• What's the first thing you did, after being told you had Cancer?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    What's the first thing you did, after being told you had Cancer?

    We all have different ways of reacting to this new information. How did you take it? What did you do?

    57 Answers from the Community

    57 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I was in recovery from an umbilical hernia repair. Once I woke up, my surgeon stopped by, while I was still lying there. Thought that a bit odd. When I had ankle surgery, I didn't see my surgeon again until my first post op follow up. My general surgeon, luckily, is also a surgical oncologist. He told me he had found nodules in the hernia sac, said it was adenocarcinoma, but they didn't know where it originated. I was supposed to only be in the hospital overnight, but the next day was spent going from one test to another -- internal pelvic ultrasound, CT of abdomin, mammogram. I was in a whirl. No big emotional upheaval until quite recently, and this surgery was back in July!

      about 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      The first thing that popped into my head - was which time. I have been told 4 times.
      1995- post nepherctomy office visit - I thought the dr said the results came back as expected not cancerous. After the truth set in, I kept asking about follow up treatment. Then I cried
      2009: Told that lesions on my liver were match to the Renal cell pathology slides from 1995. I yelled at the doctor "I was told I was cured. This can't be true" asked people to pray for me. Got the name of the oncologist the doctor recommended and set up an appointment ASAP
      2010: In state of shock, not exactly sure what my initial reaction was - how could I have breast cancer too. Called my oncologist, who set up an appointment with a Breast oncologist the next day
      2012: Breast cancer metastasized. Cried and cried, and asked 'why does G-d hate me" My oncologist, had spoken to my breast oncologist and set up an appointment for me to see as soon as I left his office. (9th floor to 10th floor). This included contacting my PCP to make sure I had a referral from my insurance company in place.

      about 4 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      Good question! Even though I was diagnosed only five months ago, it's pretty fuzzy.

      I was told about my "mass" over the phone while I was at work, and I just went back to work. I know I told a few choice people, and we all mulled over it and assumed it must be an error and I had pneumonia. I was given my diagnosis at an appointment a week later.. however I do not remember any particulars about that day as my entire situation was boiling over quickly, and I was quite incapacitated-- so much had changed since that day at work. I remember taking the bus to the pharmacy and picking up oxycodone and phenergan... when I got home, I took one of each and knocked out for a long time.

      about 4 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I had a major break down. All I knew was I had cancer. My Primary Dr mentioned "lymphoma" because of the size and location of the tumors that were found. Looking back now, he shouldn't have given his opinion on what he thought it was but...I don't know that my reaction would have been any different. I have a lot of respect for him so I let it go. Within an hour my entire family was at house to help me through my breakdown.

      about 4 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      I had just been brought to my room following my "routine" hysterectomy - cancer hadn't been part of the picture. I was fine in the recovery room, tho I didn't understand why my husband couldn't visit me there, as I'd been told he would. My gyn and husband came into my hospital room together, and told me I had cancer. I started to scream wildly, and was quickly moved to a private room. (I was told in a room with a roommate who had visitors including young children.)

      about 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      In a sense, what happened to me was more of a developing awareness. My family doctor did some blood tests to try to find the cause of unexplained nose bleeds. He didn't understand the results and sent me to a specialist. The sign on the specialist's door said "Hematologist/Oncologist." That was a clue. He had some blood tests done and told me the bad news the next visit. He tried to soften the blow--WM is not the worst possible NHL diagnosis. Also, he couldn't confirm the diagnosis until after the results of a bone marrow biopsy. After he told me, I had to drive home and tell my wife. I had quite a long time to think about it. I also, at the doctor's suggestion, started to look up WM online.

      about 4 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I was told I had cancer at a follow up visit with my gynocologist after a biopsy had been performed. I remember having a feeling of bad news since the doctor had originally set up the follow up for 2 weeks after the biopsy. The day after the biopsy I received a call from the front desk telling me the doctor needed to see me right away. I asked my sister to come with me.

      Upon being told, I felt numb. I didn't cry right away. I was in a way relieved that I finally knew what was going on with me. I think the worst part for me was not knowing what was happening with my body. I was trying so hard to make sense of everything that the doctor was telling me. All I kept hearing inside my head was "You have cancer". The doctor was explaining to me that I would undergo chemo and radiation. He said he wasn't going to sugarcoat anything and that I would feel $hitty. I appreciated that since I didn't want to be lied to. I'd rather know the worst case scenario and prepare for it. My sister was able to lend me her ears and she heard many things that I missed since my head was busy thinking......How am I going to tell my parents.......my kids.....my boss. Thinking about my kids is what eventually brought those tears out of me, the tears I had been fighting so hard against. I needed to cry because I was feeling like I would explode. The days to come were all a jumble of "unknown"......but deep down I knew God had always been with me and this was not an exception....he was right there in the office with me. Everything would be ok.

