectal cancer. Had a large tumor in my rectum. I started chemoradation the following week for 5 weeks. Waited 4 weeks and had surgery. Surgeon removed rectal tumor, gallbladder, and liver tumor in a 5 1/2 hour surgery. Spent 6 days in hospital. Started Folfox 4 weeks later. I had my 3rd dose yesterday and it has been a little better. 1st dose was the worst, nausea, vomiting, couldnt eat or drink for 4 days. 2nd dose only exhausted for 2 days, unable to get out of bed. I am a nurse at the hospital where I had surgery and not able to work any more. I has been hard, too much time to think and read bad things. I have four children 29, 26, and twin boys that are 15. I have the best husband, and that is the hardest part. The thought of leaving them is unbearable. My mother is 81 and I am the youngest of 4 children. No cancer in our family. 9 more doses of chemo, I hope I can make it through. Good luck with your treatment and keep us posted.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

My name is Winter (real name), I'm stage IV colon cancer, diagnosed in 02/10, and doing well at this moment.
Cancer does take a lot out of you to get back to where you started, feel free to talk to anyone here about it, we've all been through it or going through it.
That's the thing about colon cancer, it does come as a surprise. I had the same difficulty in telling my husband and then my children (took me a couple of months to tell my daughter, I couldn't find the words, because I knew they would be causing her tears, and her grandmother had just died from cancer the year before), it was indeed the most difficult part of this cancer journey and so glad that it is out of the way.
It's strange isn't it? How we go around looking all normal? I discovered my next door neighbor had colon cancer, and my neighbor across the street two houses down had it too. The neighbor across the street directly had brain cancer, as did his wife (he is still here years later, she had passed)but both my neighbors with colon cancer are still here years after their diagnosis, they had chemo and surgeries. I've had them too, I am 2 1/2 years after diagnosis, and living life normally at the moment. I had to go get my port flushed (not currently on any chemo)and told them, sorry I was three weeks late, but I had forgotten I had cancer. It was good for a laugh and bright moment.
Best of luck to you, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask, there are many here that can help out, and many different answers.
Winter Marie

Posts: 520
Joined: May 2011

Sounds like you did the Alaska Cruise. Then Your next journey....color cancer. I too did the cruise with family and then colon cancer 2 years later. First of all take each treatment one at a time. Keep track of symptoms and questions ... Keep track of your blood levels ... They determine your treatment schedule.

Stay hydrated and eat the chemo diet found on the ACS site. eat well on your off week to maintain healing. Take each treatment one at a time. We are here to support you.

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2012

Sue, I was Dx'ed on 1/13/12, surgery 1/31/12 and have completed 11 of 12 chemo treatments. I first had pains on left side which were kidney stones, then a huge gallstone (out 12/5/11). They feel the gallstone may have masked the cancer for a while. I am stage 3b with no mets. I was 49 at Dx time.

The chemo can be challenging - take them one at a time. Get rest - which I know for me was hard because I could not turn my mind off. I worried about everything. Now that I am further into this process I have calmed down. I signed up for a free program for cancer wellness that my hospital offers. Exercise, nitrition and yoga all with specialists certified for work with cancer patients.

Be good to yourself, enjoy your family, lean on people for support when you need to.

What I have come to realized through this is we are unique in the way that we know what we have (cancer) and we are doing something about it. You will see many, many survivors on these boards. We learn how important nutrition is, how stress is so bad for our bodies and that we can and do get better. I too am in NC so please feel free to message me.

And remember - you CAN do this.

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks for writing. I'm so sorry you to are going through all this. I'm going for my third round of chemo on Tuesday. Does it continue to get harder. Do you feel sicker each time ??im trying to rest but it's hard. I feel like I want to do something. The being tired doesn't help. My counts were low so they gave me the shot. Do you know of that will be for each time. Did you have to get the shot to boost your WBC ?? I'm not worried but I do think about having cancer. I really believe I will be fine I'm only concerned with a possible set back. My tx should be done by Christmas which means that the new year I will start clean and clear. I think I may loose it if it gets pushed to next year. That's my biggest concern. I just want to be done. I really do believe that stress adds to this journey so I left my extremely stressful job I asked for a medical leave I think that is why I feel so positive and that I have a great suppor. You do learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I hear you about the yoga nutrition and exercise. I see my surgeon Tuesday and he wil release me and them I want to start doing something. Thanks so much for responding I really appreciate it. I hope you finish up soon and that your feeling good and everything will be fine take care. :)) Sue

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I wish I could answer those questions but I seem to have been an odd duck and did well on chemo, so I can't answer your questions above, hopefully someone will chime in.
Winter Marie

danker's picture
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2012

I had a chemo pump giving me 5fu for the 5 weeks I was getting radiation. A 6 week rest and then resection with iliostomy. 6 weeks with bag before takedown (reconnect colon). Developed fistula ( 6 more weeks with bag on fistula) which healed itself. Following year colonoscopy was NED (no evidence of disease) . Was 77 when dxed. Now almost 3 years since. A young lady like you can do it if I could. Just take it a day at a time. Best of luck to you.

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

You look great and you don't look 77 years young. ( or almost a little older , since its been a couple years ) You went through a lot. So happy that your fine now. I really do believe I will be fine and I'm taking it one day at a time ( although Im hopeful by Christmas I'm done and that I don't need to go into next year with tx my daughter keeps saying that too, one day at a time mom and maybe you will have some setbacks. I just hope not. Take care of yourself. You look wonderful for all you have been through Sue

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

If you're looking for support, you'll find plenty of it here.
I was dx in Spring 2009 with Stage 3 colorectal cancer and am now doing fine.
It's a difficult journey, but you CAN do it.
Welcome to the Board~

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

This is a great place for support and to get answers to questions. If you need a shoulder to lean on, cry on or punch when you feel frustrated I've got a pretty big on and it'll always be here for ya!

Welcome to the forum, just wish it were under better circumstances.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 4899
Joined: Feb 2009

You have found a great group of people and we are all here to help support you in any way that we can. There is a lot of knowledge on this board and just remember, there are no insignificant questions. If you have a question of any kind just post it and it will be addressed. This is a journey that no one wants to go on, but you can make it. Sounds like you have a very loving family supporting you and that is very important. Good luck with your treatments.


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