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What to Expect?

afraidinindy's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Does anyone have info that might help me in the terminal colorectal battle my husband is fighting? I'm so very nervous, not knowing what to expect and when to expect it. Are there indications that the disease is worsening? My husband is rapidly losing weight - like 2 to 3 pounds a day. This just started within the past 3 to 4 weeks. Through the chemo/radiation therapy he maintained his weight, but has now lost 30 pounds. His eyes look strange to me, sort of like "buggy" - is this indicative of anything or just maybe caused by the pain medication? All the docs have told us is that it is terminal and they can't say how long they think he can last. It's so scary to know we're facing this but don't know what nor when to know things are worsening to the point of needing to reach out for more help, such as hospice, etc. Any thing anyone can tell me to enlighten me will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

pjenks57's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Nov 2003

I am so sorry to hear this about your husband. I just went thru the same thing. My husband fought a couragous battle for 2 years and 8 months. He died on May 27, 2006. My husband was showing the signs of dying long before I knew it. No one would give me any information either but I finally did call in hospice and they gave me a book that told me what to expect from about 4 months prior to death until hours before death. We were a little slow about contacting them because he died 7 1/2 days after we contacted them. The book did give me some information and helped me know what was coming next and it was right on target. I know this is a terrible time for you and I pray that you have a support system with family and friends. It is very difficult to take at all but doing it alone would be unbearable. I don't mean to take away the chance for hope but reality sometimes steps up and slaps you in the face. If you would like to talk more just e=mail me and we can compare notes.

I pray for you and ask that God will wrap his arms around you and yours and give you peace and comfort.

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

indy, call hospice and arrange a home visit. My sister had hospice for months before she passed away from lung cancer and she (and her family) loved the care she received from them. They are more expert at letting you know what to expect and when. They even pegged the day of my sister's passing and that gave us all a chance to get up to where she lives to say goodbye. Most importantly, they can deliver the pain meds and make your husband comfortable as well as a shoulder for you to lean on. They are fantastic.

I, too, wouldn't take all hope away from you, either. Scouty was Stage IV and used extreme diet to cleanse herself from the beast. Have you talked with Scouty? She'll pass onto you the diet she undertook if you and your husband want to give it a try....(((((HUGS)))))

Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi if you want to email me and I can let you know what in detail to expect but I will tell you that one of the first sighs of my dad dying was rapid weight loss and his urine was a bright orange/reddish color. We where told that was his body starting to shut down. The buggy eyes could be because he lost so much weight. When my dad lost alot of weight his eyes and teeth looked huge to me because his head shrunk. he got weaker and weaker everyday and did not want to eat much. Also a sign of the body shutting down. I could go into the details of what to expect the last month but Im not sure if your at that point yet but if you need to talk please feel free to send me a message on this forum. Mindy

afraidinindy's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Thanks for your reply. We will definitely check into hospice care but have just changed doctors. We are going to the oncolocy dept. at Indiana University Medical Center. The doctor that is seeing him is the Assistant Professor of Oncology. They will do another PET/CT Scan on Sept. 8 and then we'll see the doctor on Sept. 12. Depending on the outcome of the scans they will possibly begin a different type of chemo treatments. The docs say his cancer is not curable, but treatable to try to buy him some more time and to make him more comfortable. I know nothing about hospice but will definitely be checking on it. They took his staples out today and the pain is being controlled quite well at this time. The doctor said if he wants to take our 15-year-old to Disney World, he suggests around Labor Day. He feels it's OK for him to go and that he needs to do so before they start this next chemo treatment. I'm nervous about it but plan to check into flights, motels, etc. Not that we have the money, but I am taking it out of our retirement fund. Doing something good with him is more important than worrying about my retirement. The Lord will take care of me and I still have a few years to wrok. If you have any other thoughts or suggestions, please let me know.

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 2003

I am soooooo sorry you are going through this...I am on the flip side of the coin. When my mom died of colon cancer there were no obvious inpending signs. She was in a wheelchair due to fluid buildup and she had the cancer in her bones so she hurt terribly to even try to walk but they had just bought a new house a week before she passed and she was there in her wheelchair pointing to me where to hang everything and we would go to the store and she was in one of those motorized carts you see in Walmart riding around shopping. And then the day before she died she asked me to get her some paint so she could touch up some family antique picture frames and she sat out on the front porch ALL DAY painting those frames just as peaceful. And that evening she came in and asked me to put on some soft music and sha layed down on the couch and i left becasue my dad was fixing to be home. When i left she told me "dont ever forget how much i love you" and that night i got a call from my dad saying her lungs were filling with fluid and they were taking her to the hospital. Within 3 hours she was gone. She was never on any kind of iv painkiller. I was her sole caregiver in the end. I miss her with all my heart and if it woudl had taken the rest of my life to take care of her i would had but i never would had wanted her to suffer. I wish you and your husband all of my prayers and i pray for your strength. Much Love, Danielle

pepperdog's picture
Posts: 96
Joined: Jun 2006

Indy, I have no helpful advice for your situation, but just want you to know how much your messages touch me; I can hear the pain and fear in your words. Please know I am thinking of you and praying for your strength through the days ahead. Many of us on this site are aware of you and your husband's situation and we care.

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

My step-father had colon cancer that spread and we watched him go. There was nothing to be done and at times it was extremely hard on the family. Hospice was great don't wait to call them.

Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2006

I advise you to have a look at www.kanglaite.com
Just try everything you could to help him out.
God bless.

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