brand spanking new

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brand spanking new

Postby justjessica » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:21 pm

So I am 31 years old, female and I was just told I have a tumor in my sigmoid colon. I had the colonoscopy last week. Today I saw the surgeon, had blood tests and tomorrows the CT scan. I don't know if its for sure cancer and if so what stage it is. I have to say I was pretty shocked when COLON CANCER was said to me. I also burst into tears when the phlebotomist looked at my chart, look at me and blurt out YOU HAVE COLON CANCER?!?! Part of me is like ok schedule it, get it done,move on. The other part is under the covers with no plans of crawling out.

My question is; Is there a possibility that the tumor is benign? Anyone experience that? I know that it sorta doesnt matter if it is or not, I need surgery no matter what. It just changes if I need follow up treatment etc. Either way I may be on here awhile!

Thanks for your time

Jess
31 F
7/26/12 colonoscopy
sigmoid colon,polyps
8/24/12 surgery laproscopic 12"
ovarian cyst drained,Scar tissue removed
8/28/12 stage 1
9/14/12 neg lynch/fap
2/19/13 total hysterectomy, aggressive endometreosis
yay surgical menopause at 32!!
justjessica
 
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby pmterra » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:30 pm

I'm sorry you have to be here Jess. I know hearing the words colon cancer is shocking :shock: . Our doctor told us with certainty after the colonoscopy that it was a cancerous tumor. It was like someone turned off the lights and sounds in the world! I guess there is always a chance that it is benign. I would prepare to accept the worst and hope for the best. You will know more after the CT scan I would imagine. It depends if the tumor is contained or it has grown thru the wall of your colon and if there are any lymph nodes involved. I'm sure your mind is whirling so just try not to let it take over b/c it always adds stress and worry times 10. Do you have family close by for support? You shouldn't have to go thru this alone. Best of luck to you and let us know what happens. Would love to get to know you better but hope we don't have to! :?

p.s. the internet is not your friend, try not to overwhelm yourself by doing research before you know anything for sure!

~Paula
Paula - caregiver to survivor husband
Stage 3C - Colon
surgery June, 2008
6 mo. chemo/FOLFOX & Avastin
July, 2014 - NED 6 years :)

Don't look back...you aren't going that way!
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby janklo » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:52 pm

Hi Jessica - I don't know if your tumor is benign either, but just prepare yourself for the cancer diagnosis. You are doing the best thing by doing your research, this is a good place to start. Always learn about all your options before making any decisions, be your own advocate for your healthcare. You'll probably need surgery, but the recovery is not too bad. If you need chemotherapy, you will make it through, it's not that bad, many many others have gone before you. Just take it one step at a time and come back here with your questions, you will get good advice!
Mom to 28 yo daughter
colectomy 2/22/10, stage 3C, signet cell
7/2011 peritoneal mets
HIPEC September 2012, difficult recovery
Hospice 10/31/2012, Died 11/16/2012
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby elise » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:07 am

Sorry you're here. I was diagnosed this year at age 30. Good news is you may not need anything after your resection if it's stage 1 or maybe even stage 2.

Take it one day at a time. As a side note, when I was diagnosed, I started to realize how amazing the world is. I was always a positive person but all of a sudden I was noticing sunsets, grass, trees... And how beautiful it all is. I hope you get to live this experience too. It's really changed me.

Head up and remember to sit down when you get the news.

Elise
2012
Feb - Stage 2 (T3 N0 M0) CC @ 30
Mar - Right hemicolectomy, 18 lymph nodes
May-Nov 6 - Chemo (8 Xeloda)
2013
Feb - NED
2014
Feb - NED
May - Stage 4 - 1 liver met @ 32
Jun - Liver resection
Aug - FOLFOX 5 rounds, 5FU X 3... 4 more
Oct - CLEAN SCAN
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby michelle c » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:10 am

Hi Jess,

I'm glad you found us but sorry you are here! My tumor was cancer, the gastroenterologist biopsied my tumor and it was cancer. It was overwhelming and very scary to say the least! Hoping that your tumor is benign but like you said, either way you will need surgery. This board is wonderful, you will find lots of support here and best of all, we get it!

