Am I normal??

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Hi everyone,  I'm new to this site and just wanted to know if what I'm experiencing is normal and if anyone has any suggestions on the best way to cope!!

A bit of background on myself.....

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in Dec 2017 aged 46, it was classed by my surgeon as a grade 3 and it had invaded multiple lymph nodes. The surgery was a success yet I still had to have 6 months of weekly chemo. 

In the July of 2018 during a routine scan they found 2 tumours on my liver, it was explained to me as secondary cancer due to the lymph nodes being invaded by cancer. I had these operated on in the September of 2018 and had 25% of my liver taken. A couple of complications happened after this surgery and unfortunately after I'd been discharged (which was 36hrs after surgery). I had a massive haematoma which required a week stay in my local hospital with a drain and then after being discharged from there I fell very ill 3 days later and was yet again admitted and they found a huge abcess on the liver op site. Another drain was put in situ, I was in hospital for 2 weeks but the drain stayed in place for 6 weeks.

That's my cancer journey.

Prior to my cancer diagnosis I very rarely bothered my doctors with pain problems, I just got on with them and they knew that if I did go down that it was because of something serious that I could no longer cope with.

My question is.... is it normal to panic after cancer that any severe abdominal pain is the cancer returning???

I'm going out of my mind as to how much I'm contacting my Dr's for different issues and I feel like I'm becoming a nuisance. It's playing havoc with my mental health and I don't know which way to turn anymore. Can anyone shed some light if this is normal??? And if they have any tricks on how to get over it please.

Thank you 


  • Hi Leda  and welcome to this corner of the community.

    Your body and your mind has been through a lot of the past few years. Apart from a large biopsy I have never had surgery...... surgery is like a blunt weapon on my type of blood cancer so the main tools used on me were over 800hrs of chemo, 45 sessions of Radiotherapy and two Donor Stem Cell Transplants.

    I have had no surgery but even now, over 6 years out from my last treatment I often have unexplained aches and pain........ our bodies go through a lot during treatment and some areas are traumatized resulting in ongoing pains.

    In the early days I would hit the panic button and call my Specialist Cancer Nurse - she was great at talking me down from the cliff edge..... over time I have developed a far better understanding what is normal and what is not.

    You may find it helpful to join and post in our dedicated Bowel (colon and rectum) cancer and Lymph nodes, secondary cancer groups as these are safe places to talk to others who may have a similar diagnosis, treatment experience, to ask questions and get support.

    Talking to people face to face can be very helpful especially when the brain goes into overdrive so do check to see if you have any Local Macmillan Support in your area, do also check for a local Maggie's Centre as these folks are amazing.


    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hi, Mike Thehighlander,

    Wow, I read stories like yours and my situation is a drop in the ocean compared to what you had to endure, I've begun to wonder if I should be on this forum at all.

    I was actually better in the early days when I had a specialist nurse I could talk to compared to what I'm like now. My liver surgeon really didn't help the matter, on my 1st visit to see him after the surgery he told me how well the operation had gone but it was highly likely that the cancer would return at some stage!!! 

    Personally I think it was the wrong thing to say to a cancer patient but maybe they have to be honest????

    I will look into the other groups suggested by yourself but I need a clearer head to do so. Sharing problems is not something I do freely as I've always had deal with stuff alone so this is very alien to me.

    Thanks for your advice and I appreciate your reply.

    Leda x

  • Hi again Leda, every cancer journey is amazing in my book so we’ll done getting to this point.

    I can appreciate your apprehension with sharing and opening up to strangers…… but this is the advantage of our community groups as they are all basically anonymous so you can open up freely and remember everyone are basically in the same boat and do understand.

    You may find it helpful to make a cuppa and have a look at this great paper After Treatment Finishes - Then What? by Dr Peter Harvey as it highlights the post treatment milestones.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Perfect, I will have a read now.

    Thank you Blush 

  • Hi, , hope you liked the paper - it is my go to!! Just also to say we are very friendly in the bowel cancer group. How about just look for a while, and post when you are ready?

    Take care