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Your thoughts on prognosis

Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2006

My husband was diagnosed July06 with rectal colon cancer. MRI suggested it was stage II (T3). MRI also showed some suspicious enlarged lymph nodes one away from the area. Had chemo/radiation before surgery. Surgery went well. Did bioposy during surgery on node out of area, was benign. Pathology came back T2, NO, MO - keep in mind chemo & radiation shrunk tumor and could also have killed cancer in lymph nodes if in fact they did contain cancer, we will never know. Nothing was said about prognosis (I didn't ask because I was in shock about the good pathology report) but I am making the assumption that he has a good chance at beating this. I also don't refer to him as having cancer anymore? Should I? He is currently receiving chemo, has three more sessions to go. I would be interested in your thoughts. Thank you all so much.

kbienapfl's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Ginny. I am very happy to hear about your husbands successful treatments. My heart goes out to both of you. Your husband is lucky to have you by his side.

It appears your husband and I have a very similar story. I was diagnosed with stage II in July as well. I completed my chemo infusions/radiation treatments in September. When I revisited my surgeon and oncologist in October, they were of the impression we had beat it. Now I have recurring symptoms.

My husband and I have also been living with the "cured" mindset. I would actually get upset when people would congratulate me on my remission.

I honestly don't know what the answer is to your question. I am looking forward to seeing the responses you receive. I do recall my radiologist telling me that it is a wait and see mode for three years.

My best to you and your husband. Kathy

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

Congratulations on your husband's success thus far! Regardless of the stage, cancer is cancer. Kinda like there is no such thing as "a little pregnant" there is no such thing as a little cancer! lol

You are totally right that there is a great chance of beating this! Looks like he already has! I, along with several others on this site, am a stage 4 survivor of slightly over 5 years. There is hope for everyone on every level. I feel it's important to remain positive, upbeat, and optimistic that there can be victory.

You are a great wife for offering him the support he needs to get him through the rough times. I believe that anyone that is still here to participate in life is a survivor. I don't think that there is a magic cut off time of when the worrying needs to stop. Frankly, I'm not sure it ever does! However, the important part is to live life to the fullest, love your family daily, and appreciate every ounce of life.

Take care,


nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Stacey has said it all. I'm also a stage 4 survivor of over 5 years. My doctor is tired of giving me a 6 month prognosis.. bud

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Well, Ginny, I doubt your husband would like to be referred to as having cancer. I would be startled if my wife referred to me as having cancer. I had LAR for rectal cancer (T3N0M0) in Dec '05, and it's gone now. There's a small chance of recurrence, but why dwell on that? Your oncologist is cautious because he wants your husband to return for follow up tests when he's finished chemo. But he'd do that anyway, right? Time to put an unpleasant episode behind you and move on.

Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2006

Ginny5...I am an eight yr survivor of colon cancer. I had surgery and went straight to chemo. I would say learn as much as you can about your husbands cancer. And, get a pad and pencil and write down all the questions you want them to answer. Usually the oncologist is very happy to answer them. I made a list of about 25 to 30 questions. Some may have sounded silly to him but to me they were very important. I don't even think about cancer. Call it what you like Ginny5. Just keep a positive attitude.

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I'm also a rectal cancer survivor. I'm not sure a question (or answer) about prognosis would serve much purpose: statistics have their uses, but not when it comes to an individual. It sounds like your husband has had "state of the art" treatment. I don't refer to myself as having cancer and I don't like the term remission. I like the term "survivor" and "currently cancer-free". Good luck to him with the last 3 chemo sessions. And best wishes to you both.

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