Hi – just diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma rectal cancer after colonoscopy. Will go for CT scan and MRI to determine next steps. Any advice? So scared.
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This is scary, and I’m sure you are feeling lots of different things. The scans will offer more information. Mine was an obstructing tumor, so surgery was the first step for me. Depending on the tumor location and size, treatment may consist of chemo, surgery or both. Take one hour at a time, and start researching Colo rectal surgeons. Are there any cancer centers locally? I was fortunate that we have Mayo, MD Anderson, and several others nearby.
I didn't have rectal cancel, but stage 3C colon cancer and am doing well since my surgery in May 2021 and chemotherapy thereafter. Mine was also found after a colonoscopy and resulted in removal of the entire colon. I had my surgery done at Mayo in Rochester, MN and chemo done at Mayo Health System in Red Wing, MN. At my latest scans are cancer-free.
The big thing at this time is that you really don't really know much or severe and hence the fear of the unknown is difficult to handle. So, some perspective: a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence – there are effective treatments (surgical, chemical and radiological) that can heal a large majority of people and they can usually experience near-normal lives thereafter. I'm such an example.
Second, it is helpful to reduce the unknowns via scans/blood work and getting a treatment plan in place ASAP. Once you have a treatment plan which may require surgery, chemo, radiation or multiple, do your research online (from reputable resources such as Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Sloan-Kettering, etc.) and ask as many questions of your care team as you can think and write them down. Replace those unknowns with knowledge.
Third, and perhaps I should have mentioned this first, is to get your friends, family and anybody in your support system such as your church if you are a person of faith. In short – it is easier handling stuff like this with caring help – you don't want to do this alone. My faith during this time was extremely helpful.
Last, have confidence and faith that you can get through it. Depending on your treatment plan, it can be like a marathon and often a slow one step after another crawl. One day at a time, one step at a time until it's done. It may be tough, but you are tougher. I called it patient insistence.
Anyway, I'm sorry about your diagnosis, hope your unknowns get defined with an effective treatment plan and that you beat this. I'll follow this conversation and may respond if I have something helpful.
All the best.
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Can’t tell you how much this response means to me. Thank you. Will definitely follow your advice and keep you posted. I am so happy to hear your latest scans are cancer free. Going to try and work hard to get through this as best as I can. I have two young kids that need me.
I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis, and I know exactly how you feel – I also have Adenocarcinoma, a rectal cancer recently discovered after emergency CT scan done for abdominal pain caused by severe constipation, only a week after a colonoscopy was done.
I was paralyzed with fear at the beginning, feeling lost and overwhelmed with the amount of information that I went through to find out more details about my type of cancer, feeling more and more scared from what I read… Until I decided that, No, I am not going to scare myself further, I will trust my medical teams, will take one day at a time, will stay positive, and will go through it with the help of my loved ones!
You are not alone on this journey, as @rjjacobsen said it really well, it is no longer a death sentence, the science keeps offering new choices for treatment, and we have to believe that we will be part of the success stories, and become Cancer Survivors, and no longer Cancer Patients! 🙏 For our own sake and the people who we cherish and love♥️ Your kids need you, keep this thought in your heart, always, and it will help you in your journey.
Sharing positive thoughts,
Eva G (aka BadassEva😉)
Thank you for this message! It feels so good to connect with others that are on the same journey. I am trying to take it one day at a time and reading less online is definitely something I need to work on. Found out yesterday that my CT scan results showed no enlarged lymph nodes or other concerns. Pelvic MRI next. From what I have read….. CT scans aren’t always accurate but I chose to enjoy that news yesterday and take it as a win in the long road ahead. Thanks again for your kind words, insight and encouragement.
I am happy about your CT scan results, @fpdm, it is a good news, relish it! The MRI will provide you with more clarity, and the stress and fear will subside once you have a treatment plan. Do enjoy ALL and Every Good news, and try to cut yourself from negativity- being information, people or activity.
I am recovering currently from my ChemoRadiation, my next step is the comparative MRI on Nov 7th, then finalizing my chemotherapy treatment plan, and then, eventually, surgery. I choose not to learn yet details about the upcoming chemotherapy; when I have the results from the MRI, will discuss my options with my chemotherapy team, and learn the specific details then. I don't want to stress over the things that are out of my control, and are in the unknown future. I find this approach works best for my sanity 😀
Keeping my fingers crossed for you 🤞for good outcome from your MRI, best of luck 🍀
One step at a time, one small victory achieved on our long journey, believe! 💞
Hi! I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Praying for you that the CT scan is 100%! I have stage 3c adenocarcinoma colon cancer that did ugh go into my lymph nodes. I did not get my treatment plan until after the surgery because they did not stage me until they got it out. It did not spread to any organs however so chemo is a precaution to keep it that way! Like RJ said, my faith and church family and friends and relatives have been so supportive and helpful that it makes getting thru it so much easier . You sound like a positive person so that will help you as well!!! I found every hurtle to cause anxiety but told myself each time that I was allowed a few minutes of a pity party, but then I am done. It’s happened. Can’t change that. What CAN you change? How you and others view it. This experience has drawn my son and I closer, and the Lord and I as well. You said you have some littles at home? How young are they? My son is 16! We just got back from vacation in Fl. I am from NYS. I had planned this vacation and paid almost everything up front before I knew about the surprise cancer. I was told don’t bet on going from my surgeon and my family. But my oncologist said go. We will work it out! It was amazing. I enjoyed everything so much more than I would have otherwise. It was all about giving my son memories. So use this as a tool to motivate you to make the best of everything! You are a warrior and very brave and will get thru this! ❤️ I know you will because I am doing it. And you can too!
Chin up. Go on Facebook and find groups (members only). You can learn so much from others.
I’m almost a year from gastric cancer, spleen, illeocecal valve and stomach removal and I’m still standing. Learn all you can and advocate for yourself. Good luck. 🍀
I found a fellow who wrote a blog about his experience with colon cancer and the chemo. It was VERY helpful. Unfortunately, I can no longer find it.
Searching the internet and social media (such as this site) can be very helpful.
I was also diagnosed with Rectal Cancer and have two children of my own. I know exactly how you feel. As others mentioned the scans will give the doctors a lot of information on the next steps and treatment options. I wish you a full recovery and here are some recommendations I have: Stay Strong, a lot of this is mental, if you fill your mind with positive thoughts and try to be grateful for what you have, this goes a long way. During these times its easy to mentally go down the wrong path, be grateful for your two children and more, exercise as much as possible and get sunlight… Speak with a therapist about your feelings, surround yourself with friends, family and kindred spirits. Try to journal as much as you can. Other recommendations I have is get second, third and fourth opinions on treatment options, this will also give you confidence that you are making the right choice on treatment options. I know you will get through this, you will be strong and make a full recovery. Sending you positive vibes.
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