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Help me help my wife

JKendall
Posts: 186
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi. We're new to this world of colon cancer and unfortunately we've been pushed in to neck-deep water. My wife was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer a few weeks ago. We are both 47 years old with two kids, one grown and one finishing high school. My wife's cancer spread to her ovaries and lymph nodes near the colon. This is a Krukenberg (?) tumor. We're scheduled for a pet scan next Tuesday. I'm trying to find someone who's been thru this stage IV diagnosis/treatment. Anyone? The statistics (doctors love statistics--I've learned to hate them) are very grim. The chemo doctor told us today that there is a 70% or better chance that my wife will have a recurrence before two years have passed, and this will likely be the cause of her death. (I can't believe I'm writing these words.) Help us please. She really wants to meet someone who has been thru the stage IV colon cancer. This has been a terrible couple of weeks.

bsrules
Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello!!! Welcome!!! You have come to the right place!! The people here are GREAT!!!!! I am a caregiver for my husband Bob who was diag. in Sept 2003. They gave him 6 months and he is still with me today. I can't say that it has been easy but fighting cancer is hard work!!! Both physically and mentally!!! What I can tell you is that everyone is different and thanks to his Dr. being positive and not giving up on him this has kept Bob fighting!!!

When he was first diag. we thought our world fell apart to put it mildly!!!! Knowledge is power and I read alot and asked alot of question that I demanded answers to.

Just try and take on day at a time and notlook at the whole picture at once. That is how I have been coping. Have a positive attitude even though I know for a fact that it is very difficult at times!!!!

There are so many people here that have so much info to share and love doing it. So don't be afraid to post as often as you need to.

I don't know if I have helped or not. What I do know is that if it wasn't for the people here I wouldn't of made it through all of this. I just try to keep Bob's stress level down and tell him not to worry about everything else as it is his job to get better.

Hang in there!!!! Take care of yourself so that you can care for your wife and family!!!!

Best Wishes and Prayers coming your way!!!!

Sue

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1075
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi, I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in March , 2003, at age 46. Life has not been the same since. My children were 14, 18, and 21 at that time. my husband and children have been wonderful during this time. I have been a nurse for over 25 years and was totally unprepared for the fight for my life.
The pet scan will be done to see if the cancer has spread. If your wife is otherwise healthy, she will probably begin treatments for the cancer soon. Please make sure that she is seen at a major cancer center, for a second opinion. (Unless she is already being seen at one.) Make sure that she sees an oncology surgeon. Because of her age she should have AGRESSIVE TREATMENT. There are many people that have beat stage 4 disease, let's hope she would be added to the list. Many of the cancer statistics are at least 5 years old and new drugs have come along in the last 5 years.
I will add your wife to my prayer list, and if there is anything you need feel free to ask.
Maureen

mikew42
Posts: 113
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello and welcome to this group. Wish it was under better circumstances, but you will find a LOT of support here.

I am 42 years old with 3 boys (5,9,& 10) and a wonderful supportive wife. I was diagnosed stage 4 when I had surgery to remove the tumor in February of this year. I had an on duty oncologist visit me when I was just out of surgery who gave me 1 1/2 to two years with no chance of 5 year survival (I had mets to the liver). I went to a different oncologist, when through 7 months of chemo and radio frequancy ablation last month. I am now in remission. Both my oncologist and surgical oncologistsay there is a 50-50 chance of recurrence. My surical onc. says that this can be a "manageable" disease over the long run (30-40 years) as long as the recurrences are in a place he can get to.

I don't know how the oncologist can tell you that this will likely be the cause of death. He doesn't know how she will respond to chemo or if the recurrence will be in a place they can get to.

Don't give up hope. There are so many new treatments available and so many more trials under way.

Keep us posted. Mike

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

You have come to the right place for information, compassion. A place to vent and cry and sometimes we laugh - actually we try to laugh a lot.

I was diagnosed Dec. 2002 with Stage 3 colon cancer, spread to 2 lymph nodes. I underwent 6 months of treatment and had been cancer free for almost 2 years. My cancer came back again (I found out last week) It is located in my lymph system. I am heading to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on Monday to begin my evaluation there and then treatment.

My advice is to go to a cancer center to the dept. that specialized in colon cancer. There are so many new drugs out, even since I was diagnosed 2 yrs. ago. Keep your wife's spirits up, her attitude will help fight this battle. It will not be an easy road, but we all will be here for you so do not hesitate to let us know how we can help you with resources, advise or prayer.

Lots of us have been through Stage 4 and have beaten it. Hang tough. You are in our prayers and thoughts and please keep us informed to your progress.

We are here for you.

Kerry

angelcake
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi
Please excuse my userid. but angel is my dog and I impulsively used it.
I was diagnosed with stage !V colon cancer in January 2003 after a routine colonoscopy. It had spread to my lungs, In March I started chemotherapy (camptosar, 5 Fu and leucovoryn. By October 03 the lung nodules had shrunken ( too many to have surgery to remove} and I stopped chemo. Well I am still stable with no growth so there is hope. They might put your wife on Avastin. It is a newer antibody drug that was just approved over a year ago.
My oncologist never talked statistics, it seems useless as we are each dealing with this awful illness individually. Good luck with everything. Don't give up hope. I am living proof that stage 1V can be a chronic disease . Let us know how everything is going.

Angel

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi JK,
I was 33 when I was diagnosed with stage 4. Mine spread to my liver, qualifying me for that stage. That was 3 years ago Oct 3rd. Not once did anyone give me an expiration date, nor did I ask for one. Nobody can or should try to predict such a thing, in my opinion. Today, I am healthy. Cancerfree. There is hope. Have your wife e-mail me through this site, and I will offer her any advice, support, information I can.

