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And so it starts...

JanetRotundo
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2014

I had a colonoscopy on August 18, CT scan on August 22, surgery on August 26 with a diagnosis of Stage IIIB colon cancer. Today, I met with my oncologist and mapped out the short-term future. I will be having my port put in on September 18 and begin FloFox6 on the 30th. I am shell shocked...I was expecting, perhaps, IBS or Diverticulitus, not cancer. I'm trying to get all the info I can to prepare, but feel like I'm getting pulled under the waves.  Thank you for having a place where I can read of other's experiences and share mine...Janet

Yolllmbs's picture
Yolllmbs
Posts: 361
Joined: May 2014

To the board. Sorry you needed to find the board. I have the same diagnosis but mine started in April. I'm going to have my 9th cycle of folfox. it seems so unreal. I had no symptoms  The thought of cancer never crossed my mind. It's doable. Just step at a time. 

Yolanda

hippiechicks
Posts: 509
Joined: Sep 2012

 

So sorry to hear of your new diagnosis. You are at the right place for wonderful support and information. try to take some deep breaths and know your not alone. This is a very overwhelming time and things move quickly, but here you will find lots of information and wonderful people to help get you through. 

welcome to the board, sounds like your doctors are not wasting time! That's great!!  

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Annabelle41415
Posts: 6184
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry that you had to join us but you are in a very good place for knowledge, sympathy and the people that know where you are coming from.  It's a hard road to travel, but you can do it.  It's more scary first going through it and finding out than actually getting through it.  We are here to help you in any way we can.  Answer any questions you have, and be here for you going through the emotions.  Please let us know what and when treatment will start.  Ask away as we have been there.  The port is much easier on your system than through the vein so be thankful for that.  Make sure you get some lidocaine for local numbing from your doctor before starting treatment.  Just put it on an hour or so before treatment on the port and put a band aid on it before they insert needle.  It won't hurt a bit.  Good luck and welcome.

Kim

fatbob2010's picture
fatbob2010
Posts: 467
Joined: May 2012

At this point it will seem as if there is an endless list of immediate things going on.  Over time you will learn the vocabulary and the routine.  Really great that you are hear since there is just so much wisdom and experience.

Ask anything...really you can.

Try to remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint!!  You will fall into a routine of sorts as time goes on.

once again, welcome to the board.

Art

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

Sorry to hear the news Janet. I was exactly where you are now 1 and 1/2 years ago, stage 3B CRC. Lesson 1 for me was how life can sideswipe you out of the blue and turn your world upside down. Lesson 2 is the basic goodness of people because you will receive an inspiring and abundant outpouring of support from family, friends, coworkers and fellow survivors. This place is great for practical knowledge or just a shoulder to lean on. You're not alone in this fight. I know it's hard but try to stay positive.  Folfox was not too bad for me, I had the symptoms but they went away, I didnt lose my hair. You can do this, good luck and keep us posted.

Richard/Easyflip

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

Janet, sorry you had to join this forum. But happy you found it too. A cancer diagnosis felt so devastating to me. But the fact is you can beat it. Keep a positive perspective. And learn a lot.

topics to research:

 

diet to help prevent cancer...

exercise as much as you can...

develop careful understanding on how to manage chemo side effects (so they don't manage you)...

be happy...

 

good luck to you on this journey. And God be with you.

 

Phil

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4830
Joined: Jan 2013

Welcome to this wonderful forum. I too, am sorry that you have to join us, but now that you're here, you will not find a better support group or better information. 

It really is overwhelming at first, but once you have started your Chemo regime, you will find that life settles down and because you are doing something about the Cancer, that really helps. 

A few things that really helped me were 1, A notebook, which I kept around me all of the time. Any symptoms, side effects, thoughts, feelings went down in this book, and I took it to every appointment and went through the list with my Oncologist. 2, Stay positive. So its Cancer, you and a million others have it, and there is no reason that you can't be the one to beat it. There are many stage III B who have posted on the forum, and don't post any more beause they are living life as survivors. And many still pop back in to support us. 3. I Kept a pair of gloves by the fridge, and was very careful when handling cold items, from food and drink to knives. I'm quite surprised to still have feet, as I've dropped many a cold item (including knives) on them. 

The list goes on, but I will stop there for now. 

We are here to help you with EVERYTHING. No question is out of bounds. Its Colorectal Cancer, we talk about the yukkie stuff too. 

Good luck as you start chemo on the 30th. And I promise you, your port will be your friend. I LOVED my port. Especially after watching a several nurses try to find a vein on a patient for a whole half hour. 

Sue - Trubrit

 

harleywiz's picture
harleywiz
Posts: 51
Joined: Aug 2014

hi, i am stage 4 and has been 17 months scince i found out you just got to take one day at a time and rember to laugh its only cancer it could be worse i tell my wife i could have been it by a truck even do some times i feel like i have. my life has not change that much ecept now i go to the doctors a lot but im still here and plan to stay (i will not leave my cat) so jus tbe postive theres a lot of fine people on here that will help any way they can

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I always say it could be worse. It could have been ALS (Lou Gerhigs Disease). That is an awefull almost hopeless way to go.

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Welcome and sorry that you have to be here. The doctors first told me it was IBS so I was relieved but the pain continued so I insisted on a colonoscopy. So I understand you wishing it was IBS. It is so overwhelming in the begining. The feeling you are being pulled under by the waves is a great description. You will get through it. We all feel like we don't know how we are going to get through it at the time but always do.

JanetRotundo
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome! I'm so glad to have found the forum... I am trying just to breathe and take one day at a time and appreciate the good people and things in my life!

 

Janet

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

Amen Janet. I too try to take time to appreciate and be thankful. I believe this is a top priority for many cancer survivors.

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

Someone mentioned that Stage III's don't post much anymore as they are out living life, this is true. I am one of them. You have a battle ahead but you can win this. I too thought my colonoscopy would reveal IBS but no, it was cancer. Surgery, radiation, chemo, ileostomy reversal, port removal. All in all it took 18 months to navigate through it. Treatment is different for everyone, I worked during my chemo, although I tired easily, it was manageable. 

Ibe celebrated the 5 year NED mark, and have the colon cancer ribbon tattooed on my shoulder as a badge of a warrior. 

You can do this! Stay strong, fight, enjoy your life even if it feels like it sucks right now. Life is much sweeter when you come out on the other side when this treatment journey is over. 

 

JanetRotundo
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2014

I got my port on Thursday and attended patient education on Friday...The surgery to remove the tumor didn't upset me, it was an ending, removing it and I would be finished. The port surgery empathized that this is a first step...I thought I was prepared,  until I sat in the chemo room talking to the nurses. My heart started to race and I couldn't breathe. I know this is a battle of hours, and I have to take it one at a time. Today is better, but I'm still dreading the 30th when I have my first treatment.

Thanks for letting me vent...

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

I remember very well when I was where you are right now. I know it's hard but don't let the 'what ifs' get to you. Take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this, you can! Some people have so few side effects they keep working. Surround yourself with support and get busy kicking cancer's butt! (pun intended)  : )

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