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I’m 25 and I just found out my dad has colorectal cancer

Staypositive1971
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2021

Hi. I don't really know where to start this. My dad is my best friend and really the only person I feel I have in this life. I just graduated college and have been working and found out that he's been hiding colon cancer from me. He found out 2 years ago... he says that it was lower colon and there were no tumors just cells. I just dont understand why he wouldnt get chemo when it wasn't bad. Now we are two years out and I'm scheduling a coloscopy. Hopefully the news comes back that we still have a chance to fight this.. he said, I'll be fine and he doesn't want to be a burden.. but he isn't a burden and I love him to death. I'm just looking for some reassurance to try and fight this thing. No one else in my family knows and he doesn't want me to say anything. But I feel like he needs the whole familie support for this and to stop vrushing it under the rug. He relatively healthy, the diagnosis was at 47 he's now 49... if anyone has some advice I would greatly appreciate it. I just bought all sorts of stuff to change his diet and I said I'll meal prep every meal for him.. Please any advice helps! We are located in Colorado.

-Nico

Tueffel's picture
Tueffel
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2020

Hello Nico,

Welcome to a forum no one wants to join. But I assure you this forum will help you through this. I was 25 myself when my dad got diagnosed with colon cancer. He is still battling it, now the cancer will shorten his life but he is not giving up. 

I am a little confused how the situation is with your dad. Sometimes the doctors wont do chemo because they assume that they removed everything. My grandma had also colon cancer, they removed it during colonoscopy and she never needed chemo and it never came back. Maybe your dad is the same case? 

Whatever will happen, it will be a rough ride and you will be worried. Sometimes it is just good to take a break from cancer. Your father is still your father and not your father the cancer patient. Never forget that! 

Keep us updated and we do all hope that you father will win!

Tueffel

Staypositive1971
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2021

Hi Tueffel

 

i appreciate The kind words. I saw Other speaking up more renowned colon cancer insitutes and none of those are near me.. can I have the documents sent to those places for a second opinion. Will that even work if it's all remote.. new to this and I want to make the best educated decision since there are so many experts on this topic in this group.

Tueffel's picture
Tueffel
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2020

Sorry I cant help you with that. I dont live in the US. My Papa is treated in Germany where we have certified centers for different cancers. I already recognized that a lot of things are different in the US.

If you have find a doctors letter from  the time your father was diagnosed. Maybe the hospital can send it to you again? On it you will find important information like what kind of cancer and stage. If you have this info you can plan a strategy cause then you know what is exactly happening. 

Tueffel

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 2019

Many people choose a name brand place if their insurance covers it. Some can afford to travel for treatment, some can't. Many people at my hospital come from all over the state.

You can have your records sent anywhere your father wishes. I'm having mine sent to another hospital myself (I have to fax them, I can't believe there is somewhere that still uses faxes lol).

They can talk to you over the phone regarding your options if they can see everything there is to see (scan results, etc)

Staypositive1971
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2021

Okay thank you! thats more than likely what we'll have to do. How do you go about treatments then? You would have to make the trip? That seems very tough financially. I'll talk to my dad About it. 

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 2019

Yes, people are coming here by car usually and stay overnight, heard a few people talk about getting a hotel and everything. Most often they are retired (I am assuming because of their age) and so they have the time but not maybe the money, but they are doing it.

I would definitely speak with someone at the name brand treatment centers if your dad thinks that is what he wants. OTOH, once they see his medical records they may not prescribe anything differently than the local hospital does. Some treatments are the same no matter what. If he is going for surgery, the strength of the facility may be a concern. My surgeons have all been fine, my hospital is not top ten but it is no slouch in the reputation department, lol. But I think we might expect a top ten rated facility to do something magical that no other facility can do, I don't think that's the case in all situations.

DanNH's picture
DanNH
Posts: 120
Joined: Feb 2021

RTH is correct about treatments being similar. What I have learned over the past few months is that there is a standard of care and approved medications and therapies that physicians will use. They could vary within the discretion of the Oncologist, but only within those standards. I also learned that the Oncologists sits as part of a tumor board, a board of multiple Oncologist disciplines - medical, radiation, surgical, etc. They review each case and weigh in on treatments. They pretty much decide on how a case will be treated. I think they are also limited by what the insurance companies will cover. So, as RTH said, the treatments will likely be the same  but this is not an absolute. I have read on these forums about some very widly varying medical opinions and outcomes.

In our case, we had an appointment at Massachusetts General Cancer Center with a very well respected Oncologis and researcher who specialized in CRC. We had our records sent to him and followed up with about a one hour appointment. He agreed with our Oncologist's treatment and only ordered a blood test to test for mutations, which our Oncologist had not done. For us being new to this it gave us a lot of piece of mind and just bolstered our confidence in our Oncologist.

