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I am scared for my dad :(

Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi all,
Thanks for answering all my questions this past week, I had so many.

Here the bad news: My dad will not be going for his radiation treatment for a while yet, he's supposed to go soon, but he's really sick and has severe abdominal pain (god, it's hard to see him this way) I remember this time last year he was having the time of his life with my newborn daughter and today, he's fitting the biggest battle of his life. Does it make a big difference how long you wait to have your radiation. His surgery was at the end of March and they remove the tumor the size of a tangerine. 11 out of 20 lymph nodes came back positive (that's what scares me the most).

My dad also has really bad heart problems, he had a quadruple bypass in 1995 and got a defibrillater installed in 1998 and they say that chemo is really bad on your heart, does any of you know if this is true or not?

As always, your honnesty is appreciated, good or bad news, I rather know the truth.

My last question is do you know of anyone that survived this horrible disease without the chemo, I am asking this, as I might have a feeling he will stop his treatments soon as he just finds it too much, on top of all this he has a permanent colostomy.

There is nothing more in the world I would like to see then my dad beat this disease, but I am getting scared.

Do any of you know of anyone that had around the same amount of lymph nodes involded as my dad and survived this without the chemo or radiation, he had his operation in March, I am wondering if it is possible that it's already in his liver, that's would be why he has so much abdominal pain? When do they normally do a scan to see if it has spread?

I am sooooo sorry for all these questions, if one of you would be kind enough to answer some of them, I would be greatful.

Thanks a million,

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hello Julie:

Is your dad stage III or stage IV. I ask because you mention the removal of a tumor and lymph node involvement, but no metasteses elsewhere. If there isn't any metasteses, then he's a stage III and has a good chance at cure. If there are mets elsewhere, you know already that there are several stage IV's on this board who are long time survivors....Stacey is one of them....stage IV with liver involvement and after four years (correct me here Stacey if I'm wrong)is currently NED....no evidence of disease. Emily, a stage III, didn't do the chemo route...she went with natural application, diet, exercise, etc. and is also NED...plus there are many others who have been dealing with stage III and stage IV for quite some time with relatively good quality of life.

How long your father has or what his chances are no one can say for sure. That's all up to someone else and HE doesn't live on earth. Each person is an individual and reacts to treatment in a different way. I have heard the certain chemo's can be very hard on the heart but your dad's oncologist will know which ones your dad can tolerate the best as far as his heart condition is concerned.

I know things don't look very good right now because your father is hurting and as a concerned caregiver, the last thing you want to see is someone that you love very much hurting. My husband has colon cancer, my mom has lung cancer and my biggest frustration comes from not being able to make it all go away. Your father, I'm sure, will get better and the knowledge that you are there for him and supportive of him will help him tremendously. Seeing your anxiety doesn't help him much in his battle as then he worries about you too when right now he needs all his mental strength to help him fight and ultimately win this battle.

Take a few deep breaths and if you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, march down there and light it yourself.


StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003


You have said everything so perfectly, that I cannot add anything else! There are SO many happy endings on this site. Everyone is different, but we all have the same desire to win this crazy battle.

Best to everyone,


Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Sounds like a rough time for all your family. I hope you are able to have some time for yourself and with your children as this will be affecting you all.

So many of your questions are perfectly understandableat this stage as there are so many unknowns in this game. But as I'm sure you know in your heart, there really isn't a definite answer to most of them. With respect to cure without chemo- it is always a possiblity (especially if there is no distant spread) that they took all the nodes that have cancer out but there are no guarantees. all that can be said is that overall chances are improved with chemo but that has to be weighed up against the downsides- side effects and the risk of putting further pressure on his heart. Some chemo can have a direct effect on how well teh heart functions but my understanding is that a lot of the difficulty with heart disease and chemo is simply the extra strain of having to heal the body and deal with insult of the chemo that is the main worry.

Most of your questions are ones that may be best directed at his oncologist- perhaps write them down and go along to the next appointment if possible.

I hate to have to go here but also you need to consider the possiblity of cures not being possible and about quality of life being the main objective. Whehter he has treatment or not the family must prepare themselves for this and think how best to ensure he enjoys his life the best he can- however much he has left. If tehre is one thing this illlness teaches you is to enjoy every day to the best of your ablity.

Sorry couldn't be more specific or positive but hope this helps- will be thinking of you all and let us know how it progresses.

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