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Hi Everyone. Im New to this Site.

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Everyone.

My husband was diagnosed in July 2010 with Stage 3 colon cancer (he was 49 at that time and our daughter was 1 1/2 years old). They removed 10 inches of his colon.  He did 6 months of chemo and presto we thought we were in the clear..... Well then in 2012 one of his scans showed a spot on his liver.  His doctors went ahead and radiated those spots. Again, we thought ok we handled that now we are good to go. (of course in the back of our minds we knew we were not) Then in Nov. 2012 his scan showed that he has several more spots on his liver, a tiny spot on his lung and now on his pelvis. (It's now upgraded to Stage 4 MET)  It's been almost 1 year of pure Hell with chemotherapy!!!  His body is starting to show signs of what chemo does do it.  We have a VERY STRONG FAITH in OUR LORD and Savior and have amazing support from friends and family.  But, I'm tired, scared and now reaching out for support.  I am going to try and join a support group here locally and get involved in small groups with caregivers.  I have all sorts of feelings and emotions that I don't know what to do with anymore but release them.

Oh and I didn't mention that my husbands mom (the rock of the whole family) was also diagnosed with lung cancer that same year he was first sick (2010).  The year in 2011 was filled with taking care of his sick mom.  His mom died in Feb. 2012.  His father is alive (87 years old) and in good health.  Today my husband is 51 years old, I am 43 years old and our beautiful daughter is 4 1/2 years old.)  

Anyways, thank you for letting me share today.

God Bless,

Kimberly

 

 

jen2012
Posts: 1255
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Kimberly

Sorry you had to find us. My husband was diagnosed Aug 2012 with stage 4. He is 48 and our kids are 16, 13, and 2! Its been a struggle...many ups and downs. I think its all normal and this is a good place to find others that completely understand. Its also a great place to find out about treatments and procedures that may help. Have the docs suggested anything besides chemo?

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

I'm so in awe with how many responses I have gotten. Thank you :)  But then I'm also so sadden by them knowing that there are so many out there feeling the samething i'm feeling.

As for any other suggestions for his cancer..... No.  They say it is basically incurable but "manageable".  We weren't thrilled with that answer needless to say.  We went out to M.D. Anderson in Texas last December and they were basically going to do the same treatment as our own hospital in town does.  We are in a town that has an awesome teaching hospital.  We also heard of that guy named Dr. Burinsky in Texas.  We also met with him that same trip last December.  We had to pay out of pocket and it was very expensive.  They do chemo but they also do gene thereapy that suppose to target the gene that is causing cancer.  My husband was so sick from chemo that he couldn't dare swallow the 40 + pills they wanted him to swallow on a daily basis.  Anyways he is only doing chemotherapy every 3 weeks until the next scan in 7 weeks then probably more chemo until the next scan....  That's pretty much been the schedule.  My main concern just recently is the chemotherapy is starting to mess with moods.  Very irritable, argumentative, angry and so on...  He gets very mean and short the day or two after his treatment.  I feel that nothing i say or do is right.  I usually have to leave the house to get away from him.  It's NOT MY HUSBAND those days.  I jokingly call it the CHEMO MONSTER.  LOL. 

Thank you so much for responding.

God Bless,

Kimberly

 

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

I'm so in awe with how many responses I have gotten. Thank you :)  But then I'm also so sadden by them knowing that there are so many out there feeling the samething i'm feeling.

As for any other suggestions for his cancer..... No.  They say it is basically incurable but "manageable".  We weren't thrilled with that answer needless to say.  We went out to M.D. Anderson in Texas last December and they were basically going to do the same treatment as our own hospital in town does.  We are in a town that has an awesome teaching hospital.  We also heard of that guy named Dr. Burinsky in Texas.  We also met with him that same trip last December.  We had to pay out of pocket and it was very expensive.  They do chemo but they also do gene thereapy that suppose to target the gene that is causing cancer.  My husband was so sick from chemo that he couldn't dare swallow the 40 + pills they wanted him to swallow on a daily basis.  Anyways he is only doing chemotherapy every 3 weeks until the next scan in 7 weeks then probably more chemo until the next scan....  That's pretty much been the schedule.  My main concern just recently is the chemotherapy is starting to mess with moods.  Very irritable, argumentative, angry and so on...  He gets very mean and short the day or two after his treatment.  I feel that nothing i say or do is right.  I usually have to leave the house to get away from him.  It's NOT MY HUSBAND those days.  I jokingly call it the CHEMO MONSTER.  LOL. 

Thank you so much for responding.

God Bless,

Kimberly

 

jen2012
Posts: 1255
Joined: Aug 2012

You say hes mean day or two after chemo...is he taking a steroid? That may be causing the mood swings.

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

Yes. They give with chemo to help with his nausea and he has a RX as well.  I know it is the steroids but it helps him from being so sick.  Damn if ya do and damn if ya don't.  LOL  but not really:(

 

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

Yes. They give with chemo to help with his nausea and he has a RX as well.  I know it is the steroids but it helps him from being so sick.  Damn if ya do and damn if ya don't.  LOL  but not really:(

 

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

Kimberly,

I'm sorry to hear that you and your husband  have joined our "club", but if you are looking for information, this is a great place to be.  The folks here are extremely helpful and caring - and more than willing to share their experiences.

