PLEASE HELP! Dad preliminarily diagnosed with Colon Cancer Stage 4

My Dad is 65 years old.  He was having some stomach pain and couldnt go to the bathroom for a few days.  He finally went to the ER Wednesday of this past week.  He was given a scan and told there was an obstruction.  By that afternoon when i arrived, the Dr told him he had cancer.  I spoke to the Doctors and was told they believe it it to be stage 4 with spreading to the lungs and liver.  This is all so new and sudden and I am trying to be strong for both him and my mother.  But truth be told I am so lost as to what to do.  STAGE 4!? we just went through this a few months ago with his sister who was 81 and diagnosed similiarly with Stage 4 breast cancer.  She passed early december, i believe she didnt get treated with chemo.    Apparently this runs in the family.  But with limited medical history on that side and my honest lack of information I am so lost.  If any of you can give insight as to what questions to ask, next steps and coping, please i beg you to reply. 

 

As of now, they did another scan of the upper body and an XRAY KUB(?).  He also had 2 enemas in preparation of a colonoscopy which he had yesterday.  During, they did a biopsy and placed a stent to open the colon.  The attending Dr told me they saw spots around the lungs and 2 masses one upper and the other lower and smaller near the rectum.  

 

Additionally, My dad had TB some 40+ years ago.  He was treated.  He used to smoke but quit cold turkey about 15 years ago. And drank often but recently (last 10 years) has cut back significantly. About 15 yrs ago he was brought in to exam his lungs which showed polyps but after that he was fine.

I have absolutely no medical knowledge but can I be wishfully thinking that what they see on his lungs is from the TB years ago and what they see on his liver is from the drinking?  

We are waiting to hear from the Oncologist he is supposed to speak to us within the next 2 days. Biopsy is said to come in next week.  

I got a journal to document information.  A speciailist not sure which bc i was not present i believe the GI doctor told Dad if it is cancer then he will be placed on Chemo. Who's decision is that?  What are our options.  How long will he have?

I have been praying.

 

Dad is still in the hospital, this is day 4.  He is slowly being transitioned to a puree diet from liquid but still having some pain (significantly reduced from intial pain that brought him here).

 

God Bless you all! 

Only child

Julia  

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Dear Julia

    So very sorry to hear about your dad, but glad you have found this site.  There are many many years of collective experience in the folks who post.

    You mention scans...did they do chest, abdomin and pelvis?  You also mention another biopsy next week...is that for lungs or liver?

    If the stent the placed in the colon works, they will likely not want to do surgery if the diagnosis is confirmed stage 4.  From what I have learned here, they like to see if chemo will control or minimize exisitng cancer.  Surgery may be an option in the furture.

    It would be helpful if your dad put you on all HIPPA forms as being able to get info about his medical condition.  That way, even if you are not with him when docs visit at hospital, you can still get the info from them.  Once he is released, it would be good to have you go with him to future appointments so you can ask questions and make notes on the treatment plans.  You can then ask here about what you have learned.

    I know how difficult this is for you.  There are folks who post here who have been stage 4 for many years, with treatment.  Don't give up hope.

    Hugs,

    Marie who loves kitties

  • Sonia32
    Sonia32 Member Posts: 1,071
    Julia

    Big hugs, firstly glad you have posted here. You will get words of wisdom from members and carers who are going through this right now, or from some of us who have already been through it. Marie has given you good advice. All I will add is you continue to ask questions on here. Keep a note of them and speak to his medical team, the more information you gain the more it will help. At the moment it is all over whelming for you, just take each day as it comes and keep posting.

     

    Hugs

  • luvinlife2
    luvinlife2 Member Posts: 172
    Hi Julia :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad :(   Cancer sucks big time.   The standard chemo treatments for stage 4 colon cancer are FOLFOX or FOLFIRI usually will the addition of Avastin.  I do not have experience with rectal tumors but most people I know must do a series of radiation treatments for those in addition to the chemo.  There a lots of people here who have experience with everything available and they'll chime in with their thoughts too.  Your Dad is still young at 65 and if his health has been good prior to cancer he may do quite well with the chemo. 

