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UPDATE - Father Diagnosed with Colon Cancer

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hello, 

I posted the below a bit ago and received the most uplifting responses. I wanted to give all of you an update based on his oncologist appointment today. 

Obviously they received a TON of information that I think they are still trying to digest. However, the doctor started the appointment by telling my mom that she is his witness when he says tha my father will have many years to livamend that he doesn't have "a lot of cancer." the doctor did say that he was pretty surprised on what was going on, though. He has Stage IV Colon cancer that has gone to his lung AND Stage IV Rectal cancer that spread to his liver. He has had it for years and his own body has actually been fighting off the majority of it, which I thought was awesome. 

The oncologist said that he believes he can be treated solely using chemo, but they will gauge this as time goes. He will be on chemo for 3-6 months, with treatments once every 2 weeks. Obviously the doctor did not guarantee a 100% cure but was very positive that they could get the majority of it. 

I did feel like a big weight was lifted. My mother's voice was noticeably different after the appointment than it has been since the diagnosis. 

I have not received the information on what chemo he was on. He said "one is something fox" which I think is FOLFOX? 

I will post as I find out additional information! 

Thank you all.

Hello all. 

 

I am new here and never thought I would be looking at this type of information... Sadly my father was diagnosed with colon cancer about 2 weeks ago after going in for a colonoscopy. He is 65. 

 

The following CT scan showed that the tumors in the colon looked "small" and "confined" but they spotted small nodules on his lungs and liver that were very tiny. The following PET scan showed that those are cancerous as well. The doctor said they cannot even say they are tumors because they are so tiny and were caught early. 

 

They have cancelled the surgery appointment and want him to start on chemo right away. Then they will do the surgery. My father is in good spirits. He says that he will just follow what they say and get it over with. My mother, him, and myself have a feeling that he will make it through, but I know the statistics. 

 

I am here mainly to hear any success stories... My father is in good health in all other areas. The blood work all came back normal, he is active, and a healthy weight. Also, he has no other conditions such as IBS, Chron's, etc. Since I do have a history of ongoing bowel issues, my PCP sent me to a specialist right away even though I'm only 25.

 

Its very hard right now to function when I'm not at work or with a group of people. Talking to him and my mother is also very helpful because he sounds very normal considering. 

 

Another question... I've read about marijuana helping... Thoughts? 

 

Sorry if this is all over the place. 

 

-Megan

 

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1321
Joined: Jan 2013

We really wish you didn't need to find this site, and that your dad didn't get diagnosed with cancer, but he has and you have definitely found the right place.

The initial shock of finding out that your dad has colon cancer will wear off, especially when he gets going with his treatments. Knowing that something is benig done is a HUGE relief.

I am glad that dad is in overall good health, that will be a HUGE help; and it sounds as though he is being positive and facing things head on. Being positive is a HUGE key. Not just him, but your mum and you too. The more positive vibes around the better off he will be. 

Of course there will always be fears, but if you can contain them to a short peroid of time, you'll be surprised how normal and happy one can be in spite of the journey.  During those first weeks after I was diagnosed, I would allow myself to fear the worst for a short period of time when I first went to bed and then I would fill myslef with positive thoughts. It worked for me. 

You will find many a person here who has battled this dreaded disease and come out on top even if the fight is still on. I know you will find inspiration, support and information. 

Stick around and we'll walk the walk with you and your family. 

Blessings. 

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Trubrit, 

 

Thank you so much for the beautiful response. I do feel like an emotional roller coaster. I am very glad I found this place... The stories I've read so far are very inspiring! 

Deena11
Posts: 193
Joined: Nov 2012

Megan-

You've come to the right place.  The people here are like a family.  So many different experiences and great sharing.

It sounds like they have caught your dad's cancer early.  Good.  He is in a positive mood.  Also good.  I had stage III cacer and finished my chemo treatments a little over a year ago.  I tried to stay as positive as I could and I think that helped me deal with a lot.  I found that quite a few people who finished their treatments and have clear blood tests and scans don't come to this board as frequently as the ones who are still in treatment.  There a lot of success stories.  They just may not be posting them to this board anymore.  

