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9 Years Ago

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

9 years ago today my colonoscopy revealed there was a mass in my rectum.  They wouldn't tell me it looked bad, they just said there was a biopsy and that further testing was needed.  The next day (Thanksgiving) was the worst day of my life.  We had all 8 kids and all our grandchildren over for dinner and no one knew of my test the day before.  It was the hardest thing to do to put on a good and happy face waiting for the results and knowing that I'd be having another test in a couple days to determine if the rectal tumor went through the wall.  I'm beyond blessed to be here 9 years later to tell my story.  It's been long and many operations, but I'm still Blessed.  I'm able to help here, be with my children and seen more grandchildren born, share more experiences than I'd ever expect.  If anyone can take away strength from my story then I'm grateful.  If you've never read my "about me" page, it will tell you a lot about me the last 9 years.  This board has been my lifeline in a lot of circumstances.  The fear, anger, fright, determination and resolve that we all will face.  This board is amazing with all that participate.  Thanks to past and present for making my life more complete by your stories and being a part of my journey.

Hugs! Kim

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 298
Joined: Jun 2017

Our stories are not that far apart in that mine is technically rectal cancer since it touched it and I too had xeloda and radiation followed by a surgery.  I'ts almost 3 weeks since the operation.  I feel good some days and others, like today, like hell.  It's grueling in a lot of ways and I've still got a good long hike up this fog covered mountain.  I hope to make it to nine years.  Just getting this far has been a miracle in a lot of ways.  Your first visit to your surgeon was on my birthday, lol.  I've been very lucky to avoid some of the things others have to deal with but I did get one slap in the face.  I don't have to worry about getting anyone pregnant ever again.  Not a big deal since I've got lots of kids already but that it wasn't by choice makes it cold.  It's petty I know but still.   In any event, congrats!  A well deserved and earned spot on the survival stats.      

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2017

Sorry that that happened to you. The surgeon pointed out that it was a potential risk in the pre-op meeting. She also pointed out a few other risks that I don't think that I would have been happy with. I've read that younger folks will bank sperm before chemo, radiation and surgery so that they can have kids via IVF.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Since the operation I'm hoping you are doing better.  It's a rude awakening when you have rectal cancer and they do radiation because they don't tell you everything that happens with the after effects.  After the radiation I've also was stricken with problems sexually and they never mentioned it.  Of course, I'm not wanting kids but it affected my vagina opening and had a terrible time afterward.  Sorry so personal but people have to know these things.  I'm glad you have the kids you want - me too.  Thanks for the congrats.  Hope you feel better each and every day.

Kim

Canadian Sandy's picture
Canadian Sandy
Posts: 690
Joined: Jul 2016

Congratulations for making it so far. That is a blessing and hopefully you will make it many more years. Cancer seems to make us much stronger. This board has also helped me a lot. 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Good to see your post Sandy and thank you.

airborne72's picture
airborne72
Posts: 281
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks Kim for sharing your story with us.  Each of us have our own personal, unique day - that time when we knew that we had cancer, but those close to us yet knew.  How difficult it must have been for you to look at the happy faces of your carefree family gathered around the Thanksgiving table, all the while attempting to process your diagnosis and decide when/how to share the information with everyone.  Wow.

My story also involved a family event.  My son and his wife were expecting our first granddaughter last spring so we gathered for a sonogram viewing and decided afterwards to find a nice restaurant close by to celebrate.  I had been diagnosed with rectal cancer only a few days prior.  Originally, it was my intent to share my diagnosis with everyone after we ate, but I could not do so.  Instead, I managed to not get teary-eyed and maintained the best poker face I could muster.

My daughter-in-law lost her father to lung cancer when she was an adolescent.  It significantly impacted her and she still mourns the loss.  Consequently, I was determined to not associate my "bad news" with the good news of the pending arrival of our newest family member.  I kept my diagnosis to myself and sat there pondering the circle of life, all the while wanting to jump up and scream that it's not fair.  A few days later I shared the news with my children separately.

