This is all new to me

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brentaaron235
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:42 pm

This is all new to me

Postby brentaaron235 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:19 pm

Hi everyone. I am normally a fairly silent person, but lately I've really been feeling the need to connect with people who will actually understand what I'm going through.
On October 30, a week before my 31st birthday, a tumour was discovered in my rectum. I had a sneaking suspicion it was there. It was obvious to me something was significantly wrong. I had experienced bleeding and abdominal pains and a slow build up of feeling run down for years, but due to fear, or just hoping everything was fine, I neglected to do very much a bout it. I did see a couple doctors during that time. One who basically told me that in men my age it is usually nothing to worry about. Gave me a suppository to stop the bleeding and sent me on my way. Another who told me I probably have kidney stones (which I didn't). That whole experience just made me shy away from doctors even more.
Nov 5, six days after finding the tumour, I was diagnosed with stage IIIb rectal cancer. Despite my knowing something was wrong, this diagnosis was unbelievable. I display zero risk factors, zero family history, and it has been a shiny point of pride that my immediate and extended family have always been very healthy people, with multiple great grandparents living well into their nineties, and almost no health problems until well into their 70s.
So I've just been blessed with a body that makes cancer? The doctors say it's an anomaly. I guess that makes me feel special.
I have a lot to look forward to. On December 14th I start 5 weeks of radiation, chemotherapy simultaneously. After recovery from this I will have a low-anterior resection with a temporary loop ileostomy (to be reversed approximately 6 months or more after the surgery). Then more chemo after surgery (I'm not sure exactly how long this will be for, but I will learn the details of my chemotherapy on Dec 10th).
At 30 years old I always expected I would be in peak physical condition, but instead what I have took forward to is the prospect of adult diapers, an inability to make children, experiencing sexual dysfunction, and constantly being aware that my colon makes polyps that turn into cancer (three were removed during the colonoscopy). On top of this, I've quickly realized that my career choice of being a carpenter who builds houses is on the verge of being unrealistic. Not working for such long periods of time due to treatments and recovery is not very conducive to my financial security. Coupled with the awareness that this sort of thing very well may arise again, I'm forced to consider a different path. Not to mention my nine year old trying to work through the anxiety associated with the fear of loosing his dad. Poor guy.
There's something else that unexpectedly seems to make the whole process that much harder. People.
I understand that there are people who care about me, who want to help, but the fact is, most of their helping is the opposite. There are people who seem almost happy I have cancer, because now they get to be "a part of something". It's exciting and novel, and provides the opportunity to show everyone else how "caring" and "compassionate" they are. It ends up being an exercise in selfishness rather than in aiding me. Or there are those people who attempt to sugar-coat everything and act like its "no big deal", which is terribly frustrating and hurtful since it is a very big deal to me. I'd much rather someone acknowledge "yes Brent this really really sucks", rather than adding the facade of "everything is fine". Because everything is not fine. I understand the motivation to keep me positive, but that's not my issue. It doesn't help ignoring the reality of the situation.
I also live in an area of the world where there are a lot of "alternative" people who hold fast to alternative methods of doing everything, and I get constant pressure to forego conventional treatment in favour of more wholistic and natural processes. So when someone tells me "wow man, I'd much rather pump my body full of vitamin c to shrink the tumour instead of radiation!", or when a well intentioned woman tells be "I don't believe you need intervention to heal yourself. I have a friend who is an energy healer and I think you would benefit more from this", the intended effect is the opposite. Some people just don't realize how hurtful such suggestions can be. I'm already overwhelmed with everything that's been going on, and such suggestions feel like a punch in the gut and a slap in the face. It feels like a betrayal, like an accusation of stupidity, and like a downgrading of what is actually going on. Sometimes it takes a blunt word to share with these people. Show them a picture of my bloody undergarments because the bleeding is near uncontrollable, or describe the sharp pains origination from inside my butthole. Not that I like sharing such things, but it stops them from thinking they know everything about what I'm going through. And then there are those people who I thought loved me, but just stopped talking to me and stopped telling me they love me. I guess maybe they are afraid. I'm not sure.
Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate that there are people in my life who want to care and help, but most times they miss the mark. Which is why I've come here, because I've been feeling terribly alone in all of this. My life is forever changed, and no one "gets it". I am, however, very grateful for the doctors who have been helping me. I can see in their eyes that they care about me and also fully understand. But doctor patient relationships can only go so far. I'm on the verge of developing a major crush on my radiation oncologist because she's so caring and gentle and understanding (making jokes about all of this also helps :)
This is ending up being quite the tale. I'm thankful I found this forum, and I wish many profoundly good days to you all.

