I was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago with stage II colon cancer at the age of 34. It's been 2 weeks since I had my colon resection surgery, and I am recovering well. At first I was in denial, but when I had to make my appointment with my oncologist, the diagnosis really hit me hard. When the oncologist met with me in the hospital, he said at this time he's not recommending any chemo. He said he would do preventative chemo if I twisted his arm. However, he was waiting for one more test result to come back. Depending upon those results, the recommendation of chemo may change. I'm really scared of the chemo as I don't know much about it. I've been very depressed for the past few days...crying uncontrollably. There are so many thoughts going through my head.
I'd appreciate anyone who could relate to my experience. Thanks.
don't be depressed- yes it's so hard being diagnosed... but be thankful that you guys caught it at only stage 2. my dad was just recently diagnosed with stage 4 and we're okay.
about chemo- if you end up going though it, it's okay. yes, there are some scary side effects, but it's worth it in the end.
i don't think anything i said really helps, but know that there are lots of others with similar experiences. you will be okay.
34 is quite young to develop colon cancer. Is there a history of it in your family or the related cancers - endometrial, prostate, small intestine, pancreatic, kidney/pelvic? I ask because if you have HNPCC (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer) the prognosis is better than spontaneous cc and surgery alone is usually curative. Has your tumor been tested for microsatellite instability? That is a marker for probable HNPCC.
I'm glad your physical recovery is going smoothly. The emotional is much tougher. I remember how shocked I was when I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer at age 49 - my grandmother was 90, my father and aunt were 78 and 72 when they developed their cancers - why me and why so young? And then after awhile - why not me - Cancer is a rude awakening that we live under an illusion of control of our lives when so much is at the mercy of luck, heredity and just plain randomness of events. But there is life after cancer, even after 2 cancers (colon cancer 8 years later at 57 a real shockeroo - no symptoms detected on routine colonoscopy screening).
Again, be glad it was discovered at an early stage Stage II where the odds are greatly in your favor that it will not return. You are very lucky, there are people in your age category that are struggling with Stage IV diagnoses because their MDs believed they were too young to have the old person's disease - colon cancer - and attributed symptoms to IBS, PMS, or other causes, never thinking to suggest a colonoscopy.
I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in February. My resection also went fine and I'm back to normal (as far as the bowls). But...like you..I was afraid of Chemo. Being Stage III, I had to have it (Chemo).
Took my first dose (I understand they call it a "cocktail) 3 weeks ago and will have my 2nd round next week. These last two weeks I have been feeling fine. My Chemo is an IV for a few hours then pills for 14 days.
Of course there is side effects but you learn what you can or can't do and everyone is different. Do you have good support? Family and Friends?
Since the surgery, I have had to learn to slow down a bit. Actually, between the surgery and the Chemo...it makes you slow down some what. YOu just have to learn that it's only for so long and after that....you can speed up again! >>>>grin>>>>
Good luck to you and be glad that you caught it early.
When I received my news I was not given a chance to breath. My docs took over my life, less the two weeks I had a port put in and started chemo 24/7 and radation 5 days a week for 9 weeks. This shrunk my tumor to the point it couldn't be felt (when it had been so large the camera couldn't pass by). Surgery was done lapascopic, and 6 weeks off then I started 9 more monthe of chemo, 6 weeks on 2 weeks off. No two doctors are the same, so they treat things differently, I had Stage 3B rectal 8 cent. in (on ostimy or resection). When in doubt, ask! If you don't get an answer, scream! I found that worked wonders.
You can check statistics . 80 % of stage 2 patients fully recover with or without chemo.82% recover after surgery+ chemo. But 18 % have cancer come back anyway. That is why most oncologists don't go for chemo for this 2 % benefit.