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New Here. Just looking for support

Jurav
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2020

Hi All, 

I am pleased to meet you, but would have preferred it to be under different circumstances.

Two months ago, I had a colonospcopy scheduled due to my 50th birthday. I had some bleeding that I had mentioned to the MD, but was told it was just hemeroids.

After the scope, they had found a mass and did a biopsy. The biopsy came back negative for cancer, but the cells had high displasia.

The Dr. recommended that we remove that section of colon and all of the lymph nodes as a precaution, and to test it all. He said he did not suspect cancer, but was being cautious.

We did the surgery two weeks ago and the pathology report found a 1cm tumor under the mass, and the cancer had spread to the two closest lymphnodes out of the 16 removed.

I had a CT Scan done last Friday, and am still awaiting the results from the Dr., but i am filled with Anxiety at the moment.

I try to go for walks or to talk to friends or family, but the dread that fills me is getting overwhleming. I, for some reason, expect the CT Scan to show it had spread to my Liver as well.

My only thought at the moment is... What happens next? ...How long will I be able to survive to provide for my family?

Basically I went from everything being fine, to possible stage 4 cancer in a matter of less than two months. I have no pain or anything (other than some discomfort from the recent surgery), but still cannot shake this dread feeling that I am doomed.

I dont know where to turn for support, so I joined up here, in hopes of finding some way to deal with the anxiety and depression.

:( 

-J

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5511
Joined: Jan 2013

so you are not alone, and you have arrived at the right place to get support. 

There is nothing that can prepare you for those first few weeks, month even, after diagnosis.  The fear can be overwhelming, and at the end of the day, is just a natural response to this great unknown you are facing.  

While I say 'unknown', I'm sure you know a little about Cancer and none of it good.  

Now for the good part. This awful first few weeks will soon be behind you, and you will move forward into a treatment plan. Plans are good. They take the fear out of the unknown. Once your team figures out what exactly is going on, good or not so good, they will have a treatment plan for you, and that makes things a whole lot better.  A weight will be off your shoulders, and you can move forward with faith, that all will be well. 

Keep on walking, talking and doing what you can to make sure you're not totally obsessing over your diagnoisis. I won't tell you not to be anxious over the upcoming scan results, because that won't work, so just ride with it and get some pleasure in there as much as you can.

Stick with us and we will stick with you. 

Welcome to the forum. Its a good place. 

Tru

Jurav
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2020

Thanks Trubit. 

I got the results back last evening. The CT Scan showed no signs of it spreading to the liver, and all of the lymph nodes look normal size. My doctor wants me to follow-up with an oncologist to get chemo as a precaution.

I've never been through anything like this, so it's been a scarey thing. It's nice to know you are all here helping people with this.

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1189
Joined: Apr 2017

Depending on your ability to handle anxiety, you might want to skim through the site for information about chemo.  It might be useful to help you formulate questions for when you meet with the oncologist.  "Staging" is also a bit of the vocabulary frequently used here.  Likely it appears in some of the reports you already have, but you might want to ask your current doctor what "stage" you are at.  Knowing that sometimes help you decipher the approaches various people have taken.

And as Tru has said, many of us find exercise a valuable tool in dealing with the issues that arise.  From my perspective, exercise helps with everything.

Sorry you are here, but hopefully you can find some valuable resources and support.

SophDan2's picture
SophDan2
Posts: 151
Joined: Jul 2017

Hi Jurav,

I can remember when I was where you are 3 yearts ago this month. All of the same thoughts were on my mind, and I found this forum within my first month of diagnosis (Stage 3C). Believe it or not, it could be worse. As Sandia said, it does help to know what your stage you're at. Chemo is not bad idea; my only recommendation would be to keep a diary of how you feel during and in between treatments, and share that info with your oncologist. It keeps you involved in your treatment, as you want to be able kick the cancer's bootie but try not to leave yourself any life long after affects such as neuropathy.

You got his! Before you know it you'll be that guy (me) that jumps on to this site every now and then just to see if you can offer anything that might help someone else. Tru probably remembers when I wrote the same kind of letter you wrote just 3 years ago.

