My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer - What indicators should I be tracking?



My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in September. The news is still setting in and I have been doing my best to stay positive and keep it together but these last few weeks have been tough, my mom transitioned out of her previous care due to an insurance change and since then, she has had more bad days than good. She also switched to pills, so I am thinking that it can be a number of things. I am hoping to help her document her diet, medicine, and symptoms as closely as possible and also hoping to  help her in understanding her progress by keeping a record of it. 

Are there any particular indicators that I should keep in mind as I'm helping track her progress? I remember her doctor mentioning the tumor marker (CEA) in the past, are there any other indicators we should keep in mind?

Thank you.


  • Tueffel
    Tueffel Member Posts: 327 Member
    edited February 2021 #2


    I am sorry you have to join this forum. My dad is the one with stage 4 cancer so I understand your need to do everything as possible.

    You are doing your best! Is your mom after surgery? Which chemo does she have? Radiation? Please tell us a little more on what your mom has gone through.

    CEA is in some people a goid marker, in some not. You can also check LDH and Ca 19-9 which are also used. Liver enzymes and markers are important because chemo affects the liver, so AST, ALT, GGT, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase. Platelets, Hgb and MCV and wbc are also good. You dont see the disease itself there but if they are good your mom will continue with chemo.

    Proper hydration is good. Vitamin, zinc. Mg. I dont know about vitamin C as infusion. In my country it is not commonly used. 

    I read that exercise is good but I just read about it. 

    Here are longterm survivors cured or still going strong who can have more input especially regarding supplements and nutrition. They will be better help thsn I am.

    Just dont forget to laugh with your mom and spend time with her. Cancer is not everything and a positive attitude makes the fight easier. 


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    Welcome to the forum

    You join an ever growing number of children here, who are fighting the fight along with their parent. 

    As a patient, I would suggest not stressing your mum out too much, which can happen innocently when you are overly concerned. 

    Tuffel has some great advice above. 

    Your mum is lucky to have such a loving child by her side. 


  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member

    To strenthen your hope for your mom look up my case.  I was 77 when diagnosed. Currently 88 and NED past 10 years. NED is no evedence of disease.  At any rate, I'm living proof that Cancer can be beat.    

    Just take it a day at a timeand hope for the best.

    Good luck!!!