LOVE

cathy123
Posts: 665
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: This is all new to me

Postby cathy123 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:50 pm

So sorry you are dealing with this. I completely agree that the response I appreciated most was "wow I am so sorry that really sucks". I know it is hard for others to know what to do. Most mean well so take them up on their offers to help and try to ignore the annoying parts.

I hope you get thru radiation ok. Any problems or questions check back here anytime.

Also I have a 11 and 9 year old. I found it helpful to talk to their teachers and the school counselor. Mine have been dealing with things pretty well though.
Cathy

Diagnosed 10/14 low rectal cancer age 43
Clinical T2NXMX
Radiation/xeloda 12/14-1/15
LAR with temp Ileo 3/15
pT2N0M0, lymphatic invasion 0/37 nodes
4 xelox, 1 xeloda only
Reversal 9/15
Mom to 9&11 year olds

midlifemom
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:58 am
Location: NJ

Re: This is all new to me

Postby midlifemom » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:54 pm

Brent,
Yes, we understand.
We get the "helpful" friends whom we just want to kill. Search for zingers on possible options of how to respond to them
We get the difficulty of having our children have to deal with our issues. Search on this as well.
We get the problems with work and adult diapers. Chances are everything you are dealing with has also impacted others on this site. Spend some time with the search feature - you will find a wealth of information.
Take one day at a time. Breathe. Hydrate. Breathe. Walk.
Collect copies of all your medical paperwork - labs, surgery, radiology. Get it all organized.
Ask your onc lots of questions. Question everyone and everything. If you don't like an
Answer, get a second opinion.
There are plenty of folks here to help.
Stage 3 cc - dx Jan '14 age 53, cea 2.9
t2n2m0, KRAS mutant, MSS
Folfox Feb - Aug '14
Nov '14 cea 27.7 -2 liver masses
Dec '14 left lobectomy and HAI
Jan '15 FUDR and FOLFIRI
Aug '15 fudr done, liver clear, add avastin for lungs. Cea 4.3
Feb '16 CEA rising
May '16 2 wk break then drop Iri for 6 weeks.
Jul '16 cancer grew, constricted main bile duct. Stent inserted. On break till jaundice clears. CEA climbing. Doing reduced Folfox. Allergic to Oxali.
Sep'16 chemo failed. Trial or hospice?

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spinnz
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:19 pm
Facebook Username: Diana Wiseley

Re: This is all new to me

Postby spinnz » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:21 pm

I'm new to this too and understand the loneliness. I am so sorry you are going through this! Doctor crushes are the best, aren't they?
Dx age 53 10/8/15
Lap/robotic converted to open sigmoid colectomy, partial small-bowel resection and right salpingo-oophorectomy 10-9-15
CRC stage 3b, T3N1aM0
Margins clear of malignancy
1/27 lymph nodes
Well differentiated
CAT / MRI's indicate NED
FOLFOX + Neulasta- 2 rounds 11/15
Xeloda, 1 week on 1 week off 1/16- 5/16
1/5/16 CEA 1.0, 5/16, 1.0
Factor 13-bleeding disorder
NEW DX
11/15/18 IDC

Sams wife
Posts: 749
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:49 pm

Re: This is all new to me

Postby Sams wife » Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:02 pm

I've tried to write you something at least 3 times. I never know what to say. You sound alot like my husband & what is happening to him. Sorry you have to be here.
Husband dx 1/13/15 St.2 CEA 7.1
Chemo/25rad 2/15 till 4/24/15
5FU/leucovorin
Surgery 6/8/2015 Stage IIa T3N0MX microscopic cancer left
Watching 4 lung spots
0/5 lymph nodes. Lap. APR
25% less 5FU/leucovorin 7/14/2015 x 26 CEA 3.4
25% more 5fu 9/2015
9/16/15 CEA 7.7
1/16/16 @ 9.2 during allergy?
3/16 New lung spot 4x4 mm
6/16 CEA 6.9 spot 5x5

