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    Old 05-26-2006, 10:41 PM   #1
    kat2006
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    Newly diagnosed at 42

    Hello All...I'm 42 years old and was diagnosed with colon cancer a week ago. I had a subsequent CT scan which revealed a prominent lesion and other signs of potential metastasis to my liver, and also potential involvement of surrounding lymph nodes. The primary mass is located in my ascending colon. I know all will be revealed after surgery.

    My mother was first diagnosed with a mass in her ascending colon 15 years ago when she was 51. She had a recurrence at 62, and then lung cancer and cancer of the mediastinum (sp?). Currently she is doing great, in spite of being diagnosed stage 4 over two years ago. She is living life to the fullest, traveling the world.

    I have a history of cancer on both sides of my family. One grandmother died at 47 of breast cancer and the other at 49 of colon cancer. Unfortunately for my grandmothers they suffered during the 1950's when cancer treatment was in its infancy.

    While I am staying positive and taking it as it comes, truthfully I'm still in shock and feeling almost disconnected from the whole thing. It's strange, sometimes it feels like it's happening to someone else, especially when I have to talk about it.

    Is this normal? I'm following through with all my appointments, which I'm sure is leading up to surgery so I am working through the process. I'm confident that I'll be okay, but with the recent results of my CT scan and possible problems with my liver, I'm scared.

    It seems that colon cancer most affects people over 50, but I'm only 42. Any comments from others with young diagnosis', as well as others would be greatly appreciated.

    THANKS!

     
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    Old 05-27-2006, 01:25 AM   #2
    smeggle
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    sorry to hear about your dx. my husband was dx at 41 and the same as you has had previous cancers in the family, colon, cervical and throat cancers . which they are now saying is linked. the shock stays for awhile and do try your best to stay positive, i know it is hard but this board will help you heaps as it has help me with my husband. its hard for people to understand unless they have been through it. look to your family for strength and this board if you need just to vent your feelings. kepp in touch and let us no how you are going

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 08:00 AM   #3
    kat2006
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Thank you for the support, Smeggle. I truly appreciate your post. I can tell this is going to be a strange, yet very enlightening journey. I'm sure I'll come of out of this a little more refined, just missing a few unnecessary parts My mom did very well and I'm sure I will too...I'm a feisty gal just like her. Currently her CEA is less than 2. I have yet to take the blood test and I am anxious to get more info on my CT scan and the lesions noted on my liver. I'm scheduled to see my surgeon this Tuesday and my oncologist for the first time on Wednesday so I'll have much more information later in the upcoming week. Smeggle, if I may ask, how is your husband? And thank you again for writing.

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 12:52 PM   #4
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Kat I am a woman of 45 and was diagnosed last year with bowel cancer. I have been operated on (more times than I care to remember) but at the moment all things are looking good and positive.
    This board has been my life saver... People here really KNOW what its like as theyve been there themselves. Also you will get the info and support you need. Youve come to the right place. Welcome.

    (Hugs)
    Maz

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 01:46 PM   #5
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Welcome Kat2006, I'm kinda new here at the Board too. Had my surgery in April. Started on Folfox Tuesday. I too felt disconnected, like it was a dream or happening to someone else. After Tuesday, reality set in. I'm actually calmer now than I was before I got the first chemo. This board is great, and it sounds like you have a great attitude. My hat is off to your mom for living life to the fullest. God Bless her.

