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Husband Newly Diagnosed - Scared

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

My 48 year old husband was just diagnosed with colon cancer.  He went in for his first colonoscopy last week and they found a 5 cm mass in his sigmoid colon.  We only have the preliminary pathology report now, we will get the final one on Friday, hopefully.  He had a CT scan with contrast which also showed the tumor but was inconclusive as to whether or not the cancer had spread.  He will have an MRI on Saturday and we will get referred to a surgeon next week once his MRI and all his lab work is in.  This has hit us so quick and so fast and I am still trying to accept this diagnosis.  My husband has been healthy most of his life and we never thought this would happen.  I had my own fight with breast cancer a few years ago and I never thought we would be facing this again in our family!

Any words of encouragement and feedback on what to expect going forward would be much appreciated.  Thank you!

 

Christine

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5512
Joined: Jan 2013

I am so sorry to have to welcome you here though. Its not the best club in the world; but now you are here, I can tell you that you have come to the right place for support and answers to your questions. 

Having been through the Cancer mill yourself, you don't need to know about the roller coaster of emotions, the hopes and the fears. 

I can tell you that things will begin to settle down once you know what the plan of action is. 

There are many here at different stages. Our 2 & 3 stages tend to withdraw from the forum once they have made it through the maddness of treatment, so you may see allot of Stage IV here, which can make you think that its all doom and gloom, but there are allot of us who are doing tremedously well, even at Stage IV. There are also allot who are still riding the road of treatments, fighting the fight with all they have. And sadly, you will see a fair number; too many for our liking; who have passed away. 

So, the next step is to wait to hear what the MRI has to tell you, and where the Oncologist wants you to go from here. 

Sue - Trubrit

eveilyn
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2015

Hello Christine.

I just finished my chemo treatment for stage 3 colon cancer.  I was diagnosed on Halloween morning last year and had the surgery (colectomy) tdinghat afternoon, my right side. The surgeon also removed my appendix. I didn't even had time to digest the inforamtion. It had to be done because I had been in pain for over 1year! I MADE IT THROUGH!!!! So will your husband. Your family been through it before so they know what to expect and were strong for you and now they will be strong for him too!

Sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

Warm regards,

Eve

 

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

Thank you so much!  My husband is in quite a bit of pain and I'm getting worried this might be worse than we thought.  I keep hanging onto his MRI report showing no cancer in his liver and that his CEA is in the normal range.  The pain he is in is pretty bad though.  We still have 4 more days until the surgery.  Just praying it is stage I.

 

Christine

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I am sorry you have to be here but welcome. Your are right that things move so fast in the begining it will make your head spin, but hopefully you and your husband will be able to pull from your breast cancer experience to keep things in perspective and your emotions under control

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

that seems so unfair that your family got hit twice, but there's nothing fair about cancer, is there? Lets hope he's staged very low. We can offer more practical advice once we know his treatment plan. Folks here have done just about all of them including clinical trials of new drugs. Immunotherapy seems promising in finding a cure, who knows?, a breakthrough may be just around the corner. In the meantime stay strong, optimistic and loving. You've been through it, think back on what you needed from your husband then and give that to him now. He's lucky to have you. There have been many caregiver spouses on this site (mostly wives) but I've always found it odd the person that actually has the cancer stays quiet. Why aren't both of you posting? You both need support, you both have questions and you're probably both scared. Does he tell you to ask us things? No judgement, just wondering out loud. If he's the strong silent type that's determined to gut it out I would caution him that it might hurt his outcome. It seems like with this disease unexpected things happen all the time and treatment plans get tweeked a lot. People react wildly differently to the same meds and not saying something can get you 'you know what.' Stay calm and good luck, any cancer is bad but stage 1 or 2 is no sweat. 3 and 4 are worse but beatable. Best wishes!

Easyflip/Richard

danker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

Happy you found our forum.  As Sue said, you will know more in thje next few weeks.Don't be afraid.  It may be a bumpy road,but it is doable.If you look up my history,you will see even old men can beat it!! So take heart, and just live it a day at a time,  Good luck to you both!