I know it is a scary journey for you and your family.  Keep coming back to this board.  We want to support you by sharing our experiences.

Your father is lucky to have such a caring daughter.  Try to stay positive even in the hard times.

Deena

jen2012
Posts: 1186
Joined: Aug 2012

HI Megan,

I don't have any advice for you ...just understanding.  My husband was diagnosed last August and the first couple of months are so difficult.  Just try to take things as they come and realize that stressing won't change anything.  Easy to say I know, but things do get easier to handle - once treatment starts you feel like something is being done and you get into the routine.     My husband tolerated the chemo fairly well - I hope your dad does too.  Good luck to you all. 

gadsden
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Megan
I am sorry to hear about your father. The only information I can give you is what I went through.  I was 43 when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. My first surgery they removed part of my colon, and I was in the hospital for 7 days.  I ended up back in the hospital 2 days later, there was a perforation in the colon. They did another surgery and I received a colostomy bag, and I was in the hospital for another 10 days. I went to Danna Farber and I was told that I had stage 3, and I may be stage 4. There was spots on my liver and they were concerned about that. I had a CT and a MRI scan a month later. The liver was ok no cancer.  I started chemo and did 12 treatments one every other week for six months. Chemo was not as bad as I thought (it was no day at the beach) I still worked during chemo. Six months after chemo I had the rest of my colon removed, this was a two part surgery.  Three months after that surgery they removed my colostomy bag and that was my last surgery (that surgery was called “j-pouch”).  My first surgery was Dec 2011, and I finished Chemo July 2012. I have to go for blood work every 3 months, and scans every six months. I wish your father well. My advice to him and you would be don’t focus to much on the long term take each day as it comes. I don’t live my life with blinders on, I don’t focus too much on cancer, I live my life to the fullest.

Happyhar
Posts: 49
Joined: Apr 2010

Megan, This is a wonderful, understanding place to be. All understand because all have been there. You will meet some real fighters. I am one of the luckier ones. StageIIIB surgery Dec. 09, Folfox 4 then 6 Chemo thru Aug 2010. Chemo is no picnic,but sounds like you Dad is strong and sensible. Attitude is everything. Allowing family and friends to support is also important. I just, Jul 31st, had surgery for a small lung tumor that matastisized from the colon. This surgery was " a breeze". I am about to begin an oral Chemo drug to get the other buggers that may still be running around. It ain't fun, but as you will see from this site, there are ways to combat this insidious desease. If you are so inclined, Prayer and solid Faith help more than anything else. Blessings to you and yours.

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hello all, 

Thank you very much for the responses and inspirational stories and advice. When I spoke to him yesterday he sounded really good. He even said that he really doesn't even feel sick and that he's more worried about getting Alzheimer's disease than this! 

I am very glad I found this site. I cannot imagine actually going through this as just being a bystander is hard enough. I extend my thoughts and prayers to all of you as well. 

 

-Megan

LindaK.
Posts: 300
Joined: Apr 2013

You sound like a wonderful caring daughter.  Having just been through this with my husband, I can give you some pointers on helping them out.  One of our daughters is an RN, which was 99% fantastic and 1% not so much.  She guided us through the medical process, but once in a while, did overstep her bounds as a daughter.  Cancerville was a strange new world to all of us and without her medical expertise we would have been lost.  She also worked at the hospital my husband was a patient in so she knew a lot of people there.  Once or twice she'd be out in the hall discussing her father's case with someone my husband couldn't see (since he had an NG tube and was tethered to the wall of his room).  He would get SO mad and yell out "The patient is in HERE" since he thought things might be said without him being included in the discussions.  While infuriating my husband, it was always innocent conversations.  Just be aware of keeping your father (and mother) in the loop on all information you get.  Another time at the first chemo appointment, I caught her motioning to the oncologist (who she also knew before we met him) about something behind our backs.  That was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I had a little hissy fit about it.  It was one of my few meltdowns.  She wanted to be at all the appointments, treatments, etc.  We finally had to ask her not to come since many of the times it would end up being a chit-chat session for her and all the people she knew.  I had no more tolerance for it.  Her feelings were a little hurt and I can't blame her since she dropped everything to be by his side for several weeks.  She is that kind of person, like I said 99% fantastic. 