     

    I'm a bit younger than your Dad and my situation was considered bad at my diagnosis too.  I'm 4+ years now, on chemo yes, but living a good life just the same.  I'm still on the same chemo I started with and so far, it still works to keep my tumors at bay.

     

    All the best to you and your Dad.  Stay here though, everyone will help you through this.  :)

     

  • tachilders
    tachilders Member Posts: 313
    My advice is to take a few

    My advice is to take a few deep breaths and try to relax a little bit.  Nothing that happens in the next few days/weeks will matter in the long run.  Let the doctors do their job and get the right diagnosis for you, and then plan on what to do next.  There are many of us on here with stage 4 mCRC, and many of us are quite a bit younger than your dad (I'm 46 and was diagnosed in June 2012 when I was still 45).  I am stage 4 with mets all over (lungs, liver, lymph nodes, peritoneum, etc...).  If he is stage 4, they will likely recommend chemo, either FOLFOX or FOLFIRI (5FU + leucovorin with either oxaliplatin or irinotecan, hence the OX or IRI) + Avastin.  Many people tolerate these chemo regimens pretty well, including myself who has done 12 tx of FOLFOX + Avastin.  It looks like FOLFIRI + Avastin is up next for me, as I still have most/all of the tumors I had at diagnosis, although they have shrunk with treatment.  There are stage 4 folks on here that are still around after 8 or more years, so stage 4 is survivable for quite awhile in the right circumstances.  Many doctors treat stage 4 like a chronic illness these days, and not like a certain short-term death sentence.  Much of the success of the treatment is based on the overall health of the individual, as well as how well their particular tumor responds to the treatments.  Right now, just be there to support your dad, and then prepare to help as needed if he does need chemo or other treatments (surgery, radiation, etc...).  Best of luck for your dad's health.

     

    Tedd

  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624
    Dear Julie

    There are a lot of us that are Stage IV colon cancer on this board, I am one of them.

    The reason for the chemo is that is can shrink the tumors, when the tumors are found elsewhere, such as lungs, liver etc., (that's what makes it stage IV, it has spread to other organs) they usually will not do surgery unless the tumors are shrunk, the goal usually is to get to the surgery.  I am in reocurrance of my colon cancer (3 years next month since diagnosed) and am doing chemo in order to shrink the latest tumors with surgery.  Cutting the tumors out is our goal.

    In your father's case, he probably needs the tumors shrunk in order to relieve or prevent the obstructions.

    You, your dad and family will be going through a lot of feelings in the up coming months.  The first is usually the crying and why us stage, the denial (thinking you'll wake up and they got it all wrong) sometimes anger, etc., the fighting mode may be there the whole time, or it may kick in a couple of months later after the shock has worn off.  It sucks, big time, colon cancer sucks, but just as your dad does, we have it, we are learning to LIVE with dealing with it, trying to get rid of it, chemo sucks, but it also has given many of us a chance to live a lot longer.  Next month I will have 3 extra years, I was given 2 weeks without chemo,  4 to 6 months with chemo, I'm still here, started college, was here for my 4th grandson's birth, my son's graduation from his 2 year college and into his 4 year, living and loving life.  Life isn't over, it's just different now.

    The chemo is different for different cancers.  My sister-in-law is stage IV breast cancer since last year,she's lost weight, looks terrible, I have stage IV colon cancer, same weight, and look healthy (most of us Stage IV colon cancer look very healthy, it's difficult for people to believe we have cancer).  I have had a fairly easy time with the chemo, some have a difficult time, you don't know until one has it, how it will affect one individually.  I've tried not to fear chemo, but to think of it as working with me in the fight against my tumors, as long as it's doing it's job, I'll do my job, making sure I eat, stay hydrated and mentally fighting that cancer!!!

    Your journal is an excellent idea!!! 

    How long does he have?  No one knows, some can die within the year, some years later, and others years and years later.  So far as I stated above, I've gotten 3 years, and plan on having more.  It depends on your chemo, your surgery, your body's reaction.  Let's assume he's going to be around for quite some years and look at the long term plans for him.

