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27 years old with stage 3 colon cancer

Kristie23
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2017

Let me start by saying I'm a mother of 3 beautiful children! That's my motivation to keep fighting through this pain every day until it's over! 

It all started with sharp abdominal pains at work in 2015. I been to 6 doctors and 2 hospitals. I've been told that I was constipated and that I had gastritis. I changed my diet and lifestyle with no change in symptoms. I had every symptom besides bleeding can you imagine? The last symptom was weight loss. I lost almost 30 lbs! I finally seen a GI specialist. Even he thought I had ibs! When he ordered that colonoscopy and saw a tumor in my segmoid boy was he shocked and so was I. I prayed it wasn't malignant but it was. It was huge 10cm atleast. This happened on May 25, 2017. A day that changed my life! I was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer.

I have already completed 6 weeks of chemo/radiation. I didn't feel like it was too bad but it was annoying carrying that chemo pump around. I'm now taking a 6 week break for the radiation and chemo to clear my body for surgery. My surgery is on Sept. 12th and I'm terrified. My surgeon believes she can reconnect me since the tumor is not too low. After surgery recovery I will be doing 4 months of chemotherapy. It's going to be a long journey and I'm hoping someone can shed some light with their story. I'm so young and I see cancer does not discriminate! 

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4846
Joined: Jan 2013

You are too young. It is sad at any age, but seems so much worse when your young with little ones who should be taking all your time, not treatments. 

I'm glad that you made it through the first stage of treatments, and I'm definitely glad that you think you did well. For me, radiation was pure hell, and I didn't mind the 24/7 pump. 

I did things the other way around that you. Starting with surgery, then nine chemo treatments (FOLFOX & 5FU) and topped that off with six weeks of radiation and chemo.  

After a little glitch (called a liver met), back in 2014, I am now NED (no evidence of disease) for THREE years; and thats at stage IV. So you see, you will do very well, plus you have your age to help you along. Us old codgers tend to be a little weaker than you young ones :)

Still, its not a pleasant ride, no matter the age. And I know your fears. My children are grown, yet I still fretted about leaving them. Once a mother, always a mother. 

Good luck as you go forward. We are all here to help you alone the way.

Tru

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 892
Joined: Apr 2017

If it is any consolation, the surgery was nothing compared to the chemo for me.

Phoenix_66's picture
Phoenix_66
Posts: 118
Joined: Jun 2017

I would not worry too much about the surgery.  I had 12 inches resected in 2006 and in light of the treatments, I agree with SandiaBuddy, the surgery was a breeze.  Make sure you have checked out your surgeon well and have a really good one.  As long as they are very competent, it should be prettty routine.

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

I'm so sorry you're here. There's something always shocking when someone so youg gets the diagnosis. You can see why the doctors wouldn't be looking for that right away. I also had the chemo and radiation first and then surgery. It was in the winter so my winter coat covered the chemo bottle when I was out so that helped for me but it was definitely an annoyance. The surgery wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated. I was home in a few days and was walking around the ward after the first day. They said I could go home when I could walk around it five times so that's what I did. It would have gone quite easily after that but I had some complications that are not common so I won't go into it.

You'll pull through it very well, I'm sure. It's not fun but it's part of getting you back to health. Best of luck!

Jan

plsletitrain
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

I'm just older than you by 3 years and I was also diagnosed Stage 3.  Being diagnosed with cancer has also been a very big blow to me, I never expected I'd have it.  No one in the family had.  At 30, I thought I'd be busy with caring for my small children.  Not chemo.  Oh well, you really don't know what life throws you.  God bless to us all! We can do this! You can do it! You have your children as your inspiration, plus, after the surgery your stage will be downgraded.  Stay strong.  For yourself and for your kids.

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2017

My name is Brad and the Chief of Surgery a Sloan Kettering in NYC, has me on a non-surgical approach.  I start chemo (pills) and radiation for 6 weeks, then short break, instead of surgery which is the standard practice, they are having me fo through 4 months of chemo.  They want to try and eradicate the tumor all together, they said I have  25% chance this may go away completely.  I too, am scared of surgery especially as a male, becuase of al the nerves in pelvis..plus if they connect, the Dr. said I could or would have bowel issues for life, meaning may have to go 10-20x a day or not all...as your Dr about non surgical approach.  Sloan Kettering is the best hospial in the East, so I assume they know what they are talking about.

Good luck

Brad

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 996
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi Kristie23, my colectomy was on the sigmoid section, almost ten years ago. I healed up fine, they took my swollen appendix and fixed a belly button hernia while in there. I had no long term bathroom troubles. This is a very common, practiced surgery so take heart, it's scary stuff, but doable. For specific details, click on my or anyone's blog name to get the whole story...............................Dave

jordanmiller91
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2017

Hi Kristie!