Love and hugs,

Michelle xox
25 May 09 Dx with CC (sigmoid colon) 2 days after my 44th b'day
CEA prior to surgery 4.7
3 Jun 09 LAR - Stage III 3/10 lymph nodes
6 Jul - 10 Dec 09 12 cycles FOLFIRI
Genetic testing - inconclusive for Lynch
Jul 12 port removed & hernia repair
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby shellfry » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:17 am

I agree with Paula, the internet is not what you want to be looking at. I did right after my first colonoscopy, then turned it off and never searched the subject again. The only thing I wish I had done was find this site earlier. As it is, I didn't find it until my treatment was over.
I think most doctor's know pretty much if it's cancerous or not, mine sure did, even without pathology results. But, you are young and will get through whatever they tell you. You can come on this board and vent or ask questions, and it's great because we all understand like no one else you talk to will. You can ask really gross questions that you won't be comfortable with anyone else, and it's ok because we've all been there.
It's very scary. I can tell you to keep postive, and try to keep your same schedule. It will really help. I know that when I sat home with nothing to do all I could think about was cancer. I got back to work ASAP and it helped me so much. It was really hard sometimes but it was the best thing for me.
Michelle
Stage III Colorectal Cancer
2 lymph nodes involved
Resection Sept 2010
5-FU, Leucovorin, Oxiplatin
radiation
chemo complete May 2011
radiation complete Dec 2010
Port removed June 2011
permanent colostomy 9/2012 due to
complications from radiation
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby RayGirl » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:59 am

Is it possible it's benign? You will have to wait for the all the tests, and sometimes even they can be inconclusive. One of my college friend's had a small tumor in her rectum when she went for a scope. Despite the biopsy coming back benign, they put her through all the scans and tests prior to doing surgery to remove the tumor. The tumor was tested several times and every test came back benign again. The surgeon warned her that though the test were benign there is still no guarentee that there weren't a few cancer cells that just didn't get tested and she needed to do frequent screenings from now on. So even when the test come back all clear you may still need to be vigilent in your screenings.

Good luck on this journey. If your test come back clear, we will all cheer for you. If they don't, well then we'll be there for you to offer support.
Stage III Rectal: T3, 3/21 Nodes
dxn:Feb-10
Radiation&Xeloda
7.5 hr surgery
12th FOLFOX Nov-10
Takedown:Jan-11
Clean scan:Nov-13
Port is out!

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby Daisymae » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:17 am

Anything is possible. I had a 9 cm polyp/tumor in Feb. My biopsies all came back tubulovillous adenoma w/no dysplasia (benign). I did all the tests... CT/PET, MRI, etc and all came back normal (w/the exception of the large mass). I had a resection in March at Sloan Kettering. Final pathology came back as tubulovillous adenoma w/high grade dysplasia. I got a 2nd opinion on pathology at MD Anderson. This is apparently considered pre-cancerous, depending on which doctors you ask. I have found that older doctors consider this stage 0 or Tis (in situ) and the younger doctors tell me this is not actual cancer, but pre-cancer. They say the definition of cancer has changed and is defined as the ability to spread, which mine had not yet acquired. Whatever it was, I'm glad it's gone. I had the resection, ended up with temporary ostomy, and had the reversal a little over 2 months ago. As far as my doctor is concerned, I am "cured" and now require yearly colonoscopy and I think my internist/GI will do CEA and other blood work every six months for the next few years or so. There really is just no way to tell until the polyp/tumor is taken out via surgery and confirmed w/pathology. There are some people on here with big tumors that are benign, and some with little tiny tumors that are advanced. No way of knowing. But sounds like you are in touch w/all the right people and have your plan in place. Good luck with everything. Please PM me if I can help. I am close in age to you.
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby JerseyGirl » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:51 am

Hi Jessica,

Hoping and praying for you it's not cancerous (or at least early stage!) I am 31 as well, diagnosed with stage 4 last year out of blue with no symptoms except the day I went to the ER. I have a 70 year old neighbor that had a big but benign colon tumor so it's possible! If you have to go through chemo, it sucks but do-able like everyone says! I just finished 12 rounds last week, working full time and about to leave for Ocean City, MD to have fun with some friends and live it up!!!! Don't know what my future holds but I am happy today. Btw my colon surgery was done all through my belly button so now big scars:) recovery wasn't that bad at all. Keep us posted on what you find out and we will be here to support you.
Diagnosed Nov. 11' Stage 4 @ Age 30
9/40 nodes, 3 liver tumors
Colon Resection 12/11
Liver Resection 2/12
FOLFOX + Avastin for 12 rounds
Cancer back a few months after chemo ended:(
Inoperable/Chemo for life
KRAS Mutant and allergic to Irronitican
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby justjessica » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:01 pm