      about 4 years ago
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      I got the call while I was at work. Thank God it was at the end of the day. I went home and cleaned the house because I didn't want to deal with it. It wasn't until my husband came home and I started to tell him that I broke down. Those first couple of weeks were the scariest weeks of my life. All I could think was "I'm going to die". I got tired of crying about it. Now I think "I AM going to die....but not today". Having cancer has made me realize how short life really is and how much time I was wasting worrying about stupid things.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I was told OVER THE PHONE by a woman who was not even MY doctor, on a Friday afternoon and I was at work when I got the call. I immediately went online and started my research. The rest of my family had died of various cancers and I decided right then and there that no matter what, I was going to survive. I called all my close friends and said "we need to beat this ting, together. ya'll are my family now, let's do this thing!" And we did. My friends became my support system and with them, I beat it. I know there's no cure but I am in remission now.
      I have a blog and I know it has helped some people on this site to see how I dealt with my diagnosis and treatment with humor.

      about 4 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      My husband was told after a colonoscopy, which he had to finalize the thought that he had cancer. I remember it being a warm July afternoon and we went went and sat outside, in the sun, at Starbucks to talk and to sit and think, and maybe talk. A Native American was sitting at the table near ours and walked over to ask if he could do a healing prayer over my husband, which we said yes to and he started the chanting. I will never forget that man and so wish we could run into him again sometime. 8 years later and my husband is still fighting, but he is still here.

      about 4 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I was called on 8/3 at home by a nurse I'd known for about 20 years. I had had my suspicions that I had breast cancer again, as after the annual mammogram in July led to another test, and another and another while each was prefaced with, "It's probably nothing, but..."

      Michelle was kind--ironically, she had told me about my first bc. I remember I immediately called my husband at work who told me he'd be right home. And he was. 15 minutes we collapsed together, hugging and in tears. Then we started our research.

      about 4 years ago
    • EAGLESOAR's Avatar

      The first time my husband was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. I don't recall either of us reacting to the news, only moving forward as to what decision we needed to make as to how to treat it. Surgery was scheduled, then cancelled due to a heart problem found during the medical clearance. Six months later surgery was done and all was fine. Seven years later cancer reared its ugly head as pancreatic cancer. We received a phone call from the doctor as we sat in a parking lot in the car. After the call, I remember crying and starring at my husband. I felt numb. Whipple surgery was performed and he did extremely well. Four years later, he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma after not feeling well and having aches and pains for months prior. We both were shocked to hear the news and surprisingly didn't cry. Two years later Pancreatic cancer was found in the abdomen..a large mass. Chemotherapy was added to the treatment plan of therapy for the multiple myeloma and now pancreatic cancer. I cry occasionally in the still of the night, or talking to family members of my fears. I am a believer in positive thinking and I think that has helped us both get through the treatments, doctor visits and scans. I pray that the love of my life continues to do well with his treatments and that the cancer doesn't grow.

      about 4 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      I had had a core biopsy and my surgeon told me that she would be away, but that the radiologist who did the biopsy would be able to give me the results in a few days. When I called the radiologist, the office would not release the results. So I called my surgeon's office. The receptionist told me she would check with my surgeon. There was a lot of anxious waiting for me, but in my heart, I knew. Finally, my surgeon called me from vacation in Mexico and told me over the phone. I had that yucky, shaky feeling inside. She talked to me for a long time. I don't remember what I did after that phone call!

      about 4 years ago
    • bigladylw79's Avatar

      I was depressed. I had a D&C done in which they biopsied the cells in my uterus. A few days later I was referred to a gynelogical oncologist. He told me that best method of treatment was to have a total hysterectomy. I really was devastated because I haven't had any children and now I never will. That happened in February this year. Now fast forward to August after completing 5 carbo/taxol treatments I was told the told that the cancer had spread to lymph nodes in my pelvis and back. Once again I got depressed. I am trying to stay strong.

      about 4 years ago
    • Kelli's Avatar

      Went for my annual mammography, got a call back, they saw something. No big deal, I had been called back several time before. This time they did a biopsy right then in the office. Asked if I wanted to results on the phone or in office, I chose office. They told me that if it were cancer they would have already set up an appointment with a surgeon. Got a call a couple of days later from Dr. xxx's office needing to change my appointment. Had no idea who this Dr was, but then it hit me that this was the surgeons office. I got off the phone and told my co-worker, I guess I have breast cancer. Went to the visit, pretty much knowing what they were going to say. Still when the radiologist said "I'm sorry but it is cancer", it felt like all the blood drained from my body and I felt my stomach drop. I said I know, I got a call I was not supposed to have received. The radiologist was very angry that I got the results like I did. It was like an out-of-body experience, surreal. It was not until I had my 1st visit to the cancer center to meet with the genetic counselor that I finally broke down. My husband was with me through it all and remained strong, he was my rock.

