• Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    I am getting to that point where I can't taste much or what I do tastes terrible.

    4 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      I think Bengal's idea of non-metallic utensils is a great one. The only adaptation that I could make was to scan the pantry for something which looked somewhat appealing. When I saw something that I thought I could get down and keep down, I ate it immediately - as later in the day, I might not be able to. You might notice the days post-treatment which are the worst and eat a little more in the days before, if that is possible. I practiced fasting before all of this, so it came as less of a shock, but still a shock. I would advise you to simply keep trying things until you find something workable. The oncology nurses often have a wealth of information on this, from both their training and experience.

      4 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      They also say that a sour pickle or sucking on a lemon helps restore our sense of taste. My comfort foods didn't taste good - I ended up craving and eating chili and Mexican food.

      3 days ago
    • PattyF's Avatar
      PattyF

      My last treatment was August 28th and my taste is back to normal and I am able to eat just about everything once again. During treatments I noticed I was more sensitive to spicier foods and could not tolerate. I also remember most foods were unappealing to me on infusions days or I would have strange cravings like chips and dip, pretzels, chicken noodle soup, etc. Do your best to eat what you can. I also made sure I stayed hydrated - I would fill up a 64oz pitcher of water and make sure I drank the entire amount before going to bed. It was a huge help with flushing the chemicals through my body and my recovery time was shorter after each infusion as well.

      3 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    I am still seeing people that I've known for years that didn't know I have been diagnosed

    7 answers
    • PattyF's Avatar
      PattyF

      lo15 nailed it - you find out who your true friends are. I am blessed to have had so many people reach out to me during my diagnosis and treatments - it was truly heartwarming. At the same time, my own mother in law (and a few sister in laws), not once, asked how I was doing, if I needed anything, or to say she was praying for me. My father in law passed away from a different kind of cancer 5 years prior so she is very familiar with what goes on when a loved one has cancer. To say their lack of "concern" for me was hurtful is an understatement. I have moved on and won't let it change who I am as a person. I am grateful and thankful for my family and friends who HAVE been by my side throughout this journey.

      13 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Many people are uncomfortable with their own mortality so when someone they know gets cancer, it hits them that this can happen to them too. They just back off from us because the possibility of cancer scares them so much. Like lo15 says, we do find out who our friends are.

      13 days ago
    • MyLungCancer's Avatar
      MyLungCancer

      I tend to play down the severity in some cases when someone is acting that way. I know what you mean about it being awkward, sometimes the silence is deafening. I try to make them feel better by changing the subject or by assuring them that everything is going to be fine. And yes, good friends are there and are in it with you.

      13 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    How bad do you have to get before you are considered disabled?

    6 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      When my brother was stage 4 lung cancer, he was given S.S.D. Right away. It was only about $800 a month but it helped him as he fought. He was on it only about six months before cancer took his life.

      23 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I got approved for stage 4 lung cancer right away. Once approved, you also become eligible for Medicare, which was a lifesaver for us.

      22 days ago
    • FLGardenGirl's Avatar
      FLGardenGirl

      I’m Stage 3C & thankfully was notified that I’d been approved by Social Security. Payment started 6 months from beginning of disability. I believe I’ll qualify for Medicare after 2 years. Stage III & IV qualify under SS for SSDI under the Compassionate Care Act and applications are moved to a quicker response stack. I believe the turnaround was appoximately 3 weeks.
      Best wishes.

      13 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    In case you arent aware, do not let your life or health insurance lapse while you are in treatments or recently done with them

    4 answers
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      I had life insurance since I was in my 20s. I thought of cashing it in for a good time. Maybe not.

      17 days ago
    • lo15's Avatar
      lo15

      We had to let my husbands go when he retired as it was thru his company. Lesson learned no matter what you have thru work, buy some privately

      16 days ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      For any life insurance where you're financially strapped, do not drop your policies but rather see if any dividends are available for you to collect. One phone call can make a difference.

      16 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    How many of you have drifted off into what you might call depression?

    5 answers
    • BobsProstate's Avatar
      BobsProstate

      I have had it.

