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Update on mom

Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello -

I wanted to post an update about my mom (originally diagnosed Jan 03, local recurrence June 03, Mar 04)

I mentioned in an earlier posting that the pathology report shows clear margins, 0 lymph node involvement. The surgeon recommended no chemo. Today we met with the oncologist who also recommended no chemo for quality of life. Hearing that phrase makes me a little scared - does that mean "there isn't much time left, so why suffer??" He said she could go ahead with chemo if she wanted to be very aggressive, but that he just wasn't sure it was going to work.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? My mom is looking to us for advice on if she should take the oncologists advice for no chemo or insist on it.

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

HI, Good to hear that mom is doing OK, but it does sound confusing to have had 2 recurrances with no rec for chemo. I can't speak from my experience; I am stage 3, small original polyp, but one microscopically positive node. My surgeon was actually pleased that I "qualified" for chemo, as chemo is usually not used without any positive nodes.
So, while it sounds like regular protocol for no chemo, I don't know how to factor in the recurrances. Have you sought another opinion? I don't recall where you live, but in the states, there are usually cancer care centers in larger cities that often take a more holistic view of patients needs. Good luck to you both. Judy

Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2004

Dear Vanser
I can only speak from a caregiver's point of view, but I do know how my husband would respond to your post....(hopefully he'll come back here and speak for himself soon)...he would say GET THE CHEMO!!!!!!!!
His big regret was not insisting on chemo following his original dx of colon cancer in June 2001. He had resection; no lymphs appeared malignant, so no chemo was advised as was standard protocol, even tho cells had penetrated to outside of colon. At the time he did ask about chemo, & he was willing to do it for the sake of 'let's-make-sure!', but they said no. He regrets it now more than I can say. Looking back, especially with everthing that has happened over the last 3 years, that if he could do it over again, he would have INSISTED on it. Now, there is no way to know if it would have made a difference. Stick to your own gut-instincts, and don't be afraid to ask as many questions as possible to her doctors...get another opinion as well. She is lucky to have you. Best of luck and health to her and you as well.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Vanser--I would probably go into the chemo discussion with mums onc a little further.
I was stage 2 with no node involvement but similar to Pam's hubby--the cancer went thru the bowel wall and invaded blood vessels etc.
In Australia it seems that now "everyone" dx,d gets chemo--yu still have a choice but is usually recommended anyway.
luv to yu n mum ---kanga n Jen

Posts: 102
Joined: Apr 2004

If it were me, which it isn't - i'm a caregiver.. I'd opt for chemo. My hubby is having it now (stage 4 when dx) but his father was dx 10+ yrs ago. Had surgery with ostomy bag sp? as it was so far down in his rectum. No chemo. I guess they thought they got it all... He was considered cured after 5 yrs with no recurrence... until 8 yrs after original dx. had mets to liver lung and pancreas. He's been on chemo now for 2 yrs and they are now just dealing with the liver met. His quality of life is wonderful considering all he's been through.. We all wonder though if he had been given chemo after original dx, if he would have truly been cured... In hubby's situation, there's no doubt that he needs it. Best of luck to your mother... I'd get a second third or fourth opinion if it were me... Hugs and prayers :)
Sally Jo

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