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31 year old with stage 4 colon cancer

Gnataly5886's picture
Gnataly5886
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2017

I want to make the story short, I went to the hospital on July 10th 2017 because I had a little cramp on the left side of my lower abdomen and after CAT scans, a colonoscopy and a biopsy i was diagnosed with colon cancer  went thru surgery and found out that the cancer has spread to the abdominal wall not touching any organ or my liver but still stage 4 cancer. I got a port placed yesterday I'm kind in a little bit of pain and discomfort but doing fine. I'm seeing my oncologist on 7/16 to see what type of chemo I'm getting and how the whole treatment will be.  I'm here to see how many people are in the same situation, I'm only 31 I have 3 kids (9,5,3) and sometimes I feel down even tho Im very positive and try to be very strong I put this on gods hands but I want to know how other people take it.

 

thank you so much for reading thru this is a very difficult situation that sometimes I feel like that I'm just dreaming

 

god bless you all 

bobby66
Posts: 69
Joined: May 2017

I'm sorry that you are in this situation. Here you will noticed that all of us are going thru similar situations. My husband has colon cancer (this is his second reocrruence). He gets chemo every other week for 48 hours. The worst side effect that he has is touching or drinking anything cold. You can come to this forum anytime and will find it helpful and comforting. Please keep us posted. Will be praying for you.. 

Joan M's picture
Joan M
Posts: 411
Joined: Oct 2016

It's extremey difficult to hear such a diagnosis, especially in your situation, being so young with young children.   I was diagnosed at stage 4 last year at the age of 54, with a 14 year old son still at home, and 3 grown daughters.  Sometimes it still doesn't seem real.

The only good news I can give you is that the new medical treatments can prolong your life, and are better tolerated than even 10 years ago. My first oncologist said I had 6 to 18 months to live, and I feel better now at the 18th month than prior to the diagnosis.  I had 8 rounds of Oxaliplatin and all the other IV chemo, and went on maintainence chemo of oral Xeloda and Avastin i n July 2016.   I had a microwave ablation on one side of my liver and radioactive beads injected into the other side.  I am still fighting this dreadful disease, and will have a cryoablaton on a lung tumor soon.

The statistics  you may read are based on studies that began years ago and it seems people are surviving longer than what you may read about online.  There are many 5 and 10 year survivors on this site, and some who have survived 20 years.  

I believe that my faith in God and the prayers of family and friends is why I am doing well today. 

Take care of yourself, get the rest you need, and let your friends and family help with all they can or are willing to.  There are volunteers through the American Cancer Society that may be available to help with housework or rides to the doctor.   My family has helped me so I haven't had to call anyone else for help, but glad its there for those who need it.

I will pray for you and your family.

God Bless you,

Joan   

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6549
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry that you are going through this at such a young age.  You can have your doctor explain everything to you according to what they feel necessary and ask a lot of questions.  Also if you feel that something doesn't "click" with you and your doctor don't hesitate to get a second opinion.  I've gotten several and I've never regretted it.  It's best to be comfortable with your journey forward.  This board is very knowledgeable and can answer a lot of your questions so don't ever hesitate to ask anything (and that means everything).  I'm glad you are putting this in God's hands because He can help you.  Let us know what the oncologist says.

Hugs to you and those little ones :)  Kim

NHMike
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2017

My diagnosis hit me like a freight train so I know a bit about what you're going through as do many here (spouses and patients). But a lot of us are older and have raised our kids so we have more time and maybe resources to deal with life and sometimes our kids can help us out. It's always heartbreaking to hear about someone so young getting cancer, and particularly with kids to raise.

It is hard to take as it can be a long and difficult road, even in the best of cases. So talk to your oncologist about the course of action, and maybe get a second opinion if you have them available in your area. Then you can at least get an outline of your plan. In my case, the course of treatment is something like 9-10 months - so my life is on hold for at least that long and that's if nothing gets worse. So for me, I have to do some planning for my family if I'm not around (I should have done that anyways). But it helps once you get into a routine so that your anxiety levels drop because of the routine.

Your spouse may also be freaked out and may need some support and help, either from you or other family members. Please feel free to ask questions here as it's a supportive community. My diagnosis isn't the same as yours so I can't comment on experiences but others, likely can.

