PLEASE HELP! Dad preliminarily diagnosed with Colon Cancer Stage 4

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Comments

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20
    Colon Biopsy Inconclusive

    Update:

     

    They performed a colonoscopy and did a biopsy.  It came back inconclusive.  Today Dad goes in for a Liver biopsy.  They said they do that with a needle.  What does this all mean?  Am I falsly hoping that that means its not cancer?  Dad is eating better and the bone scan came shows nothing in the bones. 

     

    How do i process this?

     

    Please help!

     

    Julia

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    julita128 said:

    Colon Biopsy Inconclusive

    Update:

     

    They performed a colonoscopy and did a biopsy.  It came back inconclusive.  Today Dad goes in for a Liver biopsy.  They said they do that with a needle.  What does this all mean?  Am I falsly hoping that that means its not cancer?  Dad is eating better and the bone scan came shows nothing in the bones. 

     

    How do i process this?

     

    Please help!

     

    Julia

    I'm not sure,

    but I do know that they can miss the tumor when attempting to biopsy the colon, because it's in constant motion.  Or sometimes they may hit cells that are dead, and apparently they can't base a diagnosis on dead cells.  The liver biopsy will hopefully be more definitive.  I would try not to make any assumptions one way or another before they give you the final answer.  It's terribly stressful having to wait, I know...took weeks for me to get my official diagnosis, and I'm not sure there was a worse period of time in this whole process.  Hang in there.  AA

  • bigman4christ
    bigman4christ Member Posts: 87
    julita128 said:

    Colon Biopsy Inconclusive

    Update:

     

    They performed a colonoscopy and did a biopsy.  It came back inconclusive.  Today Dad goes in for a Liver biopsy.  They said they do that with a needle.  What does this all mean?  Am I falsly hoping that that means its not cancer?  Dad is eating better and the bone scan came shows nothing in the bones. 

     

    How do i process this?

     

    Please help!

     

    Julia

    Biopsy arent bad

    Hi Julia, the liver biopsy is not hard and doesnt even really hurt.  I just had my second one done last week and am actually getting the results back today.  They will most likely put your dad under concience sedation meaning that he is awake but will not really feel anything and time will fly by super fast:)  My biopsy was about 45min long and i only thought i was in there for 5-10 min:)  I think it was harder for me to wait before and after.  Your dad might be a little sore and wont be able to lift anything heavier than 15lbs for a few days while he heals up.  I hope my experiance helps make this not as scarry for you.  As far as falsely hoping its not cancer... we can only pray that its not, but that is why they are doing a liver biopsy just to make sure that it is not cancerous. this will help determine the course that the Dr. will take for your pops.  hope this helps

    Zach

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20

    Biopsy arent bad

    Hi Julia, the liver biopsy is not hard and doesnt even really hurt.  I just had my second one done last week and am actually getting the results back today.  They will most likely put your dad under concience sedation meaning that he is awake but will not really feel anything and time will fly by super fast:)  My biopsy was about 45min long and i only thought i was in there for 5-10 min:)  I think it was harder for me to wait before and after.  Your dad might be a little sore and wont be able to lift anything heavier than 15lbs for a few days while he heals up.  I hope my experiance helps make this not as scarry for you.  As far as falsely hoping its not cancer... we can only pray that its not, but that is why they are doing a liver biopsy just to make sure that it is not cancerous. this will help determine the course that the Dr. will take for your pops.  hope this helps

    Zach

    Thanks! Zach & AA

    I appreciate the responses.  So he is a little sore from the liver biopsy should have results in a few days.  Dad is set to go home tomorrow! I can't wait! Spoke with Oncologist today.  While inconclusive the first time the blood tests he said indicated 500 CEA.  Doc says that indicates the presence of cancer.  I have read about other diseases that also show high CEA levels.  Maybe denial....I dont know...we shall see either way I am here for my Dad full force!!!!!!!

    I pray for you all! And appreciate you all as well! 

     

    -Julia 

    (My Beagle can't wait until Grandpa gets home!) 

  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member

    I'm not sure,

    but I do know that they can miss the tumor when attempting to biopsy the colon, because it's in constant motion.  Or sometimes they may hit cells that are dead, and apparently they can't base a diagnosis on dead cells.  The liver biopsy will hopefully be more definitive.  I would try not to make any assumptions one way or another before they give you the final answer.  It's terribly stressful having to wait, I know...took weeks for me to get my official diagnosis, and I'm not sure there was a worse period of time in this whole process.  Hang in there.  AA

    See you've had it done.