Soccermom2boys
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: This is all new to me

Postby Soccermom2boys » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:10 pm

Brent--
Wow, you so totally summed up exactly word for word how i am feeling regarding this whole experience as well. I have been reading many numerous posts over the past few months (was diagnosed in August, rectal cancer stage 2a--and like you, zero risk factors or family history), but I just had to make this my first reply as I 100% understand everything you expressed. It is hard to get across to anyone the depth of the emotions involved and the whole "stay positive" mantra sounds great when you are on the outside looking in, but when you are the one being told you have cancer and all of the hurdles in the name of treatment you must trudge through, it's just not possible to always be positive. Had to laugh about being someone else's project for their generosity and selflessness as I have a few of those in my life as well. I suspect it's their way of hoping if they are kind enough to the cancer patient then maybe the cancer gods will be kind to them in return. I have experienced being given the repeated look of sad eyes of being the cancer patient--ugh! You just want to be treated like normal (even though unfortunately normal went out the window the moment you find out you are harboring a cancerous tumor), not being asked a million times "how do you feel" because that's not a loaded question?! Yuck--I hear you and empathize completely with dealing with the non-cancer people in our lives.

I have my surgery scheduled for next Thursday (12/17) and unfortunately my lovely tumor is too close to anal sphincter for any chance of preservation and clean margins so I get the added bonus of a permanent colostomy--that is a piece of information that only my nearest and dearest friends/family know about. So I honestly plan to go in to seclusion post surgery to recover in peace and at my own pace, whatever that may be. I have an amazing husband and two teenage boys who are my daily motivation--it would be so much harder to want to put one foot in front of the other if I didn't have them to live for. Use your love for your 9 year old to keep pushing you forward.

Thanks for writing--now we both know we are not alone in our feelings as this has been an isolating experience for sure. I look forward to reading your future posts that detail your recovery and eventual victory over cancer. If anything, today you made some new friends who have the same feelings and worries you do.
8/3/15 Went in with a hemorrhoid, came out with a tumor
8/12/15 Biopsy from colonoscopy confirms RC (45 yrs old--zero family history!)
9/21 - 10/29/15 chemorad 28 tx (with Xeloda)
12/17/15 APR with perm colostomy
Pathology report stages me as IIIA (T2N1M0)--1/15 LN detects cancer
2/3/16 chemo port inserted
2/8-6/2/16 8 rounds of Folfox

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O Stoma Mia
Posts: 1602
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

People

Postby O Stoma Mia » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:33 am

brentaaron235 wrote:[...] There's something else that unexpectedly seems to make the whole process that much harder. People.

I understand that there are people who care about me, who want to help, but the fact is, most of their helping is the opposite. There are people who seem almost happy I have cancer, because now they get to be "a part of something". It's exciting and novel, and provides the opportunity to show everyone else how "caring" and "compassionate" they are. It ends up being an exercise in selfishness rather than in aiding me. Or there are those people who attempt to sugar-coat everything and act like its "no big deal", which is terribly frustrating and hurtful since it is a very big deal to me. I'd much rather someone acknowledge "yes Brent this really really sucks", rather than adding the facade of "everything is fine". Because everything is not fine. I understand the motivation to keep me positive, but that's not my issue. It doesn't help ignoring the reality of the situation. [...] And then there are those people who I thought loved me, but just stopped talking to me and stopped telling me they love me. I guess maybe they are afraid. I'm not sure.

Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate that there are people in my life who want to care and help, but most times they miss the mark. Which is why I've come here, because I've been feeling terribly alone in all of this. My life is forever changed, and no one "gets it". [...]