      about 4 years ago
    • veesandee's Avatar

      I went and made another appointment with another doctor. Well, I was making appointments after appointment until the head of the hospital and the head Hepatology told me to stop making appointments because I had less than six months to live. Well the head of Hepatology was so impressed of my tanacity that he excepted me into his clinic. That was four plus years ago.

      about 4 years ago
    • Crash's Avatar

      I made a plan of attack. I researched all of my cancers and found out which treatment was the most effective. I chose the best medical facility around which was Emory Hospital. I got into better physical shape. I started running, and "I want to live." became my mantra.

      about 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      I said "Hello, hello" but the doctor who I'd spent 2 weeks tracking down had already hung up the phone. This was after 13 years of showing the tumor to dozens and dozens of doctors who told me it was nothing, just a hemorrhoid or a wart.

      Because the Fates are mysterious, I broke my big toe in a freak accident and had to spend time on crutches taking care of my invalid Mom. I felt so sorry for myself I began to eat two quarts of Stonybrook Farms organic Double Dutch chocolate ice cream each day. By the time I could walk again, I'd gained 65 pounds.

      The tumor had grown along with the rest of me and I finally made arrangements for 'cosmetic' surgery to get it lopped off. The surgeon had promised to biopsy the tumor which struck me as strange because he hadn't seen any need for that just the year before when I's asked that the lump be tested.

      Sitting on a home made donut and in a Vicodin haze, I made daily calls to the surgeon's office only to be told he was busy or not there but would call me shortly.

      Finally, I called and gave a false name and reason for the call and the surgeon came right to the phone. When he did I identified myself and reminded him that I was still awaiting the biopsy results. He said "You have cancer. I did not get it all. Find an oncologist." and then there was dead air in my ear as I said "Hello, hello".

      about 4 years ago
    • DonnaP's Avatar

      I went to the ER because of leg swelling on a Saturday afternoon--I had torn ligaments in my left foot and was getting ready for surgery. After an ultrasound, the ER doctor told me that I had cancer and what actions to take starting Monday morning. I had inklings of what was happening from the reactions of people around me, so I was very (read unnaturally) calm. I left the ER and bought a steak and other wonderful foods for supper and opened a really nice bottle of wine for myself. A friend dropped by late that evening and I discussed what had happened with her. I didn't really cry or get upset until later.

      about 4 years ago
    • JudyW's Avatar

      My son (who was 10 years old at the time) was with me at the office where I had the mammogram and following ultrasound. The radiologist told me, in no uncertain terms, that they believed I had an advanced stage of breast cancer. I was stunned. The only thing I could do when I came out was to take my son out to the courtyard, sit down, and tell him. I'm a single mom, and he was going to be a part of any treatment plan, so he had to know. There was never any question about whether or not I would tell him. I told him cancer was bad cells gone crazy, and the doctors would let us know what they would do to help me. I was honest but not morbid. Then, when I went to see the surgeon and the oncologist, they both included him in the discussions about what was going to happen. We all agreed that complete openness and honesty was better for him than trying to hide things. He was my rock! He was wonderful throughout the whole ordeal! The toughest time for him, I think, was when he came to visit me in the hospital the night after my double mastectomy. I was pale and weak, and he wasn't used to seeing me that way, and I think he was a bit frightened. A good friend (who is is mom's best friend) was with him, and she talked him through all of it. I couldn't have made it without him.

      about 4 years ago
    • liznparadise's Avatar

      I think I just went numb. My gastroenterologist woke me after my colonoscopy and told me that I had colon cancer and to expect surgery & chemo. I just thought "How can I tell my daughters? Their dad died of colon cancer. They'll freak." I remember being upset with the nurse who walked my husband & I out of the hospital after the test. My husband said "So you got good news?" The nurse proceeded to tell him of the diagnosis, etc. I wanted her to shut up and leave us alone to talk, but I didn't say anything. I felt like maybe I brought it on myself. My very good friend had died of colon cancer after an 8 year battle. She was the sweetest gal and way too young (41 when diagnosed, 49 when she passed). I took her to treatments and helped her family with her care in the end. I would have done anything to have taken it from her. When I saw the surgeon a week later he had the biopsy report and then I learned that it was actually anal cancer. A real surprise since I had none of the risk factors other than being 65 yrs. old.

      about 4 years ago
    • JudyS's Avatar

      I had told the radiologist to call me at work with the results of the core needle biopsy because I truly didn't believe it would be cancer even though the radiologist said the ultrasound confirmed an irregular shape which could be cancer. She called, told me it was cancer and what kind, that I needed to see a surgeon and she recommended one to me. I got off the phone and the buzzing noise in my head was so loud (or at least that is what I felt), I'm sure that I also went flush. I walked out of my office and told my project manager who walked me outside. I came back inside to call my husband who had lost his first wife to breast cancer, there were 2 stepchildren who were 6 and 12 when their mother died, now 23 and 29 respectively. All of these thoughts went through my head as I struggled to talk calmly to my husband. It was a place I never thought I would be, as I tried hard to reassure my husband and he tried hard to reassure me.

