Patient Comments: Cancer - Describe Your Experience

Question:

Please describe your experience with cancer. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Meg, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

Two years ago I had a mole on the inside of my left thigh that contained several colors: black, blue and red. My primary care doctor did not think it was suspicious but because my grandfather had multiple melanomas during his life I requested a referral to the dermatologist. The spot was biopsied, the dermatologist told me it was malignant melanoma and scheduled me for surgery the next week. I caught it early, stage 1A, no metastasis and no lymph node involvement. After having many dysplastic nevi (pre-cancers) removed at 3 month and 6 month visits, I have now been put on a yearly schedule. Chest x-rays and CT scans are clear, cancer free.

Comment from: Betty, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I got melanoma on the back side of upper arm in 1980, stage 4. One of my assistants noticed an orange spot on the back of my arm that looked like one that her now deceased sister had earlier. I began to monitor it and noticed a change. A slight bump appeared within that spot. After having my general practitioner check it, he thought it was okay. I let it go for about a month then a second bump appeared. I went to a dermatologist and he performed drastic surgery immediately in his office. The report came back as melanoma and he sent me to another doctor who performed a profusion, a new procedure at that time. Anyhow I am a cancer survivor at the age of 77, with the help of the excellent doctors. I was 40 at the time with a 9 year old daughter. My family and good wishes pulled me through.

Comment from: mimi, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 08

My sister was diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct in her liver in September of 2009. She went through extensive chemo and radiation and lost weight down to 92 pounds before she got a liver transplant in February. She was recovering and was sent home a week later. She lived until March 11 of this year. She died from a blood clot, but I don't understand why. I believe if the doctor had tested her when she first started going for headaches and other problems, she might have been saved. They were treating her for thyroid problems. She turned yellow, and her husband took her to the emergency room. That is when they found out she had tumors in her bile duct. Please get second opinions if you are not getting better. I wish things could have been different for her.

Comment from: cancer warrior, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

I had just been blessed with a 2 1/2 year old baby boy in November 2005. The first year was really tough for me for he was a meth baby and could not sleep at night. The crying would go on for hours. I would hold and sing to him and one night I noticed that I was getting severe back pain and pain in my upper right rib cage. The following year, I found a mass in my right breast and suddenly, I got a strange feeling in my gut. For the next week, I would make up stories about the mass and finally had to come to conclusion this could be serious. In January 2007, I got a mammogram and within 10 days I got the letter and a phone call from my GYN. A second mammogram and ultrasound was performed, then another call for a needle biopsy. That's when I was diagnosed with "Abrasive lobor carcinoma." Within a week, I had a breast MRI, blood work, a port placed in my right side of my chest and my first chemo treatment. As I continue to receive chemo, every week, there were times I wanted to die. I lost my hair and my eyelashes, and my finger nails began to loosen and fall off. I had sores in my mouth and a metallic taste, which made it hard to eat or swallow. I would cry everyday when I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered if I was going to make it. Although, when I went in front of the public, I was smiling and continued to work. Attitude is very important and not to ask “Why me?” (although it is very normal to ask), but ask, “What can I do to beat this? " I was in stage 4, and the cancer had spread to my liver, spine, pelvis, and ribs. By the grace of God and a good Doctor, my life was spared. I had so many people praying for me. I saw God's face and who is really is. I was in remission or a year and a half. It now has come back for the third time, but I have peace and will fight this battle again.

Comment from: Kay, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 18

My husband had a heart transplant in 2009 and 3 years later he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Due to his transplant and other serious issues dealing with rejection of his donor heart on 3 occasions they would not give him chemotherapy or radiation. They opted to have his bladder scraped out every three months which was successful after almost a year. My concern is that he may have gotten it from CellCept, his anti-rejection drug as his doctors are discussing lowering his dosage as it is a cancer-causing drug.

