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Life Expectancy

afraidinindy's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

My husband has colorectal cancer with liver mets. They operated on him on August 1 and did a colostomy and sewed him back up. They said they were unable to remove the tumor. It has spread throughout his abdominal and pelvic cavities and is attached to his bladder in a couple of places. They plan to just keep him comfortable as they say there is nothing more then can do as far as curing it. Does anyone know how long a person can usually live with this prognosis? Thank you.

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

I don't know the answer to your question. I just wanted you to know how sorry I am for you and your husband.
Have you considered alternative treatments? I've heard some amazing stories. And the nice thing about alternatives is they don't make you feel sick. Just a thought.
My prayers are with you.

afraidinindy's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Thank you for your concern. I know nothing about alternative treatments. I just know from everything I've heard, if they do this chemo to try to buy him more time, it will probably do nothing but make him weaker and sick. I pray not, but I've heard that comment many times.

Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Im so sorry for what your going through. It will be the hardest thing you ever will have to endure. Have you asked the drs how long. I know they cant be exact but they can give you a pretty good idea. My dads dr's told him 3 months and 2 1/2 months later he was gone. There are signs that the dr's can see that will give them a idea of how long. I know the signs for my dad where. 1. losing weight rapidly. 2. getting weaker and weaker each day. 3. not wanting to eat much. 4. His urine was a bright orangy/red. (that means the kidneys and liver are shutting down. 5. Sleeping more and more each day and up all night long. If he has any of those signs you might want to consider Hospice. I know thats a hard decision to make and you feel your giving up once you call them in but believe me they can make him comfortable and thats whats important now like the dr's told you. My mom did not want to get hopsice because she was in denial and I feel my dad suffered for no reason. If she got hospice sooner he would not of had as much pain as he did. Mindy

afraidinindy's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2006

Yes, Mindy, you are right - it's very hard but I appreciate and will take your advice. Right now he seems to be holding his own. I'm just so frightened by what's to come.

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I agree with Mary and with you.
There comes a point where you say to chemo "That's it. The benefits just don't outweigh the costs".
Look at this as a healing (yes, healing) time. For you and your husband to become even closer, for him to take care of relationships that may have gone lacking, to finish up tasks that are started. Rest. Enjoy the bits of life that most of us take for granted.
I don't think anyone knows specifics, averages is all you will get, and those are, well, average.
And, don't forget, there ARE still miracles...if his list is not complete, neither is his time complete. Trust in that. Eat well, cherish every moment.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

"Life isn't measured by the number of breaths you take; life is measured by the number of experiences that take your breath away."

Love each other. Enjoy each other. Consider a call to hospice.

Keeping you both in my prayers.

- SB

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


Even if he is holding his own, please get hospice service ASAP. You both need it.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

God Bless both of you.


Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Only God knows how much time any of us have on this earth. Yeah, some doctor's are willing to take guesses and those hunches are sometimes correct, however, no one really knows what will happen. I know many people who were only given months to live and are still here years later. Maybe you could contact hospice and just talk to them about the services that they offer. You as a caregiver need to do this not only for your husband, but also for yourself. Maybe you could also contact a naturopathic doctor and just ask if there are any supplements that could help. You and your husband continue to be in my prayers.

God bless you both,


Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Indy. ((((HUGS)))). When it comes to estimates the doctors can give you a measured response when it comes to the final months. THey gave my mother three months and three months it was. They gave my sister six months and she passed in four (but that was after she outlived their other predictions by 1-1/2 years!).

Like Mindy pointed out, there are tell-tale signs to look for and nobody knows these signs better than hospice. They blend right into your household, only coming as you feel necessary. One used to come to my sister's house and when she was done checking her they would chat and she would do a load or two or laundry, which made my sister feel better knowing her husband had clean socks! Not saying they will all do this kind of thing, but they are angels who can tell what your needs are before you can even tell.

There is always the natural diet that Scouty subscribed to as well. It takes 100% commitment and it isn't easy, but neither is it easy for your husband to go through what he is going through now. Whether he wants to try a radical diet approach is completely dependent on how he feels. Have the two of you ever had a chance to talk about it?

jerseysue's picture
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

Sorry about the awful news! Just be together and talk and try and stay happy! Laugh with him, hug him just be with him. I'm to tears I wish you all the best I will be thinking of you.

Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi and I my tears are stinging my eyes thinking of you. My friends Mom was told 6 months and she went 10...my husband was showing all the classic signs of "the end" last Dec..sleeping, pain. mucous, yellow eyes, vomiting, and then low and behold the chemo took effect and after a change in protocol he is now measuring less mets than a year ago both in size and number...can you insist on some form of chemo..at least xeloda???
I'll pray that you are given the strength to get through this..please email me if you need to chat..

Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

i wish i could answer your question but i wonder if it would help. maybe it is better not to know and just make everyday the best that it can be. my heart aches for you and your husband. please dont forget to take care of yourself.

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

We all understand your fears. None of us know the answer to your question and the doctor can only guess. You know when you're ready to turn it over to God and believe the part about "Thy will be done" and just do the best you can, living life to the max and taking care of the important things, it does get easier. The key for me was to realize that we humans are all terminal, not just me. (HUGE HUGS) I'll be praying for you both. jams

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

Hi Indy,

You don't know me because I have been computer-less for two months but those who do can vouch for my sincerity.

When the doctors have given up is the time that you have nothing to lose and maybe something to gain by trying laternative medicine.

I didn't do any chemo and used all alternative medicine. Granted, I had my tumor removed but then I researched like crazy on other natural protocols.

What I ended up doing was juicing organic fresh veggies and fruits and eating a vegan macrobiotic diet. I have been cancer free for 5 years now.

There's a good book to read about this--actually a few.

A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm. She juiced herself to a cure when doctors sent her home to die.

Your Child Doesn't Have to Die by Leanne Sorteberg Her toddler son was sent home to die and she started juicing him and giving him mega vitamins. He's alive today ten years later (but he is battling a fatal liver disease due to the chemo treatments)

He had tumors that could not be removed and tendrils that spread and wrapped around major organs. The juicing made the tendrils retract and the tumors died. I kid you not. I know this family personally (Leanne was in my homeschool group).

When Hope Never Dies by Marlene McKenna She opted for the macrobiotic approach to healing her cancer.

Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin.

This is a start. I wish I could help you more but I am posting on someone else's computer and I have to go now.

Please give it some thought. There is SO much out there that you can try for your hubby.

If you start anywhere with diet a good place to start is by cutting out ALL whites: sugar, flour, grains etc. Cancer feeds on sugar.

my prayers are with you.

peace, emily who is still juicing 5 years later....every day!!

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