New here...

judymike Member Posts: 11
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi, I'm new here as a member, but have been reading posts for about 3-4 months now. My husband (44) was diagnosed in October 2005 after being treated for hemmorhoids by his family doctor for over a year! He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer as it had spread to his liver.
Right away he began 6 weeks of radiation along with the 5FU pump 24 hours a day. After that, he had chemo (Folfiri) for 1-2 months. In february 2006, he had surgery for his primary tumor, which was so low, he needed to have a permanent colostomy. Once partly healed from that surgery, he was told by the liver specialist that nothing could be done on his liver, as he had tumors on both lobes and too close to the vein, that's it... So, we took upon ourselves to check out liver specialist. We found a very aggressive doctor in Montreal, and decided to go that route. So, more chemo, then a first liver resection in September 2006 which removed 60% of his liver.
He now has tumors near the portal vein, so we need more shrinkage of the tumors before a second liver resection. He had a "therasphere" treatement in March 2007 which hopefully can delay the spreading, as his platelets have been under 70 since January 2/07. Went to see a hematologist end of April 2007 to have a bone marrow aspiration, but this came back clear with no cancer (thank God!)... but no explanation for the low platelets!!! He started chemo again last wednesday (FolFox with Avastin) and we hope that after a few treatments, the tumor will shrink enough to go in and resect.
Very very long process, he always had good outlook , but we are getting very tired. He had problems since day one with insurance company, owing over 8000$ and now with income tax, no one told him to file another form at the beginning of his illness, so now he owes over 7000$... Who knew that getting sick could land us in the poor house? We have 2 daughters, ages 14 / 16, are also being treated for depression, so, I must tell you my life is quite full. I've made a claim for long term disability as I cannot cope with all of this. I'm hoping it goes through.

Thanks for listening.


  • mjay2
    mjay2 Member Posts: 7
    Welcome. I am sorry you are her but I am so glad you came.

    You are doing remarkably well. I am glad you reached out. This journey is not easy for anyone involved. No one has it better or worse... it all just sucks.

    Hang in there and stay in touch. There is a great group of people here.

  • kmygil
    kmygil Member Posts: 876
    Although I'm sorry for the reason, I am so glad you decided to join. This is a great place to get really good input and exchange ideas with others. You are smart to come to a place where you can air out your feelings and questions knowing others have dealt with similar circumstances.

    As for insurance companies, I have had a great one so far, but my husband's company is changing insurance carriers to one that I have dealt with before, and I anticipate huge problems. I feel for you.

    Bless you and your family--you are in my prayers.
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    Oh, my dear, what a tough road you all travel! You caregivers are the true angels...shielding us fighters as much as possible from the realities of insurance, doctors, and dark prognosises!

    I know that stage 4 survivors have a long, and sometimes lonesome, fight...but your hubby is so lucky to have the 'lonesome' covered by you!

    That liver is an amazing organ, isn't it? Regenerating, what a wonder!

    From my own experience, I have learned that threats are all the insurance companies and the IRS understand ( friend was HORRIFIED when I told her I had yelled at the response? "Hey, if I lose my life fight, they can't come after me anyway!!!!!").

    Can you all take a little break and go somewhere that doesn't involve cancer to recharge? Even a friend's house, a change of scenery can REALLY help (even day cancer talk allowed!).

    I am sending prayers for all of you....this beast is SUCH a TERRORIST!!! And SHAME on the people that should be on your side fighting, instead of against the insurance!!!!!!!

    BIG HUGS, Kathi
  • judymike
    judymike Member Posts: 11
    Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I try to make life as easy as possible for my husband, as trying to take care of the girls and myself in between. Insurance companies and Revenue Canada want their money, and have no feeling whatsover for the health and worries of people. It's a shame, but we're here to fight, and fight we will. Sometimes I think it's a dream, a nightmare, that we'll soon wake up and it was not real.. but... it is :( I just hope platelets keep a little high to go ahead with chemo, so we can shrink those tumors! Does anyone know of anything (in Canada) to help increase platelet count?
  • sladich
    sladich Member Posts: 429
    Hi there. I'm new to the group too. I have Stage IV colon cancer. I've also had a liver resection. Hang in there and keep positive thoughts! It definitely works. How's your hubby doing mentally? There's also a procedure called "chemoembolization". The radiologist goes up through the groin and inserts high potent chemo directly into the liver. I had a liver resection in November 2005 and then had another tumor in my liver. I had the chemoembolization, then a RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA), and then chemoembolization again. The chemo is really thick and high potent. I had these procedures 4 weeks apart (November-January 2007). You may want to check it out to see if your hubby is eligible.
  • Lisa Rose
    Lisa Rose Member Posts: 597 Member
    Welcome to our CSN family.

    My father had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( COPD ) for many years. He had low platelets all the time the only drug that worked for him to keep his platelets up was Prednisone.

    Where in Canada do you live? I live in Moncton ( Riverview ) New Brunswick.

    This is a great board so please stay with us . . .

    Lisa Rose
  • hopefulone
    hopefulone Member Posts: 1,043
    Hi , sorry for your troubles. My husband also stage IV w/liver mets. Hoping for shrinkage so we can have other options. Just starting round 4 of chemo tomorrow, last scan did show some slight shrinkage after avastin, with xeloda and oxal . We intend on seeking more opinions, as our onc also pretty much said chemo, and that's about it, but one surgeon told us that rfa/resection/etc. were NOT ruled out in future. I guess you just have to keep pursuing options and be your own advocate. Stay the course. I know it's hard with bills pouring in, but I've decided, that it's worth it and you know that old saying they can't get blood out of a rock . . We all battle with insurance. They seem to have no problem taking our premiums for years, but every excuse in the book not to pay for something. Prayers for you and your family. Come here often for support. We all need support. God Bless

  • ninthave
    ninthave Member Posts: 12
    I'm so sorry to here of your situation. I got diagnosed at 39, misdiagnosed for 20 months with roids too. I sued my doctors and am about to make settlement in a few weeks, no trial. You probably dont want something else to worry about but I wanted to tell you about it.

    Luckily my cancer didnt spread, and i missed the colostomy by about a centimeter. I know someone who also had it in the liver and she is doing great. Oxiliplatin was a real effective chemo. Let me know if you have any question. Prayers.