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Brother cancer free?

Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2004

Thanks again to all of you who continue to give me great advice and feedback. Nearly a year ago, my brother was diagnosed stage III. I spoke to both his surgeon and his primary care doctor. They told me (and him) that he had cancer imbedded in his pelvic wall that was non operable and even with chemo and radiation he was probable looking at 12-18 months left. After 4 months of radiation and 8 months of chemo, my brother told me that his ONC doctor told him that there is no sign of cancer. Can this be true? Why would we have been told what we were a year ago? Although I'm thrilled, how can I verify this? Any thoughts are always appreciated.

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

That is good news. I can understand why you are a bit dubioius about the news that your brother is cancer free, but I assume he has had blood tests (CEA) and scans? If both show no sign of cancer or NED, then you can relax. There are many people on these boards who were given similar information that they only had a limited time to live and they have shown how they can survive. Recovery and survival really depend on the individual, the treatment, lots of other factors and no one should be told they have no chance...that is enough to make anyone give up right there and then. Good luck to your brother and to you, of course!

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Jim -

I am so glad to hear about your brother. That's absolutely wonderful, incredible, and awe-inspiring. Your brother's case is the very reason why when people come here and talk about the "odds" or the "time" their doctor has "given" them I go ballistic. Don't ever listen to the "odds". Make a choice to live and get well. Sounds like that's exactly what your brother did. Attitude is a powerful tool. Congratulations to you both.

- SpongeBob

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Your good news is a tonic here; if they say so, it must be true..that's verification enough for me; whatcha think about you bring about, and apparently your brother did just that. Ask him to visit here and tell his story. God Provides... Bud

grandma047's picture
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

I agree with SpongeBob. Don't ever listen to statistics. When I had cancer last year in July, 2003, they told me that taking chemo would only decrease a reoccurrence by 3%. I was in early stages and was told that they got it all. No further treatments. Then in Jan. 2004, it came back. Wish now I'd had the chemo. Well, who really knows if it would have made a difference. This time I took chemo, radiation and had APR. Permanent colostomy. Went through HELL and back. But, I'm doing well now. Well, good and bad days. But I told the doctors, DON'T EVER GIVE ME STATISTICS AGAIN!!! No one knows what the future holds and we can't live in fear. We must enjoy each and every day. Good luck to your brother and you. May God bless you both!!!
Love and prayers, Judy(grandma047)

Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Jim so glad to here the good news. I agree with everyone else don't listen to the odds,never give up.

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

That is fabulous news and shows a real response to his treatment which means his tumour is one that you know is sensitive to teh chemo and radiotherapy. It is an excellent prognostic factor for the future.
I don't want to be the doom monger on this board (but I do struggle balancing being a medical doc and having this cancer)but you do also need to realise that there is a difference between no sign of cancer on scans and bloods and NO cancer. There is still teh possibility of cancer cells lingering that are too small to see or to produce the markers that they test for on bloods. Therefore it is important that your brother continues to take advise about ongoing treatment and monitoring. Unfortunately this is one of those illnesses where only time can make you more confident of cure- people generally talk of five years free from cancer being likely to mean it won't come back. I am supposedly 'cancer free' after my op but stil having six months chemo to get rid of anything too small to have been seen by the surgeons- it is alll about doing whatever improves our odds getting rid of this thing permanently.

So I don't want to rain onyour parade and must emphasise that despite my doom and glooming it is still a fabulous sign aadn does bode well for teh future. Perhaps it would be good to go along with your brother next time he sees the specialist to talk more about what these results mean.

Best of luck, Steve.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Jim,

I'm glad your brother is doing so well.

I agree with the others about the statistics. The important thing we cancer patients can due is, like Steve said, stay on top of things by getting regular scans and blood work.

Best wishes and good health to you and your brother.

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