      about 4 years ago
    • myb's Avatar

      My gastroenterologist told me after my colonoscopy at 50 that I had cancer and that I needed to take care of it asap as close to causing an obstruction in my large interstine. I was stunned from him calling it right then and there, but took it as something I had to attack and win. I had been doing volunteer work with a local charity that raises money for children suffering with cancer. I called the executive director to say I was diagnosed with cancer and what hospital did she recommend for the children. She told me CHOP in Philly. Then I went on an expedition to see if I knew anyone who could refer a surgeon at Upenn. My mind was racing with information overload trying to absorb where I was at and what I would face. But I met with the surgeon at upenn and got the warm fuzzy I needed to trust the doctor with my life.

      about 4 years ago
    • Shoeless' Avatar

      I had already been asking people who work in the medical field and people who have had cancer where to go for the best treatment options. By the time the test results came back I already had a head start on finding the right hospital and medical team. All that was left was to get a PET scan and make the appointment with the surgeon and oncologist. I ended up at IUPUI (Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis) where they looked at all the test results and doctors' notes, then immediately started running their own tests. I first saw them on a Wednesday afternoon, and Friday morning I began treatment. I knew right from the start that I had to fight - fast and hard. No half measures. I made up my mind immediately that cancer was not going to beat me. I got angry at cancer and I got busy fighting it.

      about 4 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      Found out on 1/17/12 I had breast cancer DCIS. At that point, we were talking lumpectomy, but I rushed to get the lung x, bone scan, and MRI. So happy after Lung x and bone scan were clean that I started doing Zumba like a madwoman. I felt like I had to have some control over myself and the loud music and energy from the group class helped. Did it twice one day.. then the MRI comes back and we see other spots in the same breast, while nothing at all in the other. Now I need to make a decision, at first I'm in shock, heard a death sentence. Dr and family did not understand why I thought I heard that, they didn't. I was just freaked out.. so now more appts ..Oncology, Radiology and then make the decision. Now I go into investigative mode, researched, asked all my questions, thought about 2nd opinion and decided to go with mastectomy. In the meantime, I kept up my Zumba.. it was so good to have something frivolous and fun to focus on. I recommend you pick something you love even if it is silly and just go do it. Then your mind can be clear when you have to deal with reality.

      about 4 years ago
    • Tania's Avatar

      Hi GregP_WN:
      I am so sorry to hear this. I will never ever forget when I was first told I have breast cancer 3 years ago. I was by myself in the office and sat down and the doctor looked at me and said you have cancer and have a long road ahead of you. I thought the world was going to fall on me. When I left I ran into a fiend we hugged and then I cried my tears out. I started to move fast I wanted this thing out like asap. To make my story short it was a living nightmare that I will never forget but I will tell you the good part now. Thanks to my faith great co-workers family and friends. I got through this when I thought I never would. I still freak out when I go to the doctor because I am a high risk due to my mom and her sister are breast cancer surviors. I try my best to take each day by day with work and my husband and dog and I am very much involved in the American Cancer Society and Knit Love Into It which is a non profit organization. I knit hats, etc. for cancer paitends. I feel very blessed and it's time to give back. I am a better person then before and I see the world so much different. We are here for you if you have more questions.
      Tania, from Miami, Florida.

      about 4 years ago
    • mccanbl's Avatar

      I cried mostly the first week but had the presence of mind to have chemo the following day of diagnosis and chat with oncologist. After leaving the hospital I moped around the house until a chance call from a 2 year liver cancer survivor put me on the right track. She told me the cancer would take me quickly if I let it, and that I needed to fight tooth and nail to beat it while keeping a positive attitude. She was right I have yet to regret listening to her advice, I consider her my angel.

      about 4 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar

      It happened so fast I didn't have time to think. They did a biopsy of the mole and call me and I was in Boston having Surgery and started the year long treatment. I guess shocked first, denial and then XXX off. But after 4 years I'm still here and loving life.

      about 4 years ago
    • Maeve's Avatar

      My husband and I were sitting in the Doctor's office. I thought I was going in for a Dand C. Doctor said "You must know why you are here since you were called in early". I said "No, I don't. I was told to come in today because you have surgery on Thursday". She looked strange. Then I thought : "Oh that test you took that hurt was a biopsy"
      You called it a proceedure.
      First reaction to my husband "Are you writing this all down?".
      Second question was "How do I tell my kids?". I was seriously looking for help. She said something that was not too helpful. Went home and got on the internet until I found American Cancer Society. Phoned and got some good info on telling your children. One of our kids needs extra help. With the help of a special ed teacher wrote out a social story for him. It was quite effective.
      No drama within me. I am aware of what some Buddhist call as living in the space between the thoughts, and what others call in the Presence. Found myself in heightened awareness of beauty, and get teary eyed with loving and feeling surrounded in love. Feel angry feelings too.. understandably so. More to come.