After reading your post, I felt compelled to reach out especially since it is hard to find others that are so young that you can relate to. I have actually never posted anything on here before, I just come to read and find answers sometimes. I want to start by saying you are defintiely not alone. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer this May just a few weeks before our wedding. On May 10, he had a colonoscopy and they were also very shocked to find a large tumor in his colon. He had just turned 27 a month before his diagnosis. He was also experiencing strange symptons- stomach pain, bleeding, irregular BMs, etc. I am glad you listened to your gut and kept following through until you got answers! His cancer metastasized to the liver (he had 4 metastases on his liver). He started chemo (5FU) pretty immediately (in May) and also just had his surgery one week ago- on September 14th. He will also go back for a second surgery in a few weeks to resect the other part of his liver. Once he is healed from his surgeries he will also go back for 6 more rounds of chemo. Despite being stage 4, his oncologist and surgeons feel very hopeful for a cure and I just know you will be cured too! I hope that your surgery went well and you are recovering well! You and him are in a very similar boat so if you ever want to talk- I am here!! Many praryers for you and your family during this time

 

-Jordan 

ericliu's picture
ericliu
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 2017

kristie:

my wife 32 yrs old , she was diagnosed colon cancer stage IV July 2017 and at that time on the surgery, removal of the tumor, next week will 4th chemo , i guess we got this trouble at same time , so dont be afraid , be strong . 

we can fight it together .

 

- eric

 

ReeRee2's picture
ReeRee2
Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2017

Hi,

i was diagnosed with colon cancer on the 22nd of September. I am going Monday to UT Southwestern to meet with an oncologist.  The surgery was a breeze and I was out of the hospital 2 days later. I just returned from Costa Rica getting my dental work finished before I start Chemo. 

I have written down some questions and concerns to ask the doctor but would also like some input from others. Neuropathy is a major concern. I work form home on the computer  so I do not want neurop if I can avoid it.

My husband has a TBI so I am dealing with a lot right now. 

what other side effects did you experience?

SophDan2's picture
SophDan2
Posts: 134
Joined: Jul 2017

Hi Ree,

 

I was diagnosed with Stage 3C colon cancer back in May. I had it surgically removed , along with 25 lymph nodes. After which, I had a port placed in my chest. I have been on chemo treatment of Folfox, just completed #11 of 12 treatments. My concern was also the neuropathy. you should be a strrong advocate for yourself when you talk with your Onc. Throughout my entire treatment, I make sure to let all of my Onc team members, that I do not want to end up with life long neuropathy. As a result, they all listened to me. After my 9th treatment, the length of the neuropathy feeling last up to 9 days after treatment started (Treatments are every 2 weeks for a 48 hour period, I go home with a pump for 46 hours), I knew that if the Oxi was not reduced for 10th treatment, I would run into problems. As a result the Oxi was reduced by 20% for treatments 10 and 11. If after this current treatment things don't get worse, I'll stay the course. If they worsen, I'll request the Oxi be reduced another 20% for my last treatment.

You will be fine, as long as your are involved in the decision making process; some people just go along with the doctors, others do their research and stay involved, as it is our lives after all!

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

Thanks for the update on your status and also the example of how Folfox has gone.

queenwarrior
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2017

I was 42 when diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer with mets to the liver. I cant tell you what quite a shock it was at first.  I cant imagine the shock you must of had as well.  I am also a mother of 4 kiddos, one with special needs so to say the least my very first thought was FIGHT and SURGERY. I am not sure why I just wanted the cancer OUT.  I worried I would need a coloscomy bag i think its called but lucky they were able to reattach my stuff.  I also had a liver resection at the time and they took about half of my liver. As far as chemo goes, it is never easy but the best advice i can tell you is to be proactive with letting your doctor know the symptoms you are experiencing so they could either adjust the dosage or give you meds to help offset the side effects. Im assuming you will be getting f U therapy with the pump? If so the pump can be very annoying at first but as time goes on you will get used to it being there for a few days. I wish you the very best of luck on your journey and the best possible outcome for you and your family. I think the fact we were younger could help in someway. I was able to start chemo just two weeks after my liver and colon surgery. IF you have any questions or just need to talk. I am here for you anytime and again. Stay strong, you can do this and keep that beautiful head up and fight :) 

EissetB
Posts: 135
Joined: Apr 2017

I was 65 when diagnosed with stage 3. It hurts to find out I had it. The stomach pain started when I was in so much stress with work and with our bully neighbors. I ignored the pain for 3 months!! Then it hit me hard when one day I cannot make a bm for 3 consecutive days!!  And when I finally did it was a bloody stool. To make the story short, I ended up to have a colonoscopy. And sure enough I had cancer with stage 3C. They put me in the operating room the following day just right after colonoscopy. I had the resection.  Stayed in the hospital for 3 days. After 6weeks, my surgeon recommended a 6 months chemotherapy!!! I cried a lot,  but he knows how to calm me down by saying I don't have to worry for he took care of my tumor and it's all gone. He added that chemotherapy is going to kill those cancer cells that might had escaped during the surgery. With his explanation I calmed down and accepted his advice. I had just finished my 6 months treatment,  and getting port removal on the 9th of November. Hang in there, you'll make it through the treatment. You are still young. Your body will  heal faster after the surgery and treatment. Have faith in Him for He is our Healer. God bless us all

Eisset

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