Got bad news today.

pscott1
pscott1 Member Posts: 207
I had MRI on Thursday. When I was diagnosed with colon cancer on 1/8, they did a CT scan and said that I had an undefined mass on the left lobe of my liver and a spot on my right lobe. When the surgeon removed my tumor on 1/14 he said he got a good look at the liver and the mass on the left lobe appeared to be something similar to veracois veins; an entangled mass of veins and nothing more. The Oncologist called me yesterday and said that the MRI report stated that I had multiple lesions throughout my liver - 15 but didn't indicate that it was mets. Today she called and said that it was definately mets. She said it was inoperable, that radiation wasn't an option because of the risk of hepatitis and chemo was the only option and it was not curable. I am absolutely blown away. I asked her what happened to the mass of entangled veins and she said it wasn't there. Where did it go?! She wants to get a port in as soon as possible and start chemo right away. My Oncologist is at St. Lukes Hospital in St Louis and I have a friend who's husband is a doctor. When I spoke to her tonight she mentioned that about 10 years ago a girl she went to HS with lived in Cleveland and was diagnosed with colon cancer. They went in to do the surgery and found it in her liver also, closed her back up and told her to get her affairs in order. She went to Siteman's Cancer Center and they told her they would probably put her thru hell but she would make it thru this. She is still okay today. My immediate plan is to contact Sitemans in the morning. I am beside myself. I'm a single mom with 2 young girls (10 and 12) an older daughter (28) and I'm not ready to leave any of them. Any words of hope from anyone?
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Comments

  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866
    Hi
    Sorry to hear of your situation. What chemo are they looking to start you on? It's certainly not uncommon for colon cancer to spread to the liver and/or lungs. They do have meds that have been proven to shrink tumors in the liver too. Avastin is one of them which I took to make my liver operable when it initially was not. I would see what they are looking at giving you and I would also look into a second opinion.
    -phil
  • rwp1958
    rwp1958 Member Posts: 2
    Colon Cancer mes. to Liver
    Sorry to hear your news. I have been fighting the same for 3 years. I would also recommend a second look by someone else. Not so much as to make sure you have this problem but to get a second set of eyes for a treatment. I would recommend you go to MD Anderson or Mayo Clinic before you start any treatment at your home.

    It took 3 years for the chemo to kill my liver (my opinion). I would also look at "alternative" treatment. I say that now that I have seen first hand what surgery and chemo have done to me. All the chemo and surgery is going to do is buy you some time.

    Also ask about Y90 treatment being down in Chicago.

    You can read my story at http://youfightingcancer.blogspot.com/. I pray for you and the hope of some type of successful for you and your family.
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    Sorry
    I'm sorry you got such daunting news. Praying you can find a doctor who will have a great plan for you.

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • idlehunters
    idlehunters Member Posts: 1,787
    tootsie1 said:

    Sorry
    I'm sorry you got such daunting news. Praying you can find a doctor who will have a great plan for you.

    *hugs*
    Gail

    Hey....
    I live very near the St. Louis area (illinois side) and know the rep of Siteman. I know several success stories from there on cancer and have heard they are a very good facility. I have never gone there as I am having great success where I am. I did go to M.D. Anderson for my 2nd opinion. I was loaded down with mets in liver and lungs..... not no more! I heard your same stories.... stand strong...and keep the faith..... PM me if you want to talk in private. Take care.

    Jennie
  • pscott1
    pscott1 Member Posts: 207

    Hey....
    I live very near the St. Louis area (illinois side) and know the rep of Siteman. I know several success stories from there on cancer and have heard they are a very good facility. I have never gone there as I am having great success where I am. I did go to M.D. Anderson for my 2nd opinion. I was loaded down with mets in liver and lungs..... not no more! I heard your same stories.... stand strong...and keep the faith..... PM me if you want to talk in private. Take care.