      about 4 years ago
    • GENMAR47's Avatar

      I was at work and my doctor called me at 3:15 pm, July 27th, 2012 (never forget the date and time). She told me that I had stage 2 localized prostate cancer. My first thought was, this is my fourth possible cancer diagnosis and it's real this time. My second thought was go in for a colonoscopy and come out with possible prostate cancer. What next. Then, I went into denial mode and stayed there for two weeks. Since that day, I have had more ups and downs than an elevator. Then, I got mad and decided to fight. Now, I just live one day at a time and enjoy each moment of life and work at beating this parasitic monster called cancer.

      about 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Thank you all for great responses, since I started this thing, I will go:

      My first time, I was just 28 I went into the Dr.s office, an ENT who had done the biopsy of lymph node in my neck. My wife just waited for me in the car, at that time we didn't even think anyone could go with you into the exam room. Doc says well, you have Hodgkins disease, I say, what's that. He says "It's KINDA like cancer. I went outside after he was done, got in the car and told my wife, I have cancer, we drove home, 1.5 hrs away. Cried a little silent a little. Called my Mom and said, Well mom, I have cancer, don't worry, I'll be ok. Hung up. My sister later told my that Mom was devastated, but she never told me. We went to battle.

      Second time was at the Dr.s office for a check up after being done with treatment for 5 or 6 months, he told me it was back. We just went home and started planning for another round of fighting. Wasn't so hard to take this time.

      Third time, after being clean for 18 years, was told it was squamous cell carcinoma. HUH? Malignant tonsil. First thing I did, internet, research. I found out that I was a gonner, wasn't going to beat it, if I did, It would come back and get me the second go. I had a hard time accepting it this time. That was 4 years ago, I'm still here, fighting.

      about 4 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I was told that I might have cancer and needed surgery to find out for sure. I was more concerned about the pain after the surgery than dying or what would follow such as chemo. When I saw the surgeon, he said it I was highly suspected of having cancer. After my surgery the first thing I asked was if I had cancer. My husband said something like yes you have stage 3 cancer and there is a chance you could survive. I thought, I need my strength to get through the pain of the surgery, no need to worry now, and went back to sleep. My husband was normally a worry wart so I thought he might be exaggerating and I would find out more later. I later found out the initial pathology results were not correct and fortunately I was stage 2 instead of stage 3 with a much better prognosis.

      about 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      I've shared this before, but it's what kept me me. I lay there and figured out what they'd been looking for... I'd always feared Ovarian Cancer from the time I sat and watched Gilda Radner talk about her diagnosis and the symptoms that I already had due to having back injuries, Gall Bladder problems... etc. My mind raced when the tech doing the ultrasound excused herself to take a look at what she had filmed. I knew I had ovarian cancer. A fear rose in my throat... I lifted my right hand towards Heaven. I immediately asked God to Please lead me... I thought to myself... I will follow him to death... He will lead me and be with me. I was very sure I would die. But I then asked Him to take my hand for I was very very afraid... It came instantly... total relief from fear... total. I had the knowledge that I would probably die, and I felt no fear. They ran another test, a scan of somemy brain, and my chest then my abdomine... I knew where ovarian cancer woudl metastize to. I knew. The Head of Radiology asked if I had time to see my doctor... just stop by her office next door for a momment... I said of course I would.. I knew. I mentioned to Tom, my husband of not near enough years... I told him what I knew. He didn't accept it.... he refused... We sat in the office. My doctor walked in... she turned to me and said "You Know"... I ansered "yes"... My dearest kept saying... "Know what? What do you know?" It was the most difficult time of my life... How could I comfort my beloved husband.... I've told everyone who'll listen that the worst pain I experienced was listening to Tom sobbing, and not being able to assure him it would be all right. I Wrote this poem almost two years later...

      Why Me?
      2008 by Carol Notermann

      The tech had said excuse me. I’ll be back in just a bit.
      I lay there with my hand in God’s, and hoped this wasn’t it.
      A man walked in “to take a look” and it was then I knew
      That this cancer that I feared, was now in my life too.

      “OH GOD! WHY ME? I’m so not brave.”
      I screamed inside my brain.
      My family, my life, came rushing by –
      Like a loud and speeding train.

      I turned to God, still holding tight the hand that held to mine.
      And then the Lord did answer; His answer was sublime.
      “WHY NOT?” He said - as he still held tightly to my hand.
      “I’ll never let you go! See there are my footprints in the sand.”