Comment from: abolfazl, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 16

Don't worry about disease but worry about stress. I guess that I got this cancer and had a lot of stress and fear. Now 2 years of adventure have passed. I realized it was from stress symptoms like headaches and poor appetite and vomiting. Now I'm so happy and hopeful, and feel I can challenge any disease.

Comment from: star, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

My sister has had breast cancer for 12 years. It spread to her liver died last year. I was a nurse, one day I helped a patient out of his bed his elbow hit me on my breast twice, after two months my breast was very painful. Went for all the tests, I also have breast cancer. Total radical mastectomy was done finish last treatment of radiation therapy this week, now for the hormone treatment. All what I can say is that my chemo, and radiation went well, only the burn marks from radiation is very sore. Was it not for the accident I won't be alive today.

Comment from: mc1977, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I am 50 years old. I was diagnosed with AML last August 2009. Symptoms I had were severe fatigue, shortness of breath with simple walking, bone aches in my right ankle, bleeding; nose and ears, flu symptoms, no appetite, and dizziness. I went to the doctor and with blood tests I was sent directly to the hospital. Once there a bone marrow biopsy was done and the result was AML M5. It was so hard going through chemo and I got ALL the affects afterwards. I was very sick from all of it and was in the hospital for a month and 1/2. When I started consolidation chemo, I was back in the hospital a week to the day of completing it. This time I went in with 3 infections in which a sore on my face had to be operated on, and turned into a staph infection which spread to my lungs. In Jan. 2010 I only had 1/2 the treatment of chemo, because I did not want to end up in the hospital again. A week ago I had a BMB and now I am in remission.

Comment from: Texone, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 09

I have had liver cancer (HCC) since 2002. I underwent a liver transplant in 2002 as well as a RFA pre-transplant. In 2009 I was having severe lower ab pain, had a PET scan and found out the cancer had spread to my colon, lungs, stomach and beyond. The tumor in by bowels was so large they couldn't cut it out so I had to have colon surgery. I have been on Hospice ever since. I am down from 230 lbs in Aug. to 122 lbs in Jan. I have never spoken of this since it happened. I know I am depressed but at 54 I guess I have the right to be. I do blame myself for some of this for not being more pro-active with my sickness. What I want to get across to anyone who will listen is don't just limp along and get your blood test and yearly checkups. Get involved, demand answers, and believe your body. You can feel when something is not right, listen to it, and pray. I wish now I had done all these things, but it is too late for me. These doctors work miracles every day but not without your help. Don't just sit around feeling sorry for yourself feed your doctors every bit of info you can, they can't do it without you. And find something to believe in, be it God or whatever you need, find something to believe in.

Comment from: fssuper, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

My colon cancer was diagnosed in Dec 1996 at the age of 49. Surgery to remove over 1/2 of my colon was performed in January 1997. Chemotherapy lasted nearly a year, once a week, every week, with 2 weeks off scattered within the cycle. I had a large tumor, polyp, and severe ulcerative colitis. I chose to ignore the symptoms (rectal bleeding, bloating, pain) because it was a difficult time in my life. When I finally decided I wanted to live, it was almost too late. The cancer had spread to the lymph nodes as well. My cancer was Stage III. I nearly died. It was a tough year. I gained 62 pounds, yes, GAINED, but my doctor says that more people actually gain while undergoing chemo than lose. Surprise! I now undergo my colonoscopies at regular intervals and watch for signs. I try very hard to stay away from stress as I feel this was a major factor in the onset of this disease. I am a lucky person. I am a cancer survivor and am still in remission. There is hope and there is recovery, no matter what you think in your darkest moments and there are plenty of those. Keep the faith, try to stay positive. With all the advancements in cancer treatment since my surgery and chemo in 1997, your future is probably brighter than mine was at the time, but Look, I'm still here, 13 years later. Wow. I am in awe and still grateful. Bless you all.