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

Thank you all for your support!  We just got this news and don't know what stage it is yet so we are trying to gather as much information as possible right now.  My husband is feeling pretty good other than some minor stomach discomfort.  We are really hoping we caught this at an early stage.  We don't have an appointment scheduled with the surgeon yet, but the GI doctor is still gathering all his lab work and test results and the MRI which will happen on Saturday.  I really wish we could get an appointment sooner with the surgeon, but I guess he needs all the test results first.  Just hoping it does not take too much longer. We were told we would hear something from the surgeon early next week.

 

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

Thank you, I really appreciate your feedback!  I tend to be a planner by nature, but I am trying to go a day at a time.

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Christine,

Sorry you are dealing with cancer in your family once again.  

As you know, the waiting is the worst part.  I wouldn't hesitate to be a bit pushy if you could move up those appointments.  We were lucky to have a doctor friend in the facility when my husband was first diagnosed and he got a few appts moved up for us.  It's just too much stress waiting. 

Hoping to see a good update from you soon!

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

How do we find out what stage the cancer is at?  All we were told by the GI doctor is that it is cancer.  Would the final pathology report have that information or do we have to wait until surgery is scheduled?

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I would think he would have ordered at CT or PET scan. Surgery will usually be able to tell the stage up to stage 3. They will take several lymph nodes in the area of the resection to see if the cancer has travelled through the lymph nodes. But he also needs to do a scan to see if there are any metastasis to distant organs. Usually the liver or lungs. But hopefully they caught it early.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5512
Joined: Jan 2013

I was staged when pathology came back from the tumour they removed.  The amount of lymph nodes, if any, can give them a heads up on spread. The MRI should be a good indicator, and a PET if you can fight with insurance to get it covered. 

Do you know if he had a CEA blood test done? Its not the most reliable marker, but its a help for some people. 

So much info coming at you, its hard to keep it all in place. 

Sue - Trubrit

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

Sue,

Yes, he did have a CEA test done and the results were low if I remember correctly, which was good news.  The MRI showed no cancer in his liver or lungs which was a relief.  His lymph nodes were swollen and he is having pain in his lower abdomen.  (The tumor is in his sigmoid colon).   He goes in for surgery on 14 July.  We will not know if there is cancer in the lymph nodes until after surgery.  I'm concerned about the pain he is in now, but I am hoping for stage 1 and that all the cancer will be removed during surgery

SURFERMOM
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2015

Aloha Christine,

My thoughts , prayers and hugs go out to your Husband, you and your family. I am 47 and was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer and Lynch syndrome. I have had a partial colectomy, appendectomy,and total hysterectomy. Like thats not enough I also have a partial small bowel obstruction  with vaso vagal episodes.  I did not choose to have cancer but now that I have it I have found a light at the end of the tunnel with all of my new cancer friends. The support you will find here is healing in itself.

Prayers,

Surfermom

 

UncleBuddy
Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

You'll find a lot of support and helpful information here. I believe once they finish doing the MRI they should have a better idea as to whether it metasticized to other regions, which will help the doctor stage his cancer. My brother has mets to the lungs and liver, so he is stage 4, but "living with cancer." I say that because he may go for chemo every other week but he considers himself to be a fighter and is going on with his life as if the cancer isn't there (except for the chemo treatments).

My brother and your husband are the reason I feel colonoscopies should be done at a much younger age, at least 10 years earlier than the age 50 that is recommended. 

Before you go back to the oncologist or surgeon, make a list of questions to ask. Bring a notebook to write down the answers because you may be overwhelmed and forget everything he said. Good luck!