    My heart goes out to your family as you begin this new adventure in life and learn to travel through the many bewilderments that cancer causes.

     

    Winter Marie

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL THAT RESPONDED!

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL THAT RESPONDED!  I am going to make it part of my plan to check this site as much as possible.  I am keeping hope with what you have all given me.  For those of you that discussed particular chemo regimes, can you maybe give me some more info?  I only know chemo as chemicals that kill cancer cells.  When you mentions names and times I am lost.  Are there rounds of Chemo?  

    I am here for him and will be always. I have been with him for 8-10 hrs at the hospital every day just watching him sleep helping him around and encouraging him to walk as much as he can.  

    I spoke to the covering GI today who said that they want to make sure dad can pass food as he progresses to solids before he goes home.  Good Lord I ran with that and told Dad he will be home soon.  I truly believe that!  I am thankful I am a teacher (my first year) and can be home during the summer to tend to him.  I just pray he is here with us.  

    Mom however has PTSD and some depression so I also need to figure out a coping mechanism for her as well. (Any ideas?)  I spoke to her social worker and gave her my number if she has an ideas how to proceed with Mom being able to deal. 

    I cannot begin to thank you all for the insight! God is good for leading me to you! 

    -Julia

    (28/NYC)

    And for those of you surviving i pray God continues to provide you health and strength! 

     

    Anyone in the NYC area with Drs they recommend or services etc please let me know. 

  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624
    julita128 said:

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL THAT RESPONDED!

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL THAT RESPONDED!  I am going to make it part of my plan to check this site as much as possible.  I am keeping hope with what you have all given me.  For those of you that discussed particular chemo regimes, can you maybe give me some more info?  I only know chemo as chemicals that kill cancer cells.  When you mentions names and times I am lost.  Are there rounds of Chemo?  

    I am here for him and will be always. I have been with him for 8-10 hrs at the hospital every day just watching him sleep helping him around and encouraging him to walk as much as he can.  

    I spoke to the covering GI today who said that they want to make sure dad can pass food as he progresses to solids before he goes home.  Good Lord I ran with that and told Dad he will be home soon.  I truly believe that!  I am thankful I am a teacher (my first year) and can be home during the summer to tend to him.  I just pray he is here with us.  

    Mom however has PTSD and some depression so I also need to figure out a coping mechanism for her as well. (Any ideas?)  I spoke to her social worker and gave her my number if she has an ideas how to proceed with Mom being able to deal. 

    I cannot begin to thank you all for the insight! God is good for leading me to you! 

    -Julia

    (28/NYC)

    And for those of you surviving i pray God continues to provide you health and strength! 

     

    Anyone in the NYC area with Drs they recommend or services etc please let me know. 

    Chemo regimes

    My chemo's were Oxyplatinin, Xeloda (pill form of chemo) and Avastin.  The Oxy (call it that for short of Oxyplatinin) and the Avastin were given intrevenously through my port (a port is installed in the chest and the chemo goes through that into your system, I had originally no port and it went through my arm veins and it HURT like hell, so if your dad does chemo, make sure that a PORT is discussed with the oncologist, a port is installed by a surgeon in an outpatient process)once every three weeks, the Xeloda was a pill form that I took twice a day for two weeks, with one week of no chemo. Some people go every three weeks, some every two weeks, some once a week.

    The FOLFOX AND FOLFIRI are chemo combinations that I don't know much about, so someone else will chime in. 

    The Oxy/Avastin/Avastin combination worked great for me, and depending on how advanced and other varibles, will be the deciding factor for your dad's oncologist, FOLFOX and FOLFIRI have worked great for others.

    The first three chemo's stopped working for me, so I am on a new chemo called Irinotecan which is also working great.

    When you find out which chemos the oncologist prefers, please let us know, because between all of us, we have tried one chemo or another that has been on the chemo market. So no matter which chemo there will be several here that can give advice on the effects of their individual chemo regime.

