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Advice Please

amy_joanne_max
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi. This is my first post. I'm just blown away - cancer has never touched my life & now within a matter of days it's destroying it. On Teusday I learned that my boyfriend has liver cancer and has been given 6 months to a year to live. On Wednesday my mom had a mastectomy for what was supposed to be stage one breast cancer, however they found it in the lymph nodes as well. My focus on this post is with the boyfriend, as my mom is out of state and has a great support network with my stepfather and young sister.

A little background... We've been together for only a month and a half. He is a Vietnam vet with pretty severe PTSD. He's beaten a cancerous tumor in his spinal cord from Agent Orange about 10 years ago. Ever since we met we've been drawn together as if by gravity, but since getting this diagnosis he seems to be trying to push me away. Hard. I am so in love with him and worry because he has no one else. He already has an awful time with trust and intimacy but we seemed to be making fantastic progress until this. I get the impression that he's trying not to upset me, but I feel like I'm going to lose him twice. I work for him too and he's every inch the workaholic he ever was. All I know about his illness other than the above information is that he has an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic on July 13th. Anyone have any advice for me?

elainey7
Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2009

He beat cancer once before and HE CAN BEAT IT AGAIN!!! Having PTSD is hard and it is not a friend of cancer by no means. Anytime we are depressed or stressed, it weakens our ability to fight off diseases.

I'm fighting Stage IV breast cancer and my local doctors told me I have maybe a year if I don't do chemo but the chemo cannot cure the cancer. I decided to put my hope in my Lord and whatever He wills, I am praying to be accepting of it... in the meantime, I am hopeful and eating better (raw veggies, no sugar, juicing, organics, pure sunlight, etc) and that has lowered my BP, eliminated my pain, and even gotten rid of my foot odor (:>

I talk to my body and tell that cancer the Lord is going to kick it's butt outta my body (and my fellow cancer fighter's bodies as well!!!) So, tell your honey bun that I will stand in prayer with him and don't give up. One day, America will have to allow progressive treatments to trickle down to us and he needs to be around for that. Many people die from cancer because they give up and give in to what the doctors tell them (but they're human just like us and should not be allowed to take away our hope). Our bodies need more of internal, mental, and spiritual healing that they cannot give us!

Whatever happens with you guys, keep loving each other and spend as much time letting each other know that. When you don't know what to do, pray for others like Job did, give it to God and tell Him what you want! Do all you can with the strength He gives you and allow His will to be done. Spend your time together (or apart) laughing with and giving to others. Take care... Ellen Elaine

amy_joanne_max
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for replying. I appreciate it. I'd like to think that pumping a body full of poison isn't the only way. After all, processed foods and the like are a part of the cancer picture -in my opinion - in the first place. I worry about his spirits the most right now. He's so angry, rightfully so - I reckon, but I hate to see him shutting the few people in his life out. Today was better - after some ranting so I guess we'll see how it goes. I know he doesn't want surgery again. I have a question. He has VA healthcare, which is not the best. He had some tests over a month ago (blood & liver enzyme)and the VA doc called him the other morning & gave him the news. My question is, can they really tell from blood and enzyme tests alone that this is liver cancer & that 6-12 months is the life expectancy?

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4340
Joined: Jun 2009

I was reading your post and thought I would add a thought or two that might be of some help.

The big blood test for Liver cancer is called CEA. It is used as a tumor marker to measure the level of cancer activity. 0-3 is GOOD for non smokers / 3-6 is normal for smokers / Above 6 is an "indication" of cancer activity and the higher the number the likelier that s.

I have no idea how they can measure time, so I can't comment on that. Only to tell you, I've been given times and just started my 6th year battling cancer. Mine started in the rectum, then moved to the Liver, and now maybe to the Lung, but I'm still battling and may be going for another big surgery and post op chemo again.

Your husband is just going back through the Grief cycle: Denial, Anger, and Acceptance. He's probably mad that he's going to have to go through that again, and you just get mad that you can't be ok. Funny, but each time you get the re-diagnosis all the patterns re-appear and you feel the same way.

A couple of options that you should look into are:

1. RFA - Radio Frequency Ablation.
This is a procedure where a multi-prong device is inserted into the tumor(s) and heated to
a very high temperature and the tumor is fried. This can be done when resection does not
appear to be an option. I had good results with it.

2. CyberKnife
This is a laser precison device that is programmed and is called radio surgery. It is
highly concentrated radiation delivered over 3-5 treatments for 2 hours each. Again,
highly effective and it worked for me on a local level.

I hope I was able to provide some insight and open up an avenue of discussion with your doctors.

-Craig

elainey7
Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm not sure that blood work alone will "tell the whole story". I will be praying that he is able to get the answers he needs because I know how horrible things are for him.

I've been looking over my medical documents (most of it's Greek to me) and I can't figure out my own lab reports so I'll have a friend of mine (she's a pathologist) interpret them for me when I get back to Colorado.

Currently, I'm in Houston and just finished my test and assessment for possible options to help me deal with my liver cancer. They said I have several spots in my liver (my oncologist in CO said I had one) and chemo is the only option. There will be a clinical research in a couple of months that my oncologist here in Houston said it has been having great results. It's not on the market yet because it has been slow in getting people to participate.

If you want, type out the lab results and I'll ask my friend about it. And let your honey bun know that he can't give up... he's not alone in this fight. Many of use are new to this and we need him to help encourage us and positively touch us heart, mind, and soul with "how he continues to endure and heal". Let me know what else I can do to help... in the mean time know that I am praying.

Ellen

babegar
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009

I have had liver problems in the past 10 years and I had surgery for a benign tumor.Now I have another one which I'll be having surgery and have followed up on it for the past 3 years but we'll see the outcomes of it soon.
I would suggest you get informed about all the possible treatments for your love one and ask for second opinion also. Also surround yourself with a support group that really helps alot.
Regarding your relationship, being together no matter what is an unforgetable experience, so if you feel he is pushing you aside get a therapist that can advise both of you how to handle this. Life is tough but the happy moments that you can stick together is so important.
Hoping you get the correct path to solve your situation.
God Bless.

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