Thank you everyone for responding and all the positive thoughts. I am going for my CT in a half hour, then next I hope to meet with the surgeon. The problem I may run into with recovery is that I work a very physical job, I work for Trader Joe's and I work the stocking shifts. I unload trucks, break down pallets, lift, twist, run around and all before 8 am. Not to mention standing all day! I know everything will work out it's just this limbo of not knowing that it driving me nuts. I have no patience to be a patient!!!! haha. My family is here in town which makes it much better. I also have discovered that my bf of not even a year is more amazing than I thought and apparently loves me since he dealt with my prep, scope and plans to take care of me after. He trys to keep me level headed and not on a downward spiral of all the things I need to worry about. He just calmed me down when I started talking about my finances and how I am going to even make it through not working while acquiring bills. I will have short term disability but its only 2/3 pay and starts two weeks after you leave. I have health insurance but they never pay everything. It's all the little things that seem to pile up in my head over the day. I also had to speak to my manager today and tell her what is going on, so that was a little distressing. Talking about it is still hard because when you say CANCER people get weird and start treating you weird not to mention I can't seem to wrap my own head around it. All I know is I am going to this appt, then the next, then whatever else I need to do. Thank you all for welcoming me and I will give you guys an update as soon as I know anything!

Jess
31 F
7/26/12 colonoscopy
sigmoid colon,polyps
8/24/12 surgery laproscopic 12"
ovarian cyst drained,Scar tissue removed
8/28/12 stage 1
9/14/12 neg lynch/fap
2/19/13 total hysterectomy, aggressive endometreosis
yay surgical menopause at 32!!
justjessica
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:07 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: brand spanking new

Postby justjessica » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:00 pm

The CT went well. I had with and without contrast. The contrast felt terrible! I was completely drained after and went to bed at 5pm. I've noticed I have been exhausted for months now and it seems like I tire quicker, maybe I am just looking for other signs I was sick. I was also diagnosed with anemia over a year ago, no idea if that's connected or not. Anyways. 20 mins after I left the CT place my Dr. Office called saying they just got the CT and want to see me Thursday. So of course I get all paranoid that they called me and so damn quickly. My first guess: its spead and bad, my second choice: a very efficient staff. I will find out tomorrow I suppose. 4:15 tomorrow will not come quick enough. I also told some co workers/friends to prepare them for my lengthy disappearance. A few had known for a few days and told one told me that some have been talking about donating their AR time to me. It's the vacation time we accrue. Apparently you can give yours to a fellow employee. I was very touched that they want to help me. Most are surprised that someone my age has it. I am going to just chalk it up to my dad's mystery medical side of the family. It just means many more colonoscopys in my future! yay butt probes! :shock: Again thanks for all your support. I'll let ya know what happens tomorrow.

Jess
31 F
7/26/12 colonoscopy
sigmoid colon,polyps
8/24/12 surgery laproscopic 12"
ovarian cyst drained,Scar tissue removed
8/28/12 stage 1
9/14/12 neg lynch/fap
2/19/13 total hysterectomy, aggressive endometreosis
yay surgical menopause at 32!!
justjessica
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:07 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: brand spanking new

Postby justin case » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:57 pm

justjessica wrote:Thank you everyone for responding and all the positive thoughts. I am going for my CT in a half hour, then next I hope to meet with the surgeon. The problem I may run into with recovery is that I work a very physical job, I work for Trader Joe's and I work the stocking shifts. I unload trucks, break down pallets, lift, twist, run around and all before 8 am. Not to mention standing all day! I know everything will work out it's just this limbo of not knowing that it driving me nuts. I have no patience to be a patient!!!! haha. My family is here in town which makes it much better. I also have discovered that my bf of not even a year is more amazing than I thought and apparently loves me since he dealt with my prep, scope and plans to take care of me after. He trys to keep me level headed and not on a downward spiral of all the things I need to worry about. He just calmed me down when I started talking about my finances and how I am going to even make it through not working while acquiring bills. I will have short term disability but its only 2/3 pay and starts two weeks after you leave. I have health insurance but they never pay everything. It's all the little things that seem to pile up in my head over the day. I also had to speak to my manager today and tell her what is going on, so that was a little distressing. Talking about it is still hard because when you say CANCER people get weird and start treating you weird not to mention I can't seem to wrap my own head around it. All I know is I am going to this appt, then the next, then whatever else I need to do. Thank you all for welcoming me and I will give you guys an update as soon as I know anything!

