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New. Scared. Merry Xmas.

SusyQ67's picture
SusyQ67
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2020

Hi. My name is Susy and I was just diagnosed with rectal cancer yesterday. Staging next week. My doctor says she guesses probably 2 or 3. 

I'm scared, of course. Trying to manage a somewhat normal xmas. 

I go between anxiety and disbelief.

 

i just wanted to say hi. And merry Xmas 💚

 

 

Kazenmax's picture
Kazenmax
Posts: 436
Joined: Feb 2016

I hate to say welcome but you found the right place. I know you're scared. We've all been there. I encourage you to read posts and profiles. 

i was diagnosed Feb 2016 and I'm still here! (You can read my profile) I wont kid you,it's a hard fight but you can do it. If you have any questions or want to know what to ask your doctor, you can find information here. If I can answer anything, please message me or post.

I know it will be impossible but try not to stress too much. Of all the cancers to get, this one is the most curable. I was diagnosed as stage 3. After hearing the treatment I asked my oncologist, "so what are we shooting for here?"    He said "cure". 

Sending love and peace. Take this time to enjoy the holidays. Relax and prepare for your fight.

k

SusyQ67's picture
SusyQ67
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2020

K. Thank you for the response. 🙂knowing others are out there is what I need. 

I'm so scared but I want to be brave and fight. when will that feeling kick in. 

merry Xmas. Thank you so much for saying hello. 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5335
Joined: Jan 2013

You ask when will the 'fight' start. I can answer that. Just as soon as you start chemo, or have surgery, then you are activly 'doing' something about the Cancer, and that makes all of the difference.  Sitting, waiting to do something about it, is just plain scary. 

Welcome to the forum, though. It is a great place. So many of us are either fighting it or are fighting for our loved ones. We are all at different stages and on different treatments. Some of us - like myself, are enjoying what we call NED - No Evidence of Disease. It is a glourious state, which you will reach very soon; especially if you are only Stage II.

Chin up.  enjoy this beautiful season and all that it has to offer. Then, let the fight begin. We are with you all the way. 

Tru

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1139
Joined: Apr 2017

Susy.  Welcome.  I hope you find this forum useful.  

I am sure the timing of your diagnosis is tough.  Holidays can sometimes be trying in themselves, but to add the worry and uncertainty you likely feel to the mix is a challenge.  Plus, you will likely have to deal with family.  I found that people said all sorts of odd things after my diagnosis.  The only people I really listened to were the others who had cancer.  It often seemed that as hard as they might try, people who had not experienced this did not understand.  That's where this forum comes in handy.

From my perspective, finding ways to forget about the cancer diagnosis was useful.  Sometimes that would be having a few drinks, and sometimes it would be taking on a challenging hike.  Somehow the moments of forgetting gave me comfort in the process.

I, and others on the forum, have found some comfort in meditation as well.  Tru often mentions a CD she used.  I particularly like a book called "You are Here," which is deceiving in its simplicity.  It is a few hour read, and you could grab a digital copy online to occupy you in the quiet moments during the holiday.

Also, you mention getting ready for the fight.  You likely have either surgery or chemo ahead of you.  I approached surgery like training for a competition.  I exercised as much as humanly possible, and tried to eat and sleep well.  You can undertake similar training for the challenges before you.  Plus, as I always say, "exercise helps with everything."

So, in summary, from my perspective it helps to take time to forget, and to prepare physically for the days ahead.

I am so sorry you are here, but please know that you are among people who have experienced similar things and understand. 

 

SnapDragon2's picture
SnapDragon2
Posts: 399
Joined: Nov 2019

Very well said!

pamness
Posts: 525
Joined: Nov 2007

13 years ago.  I am, obviously, fine.  And with a stage 2 or 3 diagnoses, you should be too.  I am sending you my best wishes for some challenging days ahead.  Just so you know, with a positive mind set me gkod sense of humor, you can get throuh this.   It may or be as hard as you think and the rest of your life is still ahead of you.   Enjoy the holidays as best you can in a year that is totally more difficult than any of us could imfine.   Add a cancer dignoses and make it totally overwhelming.  

all my prayers and good luck thoughts are going in your direction.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6652
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, especially right before Christmas.  Mine was diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving so can understand your concern about keeping your feelings in check during this time.  It was hard for me as well being the day before Thanksgiving and all our our kids and grandkids being over. 

