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Stage IV - Oncologist Appointment Very Positive

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hello all,

 

I posted a few weeks ago stating that my father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and it was determined through a PET scan that there is a .7cm nodule on his liver and two .7cm nodules on his lungs. Therefore, Stage IV. 

However, the appointment with the oncologist was interesting and in my opinion very positive. Here's how it went:

The oncologist walked in to the room and the first thing he said is "you don't have a lot of cancer." That perked my mom and dad up quite a bit. The next thing he said is that he will live "many years."

The treatment route they have decided on is chemo every other week for 6 months. The oncologist said there is a very high chance that this can knock out the liver and lung nodules since they are so small. He hesitated on calling them tumors and instead stuck with nodules. 

He has his port installed two days later and chemo this past Tuesday. The first day of chemo he was very hungry and kept telling my mom that after the treatment they were going to Burger King. He also has been drinking Ensure shakes and he really enjoys them. He was hungry until the third day when they took the port off and gave him a shot (can't remember what it's called). 

He is still eating. Some days more than others. On Saturday he was in some pain but he said "it felt like the tumors were burning up." Only the tumor sites in his colon hurt he said. 

We are all very positive and so are his doctors. He said he is bound and determined to get through this. 

I'll update as we go!

Thanks all, 

-Megan

traci43's picture
traci43
Posts: 433
Joined: Jul 2007

There are many of us on this board that have been dealing with stae IV colon cancers for many years.  I hope that the chemo can knock out the nodules and that your dad continues to deal well with the treatment.  I had the opposite effect, I wouldn't eat or drink for the 3 days with the pump.  Good for him!

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Traci, 

Im sorry to hear you did not have a good experience with chemo. It is early in his treatment so it's possible that down the road he may not have the greatest experience, but we can only hope he somehow sail smoothly through... 

How are you doing now in your journey?

jen2012
Posts: 1198
Joined: Aug 2012

Great news Megan! Hope things continue to go well!

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you for the kind words, Jen.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2230
Joined: Oct 2011

Having a smaller tumor load is definitely a good thing.  And when it comes to eating, I'm a fan of encouraging people on chemo to eat whatever sounds good to them, so if a burger makes the cut, then I say take him to BK as much as he likes!

Thanks for the update, and tell your dad we're rooting for him!

AA

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi AA, 

Thanks so much for the encouraging response. How have you been on your journey recently?

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2230
Joined: Oct 2011

and am very fortunate to continue to be NED.  Almost two years now, so a good sign.  Thanks for asking!

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

That's wonderful!! I'm so glad to hear. :)

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4248
Joined: Feb 2009

Sounds like some encouraging news for sure.  Glad that he is eating so well and make sure he continues, especially during treatment or just right before.  Wishing success through his treatment and thank you for the update.

Kim

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Annabelle, thank you for the kind words! He makes sure to eat three meals a day and drink his Ensure! He's determined to continue that.

Dumbfounded's picture
Dumbfounded
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 2013

That does sound positive!! My Oncologist told me the same thing about eating. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. Hope everything continues to go well for you and your family.

Good Luck!

D

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Thanks, D! 

So Worried
Posts: 111
Joined: Aug 2012

It sounds like your father is doing well so far and that's awesome news! I think it's a good sign that the oncologist was so positive. There can be some side effects from the chemo from time to time and a lot of people here are great with experiences they can share although the standard is to check with your Dr. of course. I'm glad he's eating well and I just wanted to say hi, welcome and my prayers go out to your father and you as well. 

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi there! 

Thanks for the positive words. Bad weather seems to put him down but he knows his end goal is to get through this. 

PatchAdams
Posts: 272
Joined: Nov 2011

Chemo is not a cure for colon cancer.  It can beat it back, shrink it, put it into remission, but it will come back.  I would highly suggest your dad see a surgeon about having these teeny tiny spots removed because surgery would be done 'with curative intent'.  

 

Why was the colon tumor not removed surgically?  That should be first and foremost!!! 

 

I'll share a couple of links. 

Arch Surg -- Abstract: Solitary Colorectal Liver Metastasis: Resection Determines Outcome, May 2006, Aloia et al. 141 (5): 460

 

Two-Stage Resection and Improved Chemotherapy Regimens Lengthen Survival for Patients with Liver Metastases from Colorectal Cancer

 

Remember that radiologists push radiation

Surgeons push surgery

Oncologists push chemo

 

It's up to you to do your homework and choose what offers the best chance of a cure!  Good Luck! 

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Patch,

Thanks for the information. I have told him this but he is very against surgery at this point. He actually chose to go chemo first and then surgery if needed (which I am sure it will have to happen). He is not receiving radiation, only chemo, but I believe he has only talked to the oncologist. I think the goal is to make a decision on his three month scan and see where everything is going. This treatment was recommended by a group at CSoA and Fox Chase but I am not at the appointments so can only go based on what my parents tell me. 

UncleBuddy
Posts: 614
Joined: Aug 2013

My brother originally had stage 2a rectal cancer. They did chemo AND radiation before the surgery, did the surgery and gave him a temp ileostomy which was later reversed and then more chemo. It's a year later and now it spread to lungs and liver. Right now he's only getting chemo but they said they will re-evaluate surgery once they see what is happening with the chemo (I believe 6 months). 

Most people I have spoken to tell me they have had chemo and radiation before the surgery, but everyone is different. Is it possible for you to speak with his doctors to find out more information? As family, we are more worried when we don't know what is going on. Sometimes speaking with the doctors will alleviate your worries. Unfortunately, it's his call whether to have surgery or not. That's why I think speaking to his doctor may help. Maybe the doctor is trying to shrink the tumor to make it easier to operate?

Good luck!

SilentRenegade
Posts: 46
Joined: Sep 2013

I believe that may be the case. I know my dad is taking a one day at a time approach. I think they want to "zap" as much of it as they can. Like the oncologist said, he doesn't have a lot of cancer. This is the first step of the process and we are taking the small victories as they come. 

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