I would suggest being supportive by offering to go to appointments and treatment, but not forcing yourself.  I would also suggest a daily phone call to check on hydration, vomiting or diarrea, fevers, pain, etc.  EVERYthing should be reported to the oncologist.  Ours had a 24-hour phone line and we called it several times, especially at the beginning of treatment.  My husband ended up back in the ER after extreme constipation which led to another obstruction.  Thankfully our daughter had stopped over to check his vitals and took him right in to the treatment center, where he was sent to Radiology and then the ER (all in the same building thankfully).  If you keep on top of any problems, your father will hopefully stay ahead of any serious issues.

I know my parents (in their late 80s) tend to just accept everything the doctor says.  Don't be afraid to speak up or ask questions here or with the oncologist.  You will be learing alot over the next few months.  Good luck to you and your father!

Linda

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Linda, 

That is very insightful! I will only be at appointments that I can be available for. My mother is the second set of ears so to speak in most cases. The one thing I have to watch for is looking up too much on the Internet. The doctors advised my parents against this and I can see why. I prefer the personal stories such as what I see here. 

 

I'm definitely not a nurse so I don't think I could really help at an appointment anyway except maybe asking an insane amount of questions. 

 

Once again I thank ALL of you for taking out the time to tell your stories and give advice. 

 

-Megan

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1321
Joined: Jan 2013

Yes, the internet can scare the bee gees out of you, so be careful.

I'm sure your mum is going to be a great help and then when you are able to go, that will be extra good.

I hope your dad has a notebook or two so that he can jot down all his questions and symptoms.  I went in with a list as long as your arm, and my Oncologist was happy to go through everything, even though some of my questions may have been quite odd.  My second notebook I used to keep a record of my vitals, which I took every motning, then noted all that was happening to my body and mind.

Just some ideas. Different things work for different people.

Be sure and keep us updated on all that goes on. We're glad your here, as there's nothing more we like than sharing and helping. 

LindaK.
Posts: 300
Joined: Apr 2013

Megan, the nurses at the treatment center will be your "go to" people since you usually don't see the oncologist for very long on treatment days.  The nurses we had were all great - very patient and willing to answer any and all our questions.  Good luck with your dad, keep up updated.

Linda

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1321
Joined: Jan 2013

While I agree that the nurses are wonderful and can answer questions, the Oncologist is the one who is treating your father and thus he makes the time to answer any and all questions that are asked. Heaven knows you pay enough for that office visit before the treatment. 

When I had questions between office visits, I would happily talk to the nurses, and if they couldn't answer the question they would happily go and consult the Doctor.

 

LindaK.
Posts: 300
Joined: Apr 2013

I meant that the nurses were great for the day-to-day side effects, education, etc. in the place we went.  Of course the oncologist is the lead caregiver, but the nurses we had would go get the doctors (sometimes several  times during a treatment) if they were needed.  Our treatment center may work a little differently than yours.  The doctors were always approachable too. Smile

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you both for the input! I am sure we will talk to whoever we need to and hopefully they will be nice!

danker
Posts: 730
Joined: Apr 2012

I was 77 when I was diagnosed. Radiation & chemo before resection.  various complications.but overcame them all. Now 81 and NED since mid 2010.  So it can be beat.  Good Luck to your dad !!!

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

That's wonderful that you are NED! I am hoping that we can say the same in the future! :)

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2181
Joined: Oct 2011

I'm very sorry that your family is going through this.  It's a hard road to walk, that's for sure, maybe one of the hardest.  But we'll try and support you and provide info as best we can!  I think you'll find that there will be someone here who can give you input on just about any question you might have.  We've got a lot of veterens, including a number of people wth stage 4 cancer (including me).