You have come to an amazing group of people that can help you get through this.  We have been in almost everyone's situation, so no question or comment is off the table.

Just wait until you get the results of the rest of your tests to see what they tell you, and remember we are always here to help you.

Kim

AnneO1965's picture
AnneO1965
Posts: 174
Joined: May 2019

My cancer diagonosis didn't phase me all that much... Course, I had other major things going on at the time. I will tell you this though, each stage of treatment freaked me out until I knew exactly what was going on. Then I was ok.

I'm sorry that you are here, but glad that you found us. This forum has an amazing group of people, and they can help you get through just about anything.

My flght response kicked in after about 2 weeks after I was diagnosed. Thankfully it's still with me. Good luck Susy, and if you need any virtual hand holding or a place to vent, I am just a PM away.

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 289
Joined: Jun 2017

It's something we're all familiar with and a memory we'll never forget being told we have cancer. It seems like your in the first stage of grief, disbelief. There are five; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Depending on the treatment you may not get a chance to experience them all which might be good in one sense because you'll probably be cured before you do. If it is stage 2 or 3 then you're half way home since from3 down is easily curable. Many on here were and can attest to it.

SusyQ67's picture
SusyQ67
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2020

Thank you so much everyone! 

 

im reading all of your comments and hanging on to hope like mad. My surgeon told me when she gave me the news she said it could be 1 but it's likely 2 or 3. I go for staging this week. I was just so knocked out when she said this could've been growing 5 to 10 years. It scared me when she said that. She also said it's about the size of a silver dollar. I was like what?! Then i began to wonder is that good or bad?

my mind races sometimes. ive googled "how many cms big is a silver dollar?"

I know I just need to wait til staging and then we'll go from there.

heres some info I didn't share earlier:

my mom died from colon cancer 13 years ago. never saw a doctor in her life. Her tumor was giant and her intestines were so thin, she never stood a chance. My sisters and I are haunted by all that happened to her.

people tell me treatment has come so far and to it even read anything older than 2 years old. 

I just want to get better. 

thank you, guys, for responding to me. It's helping me to hear from you all.

 

love

susy 🙂

Tueffel
Posts: 154
Joined: Feb 2020

Hello susy,

Welcome to the forum!

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer stage 4 Jan/Feb 2020. I remember how scared I was. Chemos and surgeries. Even though I am a med student it did not calm me. Sometimes the more I read, the more worried I get. 

But you will always feel better when you know what the doctors will do. The moment doctors get all the answrrs from tests etc they will give you the proper treatment. If you dont trust the doctors then get a 2nd opinion. Look for a doctor who takes time to answer your questions, explains things etc . I once asked my dads oncologist a full hour with my questions of things I did not know. 

Yeah sometimes reading in the internet makes you crazy. I know this feeling and btw it doesnt help. It can make you stressed, cry all the time and deepen your anxiety. A common rule I learned while searching the internet: you will never find a good study or a statistics that satisfy you. But here are people who proved these studies to be wrong. 

Most colon cancers need years to grow. Unfortunately, most of it you wont feel anything. My dad was a different case: the colonoscopy was negative, then his medication killed his immune cells so a rapid growth happened in 3 years or so. There was simply no counter attacking system.

I want to mention a few things that I think are important for you and your journey. Things I learned in medschool, documentaries, things I read here and there. Maybe they will help you.

- try to strengthen your immune system. A good immune system will prevent infections and maybe your cells will be so good again that they will kill some bad cells. Vitamin, Vit C, magnesium and zinc are good.

-Let your cancer get tested for KRAS, BRAF, MSI or MSS etc. Some of these mutations might get some drugs off the table and others might be better. 

