Mom and Cancer

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lynntn02
lynntn02 Member Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hello all I somehow deleted my post on the history with my mom and this horrible disease, so I am trying again.maybe I have this thing figured out now. We found out in late July mom had colon cancer she wasput in hospital on Aug 1 and they ran test after test,found out that it had spread to her bladder and to her vaginal area(she has had complete hestorectomyso no organ there)the way it was explained to me was it had spread on the walls.Was operated on to place port a cath and do colostomy(hopefully not permanent)done great thru those and was scheduled to come home and the night before she started running a high fever and severe pain. Found out that was her gallbladder and had to be removedthe next day. He removed 32 gallstones and said that it was on the verge of setting up gangreen.But he got it out and she got to come home finally on the 20th of Aug.Dr said no surgery till chemo and rad were completed she takes chemo on pump 24/7 and does rad every day.for 6 weeks. Then he said we will discuss surgery. Frankly I am scared to death cause I know nothing of this disease or the treatment for it. I know a little about Lung cancer but this seems totally different. I didnt even know you could take chemo and rad every day.He says hers is a stage 4 and has been there for a long time. Is there anyone with any input that could tell me anything about this beast of a disease. She is 73 years old and always been a very spunky lady ( well before all this she was)and me as her main caregiver with the help of my daughter were going crazy here. Thank you all so much for any help you can inlighten me with....Lynne

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  • HisJoy
    HisJoy Member Posts: 113
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    Fear can come from lack of knowledge. I know that I couldn't bear to read anything about my colon cancer for the first few months after dx, but now, I study anything I can get my hands on.

    Cancer in the colon can be one of several types of cancer: sarcoma, carcinoma, lymphoma, etc. The vast majority of colon cancers are adenocarcinomas which start in the epithelial tissue (soft tissue of an internal organ, especially things like glands). In addition, there are two types of cancer cells in colon adenocarcinomas, depending on what they look like under a microscope. Your mom's is most certainly the mucinous type - most of them are. These are slow-moving cancers that originate in the wall of the colon and form a discrete tumour which very gradually grows and destroys neighboring healthy tissue. The other type of colon adenocarcinomas is called signet ring cell and it is very aggressive, fast-moving with a poorly differentiated tumour that immediately begins destroying healthy tissue in the colon wall. (that's the kind I have)

    We all have abnormal cell growth every day, but the immune system takes care of it. All cancers have one thing in common: the abnormal cells begin to grow uncontrollably and begin to damage healthy cells for some reason. All kind of research is being done to find out why these cell mutations take off like they do, but one of the most accepted theories is that our diet (high in saturated fat and refined products like white sugar and flour and serving sizes that are too large), and the additives in our foods (growth hormones, artificial dyes, etc) and in our environment (cigarette smoke, pesticides, etc) contribute to the damage of our immune system so that our bodies can't keep up with the abnormal cell growth.

    Once the cancer has grown through the colon wall and adipose tissue, it can get into the blood stream or lymph system where it travels to other organs. A LOT of colon cancer ends up in the liver, sometimes the lungs, but it can land about anywhere. Once it is in another organ, it is STILL colon cancer and treated as such. In other words, if it goes into the lungs, it doesn't become lung cancer at that point, it is still colon cancer. The chemo protocol for each of over a hundred different types of cancer is completely different. My chemo regimen is called FOLFOX with Avastin and the drugs used are: Leukovorin, Oxaliplatin, 5-FU, and Avastin. There are other meds given to calm the nausea and to mitigate some of the side effects, but those are not active cancer-fighting drugs.

    As for your mom's future.....no one can say, but then who CAN know what their future holds, whether they have cancer or not? There are all KINDS of treatments for cancer nowadays - liver resection, pumps that deliver chemo directly into the liver, more advanced types of chemo, so who is to say what your mom's prognosis is? Talk to your mom's oncologist - make sure you get one that you trust - and ask questions. That's how you learn. I think pretty much all hospitals have social workers and resource personnel to walk you through the process and provide support and encouragement along the way.

    I have said, all through my journey, that this disease is tougher on my kids and family than it is on me! If you have more specific questions, please feel free to ask. The people in this discussion board have all kinds of knowledge and experience and are very willing to help.

    Best wishes,
    Bonny Buffington
  • lynntn02
    lynntn02 Member Posts: 9
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    Thanks Bonnie for your reply and that does give me a little back ground on what I am dealing with here. I know from day one I have told everyone that attitude is 90 percent of this thing and you sure have a great one and I commend you highly for it. I made sure mom stays away from negetivity and was worried that she would break down and I would have a hard time dealing with her and staying strong but she has seemed to come to the most peace with this and I encourage it as often as possible. Actually she is handling it better than I (except around her).I just think the ones with this beast are the most amazing people I have ever seen. You all are Angels. I only hope that you who have this know how proud and amazed that your family and friends are at you. We do have a wonderful oncologist or he seems to be and mom really likes him he will sit and discuss things where alot of Dr's seem to can't wait to get out the door.But she has started bleeding from the vaginal area alot and still has a capiter in since aug. 1 . Told the Cancer center the other day and they said it was from where the capiter was pulled but its not cause its been doing it for 2 weeks now and her oncologist said it could be from where the cancer cells were being burnt from the Rad .i just know shes in alot of pain and it kills me to watch her knowing my hands are tied . But anyway thanks again and I hope everyone doesnt mind my books I am writting lol. I just need to talk some times and dont want to do too much with my family cause I dont need them worring about me right now mom needs that. So thanks guys.........Lynne
  • CAMaura
    CAMaura Member Posts: 719 Member
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    lynntn02 said:

    Thanks Bonnie for your reply and that does give me a little back ground on what I am dealing with here. I know from day one I have told everyone that attitude is 90 percent of this thing and you sure have a great one and I commend you highly for it. I made sure mom stays away from negetivity and was worried that she would break down and I would have a hard time dealing with her and staying strong but she has seemed to come to the most peace with this and I encourage it as often as possible. Actually she is handling it better than I (except around her).I just think the ones with this beast are the most amazing people I have ever seen. You all are Angels. I only hope that you who have this know how proud and amazed that your family and friends are at you. We do have a wonderful oncologist or he seems to be and mom really likes him he will sit and discuss things where alot of Dr's seem to can't wait to get out the door.But she has started bleeding from the vaginal area alot and still has a capiter in since aug. 1 . Told the Cancer center the other day and they said it was from where the capiter was pulled but its not cause its been doing it for 2 weeks now and her oncologist said it could be from where the cancer cells were being burnt from the Rad .i just know shes in alot of pain and it kills me to watch her knowing my hands are tied . But anyway thanks again and I hope everyone doesnt mind my books I am writting lol. I just need to talk some times and dont want to do too much with my family cause I dont need them worring about me right now mom needs that. So thanks guys.........Lynne

    Bonnie - I'd like to thank you, also, for the very informative post. And Lynne, know that your hands aren't too tied....you came here!! The info about our immune system is so intersting....and so linked to diet and stress. There are a lot of things which one can do nutritionally - supplements, juicing, cutting out refned white sugars and flours - that are truly easy...something you may want to think about in addition to the Western treatment methods. Think about it....this site is full of gurus who could help you. All the Best to you, your Mom and family - Maura
  • 122456
    122456 Member Posts: 40 Member
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    HisJoy said:

    Fear can come from lack of knowledge. I know that I couldn't bear to read anything about my colon cancer for the first few months after dx, but now, I study anything I can get my hands on.

    Cancer in the colon can be one of several types of cancer: sarcoma, carcinoma, lymphoma, etc. The vast majority of colon cancers are adenocarcinomas which start in the epithelial tissue (soft tissue of an internal organ, especially things like glands). In addition, there are two types of cancer cells in colon adenocarcinomas, depending on what they look like under a microscope. Your mom's is most certainly the mucinous type - most of them are. These are slow-moving cancers that originate in the wall of the colon and form a discrete tumour which very gradually grows and destroys neighboring healthy tissue. The other type of colon adenocarcinomas is called signet ring cell and it is very aggressive, fast-moving with a poorly differentiated tumour that immediately begins destroying healthy tissue in the colon wall. (that's the kind I have)

    We all have abnormal cell growth every day, but the immune system takes care of it. All cancers have one thing in common: the abnormal cells begin to grow uncontrollably and begin to damage healthy cells for some reason. All kind of research is being done to find out why these cell mutations take off like they do, but one of the most accepted theories is that our diet (high in saturated fat and refined products like white sugar and flour and serving sizes that are too large), and the additives in our foods (growth hormones, artificial dyes, etc) and in our environment (cigarette smoke, pesticides, etc) contribute to the damage of our immune system so that our bodies can't keep up with the abnormal cell growth.

    Once the cancer has grown through the colon wall and adipose tissue, it can get into the blood stream or lymph system where it travels to other organs. A LOT of colon cancer ends up in the liver, sometimes the lungs, but it can land about anywhere. Once it is in another organ, it is STILL colon cancer and treated as such. In other words, if it goes into the lungs, it doesn't become lung cancer at that point, it is still colon cancer. The chemo protocol for each of over a hundred different types of cancer is completely different. My chemo regimen is called FOLFOX with Avastin and the drugs used are: Leukovorin, Oxaliplatin, 5-FU, and Avastin. There are other meds given to calm the nausea and to mitigate some of the side effects, but those are not active cancer-fighting drugs.

    As for your mom's future.....no one can say, but then who CAN know what their future holds, whether they have cancer or not? There are all KINDS of treatments for cancer nowadays - liver resection, pumps that deliver chemo directly into the liver, more advanced types of chemo, so who is to say what your mom's prognosis is? Talk to your mom's oncologist - make sure you get one that you trust - and ask questions. That's how you learn. I think pretty much all hospitals have social workers and resource personnel to walk you through the process and provide support and encouragement along the way.

    I have said, all through my journey, that this disease is tougher on my kids and family than it is on me! If you have more specific questions, please feel free to ask. The people in this discussion board have all kinds of knowledge and experience and are very willing to help.

    Best wishes,
    Bonny Buffington

    Thank God for you and your post. You hit the nail on the head.