There is no good time to have cancer and there is no good time to share the news with those you love.  Each of us had our day.  Kim, and several others, have also had days like today when she can look at the YEARS that have passed since that day and say with great thanksgiving - I survived.

Congratulations and may you have so many more days, weeks, months and years to say it again and again and again.

Jim

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Aww thanks as it seems you had the very personal spot in your life you didn't want to ruin for others either.  You were so thoughtful to think of others in that frightful day in your life but yet could share the joy and knowledge that you are having a granddaughter and knowing that they were so happy to let you be involved in that moment which they will cherish for a lifetime.  They thought of you to include you and you thought of them - very gracious of you.  You are right there is no good time to share the news. 

Thank you for your story and the congrats.

May you continue to stay strong and improve every day.

Kim

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Congratulations from another survivor. A long life and happier times ,Ron.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Always great to see your posts.  You are such a trooper and have been here for many years supporting everyone.  Thank you for your support through these years.

Kim

zx10guy
Posts: 274
Joined: Dec 2013

Congrats Kim.  You've been one of those board members that respond to everyone's thread with compassion and caring.  We all thank you for that.  We all hope to aspire to reach the same milestone as you have.

Your story and the others who responded about dealing with bad news around a holiday or special family event is the same for me.  In my case, I was diagnosed a few days before Christmas.  December 18th to be exact.  Christmas that year had a dreadful overtone for me.  My GI doc told me he feels it is cancer and he didin't have to wait for the biopsies to come back.  My CEA was elevated and a CT scan done the next day showed two lesions in my liver.  Consult with my CRC surgeon on that Friday where he issues a stat order for a PET scan to be done the following Monday....Christmas Eve.  I get the PET done but for whatever reason the radiologist didn't complete the report before the office shut down early for the holiday.  So I'm stewing through Christmas wondering if those lesions are cancerous and if I'm stage 4.  

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm always thinking that around the Holidays are the worst for finding out, but really I'm not sure if there really is a good time but I'm thinking the family gathering time is the worst.  Isn't it just the way it goes on a test that they do it and everyone leaves for some reason.  You are there with your thoughts racing and NO ONE seems to realize that your whole life is going to be changed one way or another and they don't feel the fright or fear or anxiety.  It's a terrible ordeal when the wait is so consuming.  Wishing you well and thank you for your support on this board and the congrats. 

Kim

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5399
Joined: Jan 2013

Nine wonderful years! Oh, I know, those nine years haven't been a bed of roses. Thats one thing the members here understand, that maybe the non-cancer community doesn't. There is allot more to having Cancer than just the physical stuff. 

But, nine years. That deserves our little dancing friend.

I raise my glass to you, Kim. Here is to nine and many nine more years of health and happiness

And I to thank you for your years here on the forum, supporting all who come. In fact, I think it was you who replied first in to the first thread I posted, and made me feel welcome.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tru

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks Tru for the little dancing friend.  We always wanted to do the naked happy dance whenever one of us had happy news and always remembered your little friends showing up Smile.  You are a very great inspiration on this board and I'm thanking for for helping the people here.  Thanks for your post and wishing you well always.

Hugs!  Kim

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2017

Congrats on 9 years.

We need the longtimers here for encouragement and inspiration. Good time to be thankful for what we have.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Hoping that you are feeling better after your recent surgery.  Thank you for your post.  I'm here whenever anyone has a question.  Thanks for the congrats.

Kim

Cindy225's picture
Cindy225
Posts: 172
Joined: Feb 2017

Congrats Kim!  Nine years and counting is wonderful. A thanksgiving toast to you and everyone else on this journey and forum.  Blessings and gratitude to the family and friends that have been there for all of us. 

Cindy

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to you too.  I've got much to be thankful for and thank you for the toast.  Wishing you the best for you and your family and thank you for your post.  It means a lot.  Wishing you well.