If you can research and have access to your Dad's medical records, labs, and reports through MyChart or a similar medical records portal, you can learn about his condition and treatment options. These forums and others are a great place to get information from people who have experienced this either first hand, or as a caretaker as I am. It will take some of the mysteries away and give you a heads up about what to expect for treatments, side effects, and what may or may not lay ahead.

Some more seasoned members may have other or more valuable experiences or advice for you about treatments. As I said, I am about four months into this journey and learn something new here every day.

God Bless and best of luck with you and your Dad in coming out on top of this!

Dan

worriedson714's picture
worriedson714
Posts: 274
Joined: Dec 2019

                My dad has been battling rectal cancer for two years and looks to be on his way to chemo and like you he is my best friend . He's more then dad to me he's like my only family so I know the pain your going threw hang in there and don't give up . Just recently I got my dad a second opinion first you need his oncologist now the local oncologist to send a referral to were you choose to have a second opinion . Then all the records get sent there and the second opinion looks at it and let's you know there opinion . We didn't even have to see the oncologist who did the second opinion we have a phone appointment with him and I live in michigan so I am sure it works this way for you to . Like tueffel said take a break from cancer once and while don't let the cancer consume yours and your dad's relationship just some friendly advice . 

Staypositive1971
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2021

I appreciate your words, they have definitely helped relieve some stress and anxiety. I will Know more once I get the results from his colonoscopy. I'm just worried because he's been ignoring it for two years... hopefully we aren't to the point of no return. i will definitely get a second opinion and have the results sent in since it sounds like I can be given advice remotely. May both our dad beat this. My prayers and thoughts to you. **** cancer

danker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

You don't say how old your Dad is.  I was 77 when I was dxed.  A bumppy roar, but got through it.  Now soon to be 89 and still NED (no evedence of disease). I'm living proof it can be beat.  So just take it a day at a time and hope for the best. Goog luck!!

Staypositive1971
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2021

My dad was 47 when he first found out the news of cancer cells in his colon, he's now 49... hopefully the cancer has not grow tremendously. I'm also curious if anyone has performed a strict recommended diet for this process. I'm assuming so but I dont want to make any assumptions. youre inspirational. I hope My dads body can do the same!

DanNH's picture
DanNH
Posts: 120
Joined: Feb 2021

My wife is on a very restricted Keto diet. Cancer burns glucose. Healthy cells burn glucose or fat. Keto diets restrict carbs, which break down into glucose, and leave fats for fuel for healthy cells. There are studies on Pubmed about Keto and Cancer. Just a thought.

Staypositive1971
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2021

I will start looking into this diet immediately. I'm assuming it's been working for your wife so why not take a go at it. Thank you!

DanNH's picture
DanNH
Posts: 120
Joined: Feb 2021

The initial diagnosis is a real shock. It is a scary thing to learn of because we all know how devistating it can be. You will learn a lot about the disease and find hope here on this forum. There is chat that gets going after 9:00 pm EST.

I am from New Hampshire. My wife is 62 this month and we found out about her colon cancer in January. We are throwing everything including the kitchen sink at her condition, using conventional chemotherapy along with holistic oncology and energy healing. I would howl at the moon if Pubmed had a study that showed it had anticancer properties!

I found our holistic oncologist from this web directory https://fonconsulting.com/resources/integrative-oncology-centers/

I suggest that you accompany your Dad to his appointments if you can and see if he will give you access to his on-line medical records like MyChart. You will be able to read reports and get test results quickly to gauge what is going on. It has to be scary for him as well and he would benefit from you helping him through, taking notes at appointments, and helping him manage his care.

The shock will wear off. I lived on the edge of anguish for about six weeks following my wife's diagnosis. But remember, your Dad is a free man who can make decisions about his own life. You can influence his decisions but ultimately they are his to make, just as if the roles were reversed they would be yours to make.

God bless you and your Dad.

Dan

Staypositive1971
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2021

I'm in shock right now and I just feel like I cant live without him. And I dont want that to sound like I'm counting him out. I just Need him to take this serious because I know we can beat it. As for your wife I hope she continues to beat this thing. Please share any advice I should know for this journey. I also Appreciate you reminding me to not talk about the cancer. It's just hard because it's all that's on my mind now.. how to fight it, things that help, what to expect with treatments, life after chemo and such... but as you said it's his life and his choice. i just can't stand the thought of not having him around.

Deena11
Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

I was 52 years old when I was diagnosed with stage 3. I had a colon resection and had 12 rounds of chemo. I'm now 10 years cancer free.

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