I work for a printing company. I lift tons of paper every day. I worked through chemo and radiation, but I refused to damage myself after surgery, for a job. Your health insurance should pay everything exept doctors co-pay, after you reach your deductible. I f your breaking down pallets and gaylords, moving constantly, and bending over repeatedly as I do, expect to take a full 6 weeks off after surgery. I got through it, and so did my company. I had an interesting experience just today. I had some diarhea I couldn't control, so I had to leave work. After about 2 hours,the same people who got along without me for 6 weeks, were calling me to see if I was coming back to work. I must have made a difference after all, and they do not know what to do without me! Everything will work out, take care of yourself first, then worry about the job. I don't know what Trader Vics is, but I know it's a large company, and they can't fire you because you take medical leave with a cancer diagnosis.
Regards,
Michael
Jess
7/11 diagnosed Stage 2 colon and rectal cancer
chemo/rad
lar/temp ilio
Reversal & port removal
21 round of chemo Folfox 9tx, 5fu 12 tx
Last treatment July 2012
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby justjessica » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:19 pm

So ten minutes after I posted about my Ct scan, the scan place called and said my Dr ordered an MRI. He hadn't called to tell me why. I called his office and was told by his office staff that he just wanted me to have it before my 4pm appt. So I have an MRI at 730am. I'm pretty scared that he ordered another scan and didn't call to say why and wanted it right away. Of course it could be that they couldn't see it well or well you all know what is running though my head. My family and bf all say calm down and get it done, wait to see what he says before I melt down but it's hard when you don't know what the hell is going on in your own body. :?

Jess
31 F
7/26/12 colonoscopy
sigmoid colon,polyps
8/24/12 surgery laproscopic 12"
ovarian cyst drained,Scar tissue removed
8/28/12 stage 1
9/14/12 neg lynch/fap
2/19/13 total hysterectomy, aggressive endometreosis
yay surgical menopause at 32!!
justjessica
 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:07 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: brand spanking new

Postby CheeseHead » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:47 am

Jessica,

Good luck, hope the CT results are good.
I'd echo janklo's post. If you want, research on the internet if you're the type that wants that and are ... to put it a bit bluntly curious/obssessive about knowing everything and scientifically/medically inclined - like me. Not knowing for me was worse than knowing all possibilities, no matter how remote.
Others have advised you to lay off the internet - probably because their personality is different. I have a family member who is like that.
You'll have to find out what works best for you.

Regardless, this early phase of diagnostics, surgery etc probably comes at you in a rush of emotions, experiences and information. Don't worry, just try to relax (as far as you can), try to write down questions you have, take somebody with you to help remember what the Drs said and check you asked all your questions.
Let's hope it turns out the surgery to remove the tumor is all you need.

All the best,
Cheese
    2008
    10 Stg 4 colon srgry
    12 Xelox/Avast
    2009
    05 Liver srgry
    -12 Xelox
    2010
    05 Xelox
    08 Iri/Vect
    11 Liver srgry
    2011
    01-05 Iri,Vect,Xeloda
    09 CyberKnife
    2012
    03-07 Ph I trial
    08-11 Regorafenib
    2013-
    Xeloda
    Vecti
    Iri
    Xelox
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Re: brand spanking new

Postby justjessica » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:39 pm

Ok so it is cancer. There are questions if it has made it to my uterus etc(he doesnt think so but want a gynecologist to look at it) and there are spots on my lungs. I need another Ct of my chest. I think I need another opinion though because this dr seems like my case is so different than all he has seen. I think he deals with mostly older people with cut and dry cases. Me being 31 is throwing him off. He wants me to see a gynecologist, a oncologist and a geneticist before he will consider treatment. He also talked about how the removal of all the colon as a preventative measure seemed possible. I am 31 and I have one tumor in my colon I am not losing all of my colon on my first treatment. He also doesn't know the exact stage I am at yet. I am just wondering if there is anyone in the Phoenix, Arizona area that could recommend a second Dr opinion? or hospital that will provide more comprehensive care since my case is complicated?
31 F
7/26/12 colonoscopy
sigmoid colon,polyps
8/24/12 surgery laproscopic 12"
ovarian cyst drained,Scar tissue removed
8/28/12 stage 1
9/14/12 neg lynch/fap
2/19/13 total hysterectomy, aggressive endometreosis
yay surgical menopause at 32!!
justjessica
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:07 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

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