    Jennie

    Hey Jennie...thanks so much
    Hey Jennie...thanks so much for responding. I'm in sort of a stupor right now from the news. All I can think about is not wanting to leave my girls! So maybe this isn't a death sentence after all and I just need to find the right treatment for me? It sounds like you recovered so I will keep the faith! How long ago was it that you had treatment for the mets in your liver? Thanks again for the encouraging words!

    Pam
  • pscott1
    pscott1 Member Posts: 207
    tootsie1 said:

    Sorry
    I'm sorry you got such daunting news. Praying you can find a doctor who will have a great plan for you.

    *hugs*
    Gail

    Thanks Gail...I guess we all
    Thanks Gail...I guess we all know how it feels to have that cancer truck run over you and make you even more distraught than you already were. I have many praying for me and I appreciate the added prayers from you as well!

    My best,
    Pam
  • pscott1
    pscott1 Member Posts: 207
    rwp1958 said:

    Colon Cancer mes. to Liver
    Sorry to hear your news. I have been fighting the same for 3 years. I would also recommend a second look by someone else. Not so much as to make sure you have this problem but to get a second set of eyes for a treatment. I would recommend you go to MD Anderson or Mayo Clinic before you start any treatment at your home.

    It took 3 years for the chemo to kill my liver (my opinion). I would also look at "alternative" treatment. I say that now that I have seen first hand what surgery and chemo have done to me. All the chemo and surgery is going to do is buy you some time.

    Also ask about Y90 treatment being down in Chicago.

    You can read my story at http://youfightingcancer.blogspot.com/. I pray for you and the hope of some type of successful for you and your family.

    Thanks for responding. So
    Thanks for responding. So after the 3 years is it now gone from your liver? Buying more time is fine with me; my goal is to be alive with my girls and see them grow up and become adults. Ultimately maybe I'll live long enough to see a cure. Where is MD Anderson located? This is all so new and overwhelming, it's hard to keep everything straight.
  • pscott1
    pscott1 Member Posts: 207
    PhillieG said:

    Hi
    Sorry to hear of your situation. What chemo are they looking to start you on? It's certainly not uncommon for colon cancer to spread to the liver and/or lungs. They do have meds that have been proven to shrink tumors in the liver too. Avastin is one of them which I took to make my liver operable when it initially was not. I would see what they are looking at giving you and I would also look into a second opinion.
    -phil

    Hi Phil...thanks for
    Hi Phil...thanks for responding. Initially before the situation with my liver she wanted to do Folfox, every 2 weeks, 12 rounds, 6 mo total. With just the tumor being removed she gave me 85% chance of non-reoccurence. It was actually looking pretty good. Now with this, she didn't even tell me what type or frequency. The killer is I haven't even heard from her since 3:30 yesterday. She was supposed to get in touch with a surgeon who could get a port in me and give me my first treatment. I'm really feeling that I won't be going back to her. It has left a bad taste in my mouth if you know what I mean. Can they do anything with lesions? What is that in comparison to a tumor? She said it was inoperable. I am so not a physician and it's hard to follow what they tell you sometimes. I appreciate your input!

    Pam
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030
    pscott1 said:

    Thanks Gail...I guess we all
    Thanks Gail...I guess we all know how it feels to have that cancer truck run over you and make you even more distraught than you already were. I have many praying for me and I appreciate the added prayers from you as well!

    My best,
    Pam

    Happy that you are getting
    Happy that you are getting some wonderful and encouraging words here from our colon friends. Keep up the fight, try not to stress! Stress is a biggie! Rest, eat right, exercise and jump in with both feet!

    Stage 4, in remission over 18 months!
  • Vickilg
    Vickilg Member Posts: 281
    Believe In Yourself
    Hi there... as a mom my heart breaks reading your story. I live in South Floriday. I just recently had a spot on my liver removed from recurrent rectal cancer. During the surgery the surgeon did an ultrasound on my liver to make sure there were no hidden spots. I am lucky, I know but I did ask him all the what if it comes back questions. He told me to stop reading the internet because the information is outdated. I said but I read that if it comes back close to an artery that you cannot operate. He looked at me like I had two heads and said even then it can be done. He said that he has seen extremely bad cases where it had spread ALL over the liver and ALL over the lungs at the same time and that those people are still alive today.

