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Newly Diagnosed

jkaban
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2015

Hi, I am 38 and was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer. A 4cm mass was found in my sigmoid colon. My surgery is booked for July 29th. Been waiting for a month to get this tumor out of me. My blood work and CT scan all came back normal which was somewhat of a relief. I'm freaking out as I have never been put under for surgery but can't wait to do it do get it over and done with. Not sure what stage i am at as they won't know till after surgery and the Path report comes back. I have been known to "Dr. Google" and i read horror stories about survival rates which doesn't help my anxiety. Besides being tired and off and on bloody stools i feel fantastic which makes this all seem to surreal for me. :(

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

Welcome to the forum. Sorry you find yourself with CRC (Colorectal Cancer), but you make a good move in joining this forum. We will show you that surviving Cancer is less about rates, stats, odds and more about positive thinking. 

For sure, you can read back on the threads here, and know that we lose many fond friends, but there are many of us left, who have survived several years. We are happy, healthy (for the most part) productive members of society. For some of us, you wouldn't know we had cancer unless you were told. 

Try your best not to run ahead of yourself. Take it one day at a time starting with the surgery.

The surgery will be just fine (I've had 11, I know what I'm talking about). Make sure you get up and walk just as soon as you are given the OK. It will hurt when you are getting out of bed, but the walking will ease your body, get your system working again (especially the bowel, and you want that working as soon as possible), get your blood pumping and it makes you feel great. 

And after the surgery you will get your pathology report. Knowing where you stand, what stage you are, is a huge relief in its own way. Once you know that, you will hook up (if you haven't already) with an Oncologist (or two, if you go for a second opinion) and a plan will be made. Getting the plan, and starting treatment is also a relief. It is good to know that you are doing something to rid yourself of the Cancer. 

One thing I do suggest, which you may already have, is a good notebook. Write down EVERY question that comes into your mind, how you are feeling, physically and emotionally and go over your notes with the Doctors. I would also write down what they have to tell you as well, because you get a heap load of infortamtion fired at you, and it is hard to keep things staight, especially when your head is spinning with the shock of it all.

And come here. We are full of it, so to speak. You'll find folks across the board, and sure to be able to help you. 

Blessings on the 29th. I know it can't come quick enough for you. 

Sue - Trubrit

 

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

blood work coming back normal is huge. Stage 1 or 2 no sweat. 3 and 4 more serious but beatable. Try not to fret, be a warrior not a worrier! Trite but true. Tell Dr. Google to shove it! 

Easyflip/Richard

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1238
Joined: Jun 2013

Welcome to the forum. Try to relax and instead of reading about the negative scary stuff educate yoirself about recovery and healthier lifestyle in the future.

I and some other people here believe that according to some medical literature the over the counter medicine Cimetidine (Tagamet) may help to reduce the chances of the cancer spreading before, during and after the surgery. Consult your doctor right away and start taking at least 400mg twice a day until and a few weeks after the surgery.

Let us know how it is going,

Laz

jkaban
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2015

Thanks for your responses. I had my pre-op classes the other day and feel a bit better. Some things freaked me out but I need to get this ******* outta me!!! Lol..one thing i didn't know was the blood thinner injections for 28 days after. That came as a bit of a surprise. The nurse told me to expect alot of pain after surgery but she said pain is gaining health in this situation. I am feeling a bit more at ease but i do know that the more closer to my surgical date the more panicked i get. Ugh...just would like to have it done and over with!!!

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

I'm sorry that you have to have blood thinner shots for 28 days. Do you have an issue with your blood? I've never heard of folks having that before, or at last not here on this site. 

Be sure and ask them why, if you don't already know. 

I've never heard of pre-op classes either. How interesting!  I could have done with a few of them. I wished I'd known that my first bowel movement after surgery was going to be black (think babies Meconium), I freaked out when I saw it. I was sure something terrible had happened. 

Good luck with the surgery, and the shots. 

Trubrit - Sue

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1087
Joined: Feb 2015

Sorry to see another member, but this is a great place to be with wonderful people.  Surreal is the word I used also.

I was diagnosed with this as IIIC in Feb of this year.  (Scan in late January and colonscopy then also, surgery confirmed the stage).  Just finished my 9th session out of 12 in chemo.  And it is all doable.  Do not let the stats and other things get you psyched out.  I had some minor surgery, tonsils ear, but it was my first major surgery.  The anxiety/anticipation is worse than the reality.  Yeah, it kind of stinks for a couple of days, but it is now more a memory.  As others told me beforehand, get up and walking as soon as you can.  It helps spring you from the hospital :)  The pain was not horrific, other than some spasms in the hopsital, which was stopped by Ativan.  Coughing and sneezing also a bit of a pain for the first 1-2 weeks, so have a pillow handy to hold against your stomach.  

On the blood thinner issue, I actually needed a couple of pints of blood to top me up :)  The thinner during surgery was more than enough for me, which was figured out the first day when I started having bowel movements again, it was blood and nothing else.  Yuck.  But again not horrible, though not scenic :)

Come here often and post anything and everything, jokes, questions, venting.  The people who have been down this road are amazingly supportive and are able to advise, joke and BS from a position that is different.  Having the Scarlet C on your chest opens up a different perspective and understanding.  