    Just remember, each person reacts differently to chemos.  So far, for me, it's been pretty much a breeze compared to some others reactions. So just keep that in mind if you hear some bad ones, okay?  The problem is, you don't know how it will affect your dad until it does.  BUT...we can prepare you and him for the side affects that happen with those chemos (I think that's what helped me through my chemos, knowing what to expect and not surprised when it happened, thanks to the good people on this site).

    Winter Marie

  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member
    NYC - I go to Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK)

    My surgeon, Dr. Paty is a brilliant colo-rectal surgeon there, and would advise if surgery or chemo is advisable first.  I know that he has spoken to the fact that for Stage IV, unless there is a serious blockage, chemo is the way to start.  You can look into getting a referral there.  I know that they take many different insurance plans.  If you can get a consultation with him, he would direct you to his preferred medical oncologist.  Unfortunately, the one I used left MSK a couple of years ago.  However, as I'm in remission, I don't need a medical onc right now - Dr. Paty is tracking my scans.  Dr. Paty is also excellent in helping you to understand the why's and wherefore's of the treatment plan and condition.  (The reason he always runs late is that he spends extra time with all of his patients explaining things.  If you see him, be prepared to wait, possibly for hours.)

    Chemo is commonly given in "rounds" (every other week for example).  However, sometimes in preparation for surgery, it can be given constantly over several weeks or more (the patient brings home a pump or device filled with chemo that is attached and portable in a fanny pack.)

    You'll be learning way too much in the next few weeks.  Take lots of notes, take long walks, and take care of yourself.

    We're here to help answer questions.

    Alice

    (Metastatic Appendix Cancer - diagnosed in 2007 and currently in remission.)

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20
    abrub said:

    NYC - I go to Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK)

    My surgeon, Dr. Paty is a brilliant colo-rectal surgeon there, and would advise if surgery or chemo is advisable first.  I know that he has spoken to the fact that for Stage IV, unless there is a serious blockage, chemo is the way to start.  You can look into getting a referral there.  I know that they take many different insurance plans.  If you can get a consultation with him, he would direct you to his preferred medical oncologist.  Unfortunately, the one I used left MSK a couple of years ago.  However, as I'm in remission, I don't need a medical onc right now - Dr. Paty is tracking my scans.  Dr. Paty is also excellent in helping you to understand the why's and wherefore's of the treatment plan and condition.  (The reason he always runs late is that he spends extra time with all of his patients explaining things.  If you see him, be prepared to wait, possibly for hours.)

    Chemo is commonly given in "rounds" (every other week for example).  However, sometimes in preparation for surgery, it can be given constantly over several weeks or more (the patient brings home a pump or device filled with chemo that is attached and portable in a fanny pack.)

    You'll be learning way too much in the next few weeks.  Take lots of notes, take long walks, and take care of yourself.

    We're here to help answer questions.

    Alice

    (Metastatic Appendix Cancer - diagnosed in 2007 and currently in remission.)

    2nd Opinions? Beth Israel Medical Center?

    Thanks Alice! 

    God bless you in remission.  I am going to look into Sloan.  Do any of you recommend a second opinion as part of the process?

    Dad is at Beth Isreal.  I am not sure if this is quality care for his condition right now.  While most are nice i just have a sense that most of these doctors with the exception of a few are students.  I want an experienced professional in charge of my Dad's care.  

    Ok so Chemo requires a port that is going to be placed in my Dad?  Where?  

     

  • thxmiker
    thxmiker Member Posts: 1,278
    julita128 said:

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL THAT RESPONDED!

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL THAT RESPONDED!  I am going to make it part of my plan to check this site as much as possible.  I am keeping hope with what you have all given me.  For those of you that discussed particular chemo regimes, can you maybe give me some more info?  I only know chemo as chemicals that kill cancer cells.  When you mentions names and times I am lost.  Are there rounds of Chemo?  

    I am here for him and will be always. I have been with him for 8-10 hrs at the hospital every day just watching him sleep helping him around and encouraging him to walk as much as he can.  

