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Thread: Hi I am Jung. I am 24. And I have cancer.

  1. #1

    Hi I am Jung. I am 24. And I have cancer.

    When the words of, "I'm sorry son, but you have a tumor - it is malignant from the biopsy, you have cancer" ... it was a bat to the face. The room was silent, I didn't feel tears streaming down my face, just utter shock. The kind of shock that leaves you paralyzed - my mother was talking to me, my oncologist was talking to me..but all I saw were lips moving but no sound. To be honest, in my mind, the only thought that ran through my mind was, "holy shit. holy shit. holy shit. holy shit. holy shit." Furthermore, "Holy shit." I'm 24 years old, with no past medical history, and this guy in a white coat just told me that I have cancer.

    I went through the whole diagnostic testing phase. X-ray, MRI with and w/o contrast, CAT scan, etc. It seemed like each and every test gave me a worse prognosis than before. I'm a tough dude, but it was a punch to the face each and every time.

    It all started with my GP who thought I had a Left Abdominal/Intercostal Muscle Tear. It was healing well, and then at one point it progressively got worse. I pulled another specialist, a Sports medicine doctor from my insurance book and he took immediate action. Without him, I feel like my life would have gone terribly wrong. I owe my life to him, so remind me send him the biggest gift basket this Christmas. Long story short, he demanded that I take all the diagnostic testing seriously and quickly. I loved that because my GP refused ALL of the testing that I wanted to get. The sports medicine doctor and I were on the same page. Best thing ever.

    But now after getting referred to one of the oncologists/hematologists in the area, I am trying to get into a cancer institute now. Every single person that has helped me get to this point has been amazing. I don't have a definitely diagnosis yet, but I think I'm heading to the right direction.



    Everything is happening so fast.
    I'm still not entirely sure what the future will bring.


    But I do have questions,

    How did you guys deal with the initial phase of someone telling you that you have cancer? For me, it happened three days ago.

    How do you fight through the stress from the cancer itself, and overly-concerned family members?

    How long did you wait until you had your first treatment for cancer?


    This is a whole new world to me, and it has changed my outlook on life forever. Thanks for hearing me out.

  2. #2
    Hello Jung - Each of us has had to deal with what you are going through and for each of us it has been different. For me, because it was in the brain not much made sense. But I could see the terror of my husband and children who had flown across the US. Being me I told them not to worry and they still did. You have a way to go because you are not sure of all the facts. Decisions will be made when what kind of cancer it is has been determined. At first, I actually only got steroids to help with the swelling and some anti-seizure drugs and my doc sent me to Stanford. Stanford agreed with my oncologist's plan and I started treatment about a month after diagnosis.
    I have dealt with my worried family by telling them what I know and doing my best to be honest with how I'm feeling. I personally needed to talk about what was happening and I'm sure I repeated myself often. Everyone will be stressed at first and I just kind of retreated into my self when it got too much to understand. I also saw a counselor that I had seen before when I was in the MFT program and it was helpful. I started a "family" group on Facebook and that way I can inform everyone of what is happening without remembering who I talked to. My husband was too freaked at that time, so my sister went to most of my doc visits. It is easier to have someone there to remember what questions you have and between the two of us we understood what was happening. We would write down questions that we had. At first we were all in shock and there was a lot of concern. It's been over three years now and we are all much calmer.
    I have a faith that was very helpful as I was dealing with the stress and my church family often prayed for me and it was helpful. I started immediately to be concerned about nutrition and started juicing often.
    I also found people very helpful but I often had no idea of what to ask. You are correct. Your world has changed and it will be forever. However there are hidden joys such as learning to slow down and enjoy the minute and the chance to really notice the beauty of the world, and a reason to notice the kindness of people as well as beginning to understand what is really important. Let us know your diagnosis. There are many on the forum who can help specifically with your type of cancer. Blessing and prayers sent your way.
    Female ,age 70, Diagnosed Jan 2010
    Primary CNS DLBCNHL
    Treatment every 6 weeks with High dose MTX and Rituxan for 9 months.
    Tumors shrunk and one was gone in 4 months and the larger one left some brain damage but has not become active as shown on MRI since Aug 2010.
    Since 2012 monthly Rituxan
    High Dose MTX and MRI every 4 months.
    June 6, 2014 NED
    No more chemo 6/2014

  3. #3
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    11,461
    Hi there. Hearing the word cancer makes us feel like we have been hit by a truck.
    It would help too if we knew what cancer it is and has it been confirmed by biopsy?
    Aussie, age 61
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Years of pain, bleeding, women's plumbing problems. TV ultrasound, tests, eventual hysterectomy 2007, fibroids in lining of Uterus.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011. Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.Still NED Nov 2012.
    Discharged Nov 2014.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma.

    Relapse Apr 2016. AITL. Some chemos then on to allo transplant. Onc says long remission was good. Still very fixable.

    SCT Aug 2016

  4. #4
    Top User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,492
    They found my son's cancer on May 17 and it was June 17 before he was seen at the cancer center and two weeks later he had a plan of action and first chemo treatment. Since his was found during emergency surgery, he had to heal before starting treatments. Hopefully yours will be faster. Prayers and please keep us updated.

