Finding it hard to be hopeful

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chiefskid
chiefskid Member Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I have been reading the new board for a few weeks and you have all inspired me and given me hope. You all handle your disease with such grace and dignity. My dad is 72 years old. He was diagnosed with Colon cancer 3 years ago. It runs in the family, his sister had it; his mother had it and probably his uncle (died 40 years ago). My Mom tried for years to get him to have a colonoscopy, he wouldn't do it. Finally, the doctor at the VA got him to go in for a routine screening. Stage 3C in the ascending colon so no symptoms. He got shingles the same week...talk about the double whammy. In brief: Colon surgery to remove part of the colon, no colostomy. 12 rounds of Chemo, folfox, and the usual. Off chemo for a month, mets show up in the liver. So, more chemo with avastin this time. Liver resection in June 08. Staff infection 2 weeks later. By November, it was back in the liver. Had radio frequency ablation 12/08. Wow, way better than resection, no pain, and no downtime. So, then it was back on chemo, avastin and more. He was doing fine this past spring, back to his old self, singing, joking around. He looked great. May 19th, he had a stroke, most probably caused by the avastin according to all the doctors. He was very lucky, he has no real deficits. His speech is back, he has no paralysis. But...he is gone. Dad never got his strength back. He doesn't sing or joke around. He hardly talks. It is like he has sunk very deep inside himself and we can't get to him. We went back to the onc a few weeks ago, the cancer is back in the liver and how is in the lungs. They are not saying he is terminal but it is very hard to be hopeful. He just started chemo again and the first round Folfiri was tough. He was really weak and tired. He is just starting to feel a little better but he has his second round on Monday. My Mom is holding up as well as can be expected. She takes very good care of him but we are all struggling. I can't shake the feeling that he is not coming back.

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  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
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    Wow Chiefskid
    Your post is very moving and has left me wondering how I can help.

    He has done many of the chemos and procedures that I've had done myself. There are options for the liver - several people here do the HAI pump which distributes high dosages of chemo to the liver without flooding the body. I had RFA done on the liver, but have heard from people that it can be done on the lungs as well.

    I'm sure your dad's body is just tired of the chemo regimens and the various surgeries and whatnot, that's more than understandable.

    I cannot imagine having to go through these things at 72 years old - I've done my 43-48 years of age and it has been a challenge, so hat's off to your dad's strength for being able to do these.

    What I can suggest it to just talk to him about his concerns and how he's feeling - and print out a few of our posts that you found inspirational and helpful and read them to him and see if any of that can make a difference.

    We will be wishing your dad the best. I know more of my fellow board members will in with their thoughts and suggestions as well.

    It's a tough road for anyone, but your Dad has stepped and is battling away.

    -Craig
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
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    Sundanceh said:

    Wow Chiefskid
    Your post is very moving and has left me wondering how I can help.

    He has done many of the chemos and procedures that I've had done myself. There are options for the liver - several people here do the HAI pump which distributes high dosages of chemo to the liver without flooding the body. I had RFA done on the liver, but have heard from people that it can be done on the lungs as well.

    I'm sure your dad's body is just tired of the chemo regimens and the various surgeries and whatnot, that's more than understandable.

    I cannot imagine having to go through these things at 72 years old - I've done my 43-48 years of age and it has been a challenge, so hat's off to your dad's strength for being able to do these.

    What I can suggest it to just talk to him about his concerns and how he's feeling - and print out a few of our posts that you found inspirational and helpful and read them to him and see if any of that can make a difference.

    We will be wishing your dad the best. I know more of my fellow board members will in with their thoughts and suggestions as well.

    It's a tough road for anyone, but your Dad has stepped and is battling away.

    -Craig

    Welcome Chiefkid!
    Good to see you here, but so sorry to hear about your dad. He sure has been through alot, but sure is a strong man to keep beating this cancer, I know it's hard to hold onto hope, but don't ever let go of it, he is probably just so wore out from the treatments, is he on any anti-depressants? Just keep on taking care of him and am I'll bet he'll bounce back once the treatments have stopped, I hope so anyway, chemo is very tiring, not an easy thing to go through, but hopefully, you can talk to him and bring him back, making sure he's ok, don't give up on him, he may just surprise you :)

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna
  • chiefskid
    chiefskid Member Posts: 9
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    Shayenne said:

    Welcome Chiefkid!
    Good to see you here, but so sorry to hear about your dad. He sure has been through alot, but sure is a strong man to keep beating this cancer, I know it's hard to hold onto hope, but don't ever let go of it, he is probably just so wore out from the treatments, is he on any anti-depressants? Just keep on taking care of him and am I'll bet he'll bounce back once the treatments have stopped, I hope so anyway, chemo is very tiring, not an easy thing to go through, but hopefully, you can talk to him and bring him back, making sure he's ok, don't give up on him, he may just surprise you :)

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna

    Thanks for the
    Thanks for the encouragement. He is on an anti-depressant, Zoloft. We new he would need one to battle the effects of the stoke. He told the doctor that the stroke was harder to deal with than chemo or anything else he has been through. My Dad is a wonderful guy. I am "chief's kid" because he was a volunteer fire fighter for 52 years. Going out in the middle of the night to help his neighbors, teaching fire prevention in the local schools, establishing a water rescue unit in our county. I have to think that God will bless him for all the good things he has done with his life. AS I read all of your stories, I am amazed at your postive attitudes. So many of you have been through so much. I have suggested to my Dad that he get on the board and chat with you all. He says he will but he doesn't go through with it. He is not one to talk about his feelings much, he keeps alot inside. I think the suggestion to print off some of the posts and read them to him is a great idea. Maybe he will see how supportive you all are and get on board.
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
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    chiefskid said:

    Thanks for the
    Thanks for the encouragement. He is on an anti-depressant, Zoloft. We new he would need one to battle the effects of the stoke. He told the doctor that the stroke was harder to deal with than chemo or anything else he has been through. My Dad is a wonderful guy. I am "chief's kid" because he was a volunteer fire fighter for 52 years. Going out in the middle of the night to help his neighbors, teaching fire prevention in the local schools, establishing a water rescue unit in our county. I have to think that God will bless him for all the good things he has done with his life. AS I read all of your stories, I am amazed at your postive attitudes. So many of you have been through so much. I have suggested to my Dad that he get on the board and chat with you all. He says he will but he doesn't go through with it. He is not one to talk about his feelings much, he keeps alot inside. I think the suggestion to print off some of the posts and read them to him is a great idea. Maybe he will see how supportive you all are and get on board.

