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new diagnosis and scared

traci43's picture
Posts: 775
Joined: Jul 2007

Hi there - I was just diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I'm just 45 and female. Dr's thought it was ovarian cancer but pathology revealed colon cancer. I've had surgery to remove a 2 in section of colon, and 2 ovarian tumors. I'm to start chemo on Monday. Dr says outlook isn't good, but what are chances of success with 5-FU, oxiliplatin and avastin 2 days every two weeks? Anyone having sucess with that regimen?

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Traci,

First, I hate "doom and gloom" doctors. Statistics are so old that they aren't even relavent. Also, you are not a dairy product that can get an expiration date. There is always hope and don't let them take that away from you. I'm a stage 3 colon survivor. I had folfox which is oxiplatin, levecorin and 5fu. Did you get a port yet? If not, you should. I feel for anyone that is doing it in a different vein every time. There are lots of others that were on your regime. One thing you should ask your doc is about taking vit. B6 for neuropathy for oxiplatin. Others here have been given infusions of calcium and magnesium I believe to stop the neuropathy this chemo sometimes gives people. You will have lots of survivors chiming in. We have lots of stage 4 people on this site. HUGS and just know that you are not alone. Sometimes that helps with the worry. Also take one day at a time. We are a great support network here. Have lots of experience with side effects and what to do. One thing on Monday is get some immodium just in case. The infusions are a piece of cake, it is the after effects that get you. Always ask questions of the doctors and nurses if you need too. They are there for us. Being scared is normal. You will find this journey is a roller coaster ride. HUGS and come back with any questions you might have.

Lisa F.

alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

Don't allow Dr's to tell you that. My case was exactly like yours...went to surgery for "ovarian tumor" and it was colon cancer.That was 2 1/2 years ago...had surgery, chemo, then remission then breast cancer, then colon cancer came back in some lymph nodes ( or maybe they where always there)just had surgery and now I am NED ( No evidence od disease).Go back and read some of the old posts....change your diet and stay positive !!!! Go back a week ago and see all the Stage IV survivors that we have here....It won't be an easy road...but believe !!!
God bless

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hi Traci,

I'm with Lisa about "gloom and doom" doctors - they are @%%&% (insert you own word there). She is also absolutely right about statistics - pay no attention because by the time they are published they are old news. Think about it. If they publish a five year survival rate, they are talking about people diagnosed five years ago... Cancer treatment has come a very long way since then. Wish the rest of the world could too, but that is for a different discussion group.

Anyway, there are many stage IV survivors here who will support you and let you know that there is wonderful life and living after a stage IV cancer experience. My mom is a stage IV cancer survivor and is happy and enjoying life now cancer free.

I'm sad you have to go through the cancer gig, but know you are not alone and you will find loving support here for everything you need.

Prayers to you and yours...

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hi Traci and Welcome...
I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I agree totally with Lisa about "prognosis". It's ussually based on old statistics which aren't relevant when predicting individual responses and outcomes. My approach is to "accept the diagnosis and defy the prognosis".
It looks like a pretty good chemo regimen you're starting, 2 days every 2 weeks is pretty common and 5FU/Oxal/Avastin is a good solid mix.
Good luck on Monday. The chemo nurses will be very helpful and answer any questions you have about side-effects. You'll find lot's of good support from people here who have been through the mill, including many long-term stage 4 survivors.
Bye for now... Rob; in Vancouver

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Welcome, Traci.

Hummm, well, for the rectal I was stage III, and the breast I was stage II....does that make me a stage V?????

I feel like smacking your doctor!!! There is this four-letter word I would tatoo on his/her forehead....it's "HOPE"!!!!

My hugs are being sent, and strong vibes as well...

Seriously, I was stage III rectal, 5FU and cisplatin nailed it so badly that when surgery time came, all the stuff they removed was cancer free...