      19 days ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      I found myself to be a fighter but that could have started before this ****. However, my border collie mix demanded a good play session and I found her to be my best buddy even on days when I was physically exhausted. I did find stress management like listening to soothing music or working out when no chemo was done really helped. Music I highly recommend Pachelbel's Canon, Dave Lanz, Beethoven's symphonies, Jasmine by Keith Jarrett, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Karl Jenkins, Bach's Brandenburg, La Mer by Debussy, Indigo by Dan Siegel and some hard rock.

      If you like art, they say that is therapeutic. I love to draw and always have a box of crayons or sketch pencils on me. Give me good drawing material, good music and a big piece of paper and I'm content.

      19 days ago
    • Jayne's Avatar
      Jayne

      I fell into a serious bout with depression, I had a double whammy since my husband and I were both diagnosed with the same cancer at the same time and we knew he was not going to survive. I was offered anti-depressants and originally denied them, but as things got worse, I gave in and am so glad since it truly helped. That, and on days when I could, a nice walk in the sunshine always lifted my spirits. Don't be afraid to ask for something if you need it. It can be temporary until you get to a stable point in your life.

      19 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Have you noticed being more sensitive to spicey food since you started or finished treatments?

    6 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      We often stopped for Mexican food after my chemo treatments so I guess i wasn't bothered much by spicy foods. I hope you will be able to enjoy spices again soon.

      22 days ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      My chemo really upset my stomach. I lived on bland foods throughout treatment. It got really boring after awhile but it was all I could toletate. It was so great to regain toleration for some "good stuff" after I was finally finished but I find I still have to take it easy. I used to be able to eat just about anything. Can't do that anymore.

      21 days ago
    • Coloman's Avatar
      Coloman

      Jane, you are right, I had no radiation to the upper throat, I was just thinking since it's all connected that it may have affected my upper GI. Shoot, it seems like everything from my toes to my hair is affected somehow. Thanks for all your feedback. I have been trying Omeprazole and plain old Pepto which seems to help if I take it before.

      21 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Sense my diagnosis I have found that for some reason talking about it is therapeutic..

    6 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Talking about is therapeutic as everyone has said. I had some shame about my "rectal" cancer diagnosis at first. Couldn't say those words out loud - everyone assumes that every woman who has cancer has breast cancer.

      But then, I thought about the breast cancer women who were pioneers in talking about their diagnosis. And I said, "If not me, then who then will help other know that rectal bleeding can be cancer - and not 'probably hemorrhoids' " like my primary physician said.

      And so I started talking about. It was good for me, and it was good for the people I talked to because they always wanted to know about my symptoms. It's a good time to stress colorectal screening and the importance of symptoms. You are not alone.

      29 days ago
    • Coloman's Avatar
      Coloman

      I thought that I probably wasn't the only one who found comfort and sort of a help in healing by talking about this. It's sort of a strange thing that I feel after I have talked to a group of people and some of them come up to me and tell me how much they appreciated me sharing my story. To me, I'm nothing special and there are others that are far worse off than I am, but I know that talking to someone who had already been through it when I was first diagnosed helped me grasp the reality that I have cancer. Thanks to you all, I hope you all are continuing to prosper in good health!

      25 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Talking about my breast cancer was very helpful to me. And when I mentioned it, soon after my diagnosis, to some neighbors in my apartment building, I learned that two of them had had breast cancer. I also found my hospital’s adjuvant treatment group extremely supportive.

      25 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Does anyone know if these genetic testing kits that are always advertised on TV

    6 answers
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      Wish we could be screened very early and corrected before the big C kicks in.

      29 days ago
    • Whitey61's Avatar
      Whitey61

      Don't trust the T.V kits, have it done by any one of several Genetics testing firms for family awareness.

      28 days ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      The scary part of this is when somebody finds out what you are prone to get during your life. It can be used in a manner to inform you to watch and wait, but on the other hand, it can inform more nefarious people who handle insurance, employment... I know breast cancer runs in my family. At the end of colon cancer treatment, I saw a BRCA kit and asked if I could be tested. I was told, I would then have a pre-existing condition. Why?