Comment from: rosmorris, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

My first problem was Raynaud's syndrome which became very severe, necessitating hospitalization and Iloprost infusion to control ulceration of the fingertips. An enlarged underarm gland was investigated at the same time. Following surgery it was found to be cancerous and spreading to other nodes. No primary tumor was found and I was treated for breast cancer throughout 2005. (Chemotherapy followed by axillary clearance.) Because of suspected connective tissue disease, it was decided not to offer radiotherapy. Happily I remain well, and Captopril is proving effective in reducing the Raynaud's. However I am convinced that the cancer and the Raynaud's are connected in some way, perhaps due to stress on my immune system? I'd be interested to know of other similar cases.

Comment from: symptomscancer, Male Published: October 19

General symptoms of cancer include tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss and night sweats. But many cancers have been not associated to the lump itself though have been associated to proteins which they secrete. Some really tiny cancers can mean serious systemic symptoms, whereas some really vast ones can cause none at all. Most cancers, if caught early, have been treatable as well as have great survival rates.

Comment from: wondering, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I am a Latina woman who was diagnosed with Scleroderma "CREST" in 1999. Since that time, I have had many different surgeries to remove calcinosis. I most recently had a surgery in November 2006 to remove a lump in my right groin (lymph node). It was diagnosed as a secondary squamous cell carcinoma with no site of origin. I keep getting CTs every six months, and still no site of origin. I remember that I had a painful lump on my right thigh, and my doctor said it was another calcinosis. He recommended that I massage it every day. I did, and it disappeared, and then the lump appeared in my groin about a week or two later.

Comment from: angeleyez2112, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 20

My mother has liver/gallbladder cancer. We only found out because one morning she woke up yellow- went to the hospital and was told what it was. They put a stint between the liver and gallbladder for the bile. She doesn't even look like my mother anymore. She wasn't sick a day in her life. She exercises, walks, eats healthy and she's a vegetarian. Her face is sucked in, she looks 20 years older, and it's scary. She won't do chemo, but, will do radiation. The Dr. says there is no cure, nothing medically that can be done, he can only do radiation to "extend" her life. I'm trying to be strong for her, but the tumor already grew over the stint and it's only been 2weeks.

Comment from: daisy dan, 35-44 (Patient) Published: April 19

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2009. One day prior to the diagnosis, I noticed a lump in my right breast, but it was not painful and I did not see any secretion. The next day, I went to the doctor and referred me for a mammogram. About 15 minutes after my test, it was confirmed that I have cancer, so here I am, undergoing treatment.

Comment from: tger, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 17

I underwent a radical mastectomy six years ago following discovery of an inverted nipple and a dimple on my left breast. No malignant cells were found in the 31 lymph nodes which were removed and biopsied. I went through a series of chemo treatments and medications were prescribed to prevent recurrence. After six years of use, my oncologist discontinued my medications, as there were no signs of cancer. Ten days later, I experienced severe abdominal and back pain. Four months of CAT scans, MRIs, GI tests, PET scans and a barrage of procedures were all negative. I was told by two doctors that there was absolutely no cancer in my body. After I sought treatment in an emergency room for pain and a high fever, a physician ordered yet another CAT scan and discovered massive Stage IV metastatic bone cancer.

Comment from: Lisa, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 05

My mother just passed away from cancer. She has had cancer for the past 20 years off an on. She had had breast cancer, leukemia, colon cancer, kidney cancer, and the last one was liver cancer.

Comment from: angelag, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 05

I have a male friend (53) who was diagnosed with melanoma 12/05 in his right thigh, just above the back side of the knee (origin of a mole). At the same time as surgery, a lymph node that had been bothering him in his groin was removed and found to be malignant. He went through one year of chemo/radiation treatment. The cancer was found again on a spot on his back, then several spots in his right lung over the next three years. Now there are no signs of cancer on a CT scan. He has started a three-year treatment...14 days on/14 days off of sargramostim (Leukine).

