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Waiting for treatment

gwj7
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi so my 56 year old mom was diagnosed with colon cancer about two weeks ago and we got two opinions so far. My parents decided to go with Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in NYC. They have an appointment with the oncologist there on the 28th of this month and they still haven't put the port in for my mom's chemo. I don't know specific details but apparently they laid out the plan and i expect the port to be put in after the 28th and chemo to start soon after. My question is, isn't this waiting way too long??? I am freaking out because i am scared my mom's cancer is spreading. By the time she will start treatment it will be pretty much a month after diagnoses. Does this sounds alarming? I am pretty certain she has mets to her liver so it's not like this cancer is in the early stages or anything.

I also would like to ask if anyone of you have had lower left back pain. My mom has had it at seemingly random times in the last few weeks and today while we were shopping, it was intense enough to cause her to have to sit down for a while. I want her to get this checked out but where do we do that? Memorial Sloan? Would they see my mom sooner if she is having more symptoms? I feel so helpless right now. I read online on some other forum about this guy posting about his dad and them waiting over a month to start treatment. I looked deeper into his info and in another question a year later he says his father died.

A lot of my mom's friends who have had cancer are telling her that they are surprised that MMSCC is waiting so long to start treatment. They haven't had colon cancer, mostly breast cancer, so are the circumstances different? What do we do?????

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Sorry to hear of your Mom's diagnosis.
Who is your Mom's oncologist?
Do you know more about the plan?
Does a HAI pump sound familiar at all?
More info would help with giving some possibly more accurate answers...

The 28th really isn't that far away, only two weeks about. I've been under the care of Dr. Kemeny for over 8 1/2 years. She's an amazing oncologist in my, and many other people's opinion. I know that when it's one of us or a loved one, things seem like they can't move fast enough. Have you asked point blank why they are waiting two weeks?
-phil

luvinlife2
Posts: 172
Joined: Jul 2012

This is the guy you want to talk to :)

gwj7
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm pretty sure one of my mom's doctors is Dr. Garret Nash. And I'm also pretty sure that there reason they can't take her immediately is because the place is busy. I have heard about a HAI pump but i'm not too familiar with it. According to my parents, my mom is most likely going to be given a port in her chest for chemo for about 4 months and then she'll have surgery. Not really sure about specific details because I don't want to be the annoying 18 year old who is making things worse than they already are.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

He's a surgeon at SK. There's usually an Oncologist involved too.
If they ARE talking about the HAI Pump then Dr. Kemeny could very well be involved.
I did six months of chemo prior to my surgery so that's not uncommon at all.

Listen, you could easily be an annoying 60 year old so it ain't your age... :-)
Be supportive, get info, supplemental and/or alternative ideas, peoples experiences too.
But keep in mind that since we are all different and there's no guarantee that what works for one will work for another. The best advice I feel I can give is to find the BEST possible Oncology Team you can (which I think happened).

You don't want to have someone screw up then find someone else to fix the other doctors "stuff".
-phil
(Living with Stage IV Colon Cancer since Feb 2004)

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mar 2010

I, too, am a satisfied MSKCC patient. As Phil mentioned, Dr. Kemeny is an onc known for her work with the liver mets. I, fortunately, never had to deal with them. My surgeon there is Dr. Paty. I currently have no medical onc there, as mine left, and as I'm in remission with a very rare variant of colorectal cancer (stage IV Appendix cancer), Dr. Paty has agreed to track me until such time as I need an onc's intervention again. He selected my previous onc, and as Dr. Paty is an appendix cancer specialist, he knows who should see me when/if the time comes that I'm back in treatment.

Realize that your mom's cancer has been growing for quite a while. The natural response is that we must do something immediately, but in truth, except for rare cases, a few weeks won't make a difference.

Pre-op chemo is commonly done, and can be very effective at shrinking tumors so that the surgery need not be quite as extensive.

Hearing "you've got CANCER" changes your life and your perception of life. You and your family will calm down and start living a more normal life again, where cancer isn't the only word spoken or unspoken.

Come here - lots of good support and good people.
Alice

luvinlife2
Posts: 172
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm so sorry about your Mom but I'm glad you've found this board. Here you will receive a lot of support and good info.

Sloan Kettering is an excellent hospital as some others here who go there will attest to. They seem to be on the cutting edge of a lot of cancer treatments/surgeries so I think your Mom will be in very good hands.

As for the wait, typically colon cancer is a very slow growing cancer. Having said that, we are all different and our cancer responses are as individual as we are (they are our own cells after all :) ). I know that when you hear the Big C word, everything is a panic but really, the 28th is just 2 weeks away and if she's getting everything done shortly thereafter then she should be ok. Yes, disease progression will continue until she has treatment but it will probably be small. I had to wait almost 3 months for my chemo after my surgery because of infection. I had liver mets too and yes, I grew a few more during the 3 months but they were very small and the chemo killed them all.

Breast cancer is quite different from colon and is usually very aggressive.

Take a deep breath, and just be there for your Mom. If she's up to it, get her to come online here and do a bit of reading. She'll see there is lots of hope!!! There are many things that can be done these days, even with liver mets.

Stay with us OK? Hugs to you...Kathy :)

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