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 CRC in December 2012 (just turned 50) and have been through chemo/radiation, surgery, and more chemo.  I just completed my post surgery chemo and, in my situation, will never choose chemo again (at least that's how I'm feeling now as I just finished my last round of chemo...).  I don't have any mets at this time - although I do have a possible secondary kidney cancer that I'm having scan for next week.  Of course, I have no idea if my cancer will metastisize - as it is unpredictable - but I just take it one day at a time and trust in Him. 

There are MANY on this board who have been Stage 4 for MANY years.  There ARE treatments and surgeries available - you just have to find out what works for your husband - as everyone is different.  Get second and third opinions from medical personnel. Educate yourself and do your own research.  Find a onc who will explore ALL options and not just the "standard protocol" (which is what my onc follows...). There are almost always various options available for you, should you wish to explore them - and more solutions being worked on as we speak (trials). Again, most of the information I'm telling you is as a result of me reading this board :)  Not that I follow all the advice, myself - as everyone has to make their own informed decisions.  But the information is interesting and can be helpful.

As for the chemo - it can be really hard for some people (again, everyone reacts differently to each protocol). I had a very hard time with FOLFOX - but there are other types of chemo available as well I believe, although I  haven't done any of them.  There are also medications available to counteract some of the side effects.  I hope you find what will work best for your husband.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Jenni

johnnybegood's picture
johnnybegood
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

welcome its good you have a local support group i live in a small town and dont have one so THIS place is my support.my mom found it for me when i was dx stage 3 in 2008.i did radiation,chemo to shrink the tumor and in 2009 did preventitive chemo for 6 months.like your husband in 2011 it had come back in my liver and lung(now stage 4).i had liver resection 2011 and did more chemo,had problems with platelets so i had my spleen out in feb.2013,i now have too many spots in lungs and i am inoperable will be on chemo for life and since my last onc visit did not go well it looks like i will be hitting the hard chemo again for the 3rd time.it does get frustrating but i too am a strong woman of FAITH,HE has got me this far so please dont give up.this is a great support group im glad you found us....Godbless...johnnybegood

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

I am so sorry to hear your story and all the others out there.  I'm just speechless...  You hear of other peoples storys from others but to hear all of yours out there. I'm so sick to my stomach that this disease is so known to so many :(  They basically say that my husbands is inoperable as well.  All he has is chemotherapy too:(  We pray everyday for a miracle or more time. But then who is to know when our time is except our Lord.  Thank you again for responding.  I'm so thankful to you all.

 

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

I am so sorry to hear your story and all the others out there.  I'm just speechless...  You hear of other peoples storys from others but to hear all of yours out there. I'm so sick to my stomach that this disease is so known to so many :(  They basically say that my husbands is inoperable as well.  All he has is chemotherapy too:(  We pray everyday for a miracle or more time. But then who is to know when our time is except our Lord.  Thank you again for responding.  I'm so thankful to you all.

 

steveandnat's picture
steveandnat
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

Wish the circumstances were different. I was dx with stage 4 with rectom and mets to liver and lungs in June 2009. I've had just about every type of chemo, some more effective than otherI pray pray your husband does well. This cancer thing is a realrollers coaster ride.  Stay with us for any questions you might have. I hate to hear when you have young children.  Bless you andyou're family.  Jeff

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 912
Joined: Jun 2013

I totally feel your desperation and at the same time I want to compliment you for having to go through these tough times and now for your attempt to find support from the outside. Such support group and us here can give you a lot of help.

But, don't forget that you can't do it all. Your husband needs to take charge in this and find his own outside support. This is easier for women, but harder for guys. Women are natural communicators, men tend to isolate themselves. If you do most of it and your husband doesn't participate in his own recovery, you guys will be less effective. The patient has to know what's going on, trust the medication, the treatments and the doctors. That's half of the suucess,but the essential half. 

Laz

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4409
Joined: Feb 2009

Welcome to the board and I'm glad that you found us.  It is always good to seek out support, especially going through so much.  Have you ever thought about getting a second opinion?  Sometimes that could give you other options to consider.  I'm sorry that he is going through this.  Please visit us if you have any questions or just need some reassurance.  Wishing your husband the best.

Kim

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1278
Joined: Oct 2010

We are sending our thoughts and prayers to your family!

 

Hydration, Diet, and exercise will keep his health in check.   These are not the end all, they are a piece of the battle!  Attitude, family strength, and faith will also play a large part of the battle.  I am a similar age, and cancer progress.  I can tell you eating healthy and exercise has always helped me.  Even during chemo, no matter how horible I felt, getting out for a walk with our dogs, always made me feel better.   Sometimes I only got a round the block, but our dogs always understood.  When I wanted to take a walk at 2am, they were always eager to go.

 

Fresh food and Diet will also help a lot.

Keep in touch! 

Best Always,  mike

darthhen
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2013

 

Thank you for sharing your story. Stay strong for your daughter.