    His positive attitude alone was worth a million bucks. He was so confident that I believe him. Find another doctor. You should not have to deal with a doctor that makes you uncomfortable or doesn't believe that there is a fighting chance.

    Is there a Cancer Center of America near you? I have heard they do amazing things for those told there is no hope. Remember there is always hope and being a mom gives you a bullet proof vest in a sense. You fight for them. You give it your all. God bless you!
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625
    just gotta find the right treatment
    Hi,

    I was dx'd 3-1/2 yrs ago as stage IV colorectal with many mets/lesions in my liver and both of my lungs. I think I had 12 visible tumors in my liver when I started out. I did chemo (Folfox plus Avastin) for six months and many of the liver tumors shrunk away & I ended up having a liver resection after all when they told me at first I was not a surgical candidate. So, you see that just because one oncologist or surgeon tells you no surgery, doesn't mean that it still won't be able to happen. I know that is also the case with several other people here on the CSN board too. I've had recurrences since then, but I am still here! I'm doing chemo and some natural things too.
    Mine has not spread any further than my liver or lungs, but I do keep fighting it. By the way, I also have kids at home- ages 11, 15, & 17 (they were 7, 11, & 13 at my diagnosis) & so I know how much you want to be around for your kids- me too- it gives us a reason to keep strong and keep fighting!

    Keep seeking out options and never give up!

    Best wishes and prayers too,
    Lisa
  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    pscott
    I am really sorry you received this news. Getting a second opinion is a good idea, + also try to take things one day/one treatment at a time (often easier said than done, I know).
  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    Vickilg said:

    Believe In Yourself
    Hi there... as a mom my heart breaks reading your story. I live in South Floriday. I just recently had a spot on my liver removed from recurrent rectal cancer. During the surgery the surgeon did an ultrasound on my liver to make sure there were no hidden spots. I am lucky, I know but I did ask him all the what if it comes back questions. He told me to stop reading the internet because the information is outdated. I said but I read that if it comes back close to an artery that you cannot operate. He looked at me like I had two heads and said even then it can be done. He said that he has seen extremely bad cases where it had spread ALL over the liver and ALL over the lungs at the same time and that those people are still alive today.

    His positive attitude alone was worth a million bucks. He was so confident that I believe him. Find another doctor. You should not have to deal with a doctor that makes you uncomfortable or doesn't believe that there is a fighting chance.

    Is there a Cancer Center of America near you? I have heard they do amazing things for those told there is no hope. Remember there is always hope and being a mom gives you a bullet proof vest in a sense. You fight for them. You give it your all. God bless you!

    vicki
    What an uplifting post; thank-you. It sounds like your doctor is wonderful.
  • pscott1
    pscott1 Member Posts: 207
    Vickilg said:

    Believe In Yourself
    Hi there... as a mom my heart breaks reading your story. I live in South Floriday. I just recently had a spot on my liver removed from recurrent rectal cancer. During the surgery the surgeon did an ultrasound on my liver to make sure there were no hidden spots. I am lucky, I know but I did ask him all the what if it comes back questions. He told me to stop reading the internet because the information is outdated. I said but I read that if it comes back close to an artery that you cannot operate. He looked at me like I had two heads and said even then it can be done. He said that he has seen extremely bad cases where it had spread ALL over the liver and ALL over the lungs at the same time and that those people are still alive today.

    His positive attitude alone was worth a million bucks. He was so confident that I believe him. Find another doctor. You should not have to deal with a doctor that makes you uncomfortable or doesn't believe that there is a fighting chance.

    Is there a Cancer Center of America near you? I have heard they do amazing things for those told there is no hope. Remember there is always hope and being a mom gives you a bullet proof vest in a sense. You fight for them. You give it your all. God bless you!

    Vicki...thank you, thank
    Vicki...thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I have been crying almost non stop since my Oncologist called me yesterday. I just got back from rushing around trying to get my records so I could get them to Siteman and get an appt right away. Your doctor sounds wonderful. What you have told me today gives me hope. I have been out on the internet googling every term from my Pathology report since I was diagnosed in January and it can scare you to death I agree; especially when you come across a diagnosis that is exactly like your own. Know that today you have helped one Mom that was writing off years with her babies be given a new hope that I'll be around no matter what. At least for longer than the Oncologist told me was possible. You literally made my day. I wish you the best in your fight; know that I will be right there with you fighting. God bless you too!

    Pam
  • pepebcn
    pepebcn Member Posts: 6,331
    AnneCan said:

    pscott
    I am really sorry you received this news. Getting a second opinion is a good idea, + also try to take things one day/one treatment at a time (often easier said than done, I know).

    Pscott
    I was dx 2 years ago with several mets to the liver by then not operable , after 9 rounds of chemo they shrunk or disappeared most of them and was successfully operated! Hang in there chemo works!
  • pscott1
    pscott1 Member Posts: 207
    Nana b said:

    Happy that you are getting
    Happy that you are getting some wonderful and encouraging words here from our colon friends. Keep up the fight, try not to stress! Stress is a biggie! Rest, eat right, exercise and jump in with both feet!

    Stage 4, in remission over 18 months!

    Thanks for the encouraging
    Thanks for the encouraging words and I'm sure very wise advice. I feel like I'm in zombie mode right now but trying to prepare for the fight. Everyone that has responded to my post has given me so much hope and strength to deal with this now. I will take your advice and get on the healthy path! Thank you again so much for your thoughts!

    My best to you in your fight,

    Pam
  • GaryinUK
    GaryinUK Member Posts: 62
    Look far...
    As posts already say, mental and eating is important, I am a partner of a Stage 4 with mets in Liver and just in the peritoneal cavity, 19months since diagnosis. We are in UK, though partner is American living here.
    The treatment options are similar but maybe the Dr's there are more driven.
    Think positive, live with it rather than let it determine your everyday, drink green tea, blueberries and make sure you ask questions, if you have not got someone to see the doctor with get someone, you need an 'eyes and ears', I am with my partner for everything, he hates hospitals and goes into a trance almost at every visit, so even when they are taking bloods I am there, I do let him pee on his own though.

    My partner had a 'pic' line put in 18months ago, not the most pleasant thing, but it gets the treatment in and bloods out easier, no problems at all with it.

    Fight is on, start with a light training schedule and build up to give it a battering, you can do it, you can all do it and we the 'significant others' can be in your corner having ensured the towel is out of sight.

    Regards
  • pscott1
    pscott1 Member Posts: 207
    pepebcn said:

    Pscott
    I was dx 2 years ago with several mets to the liver by then not operable , after 9 rounds of chemo they shrunk or disappeared most of them and was successfully operated! Hang in there chemo works!

    Pepe..thanks for the
    Pepe..thanks for the encouraging words. I have to be honest; when first diagnosed I was dead set against ever taking chemo....now I just want to live. I'll do whatever makes me better. I will take your word on it working! My best to you!
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375
    Welcome to the Semi-Colon Club!
    Hi PScott! First, I'd like to welcome you here... you will find out shortly that there is no more of an informative group than this one you have stumbled upon. Who knows better what it's like to go through cancer and all the complications, treatments, side affects and success stories than other folk who have, or are going through, the same things you are facing? Doctors are extremely intelligent, having spent their earlier years learning everything they could get their hands on about their chosen field... but many of them fall short on the bedside manner/talking to a patient as a human being where all of this is new to them. Not all doctors, but a big chunk of them have not spent as much time on their bedside manner as they have on their schooling and clinical practice. But that's ok... you WANT doctors whose priority is to take on the challenge and make you better. For bedside manner, support, hand holding and reassurance that it is possible to come out successful... you hang out here. There are some amazing success stories from every day folk who were told to put their affairs in order... and are still here years later defying all the odds and statistics that you will find out on the internet.

    For starters, you will hear this over and over again... by the time information is proven, studied, signed off by all the committees and experts that have to sign it off and then make it to the internet on information sites, statistic sites, medical sites, into medical journals, etc... 5-8 years have passed. So when you are reading a new breakthrough finding... it's not really new at all... it's at least 5 years, if not more, older.... it's just new to the public, internet, etc. Also, there are still the snake oil salesman, quacks, "experts" with no expertise, etc. publishing stuff on the internet because the internet is not owned or controlled by anyone.... so any one of us could publish whatever we wanted to. I could do up a very official looking website, with lots of letters after my name and posting a new cure for colon cancer... 10 animal crackers a day, but not just any animal, 5 giraffes, 2 bears and 3 monkeys. There will be those of you who will see right through this and label me a big quack, out to make money on someone else's vulnerability. And there will be those who are leary about the animal cracker cure, but figure it can't hurt, so they will give it a try. And there will be those who fall for it hook, line and sinker, having all their friends collect all the giraffe, bear and monkey animal crackers... and if, along with their other treatments, they find their tumours have shrunk, they will swear it was the animal crackers that did the trick.

    Soooo, internet reader beware! You really don't know what is legit out there on the internet and what is done by a very clever quack. You also don't know what is new information and what is 5 or more years old. A good example of this is just this past week we had a topic/discussion about the dangers of caramel colouring in dark sodas (coke, rootbeer, pepsi, etc). It has been on the mainstream News this week, as if this is something they have just found out... but in fact, they have been discussing the harm of caramel food colouring in foods for years. The first I heard/read about it was back in the late 90s... although it could have been known even earlier than that.

    Ok... so, where does that leave you? Well, first you can acknowledge that the news you have recently heard is scary... on so many levels. Scary because it's you they are talking about, scary because the unknown is always scary, scary because you have young children that of course you want to be around until they are grown, self-supporting, possibly married and have children of their own. Wrap all of this up in one big basket and is it any wonder you are scared, terrified, numb, shaken up and just when you think you have it under control, you think "What if..." and the tears start flowing again. Well, I have news for you... what you are going through and feeling is TOTALLY NORMAL!! If you weren't scared or terrified or feeling the panic after being told what your oncologist told you, then your mind would only be putting it off and you would feel exactly as you are feeling now... but down the road. And it might have hit you when there was no reason for it, so you'd then think you were losing your mind. So acknowledge that you have had a huge scare and your reaction to it is TOTALLY NORMAL, nothing to be ashamed of and absolutely no reason for you to try to explain your reactions to anyone else.

    But now is the time to say... ok, now what? What am I going to do that will be in my best interests? Because, my friend, right now it IS all about you and once you have a plan of action in place, then it will benefit you and your kids. I promise :)

    For sure... get a second opinion. It's not that you are going to get two opposite opinions, but if anything... you need the assurance that Onc #1 and Onc #2 both have your best interests at work here. If both say the liver is inoperable... then so be it. Right now, at the end of Feb 2011, it's inoperable... which means you need a different treatment (other than surgery) to either get you to a place where they can operate, or maybe a chemo/drug treatment will shrink everything down so it is now manageable.

    Quite often, once a cancer has spread (hence staging it as a Stage IV) the medical term for Stage IV is "incurable" and/or "advanced cancer". Scary words, right?? No one wants to be told they are incurable, or that they have advanced cancer... because the imagination goes crazy and you think of both as a "death sentence". But it's not... those are medical terms and how you treat advanced cancer or incurable cancer is different than if it was a Stage 1, isolated to one spot. It would be a HUGE mistake if, as a Stage IV, your onc treated you as a Stage I.

    It sounds like your Onc is going to start you on a pretty standard treatment of chemo to try and shrink or get rid of the mets. A lesion or tumour are really one and the same things. Cancer cells that have gotten together to form a mass/tumour/nodule/spot that shows up on an image. You will be a pro with the terminology in a very short time... so don't worry. Anything that confuses you... just ask :)

    Any words of hope? There's LOTS of hope! You have a long road ahead of you with a variety of different kinds of chemo that can be tried. Don't worry about the horror stories you hear or imagine about chemo. Sure, no one would PICK going on chemo for the fun of it... and yes, there are a heap of various side affects that each of the chemos can have. But everyone is individual and no two people seem to react the same way. So although you will be given a list of potential side affects, it does not mean you are guaranteed of getting them. And if you do get some, everyone gets them to different degrees. You will read lots of stories here where people continue working while on chemo. You will also read about how tired chemo can make you. So arm yourself with all the possibilities and have back up plans should you need help. Having the two young girls who are young and need their mom, but are also old enough to know Mom might not be feeling well some days, you will probably want a close girlfriend, relative or someone the girls are comfortable with to be around to help out on some days. This is not to say you are going to be on your sick bed... but hey, we all know when we aren't feeling well, or are just too tired to do anything... it sure would be nice to have the help around :)

    Ok...enough babble! I am a babbler from way back. You just make yourself comfy here and know you have landed in the middle of a group of friends who you will get to know us all over time... and we are here to help you decipher any confusing words your doctors may tell you. And take a notebook with you to appts. so you can write down what is said... because I guarantee you will forget most of it by the time you get home :)

    Cheryl
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030

    Welcome to the Semi-Colon Club!
    Hi PScott! First, I'd like to welcome you here... you will find out shortly that there is no more of an informative group than this one you have stumbled upon. Who knows better what it's like to go through cancer and all the complications, treatments, side affects and success stories than other folk who have, or are going through, the same things you are facing? Doctors are extremely intelligent, having spent their earlier years learning everything they could get their hands on about their chosen field... but many of them fall short on the bedside manner/talking to a patient as a human being where all of this is new to them. Not all doctors, but a big chunk of them have not spent as much time on their bedside manner as they have on their schooling and clinical practice. But that's ok... you WANT doctors whose priority is to take on the challenge and make you better. For bedside manner, support, hand holding and reassurance that it is possible to come out successful... you hang out here. There are some amazing success stories from every day folk who were told to put their affairs in order... and are still here years later defying all the odds and statistics that you will find out on the internet.

    For starters, you will hear this over and over again... by the time information is proven, studied, signed off by all the committees and experts that have to sign it off and then make it to the internet on information sites, statistic sites, medical sites, into medical journals, etc... 5-8 years have passed. So when you are reading a new breakthrough finding... it's not really new at all... it's at least 5 years, if not more, older.... it's just new to the public, internet, etc. Also, there are still the snake oil salesman, quacks, "experts" with no expertise, etc. publishing stuff on the internet because the internet is not owned or controlled by anyone.... so any one of us could publish whatever we wanted to. I could do up a very official looking website, with lots of letters after my name and posting a new cure for colon cancer... 10 animal crackers a day, but not just any animal, 5 giraffes, 2 bears and 3 monkeys. There will be those of you who will see right through this and label me a big quack, out to make money on someone else's vulnerability. And there will be those who are leary about the animal cracker cure, but figure it can't hurt, so they will give it a try. And there will be those who fall for it hook, line and sinker, having all their friends collect all the giraffe, bear and monkey animal crackers... and if, along with their other treatments, they find their tumours have shrunk, they will swear it was the animal crackers that did the trick.

    Soooo, internet reader beware! You really don't know what is legit out there on the internet and what is done by a very clever quack. You also don't know what is new information and what is 5 or more years old. A good example of this is just this past week we had a topic/discussion about the dangers of caramel colouring in dark sodas (coke, rootbeer, pepsi, etc). It has been on the mainstream News this week, as if this is something they have just found out... but in fact, they have been discussing the harm of caramel food colouring in foods for years. The first I heard/read about it was back in the late 90s... although it could have been known even earlier than that.

    Ok... so, where does that leave you? Well, first you can acknowledge that the news you have recently heard is scary... on so many levels. Scary because it's you they are talking about, scary because the unknown is always scary, scary because you have young children that of course you want to be around until they are grown, self-supporting, possibly married and have children of their own. Wrap all of this up in one big basket and is it any wonder you are scared, terrified, numb, shaken up and just when you think you have it under control, you think "What if..." and the tears start flowing again. Well, I have news for you... what you are going through and feeling is TOTALLY NORMAL!! If you weren't scared or terrified or feeling the panic after being told what your oncologist told you, then your mind would only be putting it off and you would feel exactly as you are feeling now... but down the road. And it might have hit you when there was no reason for it, so you'd then think you were losing your mind. So acknowledge that you have had a huge scare and your reaction to it is TOTALLY NORMAL, nothing to be ashamed of and absolutely no reason for you to try to explain your reactions to anyone else.

    But now is the time to say... ok, now what? What am I going to do that will be in my best interests? Because, my friend, right now it IS all about you and once you have a plan of action in place, then it will benefit you and your kids. I promise :)

    For sure... get a second opinion. It's not that you are going to get two opposite opinions, but if anything... you need the assurance that Onc #1 and Onc #2 both have your best interests at work here. If both say the liver is inoperable... then so be it. Right now, at the end of Feb 2011, it's inoperable... which means you need a different treatment (other than surgery) to either get you to a place where they can operate, or maybe a chemo/drug treatment will shrink everything down so it is now manageable.

    Quite often, once a cancer has spread (hence staging it as a Stage IV) the medical term for Stage IV is "incurable" and/or "advanced cancer". Scary words, right?? No one wants to be told they are incurable, or that they have advanced cancer... because the imagination goes crazy and you think of both as a "death sentence". But it's not... those are medical terms and how you treat advanced cancer or incurable cancer is different than if it was a Stage 1, isolated to one spot. It would be a HUGE mistake if, as a Stage IV, your onc treated you as a Stage I.

    It sounds like your Onc is going to start you on a pretty standard treatment of chemo to try and shrink or get rid of the mets. A lesion or tumour are really one and the same things. Cancer cells that have gotten together to form a mass/tumour/nodule/spot that shows up on an image. You will be a pro with the terminology in a very short time... so don't worry. Anything that confuses you... just ask :)

    Any words of hope? There's LOTS of hope! You have a long road ahead of you with a variety of different kinds of chemo that can be tried. Don't worry about the horror stories you hear or imagine about chemo. Sure, no one would PICK going on chemo for the fun of it... and yes, there are a heap of various side affects that each of the chemos can have. But everyone is individual and no two people seem to react the same way. So although you will be given a list of potential side affects, it does not mean you are guaranteed of getting them. And if you do get some, everyone gets them to different degrees. You will read lots of stories here where people continue working while on chemo. You will also read about how tired chemo can make you. So arm yourself with all the possibilities and have back up plans should you need help. Having the two young girls who are young and need their mom, but are also old enough to know Mom might not be feeling well some days, you will probably want a close girlfriend, relative or someone the girls are comfortable with to be around to help out on some days. This is not to say you are going to be on your sick bed... but hey, we all know when we aren't feeling well, or are just too tired to do anything... it sure would be nice to have the help around :)

    Ok...enough babble! I am a babbler from way back. You just make yourself comfy here and know you have landed in the middle of a group of friends who you will get to know us all over time... and we are here to help you decipher any confusing words your doctors may tell you. And take a notebook with you to appts. so you can write down what is said... because I guarantee you will forget most of it by the time you get home :)

    Cheryl

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