      And together we did walk through those next two busy years.
      He gave me a special doctor. A doctor without fears.
      I listened and followed the doctor. His smile was warming to see.
      He and the staff at that clinic, were smiling always at me.

      And soon came the words I had prayed for, the words that filled me with glee.
      “You Carol are a “survivor”. All tests show you’re still cancer free.”
      I smiled and I laughed and I hugged, this doctor who God blessed with skill.
      There are no good words to thank him, but I know in prayer that I will.

      Then my mind went to the others, the ones who fought till the end.
      They fought quietly, valiantly - then went home to the Lord in the end.
      “OH GOD! WHY ME?” Why have I been so blessed? Why me?
      “WHY NOT?” was His simple response, and His Glory was all I could see.

      about 4 years ago
    • reddingfemale's Avatar

      Don't remember much as far as treatments but, I do remember family arriving and talking to me about how I felt and if I needed anything .

      about 4 years ago
    • Modern's Avatar

      This is going to sound dumb but I went to KFC. I was supposed to have a colonoscip because the dr couldn't figure why I was sick so I hadn't eaten all day. And to be honest I wasn't surprised as I thought I'd be in my relatively small community (about 2000) roughly a third of the pop have developed blood bone or lymphatic cancer.

      about 4 years ago
    • Mel's Avatar

      Drove home in a daze from doctors office was all by myself cause I thought it would be nothing. Got home told my boyfriend he held me while I cried, and then I grabbed a bottle of wine and took a bath. And try to absorb what was told to me I couldn't believe it.

      about 4 years ago
    • Maeve's Avatar

      Thank You all for your stories.. Soo helpful. So, loving, So kind.

      about 4 years ago
    • ImStillHere's Avatar

      I was pruning roses when I got "the call". At first I felt kind of numb, then I felt like I was going to throw up. I finished pruning the roses, and went back in the house to call my husband. I have no idea what I did the rest of the day, it has been erased from my memory.

      about 4 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      Quite honestly the first thing I did was have a really good cry and then I pulled myself together and realized that the only way to get through was to toughen up and fight. I called upon the lessons that my grandmother taught me about never giving up and facing things head on. I have hit a few stumbling blocks the past 4 years but with the love and support of family and friends I have gotten through and have proven to myself that I am tougher than I ever thought possible. I wish you all the best and hope everything goes well for you.

      about 4 years ago
    • Topazcat's Avatar

      10/15/10, I went in for a breast ultrasound and was told by my doctor that there was a shadow but it was nothing. She did a breast exam and said she could not feel any lumps. Nov 1, 2010 I, ran a high temp and had a lot of pain under my left arm. I was concerned because I had read a story about IBC on the internet 5 years ago. I called the surgeon I had met before and she said she would do a biopsy after the infection in the lymph nodes under my arm cleared. In the next 2 weeks I was put on 3 different antibiotics, which did not help. Called the surgeon back and she scheduled biopsy for 11/19/2010. Day of biopsy, after she examined me she said she was very concerned about the changes in my left breast and the simple biopsy would be more extensive. When I woke up, my husband was crying and the Dr. said, I am so sorry but you have Inflammatory Breast Cancer stage 3B and it has spread to the lymph nodes under your left arm. I was very sleepy and said, "Oh XXX!". Then I went back to sleep. We headed to Mayo Clinic the next week and I met so many doctors and had numerous tests done. I was told that IBC is very rare and the most aggressive type of breast cancer. While I was at Mayo I found out that I also had thyroid cancer. That is when I finally broke down. I had 16 rounds of chemo, and a double mastectomy. Then surgery to remove the thyroid. 2 weeks later I started 36 radiation treatments for the breast cancer. When that was over I had the radiation treatment for the thyroid cancer. Since 9/5/2011, when all the treatment was done, I have had numerous scans for both cancers and PET scans for the breast cancer. Inflammatory Breast Cancer does not usually show up on mammograms or ultrasounds. The rest of my life will be scans and tests every 6 months, but it is good to still be alive! I was told that IBC has a poor prognosis at 2 years and even worse at 5 years. I am a fighter and will continue to fight till the end!

      about 4 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar

      I called my insurance carrier for information on what surgeons were in the plan. Just one! Lindy

      about 4 years ago
    • DeniseD's Avatar

      Type your answer here...I thought about how many wonderful people I have in my life and how I would hate to leave my youngest grandson. His mother past away in 2006 and I promised I would be there for him always. My next thought was of how God has always watched over me, even when I didn't deserve his attention. What would ever give me the idea that he would drop the ball now. I have been blessed with good health up til now, I will handle this as it comes and still be grateful. It is in his hands, not mine and I do trust in him.

