Coming to terms with the diagnosis

New Contributor

Coming to terms with the diagnosis

I was diagnosed with small bowel cancer  7 weeks ago.  It has metastasised, so I now have it my peritoneum as well.  I've had the first of 6 rounds of chemo to be followed by a Peritonectomy and then another 6 rounds of chemo. The thing is, I don't feel sick. It's hard to accept you're sick when there aren't any symptoms. I keep telling myself they are wrong and I'm going through this for nothing. Is this normal?

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Cancer Council Team

Re: Coming to terms with the diagnosis

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis @DebL, that must have been a shock! 😞

 

You're definitely not alone here, there are a few others that were recently diagnosed with bowel cancer and started treatment as well... @PhilPepper@Albundy21 and @Sarah1, would definitely understand what you've been going through and may be able to offer some insight.

 

Cheers,

Kate

Online Community Manager

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Coming to terms with the diagnosis

Hi DebL,

 

Now yours is a really tough case - treatment in response to no obvious syptoms,

 

But how did they find the cancer if there were no sympoms? Surely there was some reason for you to go see the doctor and for things to explode from there?

 

For me, I had difficulty eating my daily apple - it felt awkward when it was passing through the sphincter from my oesophagus to my stomach. So there was a definite symptom that marked the start of my journey. I also know one of the people mentioned by Kate and they had symptoms that were being treated by the doctors for a while before the recent diagnosis of bowel cancer.

 

But during my scans, they also found 2 nodules in my thyroid. I had no Idea that they were there, until I saw the PET scan images; they were lit up like Christmas lights. After 3 attempts of fine needle aspirations they were unable to determine whether the nodules were cancerous or not. This was enough for me to agree to have half of my thyroid removed. That would get rid of the 2 nodules and I would still have half of my thyroid gland. Unfortunately for me, the remaining half is not producing enough thyroxine so now I am on tablets every day for the rest of my life.

 

So I assume that you have been through a multitude of scans by now.  Is there enough evidence in the images to convince you that there is something bad festering inside that needs to be attacked before it takes you out?

 

If not, sometimes you just need to put trust and faith in those who have the expertise and experience to know what is good for us.

 

Good luck with it all and let us know how you are getting on in lead up to, during and after your treatments.

 

Big hugs,

Rick

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New Contributor

Re: Coming to terms with the diagnosis

Hi RJG,

My first symptom was what I thought was a stomach virus. I had abdominal pain, vomiting and diahhorrea. Got over it and thought nothing of it  It came back 8 days later, went to the Dr did the blood tests etc. Possible diagnoses were Pancreatitis,  Liver disease or Diverticulitis. These attacks were becoming more regular.  Went for scans. CT showed Omental deposits, never heard of the Omentum. After the Dr gave me THE LOOK he started referring me to specialists. An MRI showed a stricture of the small bowel (cause of the pain). A diagnostic laparoscopy led to a resection of the small bowel and the biopsy revealed a metastatic adenocarcinoma. Since the resection, I have been fortunate enough to be pain and symptom free. Its the chemo thats making me sick.  Drs haven't actually shown me the scans, so I haven't seen anything. My logical mind tells me this is real, but denial is a powerful thing.  I know I need to trust the Drs, but it dosen't come naturally. Before this, I went twice a year for new prescriptions

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Coming to terms with the diagnosis

Hi DebL,

 

Sounds like you are a tough one to convince. We need to keep these doctors on their toes. 

 

It sounds a bit bit strange to me that the doctors haven’t showed you the scans. All of mine were available online, but deciphering them was not particularly easy. I got the surgeon to point out the key features and characteristics that led him to his diagnosis and treatment plan. 

 

If I were you, I would go back and ask for a more complete description of it all.  Mind you, this won’t change the treatment protocol, just set your mind at ease. 

 

Good of luck with it all!

 

Rick

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