    You all hang in there like the rest of us. Best of luck to you.
    Bamc

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 05:26 PM   #6
    kat2006
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Thank you Maz and Bamc. I can already tell that Iíve come to the right place. Iíve been reading through the boards and Iím touched by the caring and compassion found in this community, not to mention the great advice and information. Part of what has made this a bit disturbing is the anxiety Iím feeling of the unknown. A few people have been asking what Iím up against and I simply donít know. Iíve actually been asked some of the strangest questions from a couple of coworkersÖ.it was kind of comicalÖ..what else can I do but laugh? While my Mom has been through this twice and I know I can rely on her for support and feedback, Iím trying to be sensitive to over expressing too many of my concerns that she will start to worry too much (if a mother really could stop herself from worrying too much about her kids). She said her biggest fear in life is that one of her kids would get cancer too. She has lost many people in her family to cancer, including her own mother when she was just a 12 year old girl. It truly is a comfort to know I can seek support from a community of people who have been through what Iím getting ready to go through, knowing I can be completely open and honest. I appreciate the warm welcome, and in spite of the circumstances, I look forward to new friendships. Warmest wishes for good to health and of course good humor to everyone......

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 07:54 PM   #7
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    Smile Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    hi kat2006, my husband is in the clear, but will have to have more bowel sugury to remove a flat polps very soon, in two years they have removed 12 polps. he is what they consider a high risk. the surgen wants to take out the whole bowel and attach the small bowel, after alot of research and soul searching we are going to have only the polp removed and have colonascphies every six months to be on the safe side. it a risk, but the quality of life would be poor after the op for the person my husband is. our little girl is neatly 2 and he wants to be able to do things with her now and he feels that he would be very limited in what he could do if he has the bowel out. even if its only for 5 years then have all the bowel out. even his oncologist was a bit iffie about having the bowel out and my husband is going with what is right for him and the fact that he hasnt got cancer now. keep positve

     
    Old 05-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #8
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Just a short post to add that I too was diagnosed with cc at 45 years old(turned 50 yesterday)


    edited to add; just doing the math and I have been lieing. I have always been saying I was dx'd at 45 but I only turned 45 two and a half weeks after the surgery. I was diagnosed a few months before that so I was still 44 at the time.

    << gives head a shake>>

    Last edited by jaydees; 05-28-2006 at 06:04 PM.

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 03:05 AM   #9
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    hi oldtimer

    happy birthday for yesturday ......... the big "five-oh" . i thought i could see some kind of strange phenomenon across the ocean but now i understand it was the all those birthday candles on yer cake

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 08:06 AM   #10
    kat2006
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    JaydeesÖ.HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! 50 is excellent!

    SmeggleÖgood to hear your husband is in the clear. With a caring wife and a little daughter, he has much to live and fight for. I wish you, your husband and daughter the very best. Please keep us updated.

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 10:38 AM   #11
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Hi Kat, dx'd at 45, stage iv, mets to the liver and abdomen, no hope for surgery, told I might not make it 2 months if I didn't respond to chemo. That was a year ago. I have been responding well to chemo and it seems to have knocked almost all of the cancer out and still knocking. I have had no problems in 7-8 months except for one little setback which got fixed and of course all the side effects from chemo.

    Read Allison's, KT, CD, Phil, Maz, Maria and other's posts to learn from their situation. This board has been wonderful.

    The numbness/surreal feeling is normal. We all went through it and takes a month or more to pass, but it does. I wouldn't eat anywhere but home, I woke up one morning, about 2 months after the news, sat up on my bed singing "How beautiful can a being be?" by Caetano Veloso. I kept singing it for several minutes, not really sure why, but that was the awakening, the fog was lifted that morning. I went jogging that day, very slow but still a jog, then for a burger and micro brews with my wife and close friend.

    The way I describe it to friends is that my life as I knew it ended and a new one has begun. I have met angels, online and in person. I have learned to live completely in the moment and adore every moment. To take a phrase from Jack Klugman, friendships elevate and dissipate. I look at my wife and grown kids with more love than I ever thought possible. I walk my cute little Schnoodle with joy, both of us wearing matching soccer jersey's (Barcelona, AC Milan, Mexico and USA). I have learned to look at the glass as half full and really look at that half and appreciate what this life has given me. I have learned that you don't die and there is no hell as soon as you forgive yourself. I have learned to ignore statistics and doctor's prognosis, they both tend to be old, outdated and without consideration to the human element. I am not really afraid of anything anymore, except for the IRS

    There have been a few bad things come too, but I try to forget what they are...

