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Thread: 29 yr F, SIGMOID MASS found about to face surgery-advice?

  1. #1
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    29 yr F, SIGMOID MASS found about to face surgery-advice?

    Okay, so I've noticed blood in my stool on and off for years (probably 4) and I know that I should have seen a doctor earlier but didn't. About 2 weeks ago I started having sharp stomach pains and going to bathroom became painful. Lots of blood too. A week later I finally saw a doctor and I was told I needed a colonoscopy. I just finished the colonoscopy Friday and the doctor found a Mass in the Sigmoid Colon (25 cm from anal verge). They took a biopsy and I'm awaiting results. The doctors told me they believe it is cancerous and they referred me to a surgeon. Because the surgeon is actually the father of one of my friends, he is pushing me in early Monday morning for a CT scan and then said we would see about surgery. He said I would probably be having the mass removed at the end of next week.

    Everybody, including the doctors, are being very positive and making it sound like once they remove the mass (about 4-6 inches of my colon) that everything will be okay. Unfortunately, I am a realist and a bit of a pessimist and I worry that everyone is just trying to not scare me. I mean IT IS CANCER and not just a light subject. I have absolutely no family history of colon cancer or polyps, don't smoke, and I am an extremely healthy and active twenty nine year old woman. I am very shocked by all of this and just would love to hear some positive feedback. I'm really trying to keep a positive mindset and I KNOW that if anyone can face this then I can, but in the back of my head I keep thinking "what if it has spread? i'm only 29"... Please if anyone has similar stories or advice I would appreciate it. Although my friends and family are being remarkable, I feel really alone with all of this.

  2. #2
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    My husband, who was 41 when diagnosed with colon cancer...is doing great as far as that is concerned. he had a total blockage of his colon...symptoms were on going for several years. he had laproscopic surgery and out of the hospital in 2 days. He had 12 inches of his colon removed and 21 lymph nodes...only one node showed signs of cancer. He had stage 3 b colon cancer. My husband did the 5-Fu chemo and tolerated it extremely well...worked everyday!
    It has been 1 1/2 years since he finished chemo and every PET scan has been clean.
    I know you are scared...so were we...but I truely think my husbands positive outlook served him well.
    His surgeon also cautioned us against going for all the clinical trials right off the bat....he was right. The standard chemo was enough.

    hang in there...you can fight this and be a survivor and cancer free.

    If you want more info as far as chemo and effects let me know. It is not great but not so bad either.
    Best wishes, Eve
    "Human beings are always trying to fix things. Our hardest lesson is seeing perfection in the imperfect world."

    from a little Zen book that I own.

  3. #3
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    mistyw, I am so very sorry about your cancer. Yes, 29 is much too young to be faced with this. On the other hand, your youth can work in your favor in terms of prognosis and how will you are able to deal with whatever treatment options are available to you. Do you know any thing about what stage it is?

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  4. #4
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    Your story sounds similar to mine. I have always been healthy. I exercised, stayed active and ate fairly healthy. Being adopted, I don't know my medical family history. I did do a genetics test and found out my cancer is not genetic. My doctor said I was in that rare 7% that is young and gets colon cancer for no apparent reasons. I think that 7% is growing because I have met several people like us that fall in that category.

    A colonoscopy a year or two ago could have saved me a lot of grief. I did have a lot of the signs you had (I didn't notice any blood, but I didn't really look- I was two pints low on blood when I went to the hospital). I had never had any health issue. I rarely went to the doctor. I thought I was just getting old and out of shape.

    Even though I am going through chemo, I actually feel stronger and more energetic than I have for a couple of year. I am sure you will to after they remove the tumor and you heal.

    Try not to worry about the "what ifs". Take it one step at a time. First you need to find out the extent of the cancer. Once you find out about that, then your doctors plan your attack against the cancer. The earlier you catch it, the better your survival rate. I have never heard of Stage I doing chemo. I am not sure about stage II. Stage III, you'll probably do chemo.

    Your youth will help. It will help a lot. Staying positive and active also helps.
    10/01/07 - Removal of Colon Cancer Tumor & Temporary Colostomy
    11-07-07 to 04-09-08 FOLFOX and Avastin. 04-28-08 Colostomy Reversal
    June 2009 3 Tumors in the Peritoneal tissue- FOLFIRI and ERBITUX.
    11-25-09 Tumors inactive(Oct). Finish FOLFIRI, continue ERBITUX
    Jan 2010-May 2010 FOLFIRI and ERBITUX.
    June 2010 Cancer in Liver. Nov 2010 - Oxyplatinum, Avastin and IROX
    Age Diagnosed 40. Current Age:44

  5. #5
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    Well I have a little bit of positive news. I had my CT scan this morning and then met with my surgeon this afternoon. My surgeon said the radiologist report came back clear and the cancer does not appear to have spread beyong my colon. He of course said they would not be 100% sure until after the surgery. He said they would be removing a section of my sigmoid colon and lymph nodes surrounding that area. The surgery is Thursday morning. My doctor has really been great. He said I may not even need chemo. Of course, its a step by step process...and I'm still expecting a few bumps in the road. I know chemo is still a possibility and I will be happy to do it, if it means protecting myself from a reoccurence. But man oh man, a little positive news has lifted my spirits tremendously. I think I might actually sleep more than 2 hours tonight.

