Just diagnosed

If you've recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer, our website has lots of information to help you understand more and get the support you need.

Lizsa

Just found out I have bowel cancer

I had my colonoscopy today and unfortunately they found a cancerous polyp. I'm trying to process the information and I'm in shock. I'm 40 and have 2 very young children. The consultant is sending off the biopsy but he seemed certain it's cancer. He seemed positive that he would be able to remove it and I would have a temporary stoma then reversal. I have to have CT scan in next 72hrs to see if it's spread which is quite frankly terrifying. Telling friends and family is so hard. I'm just trying to stay positive. All you lovely people on here are so strong and amazing and I hope we can support each other :x:

Lizsa

Hi @possum I'm so sorry to hear your news. It's so unfair. When is your surgery? When did you find out and did you have symptoms? I'll be thinking of you this week and please feel free to message me too. I hope you have supportive people around to help you with your toddler :x::x::x:

liz82
Quote from @Lizsa:
@liz82 I'm sorry to hear you have been through it. It does seem so unfair as young mums. You just don't expect it to happen at this age. I have no family history of it either. My kids are 7 and 4 and it breaks my heart that this is happening. How are you now?

Hi @Lizsa, I am okay thanks. I finished 6 months chemo 2 weeks ago so I am working on building my fitness back up. I have end of treatment scans in a couple of weeks so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them 🤞 I have no family history either and no risk factors, I’ve been vegetarian since I was 12, this was not on my radar! But sadly seems to be becoming more common in our age group for some reason. Good luck for your scans 🤞 feel free to message me too :x: :x: :x:

Yorky77

Hi @Lizsa
I was diagnosed at 44 and I have a 3 year old daughter. I am a bit further in the journey as I was operated on in Nov 21. They removed a single tumour from my sigmoid colon. I didn’t need a stoma and healed well. When they analysed everything they found I had cells in my lymph nodes and it had grown in the wall of my colon so I was EMVI positive. I am have half way through 6 months of chemo to mop up any pesky cells floating in my body. I live abroad and I do not have my family at hand. Things I have done to make things easier is employ a cleaner once a week. I also bought a robot hoover and I now cannot imagine life with out either. I now get food delivered so any energy I have I can give to my daughter. We bought her a doctors kit and she gives me regular check ups. We also have read books about hospitals so she understands where I am going all the time. She is a full on toddler so at times it can be tough. I ask my husband to take her out for a few hours so I can sleep or just have peace. I understand this is a scary time. At the start I gave myself the mantra “it is excellent they found it. Now it’s time to get a good plan to treat it”. This helped stop bad thoughts. This forum can be really helpful and supportive, so please come back when you need to. You are not alone. Jen 💐

Lizsa

@liz82 good luck with your end of treatment scans I hope you get the all clear.
@Yorky77 thanks for the tips, I love that your 3 year old dresses up as a Doctor and gives you check ups! That's so cute! We've just told the kids mummy has a poorly tummy and will need an operation soon. They seem blissfully unaware that anything is going on. Makes me so sad when I look at them that I'm not going to be able to be here for them as much or in the same way soon when all this treatment starts.
I have CT scan and MRI booked for tomorrow and then iron infusion in Thursday. Its all happening so quickly which is great but all so overwhelming. I got my colonoscopy report in the post today which made it all feel very real when I saw it written down "malignant tumour in upper rectum ". I also have 2 flat polyps much higher up at the start of the colon but consultant didn't seem worried about them. I keep asking myself why this is happening when I have no risk factors and I'm young. Is it something that could happen to my children?
I'm on an absolute emotional roller coaster. Yesterday I was so busy and so positive and talking ro everyone and almost on a high. Today I feel low and tearful and don't feel like doing anything. I just feel so scared and like I don't want to face it all and I'm not emotionally strong enough for all this. I've had overwhelming support from all my friends, family and colleagues and I feel so blessed and lucky. Then I feel guilty that I've touched so many people and that I've upset so many people, it's horrible telling them and hearing them be upset.
I'm trying to hold onto the fact that the consultant seemed positive and stay positive for myself and everyone around me. But my mind keeps going into overdrive with all the "what ifs". Sorry I'm waffling on. Just trying to figure it all out I guess. :x::x:

Lizsa

Oh also @Yorky77 I really like your mantra about it being good they found it and now they can treat it, I've been putting that into practice. Also trying to focus on the facts of what I know rather than the what if's :x:

Annieb

@Lizsa..hope all goes well tomorrow..won’t be long now till you have all you need to know..be thinking of you..take care ..:x::x:

Bobs74

Hi @Lizsa, I was in your position six months ago and I understand how hideous it is. I agree with everyone that it's 'easier' once you have a treatment plan in place; the waiting is relentless. Sending you love :x:

Lizsa

Thanks @Bobs74 . It's just awful isn't it.my appointment with surgeon is getting closer (Monday) and I'm starting to get very frightened..it was so hard after the colonoscopy being told I had cancer. And now to go through it again to find out the results and whether it's spread and what treatment will be.
How are you now? Have you finished chemo :x::x:

Jonathan25

Hi Lizsa,
Try to focus on the facts and what you know. Concentrate on what’s actually been said and write all your questions down. Your appointment will go quickly so ensure you ask them to slow down, write it down if you have to and ask for any explanation. Take someone with you. Again all I can offer is deal with what’s been said so far. Everyone on here has your back and will have brilliant advice. Remember to write your questions down. Lots of love Jonathan (40yr old too)

Tri_Rich

Hi Lizsa I’m so sorry to hear your news! I was 40 when I was diagnosed, and whilst it is awful this community is great with so many positive stories and support. Wish you well for your forthcoming tests and diagnosis. For me the first two weeks post colonoscopy was the worst, once I had the confirmation and an action plan I felt much better :x:

Bobs74
Quote from @Lizsa:
Thanks @Bobs74 . It's just awful isn't it.my appointment with surgeon is getting closer (Monday) and I'm starting to get very frightened..it was so hard after the colonoscopy being told I had cancer. And now to go through it again to find out the results and whether it's spread and what treatment will be.
How are you now? Have you finished chemo

I relate on every level! Everyone here knows how anxious I was coming up to the op and then to find out it was Stage 3 and had to have chemo... I was genuinely terrified. But with the support of this and a couple of other brilliant groups together with Penny Brohn, Macmillan etc I reached out for help and got through it. I finished my chemo at the end of March and, despite some anxiety now which I understand is common, I feel physically pretty well. Feel free to DM me if you would like to during your journey with this. I'm very grateful to those who reached out to me and would like to do the same to others just starting out. :x::x::x:

Lizsa

Thank you @Bobs74 , @Tri_Rich and @Jonathan25 . I really appreciate your support.
So wanted to update you all with some positive news.
I had the appointment today with surgeon and colorectal cancer nurse. My tumour is early stage, I'm so relieved and happy. The CT scans showed the cancer hasn't spread. Surgeon said the lymph nodes look clear too. The MRI shows the tumour hasn't gone too far into the bowel wall. He said on a scale of 1-4 with 1 being the least deep and 4 being the most deep that its a 2. He has booked me in for the surgery in 2 weeks and it will be keyhole. I will have to have part if my upper rectum and lower colon removed. He thinks he can do it without a stoma but it all depends on how it is when he does the surgery so its possible I will have a temporary one. He said he'd expect me to be on hospital for 5 days and then 4-6 weeks recovery time. He said I prob wouldn't need any more treatment but as I'm young and strong he may recommend something just to be 100% we get rid of everything but we will see how it's looking after surgery. Nurse said not to worry about chemo for now. Also he will know more when he actually removes tumour and sends it off to be looked at.
So yes under the circumstances I've had the best possible outcome! I'm so relieved and happy. I will never take life for granted. It was so nice telling all my family and friends the good news.
I am so grateful I went to GP when I did and they referred me for the colonoscopy.

Jane39

Hi @Lizsa
This all sounds really positive news from your consultation today. I am pleased for you and it sounds like your team are great. Good to have a date for surgery and a plan.
Have a look at the charity booklets as some great tips and advice for surgery ( links top right).
A top tip form me is to order a long charging cable for your phone / tablet so you don’t have to reach and bend too much in those first few days post surgery.

Take care, Jane :x::x::x:

Lizsa

Thanks @Jane39 . I think I will get a long cable as quite a few people have recommended that :x::x:

Leaguefan

Hi @Lizsa

Please read my story in Real stories.
It’s somewhat similar to what you may face.
Hope it helps as I was T1/2 and after the surgery T1.
Wish you all the very best.

Keith aka Leaguefan.

Lizsa

Thanks @Leaguefan will check out your story :x:

Siona

Hi @Lizsa you must be quite relieved to have received a treatment plan and a date for surgery. As you've got two weeks before surgery, you can focus on exercise and diet to help with your recovery.

Check these links re exercising:
be.macmillan.org.uk/...l-activitylowresPDF20190128HS.PDF
www.kentandmedwayprehab.org/

As for diet, my advice would be to bring good bacteria for the gut through fermented foods and drinks (variety is the key).

Take care :x::x:

Bobs74

Hi @Lizsa, I literally could have written your post - my case was exactly the same! After surgery/pathology mine was found to be T3N1 so I did have chemo but hopefully yours will be Stage 1 and you won't need that. If you do, so many of us have been through it and can support and advise. Keep your positive attitude and just take it all one day at a time! :x:

Lizsa

There's been a cancellation so my surgery is now in 1 week!! Eek! :x: