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What next and how do I help him

joy44's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Jan 2011

My husband and I just found out he has stage 4 colon cancer. It started out as a routine gallbladder surgery, they found cancer on his gallbladder a whirlwind of tests, found it in his colon, they then took out half of is colon.More tests then the other day we were told of staging and we where at stage four. This happening so quick that we can hardly breath. My heart is breaking. What can I do to help my husband,feeling very overwhelmed. My name is joy.

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Welcome to the board. Overwhelmed, well, that is an understatement. With time, things will settle down once you have a game plan in place. My hubby is also Stage IV, diagnosed March, 2009. We have had some bumps in the road but all in all, he enjoys the things he did before, quality of life is really pretty good, energy level is way down and fatigue can get nasty.

How old is your hubby? You say he is stage IV, where has his cancer metastized to? Is his cancer colon cancer or rectal cancer? Do you have a chemo plan in place once he heals? With a little more info others will chime in with their experiences.

Take a deep breath and take care - Tina

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Yeah, it's always a shock. It's a shock for spouse or significant other,
and it's total devastation to the cancer victim.

Some of us went in for what we thought was something "simple",
only to have happen what you've recited - a diagnosis of a major
terminal disease.

As a spouse, S.O., or a patient, you'll have to first understand
completely what cancer is, what the actual diagnosis is, and what
they're citing as the usual prognosis for that diagnosis.

That will give you a basis for what to expect. Try not to be
devastated by what you hear or learn, since it's only the basic
guideline for the statistical odds.

And as a spouse, S.O., or a patient, you can provide yourself with
the biggest advantage, by facing those odds, accepting those odds,
and planning for the worst.

Once you manage to do that, you can work freely and forcefully to
beat those odds; you won't be held back by fear, and you won't be
making mistakes out of fear, because you will have faced your fear
and reckoned with it.

You're wondering if the odds can be beat? There are many here
that are doing quite well, in spite of their poor odds of remaining
here. Many of us have been diagnosed as 3c or 4, given statistical
odds that were totally devastating, and yet managed to remain
alive long after the prognosis. You'll see one after another of us
pop out of the woodwork here shortly, to provide you with some
serious encouragement.

Before you accept any path of treatment, take some time (it sounds
like you have plenty of time; cancer grows slowly), and get other
opinions from colorectal surgeons that are not of the same group
or organization as your present physicians. An oncologist is only
a practitioner specializing in the chemicals (and sometimes, radiation)
to address cancer, the oncologist is not a surgeon, and cannot offer
other remedies to remove cancer. Please understand that, and know
that well. A colorectal surgeon can provide insight regarding other
options of removing cancer. Some surgeons are aware of the latest
technology, and some are not, so you absolutely need to have
other qualified opinions.

Many times, removing the cancer through surgery will be enough,
and chemo, etc., is not necessary. You'll need other opinions to
find that out.

And I would have trouble leaving you without telling you, that
some of us have avoided chemo and radiation and used alternative
methods to remain alive. Clicking on any poster's name will
bring you to their "'profile page", and many of us have taken the
time to explain our personal situation.

There is much you can do, and many options to use; all is not
over, by any means.

But.... begin by knowing the real odds, and accepting them with
heart and soul; you can't win a battle without knowing your enemy,
and being blind-sided is too much of a diversion in troubled times.

Best wishes to you both.


hopeforcure49's picture
Posts: 111
Joined: Jan 2011

Sorry to hear of your husband. I know how overwhelmed and upset you are. When I found out I cried for hours, then took a deep breath and realized that by crying was not going to help me. So I started my game plan. Mine was different than your husbands plan. I had radiation, oral chemo, colon surgery, more IV chemo...etc. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel and its the same for all cancer patients. To get well... But this may take a little longer for some more than others. Just take one day at atime, concentrate on whats at hand. His surgery recovery and emotional state is the most important now. Healthy eating, walk daily and make him laugh it brings your endorphins up and keeps your mental state well. You also need to follow a plan for yourself. Keep your faith and hope for a cure. God Bless..

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Of course you and your husband are overwhelmed. We all were when diagnosed.

The first waves of panic and dispair should lessen soon because you and your hubby will be putting all your energy into learning, planning, fighting and hoping.

If you share a general location of where you live, I imagine we will have memebers close by who may be able to recommend facilities or doctors they have delt with. Our family here reaches across the US, into Canada, Europe, and really around the globe as we even have some in Australia.

The best thing you and your husband can do is take a deep breath, realize and accept that you are now warriors against cancer, and that while your life has changed in an instant, there can be much life left to live for you both.

We will gladly try to help you as questions come to mind or when you just need a shoulder to lean on.

Marie who loves kitties

mommyof2kds's picture
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

Write a list of questions for when you meet with the docs to discuss a plan of action.You will both need each other during this time. It will not be easy but get those fighting gloves on and fight the beast. God Bless.

chicoturner's picture
Posts: 285
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Joy. Sorry you need to be here, but we are happy you found this site. I wish I had found this site as early as you did! I went to the internet, but unfortunately, I only read things that were terrible discouraging. I was dx in 3/08 and have been on treatment since then. I have had surgery and chemo and still continue the fight. I work full time as a preschool teacher and stay busy with many other things. What I am saying it, my life is continuing and yours can too. Some days are tough. Some weeks are tougher, but then there are the others that make it so worth the fight! I am blessed with new grand children that I fight for! Find your reasons to win and go for it! You are in my prayers. Please post again and share more info. The people here will be a great support to you! Jean

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Welcome to this wonderful forum. I think it will help you when you are presented witha plan. Uncertaintly is always the most difficult.

Posts: 52
Joined: Dec 2010

Dear joy,
I also went thru your experience last year, it's really very devastating to learn that you have cancer. I was also dx to have rectal cancer, stage 3 last year and my world turned around. One thing that I learned is you take one day at a time, just be thankful if you survive this day and don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will take care of itself. You also try to consult all the best doctors and hope and pray for the best. There will also be a lot of worries in your mind, like financial problems, whether your husband or you are strong enough to fight this sickness but you will find out later that help would come from the most unexpected places or persons. One thing that really helped us are prayers, family and friends, this would make your problems bearable and later on everything would fall into place. Day by day you would find out that you are strong, your husband is getting better, graces and favors would come your way from the doctors, health personnel. "Don't worry about anything, instead pray for everything. Tell God what you need & thank him for all he has done. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the humankind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts & minds as you live in Jesus Christ." Philippians 4:6-7. This verse has helped me during my dark days of my journey, even up to now because I'm still having my chemotx this year. I hope it would also help you. I'm praying for you and your husband. Godbless you!

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