    I spoke to the covering GI today who said that they want to make sure dad can pass food as he progresses to solids before he goes home.  Good Lord I ran with that and told Dad he will be home soon.  I truly believe that!  I am thankful I am a teacher (my first year) and can be home during the summer to tend to him.  I just pray he is here with us.  

    Mom however has PTSD and some depression so I also need to figure out a coping mechanism for her as well. (Any ideas?)  I spoke to her social worker and gave her my number if she has an ideas how to proceed with Mom being able to deal. 

    I cannot begin to thank you all for the insight! God is good for leading me to you! 

    -Julia

    (28/NYC)

    And for those of you surviving i pray God continues to provide you health and strength! 

     

    Anyone in the NYC area with Drs they recommend or services etc please let me know. 

    Welcome

    Welcome,  We are sending thoughts and prayers to your father for a quick recovery.

     

    It is not unusual for a colon blockage to be in the hospital for about 8 days.  They want to make sure his body is working again, and that there is no sepsis. 

     

    It is probably early to know what stage the cancer is in. It is comon to have cycsts on the lung and first dianosis is cancer. Treatments for Chemo are ususally an IV for about 2 hours and then a medical pump for 46 additional hours. He can go home and function normally while doing chemo.  Chemo is naueating and tiring. The normal Chemo is for up to 12 tretments, then additional chemo may be needed.  If he needs further surgery then the Chemo may only be 6 treatments and then look for enough shrinkage to do additional surgery. Then resume chemo after surgery.

     

    Before one starts Chemo, test for KRAS and BRAF should be done. They are genetic markers that tell the Oncologist if a Chemo is more affective then another tretment.

     

    For now, just be supportive for him to have  quick recovery. Your mom needs your support too. It is a shock to find someone you care so much about has cancer.

     

    Best Always,  mike 

  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624
    julita128 said:

    2nd Opinions? Beth Israel Medical Center?

    Thanks Alice! 

    God bless you in remission.  I am going to look into Sloan.  Do any of you recommend a second opinion as part of the process?

    Dad is at Beth Isreal.  I am not sure if this is quality care for his condition right now.  While most are nice i just have a sense that most of these doctors with the exception of a few are students.  I want an experienced professional in charge of my Dad's care.  

    Ok so Chemo requires a port that is going to be placed in my Dad?  Where?  

     

    Port

    The port goes into the chest, usually on the left side, it will be just under the skin and visible, it is about the size of a quarter.  It's like under an hour surgery, outpatient.  My oncologist (onc for short) never mentioned that a port even existed, the infusion nurse did, thank goodness for the nurse.  So make sure to ask first thing about getting a port installed from his onc.

    Winter Marie

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20
    thxmiker said:

    Welcome

    Welcome,  We are sending thoughts and prayers to your father for a quick recovery.

     

    It is not unusual for a colon blockage to be in the hospital for about 8 days.  They want to make sure his body is working again, and that there is no sepsis. 

     

    It is probably early to know what stage the cancer is in. It is comon to have cycsts on the lung and first dianosis is cancer. Treatments for Chemo are ususally an IV for about 2 hours and then a medical pump for 46 additional hours. He can go home and function normally while doing chemo.  Chemo is naueating and tiring. The normal Chemo is for up to 12 tretments, then additional chemo may be needed.  If he needs further surgery then the Chemo may only be 6 treatments and then look for enough shrinkage to do additional surgery. Then resume chemo after surgery.

     

    Before one starts Chemo, test for KRAS and BRAF should be done. They are genetic markers that tell the Oncologist if a Chemo is more affective then another tretment.

     

    For now, just be supportive for him to have  quick recovery. Your mom needs your support too. It is a shock to find someone you care so much about has cancer.

     

    Best Always,  mike 

    KRAS and BRAF

    Thank you Mike! 

    Ok so they are tests to see if Chemo will work?  What kind of tests?  Blood? 

    I read KRAS on another Blog and will conitue to look into it.

    Thank you so much! 

