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What should I expect?

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2004

After reading all of the messages in this discussion makes me feel like I'm not alone. But I know there is no hope for my aunt. She was diagnosed with colon cancer stage 3 back in July of 2002. She had surgery to remove 2 tumors that were the size of a small apple and a goose egg. She ended up with a colostomy. Two weeks after her surgery, they found a spot on her liver. It is now a yr and a half later and she has been on every chemo medication and none of them have worked. The Dr did another CT scan and now it has traveled into her lung. The Dr said there is nothing else he can do. For the past month, the pain is settling in. The pain pills are taken daily. Now she has started taking morphine medication to settle the pain. If there is anyone who can tell me what to expect next? What other sympotms? How much time does she have with us? The Dr hasn't been that informative. I tried to keep her as active as she will be. But for mos, she has slowly whithered away. I feel she has no more energy to give. She has always stayed positive but I can tell that is fading. Please someone, talk to me! Any comments are helpful. To all the survivors, Congrats and God bless, for all the hard work to get there! It is so impressive to hear all those great messages.

Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

I'm very sorry to hear about your aunt. She must be an incredible woman to have fought hard for this long. It must be very hard for the both of you. I don't know how your aunt is feeling... She is experiencing what I fear as a stage 4 survivor. I would have to say, though, having experienced a lot of pain from treatment and the cancer, stay on top of the pain! Pain is exhausting and frustrating and depressing and just absolutely horrible. Whatever she needs to not be in pain, do it. I think it's also important that she is still as active as her body will allow. If and when I get to the point that time seems to be limited, it will be important for me to say all I have say and get everything in order. You also must be a sweet ansd supportive niece to be so concerned and involved, but remember to take care of yourself as well. Let others help you. You and your aunt are in my thoughts. If ever you need to "talk" don't hesitate to come and post... It does a lot of good.

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2004

Thanks Andreae! I appreicate the reply. So far you are a survivior, and that is impressive. That is hard work in itself. I really wish my aunt was somewhat a computer person, but she doesn't want to take the time to learn because this website is such a big help. It would help her to realize that there are so many people in the same sitution. She never wanted to go to any meetings or have anything to do with cancer. She has been in so much denial, that now it is too late. Thank-you again! Keep writing!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Tattoos, it is never too late. My own husband Bert cannot type worth beans and at first, he thought all of this was rather silly. Now he will sit next to me many times and comment on what I type, adding his own two cents worth. You can also print many stories for your aunt right of this Website...posts from others or if you will take a moment to look at the Personal Weg Pages...you'd be amazed what all you find. I do this for my mother who has lung cancer. She has enough trouble just working her remote control on the TV let alone a computer (hehehe). You'd be amazed how someone's dispostion changes when they come to realize by reading all of this information that they really are not alone in all of this.

As for the pain, I totally agree with Andrea...give her whatever it takes to keep her comfortable. Obviously life is precious to her or she wouldn't have put up the good fight that she already has and who's to say there isn't some more fight left in her. Her current oncologist may say that there is nothing left that he can do. Just a quick question...is your aunt being treated at a major cancer center? I swear by them, and only by them for more often than naught, there might still be something than can be done...at best, provide her with some quantity time that is filled with quality.

Your aunt should be very proud of you and obviously knows that you care very, very much for her. Continue to do so and convey that you have not given up hope. I will keep you and your aunt in my prayers.


Posts: 176
Joined: Mar 2003

Tattoos I'm so sorry about your aunt you must be a pretty special person to help her the way you have. I wasdx in june 2002 with stage 4 and so far am doing pretty good still fighting. If she is in pain give her what she needs to make her comfortable. Have you thought about a second opinion. Keep us posted and if you need to talk or vent thats why we are here.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

tattoos -

Back on February 5th I sent you the following:

"I am sorry to hear about your aunt. You know, that's something I guess we either purposely or subconsciously seem to avoid discussing here, but the reality is not all of us are going to win our fight. I guess the advice I have for you is to (1) consider seeking a second opinion in treatment options if your aunt is willing. Perhaps you can get on with a protocol. ACS can link you to various studies... (2) ACS can put you in contact with hospice specialists. They are a wealth of information and can probably answer most if not all of your questions. Your best bet to get the links you seek is to e-mail Jose, the csn guy here at csn. I believe that keeping your aunt as active as she will be is a great idea - it will keep her mind engaged and the endorphins released during activity will both lift her spirits and help with pain mamagement.

