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Stage IV patients

Posts: 219
Joined: Feb 2003

My friend who doesn't have a computer wanted me to ask this question.
I had told her I read that someone at this site has been at Stage IV for 5 years; a man was told he had 3 months, but has lived for 8 years.
SHe has colon (Stage IV) and Non-Hodgkin's (Stage IV). She wants to know how people endure the 5-8 years of chemo.

Posts: 31
Joined: Jul 2001

I think that they endure it because they want to live. I have stage iv bc (don't you move into stage iv when you have mets?) and I also have a 4yr son who I want to see grow up. That is my motivation.

I know a lady at church who was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was told she had six months to live. 8 yrs later that believe that she is cured. There is no sign of it in her body and she did chemo for the last 7 yrs.

I think each person has to decide what is enough for them and how much they can take. I haven't reach that point yet. I think it is like whack-a-mole, you just keeping beating it down everytime it pops up. Fight small battles instead of the one big one.

Hope this helps.

gigglegirl's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2003

Dear Sue,
There are just so many factors that vary from person to person and even if they are similar some of us still for reasons not real clear seem to hang around much longer than others. I had a very dear friend 3 years younger than myself that died within a year of having BC advance to her liver and she had an immense desire to live (she had a 14 year old son that was the center of her universe along with a wonderful and loving husband), made use of all the alternative treatments available in conjunction with the traditional ones and really did all within her power to hang in there. She and I had the same Oncologist and were close friends seeming to head down very similar paths with the disease. So it's difficult to say that anyone thing is the answer to being here for an extended time.

I feel fortunate and blessed to have had so much time with my friends. I have been stage IV for almost 5 and 1/2 years and have done Chemo for most of that time. I had a good response to many of the drugs.

The doctors can give you a "guestimate" of time based on stats. I made the doctor give me an idea of what my life expectancy would be when I was 1st diagnosed as terminal, it was about 18 to 24 months and that was without liver disease. Oh well, I just kept pushing along. Some of the drugs we stopped using even though they were still working because they were making me feel worse.

I am not knowledgeable about colon or Non-Hodgkins so I have no idea what sort of Chemo is done for those diseases. It also depends on how extensively the disease has advanced to other parts and organs of the body as to what the doctors select for treatment.

Hopefully your friend has asked if they have given her Chemo as an option what sort of stats are available to make an informed decision. And sometimes you just go along and try things. That's what we've done with my treatments.

Mostly she needs to enjoy each day to the best of her abilites. I know that I had made up my mind that I would do the drugs until they just made me feel to bad to continue and then figured it was time to go see Jesus. With bone and liver involvement we have been able to switch drugs when things got too bad with one or take a little break without the disease advancing too far. God's grace in my case is what I have to tell you as to why. And some days trust me, I question His choices, I wanna go to Heaven and get out of this broken body. But, mostly I think Him for His love and grace in my life.

Wishing you and her the best, Lisa

blossomtime's picture
Posts: 98
Joined: Apr 2003

giggle what a true inspiration you are!!!! I hope to never be where you are, but if that is not the case, I know reading what you posted will help me. sharon

hummingbyrd's picture
Posts: 961
Joined: Sep 2002

I'm a stage 1V breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed 6/00 treated 8 months with chemo then radiation. About 3 months after treatment ended found a bone met to right arm 8/01, radiated, then met to low back, radiated. Recent regrowth to right arm, re-radiated. They've offerred me chemo, since 2001 but so far still declining. That stuff came a lot closer to killing me than the cancer has!
Had to have the surgery, chemo and radiation, but it's my faith in God that has kept me here.
Two new drugs out for colon cancer and NHL.
Avastin for colon, shuts off blood supply to tumor
check www.nih.gov for info, go to NCI then cancer types then treatment.
Latest for NHL is Bexxar, check out info on www.docguide.com
If you can email 2Bhealed, she had colon cancer and treated strictly with alternative therapy. I believe she's a 7 year survivor. She recommended a book to me called Prescription for Nutritional Healing. God bless and prayers for your friend. hummingbyrd

Booblady's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2004

I would appreciate response on nutrition. 1st breast cancer l986, 2nd 2002, and 2004 mets to spine. On Taxotere and Zometa.

Posts: 219
Joined: Feb 2003

Thanks, All of you courageous women. I will pass on the advice and information.
Hummingbird, you warned me about eating too much salmon. I heard the same information u gave me--about the salmon farms...on the TV this morning. Darn, I finally started to eat fish!!!!!!

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2004

hi names Paul here's my story,,, a little over a month ago my wife was diagnosed w/stage 4 bc w/ mets to her bones and lymphatics(numerous nodes). We have a 5 month old son and my wife is only 38. Shes doing ac chemo 4 rds every 2 weeks obout 1/2way thru now.Id like to meet other folks in a similar situation. Needless to say were scared but more than determined to whup this thing. If anyone has advice that might be of help please pass it along we just started and dont know really what to expect

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