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34 yo husband dx stage IV

zigswife
Posts: 62
Joined: Jul 2009

After some complications from a back surgery, we found out a couple of weeks ago that my husband (34 yo) had a tumor in his large intestine with mets in the liver (3 spots). He is starting chemo in a couple of weeks after he is recovered from having the original tumor removed, with the hope of qualifying for resection. There were NO signs/symptoms/indications that the cancer was present (and still nothing in his blood work!)and the surgeon said the original tumor had probably been growing for about 5 years.

We have a two year old and infant twins so are still in shock and riding the emotional roller coaster about what the future holds. I have of course been reading obsessively about everything I can and came across this message board. I would love any information/insights from others who have or are dealing with stage IV colon cancer.

snommintj's picture
snommintj
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

I was diagnosed at 34. Stage 4 multiple mets to liver. Originally considered inoperable. I was given 2-3 months. Things changed some after chemo. I responded well and had surgery, then another, then another. I was cancer free for about 3 weeks. Then a few spots showed up in my lungs and then again in my liver. I just finished a few rounds of chemo and am looking forward to a few weeks off. I will be 36 next week. I suggest finding a good surgeon and cancer team. With a little luck he will be cancer free in as little as 4 months and will stay that way after surgery.

Oceansaway
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2009

I am very sorry to hear this news. But remember there is always HOPE! Do snommintj said -- find a good surgeon and cancer team. Get a second opinion on his treatment options. Read Emily and Scouty and others' posts about using diet and exercise as a supplementary way to combat the disease. Even many people who are on this board have successfully fought off Stage IVs and there should be more of those examples outside this board. Keep your spirits up, focus on what you can do and should do, and things will be better and better each day. My best wishes to you and your family.

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

Welcome to the MOST supportive family you will find on the internet. We are here for you for support, guidance, to listen and of course, to whine. We do not judge or pass judgement on others. There are NO stupid questions or answers here.

What I have learned from my experience (2006) is that you must take charge of your own body and health. Ask ALOT of questions and make sure you get the answers. Get 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions, if necessary, so you can find the best care team for YOU. Information on the internet is NOT always up-to-date and a lot of the reports and stats are very OLD.

Cancer research is always finding new means and methods of fighting this disease so don't every give-up.

Also, there are ALOT of STAGE IV SURVIVORS on this board that will respond to your post. Please read their stories.

Keep us posted and again, WELCOME :)

janei1
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2008

i WILL SEND YOUR POST TO MY DAUGHTER HER HUSBAND HAS BEEN DEALING WITH THE SAME DX FOR 15 MONTHS AND i AM SURE SHE WILL HELP YOU JANEI

mom_2_3
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

Zigswife,

I was diagnosed during a routine c-section with our 3rd (and completely unexpected!!) child. That was in November. I was told I was unresectable in the liver but went to Memorial-Sloan Kettering for a second opinion. After 2 months of chemo I went into surgery and had 40% of my liver removed as well as an HAI pump implanted. If you want more details of my journey click on my name above. Also, go to http://csn.cancer.org/node/172274 which is a recent post about HAI therapy which could potentially be of value to your husband. As of my last CT scan in June I am currently NED. My next scan is in August and so I take life a couple months at a time as I pray for clean scans.

I won't ever forget the early days of my diagnosis when I would be on the computer at very early hours of the morning and would hear my husband crying in our bedroom. It was heartbreaking to me to think of leaving my family (children are 5, 3 and 8 months). But I set about compiling a list of people that I read about (and 2 I know in real-life) that were diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and are well today and many years NED (no evidence of disease). That list has been my mainstay as I came to the realization that the diagnosis doesn't come with an absolute prognosis. We are all different and respond to treatment differently. So your husband may well be resectable after some chemo treatments.

If you have not already done so I would recommend considering getting an second opinion from a national cancer center. Many times they have treatment options that are not discussed at local hospitals. Also make sure to have a notebook and take notes from every doctor meeting that you have. Also request copies of all scans and reports for your records. If you seek a second opinion it will be handy to have all that information at your fingertips. If you haven't read about juicing please consider that as well. I started juicing immediately after my diagnosis and I feel it has been a great complement to my traditional therapies (chemo/surgery).

If you ever want to chat please PM me through the board. I can empathize with the fears that you are experiencing. I will add you and your family to my prayers.

