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My Dad just diagnosed - HELP

cre8tingchaos
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2003

My dad just found out tonight that he has colorectal cancer. He had a colonoscopy on Monday and just got the results and hour ago. He is terrified, my mom is beside herself and I am too scared to even know what to write.

The Dr told him that the tumor was "significant" and that it is near the rectal wall. The Dr also said that he would recommend radiation and chemotherapy before they even did surgery. Why is this?

Can anyone out there let me know what is going on? What we should expect; and what his chances are? I am so scared. I was hoping someone out there could shed some light on this awful situation.

Also, what should he expect from the radiation and chemo? Will he have to stay in the hospital for a long time? Will he be able to drive/work/go to church/...etc.? How long do they usually do the radiation and chemo for? Is he gonna be ok?

I have so many question...can someone please help?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1320
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi chaos'sorry about your dad. Often when a colon cancer is found the first choice of the doctor is to treat it with chemo and radiation in order to shrink the tumour to a smaller size before operating. This appears to be more common when the tumour is lower toward the rectal area as it is more important to conserve tissue when they operate. Both chemo and rad are unpleasant, The chemo can cause nausea and Dihorrea and the radiation tends to cause burns that are slow to heal . After the tumour is shrunk and the operation carried out the cancer is staged,stage one being the least serious to stage four which is the most serious and the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Until you get to that point there is no use in panicking. As you go along ask plenty of questions and if you don't understand or are unhappy with an answer get a second opinion. Good luck and stay positive ,Ron.

remission17yrs
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2003

I would like to give you and your family hope! I had colorectal cancer in 1984, went through radiation treatments for 5 weeks to shrink the tumor, then I was given a colostomy and a hysterectomy. For patients that I visited after, many of them had chemotherapy after to eleviate the chance of it returning. I have adjusted, and live a happy, "normal for me" life. I will check my e-mail often. Please feel free to ask any questions, or voice any concerns. I'm here for you!!
Giver of Hope

wildcat's picture
wildcat
Posts: 40
Joined: Apr 2002

Everyone else has explained why the treatment so I will not dwell on that. The next year will not be good. There will be sickness and test and more sicknes and more treatments. BUT in a year you will be sitting with your dad saying they got it all and it was all worth it and he will tell you about all his war stories from the year before. I am in those shoes today. One year ago I was in the radiation and chemo (after the surgery) and today I am clear for now. My prayers are with you.

litldunk11
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2003

hi...I am deeply touched by your story because my father was diagnsoed with colorectal cancer December of 2001. He went to the emergency room because he was in severe pain and they sent him home with pills. They had no clue that he had cancer. He went back to the doctor that same sunday and they sent my mother and I home telling us nothing was wrong. Twenty minutes later, they called us and told us that he was going in for emergency surgery and they weren't sure if he was going to make it. He had a tumor that was the size of a baseball. The doctors went in took it out along with all the lymph nodes from that area. Much to our prayers, the cancer was contained in that tumor and had no spread. He had to wear a colostomy bag for a year and had chemotherapy from january until August. He has been cancer free since august. There is hope! I know you are scared, but I mentally preapred myself what my options were. I cried for a month I swear. My dad's chemotherapy was not too bad. He never lost his hair, but he was thining by the last several treatments. He also put on about 80 lbs. Our life has changed in a huge way, but I thank God daily that he is still alive and he will get to see me get married soon. The journey is not going to be easy, but remember that God is there and we people are too. I know where are u are coming from as a caregiver. Fill free to e-mail whenever you would like. I send you and your family the best.

Eddie50
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2003

Hi Chaos...
I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer back in September of 2002..I also had a tumor located close to the rectal wall. My Doctors decided to surgically remove the tumor immediately as the cancer had spread into four small nodules in my lungs as well. Fortunately for me, all the cancer in the colon was removed along with some lymph nodes. The results of surgery left me with about 20% of my reservoir, so frequent bowel movement is something that I am dealing with currently..I can deal with that, knowing that the cancer has been removed from my colon and the nodules in my lungs are being treated with chemo therapy..Your Dad has to maintain a positive attitude through his treatment and be confident he will be cured...The human body can go through a lot as long as you stay mentally focused and take care of yourself..My prayers are with you and your family...

seashell
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2003

Hello, Sorry about you Dad's diagnosis. I had colon cancer,sigmoid area-lower in the bowel. Immed. surgery, as in advanced stage. Removed tumor and 15 nodules, resulted in colostomy. Then chemo for 1yr. and reversal of colostomy. This was in 94 to 95. Am great now,cancer free so far. Hang in there and hope for the best. Make sure U have a great doctor. Will keep u im my prayers.

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