Yes, unfortunately this is a rather common complaint around here. In fact, almost every year there have been topics on this particular subject. Here are a few examples:

Strange things people say (2015)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=52449

Sometimes it's hard to like people (2014)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=46861

Sorry, But Need to Vent About Insensitive Family (2014)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=46664

How would you handle this? (2013)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=39177

Cancer weary friends/relatives (2012)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=35251

Anyone Else"Lose"friends,family because of your cancer? (2011)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=23632

So angry hurt and upset (2011)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=31186

Weird things people say (2010)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13286

Anyone else have family issues??? (2010)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12470

Dazed and confused.!! (2010)
http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15688

- - -
There are even some books and articles published on this and related topics:

BOOKS

How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick (2014) by Letty Cottin Pogrebin -- Chapter 1: “I Can’t Believe You Said That”

Everything Changes by Kairol Rosenthal

ARTICLES

The stupid things people say to those with cancer & their families
http://lisabadams.com/2013/02/27/the-stupid-things-people-say-to-people-with-cancertheir-families/

Coping With Crises Close to Someone Else’s Heart
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/health/views/17essa.html?_r=0

What to say (and not say) to a cancer patient - TODAY.com
http://www.today.com/health/what-say-not-say-cancer-patient-2D80213767

Say what? 8 things you shouldn’t – and should – say to a cancer patient
https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2013/10/what-not-to-say-to-a-cancer-patient.html

My friend died of that - and other things NOT to say to a cancer sufferer
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2606430/My-friend-died-things-NOT-say-cancer-sufferer-JOANNA-MOORHEAD-diagnosed-fortnight-ago.html

- - - -

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Maggie Nell
Posts: 1142
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 1:57 am
Location: Central Highlands, Victoria, Oz

Re: This is all new to me

Postby Maggie Nell » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:23 am

brentaaron235 wrote:
So I've just been blessed with a body that makes cancer? The doctors say it's an anomaly. I guess that makes me feel special.


Yeah, you have to watch them doctors when they make appeals to your narcissism!


There's something else that unexpectedly seems to make the whole process that much harder. People.


I know.....this planet is infested with them. Who knew???!


I understand that there are people who care about me, who want to help, but the fact is, most of their helping is the opposite. There are people who seem almost happy I have cancer, because now they get to be "a part of something". It's exciting and novel, and provides the opportunity to show everyone else how "caring" and "compassionate" they are. It ends up being an exercise in selfishness rather than in aiding me.


Welcome to your Higher Purpose ~ you have now been upgraded to existing as a demonstration for other people's goodness. Of being their
learning curve; of being the anecdote in their Starbuck conversational one-upmanship on whose friend has the worst cancer....


I also live in an area of the world where there are a lot of "alternative" people who hold fast to alternative methods of doing everything, and I get constant pressure to forego conventional treatment in favour of more wholistic and natural processes. So when someone tells me "wow man, I'd much rather pump my body full of vitamin c to shrink the tumour instead of radiation!", or when a well intentioned woman tells me "I don't believe you need intervention to heal yourself. I have a friend who is an energy healer and I think you would benefit more from this",


Repeat this mantra: I am not a martyr for other people's belief systems. And tell them to grow their own bleeding cancer....
Consider living in a RV so you can make quick get-aways and so you can quip oopsy daisy, I think my karma just ran over your dogma!

Show them a picture of my bloody undergarments because the bleeding is near uncontrollable, .


And that was how HYPATIA dealt with folk who didn't quite grasp the reality of being human.


End program.


Image
DX April 2015, @ 54
35mm poorly diff. tumour, incidental finding following emergency r.j hemicolectomy
for ileo-colic intussusception.
Lymph nodes: 0/22
T3 N0 MX

Sorbitol is the Devil
Ordained Dudeist Priest at Dudeism, the Church of the Latter-Day Dude 8)

Lydia666
Posts: 676
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:50 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: This is all new to me