      about 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      First thing? Start fighting it, but without the hysterics. Told no one (better to keep the hysteria down) and started research. I am already in excellent shape, so no need to change diet or lifestyle or quit any bad habits. Staying as objective as possible has been the best case for me. But I did nothing exceptional when I found out. Its just a bump in the road.

      about 4 years ago
    • dvdbriansr's Avatar

      I remeber to the letter of my (non)reaction to being told that I had phangeal cancer something like that cancer in my oralphanyx. I was taking a mid-day nap when my wife came home for her break from work. She came in and woke me handed me the phone half asleep saying it's your Dr, office. She said that my pathology report came back positive for squamous cell carcenoma, whatever that menas. I just said "Okay" now what. She gave me the low-down on what I needed to return to the clinic for and asked if I was Okay, she told me that I had every right to take the time to fall apart for a while. But I couldn't, not with my wife, eyes glazed over in fear of the worst, sitting there on my bedside looking me straight in the eyes, listening intently to what she could hear in my response to whom I was talking with. How could I react? Now almost a month from diagnosis to being prepared for chemo therapy and radiation therapy at times I do fall apart, just a little, but fear that someday very soon, the walls are going to tumble down, and it'll be a long hike back out of that hole. In less then 29 days I've went from dianosis to just now having a G-tube and mediport installed while they also removed a mass from of my chest wall. So a month later I just don't think I've taken the time to "respond" . . .yet.

      about 4 years ago
    • Reel's Avatar

      I had slowed down and gotten so weak and tired that when I was told that I had cancer I actually felt a little bit of relief. I finally knew what was wrong and thought there would be something that could be done for it. I asked the doctor what the next steps were. He actually got mad at me and asked me if I wasn't going to cry or something. He was a terrible doctor - fortunately there are good ones out there!

      about 4 years ago
    • still_fighting's Avatar

      I remember quite well. I went in for a post-op appointment since I had had a total hystorectomy 6 weeks earlier. My husband (husband at the time that is) and I were joking around about how my voice would get deeper and I'd be as hairy as he is...LOL When my surgeon came in and told me that I had leukemia I was totally unprepared. I was completely shocked. My surgeon explained what kind of leukemia (CLL) I had and that I should make an appointment with a good oncologist. I remember he was very sympathic and apologetic. I cried, my husband cried. I told my sister and some of my family members but chose not to tell my sons for several weeks because they were only 7 and 9. It was difficult telling them because they had a hard time understanding what 'leukemia' was and what it does to the body. With my type of leukemia I could've gone 20 yrs without an incident or it could've flaired within on a year...we just didn't know. As it turned out, it was about 3 years later that I had to have my 1st round of intensive chemo.

      x2 survivor - with ongoing Rutxin treatments

      about 4 years ago
    • Beth11's Avatar

      I was diagnosed in May 2012 and my husband and I were sitting in the doctors exam room waiting for the biopsy results. When he said "It is cancer" my husband turned white and stood up and came over to stand close to me, I think his face scared me more than the doctors words. I new he was scared and that scared me, but I also was very calm inside. We asked if he was sure? He said yes of course but it was hard to hear much more of what he said after that. I remember very clearly telling him "you know, I have a six year old son at home" that was the only time I felt strong emotion and fear. My gut instinct was "hey, this isn't just about me, I have a son and husband that needs me and I have to take care of this." Basically, the look I gave him was, I can't die and you need to understand that. I also new I had to do whatever was needed to survive this. It must be a XXX of a job to give out that news each day, I don't know how they do it. How do doctors take in that type of negative energy from others and what does that do to their health day in and day out? After we left we went out and had a long cocktail, vodka on the rocks with a lemon twist and cucumber slices to be exact. What a day! Lastly I will say, that the doctor who gave us the cancer diagnosis isn't the surgeon I went with for any of my surgeries, but I am very grateful for his gentle way that day and making good eye contact with me when I shared my desperate needs regarding my son, not all physicians realize the unbelievable importance of this skill. I think I will mail him a thank
      you for that, maybe that will send him some positive energy his way, God knows he needs and deserves it!

      almost 4 years ago
    • kenw's Avatar

      After being a smoker for the better part of fifty years, I quit on Jan. 7, 2010. Early in 2012, I came down with what I thougfht was cold as I had a sore throat. After a week or so with no further cold symptoms and still having a sore throat, I went to my PCP who looked around my mouth and prescribed some antibiotic. A week later ther was no change in the soreness in my throat. I was referred to an EENT specialist. He looked around my mouth/throat, and finally 'scoped me. And there it was, on the screen of the monitor - a nickel-sixed tumor at the base of my tongue. When he withdrew the 'scope, I said, "Cancer, huh." He said "Yes." I was amazingly calm. We then discussed options and made appointments with the cancer clinic. The hardest part for me was telling my spouse, daughters and members of my Al-Anon Family Group. I really lost it. But the encouragement I received from everyone helped immensely. I am so grateful for all the support.