Lin

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1303
Joined: Oct 2010

Might want to read up on cimetidine for colon cancer and these articles  cancer surgery, CRC, CAM for cancer.  Even with a bad case, they were life saving and life enhancing for us

Also  adding CEA, CA19-9, ESR, hsCRP, LDH  to your blood tests, if not already there, before and after chemo/surgery can have distinct advantages for adjuct choices and future monitoring.  Also a current 25 hydroxy vitamin D blood test is important, many CRC patients are highly vitamin D deficient.  

 

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

Thank you for the information.  He had an MRI on Saturday and we were able to get an appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday.  We are hoping for good news on Wednesday.  We still have not heard any results from his colonoscopy except the tumor is "cancer" and that the CT scan was inconclusive.  It's been hard waiting to see what stage it is, but we are hoping the stage is a low one.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5512
Joined: Jan 2013

Well, it looks like surgery is your next step. 

Get it out of there, then its gone, gone, gone. They will do the path thing and be able to stage it. It is good to know what you're dealing with. 

The surgery is a doddle (can't remember if thats an American word. Let me know if it needs to be translated) if all goes well.  Hubby will be happy to know that the tumour is out and then you can move forward with whatever comes next. 

Keep us posted. 

Sue - Trubrit

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

Sue! Never heard of doddle but I must admit Chinese was my first language. I would use 'snap' 'piece of cake' 'walk in the park' 'easy peasy' 'cakewalk' and....anyone else got any others?

Easyflip/Richard

christine4life's picture
christine4life
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2015

Will do, thanks Sue!

 

Christine

itsakraizyride's picture
itsakraizyride
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2015

My name is Sandi, and like my username says itsakraizyride. I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the colon in January of 2012, had a hemicolectomy sigmoid/decending then cancer free for 20 months. I also have Crohn's disease, which is both the reason I have cancer as well as the reason I have been able to get it early when a routine ct showed liver mets. One. 7 months Folfox then liver resection at Moffitt last October. Too late, now returned liver, lungs, peritoneum and so far 2 lymph nodes. 3 failed chemotherapies now on Erbitux...a monoclonal antibody...which helped me drop 120 points off CEA in 1 month. 351.7 to 232.5. This has been a crazy ride, but I have lost hardly any weight, feel pretty good most days considering there are other issues, and to look at me you would not know I am sick. I guess I am one of the lucky ones since this is my third rodeo, but I intend to be here a while so I guess I have to fight the good fight, keep my eyes on the prize, and live one day at a time. I have many lesions in my liver in both lobes so I am not a surgical candidate, 3 in lungs and 2 on peritoneum. Pelvic node, and axillary (armpit) I don't know why so far from each other. They say no cure for me, but it is my belief that ALL things are possible....I turned 54 last month, and my prize is my 20 months old granddaughter Maddison. I WILL walk her to her first day of kindergarten. Hello to everyone!!! 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5512
Joined: Jan 2013

It would be wonderful if you could open up your very own thread, and then we could all rush over to that and welcome you.  You can just copy and paste this great post, that would work.

Congratulations on your grandbaby. What a blessing they are (though I haven't got one myself....yet). Your positive attitude will take you far, and I bet you see more that Maddison's first day of school. 

Sue - Trubrit

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi, it will be a road that is very tough at times, but he can do it! It takes lots and lots of support, love, and patience. You are at the right place for experience and some guidance.

Gail

bigal88
Posts: 14
Joined: May 2015

I am 44 years old I had colon resection May 13 surgery biopsy confirmed colon cancer with mets to lungs and lymph node in neck.this process is truly a roller coaster of emotions.surgery was easy had it on a Wednesday mildly sore Thursday leaps and bounds better everyday after that discharged on Saturday.nothing in this process happens as fast as you would like.i had my first chemo treatment on july 8 I've been lucky.no symptoms of treatment so far.i don't post very often because I type sooooooo slow but this forum has been my my crutch people here are so helpful and informative.i wish you and your family luck.  god bless.

skeets1961
Posts: 56
Joined: Dec 2014

Hi i haven't been on here for a while but just read your post and saw that your husband is having surgery today.  Praying for him and your family.

Edie

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