    That....
    ....would be awesome if he got on here, definitely print this off and let him know we're with him, and here when he needs to talk, let him know of all the inspirational and hopeful stories that alot of people have here as well.

    He sure did alot of amazing things, and God will bless him for that, but we can't have him lose himself, tell him to come out and talk to us :) I'd love to hear some firefighting stories~I also love your nick! it's perfect!

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna
  • grandmafay
    grandmafay Member Posts: 1,633 Member
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    Hard
    I think it is really hard for the men in that age group to talk about their feelings and how they feel physically. He sounds like a very strong man. Right now he is probably just sick and tired of being sick and tired. All we can do as caregivers is let them know we are here and and we love them. These guys are so used to taking care of us, they don't know how to let others care for them. God is watching over all of you. Take care of yourself and your Mom, too. She needs as much support as you can offer. I know that our sons have been really great support. We talk to them almost daily and they visit often. Hugs and prayers, Fay
  • AllieC
    AllieC Member Posts: 17
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    aging parents
    my father was recently diagnosed with stage 3a rectal cancer. he is also in his 70s. he had his surgery a few weeks ago and is waiting to meet with the onc for chemo/radiation. although my dad is recovering well from his surgery, i know there is still a long road ahead. i don't know how his body is going to react to the chemo and radiation, and it's turning me into a nervous wreck.

    i find it hard to be upbeat all the time, but i know it's what he needs to see and hear from me. i bring the kids over to see him whenever possible. he loves his grandkids, and they adore him. i tell him i will need him to drive the baby to preschool in a couple of years, etc.

    the setbacks are sure discouraging, and it's easy to feel helpless and hopeless. our dads took care of us all these years, fixed our boo boos, but this cancer thing is so out of our control -- how do we fix it for THEM?

    in my darkest moments, my faith sustains me. the Lord said "My grace is sufficient, and My power is made perfect in your weakness."
  • grammadebbie
    grammadebbie Member Posts: 464
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    Family
    Dear Ones,

    I was 55 when diagnosed with coloncancer StageIIIc 8/38 lymph nodes positive. One of the most important things that got me thru this, aside from my faith was my family. My husband was/is wonderful, my adult kids were/are amazing, my grandbabies made/make me want to fight harder. I was not left alone for the 14 day hospital stay after my emergency surgery for obstruction when the cancer was found. My 2 daughters and husband took shifts 24/7. My kids brought my grandbabies to visit me frequently. They are my sunshine. I guess what I'm trying to say is our family is the most important thing to us. Nothing else mattered to me. Being surrounded and supported by them was wonderful. I felt bad that they had to see me that way but they needed to be there for me and for themselves. Their tender loving care saved my life in more ways than I can express. When you don't know what to do just love each other. It makes a world of difference. It's ok to cry together and face this together. My husband and kiddos and grandbabies bring me strength. Your dad has been through so much physically that he doesn't have the energy to do anything but heal and regain his stregth. There was a time during chemo that I would look at my dinner and think how am I going to pick up my fork? It's a fatigue that is unexplainable. Hopefully with time he will get stronger and stronger. You sound like a wonderful family - you are blessed to have each other. Keep up the wonderful care you are giving

    I will be praying for you all,

    Debbie (gramma)
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030 Member
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    Family
    Dear Ones,

    I was 55 when diagnosed with coloncancer StageIIIc 8/38 lymph nodes positive. One of the most important things that got me thru this, aside from my faith was my family. My husband was/is wonderful, my adult kids were/are amazing, my grandbabies made/make me want to fight harder. I was not left alone for the 14 day hospital stay after my emergency surgery for obstruction when the cancer was found. My 2 daughters and husband took shifts 24/7. My kids brought my grandbabies to visit me frequently. They are my sunshine. I guess what I'm trying to say is our family is the most important thing to us. Nothing else mattered to me. Being surrounded and supported by them was wonderful. I felt bad that they had to see me that way but they needed to be there for me and for themselves. Their tender loving care saved my life in more ways than I can express. When you don't know what to do just love each other. It makes a world of difference. It's ok to cry together and face this together. My husband and kiddos and grandbabies bring me strength. Your dad has been through so much physically that he doesn't have the energy to do anything but heal and regain his stregth. There was a time during chemo that I would look at my dinner and think how am I going to pick up my fork? It's a fatigue that is unexplainable. Hopefully with time he will get stronger and stronger. You sound like a wonderful family - you are blessed to have each other. Keep up the wonderful care you are giving

    I will be praying for you all,

    Debbie (gramma)

    Prayers sent your way....
    Welcome to the board, and really hope that your Dad finds the strength to beat this. It must be so hard on his body to have to withstand the chemo. I had to take it one treatment at a time and try and stay as active as I possibly could. Frame of mind I believe has a lot to do with surival. Keep talking to him and let him rest as needed, his body needs to heal between treatments. God Bless.