    Thank you all for all your kind words. Its really amazing how complete strangers have soothed my worries a bit and helped me feel less alone with this. I know I still have a way to go, but today has been a relief. It could have been so much worse.

  6. #6
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    I am so happy for you mistyw! It is great news indeed! I certainly will be thinking about you on Thursday and everyday thereafter until you get out of the hospital and return to the forum.

    As always, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  7. #7
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    That is good news and reason to be thankful. If it had spread beyond your colon, you would be Stage IV, and that one is a tough fight, from what I have seen. You are probably Stage II or III.

    They will check your lymph nodes and see if any of them are cancerous.

    As a Stage III 'vet' about to finish 6 month of Chemo, I can say you'll do fine. My first round of chemo made me really sick(I don't think that is typical, because my doctor was surprised), but the following ones were much better. I think my body had to adjust to all those drugs. I usually don't do well with strong drugs. There are all kinds of side effects. Just deal with it one day at a time. Its not the funnest thing to do, but you can do it. I have been working full time while doing my chemo.

    Just stay positive.

    One mistake I made when I started chemo was to fight the nausea and side effects like it was a flu bug. You can't fight it that way. Chemo is supposed to make you feel bad because it is rough on the body. You have to just deal with the side effects. You'll also have your good and bad days between each treatment. I arranged mine so my worst day fell on Saturday.
    10/01/07 - Removal of Colon Cancer Tumor & Temporary Colostomy
    11-07-07 to 04-09-08 FOLFOX and Avastin. 04-28-08 Colostomy Reversal
    June 2009 3 Tumors in the Peritoneal tissue- FOLFIRI and ERBITUX.
    11-25-09 Tumors inactive(Oct). Finish FOLFIRI, continue ERBITUX
    Jan 2010-May 2010 FOLFIRI and ERBITUX.
    June 2010 Cancer in Liver. Nov 2010 - Oxyplatinum, Avastin and IROX
    Age Diagnosed 40. Current Age:44

  8. #8
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    About to start Folfox-any suggestions?

    It has been two weeks today since my surgery. I had part of my sigmoid colon removed and many surrounding lymph nodes. All the lymph nodes tested showed no sign of cancer. My oncologist told me that the cancer had spread to my the last layer of my colon, so they want to do FOLFOX chemo for 12 treatments/6 mos. She said they recommended this since I am so young. The cancer was Stage II. I am very willing to do the chemo and whatever it takes to kick this cancer out of me for good. However, I'm worried about it too. I'm having my port put in next week and then the following week I will meet with my oncologist to start chemo treatments. Does the port hurt? Is it really noticeable? Can I function normally with it..showers etc?

    I know there are many of you who have already gone through this or maybe are in the process. Is there any advice you can give me? I'm so clueless on it all. I have read about many side effects but I just want some first hand stories. I'm worried about possibly missing work, missing my my best friends wedding in June, and just the whole emotional side effects. I have battled depression before and I am worried about how the chemo will affect my mental state. I feel like I am a strong and positive person, but at times I get down.

    Also can anyone give me any information on fertility and how that can be affected? I'm planning on discussing this with my doctor but just want any extra information. I do want to have children one day and I'm worried about how this can affect my chances of conceiving.

    Thank you for any advice. This site has really comforted me so far.

  9. #9
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    Re: About to start Folfox-any suggestions?

    the folfox you are on is very aggressive, but best to be, no chances taken. kick the hell out of any micro cancerous cells. my wife went through fertility before she started treatment as a safeguard after hearing that there is a possibility her ovaries could be damaged although her uterus would be safe. radiation is the main concern that might damaged the ovaries, but it doesn't look like you'll need any of that. BUT talk to your doctor first and foremost, and go see a fertility specialist if you can.

    best of luck and health
    my wife (30 yrs old) diagnosed nov 10, 2007 with stage IV colon cancer with met to liver and lungs. current treatment of folfiri + 5fu + avastin, and weekly infusions of erbitux (cetuximab).
    did not respond to folfox.

  10. #10
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    Thats good that they caught it at stage II. At Stage III I had a 50% chance of it coming back if I did no Chemo, so your odds are pretty good already. Chemo will improve your odds.

    They are getting better and better at treating cancer. Being so young, I think you have a good chance of living a very long time, even if the cancer comes back in 30 or 40 years. I think eventually, they be able to cure cancer at the genetic level with no chemo involved, but that is probably years away.

    I worked all during my Chemo. I had my good and bad days. I scheduled my chemo so my worst day was on the weekend. My work was very understanding and supportive of me, so that helped.
    10/01/07 - Removal of Colon Cancer Tumor & Temporary Colostomy
    11-07-07 to 04-09-08 FOLFOX and Avastin. 04-28-08 Colostomy Reversal
    June 2009 3 Tumors in the Peritoneal tissue- FOLFIRI and ERBITUX.
    11-25-09 Tumors inactive(Oct). Finish FOLFIRI, continue ERBITUX
    Jan 2010-May 2010 FOLFIRI and ERBITUX.
    June 2010 Cancer in Liver. Nov 2010 - Oxyplatinum, Avastin and IROX
    Age Diagnosed 40. Current Age:44

 

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