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New tumor

beep
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2004

I have a very dear friend who is like a father to me, who was diagnosed with colon cancer nearly 2 years ago. He had 5 out of 10 lymph nodes come back positive and had chemo/radiation and was cancer free for about a year. Now he has a tumor in his shoulder. They did not remove it, just biopsied it and will begin treatment soon as it was malignant. Oscar, my friend, doesn't tell me or anyone much, so I just have to sit here and speculate about it. He did say they weren't sure if this was a spread of the original cancer, because this is an unusual site for it to go, or a new cancer. Oscar is 68 years old, has no family here, just me and my 2 sisters who dearly love him like a father. I think that he is sicker than he is letting on because he is not himself at all. He is normally a joker no matter how bad things are, and I'm just so worried and I don't know what to do. I've been reading this board for a few days and just don't know what I can do for him if he won't ask for the help. He lives an hour from me so I can't just up and go over there every day, I have 2 kids and a husband. I'm sorry I'm rambling, I just don't know where to begin or what to do. What I'm really wondering if this new tumor is a new cancer or a recurrance from the colon cancer. And what most likely will happen next? Thank you to anyone who can shed some light. God bless all of you.

LeeAnn

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, LeeAnn -

What a dear friend you are to Oscar to seek this place out and post a question about how to help him. Friends like you are precious.

You are absolutely right about the shoulder being an odd place for colon cancer to migrate to. Oscar went through a lot in fighting his cancer - and winning. He's probably just had the wind seriously taken out of his sails with his latest diagnosis. He's probably scared $#!^less right now and that's why you've seen a change in his demeanor. It might be good to encourage him to vent to you - or to come here and vent to us. Sometimes with the annonymity of a message board like this it's easier to open up. I know it was for me.

As far as what you can DO for him... Chemo and radiation really zap folks - especially radiation (pardon the unintentional pun). Maybe you could visit him once a week and do his grocery shopping for him and make him a good dinner. You must understand that the act of asking for help is total blasphemy in the Church of the Our Lady of Testosterone. We guys just won't ask. If we DO ask, we're weak. In fact, if we DO ask... we are probably so far down, we should have asked a month ago but pride held out until now.

Phone calls are nice, too. When I was sick, I was alone as well. I was going through a nasty divorce and had just relocated to Washington DC where I knew pretty much nobody. What I would have given for a nice voice on the phone or a visit by some friendly face.

just food for thought.

Keeping you and Oscar in my paryers.

- SpongeBob

beep
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2004

SponegeBob, thank you so much for your input. I thought I had sounded like a whiner but you were so kind with your reply. I guess I'm just scared, and I'm sure your right that Oscar is scared *@&$less too! And I didn't realize it until you said so, that men don't like to ask for help. Your right about that. My two sisters and I have decided that each of us will go over to his house at least one day a week to see how he is and to visit with him. I was worried about him all weekend because I couldn't reach him by phone and found out last night that he had gone out of town with some friends for a cribbage tournament. I knew he must have been feeling better if he did that. Oscar tells everyone that I am his mother (he is 68, i'm 34)because I guess I do just that, mother him. Still don't know about the tumor, if it is a spread or a new growth, but he did find out Friday that they will begin radiation soon. I just pray he is in good hands, he has an HMO and they appear to not care about anything but cost, which really tends to piss me off sometimes. Well, thanks again SpongeBob, you sound like an amazing man. I'm so glad I found this board. I feel like I found new friends. Thank you. LeeAnn

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Welcome to the semi-colons, LeeAnn. Does Oscar have a computer/internet - he should join our little coffee klatch.

Sounds like you have a great plan - and if Oscar ever needs someone to play cribbage with him (should I say teach cribbage to), I'm available!

best regards

- SB

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello there...I have to agree w/ Sponge Bob. Your friend is probably not as much sick physically as he is having a hard time mentally. If you really want to help, I would see if he couldn't get on SCAN (senior care action network). I believe that they send someone over to talk to the patient, go for walks, do some of their shopping, etc. etc. It is a medicare program, I think. Also, when you have time, maybe you could take him to the movies, or out to eat or something. He probably could use some distractions. I seriously doubt that this is a recurrence of the colon cancer, but wierder things have happened I guess. Are they going to be doing a biopsy? Let us know what happens and good luck w/ him. He is very lucky to have you....When you find out what kind of cancer it is, maybe you should ask him what kind of treatment he wants. For me, quality of life is paramount.

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