Good luck with what lies ahead!

Barry

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Oh boy, do we know ecactly that dread that you are feeling.  No one expects to hear those three words, "you have cancer".  Mine was also discovered at my 50th birthday check due to bleeding and my doctor thought the same thing about the hemorrhoids, which turned out to be a tumor.  

I'm sure that you will be in contact with an oncologist so they can talk to you about how they wish to proceed with treatment.  Your head will swirl until you think you can't stand one more doctor talking to you about it.  Tests and more tests, anxiety and uncertainty.

We have many experiences to share with you.  We also have many eyes and ears to listen, help and share what we have gone through.

I'm sorry you had to join this group, but you have joined one that can help you get through this.  Wishing you the best.

Kim

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 304
Joined: Jun 2017

  I said the same thing back in 2017.  One day I'm fine and had bleeding off and on and finally got checked and whamo!,  I've got cancer.  Like everyone has said and I'll repeat it.  We've been there and went through the same exact feelings.  Am I going to live. What about my family. The next test results, labs, waiting, and waiting some more. It tears at you and anyone else that cares. My advise is to do what the doctors tell you to do. As simple as that sounds I found out that a lot of people don't follow through with the complete treatement schedule. They think they feel fine and can skip radiation or a chemo session which you may get both of at the same time. Don't. Stick to the program from start to finish no matter what.   

  There will be up times and instances where doubt will creap in making you miserable. We've all been there and lived through it. Be tough, vigilent, and pray asking God to pull you through. Mine was slightly different in that I also had other issues but the cancer at the time was front and center and scary as you know what. Stay close to those who support you and get rid of those who don't. May the Lord bless you, Amen.

 

 

cowcycle
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2020

Hi Jurav,

As you read, the most important take away is that I am approaching this one step at a time and I would encourage you to do the same. I therfore ONLY focus on whatever test or treatment is coming next with no mental energy allowed to focus on anything past that. Also, listen closely for the good news that comes from your discussions with your care team, the test results, your unique treatment plan etc., and celebrate those small victories when they come!

 

With that said, what you are going through sucks, and I'm sorry to say I am right there with you. I'm only 40 and 4 months ago I was totally fine, after 2 months of chasing down doctors to explain some "non-specific abdominal pains" I've since learned that I am stage 4. I had a extended right hemicoloctomy 3 weeks ago and am now moving on to dealing with met to my liver. I'll add though that I am menatally OK with this diagnosis! Here is how I have approached this journey so far, maybe some of it will help you or others.

The 1st day after the colonoscopy where I was told I had a fully obstructred tumor that was likely cancerous I started a private document for daily self reflection. I asked myself the questions below and each morning or night I wrote whatever came to mind. After a couple days I shared this with my wife so she could get inside my head. This helped her to know what I was feeling and she could then be supportive in specific ways that made sense.

  • How am I feeling today?
  • What did I learn today about my condition?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • What am I optimistic about?
  • What is most important to me?
  • What is on my mind?

It sounds corny but I wrote in this document everyday for the 3 weeks leading up to surgery, some days I didn't have much to say, others I had a lot. I also talked to family, close friends, and colleagues to tell them what I was going through. Normally I am a very private person so it was hard to have these conversations, but saying the words "I have cancer" to multiple people and talking openly about what I was feeling really helped. The first few conversations were exhausting, it got easier though. I also wrote about and told my wife repeatedly that while I will have to go through this physically, she will have to go through it emotionally and that is harder in my opinion. This allowed me to remember that I need to be there to support her just as much as she needs to support me.

I ended this journal on the day I went into surgery and my last entry was that my goal was to come home after surgery and delete this journal, which I did.

