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Scared to death of the unknown

Mamakat35's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi... My Name is Heidi and 2 weeks ago I had my gallbladder removed as well as a Left Hemicolectomy removing 31cm of my decending and part of my sigmoid colon after a 5.5 cm mass was found. The results that came back were Adenocarcinoma Sage 1 and 0 out of 29 lymph were involved. Believe it or not, I'm an ER nurse and am fairly clueless about stages and the such when it comes to colon cancer. My Doctors all tell me that I am fine, that I just need to give myself time to recover... but I can't stop shaking and my mind is racing. I know that this was found early, and i know so many people have it worse off than I do, But I am petrified. I have my first follow up oncology appt tomorrow and i know that there is a PET scan in my near future. I don't even knowwhat I'm asking for, or looking for on this blog... i just am so damn scared and wanted to be "closer" to people who might understand my fears...

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Well, Cancer is a very scary word, isn't it?  There is alot of negative connotation associated with that word...and rightfully so. 

Here's the good news though...you are at an early stage and it was caught pretty early.  You will probably end up recovering from surgery and not require any adjuvant treatments like chemo or radiation...especially with zero lymph involvement. 

It's hard to hear cancer...but if you had to hear it...you heard it at the right time.  There are two Stage I's on the board that I know of; they don't post a great deal...but they have done fine and just did the surgery with no additional treatments. 

That's about as good as it gets in our world here...

I know you're still very scared...completely understandable.  Aren't we always afraid of the Unknown? 

Fear comes from not knowing...read this forum and you will understand...and then that understanding will help you cope better with your diagnosis.  We're always going to have fear - the issue always will be..."How do we manage our fear..."

That kind of a lesson does not come overnight...it takes time. 

And the good news is that Time is what you are going to have alot of. 

We'll talk more about PET scans later...but I'd bet right now, that it will be clean and show no uptake since you recently had surgery.  If there is something there, then you've identified it and can get after it.

Welcome to the group and ask questions when you need to.  Alot of your initial answers can probably be found by scrolling the posts and looking at the topics. 

We all understand - and we all get it - and we'll be glad to help you in any way that we can.

Best of luck to you!


Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Craig is right. Hearing the words "you have cancer". Is terrifying. I think most people who are unfortunate enough to hear those words feels thier worst nightmare has come true. But the good news is like Craig said again it was caught at a very early stage. It is highly likely they got it all and you will be fine.

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

We all cried and screamed in the beginning.  The unknown is what we are all afraid of!  I tell everyone if they did not cry and scream in the early stages they are either heartless, or fibbing.  I cried quite a bit when I was DXed for cancer.


Then I decided I was not going to be a passenger in my health.   I took the energy and emotion and put that towards my learning more about my cancer.  The more I read here, and had contact and positive support here. The more I read and studdied research papers about Colon Cancer. Now I have a library of books on diet, cancer, nutrition and vitamins.  I have learned a lot and have a enough information that I can have good discusions with my doctors.  I also can tell if they are leading me down a poor choice path.


Focus on your Mental Health, Diet, Exercise, and Nutrition. These are all of the key aspects to beating cancer.


Best Always,  mike

PS We are sending our thoughts and prayers for good results! 

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012

I am also a nurse. You would think a nurse would know more about this but unless you are an oncology nurse the knowledge is limited to what we learned in school. I found out I had stage IV colon cancer last April. Scared to death and totally clueless (I am a med/surg nurse). Finding out you are stage I is the best it can be hearing the word cancer. You will do just fine. Good luck with your oncology appt.
Sandy :)

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Heidi. Congratulations on finding it early. Your situation sounds fantastic. I'm sure hearing cancer is difficult. But you have every reason to believe that you will move on from this and live a long and healthy life. Stay on top of the scans and scopes. You'll be fine.


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5427
Joined: Jan 2013

Cancer is not good news, but stage one is. I have several (and I do mean several and not just two) friends and relatives who were stage one, and all of them have had no reoccurance and are living like cancer never happened (though I know it has to be there still in the back of their mind). 

Your fears though are completely normal. Who wants to hear those words? NO ONE! But we have, and so we have to deal with the emotions, the surgeries, the treatments if they are needed. It takes time to come to terms with, so don't be mad at yourself for your tears and fears. 

We are here for you every step of the way with love and support. 

Keep us informed on your progress.


devotion10's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

your cancer was caught early ... but, you have every right to be scared as your life has changed and you must now deal with this. You don't have to know what you need from this board ... just come here on your journey and whatever you need at that moment or whatever questions arise  ... you will receive support and information that will help you.

-- Cynthia

We're merely one tree with various types, shapes and sizes of leaves that all wave differently in the breeze.



barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Emotions run high in the beginning and often throughout.
Educate yourself about disease and the folks on this board are so knowledgeable and helpful.

Wishing you healing :and wellness. BARB

Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

I understand your fears.  Seven years ago this month I was diagnosed with Stage I colon cancer and underwent a right hemi-colectomy.  I did not have chemo or radiation.  Since then I've had yearly physicals and frequent colonoscopies.  The fear of recurrence was one step behind me for about three years.  As my knowledge of traditional and alternative treatments increased, my fear decreased.  Knowledge is power!  I have not had any recurrence.  Mentally and physically I am not the same person I was seven years ago, but that's a good thing.  I have spent countless hours volunteering at various cancer activities and in my church.  My friend and I started a cancer support group at our church.  My faith has helped me to accept my "new normal."  I just want you to know there is hope!


Coloncancerblows's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013


You have every right to be scared.  Cancer is such a terrifying word.  I am stage 3B and wish I was stage 1.  The good news is they caught it early.  Will be praying for you.


annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

than a cancer dx (or not much, anyway).  As you say, the "unknown" is a big part of the problem.  We don't know what to expect or what is coming around the next bend, and it's truly terrifying.  It does get better, though.  For me, the worst part was the first 3 or 4 weeks after dx, when things were still in limbo.  Once I got all my scans done and got a tx plan in place, I started to feel a bit better.  Sounds like there will be no tx for you so long as ths PET is good (and that really is lucky, even if it's hard to see that at the moment), so hopefully once the scan is over, and you get a little further down the road, you will start to feel less scared.  And you can always come and talk with us...we get it!  Hugs~Ann Alexandria

KayeKay's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

you are very lucky that it was cauggt early. cancer is very scary in just the word itself. please dont worry your life away. and trust me i know thats easier said than done. im on my second round battling cancer and when the nurse accessed my port the other day the tears just poured. u have to surround yourself with positive people and even just reading the threads on here help. best of luck were always here:)

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