Postby Lydia666 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:51 am

Hi Brent,
Sorry u had to join the club. 6 months ago i joined prior to my colonoscopy because i wanted info about prep. I hoped that I would be out of here after the scope but i am here to stay. I've gone through the radiations and chemo + surgery with ileostomy. So far it was bearable. I had a good quality of life and not much discomfort. The worst was/ is the ileo- really gross. But i am used to it now and am really thankful it's temporary!
As for people, i've had all sorts of comments or people who just dissapeared. I try to keep an open mind, I imagine i would not know what to say to someone going through a difficult time either. You will see that even on this site, people have different perceptions as to what is ok to be said and what not. So try to let it roll of your back. Most people care and are well intended. For example, i end up getting defensive when people say too much of i am sorry and this really sucks. I don't want people to trivialize my situation but not make it like i am so unlucky ( which of course i am, but it could me much worse).. So you see, we are very sensitive and in the edge so not much is acceptable. I had those vitamin C suggestions or other of that sort about treatments- just do what u and your docs think it's best. Even suggestions from other cancer patients can vary because each situation is different. There are so many details- u don't know what line in their biopsy report or whatever else makes them have one treatment over the other that might not apply to you.
All the best to you! Hang in there- one day at a time.
Oct 2012- thyroid cancer
June 19, 2015 Dx@39 yrs- CRC-T3N1M0
No vascular, no perineural invasion
Aug-Sept 2015- 28 rad/5FU
Oct 28, 2015- LAR- temp ileo, neg. nodes- 0/11
March 2016- 6 rounds Xeloda/positive CHEK2 mutation
August 2016- DCIS and decided post prophylactic double mastectomy
May 2018 - clean CT
Sept 2018-clean scope
Devastation, total shock- oct 2018, invasion of peri mets
Dec 20 - 2 round of folfox
Mom to 4 & 7 yrs kids - at least i brought them to this level of independence.

plastikos
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:09 am

Re: This is all new to me

Postby plastikos » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:23 am

Brent, you've come to the right place. Almost everybody here knows exactly how you feel. That is no assurance mind you that you wont get insensitive comments from time to time. Just keep on asking questions and sharing your experiences. You may not always get the answer you want but you'll get answers. This place is great for information.

Yes I agree. Cancer sucks. Big time. For some more than others. Dont listen to your friends. You are on the right track. Surgery is the most important step. So focus on getting there. Good luck!
St. IV Colon CA @ 37, male, Kras wild, MSI-high (2014)
11/2014 Right Hemicolectomy + Liver Resection
12/2014 - 6/2015 FOLFOX + Cetuximab
10/2015 - Recurrence liver
Liver resection 10/2015
FOLFIRI 11/2015 - 5/2016
Recurrence liver, nodes 11/2016
Pembrolizumab started 12/2016 -> pseudoprogression(?) -> biliary obstruction -> biliary stenting
Chemo 4x: most mets inactive and smaller on PET-CT
March 2017 - Back on Pembrolizumab again
Sept 2017 - SIRT - > NED
2019 NED

David from Canada
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:54 pm

Re: This is all new to me

Postby David from Canada » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:44 pm

Brent,

One of your concerns (infertility) I had to deal with as well. If you want to preserve your options you need to bank and freeze some sperm. It's important to do this before any chemo and rad and the clinics will make you an urgent appointment if you explain your situation. I think it's 3 days prior your need to be abstinent for donation but check with the doc's.

Also ignore any stats you don't like( they are old and don't apply to fit, young people :). You'll get through this!

All the best in the days to come,

David
30 yrs old
RC Dx Sept 11, 2015
EUS Sept stage 3b T3N1, 7cm from verge
CT scan Sept no mets
Started Xeloda and rad Oct 20 (28 rads)
Last Rad, Chemo Dec 1 -worked full time throughout, from home last 2 weeks
CT and MRI - complete clinical response
LAR and temp ileo Jan 25 -NED
Complete pathological response
4mo Folfox
Ileo reversal Sept 2
1 year Cancer free Jan 25 2017

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O Stoma Mia
Posts: 1602
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

Re: Questions for the radiation oncologist

Postby O Stoma Mia » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:08 pm

brentaaron235 wrote: [...] I have a lot to look forward to. On December 14th I start 5 weeks of radiation, chemotherapy simultaneously. After recovery from this I will have a low-anterior resection with a temporary loop ileostomy (to be reversed approximately 6 months or more after the surgery). Then more chemo after surgery (I'm not sure exactly how long this will be for, but I will learn the details of my chemotherapy on Dec 10th) [ ...]