 

While I was in the hospital I learned I was stage 4, so quickly I went from foolishly hoping this surgery would be the end of my cancer path to realizing that it was just the beginning. I am now healing up and waiting for immunotherapy to start (I am MSI-H) and planning the next surgery. I don't need the journal anymore becuase it served its purpose and now I can just approach this one step at a time. I am only worried about whatever comes next. For me that will be learning about the side effects of treatment, then it will be getting a port installed, then it will be prepping for liver surgery, etc... This simple and focused mindset has helped guide my research, make good decisions about my care, and prevented me from ever feeling like I was doomed.

 

Funny side story...While in the hospital getting prepped for surgery, the nurse asked me if I knew why I was here, and without skipping a beat I blurted out "I'M HERE TO KICK THE S#!% OUT OF CANCER!". I'm still working on that and I hope that you will do the same! Stay strong and positive!

Pamcakes
Posts: 110
Joined: Jan 2018

this made me chuckle. When my husband had his APR, as they where wheeling him away they asked once again if he knew why he was there. The feel good meds had kicked in and Richard smiles the biggest smile and says, "your taking my A**hole! The look on the anesthesiologists and RN's face was priceless. That comment got me through the 12 hour waiting during his surgery!

Jurav
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2020

Hi all.

I apologize for replying so late, but it's been a rough few weeks.

So it's been classified as Stage 3A. A small Tumor in the colon (1cm) and two close lymphnodes with small 1mm spots on them.

The CT scan showed no sign of a problem in the liver, but my oncologist ordered a PET Scan due to the lymphnodes being affected.

I had my Port put in on Thursday for the Chemo coming in a week or so, but I am still waiting for the results of the PET Scan that was done on Friday.

That same dread and doom feeling has been overpowering at times, just waiting for the results.

Thank you all so much for your experiences and advice.

I am exercising as much as I can...I walk two to three times per day, and do 25-30 minutes on an exercise bike every other day, followed by a few sets of squats.

 

I wish you all the best,

Jurav

 

pamness
Posts: 529
Joined: Nov 2007

Hi Jurav:  my diiagnoses of Stage 3 a colon cancer with two lymph nodes positive close to the original in the colon. About 1 cm in the colon in 2007.   I did surgery to remove the tumor and then folfox followed  by radiation.  That was 13 years ago,and obviously, I am fine.  You will be too.  Any cancer diagnoses is scary, but you have every reason to believe you will be ok.  I don't post too often anymore, but this caught my eye.  

Jurav
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2020

Pamness,

Thank you for your reply. it does give me some comfort to know you had recovered from the same thing.

I am still awaiting the results of the PET Scan.

-Jurav

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 304
Joined: Jun 2017

  As cliche as that sounds it's what can get you through those sinking moments of desperation.  You'll have to force it by focusing on things you like, enjoy, or dream about for the future. Do that for a minute or so when the pressure first comes on and it will make it vanish as long as you stay focused on the positive. In my experience it can be salvation when everything else is driving you down. 

Jurav
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2020

Sorry for the late update, but the results of the PET Scan were good... No Evidence of the Disease from my eyes to my kneees.

I've started Chemo, which will be twelve treatments over the next six months.

The cold sensitivity is a struggle, but I can deal with that. and the fatigue is odd. I am fine, pretty much all day, but then at 7 or 8 pm I am ready to sleep. I doze off on the couch and sleep for 9 to 10 hours. Deffinitely not what my normal sleep schedule is (usully 5-7 hours at most).

I am hopeful for a clean scan again after six months.

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1189
Joined: Apr 2017

Congratulations.  It sounds like you have had good results and aside from the chemo, should have peace for a while.  Bluntly, chemo sucks.  You might want to read about the side effects and advice from prior posts on the forum, or say what you are on and ask for advice.  Good luck with the challenges ahead and good health to you.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5511
Joined: Jan 2013

Good luck as you go through Chemo.  Don't be shocked if side effects worsen, as the chemo accumulates in the body.  

What chemo regime are you on? 

Tru

Jurav
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2020

They are giving me Folfox 

I get my treatment in the beginning of the week. I leave the treatment with a pump for two days, then I return to have the pump removed.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5511
Joined: Jan 2013

Many of us have been on that route. 

I wish you the best, with the minimal of side effects. 

Tru

 

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