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

Ok  I need help!!!  My husband just weighed himself and he is at a low 150 lbs. He is 5'9.  We need to put weight on him and fast. I know it won't be fast but it needs to start today.  Any suggestions???  Everything that is full of fat and calories is suppose to be horrible for cancer (white stuff, sugar, potatoes, rice, ect....).  We are going to meet with a nutritionist tomorrow night. But I thought i would ask you all.

Oh and everything he eats the 2nd week after chemo pretty much comes out the bottom end.  Nothing sticks to him :(

Thank you all sooooooooo much.

I am so grateful for this site you and YOU ALL!!

God Bless each one of you.

Kimberly

 

janderson1964's picture
janderson1964
Posts: 1830
Joined: Oct 2011

I am sorry you and your family have experience the Hell of cancer. We have a lot of similarities. I was diagnosed stage IV 8 years ago this month. My mother died 8 years ago next month just one week after I had my first surgery. I too have a very strong faith in the Lord which is what has helped me the past 8 years more than anything. Chemo was always a challange for me especially loosing weight, loss of appetite, nausea and yes uncontrollable diarrhea. I have been very much into diet since my diagnosis but I learned to eat as much as I could of what ever I could right before and during each treatment cycle. I will be more than happy to help you in anyway that I can.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2324
Joined: Oct 2011

I am so sorry you have to be here.  This is a hard road to walk, especially when you have children and parents to care for as well.

When it comes to gaining weight, I would encourage you to give him absolutely anything that sounds good, so long as it doesn't mess too much with his digestive system.  There is a lot of controversy about the idea that sugar causes cancer cells to grow, and just imo, at this point the important thing is to help him regain weight and strength.  That's going to help him in this fight (and just from an anecdotal perspective on the diet issue, I am stage 4, eat whatever, including sugar, and have been NED for almost two years).

Does he like milkshakes?  I lost a ton of weight at the beginning of this journey, and that was what helped me put some pounds back on, shakes made with whole milk, good quality ice cream, and fresh fruit.  You could add some protein powder too.  Even when little else would stay down, I could manage the shakes, and they do pack a caloric punch.

And it sounds like he has a problem with diarrhea?  What are they giving him for that?  There are some effective drugs out there, but it's trial and error to find the one that works for each individual.

Hugs and strength coming your way~AA

 

kimberlybishop's picture
kimberlybishop
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2013

What is NED? I'm learning the lingo. Lol

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4409
Joined: Feb 2009

No evidence of disease.  People used to call it remission but they have a new terminology for it now.  It takes a while until you understand the letters.

Kim

jen2012
Posts: 1255
Joined: Aug 2012

Nutritionist suggested we add extra oil to thinks like his serving of soup or pasts or whatever we could add fat too. I agree with AA...let him eat whatever he wants at this point. He needs to keep his weight up. Is he taking immodium or something for the diarrhea? You have to watch out for dehydration too.

Re: the steroids...can they lower his dose?

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1278
Joined: Oct 2010

Bananas, Pasta, Rice, Peanut Butter will help pack on the callories.   There were times I was eating 15 plus times a day because I was expelling 20 times a day.  Do wwhat ever it takes to keep the body stoked with fuel. Sugar is the devil at these times, because sugar will help throw off the bodies flora.  (The good bacteria.)  Probiotics will help, especially liquid probiotics.  They do not have to be expensive, I could find very good liquid probiotics for under $15 for a quart.  Taking 1 ounce every 12 hours made this a 1/2 month supply, not to bad.

 

I taught myself to bake during chemo.  Then I made bread, cakes and cookies.  I used Mollases and Honey instead of refined sugar.  I also used a lot less sugar.  This gave me good carbos to help give me energy and callories during chemo.  I put on 5 lbs when all was said and done through chemo.  It took a lot of eating and drinking tea to help me keep the weight on.

 

Fact: 65% of all chronic patients die from dehydration and starvation.  Do not let these two issues become a problem during your treatment.   During my first chemo treatment I also let myself get run down and dehydrated.  It ended me in the hospital for 8 days.  Something I vowed never to repeat.

 

We are sending you our thoughts and prayers to your husband to find the strength to keep up the good fight!

 

Best Always!   mike

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry you have to be here,but I hope your husband grts better.In 2008 I was dx with colon cancer,had surgery and a colostomy bag.In 2012 the cancer came back,and spread to my liver.I did chemo cocktail with steriods then.I had radiation the first time.The first time I lost 60 lbs. down to 140,the second time I only lost 30 lbs. down to 150 lbs.I gained weight by eating Ice cream,italian sausage,potato chips,etc.I had to eat a little at a time because I'm also diabetic.It was very hard but I had to go places I like to go to,to try and live as normal as I can.That seemed to help.Since my liver resection I have been NED.This year I had a tumor in my spine but it was non cancerous.I had to relearn to walk and I can walk on my own but not very well yet.Support would help your husband alot,especially if they were handy.I'm lucky,my mom is the healthy one and she's 84.I hope everything works out for him.I have a neighbor who was only given 3-6 months but that was 17 years ago,he has to do lifetime chemo,but he can still do everything normal.When you need anything we are here,even to vent.Good luck.

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