Amy

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

I am 41 years old with no symptoms and have stage 4 with liver mets. I had my colon resected in May 14 2009. I can't have my liver resected until my tumors shrink, I am on 3rd chemo treatment and headed for my 4th on Tues. the 28th. My Cea levels have dropped from 89 to 21 after 2 treatments. CEA are tumor indicators if you don't already know that, if so, what are his CEA#'S? I have found this site to be very comforting and you will find comfort as well. Hang in there and know there are many stage 4 survivors!!! Patti

zigswife
Posts: 62
Joined: Jul 2009

Wow- so many responses so quickly. I see what everyone means about this being such a supportive place!

I guess additional peices to add are that his CEA was about a 3 and all blood work on his liver was normal. The CT scans indicate that there are likely mets on the pancreas (which the surgeon said would be unlikely since it would be difficult for the cancer to only hit the liver and then bypass everything else on its way to the pancreas) and a spot underneath the liver (the surgeon said that based on a visual inspection there was no cancer there). At this point, I am hopeful that he is a candidate for resection but we don't have a clear answer about the additional sites and will have to see how the cancer reacts to the chemo.

I think its the not knowing that has been most difficult. I could probably handle it if it were just me, but with our small children it sometimes feels that anything less than a cure just won't be good enough.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi there

I'm also a stage IV - originally colorectal cancer, met to the liver that grew to the size of an orange - possible met(s) to the pleura of the lung, confirmation is pending.

This would be my 3rd diagnosis of Cancer if it has spread.

I am currently entering my 6th Year of my fight with Cancer and overall I've taken a lickin' but have kept on tickin'.

I've done bowel resections, RFA, and CyberKnife for surgeries. I've done external radiation and CyberKnife is radiation of different delivery method, more precise and accurate.

I've done 5fu by IV in the past and Folfox with Avastin and Xeloda.

I'm living proof that you can continue to fight and make it. I was diagnosed in June 2004 and it's July 2009, so I finished 5 full years and have begun my 6th, so this can be done. I've had it quite a long time but have never given up and will not let it take the things away from me for very long that matter.

Your husband is young @ 34. I actually had the Cancer around 38 myself but it did not confirmed until I was 43 and by that time, the damage had been done and I've been hard on the attack ever since. I had an incompetent doctor who thought it was hemhrroids.

Your husband is young and strong, so those are great weapons in his fight and he has that going for him.

Cancer can sometimes be the like the race between the Tortoise and the Hare. Sometimes the race is not always won by the swiftest - I'm proof of that - I'm like the Tortoise, just steadily moving forward with the finish line ever in my sight!

You will strong and brave - the both of you. There are quite a few Stage IV's on the board, each with their own testimonial and we're all still here for you. So hang in there and take each step in the battle in stride. Your faith and strength will carry you through.

We're all here on the board should anything come up you want to know. Great choice by finding the site early - it will be a lifeline in your darkest and brightest hours!

God Bless You

-Craig

eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer 4 months ago. The original tumor was very large and was removed but I have 3-4 mets to liver and active lymphs all throughout my abdomen and pelvis. It`s in the abdominal wall and fatty tissue. The oncologist believes that I am responding well to treatment and may already be in remission. It`s amazing that it can happen that quickly, but it can. It would be great if your husband is a candidate for resection but if he is not there are always other options. I am still new to this but there are plenty of people on here who have either beat stage 4 colon cancer or have lived with it for a long time. I even saw a post on here of a man who was never quite in remission but lived with colon cancer for 24 years. A new diagnosis of stage 4 cancer is pretty daunting and it can really take the wind out of your sails but there i hope all around. DO NOT LOOK AT ONLINE STATISTICS! They are all outdated and there have been great strides in the last five years. Pay attention to the people on this site and not to depressing statistics. Your husband is still young and I am not far behind him. I`m 38. This site has given me great hope and I am sure it will do the same for you. Do not let cancer define you or steal your joy. Your husband will probably be around for many more years and you don`t want to spend the whole time saddened or constantly worried ( I know - easier said than done.) But there is all kinds of beauty around you to concentrate on and this disease will make you appreciate every moment.