    Best of luck!

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20
    UPDATE-Please Respond

    Hi Guys,

     

    Initial biopsy from colon came back inconclusive.  Liver biopsy done.  Awaiting results.  Dad is now home and I am putting myself responsible for his diet.  With that said can you recommend any particular foods?  

    Oncologist said despite inconclusive biopsy, the CEA levels are at 500 indicating cancer present.  Any insight while we wait for results from 2nd biopsy?

    I plan on going grocery shopping this weekend, and I am no Julia Childs so this is all very new and I want to make sure I take care of everything...cover all bases, diet and doctors and treatment....etc

    Thank you for any help!

    -Julia

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20
    UPDATE-Please Respond

    Hi Guys,

     

    Initial biopsy from colon came back inconclusive.  Liver biopsy done.  Awaiting results.  Dad is now home and I am putting myself responsible for his diet.  With that said can you recommend any particular foods?  

    Oncologist said despite inconclusive biopsy, the CEA levels are at 500 indicating cancer present.  Any insight while we wait for results from 2nd biopsy?

    I plan on going grocery shopping this weekend, and I am no Julia Childs so this is all very new and I want to make sure I take care of everything...cover all bases, diet and doctors and treatment....etc

    Thank you for any help!

    -Julia

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    If it was me,

    I wouldn't stress myself out trying to become a gourmet cook under these circumstances!  I would go with whatever sounds good to your dad.  I think you mentioned an obstruction in your original post, so one thing to consider would be how well he's able to digest what he eats.  Stuff that is high in fiber might be hard on his system.  Did he have any surgery?  This would also affect his ability to eat.  If there are problems with appetitie, a home made milk shake is good...make it with lots of fruit and it can be quite healthy. Hopefully, the hospital also gave you some guidelines on diet.  AA

  • Dilemma
    Dilemma Member Posts: 4
    John23 said:

    Julia -

    Re:
    "......if it is cancer then he will be placed on Chemo. Who's decision
    is that?  What are our options.  How long will he have?......."

    All decisions are your father's; the physicians can only make suggestions
    regarding treatments.

    His options can be plentiful, but he will have to seek other opinions
    from physicians that are -not- of the same group or organization
    as the ones he presently has. Surgeons are often more objective
    than physicians making money providing chemical treatments.

    His options can vary from conventional (western medicine) treatments,
    to an alternative medicine used along with conventional  treatments,
    or by itself.

    His prognosis (life expectancy) isn't up to anyone. My prognosis was
    terrible back in 2006 when I was diagnosed with 3c/4 colon cancer
    (I later found out that I was a 4). I did not do "conventional medicine",
    and chose a different route (click on my name to read my profile).

    I have (had) many friends diagnosed with stage one and two colon
    cancer that had died within two years of diagnosis; most had taken
    chemo and radiation as prescribed.

    There have been posters here, diagnosed with 3 (and 4) colon cancer
    and remain doing well after many years, that have not taken the chemical
    treatments, and have used dietary methods (juicing) instead.

    And you'll find one here with stage four, who's cancer team is
    treating his condition as a "chronic disease", rather than something
    terminal.

    What works for one, may not work for someone else; we're all
    different. But making one very sick from treatments; damaging
    the immune system beyond it's ability to protect you, is never
    a good idea. The body can survive against all odds, if the immune
    system is in good shape..... take that advantage away, and you're
    left with a dependency on some chemical to fight for you...

    I prefer to trust my body, instead of some manufacturer's claim.

    It's his choice to make, not yours, not some physician's. But he
    needs as much data as possible, and he has to trust in his
    own instincts for survival.

    I'm wishing him the very best of health!

    John

    My experience wrt alternative treatment approaches

    You know, my mum is just like you in the way she views chemo and the like, I swear she said the same thing about chemo making you sick and how important immune system health is, almost word for word!

    But that's hardly surprising as mum is heavily into what most people term "New Age" living- she eats organic, keeps fit, meditates and uses reflexology, reiki and the like to keep her body and mind healthy and balanced. She's also a firm believer in the body/mind/spirit connection and the importance of having a positive attitude and caring for your body as a means to living a happy, fulfilling life.

    As a result she trusts that her preventative lifestyle, coupled with regular body tune-ups with her kenesiologist, naturopath, chiropractor and the like, will keep her well and warn her if anything needs looking into. Plus, mum really isn't comfortable with so-called "conventional" medicine as it's too invasive and only focuses on fixing things rather than preventing them from happening in the first place.