 

 

lizard44's picture
lizard44
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

Sorry that you are having to deal with this at such a young age and with young children to take care of. As others have said there many   5-year, 10-year, and longer term survivors on here so don't get bogged down and depressed reading statistics. I can't add too much to what  has already been said, but what I find useful is to  write down any symptoms or side effects  that concern me or things I want to ask the  oncologist or the surgeon about treatment plans, etc. and to make sure I take that list with me to my next appointment. Maybe you don't have as many holes in your brain as I do but I discovered that it's so easy to have a head full of questions and concerns then  have them fall though holes in your brain when you're dealing with the anxiety of medical appointments.  It's also a good idea to write down what the doctors tell you as soon as you can while it's still fresh in your mind, especially if you're on chemo- chemo brain is real for so many of us and plays havoc with your memory at times. I've been known to have  walls papered with post it notes at times to help me remember things.

I'm sorry you have to be here, but you've come to a good place, and I hope you'll feel free to  ask questions and share concerns. Chances are there is someone here who  has had the same treatment or procedure and  is willing to share  his or her experience. Best wishes as you go forward with your treatments.

Grace/lizard44

ThomasH's picture
ThomasH
Posts: 100
Joined: Jun 2016

Sorry to hear you have joined our little club. I also have mets to my abdominal wall (my peritonium, I'm assuming the same for you?) and my lymph as well.

There are going to be parts of the treatment that are going to be no fun at all, but remember 2 things.

1) There are lots of us here who have been through it too, and we are all supportive and sympathetic. 

2) You are much stronger than you think you are. Lots of people beat this, and you can too. It makes a difference to really believe that you can do it too.

Good luck on your treatment, and if you want to chat or vent, there are lots of us here for you. I know I appreciate everyone who has been here for me too!

Thomas

Gnataly5886's picture
Gnataly5886
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2017

Thank you so much to you all, i am trying to be very strong and passive sometimes I do get very sad  I see my children they are just so little but I'm so happy I'm in this forum seeing people that are going they the same process and that are fighting and positive.

 

god bless u all

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

I have no words... I am just so sorry you're here. At such a young age it's shocking and incredibly saddening to hear. You have a lot of stuff coming up but never lose hope. We have plenty of stage four people on here that were diagnosed a long time ago. You have youth on your side so that helps. I pray you will continue to feel brave and tough and positive. It'll be hard and you will have bad days mentally but know we're here and understand and it will pass.

Sending you positive thoughts and hugs,

Jan

benben
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2017

"I feel like that I'm just dreaming"

I totally can understand this statement.  I felt as if I went into my scope, was sedated and woke up in a parallel timeline or reality.

Life has totally changed for me, from having a GF that no longer has any desire to see me - to being totally isolated at home due to low blood counts for 10 weeks.

I'm very sorry to hear you going through this with 3 young children.  While they bring a lot of joy to be around - they can also be quite a lot of work.

I hope you have a spouse or family around that can help you in all ways as you being the process of treatment.  Sending metta your way.  May you make it through this ordeal.

 

much love.

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

I saw my onc yesterday and I still get that feeling of unreality three and a half years after diagnosis. Like I might wake up from a dream and it'll all have been a nightmare. Like what am I doing sitting in a cancer doctor's office? This was not part of the plan! I find it's worse when I'm there. The rest of the time I can kind of compartmentalize it.

Jan

traci43's picture
traci43
Posts: 775
Joined: Jul 2007

I was diagnosed 10 years ago with stage IV with mets to ovaries and omentum, and have always been characterized by abdomenal mets, not to the more common liver or lung mets.  I've had ups and downs and some recurrences, but I'm still here.  The most common treatment for peritoneal spread is surgery and chemo, but there is a combo you should consider if you have a recurrence and that is HIPEC.  It's surgical resection followed by heated intraperitoneal chemo. It works really well on appendix cancer, but they also use it on colon cancer. You really need to find an experienced HIPEC doctor as they have the best outcomes.  Abrub, another discussion board member, has had it as well as myself.  It's a major surgery but you are young and that is in your favor.  As you continue this journey, feel free to ask questions, keep us updated on your progress, or just vent.  Good luck to you, Traci

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2017

  That's the best way I can describe it.  I found out about my tumor mid June and got the official diagnosis in July.  It started off kind of slow so to speak.  I was told it was a tumor and I met the surgeon a few days later who told me they could do a simple surgery and I'd be ok. It went from that to having to do radiation, chemo, and surgery followed by more chemo or what ever else for a few months after.  I'm stage 3 as far as I know now.  Regardless the stage, it hurts both physically and mentally.  Be prepared to discover how people really are.  Some will surprise you one way or the other. Try not to hold on to those things as much as you'll be tempted to. Some people will distance themselves if for nothing else but because they have a fear that by being around someone who has cancer they will get it to. Others may take a little time to come around.  Be open to what comes and try not to pass too much judgement but be prudent with the future. 