- I dont know how old you are or how old your mum was. Talk with your doctor about genetic testing if it would fit with your family history. Maybe you got from your mother a gene that increases the risk of colon cancer? Hopefully you dont but if you are, then your sister could get tested aswell and also your children if you have some. They will get monitored more, more prevention etc. 

If you go to the doctors: ask for the doctors letter, CDs from scans. Ask if you can record the meeting or take someone with you. Patients who get bad news tend to overhear everything after what the doctor says or get some things wrong. When my dad heard 8 more chemos, he was just thinking about this, what it meant and the doctor was explaining why and he missed it. 

Last but not least: dont let cancer ruin your life! Dont let your whole life be about cancer! Enjoy, talk with your family, watch funny movies, take a walk, meet friends when it is safe during covid times, read a nice book, ... I know it is a scary disease. I am not experiencing the procedures, side effects and pain you might endure. But every caregiver is worried about their loved one, I am scared too about my dad. But life is so much better when you smile and have fun. A fake smile reduces your stress level already and a positive attitude is so important during your fight. Never give up and smile! 

Tueffel

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6652
Joined: Feb 2009

Please don't go on the internet to search for anything regarding treatment or such.  It is very outdated and things have come a long way in treatment.  There are many stage 4 people on here that have made a recovery, so even though it's scary to think of staging, we are here to help you get through this.  A lot of colorectal cancer is slow growing so it could have been there 5-10 years.  Hoping that your appointment goes well.

Kim

Jim462's picture
Jim462
Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2020

I'm sorry to hear about your situation.  There's never a good time to receive a diagnosis but getting it around the holidays is tough for sure.  I was received my news in 2019 on my wedding anniversary.  

I'm very new to this forum and I'll tell you that I'm glad that I discovered it!!  You have found a good place for support...it helps to share with people that can totally relate to what you are going through. 

It's OK and natural to be scared, these feelings will eventually be accompanied by acceptance and determination.  

It can be difficult in the beginning but a positive outlook is extremely important!  There are many methods to develop positivity as suggested above.  I found that a gratitude list helped me to,focus on the positive.  

Stay strong...take control and God Bless!!

Tom M.
Posts: 172
Joined: May 2019

Stay positive, the treatments are much better today. I know it's easy to be scared but you must stay calm and focus on winning the battle. Many on this forum have felt scared. All of us attack it day to day. As Kim said don't go to the internet for info. Question your doctors with everything. Seek other opinions. A good attitude will get you through.

Jurav
Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2020

Susy,

I was there just a few months ago. The doctor found a mass during a routine colonoscopy and it turned out to be a 1cm tumor which had spread to two nearby lymphnodes. This put it at stage 3A.

I had that section of my colon removed, and a PET scan has shown no more evidence of the disease. I'm going thjrough Chemo now for the next five months to make sure it's all gone, but I know this is no guarentee with cancer.

The waiting for test results is by far the most nerve wracking. Talking to folks here, or people that you may know that has gone through it, always helps. 

The best relief I found from the anxiety was with walking. Go walk for a mile or two. It doesnt have to be a fast walk, just a casual stroll can help clear your mind.

I hope you were able to find some peace over the holidays and was able to spend time with family.

-J

JonD1482
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2021

We seem to be in a similar situation. I just joined this network as I was diagnosed with colon cancer on Nov 30th, 2020 after having a colonoscopy right before Thanksgiving. Was fortunate to have my Resection on 12/19/20 and am going in for my chemo port procedure tomorrow. Also had 2/19 lymphnodes come back cancerous put me in the stage 3 low risk range. Most likely will be starting chemo 1st week of Feb. Hope all goes well for you and the OP.