Kim

PamRav's picture
PamRav
Posts: 295
Joined: Jan 2017

Thamk you for sharing your story.  Is there anything more stressful than finding out you have cancer??  Nine years, so happy for you. hope this Thanksgiving was lovely for you. 

Pam 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you Pam - it was great.  Lots of kids, grand kids and food.  There is nothing more stressful than the results of cancer but a close second is waiting for the CT scan results - that was always a terrible torture as well.  Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day as well.

Kim

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 837
Joined: Apr 2012

Congratulations Kim! And great big virtual hug. May you be Blessed with many more wonderful moments! So many that you will need two Thanksgivings per year to count them. :-)

Love and Light to you!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks Phil.  I'm Blessed beyond messure and so thankful I've had 9 more years.  Hoping that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and always praying for all on this board.  My thanksgiving is 365 days a year because I'm still here waking up to another day of helping people, and trying to do good on earth.  Always love seeing your posts.  You continue to post all these years - it's good to see long time members.

Kim

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

What a great milestone! May you have many more years and many more  happy Thanksgivings.

Grace

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you - my Thanksgiving's are still a time of rememberance.  Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Kim

BRHMichigan's picture
BRHMichigan
Posts: 368
Joined: Jul 2017

Kim, you have been a blessing to me and so many others here.  I am sure your family is so grateful for you too.  Appreciate your kindness, wisdom and how you share your experience so honestly.

--Beth

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you for the nice comment - we are both from Michigan.  I've followed your story from the beginning so I'm hoping that your Thanksgiving was good and the rest of the Holidays are even better.  Thanks for being a part of this board.

Kim

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 714
Joined: Mar 2012

Kim,

9 years is just amazing. Congrats!!!!!!!! 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you for your kind comment.  You've been on here a while too so thanks for sharing your story with others.  Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season.

Kim

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

Congratulation on your 9 year milestone, Kim! I couldn't imagine what you had to endure of hiding it from your family on Thanksgiving just so that everyone would have a great time. Putting up that brave face is no easy task. I would get too emotional. You have a beautiful soul. I can tell by reading your posts and you're always there for all of us here. Wishing you NED forever! :)

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

It was hard but the hardest part was trying to face all of them one month later when we hosted Christmas at our house with all our kids and grandkids again.  I'd been in to see the oncologist radiologist just the day before and the oncologist 3 days before and it was months of radiation/surgery/chemo etc.  But we made it through the Holidays - God beside us.  Thanks for your kind words and for the nice words.

Kim

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1120
Joined: Aug 2013

Congrats on the 9 year marker Kim, and I hope this Thanksgiving felt that much better, knowing how messed up it was, back when. It's been a long road for a number of us, and it's been a kinder experience with your voice sharing the ups and downs.....................................................Dave

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks Dave and for also sharing all your experiences.  I've seen you posting through the years and glad that you are able to help others here as well.  It's good when we can help and thanks for being a part of this board.

Kim

Footann
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2017

Glory be to God..i found out last year December the doctor said I have stage 4 Mat  to my lungs ..Glad to know you are still here and sharing

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you for your post and yes God helped me through so much of it along with prayer from family and friends.  Sorry to hear of your diagnosis but wishing you the best.  If you ever need any information from this board don't hesitate to ask.  We can talk about anything.  Hope that you are doing better.

Kim

betula's picture
betula
Posts: 86
Joined: Mar 2017

Congratulations and thank you for still being here and being a support to others!  I am sure it would be easier not to be here so thank you!

My husband and I found out about his rectal cancer on Dec 13th last year.  We kept the news to our selves through the holidays and did not tell our kids until the day before he started chemo/radition in January.  I feel like I am just now really feeling the effects of all that happended last year because I had to keep everyone else together while we were going through it.  I am so tired all the time now and drained but thankful this are going well at this time and try to enjoy it because I feel you never know how long it will last!

Happy Holidays to all!

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