But, welcome to the semi-colons...After my surgery with resection to remove my rectum and sig colon, and a total hyster, I wrote to my surgeon...
"I came with a colon, left with a semi-colon and lost my period. So are the punctuations of my cancer experience!"

Hugs, kathi

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I'm sorry about your diagnosis but WELCOME to this board. I just finished the exact regime you will be on -- and I'm currently NED (no evidence of disease). I am stage 4 -- originally stage 3 rectal but I have had two recurrences in the lung. Live strong. Keep the faith. I plan to be around to see my sons' weddings (they are currently 14 and 16 and very smelly, so there is a ways to go.....).

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I was 46 when diagnosed 4 years ago. You will get through this. You have found a great site. There are many stage 4 suvivors here. You need a more positive doc. How about another opinion from a major cancer center?

Good luck, try to remain positive and keep us posted.


kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Yeah Maureen, I was about to recommend the same thing, another doc, another opinion and a major cancer center!! A negative doctor is the LAST thing you need. Lot's of stage IV survivor's here. I live in Texas and go to MD Anderson Cancer Center. My doctors there have always been very positive, if one drug doesn't work, then we'll try another...

I'm sure Bruce will chime in here, he always says, "never, ever give up".

Let us know how you are doing.


jerseysue's picture
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

I was dx with colon cancer at 41 and they weren't sure if it was colon or ovarian but it also turned out to be colon. That was April of 2005. It returned in Oct of 2006 in my stomach. As of right now I am NED (no evidence of disease) which is a great thing. I had the same regimen as you however I had to wait 6 weeks due to the surgery they removed my uterus and my ovaries and of course some of my colon. Best of luck and don't let them scare you. Be strong and kick some cancer butt!

apache4's picture
Posts: 272
Joined: Jul 2007

I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer that had gone to the liver with tumors too many for them to count. This was a year ago. I had the surgery to remove the colon cancer and have been on the same chemo as you will get ever since. I was lucky as I mainly get very tired, but it improves each day after treatment. My tumors have reduced in size and are stable. I will continue chemo as long as I can. The "oxy" did cause neropathy in my feet and fingers, but it is still tolerable. Good luck to you...and I agree with others that you need a more hopeful doctor.

joyceann619's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 2004

Hey there,
I am 41 yr old female, stage 4 since June 2004. I started out on the same regimen as you. For me, that regimen was very tolerable.
Drink lots of water and stay hopeful! Prove your doctor wrong!

sladich's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Ditto on all of the above replies. Positive thinking!


jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Couldn't agree more with the advice above that emphasizes staying positive and focused. Getting this diagnosis is terrifying; I felt like I couldn't breath for months after mine.
If your doc says the outlook isn't good, I would either discuss his need for a change of attitude or switch to another onc; second opinions can be helpful and you want someone who is clearly in your corner for this fight.
I was stage III, now 3 years out of treatment. I was greeted here by Stacy...stage IV young mom, mets to liver and she is now more than 5 years out with no cancer...that's the kind of info your onc needs to impart.
Hang in there; keep us posted. Judy

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi and welcome. Everyone has said it so well. Doctors don't "know" everything and many statistics are outdated and people are people and not statistics. Don't be afraid to get second and third and fourth opinions if necessary and be your own advocate. You'll be in our prayers . Keep the faith
God Bless

Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2006

Hello Traci,
Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. My husband who is now 58 was diagnosed 1/5/06 with STage IV Colon Cancer with Met to Liver. I 100 percent agree with Maureen you need a more positive doctor. Our 1st doctor gave us no hope, 4 months later we switched doctors. 7/13 will be one year since Dennis's surgery (rectum removal,liver resection and colostomy). We have finished all rads's and chemos and now are NED, eleven days short of 1 year. Our doctors that we have now talk of nothing but HOPE. Dennis's is now back on his motorcycle. He was on the same chemo regimen as you. Please do ask a lot of questions, we did have issues with neuropathy and oxiliplatin and still do. Keep us informed and best of luck.

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