      almost 4 years ago
    • krbrowndog's Avatar

      Began cello lessons

      over 3 years ago
    • rosemarie's Avatar

      i was just diagnosed and came here!

      over 3 years ago
    • kathycompton's Avatar

      I was so drugged up , did not really phase me , My DR just said, sorry I have to tell you this, but you have Cancer, I just fell back to sleep really ,I mean what was I sopose to say ,I do remember I asked him what kind? He said colon cancer , we found 11 polyps and cancer and have to operate, I was so drugged up ,just went with the flow,

      over 3 years ago
    • logisticsjoe's Avatar

      I am the spouse, but first we were very upset with the treatment at the ER because they made her wait for HOURS (her pain was a 10, on a 1-10 scale) while drunks, and drug seekers got better treatment. That was tough. So we tastefully made the hospital aware of our displeasure in their bad handling of triage.
      Then, my wife cried for about 2 minutes, while I was in a suureal and almost numb state.
      Then she said, we have to get an oncologist. That was it, the wheels were turning.
      We started making phone calls early the next morning, because we were at the ER from 4PM to 2AM. We went home, laid awake for what seemed like a very long time, and woke up and got on the horn looking for help.

      over 3 years ago
    • alscut12's Avatar

      I really started to think of my family. I didn't want to let them see me suffering. I had some bad thoughts of not letting that happen. I got over that. I have a lot of faith in my doctor and have found out that all the different issues you go through are only discussed when you are going through them. Operation, radiation, etc. I tackled each problem and moved on. Discouraged at times. Yes. Feel sorry for myself. No. Cried at times. Yes. Everyone who has given care to me is outstanding. My wound has not healed after 1 1/2 years and that is the big issue I have now. I can't go in the oxygen tank because of other problems. I have a plate in my jaw and the radiation has caused many problems. My doctor has told me it will be a tough operation if he has to take the plate out of my jaw. I will have more adjustments to make. That I fear. I try to lead the same life I was leading before the cancer with adjustments. If anyone makes their mind take over with negative thoughts it will be a harder road to recovery and your new life style. Remember your caretaker is going through some big adjustments. There were times I could not stand myself. I and hope all my brothers and sisters with cancer do not let it consume us. God bless and keep fighting!!!

      about 3 years ago
    • Russ' Avatar

      I was at work on a Monday morning...there was msg from my doctor's office to go over the results of my cat scan from the week before. I called and spoke with a nurse practitioner and she told me that it looks like pancreatic cancer, and they had already set up an appt with the University of Penn Hospital. I was in shock...I hung up the phone and just sat behind my desk for awhile. I didn't know what to do...so I called my boss and told him what happened and that I was going home. He asked me if I wanted to come over to his office to talk about it first. So I did, and when I got to his office I sat down, and as he closed the door...I cried like a baby. Then I apologized to him for crying and he said don't be foolish. He said to go home to my wife and take as much time as I needed. So I called my wife and told her what the doctor said and she said to me why don't you come home now. As I was walking to the parking lot to get my car, I turned around and looked at the building where my offices were, and I said to myself..."this just doesn't matter anymore." I drove home to be with my wife.

      about 3 years ago
    • jimhaden's Avatar

      ARgued with my ENT. He said I hate to be the bearer of bad news the first time i see you but .With the lump in your neck and the spot on the base of your tongue wich is bleeding you have cancer we will biopsy to make sure but ive seen this enough to know. Then I said NO way I don't smoke and never chewed tobbaco YOU HAVE GOT TO BE WRONG! He was not . Little did I know at the time about HPV Causing cancers. Then I was in a daze for a while everything moved so fast. And I remember a co worker telling me that i was taking this very well. I told him what can I do I would love to run away and hide but that was no way to fight this But I remember telling him I was very scared

      over 2 years ago
    • WhidbeyGlen's Avatar

      I just kind of accepted it. I was shocked, but I too did not realize the HPV angle. I have smoked and drank in the tpast, but it has been 20 years without a drink and about 3 years since my last cigarette. I didn't really cry for a couple of days. it was telling my boss that really got to me--hearing his reaction and concern.

      over 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      I said, OK. I walked to the check out desk, paid my bill-made an appointment for follow up-asked again for a pain killer that wasn't given to me. Went to the waiting room and told my son that I have incurable cancer. I got home, and got an appt with my PCP, so I could get a referral to oncology. Then had my son try to get me some pain meds, as part of my nose was cut out and resewn, and a section of my lip was removed and sewn together like 2 pieces of cloth. I went online to see if I could sue the doctors that didn't and wouldn't take this off years ago- and looked online to get info.

      My son cried for me.

      about 2 years ago

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