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    Welcome

    Sorry you found us but you will find so much information here.  Sounds like they are treating your dad with aggressive movement on treatment which is great.  You need to make sure that someone is there at every visit, appointment, scan, test, etc to make sure that he is not only hearing what he wants and not what he should.  It's hard to come to grip with, but it's imperitive.  Wait until the path comes back and the doctors come to conclusion on what they want to do.  You (and your father) will now go through such a rollercoaster of everything and it will bring you full circle and start again.  It's normal and confusing.  Come here, state your concerns, your fears, your questions.  We are here to help.  Stage 4 is not a death sentence.  There are many on this board that are still here after 8 years.  It's scary here but you got someplace to come.  Good luck to your dad and let us know the path and how he is doing.

    Kim

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122
    Julia -

    Re:
    "......if it is cancer then he will be placed on Chemo. Who's decision
    is that?  What are our options.  How long will he have?......."

    All decisions are your father's; the physicians can only make suggestions
    regarding treatments.

    His options can be plentiful, but he will have to seek other opinions
    from physicians that are -not- of the same group or organization
    as the ones he presently has. Surgeons are often more objective
    than physicians making money providing chemical treatments.

    His options can vary from conventional (western medicine) treatments,
    to an alternative medicine used along with conventional  treatments,
    or by itself.

    His prognosis (life expectancy) isn't up to anyone. My prognosis was
    terrible back in 2006 when I was diagnosed with 3c/4 colon cancer
    (I later found out that I was a 4). I did not do "conventional medicine",
    and chose a different route (click on my name to read my profile).

    I have (had) many friends diagnosed with stage one and two colon
    cancer that had died within two years of diagnosis; most had taken
    chemo and radiation as prescribed.

    There have been posters here, diagnosed with 3 (and 4) colon cancer
    and remain doing well after many years, that have not taken the chemical
    treatments, and have used dietary methods (juicing) instead.

    And you'll find one here with stage four, who's cancer team is
    treating his condition as a "chronic disease", rather than something
    terminal.

    What works for one, may not work for someone else; we're all
    different. But making one very sick from treatments; damaging
    the immune system beyond it's ability to protect you, is never
    a good idea. The body can survive against all odds, if the immune
    system is in good shape..... take that advantage away, and you're
    left with a dependency on some chemical to fight for you...

    I prefer to trust my body, instead of some manufacturer's claim.

    It's his choice to make, not yours, not some physician's. But he
    needs as much data as possible, and he has to trust in his
    own instincts for survival.

    I'm wishing him the very best of health!

    John

  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member
    julita128 said:

    2nd Opinions? Beth Israel Medical Center?

    Thanks Alice! 

    God bless you in remission.  I am going to look into Sloan.  Do any of you recommend a second opinion as part of the process?

    Dad is at Beth Isreal.  I am not sure if this is quality care for his condition right now.  While most are nice i just have a sense that most of these doctors with the exception of a few are students.  I want an experienced professional in charge of my Dad's care.  

    Ok so Chemo requires a port that is going to be placed in my Dad?  Where?  

     

    Beth Israel is an excellent hospital

    While you are seeing lots of students, a senior physician is overseeing your dad's care. The students are not making any critical decisions.  However, he should get excellent care at BI.

    Second opinions are always worthwhile, even if just to confirm the first.  Frankly, I had 2 opinions with 2 drs at MSK, and one was terrible (and completely wrong) and the other was Dr. Paty, who knew exactly what to do about my rare cancer.

    Ports make chemo much easier.  Mine was in the right - they tend to be placed in the upper chest.  Have your dad ask for a prescription for Emla cream to use before chemo - then he won't feel the needle going into the port at all. (You gob it on thickly an hour or so before chemo, and cover the area with plastic wrap.  The chemo nurse wipes it off, but it will have numbed the area well.)

    Good luck to you and your Dad through all of this. 

    Alice

  • julita128
    julita128 Member Posts: 20
    Thoughts on John's post on Alt treatments?

    Anyone here care to share their thoughts on alternative treatments? 

    Can you elaborate on the juicing?  What exactly is that?

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    julita128 said:

    Thoughts on John's post on Alt treatments?

    Anyone here care to share their thoughts on alternative treatments? 