      28 days ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Need a dose of inspiration? I love this woman's writings.

    • lebel's Avatar
      lebel

      beautiful

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I see quotes and poems from her quite often. She does have inspiring words.

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I love that. When we are in treatment, just getting up and staying up all day can be a major accomplishment. I hope that you will have better days coming.

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    While I euoyed having all the family over today for Christmas dinner

    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I know that feeling. I smoke lots of meat on most holidays and after cooking through the night and half the day I really don't feel like eating. Plus with my swallowing problems, I can't eat anything without having issues.

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      While our gut health won't ever return exactly back to normal after colorectal cancer, our bodies do adjust. I can pretty much eat anything I want - I can't eat lentils, mushrooms, or cooked greens. But I can eat raw salad. I can eat raw apples but not pears or peaches. Yet I can eat cooked peaches in cobbler. Things will get better.

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Have you been told by friends or family that "you have changed"?

    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      You're so right! If course anyone who has been or is going through what we have will be changed. People who have not been through it don't get how traumatizing the "CANCER experience" is and that it's ongoing. We don't immediately return to our old selves when it's "over" because, honestly, it will never be over. That's why it's so important to have a forum like WhatNext where we can talk to people who know exactly what we're dealing with. People are annoyed or impatient or even angry with us at times. That's on them. I try to not let it get to me. I already have enough on my p!ate. Good luck.

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Having cancer reveals your true friends and relatives. Sometimes, they are not always who you thought they would be. We understand and I hope that you count us as part of your family now.

      about 1 month ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar
      Skyemberr

      So many people have drifted closer to me or away from me since I was diagnosed that it's been a life lesson. I always knew that people would do that when things got rough, but cancer makes it play out dramatically. I am lucky to say that many people I didn't expect have stepped closer.

      The holidays are tough because we want to perk up and enjoy them and sometimes can't. Or loved ones want the same for us and sometimes they don't understand why we can't perk up and just be well during holiday stress. They don't know when we might know when it may be our last turn celebrating with them.

      As a result they can say and do such dumb stuff out of hurt, or thinking it will shock us into being more merry when we really should be on bedrest so we don't accidentally hospitalize ourselves over the holidays by doing too much. They can't fathom that some of us can't go shop at the mall that year or wrap presents, or bake, or do a lot of other things we may wish very much to do with our families.

      Hopefully your aunt will think a bit and come back to you in some other more positive way to share the season with you, and to get the time to understand where you are coming from this year, and next year too! I'm sorry you are having to experience this sort of treatment right now.

      We only have a few more days and then the wheel will begin to spin again in a fresh year. Hopefully the ones who don't see how precious these times with family are for us will be more sensitive and we will all be ringing it in with them again in about 371 days or so.

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Does anyone know if having cancer qualifies you for being disabled?

    10 answers
    • lo15's Avatar
      lo15

      No, you don't with SSDI, not sure about SSI

      about 1 month ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      I was told stages 3 and 4 are pretty much automatic for SSDI, although some folks have to reapply. Mine is stage 4 and my insurance company used a third party to interview me and complete the application and it was granted first time through - very easy.

      about 1 month ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      PS I got back disability from the state of California but not from SSDI. And the state payment only lasted a year (maybe a bit longer but it wasn't indefinite).

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    During chemo I understand that we are more susceptible to get sick

    11 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Another thing I notice is that the doctor's office is full of sick people in the lobby. If you weren't sick when you walked in, you will be by the time you leave.

      about 1 month ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      That is so true, Greg. Doctors offices this time of year are full of sick, hacking people. Don't go unless you really need to, and wear a mask if you can. Wash your hands of use hand sanitizer as soon as you get in the car. And use the paper towel that you used to dry your hands to open the bathroom door. Just little precautions can help keep you healthy during chemo.

      about 1 month ago
    • Coloman's Avatar
      Coloman

      Thank you all for your information. I am trying to stay away from anyone that is sick looking. I've even told some of my family that they couldn't come over.

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    Do you think you were prepared to fight cancer?

