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How do you remain optimistic?

Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2007

After 2 chemo rounds to fight stage 4 colon cancer caused blood poisoning that landed him in intensive care for a week, my father accidentally asked for a prognosis.
He was told 2 years.
After making through a week in a coma he had his mind set on being a miracle - but instead he has been told he has about 24 months (2 of which so far have been spent relearning how to walk.)
My father STILL believes he can beat this. Unfortunately he sometimes gets the feeling health professionals do not believe in his strength as much as he does.
( ... and yes - they did NOT think he would live when he was sent to the Intensive Care Unit ... )

sladich's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Never give up the fight. There are many Stage IV survivors on this website that have been around for a very long time. Your father knows best! Keep a positive attitude!


Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2007

I've been telling him about all the stage 4 survivors on here that had to go though a lot.
Hopefuly it will help him to keep his spirit up!

Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

Tell you father to believe in himself.

Doctors will only talk about generalized statistics. Which often don't mean much.

He is already a survivor and should continue to think that way. Focus on one day at a time and each positive moment they bring.

Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2007

I discovered by searching the internet that for a medical statistic to become public it has to be 5 years old!!!
I would think that in 5 years a lot of new discoveries have been made ... .

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

How do you remain optimistic? You ignore the stats, you actively pursue every option, you come to this site for support, you live each day to it's fullest potential , you pray, and you keep on fighting! Your dad has the right spirit and the right attitude by not buying into the "prognosis" . My husband was also given the 2 year time table. That was a year ago. Right now he is NED. We have come a long way. Keep hope alive . Your dad is right miracles do happen. God Bless and keep the faith.

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Great advice hopefulone. There you have it.


Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2007

I've been making it my full time job to research things.
Perhaps my father will be one of the lucky ones.

Posts: 758
Joined: Jul 2004

as the others said you can't give up!!
your dad has the right attitude,god bless him.
you need to support him on his quest of beating this. drs look at stats and they are wrong alot of the time. when i started my journey in the hospital i found this site and that is a big reason why i am still here. that and my faith and attitude. there are many stage 4 survivors here that have beaten the odds!!!
be well
never,ever give up!!

Posts: 124
Joined: Jan 2008

I agree with all those who have posted. As for me I have found tremendous strength in this group. I read about success stories every day. I do agree that doctors should be honest to the best of their abilities and part of that means quoting statistics. But take it all with a grain of salt. I tell myself someone had to be in the 'survival' percentage of those statistics - why not me?

Use whatever tools are at your disposal - friends, faith, church, family, nutrition, whatever is working for you. I've learned I am most depressed when I physically don't feel good and when I'm in the hospital. So I remind myself that I will be out of the hospital soon and that the pain is temporary - I will feel better soon.

I don't beat myself up when I feel depressed, I tell myself it is normal and it will pass. And I remind myself time is the best healer of all. One of my best medicine's is cofee with the girls. Find as many tricks as you can to get you through this - both of you! I wish you all the luck in the world and look forward to reading updates on how you are both doing. I know it's tough - but we can beat this.

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

The only thing I might add to your dad to all of this wonderful advice is to treat your body like a loyal, faithful old friend. I'm certain that if you gave your body a choice, it wouldn't choose to be battered and injected with chemicals. And, laughter. It's soooooo important.

Hugs, Kathi

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

This battle is a long and very hard one against a terrible opponent. I am now NED from stage 4, but as most of you know when you feel really really bad, its easy to imagine that you are going to die, the statistics are right, you're not going to make it until morning, etc. Hang in there and just believe that you will get better! I had a colonoscopy yesterday, it's been over 2 1/2 years since diagnosis, and I didn't even have a polyp. Remain a strong advocate for your father. Your support is so important to him right now, and remember that you caregivers are appreciated much more than you know.
Jo Ann

Posts: 84
Joined: Dec 2007

I'm struggling with this myself right now. I've been on a scheduled break from chemo, but I'm not feeling well. Old symptoms returning. I have a CT scan MOnday. I am amazed by the NED reports of those who were stage 4. I want that to be me, but I just don't think it will. I tell myself to stop thinking that way and I read the encouragements and good reports here, and I try to keep on hoping. Just being honest.

Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Your father believes he will beat this....so I believe that too! You have to believe and have faith.....it will take you a long way!


Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2007

I was diagnosed with stage IV appendix cancer with mets to the pelvic wall and blood vessels and lungs. I spoke to 3 different oncologists who gave me at best 18 months to live. That was 4 years ago this month. Because this is such a rare type of cancer (about 12,000 - 15,000 cases per year worldwide) it is treated as a colorectal cancer, and I have have 3 protocols of treatment, including both FLOFIRI and FOLFOX.

I continue to get CT scans of my thorax, abdomen and pelvic regions every 3 months, which continue to show small new nodes in both lobes of my lungs, but what the doctors have not been able to explain is why the nodes that have been there for as long as 2 years or longer are not growing, and in a couple of cases have even shrunk or disappeared.

In August of last year, I was found to have a large rectal tumor that pressed on my right kidney, dropped by BP to 70/40, caused a small heart attack and left me with a nephrostomy tube coming out my back to drain the right kidney. Fortunately, I was in the ICU unit when all of this happened with a systemic blood infection related to my cancer diagnosis, and my cardiologist told me later that he had doubts if I was going to be able to make it through the first night too. When they put the tube in place, there was no kidney function over a 10 minute period of time. In November, when I went back to get the tube changed (it needs to bechanged every 3 months), they noted that there appears to be a small amount of function returning. The possibility is there that at some point the tube will be able to be removed and I will have normal function again. The left one is still functioning normally.

I have not had any chemo treatments since April of last year, and my radiation treatment for the rectal mass consisted of 16 sessions that ended in October of last year. Since then, my oncologist has reduced me to palliative status because she doesn't feel I should have to be treated since at this point there is no evidence of active disease progression. I still get CT scans every 3 months, see my oncologist every month and my palliative care team (both an MD and a DO) every month.

I just continue to live every day as it comes, knowing that I have already outlived what the doctors had expected. I know that my cancer may come back again, and if it does, then I will have to face that fact and make treatment decisions. But until then, keep on living life to the fullest, and appreciate all the good things that he has.

Hope that this helps and encourages both of you.

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