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Mom has colon cancer stage 4

Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2016

My family learned of my mom's colon cancer with mets to her liver and lungs in February after she had a colonoscopy. She had abdominal pain and a constant bloated feeling before she had her colonoscopy done. She's 57 and will be 58 in a couple of months. I'm taking care of her and working from home. My family and I have really been in this together, but I'm the primary caregiver as far as being home all day, making sure she's okay eats well, and is occupied with funny movies and uplifting activities such as listening to her favorite music artists. 

she started her first round of treatment two weeks ago and were going in for her second round this week. Folfox treatment is what they're giving her. She had hot flashes on the first day of chemo and then she had some nausea. 

My life turned upside down after we found out and I can't help, but picture my life without her. I'm scared and love her so much. 

 Any advice on what I can do to keep going and not get drained? We have 12 rounds of treatment she'll have to do, but afer her 6th treatment, shell have a pet scan done so we can see her progress. 

I'n trying to stay strong for my family members, but I'm so sad and it hurts so much seeing my mom sick because she's always a happy and positive person. 

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks everyone. 




Ilovetotravel's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2015

I am so sorry your having to go through that with your Mom.

It is really had to watch our Moms be sick. I am an only child and it was one of the hardest things I had to do. Plus I did it all alone. My mom died of endometriosis cancer 14 yrs ago. I won't lie it was heartbreaking.

If I can give you any advice, you need to make sure you don't forget to eat healthy yourself and exercise. Cause the last thing you need is for you to get sick. Your mom as much as you may not see looks up to for support. It will be much harder for her if she sees you sick. 

I used to have to take a deep breath each day, reminding myself I can do this. Plus I had my Mom's company that she started, to run at the same time. I was on the phone with the office several times a day.  That was one of the most stressful times of my life. 

In between her hosipital and doctor visits. i was so stressed my appendix went out and I had to have emergency surgery. I couldn't even tell her. Thank God I was only in the hospital for 24 hours. Cause I had to get her to her doctors appointment 48 hrs later. 

You need to stay as healthy as possible is my best advice. Plus you need to take a few breaks if you can. Get one of your siblings to relieve you for a few hours to get out. Or one of your Mom's friends to come by and visit. 

Be Positive too for her, cancer drugs today work much better than they did 14 yrs ago. 

I wish you and your Mom the best...

Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2016

Thank you so much for replying it definitely helps when i leave the house even for an hour when the rest of my family is home to get some air. I'm sorry you had to go through a difficult time with your mom's condition as well. I'm going to do my best and be strong for her because you're right, I feel like when she sees me be positive she's kind of taken back like "wow she's taking care of everything, of me, the house" and it maybe gives her hope that it won't be so bad after all because she's not alone. Thanks again for the encouragement, I appreciate it. 

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Second opinions

ALWAYS get a "second opinion" from a -colorectal surgeon- that is not of the same group or organization as your present physician.

Surgery is the best way to remove cancer. The colon can be removed entirely, all 5 foot of it. The liver can be surgically sliced up to 25% of it's size and it grows back. Lung nudules can be "blasted" with radio waves.

There are new surgical technology and procedures that enables a surgeon to do now what he never could do before. There are no "new" chemical treatments that will do as much as surgery.

Get other opinions. Chemical and radiation treatments can weaken the body and make survival difficult.

Get other opinions from Colorectal surgeons.

My best to you and your Mom.


Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2016

Thank you very much John. We got a second opinion with a different health group before she started chemo and they said that the treatment for her case is what they would be doing as well. It made me feel a little at ease because I think second opinions are so important, it's your body. She had surgery, but it was a bypass so she doesn't have a bowel obstruction because the tumor in her colon was too big to remove at the time. Now I'm waiting to see how/if the chemo shrinks it, what's going to happen next. 

i am going to look into the types of methods you mentioned that was very helpful thank you! All the best. 

Posts: 63
Joined: Apr 2016

I have found, in my short few weeks of dealing with this C, that trying to do normal day to day stuff is a good way to help my hubby feel "normal". I babied him the first 3 weeks (now on our 4th week) and he wants to do more and I have been letting him.


Getting out of the house seems to help also.

Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2016

I agree same here I babied my mom a lot in the beginning weeks and then realized I should be as normal as possible so I don't overwhelm her constantly and do things for her she can still do. I think it's because we want to be there for them every step of the way, even if it's the tiniest thing. I wish you and your husband the best and stay strong always. Take care and thank you for the reply. 

Posts: 63
Joined: Apr 2016

thank you :) I'm wishing the best for you guys also. The community here has been so caring and great.. you have found a good place :) ((((((((((hugs))))))))))))

JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm sorry you're here and I hope your mom will get through this and move on and have a long life. If you read about some of the members on here you'll see that stage four is something some people are able to live with. It depends on how it goes and the battle is different for everyone so there's no way to predict what will happen with your mom. Try to stay positive and encourage your mom to do so as well because stress will only decrease her body's ability to fight. That being said, if she gets very down and needs your support in that don't try to bring her up by not addressing her fears and sadness. That's one of the worst things I've dealt with. My husband did it a few times and I get that he just couldn't deal with it at the time but I needed someone to talk to about if things really do go south.

I was a stage three and have had mets since then in my lung. Oddly, that means I'm still a stage three but I see it as a stage four. As John said, surgery is the first treatment for cancer with chemo and radiation being secondary treatments. I had radiation and chemo before surgery in an attempt to reduce the size of the tumour.

Be strong and take care of your mom. Hugs!


Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2016

Thanks so much Jan, I appreciate the kind words and hope you're doing well now. I'm trying my best, she's been such an amazing mom and shes my best friend. I'm going to stay positive because you're right everybody is different and there are positive outcomes to these conditions, she has been healthy up to the point of her diagnosis so we're hoping her body will be able to fight it somehow, as bad as it is. Staying strong is key, I agree. Thanks again and take care. Hugs! 

lizard44's picture
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

Sorry you and your mom are having to deal with this. I agree with what phuckcancer said about staying active. Encourage your  mother to get up and move around or take a short walk, weather permitting.  I've found that I have to pace myself and may only be able to do  some activities for  fifteen or twenty minutes  before I need to rest, but  have been able to   keep up with housework, gardening, cooking,  shopping, and attending  some  events, etc.  I try to avoid crowds and avoid being around people with obvious signs of colds, flu, etc. but I do think being as active as possible actually helps to combat the fatigue and helps keep your body in better shape to fight   the  disease and handle the treatments.

Be sure to let  the doctors know about any side effects, like nausea, etc.  They can probably give her something to lessen the effects. Also, I've found that even though I have always eaten  "healthy" foods, I've had to modify my diet even more to avoid  diarrhea, constipation, etc. so it helps to  take notice of  whther eating certain foods makes the side effects worse and avoid those foods in the future.

And while it may be very hard, try not to let thoughts about cancer and all it entails  fill your entire  brain- take a break from it occasionally and recharge your batteries by doing something you enjoy. And try to do it without feeling guilty.If you don't feel you can leave your mother alone, find a relative or friend to spend the day with her.  There will be good days and bad days for both you and your mom.  Learn to enjoy the good days and  expect there to be many more. 


Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2016

Thank you very much Grace. I try to encourage her to walk and she does when she has energy, but a lot of the times ever since the first round of treatment she lies down a lot. She did walk this morning longer than usual since its been 2 weeks since her first treatment. I'm trying to not let this all consume my thoughts and keeping busy with work as well, since I still have to work on my projects. I'm just taking it a day at a time and hoping for the best. Thank you for all the advice and all the best to you.

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1132
Joined: Aug 2013

Don't project the future, It's hard to resist but anything can happen , so anticipating your pain is worse than useless. Stay in the present and see to your mama's needs and happiness. The rest takes care of itself, however it goes. I'll turn 58 in May so this feels close to home to me, there's lots of folks here around our age, your mom and me, and many had the mets in lungs and liver and are keeping it at bay or are ned so have faith and keep a good thought as I will for your mom.............................Dave

Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2016

Thanks so much Dave you're right I shouldn't think too far ahead and take it a day at a time. I hope you're doing well. Thanks for the advice. She was in good spirits today and I definitely enjoyed seeing her smile and not weak like she was last week. Best wishes to you. 

SilentRenegade's picture
Posts: 123
Joined: Sep 2013

Not sure what state you are in, but medical marijuana helps my dad a lot for a variety of reasons. 

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