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JL1988
Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2009

My 43 year old husband was diagnosed this month with stomach and liver cancer. The doctor did not offer much hope past 10 months---what do I do next? Please help me--I can not stop crying. Is chemo the way he needs to go? Will chemo make his last months (if these are his last months) unbearable?

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

The first thing I would do is to seek a second opinion. When dealing with something of this nature, I would not rely on the estimation of one individual to provide a final 'verdict'.

The second thing I would do is to realize that there is no expiration date stamped on our foreheads, and that even if we have cancer that has metastasized to vital organs, there is really no surefire way for anyone to predict our demise. Each case is different, each person different, each cancer different, each treatment different, each effect different.

That said, and assuming the worst, there are a number of pro-active measures you and your husband can take to make these months (and years?) memorable ones.

I like to remind folks that cancer, by its nature, can take much from us, including our lives, but it is us who allow it to take much more, so much more, our happiness, our serenity, our love, even. Which is to say, there are certain things beyond our control, perhaps, when it comes to cancer, but there are a great number of others that we CAN control, if we will ourselves to do so.

For starters, get the legal mumbo jumbo out of the way at once. It is a very difficult thing to do, to decide on code orders (DNR and so forth), wills, and such, as they cold, stark reminders of impending demise. So: get them out of the way and behind you as soon as possible. They do not mean death after all, and will still be there 30 years from now if this diagnosis is incorrect.

Next, decide that you are going to have memorable times together, happy times, "bucket list" times, if you will, rather than wallowing in despair. Do NOT let cancer take away these last days and months and years. Make them the best of your lives. You are entitled to these days and months and years. Cancer will have what it will, but it is NOT entitled to these days, these months, these years.

As for chemotherapy, talk to your doctors, of course. It sounds like you are heading quickly into quality versus quantity of life issues. It is a slippery slope between living longer and living better. There will come a time, if the diagnosis is correct, when quality of life will go by the wayside, and your husband will be living only to sustain the quantity of life. You folks need to decide what to do, where the line must be drawn.

Chemotherapy can be a vital part of sustaining both quality and quantity of life. Your doctors know this. If they are any good at their craft, they will play with the treatment in such a way that they extend life without abusing quality in a drastic fashion, for as long as possible.

That is a blunt assessment.

I wish your husband and his family the very best.

Take care,

Joe

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

JL, I am sorry that you and your family is going through this shock. I admire Joe's feedback. I think he is so right about getting things in order and enjoying life and not allowing cancer to be all that we are all about.

I am in surveillance with a serious and rare cancer. I am working very hard to appreciate and enjoy life and the people in it that bring me joy and happiness.

I would add one more thing to the list of things that may help. Guided imagery and meditation. I am a passionate believer in the power of the mind and recommend the book that helped me so much, Getting Well Again by O. Carl Simonton. He worked with terminal cancer patients in the 70's as a radiologist. He pioneered mind-body medicine in the western world. This book is an easy read with hands on exercises that will help you and your husband. I supplemented this with other tools for guided imagery from integrative medicine professionals such as Andrew Weil, MD, Martin Rossman, MD and Bernie Siegal, MD.

Peace and Blessings to all. Mary Ann

kopykay
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009

Don't go by me but Memorial Sloan Kettering in NY is investigating the effects of Maitake Mushroom extract believed to help aid and possibly cure some cancers.
I found it in a vitamin store for my husband who has stage 4 lung cancer which is now spreading to his liver.
I think anything we can do to help our loved ones using alternative methods besides the conventional ones is worth a shot.

I too cannot stop the crying. My husband is the one with the strength and fortitude to give this disease a fight all the way. He was diagnosed the day after Thanksgiving Nov 2008 (he calls it his "Black Friday") and they only gave him an estimate of 3-5 months. but the good Lord has not taken him and he says he's not going anywhere yet.

His attitude and the support of me and my children and family and friends is what gives him his strength. I suggest you surround yourself with positive energy and live with cancer - do not let it take anything from you.

I pray for you and your husband on your journey. It will be a rollercoaster ride - go with the bumps and turns . . you will make it out the other side.

Maryann

suesue555
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2008

Hi, everyone,if you go to long term effects of treatment, under " Myelofibrosis"
I am seeing a cancer specialist chinese herbal medicine doctor, it may help you if
the western medicine is not help enought,my dr.helps a lot of cancer patients.

Regards
sue

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5865
Joined: Apr 2009

I would like to know more about your Chinese herbal doctor, my e-mail address is on my post please let me know.
Thanks take care and God Bless

mercey
Posts: 33
Joined: Dec 2009

To hear the word cancer and to be so young are both sickening and heart wrenching.My sister was 43 when she had breast cancer.She is now 60.My mom was 72 ..colon cancer,,now 84... my oldest brother..58..lost the fight with a rare form of cancer 4 years ago and my dad 72 lost his battle with lung cancer.. So 21 months ago when I was told at the age of 52 that I had terminal 3rd stage inoperable lung cancer...it was the blow I had prayed I would never hear! I have a friend who was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer with a spot on her liver a month before me when her treatments did not help!! The drs called in hospice and she refused to be tested anymore.She like me was going to give our cancer to our creator with a promise, Jesus! My last PET scan on Dec.11th still shows me to be cancer free!My drs. can not explain it.I did have aggressive chemo and radiation treatments which I refused to finish after much prayer.As for my friend who was diagnosed months before me and still has hospice coming by her house..well she and her husband just got back from a vacation week in Tennesse..She has not been tested in a year..I would ask you to get the book..Recieve a Miracle Healing. by T.L.Osborn.It is an older book.I don't know what you believe..but I do know when it comes to life..we are willing to give anything a shot..You are in my prayers, Jill

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