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Need Some Advice...

jessariane's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi my mother was diagnosed last year with Stage III colon cancer. She had surgery and chemo and was fine, up until last week at her routine check up they found her cancer markers(i do not know the lingo sorry) went from a 3 to a 13 in less than 3 months. They told her it was Mets to the liver. They scheduled a CT and did find a large mass on her liver, which looks to be located in the center, but will not know for sure if it is operable until the MRI. They have scheduled that for next Thursday. I wish they wouldnt make her wait.

So anyway i am confused and scared. The doc told her that if it is operable she will have surgery and chemo and this would prolong her life up to 5 years. If it is not operable he said she could have chemo to give her a year or so, but she would be sick. He would not tell her what her life expectancy would be without, anyone have any idea?? Anything???

I just am so worried because i live 2000 miles away and do not want to miss out on any time i may have left with her. So if anyone could share their similar stories or give me some advice i would so appreciate it. I have tried looking around online but can not find much, and dont really know what exactly to look for. I do not like asking her questions because she doesnt seem to want to talk much about it.

So thanks in advance.=)

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Sorry to hear the news. The best outcome is if it can be removed by surgery. If it can't be sure to get multiple opinions. It is too bad about the wait. That is something most of us have a problem with as not knowing is the worst part of it.

We will pray for your mother and you.


BusterBrown's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

You found a good place to start, right here. You will find in time that this board is a great resource. All the posters are friendly and always happy to help when they can. There's seveal things I'd like to pass along to you based on my own experiences. I've currently in remission, I had crc with liver mets, I've had a colon resection, chemo, radiation, and just recently, liver surgery. I'm sorry to say that I'm experienced. Several things I did while I was dealing with all this, I started a blog, I would write a paragraph or two and let everyone know how I (family) was doing, how my test results were, and any other info I thought was pertinant at the time. My family and friends could read my posts and respond with encouragement, questions, and well wishes.
I can relate to your mom not wanting to talk much about things. I just wanted it to go away, I did my best to forget about it and live life an normally as I could. Give your mom some time, when she needs to talk to someone I'm sure she will.
Please tell your mom about this board and that's there's plenty of people in the same boat...
Hang in there and take it one day at a time...

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

I am stage II and currently undergoing chemo. I would recommend that your mother get as many second opinions as possible. I found the John Hopkins website helpful and the CSN Network very helpful.

About being 2000 miles away, just make sure you speak with your mother daily and let her know you love her and you are here for her when ever she needs someone day or night. You can always take long weekends to visits, send thinking of you cards, etc.

I hope this helps

Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 2005

I wouldn't fret over the time it takes to get the MRI...This stuff doesn't grow overnight and a few more days or even weeks won't make a lot of difference as you get scans and as others have recommended SECOND OPINIONS.

When 3 lesions (some pretty large) were found by the doc that did my colon resection, he told me that the cancer in my liver could not be cut out because it was near "structure" (blood supply, etc). I knew he did minor liver surgery himself so I thought he knew what he was talking about....he didn't. I told him that I knew surgeons like to cut and surely some "cowboy" out there would take a chance on cutting this out....he replied: "You'd bleed to death on the operating table".

So I went to Duke Hospital and saw Dr. Bryan Clary.....YADA, YADA, YADA, he cut out literally 1/2 of my liver almost 4 years ago, and I just went surfing for the first time in Hawaii 2 months ago, not to mention skiing my first double black diamond slope in Park City, Utah last winter.....

I haven't beaten this stuff, ( spread to my lungs about 3 years ago) but I still have a pretty good quality of life for a 48 year old.

I would tell your mom that she can still have a lot of good days ahead and ...... GET SECOND OPINIONS!!!

I also did hepatic arterial injection of chemo to my liver....If you are interested, please send me e-mail....even at this point, I am not sure if I would do it again or not...lots of things to consider on this, but you have to decide before the liver surgery, since they have to do it at the same time.

Oh, and a good friend of mine had stage IV metastatic colon cancer spread to her liver, and has been cancer free for about 4 years after getting it cut out.

A CEA (cancer marker) of 13 is not extremely high... mine was 587 when I first found the cancer almost 4 years ago....It got as low as .8 after surgery, chemo, etc, but is now back up to 9.

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006


Lots of good advice here. I want to make something clear... I think your mom's doc probably said that with surgery her changes of surviving to the magic five-year mark would be greatly improved. That doesn't mean she would die at that time. It's just a goal to shoot for, in some respects.

Second opinions are absolutely necessary in a case like your mom's. Find a doc whose willing to work for her cure. And she has to figure out from deep within herself what she is willing to do. But she needs to talk to doctors who are positive and will do everything they can to help. And she has to ignore those doctors who might tell her there is no hope.

Others on this board have competely recovered from Stage IV through diet alone. It is a tough choice to make, but it is always on option.

I am not sure how much time your mom would have if she chooses not to do chemo or surgery on the liver. Her doctors would be better able to tell her about that. A few months would be my guess, but that's all it would be, a guess. Everyone is different.

Hugs to you and your mom as you tackle the beast. It can be beat and often is. Keep your mom encouraged so she doesn't give up too soon. There is always hope. Remember that.

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