    Amanda
    Caregiver to son, 32 , 5/18/2011 Stage IV
    Sigmoid colectomy , liver biopsy 5/18/2011
    6cm sigmoid tumor, low grade (well-to-mod. differentiated)
    6 of 33 lymph nodes +
    FOLFOX /Avastin 6/2011-8/2011
    Rt hepatectomy on 9/20/2011---70%
    2012
    FOLFOX /Avastin 4 cycles 1/31 stopped-low platelets
    3/5 CT clear
    4/ PET scan showed peritoneal mets
    4/24 splenic embolization for low platelets
    FOLFIRI/ Avastin 5/12-8/12
    Consult for HIPEC 8/12 denied---tumors too many, possibly in ureter.
    5FU/ Avastin 8/2012-2/2013
    12/5/12 scan tumors stable
    12/12 aranespt
    2013
    3/5 tumor progression in abdomin
    Restart FOLFIRI/ Avastin with lower dose of Irinotecan 3/11-3/25
    nuelasta shots
    ER - bowel obstruction 4/4
    Port removed 4/12
    Port replaced 5/9
    ER 30 hrs
    Erbitux in, Irinotecan lowered 5/20 & 6/17
    9/17scan indicates stable
    9/18-27 & 10/7-11 small bowel obst.
    Erbitux & Irinotecan 11/5, 12/2
    Bowel obst. 12/31
    2014
    1/8 urether stent
    1/17 Hospice
    3/27 started his heavenly journey

  5. #5
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    7
    I totally remember the first time I heard the word Cancer and not curable but treatable and at 50 yrs old I had a cry then called my wife and had a cry. My daughters are both very supportive but like many we all have our ways of handling the stress but I just found this forum as I am into year 3 of my Cancer journey so good luck.

  6. #6
    Hi Jung, Sorry to hear you got the terrible news at such a young age. I was 65 when I was told I had prostate cancer and it took me a coupe of minutes for the message to register on my brain. I always ate well, worked out regularly, had little or no stress in my life, "How could I have cancer"? I had a life time of stress come my way instantly and stayed a month or so. I had my surgery about 30 days after diagnosis and the first year I was told I was cancer free and life was good. The 12 months after surgery I found out my psa was climbing so I elected to have radiation treatments. I am now being told the cancer is gone but I put little faith in the doctors these days and that's unfortunate. Everyone who is told they have cancer goes through what you went through. The stress will fade a lot as time goes on. Hang in there and stay positive.
    B

  7. #7
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    6
    Hi Jung. Sorry to hear about your situation, especially at such a young age. I've only recently been diagnosed and still undergoing tests and have yet to start any treatment or get a treatment plan. My journey started about 4-5 weeks ago. Like you when I first saw my consultant following my CT scan she said she thought the lesions were tumours and that they were secondary. I looked at her and the exact words I said were.....'Well, this day's just getting better and better!'.
    Family members are obviously going to be concerned and sometimes you just want a little space and to be on your own. I just try to be honest with everyone and keep them informed of exactly what's happening and how I'm feeling. As for how I deal with it myself I tend to take the approach that I 'aint dead yet and don't plan on being so anytime soon. You can never forget about it, it's always there In the back of your mind but I just am not going to let it dominate my life to the exclusion of everything else.
    Hope this helps you and I wish all the best on your journey.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RushToTheStart View Post
    When the words of, "I'm sorry son, but you have a tumor - it is malignant from the biopsy, you have cancer" ... it was a bat to the face. The room was silent, I didn't feel tears streaming down my face, just utter shock. The kind of shock that leaves you paralyzed - my mother was talking to me, my oncologist was talking to me..but all I saw were lips moving but no sound. To be honest, in my mind, the only thought that ran through my mind was, "holy shit. holy shit. holy shit. holy shit. holy shit." Furthermore, "Holy shit." I'm 24 years old, with no past medical history, and this guy in a white coat just told me that I have cancer.

    I went through the whole diagnostic testing phase. X-ray, MRI with and w/o contrast, CAT scan, etc. It seemed like each and every test gave me a worse prognosis than before. I'm a tough dude, but it was a punch to the face each and every time.

    It all started with my GP who thought I had a Left Abdominal/Intercostal Muscle Tear. It was healing well, and then at one point it progressively got worse. I pulled another specialist, a Sports medicine doctor from my insurance book and he took immediate action. Without him, I feel like my life would have gone terribly wrong. I owe my life to him, so remind me send him the biggest gift basket this Christmas. Long story short, he demanded that I take all the diagnostic testing seriously and quickly. I loved that because my GP refused ALL of the testing that I wanted to get. The sports medicine doctor and I were on the same page. Best thing ever.

    But now after getting referred to one of the oncologists/hematologists in the area, I am trying to get into a cancer institute now. Every single person that has helped me get to this point has been amazing. I don't have a definitely diagnosis yet, but I think I'm heading to the right direction.



    Everything is happening so fast.
    I'm still not entirely sure what the future will bring.


    But I do have questions,

    How did you guys deal with the initial phase of someone telling you that you have cancer? For me, it happened three days ago.

    How do you fight through the stress from the cancer itself, and overly-concerned family members?

    How long did you wait until you had your first treatment for cancer?


    This is a whole new world to me, and it has changed my outlook on life forever. Thanks for hearing me out.
    Hi Jung. Sorry to hear about your situation, especially at such a young age. But you will get your good health fast. Get well soon dear.

  9. #9
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    3,688
    This thread was created by the OP in 2013 and has not returned to the forum since posting only once.

    Closing thread to avoid confusion.

 

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