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Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2011

stage IV colon cancer, it is back in my bowel, lung and as odd as this is in the muscle near my spine causing great pain. Radiation is what is perscribed and a cocktail of chemo after the biospy of the "genetic make up" is of the reaccurance. The thought process is that they need to know what the genetic code is to effecively treat the cancer. Scared. Was told 2 maybe 4 yrs to live. But I want to know what it is that I will actually die of......cancer or the treatment. I know this is morbid but I would like to know if anyone knows what kind of "life" I will be living.....before my heart stops.


Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Hey there so sorry you're getting this pain in your spine . You say re-occurrance...when were you first diagnosed?

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Good question, Rosa

I'm not sure any of us can really answer that one. I've had cancer 3x and have used traditional means in my cancer fight. I've successfully eradicated the cancer each time to a point where I go back to a 'watch and wait' state. That's about as good as it gets for me.

This last year of fighting really took a toll on me physically and mentally. It was an extremely agressive campaign of open surgery, radiation, and chemo. I did not get much of a break or rest between any of that.

I've done chemo 51x and radiation 55x and have had four major surgeries. All in all, it's beginning to add up and I feel the 'compromises' in all areas of my being. At one point, I thought the treatments would kill me before the cancer.

My body has just about taken enough - if I recurred for the 4th time, I'm not sure how much I could take (chemo wise anyway) or even if I wanted to pursue that route anymore. Too much more of that, and my body is going to give and what I would be left with, may not be enough for me anymore. But, we'll cross that bridge if we get there.

BTW, I'm a stage 4 as well. My last tumor got big and embedded itself into my chest cavity and butted up very close to my spine. The last month before the surger, I was in such pain, I was doubled over and couldn't catch my breath. So, I understand the pain you are describing.

Radiation and chemo sound like the correct protocol. But, it's not going to be easy. Radiation should shrink that tumor and help ease the pain symptoms you are experiencing. Chemo should further reduce it down to size and could possibly shrink it to where it might not be seen even on a CT scan.


You bet you are. But, it's okay. I started as a IIb and moved up in class to a stage4 when it went to my liver. This was Christmas of 2007 - they said it would be 'highly unlikely' I would see the next Christmas in '08.

The calendar I'm looking at says Xmas 2011 - that's 4 more years than they gave me:)

I don't know what the future holds for me, but I can tell you that I've been actively fighting for just over 7.5 years. That's alot more time than I figured to have. So, don't be swayed by the doctor's prognosis. Use it as a motivational tool to show them that you will beat the odds.

And you're gonna' beat those odds with my 'tried and true' plan - just outlast this blasted thing. And as Rocky said, "Just go one more round than you thought you could do."

You may do fine with the treatments and not experience anything close to what I have - or you might - or it might be anything in between. None of us know - and that includes your medical team. You just do the best you can do.

Treatment time is a hard time - it's easy to lose sight of that which you are fighting for, when you get so sick from all the mess that they shovel us. It's easy to think that you won't make the treatments. But, if you have not done too much of this, your body will be stronger than mine is now (after repeated batterings and butchering) and this will serve you well in your fight.

Don't think about dying right now - just concern yourself with fighting as hard as you can - you'll have plenty of time to mull your mortality at a later time in your journey - and you're nowhere close to that yet:)

So, go get 'em! I wish you all the best.


steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

Every time I hear about how awful this cancer is I get so mad. I know how you feel after all you've been through and may have to go through. I takes so much to go to the next appointment or treatment knowing how crapping things are going to be. But on some good days and things feel good it gives me hope. Hang in there as long as you feel you can. I'm praying hard that this will get better for you.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Sorry to hear of your recurrence. I personally dislike hearing when doctors make "guesses" about how long a person has. I would suggest that you try not to think of it because they do not know how long you or anyone has. I find it irresponsible but I'm sure many people ask how long they have so they fell compelled to tell you something based on whatever. There are very many on here who were told similar things and are way past their expiration date. As someone else said, "we're not milk!"

As far as if you'll die of cancer or the treatment, don't give up hope of a car accident caused by a drunk driver, someone texting or chatting on their cell phone while driving, men shaving while driving, women putting on makeup while driving, women shaving while driving!! Slipping in the bathtub or shower, getting hit by frozen waste from a jet, getting hit by a meteor, and the good old getting run over by a streetcar.

My point is we don't know how we will die or when, so try to make the most of the time we have whenever possible. I know the time spent in treatment is not fun at all and I'm not suggesting to pretend it isn't happening but for the other times of our lives WE deserve more from ourselves...

tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

Very well put Phil.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

no expiration date on any of us, as far as I can see. I like the story of Stephen Jay Gould (English evolutionary biologist) who got dx with mesothelioma in the '80s. As a scientist, he naturally did all the research and things looked pretty bleak for him. But he did notice that there was a "tail" in the bell curve of survivorship that included some people who lived for a very long time. He decided that he was going to be in that tail, fought hard through the hell of treatment, and lived for 20+ years. He died not long ago, but not of mesothelioma. Doctors don't have a magic ball to tell the future, and we are all individuals with hope that we too will be the ones in the tail. They really shouldn't take that away from us. Hugs and strength to you-Ann

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6545
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry for your news. I'm agreeing with the others - there is no time line that can be given. Like Craig said, he is here way past what the doctor's told him.


Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2011

I have known about the cancer for a year had my first surgery last year. Did not think I would be back here at all but apparently here I am in a race to fight for minutes, days and years to be with family and friends. Chemo did not agree with me last time around and so I am not in hurry to go back and the dr.s told me that chemo is my new "life". I know I am also battling depression. You all are right I will not know what kills me. I could fall down the stairs tonight and that is it or get hit by lightning. Hopefully after the holidays I hope I can gear up and fight.



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