    Mind you, her dislike of doctors also meant that she didn't have a single pap smear in the last 30 years.

    Anyway, just over a year ago, a couple of weeks before Xmas 2011, she started hemorrhaging heavily and was diagnosed with stage III cervical cancer.

    Fortunately the cancer, while reasonably established, was treatable with a combination of external radiation, brachytherapy and, finally, 6 weeks of 1/2 dose chemo to address the small cluster found in her lymph nodes. Surgery wasn't an option which was hard for mum because she was a lot more comfortable with going under the knife than having to endure a cocktail of toxic "medicine".

    So last February mum completed 6 weeks of external radiation, all while balancing out her treatment with complimentary medicine, and then announced that she was going to "postpone" the chemo to pursue a less damaging course of treatment because, as she put it, chemo is completely toxic and it made no sense to poison the very thing she was trying to save.

    No one could convince her to change her mind.

    She found a doctor who was supportive of her decision and he put her on massive doses of IV Vitamin C on top of her usual hilariously gigantic pile of vitamins, herbs, homeopathic this and Chinese herbalist that. She cut out all dairy, her 1 cup of coffee and the rare glass of wine and was even more careful with her diet than normal- she's not the sort to eat junk food or faux health food at the best of times so her diet was really clean after the diagnosis.

    By this stage she had recovered from the side effects of the radiation and, though a bit on the thin side, looked healthy and felt great and was determined to do whatever it took to get well again, as long as it didn't involve chemo or putting her body in the hands of the hospital system again.

    Then mum decided not to go back for the scheduled 6 month check up- after all, she felt good and was doing everything her doctor and assorted healers recommended. She was actually pretty confident that the cancer was gone. Plus she didn't really like the treatment team at the hospital as they still wanted her to do the brachytherapy and chemo and she felt that all the tests were a bit excessive, as if she was being used as a Big Pharma cash cow by the hospital, what with all the "unecessary" scans and pressure to conform to their treatment plan.

    [Sorry for the lengthy reply, but I need to give you an idea of how things unfolded between mum's initial diagnosis and now.]

    Anyway, it had been a big year all round health-wise. I had my pelvis reconstructed in July and, as I live a few hours away, I didn't get a chance to see mum much afterwards (added to which there was some tension between us about her treatment approach or lack thereof). So I was really pleased that she was coming down for Xmas lunch- I missed catching up with her over a cuppa.

    Well, mum made it down and oh my god, my first thought was that she was dying...she was a shuffling, skeletal shadow of her former vivacious self.

    2 days later my sister rushed her to hospital and they discovered that she had septecemia, an ulcerated colon, a perforated bowel and her cervical tumor was bleeding again. She almost died from the infection.

    They stuck her on a drip, pumped her full of antibiotics and she had to go over a week with no food or drink (ice cubes only for the thirst) while they waited for the infection to subside enough so they could operate.

    10 days after Xmas she was wheeled into surgery and came out with a stoma and was fitted with a colostomy bag shortly therafter.

    3 days ago we were given the news that my mum's cancer has spread, that it's inoperable, that chemo is no longer an effective option and that there's simply nothing they can do. She is now under the care of the palliative team.

    So, to recap; in the space of 1 year my mother went from having an excellent shot at knocking the cancer out by enduring 12 difficult weeks of radiation and chemo to being admitted to the palliative care service, all because she got so blinded by the "chemo's so bad for you" "Big Pharma's evil!" mantra that she forgot who the villian really is! Hint- it's the cancer.

    She wasted this last year running from legitimate treatment, searching for that miracle cure and all the while every new age, anti-conventional medicine sycophant she came across validated her irrational fear of doctors and encouraged her to "stick to her guns!" even as the cancer ate away at her and spread its poison throughout her poor body.

    So forgive me if I find comments about the perils of chemotherapy to be just a tad frustrating, because I can tell you right now that my mother is in the process of dying and it wasn't the chemo that did it, it was the cancer that she failed to treat.

    My mum is so scared right now, and so regretful that she didn't at least commit to completing 1 course of conventional treatment- just 12 weeks out of her life in exchange for the chance at a future.

    Of course we know there's no guarantee that she would have gone into remission, but at least she would have had a chance!

    And, for what it's worth, I think complimentary medicine is well worth pursuing, but not to the exclusion of those treatments that- horribly unpleasant as they may be- actually have a documented history of effectiveness.

    I'm glad that you are in good health and I sincerely hope that you continue to be, but I don't think this is the time or place to sow seeds of doubt in those who are confronting the reality of cancer treatment and all it entails.

    Sure, enourage people to do their research, get educated, seek second opinions etc. It's so important to be proactive about your health and your options, but adding to the sense of fear and confusion that already surrounds chemo and the like isn't the way to go about it.

    I just hope no one here has to spend months upon months begging their mum to please, please have the treatment because we love you and want you to fight...we know you're scared but we promise to be there with you every step of the way, so please don't turn your back on this opportunity, because once it's gone you never get it back.

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122
    Dilemma said:

    My experience wrt alternative treatment approaches

    You know, my mum is just like you in the way she views chemo and the like, I swear she said the same thing about chemo making you sick and how important immune system health is, almost word for word!

    But that's hardly surprising as mum is heavily into what most people term "New Age" living- she eats organic, keeps fit, meditates and uses reflexology, reiki and the like to keep her body and mind healthy and balanced. She's also a firm believer in the body/mind/spirit connection and the importance of having a positive attitude and caring for your body as a means to living a happy, fulfilling life.

    As a result she trusts that her preventative lifestyle, coupled with regular body tune-ups with her kenesiologist, naturopath, chiropractor and the like, will keep her well and warn her if anything needs looking into. Plus, mum really isn't comfortable with so-called "conventional" medicine as it's too invasive and only focuses on fixing things rather than preventing them from happening in the first place.

    Mind you, her dislike of doctors also meant that she didn't have a single pap smear in the last 30 years.

    Anyway, just over a year ago, a couple of weeks before Xmas 2011, she started hemorrhaging heavily and was diagnosed with stage III cervical cancer.

    Fortunately the cancer, while reasonably established, was treatable with a combination of external radiation, brachytherapy and, finally, 6 weeks of 1/2 dose chemo to address the small cluster found in her lymph nodes. Surgery wasn't an option which was hard for mum because she was a lot more comfortable with going under the knife than having to endure a cocktail of toxic "medicine".

    So last February mum completed 6 weeks of external radiation, all while balancing out her treatment with complimentary medicine, and then announced that she was going to "postpone" the chemo to pursue a less damaging course of treatment because, as she put it, chemo is completely toxic and it made no sense to poison the very thing she was trying to save.

    No one could convince her to change her mind.

    She found a doctor who was supportive of her decision and he put her on massive doses of IV Vitamin C on top of her usual hilariously gigantic pile of vitamins, herbs, homeopathic this and Chinese herbalist that. She cut out all dairy, her 1 cup of coffee and the rare glass of wine and was even more careful with her diet than normal- she's not the sort to eat junk food or faux health food at the best of times so her diet was really clean after the diagnosis.

    By this stage she had recovered from the side effects of the radiation and, though a bit on the thin side, looked healthy and felt great and was determined to do whatever it took to get well again, as long as it didn't involve chemo or putting her body in the hands of the hospital system again.

    Then mum decided not to go back for the scheduled 6 month check up- after all, she felt good and was doing everything her doctor and assorted healers recommended. She was actually pretty confident that the cancer was gone. Plus she didn't really like the treatment team at the hospital as they still wanted her to do the brachytherapy and chemo and she felt that all the tests were a bit excessive, as if she was being used as a Big Pharma cash cow by the hospital, what with all the "unecessary" scans and pressure to conform to their treatment plan.

    [Sorry for the lengthy reply, but I need to give you an idea of how things unfolded between mum's initial diagnosis and now.]

    Anyway, it had been a big year all round health-wise. I had my pelvis reconstructed in July and, as I live a few hours away, I didn't get a chance to see mum much afterwards (added to which there was some tension between us about her treatment approach or lack thereof). So I was really pleased that she was coming down for Xmas lunch- I missed catching up with her over a cuppa.

    Well, mum made it down and oh my god, my first thought was that she was dying...she was a shuffling, skeletal shadow of her former vivacious self.

    2 days later my sister rushed her to hospital and they discovered that she had septecemia, an ulcerated colon, a perforated bowel and her cervical tumor was bleeding again. She almost died from the infection.

    They stuck her on a drip, pumped her full of antibiotics and she had to go over a week with no food or drink (ice cubes only for the thirst) while they waited for the infection to subside enough so they could operate.

    10 days after Xmas she was wheeled into surgery and came out with a stoma and was fitted with a colostomy bag shortly therafter.

    3 days ago we were given the news that my mum's cancer has spread, that it's inoperable, that chemo is no longer an effective option and that there's simply nothing they can do. She is now under the care of the palliative team.

    So, to recap; in the space of 1 year my mother went from having an excellent shot at knocking the cancer out by enduring 12 difficult weeks of radiation and chemo to being admitted to the palliative care service, all because she got so blinded by the "chemo's so bad for you" "Big Pharma's evil!" mantra that she forgot who the villian really is! Hint- it's the cancer.

    She wasted this last year running from legitimate treatment, searching for that miracle cure and all the while every new age, anti-conventional medicine sycophant she came across validated her irrational fear of doctors and encouraged her to "stick to her guns!" even as the cancer ate away at her and spread its poison throughout her poor body.

    So forgive me if I find comments about the perils of chemotherapy to be just a tad frustrating, because I can tell you right now that my mother is in the process of dying and it wasn't the chemo that did it, it was the cancer that she failed to treat.

    My mum is so scared right now, and so regretful that she didn't at least commit to completing 1 course of conventional treatment- just 12 weeks out of her life in exchange for the chance at a future.

    Of course we know there's no guarantee that she would have gone into remission, but at least she would have had a chance!

    And, for what it's worth, I think complimentary medicine is well worth pursuing, but not to the exclusion of those treatments that- horribly unpleasant as they may be- actually have a documented history of effectiveness.

    I'm glad that you are in good health and I sincerely hope that you continue to be, but I don't think this is the time or place to sow seeds of doubt in those who are confronting the reality of cancer treatment and all it entails.

    Sure, enourage people to do their research, get educated, seek second opinions etc. It's so important to be proactive about your health and your options, but adding to the sense of fear and confusion that already surrounds chemo and the like isn't the way to go about it.

    I just hope no one here has to spend months upon months begging their mum to please, please have the treatment because we love you and want you to fight...we know you're scared but we promise to be there with you every step of the way, so please don't turn your back on this opportunity, because once it's gone you never get it back.

    Dilemma

    Sorry to hear about your mom.

    Regular checkups, scans, etc., are not to be discarded and given up
    when one is doing any alternative. It's better to know what's going
    on, than to guess. Cancer doesn't rear it's ugly head until it invades
    an organ so heavily, that it can't be overlooked.

    I don't believe in most of the "alternatives" that others are using,
    and that includes "juicing". It is better however, to use whatever
    builds your immune system, than tear it apart using chemicals.

    Chemical therapy and radiation kills as many (or more) good
    cells than it does cancer cells. If I had to use either, it would
    be to kill a tumor, since neither chemo or radiation is effective
    against single cancer cells; the targeting methods of either are
    just not accurate enough.

    To blame mom's choices and declare some notion that doing
    chemo continually would have saved her, is foolish at best. There
    simply is no way of knowing what would have helped her more.

    I can honestly tell you, that I know more people that have died
    of complications of cancer after using only chemical therapy and
    radiation, than of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I have long
    outlived my miserable prognosis, and I never used chemo
    or had radiation. I have suffered more from the complications
    of surgery, than of cancer.

    That does not mean that I will survive cancer's ravages, but only
    that I did not have to suffer western medicine's ravages and have
    survived in spite of  "the odds" of not doing chemo.

    Each of us should listen to what our instincts; our intuition, tells us to.

    For some of us, it's to go the conventional route - for others
    of us, it's an alternative route, or perhaps a combination of both.
    But to declare that only western medicine will save you, is not
    in anyone's best interest. There are much safer ways to remain
    alive and well.

    I personally do not consider Traditional  Chinese Medicine (TCM)
    to be an "alternative", since it's been a medical science for nearly
    four thousand years, and has served billions upon billions of
    people for that duration of time. It remains being used to this
    day in Asian hospitals, along with western medicine.

    It's cured my AF, helped my body dissolve kidney stones, and
    DVTs...... I know individuals that once had diabetes and were
    totally cured, using TCM; all things that western medicine can not
    do, TCM manages to do.

    I do not want to convince anyone to forego conventional treatment
    for cancer, but to only investigate seriously, a very viable option
    that may serve them well.

    We are all different, and what works for me (and a few billion others),
    may not work for you.

    But please, don't cast it aside as "snake oil".

    Mom's radiation treatments and initial toxic remedies may have
    been a contributing factor to her poor results....

    May better health be with you always,

    John