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My dad's PET Scan results!!! Very sad!!

Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007

Well, I just wanted to write and let everyone know that my whole family went to the Dr. on Monday and we got the PET scan results and they were not good. The results shows that my dad's cancer has spread to his liver (which most of you knew already), lungs, pelvic area and the colon where it first started (supposed to be gone in the colon). We were absolutely shocked when they told us our mouths hit the floor, I looked at my dad and his eyes were just as big as can be in disbelief. I don't think he could even understand what they were saying. They would ask him a question and then he would look at us for the answer. The biggest one in his liver is 3.8 cm about the size of a golf ball, the biggest one in the pelvis area is 1.5 x 2.8 cm about the size of a grape and the biggest one in his right lower lung is 1.3 cm. Can anyone tell me what they think about all of that information? What is there to do for him now? Now there is no hope for a cure from what I have been told, since it has spread so much.

The Dr was very good explaining the different options he had and let him choose which one he wanted. He choose Irinotecan and Erbitux given once a week, the Dr also felt that was a good choice for him. I sure hope this will work for him and shrunk the cancer down. He will have another PET scan in 2-3 months to see if the chemo is working. We haven't had any good news yet, so I hope that will be the good news that we are looking for.

My dad is such a strong man; I don't see how he does it. He would do anything for his family. This latest information has devastated us!! I guess we just can't believe that this is even happening.

My mother, sister and I have briefly talked about taking a trip somewhere that he would like to go, while he is still healthy enough to go. Our only problem is financial issues, but we will put all of that aside for some great family memories.

Does anyone know of any financial help that is out there for help with paying cancer bills? My dads bills right now are well over $10,000.00 and that doesn't include anything that he has had done in the last 3 months or any of the up coming treatment.

Sorry it took me so long to write and let you all know the news. This has been a very tough one to process for us.

Thanks so much for listening and praying,

Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2006

Dear Dana: I was so sad for you & your family when I read your latest post. I've been following your Dad's story and I'm sorry for this difficult news. Thank goodness he had his family with him during the appointment.

I'm glad your Dad has chosen to take chemo! Hopefully he'll get some impressive results.

I don't know anything about financial help for cancer patients, but I bet someone here will know!

Again, I'm sorry for your devasting news. I don't know what to think when the doctor tells you that there is no hope for a cure. Look at Lance Armstrong - he had an agressive cancer in four places in his body. Now would be a good time for a qualified second opinion, if your Dad wants it.

Let us know how the chemo goes & you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi Aileen,

I too hope he gets impressive results with this chemo treatment, otherwise I believe he will stop.

Well, it is like we get a second opinion everytime we go to the dr, since they rotate them. It has been kinda nice in a way because we can get a different view point each time. We all really liked the last dr, the one who went over all the treatment options and explained very well. My dad was very happy with her since she explined to all of us as a family not just to him.
Thanks so much for listening and prayers.

Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2006

So sorry to hear the news about your Dad. Please don't lose hope. I wanted to respond to your question about financial help. I know of one agency that offers financial assistance and counseling. It is Cancer Care Inc. Their website is www.cancercare.org. Also, many of the large drug companies (for example Bristol-Myers Squibb for Erbitux 1-800-736-0003) offer patient drug assistance programs for free or reduced cost chemotherapy drugs. I hope this is info is helpful to you.

Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007

Thanks for the the information on the financial assistance. My dad will be taking the paper with him tomorrow to get it signed by the dr, plus they will call the 1-800 for Erbitux.

Thanks again,

Posts: 304
Joined: Dec 2005

I am so sorry to hear your news. I just wanted to share with you that my husband has been on irinotecan and erbitux for over 1 and 1/2 years. His cancer had spread to the abdomen and chest after completing the 5FU chemo. He had surgery for a blockage in 2/07 and was off for 2 months. The cancer spread during that time. He is back on chemo and doing fine again. There is always hope. If you have other questions-just let me know. I would be happy to share our journey with you.

Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007

I will never give up hope it is just sometimes it seems like everything piles up all at once and it makes it so hard to handle. We will keep praying!

Thanks, Dana

sladich's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

So sorry to hear the news. Don't give up hope. Keep positive thoughts! I hope you are able to find some financial support. The stress of money is not something a family needs during this time. Best of luck.


Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007

Thanks so much!!

alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

Who said there is no hope ?????? What about Avastin ??? Please read all the beautiful stories that we have here from stage IV friends. I was dx 2 1/2 years ago ...spread everywhere...remission for a while, came back and now I am ready for surgery and to be NED again....Tell him to stay strong....he has to believe..a lot of people here have also change their diets and we also have some vitamins....and pray, pray, pray..
Stay positive !
God bless

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I am sorry to hear about the PET results. You must all be just reeling from the shock. Sounds like you've got a good doc -- carefully outlining the options -- and it is good that there is a "cocktail" the doc thinks might be right for him. I'm afraid I don't have any advice on financial support -- but I applaud your family's decision to "build family memories".
Sending love and prayers your way,

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Remember to tell him that we have a lot of long time stage iv survivors on this site.
He has a long fight ahead of him, but with a family as close as his, he has a wonderful support system. We will keep him in our prayers.
Jo Ann

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Dana,
I just also want to add that I am a Stage IV survivor, although my case was different than your fathers. I was fortunate enough to have surgical removal of my mets. However, I have a mentor who is in her late 30's / early 40's. She has survived 8 years and has experienced mets in her spine, etc. She has a ton of good information and is a huge inspiration. Her name is Suzanne Lindley and she can be reached via the info. on my recent post entitled "More About SIr Spheres", see below....
Also, look at the story of alta29! She is now ready for surgery and has NED anywhere! Her doctor even mentioned that after this she may be CURED! I know you are not giving up hope, but I hope your father is not either. I was on Irinotecan too. I never did have the runs that everyone talks about, to the contrary, I was plugged up! I only got sick once, and that was my first treatment. Erbitux did not exist back then, so I was on Xeloda instead, but I hope he tolerates his treatment well. Make sure they pre-medicate him for possible nausea and get an Rx for Ativan. He can pop those if he feels queasy and he'll sleep through the whole thing! They also help for anxiety.
Best wishes for you and Dad,
Susan H.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi Dana, I too am sorry it wasn't better news. Your dad's treatment plan could produce shrinkage to allow for other options down the road , so don't give up hope . I will certainly be praying for your dad and your family and please keep us posted. God Bless

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