It looks like your doctor has already given you a good roadmap of milestones for your upcoming Rectal Cancer interventions. I think that the best thing to do right now is to deal with each milestone in order and try to collect as much information as you can on a given milestone before that intervention starts. Your roadmap for the upcoming year looks something like this:
    OCT 2015 DX Rectal Cancer
    NOV 2015 Initial staging: Stage III-B
    DEC 2015 Start neoadjuvant chemo-rad , 5 weeks
    FEB 2016 LAR + diverting Ileostomy surgery
    FEB 2016 Path report; final staging
    MAR 2016 Adjuvant chemotherapy, 4 months
    AUG 2016 Ileostomy reversal
    SEP 2016 Follow-up period (5 years)
For your December 10th meeting with the oncologist, I would suggest that you ask a lot of questions, such as some of the following:
  • Ask to have details about the type of radiation protocol they will use. It will likely be something like IMRT/IGRT. Ask about which machine they wll be using and about how they are going to protect against "collateral damage" to nearby organs and structures. Here's a post on IMRT/IGRT:

    Targeted rectal radiation -- IMRT IGRT
    http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=48936#p372445

  • Ask to see the CT-scan template that they will use to guide the rays in the right direction. Which area(s) will be irradiated and which areas will be protected from radiation?
  • Ask about the risks and side effects of pelvic radiation, specifically, how will the radiation affect the sphincter and bowel function over the long term?
  • Ask what the purpose is for this neo-adjuvant radiation. Normally it is to shrink or destroy the tumor and/or to attain a state of complete pathological response (pCR).
  • Ask about the type of ointments or suppositories you might need to handle proctitis or radiation burns that might occur. Ask specifically about the ointments that contain zinc oxide (see quote in the link above).

bitchslapped
Posts: 1531
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:23 pm
Location: PNW/USA

Re: This is all new to me

Postby bitchslapped » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:18 pm

Stoma, my friend, you are so good w/that computer! :wink:
DSS,35YO,unresect mCRC DX 7/'14,lvr,LN,peri,rib
FOLFOX+Avstn 4 Rnds d/c 10/'14
Stent 9/'14
FOLFIRI+Avstn 10/'14
Gone From My Sight 2/20/15
Me:garden variety polyps + precancerous polyp, diverticulitis
Carergver x2 DH,DM dbl occupancy,'03-'10
DH dx 47YO mCRC,'04-'07 fried x HAI
DM dx CC 85YO,CC,CHF,stroke,dementia,aphasia

brentaaron235
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:42 pm

Re: This is all new to me

Postby brentaaron235 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:15 pm

I really appreciate everything you all have said to me. If I knew how to use this forum machine a little better I would be responding with all the nice yellow quote boxes and the like. But since I'm a forum rookie, I'll just mass reply.
Finding this place has already been a big help. I feel I am among friends, thank you a lot! All the suggestions and guidance and links and advice have been invaluable. If I knew you all in person I'd give you all hugs, or high fives, or hearty handshakes, whichever you'd be into. I'm looking forward to getting to know guys more. I guess that's one good thing about this cancer, a feeling of solidarity that might otherwise be unavailable. It's my business to find gems in the shadows. I'm determined to find many large gems in these shadows.

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hopeful
Posts: 1372
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:43 am

Re: This is all new to me

Postby hopeful » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:06 pm

Brent, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis and it really does suck! My husband was diagnosed just a little over 6 years ago with stage IIIb colon cancer. It was discovered during an emergency appendectomy and removed with the appendix. On New Year's Day he was going through his second chemo treatment. But 6 months later he came out the other end and life got back to mostly normal. There is still some numbness in his toes and fingertips from one of the chemo drugs and things go faster through shortened intestines, but other than that life is pretty normal.

It seems to take forever to get through all the treatments but at the time it just became a way of life. It's what we did. I wish you the easiest time possible with all of the crap you have to go through to get through this thing.
Caregiver to husband diagnosed 11/09 stage IIIb colon cancer
Surgery 11/5/09
12 rounds FOLFOX beginning 12/18/09
Folfox finished 6/3/10
Last scan Jan 2015
NED since Dec. 2009


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