All my best,

Stacy

hoosier_kitten
Posts: 39
Joined: Aug 2003

Hello,

I am Rita, age 51, diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in May of 2003. Had immediate surgery and it had spread to ovaries and lymph nodes. I was given a temporary colostomy. Went thru chemo, actually all went well. Main side effect was fatigue. Didn't loose my hair nor did I get sick at all. I was in remission for about 6 months and had tests to get ready to reverse the colostomy and found the cancer had returned. I'm now going through chemo again, seems to be too many tumors to have surgery and they added avistin to the regiment. I just had some blood work done and the chemo seems to be working. That's my condensed story.

Please, know that you and your wife are in my prayers, and that you did the right thing in coming here. Most here are very helpful and most importantly, supportive. Take care

Rita

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Hi, and welcome. Sorry you have to come here - but know you are in good company.

I am 34yrs old, and was diagnosed with stage 3 at age 32. I am now stage 4 with a lung met that was removed last May. I am getting my care at MD Anderson in Houston... and thanks to the aggressive MD's here, I am currently done with treatment and doing great.

Definately go to a cancer center with a GI dept. Houston, NY, Boston, and I think there is one in CA. Your wife needs kind and aggressive doctors. They DO exist.
My lung met wouldn't have been removed at most hospitals because it was so small, but I am SOOOO glad it was removed!!

Make sure to get a doctor you and your wife like and trust; or you won't feel good about the care. VERY IMPORTANT. None of the statistics matter. Your wife has cancer. If she beats it, she will be 100% cured. That's all you need to concentrate on. Battling this disease is tough, but possible. There are new drugs and treatments all the time. DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!

Spend some time laughing and doing things you love. Enjoy the time you have together that much more. Try to smile a bit. (I rented a ton of comedies). Whatever works.

Please keep us posted and write with any questions... the beginning is tough. We have all been there. You are amoung friends.
jana

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Hello JK,

Welcome to the boards and please encourage your wife to come on here too if she'd like to hang with us. We're a wide a varied group of folks with one thing in common: We are surviving Cancer.

I know you asked for Stage 4 survivors but I thought I'd jump in here too anyway.

I was dx'ed three years ago with Stage 3 lymph pos zero mets colon cancer.

I did not do the chemo. I chose to heal the cancer using Eastern Medicine and much prayer. So far so good.

There are fabulous books and websites out there to help you navigate through the cancer questions and chemo questions.

www.cancerdecisions.com

www.curezone.com

www.drday.com

www.healthquarters.org

Books:

A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm
When Hope Never Dies by Marlene McKenna
Questioning Chemo by Dr. Ralph Moss
The Makers Diet by Dr. Jordan Rubin
Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quiilin

These last two are especially great--Dr. Rubin cured an intestinal disease that he had and lived to tell.

The Quillin book is so very helpful to steer you through supplements and vitamins that are known cancer fighters.

I was 39 when dx'ed and have 5 kids. My youngest at the time was 20 months old. You better believe I was not ready to check out.

What I tell everyone who comes on here for the first time is:

80% of colon cancers are diet related so the diet is a good place to start when you seek healing. No matter if you choose chemo or not our diets need to be adjusted to include healing foods that fight cancer....such as fresh veggie juices and our diets need to kick out cancer enhancers such as refined SUGARS and processed foods. Cancer feeds on sugar and why put junk food in your system when it needs optimum nutrition for fighting this scourge.

Anyway, I am sorry your wife and your family is having to go through this. It is no fun I know. I have been on both sides (my sister died of this disease 12 years ago at 33).

You have come to a good place. Glad you have joined us sorry you are here.

peace, emily the resident nutrition nag :-)

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hello and welcome to both you and your wife. This must feel devastating. I am currently a one year stage III survivor, and can well remember the frantic search for more info last year at this time.
Stay strong and focused; a local oncologist wrote a book entitled "The Anatomy of Hope", in which he states that every oncologist's first job is to instill in his/her patient the feeling that together they will manage what lies ahead. Should be required reading for every MD, especially those who hide safely behind statistics. They are just numbers. If you survive, your odds are 100% and any of us could get hit by a bus tomorrow.
Hope you have taken heart from some of the stories here; sounds like you and your wife are in this together.
My prayers are with you both. Judy

johnom's picture
johnom
Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2004

Dear JKendall,
No matter what, don't quit! Don't buy what the doctor is telling you as gospel truth!

Go to page 135 on this discussion board and look at the replies to gadney, especially the reply from England 44. You will see what all of us are saying. You can beat a 70% chance. Lot's of people writing and reading these messages have done it.

Keep coming back. You will find this site is irresistable because of the hope, help and heart that is displayed by all the semi colons.

MUGGINS
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2004

HI, I'M SO SORRY YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE GROUP. MY SISTER-IN-LAW AND BEST FRIEND WAS DIAGNOSED MARCH OF 2004 W/STAGE IV COLON CANCER W/METS TO HER OVARIES. AFTER SURGERY SHE STARTED WITH AVISTAN AND A COUPLE OTHER CHEMO COMBINATIONS. SO FAR HER SCANS HAVE BEEN CLEAR. SHE WILL GET ANOTHER SCAN IN DECEMBER. WE HOPE IT TO WILL BE CLEAR. THIS IS A WONDERFUL GROUP TO COME TO FOR INFORMATION, VENTING AND EVEN HUMOR. I WILL KEEP YOUR WIFE IN MY PRAYERS.

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