Anyway, welcome again and hang in there.  

Fatherjohn
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2015

the unthinkable happened to me too last month. After a few months of abnormal digestive issues my colposcopy turned up a tumor. Luckily it had not spread and they removed it on July 7th. I got my aas walking ASAP and my "plumbing' was working within a day or so. They send me home on the 9th and the pain was minimal so don't worry. It was a fine line between being comfortable so that I could relax, and wanting to stop taking the pain meds so I mught not be constipated. Wonderful bowel movements 5 Days after surgery and every day since!

I am now waiting to have a Pet scan done to verify no lingering effects in liver and such. Seems like I have a great team at Mass General. Unless PET-CT turns up something it is 6 months of chemo- FoFLOX I believe. I am wondering if anyone can tell me what I'm in for after those 6 months?

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

It sounds like you are following in our footsteps, and hopefully the PET & CT will show that you are now NED - No Evidence of Disease. 

Everyone handles the chemo differently. It was quite brutal on me, the radiation more so. After two years, I am still suffering from chemo brain, and neuropathy in my feet. Some folks don't even expereince these side effects, so it all depends. 

There are numerous side effects, some you will get others you won't (if you're lucky). You may be able to work throughout treatment, or you may have to cut back or even stop. I lost my peripheral vision, so I couldn't drive, which really put a damper on activity. I also had crhronic fatigue, something I had never experienced, even with the babies up all night. 

This is a wonderful forum, and I hope you stick around. We can help you out no end. 

Why don't you open up your own thread, and that way we can all jump in and welcome you, without hijacking this thread. 

Sue -trubrit

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I had to have the blood thinner injections for a month after the surgery as well. They do it in the stomach or arm. The stomach sounds horrible but it's not bad at all. The needle is really tiny and it's quick. You may get a bit of bruising but it doen't indicate a bad shot. It's not unusual to get a blood clot after cancer surgery so that's why they do it. I almost died from a blood clot 6 months after my cancer surgery so the blood thinners are important. Although, I still think it was from the chemo, but anyway...

My oncologist told me they had another oncologist on staff who had colon cancer and had the surgery and developed a blood clot within days and died in the hospital. So when they want to put those inflatable socks on you to prevent blood clots, let them even though they're annoying. I'm now on blood thinners for the rest of my life but I got lucky and they approved a good blood thinner drug in March that can be taken by mouth without a bunch of follow up blood tests to make sure it's the right dosage.

Jan

UncleBuddy
Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

What is the name of the blood thinner you are on? My brother is on Xarelto, but I'd like to see if I can get him on something else. Those commercial scare me that I see on TV about Xarelto. 

Thanks,

Lin

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Lin, that's what I'm on. They have to list any possible side effect that could happen, no matter how small the likelihood. I sometimes get itching in the middle of the night and wonder if it's from the Xarelto as it's a possible side effect. I also have an IVC filter, I think that's what it's called. It makes me worry less. They put a camera down there and discovered that there's a big blood clot sitting on the other side of it so I can't have it taken out. And it shows it worked!

Jan

jkaban
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2015

HI All,

It's been a long time since i have been on. Just wanted to give a little update. Surgery didn't go as planned. At the very end while they were attaching my colon back together one of the staples misfired and went into my vaginal wall. They then had to open me up to go in and fix it, thus leaving me with a temp ileostomy and massive scar. My 3 hour surgery turned into a 7 hour emergency surgery! I was in hospital for 3 long weeks, i had every complication after surgery that  one can imagine :( But here I am, back at work and living life!!! My pathology report came back as Stage 1, and out of 20 lymph nodes taken all of them were negative! Whew! I am hoping to get my reversal done sometime this winter. I am still getting used to this "**** bag", it actually comes in handy at times haha. Regardless of all that I have been through i am thankful that everything turned out good. I am currently taking Turmeric Curcuma pills just for maintenance. Don't want the ******* to return! My doc says my prognosis is great and that i shouldn't worry about it recurring or metasizing. I pray that's the case as I have a little girl to raise and too much life to live!!! :)

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

I am sorry about the added surgery. How awful that must have been, to wake up and know that not only had they messed with your bowel, but your vaginal area as well. 

I am happy though, to hear that you are fully recovered, and heading into a life of being Cancer free. I am happy that you caught the Cancer at its earliest stage. 

Thank you for coming back and giving us an update. 

I wish you all of the best as you go forward with your life, your family, your happiness. 

Sue - Trubrit

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Complications suck. I had my tumour taken out and went home and was back in the hospital a few days later due to an abcess. Then home and then back again due the same abcess. I was not impressed.

I hope your doctor is right and you're cancer free!

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 993
Joined: Aug 2013

Even with all that surgical hassle, you got as good a result as any could hope for. Congrats on an excellent start to the rest of your life, with a new perspective, I'm betting, on what really matters. Enjoy your time..........Dave

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