You mentioned marijuana...I live in WA where medical mj has been legal for a while (and mj just for fun is now legal too, of course), so I got an authorization for it.  It can be very helpful, esp for nausea and sleep issues.  If you have access to it in your state, it's definitely something to consider.  It's important as a cancer patient to use every tool in the tool box, and medical mj is one of many drugs that can help combat the side effects that will come with treatment.

Do you know yet what chemo your dad will be on?

Hugs to you both~AA

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi AA, 

We don't know yet what they are putting him on. He goes on Friday so I will post an update then. 

Thank you for the input regarding MJ. I am researching the state laws (NJ), but can get it from somebody  (never thought I'd have to but I have no problem doing that if it will help him). 

I wish it was easier to get here since I've read and heard about how much it helps people.

 

Thank you so much for the advice!

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2742
Joined: May 2009

So sorry the hear of his diagnosis.   Stage 4, after colon surgery and 60% liver resection, I'm still here. Almost 5 years since diagnosis.   Keep up the good spirits. 

 

 

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2742
Joined: May 2009

Let's see if thus works. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_mIn0GOZsA&sns=em

 

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Nana,

That radio cast was very interesting! Thank you for sharing with me! It's incredible that youlive gone through all that! You sound so strong!!

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2181
Joined: Oct 2011

if I were in your shoes.  I don't know what it's like where you live, but busting people for pot went down to the bottom of the cop's priority list here in Seattle a long time ago.  Possession of under a certain amount (not sure how much, but probably at least a baggie) was just a misdemeanor.  Of course, Seattle is its own kind of animal, having had Hempfeast (with lots of public smoking) for years.

Know any teenagers (both my daughters said they could easily purchase it for me, before I got my authorization...I did draw the line at turning the kids into accomplices)?

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

I actually don't know any teenagers, but I know people who always have it. I'm not actually going out to find it myself... I live to close to some bad areas for that! But if I absolutely had to,, I'd consider it. I'd find a way!

oneton0557
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2013

Megan, Hi.

J.D. here. I;m approachng my 3rd anniv of stage-4 cc. My first comment is: don"t believe the current survival percentages. These numbers are generated over quite a time peroid and cannot keep up w/ the new drugs & treatments. His chances are much better than you might think. Now. Get in there and push, push , push for the strongest, hardest chemo program your dad can stand. Then go a bit more. My PCP read my chemo history and said w/ an amazed look on his face - "they were throwing sledge hammers at you. And you made it!". Point being, don't start his journey laid back. Fight big, fight hard now.

You're in the community now. Blessings will flow. Just wait and see.

Good luck Friday.

J.D.

oneton0557
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2013

Megan, Hi.

J.D. here. I;m approachng my 3rd anniv of stage-4 cc. My first comment is: don"t believe the current survival percentages. These numbers are generated over quite a time peroid and cannot keep up w/ the new drugs & treatments. His chances are much better than you might think. Now. Get in there and push, push , push for the strongest, hardest chemo program your dad can stand. Then go a bit more. My PCP read my chemo history and said w/ an amazed look on his face - "they were throwing sledge hammers at you. And you made it!". Point being, don't start his journey laid back. Fight big, fight hard now.

You're in the community now. Blessings will flow. Just wait and see.

Good luck Friday.

J.D.

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi J.D.,

That sounds like such an incredible battle! The people on this site including yourself give so much hope to others. It also shows us that people can fight on no matter how bad it may seem. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. 

janderson1964
Posts: 1525
Joined: Oct 2011

I am one month away from my 8 year anniversery of being diagnosed stage IV and am still going STRONG. You and you family have plenty of reasongs to be optimistic. Optimism itself is good medecine for this disease.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 2742
Joined: May 2009
SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi J, 

Thats wonderful to hear! 8 years is quite a bit of time!! 

We are staying very optimistic and believe he can get through and eventually past this! 

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