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Stage 4 Newbie

peterhw's picture
Posts: 69
Joined: May 2008

I have been visiting this board for two months now. It is about time I introduce myself. I am 51 year young. In May 2008 I was diagnosed with rectal cancer with multiple mets to liver and lung. Docs say the liver is not operable, because of the numbers and size of the mets (biggest is 8cm). The lung shows some activities but not big enough to register in PET/Scan. They want me to do 6 rounds of chemo Folfox+Avastin. I have just finished the #4. Two more to go before they do a scan to see if there is any progress. I want to thank every one in this board for the encouragement and information. Even though I only have two months experience, I like to share some of my observation. Hopefully some of you will find it useful.
1. Attitude. Positive thinking is the most important thing. After the initial shock and tears, my wife and I decide to come up with a battle plan. We decide to fight this beast together and will never give up. The "can do" attitude really helps me a lot.

2. Support. Reach out to your friends, relative, church, community and any organization that you belong. You will be surprised to see the good people that are willing to help you.

3. Exercise and Diet. I change my diet to all veggie and fruit. I eat a lot of fruit in between meals. Exercise one hour in the morning, walk 45 minutes in the afternoon, and practice "chi gong" 1 to 2 hours in the evening. This daily routine keeps my spirit and energy level high. It also makes the chemo more tolerable.

I think my plan is working very well. The last blood test shows my white and red blood count climbing back to the normal range. The only chemo side effect is a mild constipation. I am able to do my exercise even when I carry the chemo pump. I will post my progress report when I finish the chemo.

Thank you again for this wonderful board.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Wow, Peter. It sounds like you're doing fabulously well. I'm glad the board has been a help to you. We'll be so anxious to hear further reports on your progress. Love your attitude!


Limey's picture
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

WOW from me to Peter. look at you. Deit, exercise, attitude. you go it going on my friend. So sorry you had to find us but so glad you did. I agree with you that attitude is a big one. I will never forget a conversation on the phone with my little Irish mother.
Here am I telling her my woes, I had to quit my job, my hair is coming out, and the chemo hurts and I am not sure it is still worth fighting. and she says, yea I know dear i know. give yourself 15 minuites to have a good ole sulk then pull youresf together cuz there allot to do today.
she is so right. We may be dealt the day, but we choose the attitude.
I hope you attitude and diet and determination produce wonderful results of "nothing there "on your next scan.

betina61's picture
Posts: 644
Joined: Aug 2006

That't the way to go Peter! the surgeon told me during one of my visits before surgery that he was convinced that a good attitude and optimism was 80% of the success, so I decided that I was going to follow his recomendations.

sladich's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Welcome Peter. What a great outlook you have. Let's us know how your scans come out.


TY2HC's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2008

I have to say I love your attitude. It sounds like you and your wife make a good team and the Cancer better watch out. I wish you well.


Sandi1's picture
Posts: 278
Joined: Aug 2008

Chris, your website was an absolute inspiration. Makes me feel stupid for feeling the way I feel about my husbands cancer. We are definetly going to fight, and fight hard.

Hope you are doing well and Thank you for your website.


Posts: 529
Joined: Nov 2007

I am so sorry that you had join this "exclusive club" that no one want to belong to, but you couldn't come to a better place. Sounds like you are doing really well with the chemo. I didn't. I could no more have carried on your excercise program than I could have flown. They say positive mental attitute and excercise really help. In your case, it sounds like you might just kill this thing by sheer will. You are an inspiration to all.


Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Wow Peter, I do firmly believe that you are on the right road to NED. Monica

Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Welcome! By what I'm reading you have it all figured out! I believe in your plan and I know you will make great progress in fighting this beast. I love your attitude and I will be looking forward to hearing more from you. You are a great addition to this board (but I'm sorry you had reason to find us) God bless!


msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Your attitude is definitely going to help you go a long way in this journey of oddities! I envy those who can go through the chemo and still have the energy to exercise! I'm lucky if i can walk from my bedroom to my in-home office during chemo! But once it's over, it's all bets off and i am able to work myself back up to exercising.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Peter,

I have to tell you that your message actually brought tears to my eyes. You definitely have the "right stuff" to eradicate the mets and show them who is in charge.

Always believe in your plan and know it will work for you.

Sending you my very best healing thoughts.



Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Peter,
Sorry you have to be here, but welcome. I totally agree with you about attitude, support, exercise, etc. All of those things have been important to me -- esp attitude and exercise. And, staying active. As one's health/energy permits, of course. I am a Stage III rectal cancer survivor who has had several recurrences -- but I'm still here! 5+ yrs after diagnosis -- and living life to the fullest. Best wishes to you and your wife.

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Welcome to our group. I was stage 3 diagnosed in 3/03. I was able to work full time through most treatments, but could not have exersized too.

Keep up the great job you are doing---you have a great attitude and that will help with all of this.


impactzone's picture
Posts: 542
Joined: Aug 2006

You have a great mind set. Good luck and keep up the fight.

brn2ride's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2007

sounds like you are onto a good program. I was a stage II and have adopted most of your regimen. I am a little lax on my diet at times but still eat mostly fruit and veggies.
I too am grateful for this message board. I check in often so i don't forget to keep up on my diet and exercise. I also am trying to really enjoy what time I have left wether it is two months or twenty years.
take care

jenalynet's picture
Posts: 363
Joined: Nov 2005

What a great attitude you have which I believe is most important. I am Stage 4 rectal cancer diagnosed Oct. 12th, 2005 and doing good at this time. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for a good scan after your chemo. Hugs to you, Audrey.

peterhw's picture
Posts: 69
Joined: May 2008

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.
I am on the #5 chemo right now. The treatment was delayed for one week because of high fever. I was hospitalized for 6 days to treat a staph infection in my medi port. The docs have to remove my medi port and install a PICC line. I don't like the high maintenance of the PICC line, so I am scheduled to have another medi port put in next week. Other than that, every thing is working smoothly.

The good news is my CEA has drop from 50.4 to 14.8. My Onc think the chemo is working wonderfully.
One more treatmnent then will have the CT scan.

Love you all.


kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Wow, this board sure has completely changed!

Welcome Peter, and thank you for your post. It's important for us to remember how important keeping our spirits up is. It's so difficult when pain is involved to put on a happy face. It helps to know that things won't always be so bad, and there are still things in life that can be enjoyed, even if our old ways of enjoying life are gone.

Keep us posted on those mets!

Many hugs,

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi Peter!

Great post with great advice. Thanks for sharing. I am right there with you on the diet and exercise. (well, and attitude too) Studies have shown longer survival with folks who exercised after cancer.

I have always been interested in chi gong (qi gong) too but did yoga instead and visualized during it getting rid of all those cancer buggers in my bod. I firmly believe in your routine. That's awesome that you are only having one side effect.

Thanks for sharing and introducing yourself. Welcome to the Semi-Colons!

peace, emily

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Your 1,2,3 plan sounds great. Keep that attitude and you will be cancer free before you know it. WHAT an INSPIRATION!!!
God Bless, Robin

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Thank you for a great post! You have given us all an extra boost and I'm sure started some of us back on track.
Jo Ann

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