Dec 15, 2003 - 12:28 pm
My dad (54 years old) was diagnosed last year at this time with stage III colorectal cancer. He had surgery to remove the mass and 12 lymph nodes, 3 of which had cancer in them. He went through chemo/radiation after the surgery, just as a precaution the doctors said. They felt confident they had removed all the cancer with the surgery, but just wanted to be extra careful, they said. Well, it turns out, they had not gotten all the cancer, and the chemo (5FU) and radiation did not work. During his exam after the chemo/radiation the doctor saw a small spot on the CT scan, so he ordered another PET scan. That showed a very tiny "hot spot" almost exactly where the cancer had been removed. They indicated it may be scar tissue, so we waited 6 weeks and then did another PET scan, which showed the spot had grown. He was given the option of waiting to see if it would grow more (WTF?) or to start a different kind of chemo. He decided to go ahead and start the chemo, so about six weeks ago he started camptosar (90min x once a week, 4 weeks on, two weeks off for 6 months). He's now starting the second month.
I've been reading some of the things you have posted here, and it seems like some of you are doing other kinds of chemo drugs. I'm curious about that. My dad, it seems, is really just going along with what the doctors suggest, he doesn't seem to be asking too many questions, is not doing any research on his own...I'm wondering if there are other things we could be doing, or asking the doctor for.
How bad is it that the cancer was still there after the first round of chemo? Does that mean that his chances for beating this are low? I'm confused. And scared. I just hate this. My mom is beside herself. My dad has always been the strong one. He still laughs and jokes about this, but you can tell it's getting to him. The other night he said that he feels "anxious" all the time. Do you think he may be having anxiety that he needs treatment for, or is it a side effect of the chemo?
Can you guys help me figure out what questions he should be asking the doctor? We live in Iowa, is it possible that our doctors here don't have the most current information, should we be asking for something specific?
Thank you for any help you can offer.