  Some days it's tough.  Your anxiety level will affect you physically 10 times more than you're used to. I got another taste of that last night. I was throwing up and on the can at the same time and didn't get to sleep until around 8 the following morning.  I've never done that before and all it took was some stress to trigger it.  Going forward I'm going to keep a trash can within arm's reach and if you haven't done so yet, get a soft toilet seat.  It makes a big difference.  

 I'm older but I do have two little ones, aged 3 and 5.  The five year old starts school in a couple days.  He looks so much like I did at that age and it gives me a smile every time I notice it.  I've got older children all the way to your age. Been down the aisle a few times. The younger ones are in my opinion much easier to handle.  They may not listen as much as you'd like but the trouble they cause is often a lot easier to take care of. Muddy clothes from playing in the mud are an easier fix than finding out the car is wrecked. Your two youngest won't really understand what's going on but youre 9 year old might.  i can't say how kids that age will respond but I would expect something out of the ordinary.   

 Check back in with us and throw out any questions you may have.  Without a doubt, someone here has experienced something you may be dealing with and it doesn't matter how off the wall it may seem.  Hell, I was wondering if the flys that would come near me did it because they smelled the affects of chemo.  I don't know the answer to that but it wouldn't surprise me. 

 

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1103
Joined: Apr 2017

DArcher:  Funny, I wondered about the bugs too.  They have always loved me and I thought maybe chemo would change that.  No chance, the bugs still love me.Tongue Out

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2017

 I suspect there is some correlation because I've noticed how I smell, me personaly has changed.  Months ago I'd get one day out of a pair of socks and they would stink to high heaven when I'd take them off at night.  Since this started, the socks don't stink. My shirts don't carry the usual odor after some hard labor either.  Wondering if maybe my perception changed, I had my wife give em a sniff as a test. Once past the funny looks she said they didn't stink like they use to. 

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1069
Joined: Aug 2013

Chemo coming out your pores is likely inhibiting the bacteria that turn sweat into stink...........................Dave

Blaize7687's picture
Blaize7687
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2017

Hi,

 

I just wanted to say that I too was diagnosed stage 4 rectal cancer and I'm 31. You don't think it can happen to you at this age. I mean, the doctors didn't think it was really a likely diagnosis...right? But then he said... It's cancer and I felt kind of numb for a while. I don't have kids, but I am 4th grade teacher. I have such a passion for my students that being away from them, or not being able to be 100% with them, is so hard. I got diagnosed last December, three days before I was supposed to get on a plane to Australia. It changed everything. I gave up the trip of a lifetime, went through the chemo and radiation treatments. I had the surgery in May and a temporary ileostomy until just last week. I've read so many of these posts and I just want you to know that there is so much hope to be had. You'll find that there are many people who have had an easier or a much harder time that you. I've taken comfort from both. Just hearing their stories and knowing that I'm not alone going through this. I've had days that feel relatively easy. I got to go to work and see all of those wonderful faces that I love so much. Then there would be days that it would all just seem too much. Physically, I'd be exhausted. The chemo wasn't as bad for me as the radiation. But by the end of six weeks I felt I didn't have any more to give to either. And then there were days were mentally and emotionally I'd break down and wonder why God would send this trial to me. It took months of learning what strength I was cabable of. I'd get to a point of pain or exhaustion or just 'I've had enough of it all" and think, that's it. No more. I'm done. Then someone or something would come along and help me through it and I'd make it to the next day. Later, I'd find a new point that I didn't think I could make it to. That would subside just a bit to last level of pain that I'd experienced before and this time I'd think, okay, I've done this before. I can make it. And little by little, God was making me stronger. I'm at one of those points again. You may or may not have to have a surgery and all the 'joys' that come along with it. But having a reversal of the ileostomy was a highlight and a big step for me. It's also proved to be another stepping stone for strength. I hurt a lot right now, but I also know that tomorrow or next week I'll have a new strength and I'll look back at today's trial and think...I did that. I'll be okay. 

 

I don't ever post things online. But I read your post and how you're just starting out on this journey, and I wanted you to know my story. It's probably not so different from many others out there, but I hope you know that we are all stronger than we think. Those days when you think it's too much and you couldn't possibly take another step, you will for the sake of your children or loved ones and soon you'll be looking back and realizing how much you have accomplished.

 

I wish you the best on this journey,

Rachel

Canadian Sandy's picture
Canadian Sandy
Posts: 654
Joined: Jul 2016

What an inspiring post. Thank you Rachel.

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