-JD-

chicken26's picture
chicken26
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2020

hi..im new here too....i had positive cologuard and prep and colonoscopy next week....first phone call was dec 16...i have had massive anxiety every day since....cant tell if my weight loss is cancer or not eating much at all but my son and grandson and families got covid tested to be here xmas and new years day for dinners....best holidays ever and took my mind off everything for a bit...my husband and dog take long walks every day as it clears my anxiety for a bit.. this waiting for prep and results is unbearable...hubby off work til we know end result or i would have gone bonkers by now..  i pray for your health and peace of mind....the staying positive advice just wont sink in but do hope u do better at that....my thyroid dr said to take melatonin to put the cancer to sleep..i take a time released one....God Bless and best of luck...p.s. how was the prep....im so afraid of horrific cramping as ive heard....what was your experience like..i do two day prep wth dulcolax and miralax

chicken26's picture
chicken26
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2020

would appreciate prep experiences...i read horror stories which scare me ...im doin 2 day prep next week wth dulcolax tabs and miralax wed and thur and colonoscopy friday.....some said pain so bad they almost called 911!!!! ty

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5335
Joined: Jan 2013

That is a good question about the prep.  May I suggest you start a new thread here https://csn.cancer.org/forum/128  That way, folks can answer your question without running over the original posters thread. 

As for the prep. Unless you have an allergic reaction to it - I've never heard of anyone here having one - its just a matter of getting it down and then running to the loo all after noon.  While it is not my favourite thing to do, there are worse things out there. 

Tru

SusyQ67's picture
SusyQ67
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2020

So hello once again everyone. I am having a laid back kind of day, so of course, I am reading about cancer stuff. I find myself in that weird window of time between diagnosis and starting treatment. I can't tell you how weird it is, but you probably understand very well.

I went in for bloodwork and my MRI and ct scan early January 5. I spent the day at home after wondering if I would hear from my doctor that day. My sister came over to be with me which was very nice. I needed the support. My other sister also showed up and then my husband got home from the day. Around 4:30, I figured I wouldn't get a call. Then my phone rang and it was "Spam RIsk" so I didn't answer. Turns out it was the surgeon. She left a message we all listened to telling me my bloodwork was normal and I am not stage 4. 

I was so relieved I went in the bathroom and threw up. 

Since this appointment, I have decided to go with a different hospital for treatment. It's the top cancer treatment hospital in my city. I met my new surgeon who looked at my MRI and said 4 cm lower tumor with one interesting lymph node possibly involved. He nonchalantly mentioned stage 3. I was in a semi-daze. Thank goodness husband was right beside me that day. 

Since then, I am waiting to see chemo and radiation oncologists coming up this week. Treatment should start 2 weeks after that. 

LAR surgery probably in April. When the surgeon mentioned I could have a temporary ileostomy and reversal, I told him I am open to a permanant ostomy. Of course, I will not know how I truly feel about the ostomy til I have it, but with all I have read and considering all the bum pain I have experienced frequently in my life, somehow the bag seems like it might be a plus. 

I wanted to say thank you to everyone posting here. I am available to speak to anyone if they feel they need support. I am an excellent listener. I want to help. Feel free to message me anytime.

Love,
Susy :) 

Destini
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2021

It all happened within two months, 70 yrs. old. It started all with his ankle area being swollen, went to emergency and the results were blood clots and had to place an IVR filter.   Two weeks later he went to the emergency due to stomach pains. Had Colon/Rectum Resection surgery.  He now has a stoma bag which the surgeon said is temporary.  The primary tumor (8.6 cm) caused a blockage.   Stage classification is PT4b pN0. Went to see Oncologist yesterday and he said the PET Scan was good, but still, needs treatment due to the visceral peritoneum?  My partner does not want to take chemo treatments, wants oral treatments.  I am concerned about his quality of life.  The oncologist advised with no treatment, he may have a year, it depends on the individual. My partner is feeling like his old self again, however, overwhelmed and wants to do more research before he decides on the type of treatment he will be taking.

I appreciate reading all comments and threads here.  I know I have to remain strong and give him all the support I can.  

Thank you....

 

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1139
Joined: Apr 2017

Chemo can be oral--capecitabine as a "monotherapy."  But no chemo is a walk in the park.  It is a very individual decision.

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