    8 answers
    • Kp2018's Avatar
      Kp2018

      I don't think that there was any supernatural force preparing me to fight my cancer, but when it developed and was diagnosed, I was in very good general health and physical condition. That was a result of many decades of just being "into" exercising and healthy eating. That enabled me to "qualify" for standard of care treatment, something that is not recommended for everyone in my age group, according to my oncologist. I think it was bad luck to develop cancer, but pretty good luck to qualify for and tolerate the treatment. Now, if the good luck only holds out . . . .

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Can anyone ever be "prepared" to deal with cancer ? Especially if the diagnosis comes completely, unexpectedly out of the blue (as mine did)? If your question is, can you be prepared physically to deal with the rigors of treatment, then I think maintaining a healthy lifestyle with good dietary practices, regular exercise, etc...can put you in a better position to take on this fight.

      about 1 month ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar
      Skyemberr

      In wasn't ready at diagnosis because I was taken by surprise. In am ready now though. In have fought a lot already now since 2016 ave have endured procedures I never would've imagined. Plus I have 2 kids! I'm ready to kick some butt now!

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    I keep reading about chemobrain or brain fog. I am worried that I'll lose my edge at work

    10 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      7 years after treatment, I still have a little bit of aphasia. I can remember stupid words like aphasia, but I'll struggle to find a word like spoon. It's annoying. I'll do that w/names, too. Generally not friends or coworkers, but like celebrities or politicians.

      about 1 month ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      My chemo brain affected my speech. I couldn't get out the words in a conversation. I just couldn't remember certain words and would get stuck in mid sentence. So I found a nice speech therapist that worked with me to give me tools to help me. She really helped.
      Not everyone gets chemo brain. And people are affected differently. It may help to work on puzzles and other things to keep your brain sharp while dealing with chemo.

      about 1 month ago
    • deena's Avatar
      deena

      I had chemo brain while going through treatment. I wasn’t working while I was going through it. It did go away for me.

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    The waiting is killing me!

    6 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I had robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery similar to myb for my rectal cancer. I had several small incisions, and my pain/discomfort was well managed with IV codeine and IV Tylenol. Didn't need strong opioids.

      The fear and the waiting were far worse than the actual experience. I had pelvic radiation before surgery. My surgeon told me that the radiation keeps working for 8-10 weeks afterward so they scheduled the surgery 9 weeks after my last radiation.

      I used those weeks to strengthen my body for the upcoming surgery. I always enjoyed walking, but I built up to walking 2 miles daily. Take this time to get your body in shape. The exercise helps with the anxiety and pre-conditions your body for the upcoming surgery. Best wishes.

      about 1 month ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I had a hysterectomy, so I did have open abdominal surgery. Obviously, different kind of surgery, since my intestines weren't touched. And I had to wait a long time, too. My cancer was discovered during a hernia repair, so I had to wait until I'd healed from THAT abdominal surgery first. It was about 6 weeks. I really think that was the hardest part. The waiting. Recovery from 2 abdominal surgeries in 6 weeks really wasn't that bad. The worst of that was the 10 lb lifting limit, as I live alone. I hope things go well for you.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      How you doing, Coloman? Hope the waiting isn't driving you crazy. We've all been so caught up in Greg's unfortunate diagnosis, sure didn't mean to leave you out. You're playing that waiting game too. Try to find ways to distract yourself as hard as that may be in reality. I'm afraid I can't answer your questions (different type of cancer) but hopefully someone else can help you out. Hang in there.

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    On Thanksgiving day we went to my brother's house where most of the family was gathering.

    10 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I could understand little kids maybe being frightened by what happened, but that has nothing to do with the event being ruined. And the adults need to be acting like adults.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Oh Colomon, i am really sorry to read about the issue you had on Thanksgiving and also very sorry that some of the people there have so little empathy or compassion as to "blame" you for feeling so horrible.

      I honestly can't imagine anyone in my family reacting like that. A natural reaction, in my opinion, would be extreme concern for my loved one (in this case, you).