Published: July 16

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. My right thyroid was removed surgically and the left was destroyed after with radiation/iodine treatments. I have had no after affects, except for my daily dose of Synthroid. As cancer runs in my family, I feel I was lucky to get thyroid cancer. My father, two brothers and I have had the following: colon (my father died of this), melanoma, prostrate, esophagus (my brother was given 6 months to live 13 years ago) and my thyroid. I am a believer that cancer "does" run in families, so I try to guard myself against any cancer that I can, but feel that there isn't always anything we can do to prevent it.

Published: July 09

I have cancer that started in my tonsils, a form of lymphoid tissue. I've had four ops. So far, I've had 28 lymphoids removed from my right side of my neck. The radiation and chemo, were much harder to get through than the operations. It takes forever to get any kind of taste back, my appetite has never returned and the only thing that helps that is illegal. I have tried most of there appetite helpers with minimal return that would help keep me alive. This issue needs to be addressed as quality of life isn't much when you have minimal energy to preform basic tasks on the road of life. It's, be illegal and feel like you can accomplish little things that help one fight depression, or feel rung out before the day even starts. This leads me into feeling a sense of getting nothing done, being lazy, and depressed. I have tried many of the cures with no luck. Laser surgery I have just had. We will see if I talk better as my vocal cords changed with the first ops. I have also had a tracheotomy when I was in a car accident 25 yrs. ago, I don't think that helps with my voice or scar tissue.

Comment from: Sniffles1014, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

I am a 62 year. old female and 2 years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which has spread to my liver. At this time I am not taking any chemo. I've done 1 1/2 years of that. I have a fair appetite and at times have pain at the left side of my stomach. I also have Crohns disease so I don't know if the pain in my bowel comes from the cancer or the Crohns, I take pain meds for that when needed. As a result of the pancreatic cancer I have diabetes which seems harder to fight then the cancer. At this time I am doing quite well, am active and have a good amount of energy. Praise be to our Lord and Savior for I am looking for healing. At this stage of the game my doctor is figuring out which avenue to go with chemo. There aren't that many when it comes to this kind of cancer. My faith is strong and I know my Lord will see me through. I'm just so very grateful for the time he has and is giving me on this earth to share with my children and grandchildren.

Comment from: Pejo, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 04

Two years ago I was diagnosed to have sarcoma of the knee. The grapefruit size tumor was excised successfully, but I was left with ongoing nerve pain. I am receiving opiates to relieve the pain but only minimally. This year the sarcoma tumor metastasized into my lung. The surgeon removed three malignant tumors. He said there is nothing more he can do. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments are not an option for my situation. As the disease progresses I will be treated for pain as I am for the nerve pain in my leg. It is not a hopeful situation.

Comment from: 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 05

My brother was diagnosed with stage four prostrate cancer two years ago. The cancer has spread to his bones, back and ribs. What is the general prognosis? He did receive radiation on the prostrate (gland was not removed at time of initial surgery) and under went 18 months of hormone treatment. The new cancer area was diagnosed within the past 6 weeks.

Comment from: keith1947, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 27

My husband has throat cancer, and has had a total Laryngectomy, to let you understand he has had stomach problems for a while and is taking Creon for the pancreas and digestion, today he has been vomiting a kind of yellow bile with blood spots and has been unable to eat or drink without being sick or bringing up this awful bile.

Comment from: Cryllian, 55-64 Female Published: April 01

I was diagnosed with lobular cancer in situ. I had a bilateral mastectomy (my choice) and followed that with chemotherapy. Since then, no signs of recurrence, but I wonder with each new pain or change in my body if it is back. My father and all of his brothers and sisters died of cancer and one of my brothers died of pancreatic/liver cancer after being exposed to a PCB spill in Louisiana.

Comment from: pharoah, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 27

Please help me before it is too late. Everyone thinks that only ladies can get breast cancer, but men can also get it. There is an 18% breast cancer rate in men and it is going up. I waited five months before I want to my doctor. It was a shame because I waited too long I had to have everything cut out.