Being diagnosed with colon cancer can result in a range of emotions and an array of different reactions. Some initially have a feeling of disbelief. Those in denial may even think that it was just some kind of a joke. There are others who immediately fell into depression, worrying about what’s going to happen.
Despite all those mixed emotions, one thing is for sure, to have colon cancer is painful and stressful, and so are the tests, surgery, chemo, and the fear of recurrence.
Struggle With Treatment
The challenges brought by treatment is incomparable to that moment when you heard you got cancer. This time, you can really say it’s for real and so is the pain and the side effects.
The next morning after my first chemo session, I feel nauseated, and then I vomit non-stop as if I want to take my gut out. For days, I had this queasy feeling that I almost don’t wanna get out of my bed. I’m not in the mood to see anyone. Not to mention the sores that pop up in my mouth days after.
After almost two weeks post chemo, I woke up seeing hair all around my bed and pillow. The sight of those hairs made me cry and feel frustrated. It seemed that I was slowly losing my life and the will to live. Every strand that falls is every bit of hope taken away from me.
I always regard my hair as my crowning glory. And it pains me a lot to know that I’m losing them because of this dreadful disease.
First, cancer take away your health, then your life, your hair, next could be your sanity.
Be Psychologically Well
Cancer does not only ruin the body. It can also destroy your spirit the moment it puts you to shame.
My oncologist recommended that I attend a support group and undergo therapy to maintain my mental wellness. It can help me become more comfortable with the disease and the situation.
Treatment has a higher probability of going well when you know you are still 50% in control. With that is the fact that you can cope with anxiety and depression. The moment you did, life will be happier.
How To Be In Control
Have A New Outlook
Taking on a new perspective on life and your colon cancer will put you in control in some aspects of your new life. Cancer could have entered your body without your permission, but it hasn’t defeated you. You still are very much alive and can do so much.
There are clinical treatment trials you can try. Who knows, it might work on you. It’s better than sulking in your room, doing nothing about your situation.
Not all who have colon cancer have the same experiences. Each has its uniqueness. Yours is different from someone in your support group. Not because one person ends up with poor prognosis means you’ll also be given a poor prognosis. Your body and health status are not on the same level, and so is your reaction to treatments.
Do Talk Therapy
Talk about what you feel when you think you need to. Don’t just keep it in. Talking it out is the best therapy. Call a friend, invite a relative, reach out to a church leader, or whoever you feel comfortable talking with. You’ll never know, the stranger sitting next to you could be the one who’s going to put a smile on your face today.
Change To A Healthier Style Of Living
Decide on a drastic lifestyle change. You need to take care more of your body now. Be aware that you need more rest, nutritious food, active social life and other healthy activities, and of course a “me time.”
Try Other Forms Of Therapy For Mental Wellness
There are various therapies you can try to boost your mental health. Laughter therapy, energy therapy, stress management intervention, CBT, meditation, and more are proven effective in assisting cancer patients in handling their emotional distress.
Cancer Is Giving Us A Second Chance
I thought having colon cancer is the end, but it’s not. In fact, it signaled a new beginning for me. My wakeup call to start living the life I want. It’s another chance to spend more time with my family and friends. I travel as much as I could, laugh with people, do good, and do the job not anymore because of the high pay, but because I love doing it. I never waste any moment. I live each day as if it was my last.
In short, cancer has given me a second chance to live, to enjoy it to the fullest by living in the now. I’m hopeful I’ll still be here tomorrow, but I don’t wait for another day to check one item on my bucket list. I’m lucky to be still given a chance to do the things I should have done long ago before I leave this earth.
Polyps are growths of abnormal tissue that latch onto the linings of the organs. They are mostly associated with cells that make and release mucus and other liquids. Polyps may differ in size and shape. They can look like little flat bumps, small mushroom-like stalks, or like a grape. Colon polyps are the most common type of polyps, but it can develop in various parts of the body like:
What is anal cancer?