Eric

kersha
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2009

To zigswife Kinda new to this forum. However just read your comment. I know what you are going through and I am so glad that I registered for this site to hear about so many that are NED. When we got the news of my husband's diagnosis at 48 it was devastating to us. He had 3 mets to his right lobe of his liver and 1 on the left lobe. The surgeon said he was not able to do the surgery to the liver and gave him 18 months. With a second opinion we were told only one lobe would be able to be removed and the other spot would be RFA. On the 3rd opinion at MD Anderson in Houston the surgeon told us he would be able to remove all the mets from the liver. He removed the right lobe and one segment on the left lobe. It has been 15 months since he had the 1st surgery for his colon and the last surgery for his liver was in January of 09 and he is doing well. So do not give up. Keep looking for someone who can give you the best outcome. Your husband is still young and would recover quickly from his surgeries. If you need more information feel free to email.

Fay

amcp
Posts: 251
Joined: Jan 2009

Please know that there is HOPE. You can read about my husbands fight. We were told after sugery and a costomy that he only had 2 yrs if he took chemo..not a candidate for surgery. He went through 2 plus years of chemo and our oncologist said there was nothing more he could do for him. We were sent to Vandy for possibility of a clinical trial. The oncologist there reviewed his files..discussed with other doctors and told us he was a candidate for liver resection. In April, after having lung resection in Feb of this year to remove a cancerous nodule, he had 75% of the right lobe of his liver removed along with several places on the left lobe. He is doing great!...Last scan showed no cancer present or NED. Do NOT settle for one opinion...if you need to get a second or even a thrid. Find a doctor and hospital that will help him and you fight this monster ...you can live a long life with stage 4...just a day at a time. Keep the faith and know that everyone is here for you and that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Hugs,
Anna

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

I got online today doing research and came across a sight saying what my odds of survival are at this time.... horrible (what a no no)... like they say.. DO NOT BELIEVE THE OUTDATED INTERNET.... It stuck in my head all day till this very moment when I read all these posts... I cried.... It felt soooo good. I have never met any of these people yet they are my family... my best friends. Click on my name and read my story. My journey has just began. I am a true believer in 2nd, 3rd or however many opinions necessary to get results. No matter what is on your mind... bring it to the board... you will find help and comfort here

Jennie

sfmarie's picture
sfmarie
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

My sister was recently diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She is 39. She has done 5 months of chemo and is waiting to see if she is a candidate for liver resection. I love reading survival stories, and I find that statistics online are scary. Please share your stories with us as we need them!

WinneyPooh's picture
WinneyPooh
Posts: 318
Joined: Jul 2009

New, Also This board is really helpful, as I read the post i think i can handle his better each day, I really hope Your Husband is able to get good doctors and that they do everything to help you all Deal with this, My doctors are the best. Love and Prayers
Winney

zigswife
Posts: 62
Joined: Jul 2009

Thank you all so much- this is exactly what I needed to see this morning. My husband was admitted back into the hospital this weekend after complications from his surgery (an abscess) that was causing a lot of discomfort and eventually a high fever. I feel really frustrated that we got so little information about what his recovery from the colon surgery would be that we didn't know it was abnormal for him to be uncomfortable this far out from the surgery (the nurses kept saying it was a major surgery so to give him time). Anyway, I'm hoping that this doesn't push back starting his chemo. Now we wait for all the lab results.

Does the waiting drive everyone nuts or is it just me?!?

annpull
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello,
I am 43 yr old newbie recently diagnosed with stage 3a. I had my resection on July 16 and recovery is going great. I am WAITING to start my chemo as well. THe WAITING is killing me.

I had basically no symptoms beyond mild anemia. I went to donate blood and my red blood count was too low. My gyn suggested a colonscopy and they found large mass. My CEA before surgery was only .5 and it was spread to one lymph node.

Glad I found this board. Guess I am being optimistic joining a survivors board but what the heck.

Ann

SSmith25
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2006

I was symptom free, and diagnosed through a routine colonoscopy when I turned 50. They think my cancer was growing for ten years. Four years since my diagnosis, and I am fine. The most important thing is to get good doctors, which in my opinion means get to a major cancer center.

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks so much for this post SSmith, it's posts like this, thst give me a lot of hope, that we can fight this for that long, good luck to you, and I hope you remain well for a long time to come.

Hugssss!
~Donna

Mike49's picture
Mike49
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I too am stage iv. I have drawn alot of inspiration from the others on this site. Welcome and share your experiences, ask questions and help others too. I was diagnosed in Sept. 2008, two major surgeries, Folfox-Avastin and now CAPE-OX. I still make lonf term plans, think about the future because we plan to be here. Sorry you had to join us, but your with good people.

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