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Colon cancer returned 6 months later

Hoosiergirl317
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2020

hi, my grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer in April 2019. She completed chemo in October 2019. this past Monday my mom took her to the ER because her face was drooping on one side. The doctors have determined that it wasn't a stroke but Bell's Palsy. But they found a mass on her liver, spots on her lungs and a spot on her brain. All of this 6 months after finishing chemo. She has began talking about how she is at peace with God and wants to add us to the deed on her house.  And she is moving in with my mom. i don't know how concerned I should be?  should I be worried that the cancer has returned and is now in different areas other than her colon? I just feel like she isn't telling us everything. 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5193
Joined: Jan 2013

Any recurrance, especially in the brain, is a concern.  

I think it is wonderful that she is at peace with God, as this will help her through more tough times. 

How old is your grandmother?  Whenever I think 'grandmother' I think old, but then remember, I am old. 

Whatever lie ahead, be sure to support your grandmother in her decisions.  She may wish to let nature take its course, or she may wish to fight the fight.  Whichever is her decision, your love and caring - which is so evident in your post - will be her comfort and strength. 

So yes, I will not sugar coat my answer. Recurrance stinks, but it doesn't always mean the end.  

I have found that it is more important to enjoy every day, every moment and let the cards fall as they may. I wish your grandmother all the best in whatever decision she makes. And you, sweet grandchild, I wish you strength. While it is your granmother who is fighting physically, it is a fight, emotionally for those who love her. 

Blessings!

Tru

 

Hoosiergirl317
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2020

Hi Tru,

thank you for replying. My grandmother is 67 years old. she will do radiation for the spot on her brain and she will do chemo for the spot on her liver and the spots on her lungs. She is scheduled to meet with the doc who will be doing her chemo on Monday. I asked my mom if they were planning on doing surgery before starting chemo but she said she will ask that question at the appointment on Monday. Ive read that if they don't do surgery that typically means they are doing treatment to keep the patient comfortable. My grandmother also stated that her chemo while be given via a pump like machine that will be set to a timer. my mom did tell me that her cancer is aggresive so they are treating it aggressively. 
I am 30 years old and have a very close relationship with my grandmother. and now that she is living with us, I am struggling with the fact that I am home potentially watching my grandmother die. My mom mentioned that the treatment will Prolong it. Prolong what, I don't know. But she asked me to come home and spend what time I have left with my grandmother. I am trying to piece all of the information together. As I feel like my grandmother and mother may not be telling me everything. But I am very worried. 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5193
Joined: Jan 2013

Your grandmother is still fairly young, and that will help her in this fight. 

We have had several forum members who have succesfully undergone radiation on brain mets, and it is good news that there is only one met in the brain and in the lung. 

Don't be reading too much on the internet.  Sometimes they cannot do surgery because the tumour is close to vital blood supplies and such. Radiation can hit the tumour spot on and kill it. So, please don't worry about the no surgery angel. 

We have a member on the forum, Phil, who has been on chemo for many years. He lives well, and is a very happy man. So 'prolong' is not a bad thing. 

The chemo sounds like it might be 5FU, which is delivered through a pump 24/7. But this is early days. Wait until Monday and all will be revealed. For me, I had a four hour chemo infusion at the cancer center, then the pump for 48 hours.  For the pump, she will have to have a port placed in her chest. Ports are wonderful things (for most people).

Take it all one day at a time. Don't jump ahead to the what ifs. While your grandmother wants to plan a few end of life things, doesn't mean she will be at the end of her life.  Sandia is right, its always wise to make those plans at our age, regardless of your health.

Tru

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1093
Joined: Apr 2017

All we ever have in life are moments.  If you have questions, ask them of your Grandmother.  She is facing what seems like a difficult situation, but open communication with her will likely be helpful.  And be sure to listen carefully to what she says. 

Estate planning is always a good thing to do, whatever stage of life you are at.  She might want to see an attorney to get her affairs in order. 

I remember when my Grandmother died.  I was about your age.  I had my wits about me enough to spend time with her and to ask her questions.  I once asked her about the best times in her life (this was a woman born in the 1890's).  She told me about how she would sleep over at her friend's house and they would sneak out the window at night and go to a dance hall  She told me that was where she met her future husband.  She was on a date with another guy and he kept bugging her to go out with her and she said she did not want anything to do with him.  That was my Grandfather, who died before I was born.  

Anyway, my point is that we are all mortal, but the moments we spend together are precious.  I have the fondest memories of my Grandmother.  Best of luck to you in the challenges ahead.

 

Hoosiergirl317
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2020

Thank you both for your replies! I really appreciate it. You have both put my mind at ease. Typically I would have been by her side with my mom but we were not allowed to be with her at the hospital due to the Coronavirus. We also aren't able to go inside with her to some of her appointments because of the virus as well. But I will definitely have an open conversation with her and will enjoy having her around. I look forward to our daily wheel of fortune and jeopardy time ☺️

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5193
Joined: Jan 2013

If you Grandmother can get ahold of a little tape recorder, and she asks permission, she could tape her appointment with her Oncologist. I was totally overwhelmed with information at my appointments, and was so grateful my husband was with me.  How awful for her, and everyone now, who has to go it alone. Such a terrible state of affairs in the world. 

Tru

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