Diagnosed - deena

Oh No Associated with Carcinoid Tumor, Colorectal Cancer. Posted on December 14, 2011 View this journey (29 Experiences)

Hi. My name is Deena. I'm a 53 year old single woman who lives alone. I had a colonoscopy yesterday for the first time. It was prompted by two tests that said I had blood in my stool. After the first test, I noticed the blood.

After the colonoscopy procedure, the doctor looked very concerned and told me he thinks I may have cancer (there is a lesion). After the biopsy, he called me a couple of hours ago to confirm it is cancer. He instructed me to call the hospital to get lab work and a CT and gave me the number of a surgeon. I called the lab immediately and they are waiting for the order from the doctor. I'll call back in a bit. Of course, I am scared to death.

My elderly parents live in Ohio and I live in Illinois. My dad has early dementia and heart problems. My mom is fully blind in one eye and partially blind in the other eye due to a non-cancerous pituitary tumor. Their world revolves around me and I do my best to make sure they get the care they need and call them every other day to cheer up their day. I'm supposed to fly to Ohio this Friday (16th) to spend the holidays with them and they are so happy I am coming. I may have to delay the trip to get all the labs and doctor appointments done before Christmas.

I don't know how to tell them. I can't stand the thought of hurting them since they are so fragile. I think I will wait until tomorrow to tell them but I'm afraid I will break down on the phone and that will crush them. My dad is probably the most fragile when it comes to me. Mom is my best friend and she is stronger since she has gone through a lot with her tumor. I don't want to put that burden to fall on her to tell him. If I cry when I talk to them, it will really frighten them.

Not sure how I should tell them. I will try my best not to cry but just worrying about their reaction makes me cry. Any suggestions on how I should break the news to them?

I am going to schedule the labs and CT scan. Can someone tell me what those entail? Especially the CT scan? Also, once those are complete, what should I expect when I meet with the surgeon I haven't seen yet? What happens at the appointment after she gets my lab and CT results?

Thanks sooo much for any answers you can give me. I am a little in shock right now and I am more than a little afraid.
Deena

3 Comments
  • bobhess' Avatar
    bobhess

    Hi deena Im Bob you can find me here by the name bobhess. As far as your question about the labs and scan goes here is my experience. Labs are a simple drawing of the blood for myself they check blood counts and cea levels. CEA levels is a check for protein in blood and from my understanding helps determine if treatment is working. A note here I've have been in chemo treatments. The scan too is very simple. I was told to not eat or drink anything four hours prior to the scan. About one and a half hours before the scan I was given some kind of meds in a bottle of water and told to drink it and about thirty minutes before the scan the same. This simply tasted like water. Entering the scan room a tech inserted an iv which I was told was a dye to help identify different organs. The rest is pretty simply lying on a bed type table and following some breathing instructions. Other than the needle XXX both procedures are painless. What to expect I would say what the results show. I hope the best for you and enjoy Christmas and your family. As for family I feel they are some of my greatest support in this battle, along with God they are my rock.

    PS my last cscan showed no signs of cancer and for that I'm grateful!!

    almost 8 years ago
  • danellsar's Avatar
    danellsar

    Deena- As Bob said, the labs will most likely be a blood draw to check for overall levels. A CT scan is just a big xray with an iv for contrast so they can see more. It's also likely that they will send you for a PET scan at some point soon. PET is another type of xray where they give you an iv, you have to fast for a bit (like 6 hours), and then the scan shows where the cancer is in your body.

    Once the doctors have all the scans and tests, they will put together a treatment plan for you. Many people need a combination of surgery, chemo, and radiation. Be patient as it can take several weeks to get through all this initial stuff and actually start treatment.

    Ask lots of questions. Keep a notebook and write down everything that everyone says at each appointment. Really, you'll be surprised how much you forget due to stress, so write it all down. It's also helpful to write down the names of the doctors and nurses you talk to so if, in the future, you need to refer back to a certain appointment, you know who you talked with.

    Family support is critical. I know it's hard when your parents are not in the best health themselves, but this will be a tough journey, and you need your #1 cheerleaders by your side!
    Ellen

    almost 8 years ago
  • MichaelS's Avatar
    MichaelS

    This was helpful. I guess two weeks is not too long a wait for starting treatment. My wife, my kids and I are on the edge of our seats.

    almost 5 years ago

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