I suspect I haven't really been too much help here, but you may rest assured that you and your aunt are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone here. Hang tough, tattoos. One last word of advice - don't become so wrapped up in your aunt's situation that you forget to take care of yourself."

Have you sought out another opinion?

Have you looked into hospice care or contacted American Cancer Society for advice?

Did you e-mail Jose the CSN Guy for some information links?

Have you considered checking out the "Pain" discussion?

Best regards

- SpongeBob

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Sorry to hear about your aunt, but as others have said, she is lucky to have you and your support. My dad had advanced stage III when he was first diagnosed, 2 large tumors, and positive nodes. He did not need a colostomy, and went on to a year of chemo. A year after that, he was found to have recurrance in bowel, liver and lung. He decided against further chemo, and understood that he was terminally ill. I was sooo upset and sad for him, but he was a rock, depending on his family and faith to support him. As his condition worsened (he had a lot of difficulty eating, no appetite), he went on hospice care at home. The staff was very supportive. When he became too weak to walk without assistance, he decided to go to a nursing home for hospice care. It was a very positive experience, as far as those things go. Sponge B is right; we tend not to talk as much about those whose prognosis is poor, but my dad really saw this as just part of the cycle of life. The hospice nurse had meds that kept him very comfortable; one of his best meds was a gel that they used on his wrists, with pain meds and Ativan in it. It was not enough to knock him for a loop, but enough to keep him comfortable. He and my mother both had much support from the staff and the hospice social worker was a very special person. It is important to understand more about your aunt's situation from her MD; continue to advocate for her needs; in this health care system, everyone needs an advocate. Hope you find this site helpful, and hugs to you and your aunt. Judy

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2004

Thank all of you for the support and prayers. I really didn't think I would even get a response. She is at that point to where she isn't eating much, vomitting once or twice a day. She is even feeling a lump in her throat. She has been calling the Cancer Center in town for a protocal, but nothing is going on at this time, to call back in a week. I wish she would read some of the stories on this web site, but she doesn't even like hearing the word "Cancer". I have done some research and that is why I have gone this far. The good thing is she has the whole family behind her to help. I am the main person standing by her side, because she has never been married or has no children. I have tried to think of everything that needs to be done before that day comes. I agree that everyone needs an advocate when they are in the Dr office. She never questions anything. One time, I was ferious when I left the office, and it just made her made at me, so I have learned to bite my tongue and bear it. She is happy with her Dr, and I can't change that, trust me I have tried. Now, I just let go to make her has comfortable, and satisfied as possible. She knows I am there for her and I always have been and always will be. Thanks again, everyone! You have all been a big help.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Tattoos--I really can't add to all the responses from the guys here except to say that WE ARE ALL with you during this sad time.Do take care of yourself--all of us have spouses/friends that have had to wonder---"what can we do/say"--just BE there Tattoos--your support is the best thing you can do--trust me!
our best kanga n Jen---"down under"

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi tattoos,

sorry about your aunt.

I am stage 3 lymph pos colon survivor dx'ed august 2001. Mine did not spread so very fortunate there. I have been cancer free for 2 1/2 years having only done alternatives.

If the doctors have given up on her then you are free to try alternatives. What do you have to lose??


A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm.... she was sent home to die and discovered juicing and lived to write a book on how she healed her "terminal" cancer. She did eventually die but it was from all the blood transfusions she had that damamged her liver and gave her a disease.

That is just the tip of the iceberg for success stories with alternatives.

Please research and see what you can do for your aunt. I suggest you start juicing her fresh veggies juices with added barley and wheat grass powders.

Check out www.gardenoflifeusa.com I think that's the addy.

They have many products to help heal cancer. The developer had a severe intestinal disease that he healed and he helped his grandmother heal her cancer which was the impetus to develop his products....for his own health.

Give it a try. Encourage her to not give up. And get a colonoscopy yourself. I was 39 at dx and my sister who died was 29 and was sick for a few years before her (too late) diagnosis.

Hope any of this helps.

peace, emily the resident alternative preacher do I hear an amen?

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

Maybe someone can let me know what to expect in the future. My husband had a colon resection on Feb.14th. We found out the cancer cells has spread to his lymph nodes. He is so sick right now.They are not malignate.

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