Anal cancer is a type of cancer that manifests on a person’s anus. The anus is the body part wherein your wastes are released. It is connected to the rectum. Yes, the anus is also susceptible to cancer, and it can form lumps or tumors. There are tumors though in the area that can be benign or non-cancerous.
You just came home from your doctor’s office and heard the awful news that you have anal cancer. The reality would not sink in at first. You feel confused and full of disbelief. What happened and what has gone wrong? You start to question yourself and the choices you made leading to this day. Although cancer is very common in our society, it’s something we do not wish for ourselves – not even to our worst enemies. So after the diagnosis, what does a patient with anal cancer expect?
Referral to a Specialist
The doctor will refer you to a specialist called an oncologist. An oncologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment and management of cancer. The next thing that you can expect is a series of diagnostic tests to determine the stage of cancer you have. Then the oncologist will offer treatment options that will work for your condition such as chemotherapy or the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, surgery or the removal of tissues or organs believed to be afflicted with cancer cells, and the use of radioactive materials to eradicate the cells and prevent from proliferating neighboring tissues and organs. The medical provider can either use a single course of therapy or a combination of these treatments. The specialist will also explain the expectations, outcomes, and prognosis along with this.
The Treatment Process
Once you’ve already chosen the treatment option that will work for you, the series of tests along with the management and treatment regimen will continue. This is to make sure that it is working and you are responding well. Medical evaluation and succeeding medical follow-ups will also determine if the treatments are not working, or if the cancer has already progressed. Depending on the results, the dosage of the chemotherapy medications can be adjusted or surgical procedures can be repeated until the patient is relieved and can function optimally at the present condition. That is why the support system that surrounds you during this times is very important.
Side effects and adverse complications from treatments are expected. Your doctor will inform you of all this prior to the start of treatment. However, experiencing the real thing can be surreal.
Chemotherapy medications may cause loss of appetite leading to excessive weight loss or also known as body wasting. A severe form of nausea and vomiting can happen after chemotherapy sessions. Most patients also suffer from hair loss. Once this sets in, problems like body image disturbance can lead to low self-esteem and other psychological problems.
Management of Side Effects
There are several strategies to manage and curtail the side effects of the treatment procedures. The following are some helpful tips:
- You can have ice chips during the chemo sessions to prevent nausea. The doctor usually administers medications that will help control the symptom prior and after chemotherapy sessions.
- Don’t eat much prior to a procedure. You can eat toast or crackers early in the morning.
- If you are feeling well, make sure that you eat with gusto. Coordinate with your nutritionist or dietician on what foods are allowed or prohibited while you are in therapy.
- In order to address hair loss, you may use wigs, scarfs, or hats that will improve your self-worth. The good news is these are an all-year fashion thing and will never go out of style.
Get Diagnosed Early And Don’t Lose Hope
There are many instances that the cancer is treated properly especially if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage. However, it is crucial that relapse must be prevented. Therefore, continual monitoring must still be conducted. Coordinate with your specialist as to how often you need to be checked and tested.
If you have been recently diagnosed with anal cancer or any type of cancer, it would be best to consult your physician and see a specialist right away. It is also recommended that you see a therapist and discuss the expected cost for treatment. BetterHelp (an affordable therapy option) has a good article on how you can assess the management of your condition. Early detection and prompt treatment is the key to early recovery and effective cure.
A valuable old saying reminds us that “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. True enough, we only learn its value when we are already sick, agonizing in pain and full of resentment reaping the consequences of the abuse we made to our body and physical health. One of the most common types of cancer is colon cancer which includes rectal cancer. Like any other diseases, there are various ways that we can practice to prevent the development of cancer and for this article, we will focus on the prevention of a specific type which is Rectal Cancer.
Every single human being dreads the day they are given the news they have cancer. Sitting in a doctor’s office and being told about the condition is frightening and life-changing and, for many, it’s all too much for them to bear. Colon cancer is one form of cancer that affects millions throughout the world and for many, they have so many questions about it. The following are just a few simple questions you may want to ask.