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Hi. My mother, aged 48, was recently diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. It's been incredibly overwhelming, as I'm sure you all know. She went in for stomach bloating and they realized she has ascites and from there came more tests until we landed at this diagnosis. She has mucinous adenocarcinoma of the hepatic flexure. It has spread to her peritoneum, so I think that means she has secondary peritoneal adenocarcinoma (that was on her online chart). They thought it was ovarian cancer at first because of the peritoneal spread but after a laparoscopy and then a colonoscopy, they realized the origin was her right colon. We are now waiting on more tests to see if she will start with immunotherapy or chemotherapy and after three months of either of those treatments, she will have her debulking surgery. I am so nervous. I can't believe we're dealing with this. She is so young and healthy but I know peritoneal spread has a poor prognosis. Does anyone with a similar diagnosis have any uplifting or hopeful stories? I feel so alone in this, I can't even imagine how she must be feeling.

Best wishes to you all,


worriedson714's picture
Posts: 257
Joined: Dec 2019

First welcome to the board those who are here will help you out alot they certainly have helped me out a ton . Last month they thought my dad's rectal cancer spread to the peritoneal and the oncologist wanted to do regular chemo said the chemo would be for my dad's rest of his life . So I did some research to find out treatment options . You might want to look up something called HIPEC surgery it's like a surgery combined with chemo directly to the cancer . From what I read it's the best treatment for peritoneal spread . I was going to bring it up to my dad's oncologist but then they changed there might and now they think my dad doesn't have spread to the peritoneal . Also I would always consider a second opinion peritoneal spread seems to be hard to diagnose cause my dad's oncologist went from yes his spread there now it's not . Then we saw my dad's radiation oncologist and he says it's still 50 50 that my dad's spread there . So if you have any doubt and your mom has any doubt I would get a second opinion ASAP sorry you and your mom is going threw this and good luck .

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2021

Thank you for responding. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, I know how frustrating it is to not have clear answers. I have read about HIPEC and luckily, she is seeing an oncologist that specializes in the treatment, so we're hoping she's a candidate for the treatment when her surgery comes up. Hoping for the best for your dad.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6697
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm sorry to hear about your mom and her diagnosis.  It's incredibly hard to hear that news and then have to deal with the whirlwind of tests, appointments, scans, etc., waiting for answers.  I'm not able to help you with your question, but there are many on this board that have dealt with some similar issues.  Wishing the best for your mother.


Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2021

Thank you Kim. Wishing you the best as well!

Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2020

Hi Brooke and I'm sorry that this is how we have to meet. I am in the midst of radiation right now and was diagnosed at 49 with stage 4a rectal cancer that they also think may be in the peritoneal area. As my oncologists have explained, that is a difficult area to know for sure. The treatment I've been getting is focusing on all of it and assuming that the cancer is there (that is what made the stage 4 diagnosis). The PET scan kit up one spot in the peritoneal area but after 4 months of chemo, the "spots" have not changed at all. I've finished 22 of 31 radiation treatments and then will get another MRI to begin the prep for surgery 4-6 weeks after radiation is done. From what I've been told, they won't know for sure until biopsies are taken of those spots. My oncologist keeps telling me that it's likely not cancer since there's been no changes (growing or shrinking). I'm praying he is right.
Best of luck to your mom. I know it's been really scary for my daughter through all of this too.

Much love,


Real Tar Heel
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2019

Sigh. Hello and welcome. I didn't have a similar diagnosis and have had mostly surgeries with some adjuvant therapy. I wish you the best.

I am tired of this affecting us in this way. I hope a cure is coming.

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2021

Hi. I'm new to this board. The last of my six months of chemo (stage 3 colon cancer)was four months ago. I thought I would be back on track by now but I still have a lot of fatigue and depression. I spend a lot of time in bed and I don't know quite what to do about this. During chemo I was pretty upbeat and strong but this is a new low for me. Any suggestions?

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5427
Joined: Jan 2013

It can take a considerable amount of time to recover from the chemo, and more so if you topped that with radiation. 

May I suggest you start your very own thread on the forum home page. That way people can respond directly to you and not fill up the original poster thread.  Here is the link https://csn.cancer.org/forum/128

After I had finished with treatment, It took a long time to revover. I tried to eat a good clean diet - with chocolate, because everyone deserves a treat. I started yoga, but any kind of exercise that you are able to do, would be helpful.  Keep a health journal and record how you are feeling by the day. Sometimes you can see that certain foods or activities exacerbate the fatigue. 

I wish you all the best.  Look forward to seeing you post on the home page. 


Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2021

Thank you Trubrit!

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