      I hope you are feeling WAY better now and that you won't let those people's reaction make you feel bad. THEY owe YOU an apology for their reaction, not the other way around. (I am really upset at how they treated you. So wrong. )

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Bengal said it: Anyone who thinks that you ruined the day is a jerk. I’m sorry they treated you like that.

      about 1 month ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    For those people with colon cancer

    4 answers
    • lo15's Avatar
      lo15

      My husband does not have any ostomy or anything cause hes stage 4. He eats everything like he always did. Only hoping he continues enjoying food . Going on year 2

      2 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I had an ileostomy bag for three months. So many restrictions. Even how I are was restricted. Drinking a beverage was half an hour after eating. It was rough. So I can't even imagine having an ostomy bag would limit someone through the holidays.

      2 months ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      Certain foods tasted funky (chocolate - I used to spit it out which is unbelievable since I am a chocoholic), but other than avoiding fresh vegetables and fruit, I ate whatever I wanted. I craved certain foods while others didn't interest me. I had excruciating first-bite pain, but once that wore off, I ate anything that tasted good to get my weight up and maintain my nutrition. Enjoy the foods you can.

      2 months ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    When you have something simple done like an ultrasound where all you need is an OK or not OK answer

    9 answers
    • Kp2018's Avatar
      Kp2018

      In my area, many people have to travel a considerable distance for office visits with their health care providers. I don't know if this is the reason, but all of my relevant results have been communicated by telephone. Also, there is a real shortage of health care providers in the area, and time for office visits is very limited. I am more than satisfied with receiving results by telephone or by patient portals to medical records.

      If I were asked to come in for an office visit to get test results, I would ask for the reason, such as "are the results so complex that I must received a detailed interpretation from a medical provider about their meaning?"

      2 months ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      $375? Crapola, for that much I'll fly there and get the results for you!

      2 months ago
    • BugsBunny's Avatar
      BugsBunny

      I have noticed that this is becoming the new standard operating procedure for doctor's office calls. They would like for us to come back once a week if they could convince us to do so, and of course, if we have insurance that will pay a chunk of the charge.

      2 months ago
  • Coloman's Avatar

    Coloman asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    How does having been diagnosed with cancer affect your mood about the Holiday's coming up?

    11 answers
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      Dawsonsmom and Bengal ---- I am so very fortunate to have had them. I was so confused, listless, and tired when I made it home. Seeing everything decorated lifted my spirits. I lost my Sister 3 years ago and just yesterday I was thinking about all she had done for me, particularly when I couldn't do it for myself. My niece still comes to visit for Thanksgiving and Christmas and always looks forward to my keeping up her Mom's traditions. When my niece wanted to visit her sister in NM before Joanne passed, she didn't know how she would do it. She worked 12 hour shifts as an ER nurse, had a caregiver for those hours and then she had to take over. It was terribly hard on her. No one would step up to the plate so I went there for a little over 2 weeks. I just had to make arrangements for weekly blood work for my Oncologist here and prayed I didn't need a shot for my hemoglobin while gone. She (my sister) was 13 years older than me but towards the end it was as if that was reversed. To this day I'll never forget what all my family did for me when I was at my worst.

      2 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Awesome story, andreacha. So sorry to learn of your loss of your beloved sister. All families should have this kind of caring. Unfortunately, many do not.

      2 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My first chemo treatment was in December back in 2012 ... I was very sick ... but we had worse problems that year than my cancer ... we celebrated as much as we celebrate that year and every year since though it seems that we frequently have sad or traumatic events occur right at holiday season. Last year, our son died in November, very unexpectedly, so we definitely pushed through Thanksgiving and Christmas ...

      We have a very tiny family (getting tinier every year, it seems). We basically quit decorating quite a few years ago - I've never enjoyed the process of decorating (or putting it back up again) - though I love seeing everyone else's decorations ... and as my mom has gotten older, she doesn't feel much like going to the trouble either. So, we do a little or nothing when it comes to decorating ... but we DO get together and visit and have a good time and remember the reason for the season - whether that is Thanksgiving and all we have to be thankful for or Christmas and celebrating the birth of our Savior. My mom once did all of the cooking, but in recent years she has been willing to delegate some of the side dishes and desserts to myself and our daughter-in-law.

      2 months ago