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 12:19 PM   #12
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Bossan, fantastic post. The image of you and your little Schnoodle walking together in matching jerseys is v sweet.....

    Last edited by rephyc15; 04-21-2007 at 04:54 AM. Reason: -

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 12:54 PM   #13
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Bossan, you post brought me to tears. I was diagnosed in March, and I'm still waiting for "that morning" to happen. I am trying my hardest to stay positive, but it's been hard. I've been dealing with Diabetes for 22 years, Neuropathy, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, and now Cancer. All my husband can say to me is "Try not to think about it". It seems like everytime I turn around I am sitting in a doctor's office.....My onc doc, or my endo, my rheumy, or at the chemo clinic.....HOW can I NOT think about it? I just finished 6 weeks of chemo, and I feel so drained. I have two weeks off, then it's back on again. I'll be done with that in November, but I know that the cancer nightmare will not end with the chemo. I am wondering how to handle the uncertianty of the future. How do you all get to that place?

    W.

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 01:46 PM   #14
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Windyblaze
    HOW can I NOT think about it? I just finished 6 weeks of chemo, and I feel so drained. I have two weeks off, then it's back on again. I'll be done with that in November, but I know that the cancer nightmare will not end with the chemo. I am wondering how to handle the uncertianty of the future. How do you all get to that place?

    W.
    Fake it until it starts, the alternative is not fun....we all know that. I have had days where I was in pain from chemo side effects and I went bowling with friends. I was in a great deal of pain, waddling around but I bowled, drank beer and ate hamburgers with my friends and family. If I had stayed home, I would just been in pain. I do what I can and everyone understands if I fall down or stop for a moment of discomfort.

    I'm on an indefinite chemo regimine, 4 weeks on, 2 off. Limbo is my new middle name. The meds are shrinking the cancer and my body is taking it so far without too much trouble and it hasn't blown up my kidneys and liver.

    I try to look at the bright side, I get soooo much out of my two boys now just my making a face as if I was in pain.....they'll do anything

     
    Old 05-29-2006, 06:55 PM   #15
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    Re: Newly diagnosed at 42

    Bossan, you are such a treasure on this board!

    Kat, I can only imagine what you are going through. When my husband was dx nearly three years ago, we were also going around in a sort of nightmare. We had no time to really take it all in as he had surgery just three days after dx. This was good in a way as we just had to get everything sorted and had no time to feel much. However, I did feel as if I was having a bad dream - it did not seem real at all. My husband is older than many people on this board and had quite a few complications during surgery and treatment. However, as soon as his chemo was finished he started to pick up quite quickly, even though he had to have a prostate surgery two weeks after chemo finished! This was good though as he had had a catheter in for eight months....not fun at all!

    I say all this to say that almost three years later, he has just had some comprehensive tests and a scan three months ago and everything looks fine. I do not know if he will have to have a colonoscopy later this year, but so far, he is feeling well and, in many ways, quite back to normal. I often revisit our experience and in fact kept a diary for that time. It describes my feelings, fears and his mental and physical state and, when I read it, I am reminded about how far he has come.

    You have the amazing courage of your mother to inspire you and your attitude is obviously excellent. Accept that any feelings you have, whether fearful or hopeful (and they probably will fluctuate) are completely normal.

    Like Bossan, it has changed my outlook on life. I was always a positive person, appreciating the simple things in life but now, I am even more grateful for every minute I have, especially with my beloved husband. Trivial things matter even less now and I have learnt not to look too far into the future but to enjoy the here and now. Each day is a blessing.

    This board is the best place in the world to come to. There is such a sense of freedom to openly express feelings, such support for those feelings and such encouragement to fight the fight, even when sometimes you might want to just curl up and escape from it all. The inspiration of those who have had a terrible time (look at Maz, CancerDad, Bossan and so many others for whom the journey has been and still is a difficult one) and take heart from their fortitude. And keep posting....we care.

     
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