    Can you elaborate on the juicing?  What exactly is that?

    Just wanted to say welcome to the board...

    and send a few hugs to you and your dad.  You've already gotten a lot of good advice here, so I don't have much to add in a practical sense.  The one alt treatment that I tried and found possibly useful was taking cimetidine (brand name Tagamet) for a week before and after surgery.  If your dad has another surgery in his future, it's worth throwing into the mix, as some studies suggest it reduces the chance of the cancer spreading during surgery.  I've had 5 surgeries, and it was only after the last one that I reached NED for any extended period of time (a little over a year at this point); however, I say "possibly" because I have no way to know if it was the cimetidine that did the trick or not.  But it's OTC, and can't hurt to take for a few weeks, so it seems like a good one to try.  As for juicing, I've never done it, but there are others here who have (it's basically just what it sounds like...throwing healthy fruits and veggies into a juicer and drinking the results), and I'm sure they'll be able to give you some input.  I know there many recipes online.  Seems like another "can't hurt, might help" addition to any more traditional approach.  Stay strong~Ann Alexandria 

  • tachilders
    tachilders Member Posts: 313
    I'll try to summarize the

    I'll try to summarize the different medicines for you, and some of the acromyns, so you can better understand what the options are.

    5FU = 5-fluorouracil.  This is the base drug for colon cancer and is delivered IV (usually every 2 weeks and over 46 hours with a pump) with leucovorin (folinic acid), which helps it work.  This is one "round" of chemo.

    Xeloda = A pill form of a 5FU precursor that is converted to 5FU by your body.  Given every day for 2 weeks with a week off in between "rounds".

    Oxaliplatin = A platinum containing drug that also works against colon cancer.  Usually given with 5FU or Xeloda.  When infused with 5FU and leucovorin, it is called the FOLFOX regimen.

    Irinotecan = Another drug that is usually combined with 5FU or Xeloda.  When combined IV with 5FU and leucovorin, this regimen is called FOLFIRI.

    Avastin = A monoclonal antibody (a biological agent, so technically not chemotherapy) that can be added to the chemo regimen.  It works by preventing the body from making new blood vessels, which tumors need to survive and grow.

    Erbitux = Another monoclonal antibody that can be used with chemotherapy.  It interferes in a pathway that cells use to grow, called RAS.  Cancer cells tend to have overactive RAS.  Some people (like me) have a mutated RAS gene, so this drug doesn't help us.  They will deteremine if your dad has a RAS mutation from biopsies they took from his tumor(s).

    There are a couple of newer drugs that have just been approved for colon cancer, but I don't know a lot about them.  Right now, it seems that they are generally used only after the above regimens have either failed or stopped working. 

    Hope this helps somewhat...

  • karguy
    karguy Member Posts: 1,020
    I'm sorry you have to be

    I'm sorry you have to be here.It looks like you have already have gotten alot of advice.The first time I was dx with cancer,I had a lot of pain going to the bathroom,the tumor was blocking most of the intestine,hence the blood.I got a colonosomy[2008],and did fine untill nov.2011,when the cancer came back,and had spread to my liver.I did some more chemo,avastin,oxy,5fu,etc.,then more surgery on my liver.Now I am doing fine.Your father,and you should get all the information you can,and write down all the answers,and last of all,never,ever give up,and don't get sad,get mad ,and fight the cancer with all you can.

  • luvinlife2
    luvinlife2 Member Posts: 172
    julita128 said:

    Thoughts on John's post on Alt treatments?

    Anyone here care to share their thoughts on alternative treatments? 

    Can you elaborate on the juicing?  What exactly is that?

    Alternative treatments....

    There are some good treatments available but as John said, it is your father's choice which path he wants to go.  I use alternative treatments integrated with my chemo as this seems to work the best for me.   Make sure you find a reputable naturopathic Dr., preferably one who is also educated in oncology and should be board certified.  Don't wait to start alternatives until all the regular treatment options have failed and expect results.  The body needs something to work with in order to heal the natural way.   Lastly, always let the oncologist know about other treatments/supplements.  :)