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Thread: My Mother was Diagnosed with stage IVB Colon Cancer... Please help.

  1. #1

    My Mother was Diagnosed with stage IVB Colon Cancer... Please help.

    In December my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. On January 18th she had surgery to have it removed. After surgery we got the news that she was a stage IVB and that the cancer was aggressive and had gotten into her small intestine. Now she is supposed to start chemo, but I am not sure what to do... She told me that she does not want chemo, but will do it for me. I feel trapped. The doctor said that with chemo treatment for 6 months we increase her survival chances by 8%. Eight percent does not sound like a lot to me. I don't want to have my mom go through chemo that will not help her for my selfishness. I know very little about chemo and pain. If someone could honestly tell me if this treatment is well worth it for my mother or not. Sometimes I cry, other times I pray, mostly I am afraid. Please advice me. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Top User mojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,379
    Jijji so sorry! The best I can say is your mother should do what she wishes to do.

  3. #3
    jijji- I agree with mojo we cant tell you what to tell your mom but your mom needs to discuss with her doctor all side effects and discuss what her quality of life with these treatments he proposes will do to her the remaining time. or if she feels a month or two or whatever he guestimates longer is worth going through the treatments then its her choice but she really needs a good consult with her doctor and have a notebook in hand with all her questions on it before she makes a definative decision.
    You need to tell her its her decision because its her life -I had to say that to my mom we would not make that decision for her unless her mind is going and you have power of attorney then you need to decide for her.
    doesnt sound the case to me. Tell her the truth of course you want her as long as you can have her -but you want her time to be something she can enjoy as well so she really needs to make that decision.keep us posted
    oh by the way mom at first said no and when the time got nearer-she changed her mind. shes been doing treatments for almost 6 years now .
    I wont sugar coat it-its been a looong hard battle -but my mom doesnt like to give in to nothing if she dont have to-she doesbnt like to lose and shes definately not a quitter -not yet anyway.
    on the other hand this is just my moms personality doesnt mean choosing not to continue treatment is wrong either.
    each individual has their own meanings of importance and priorities. we told mom whatever she decides we will support that decision-.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  4. #4
    Any mention of what her survival chances may be without chemo? Average rates can be found on both the Nationa Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society websites. I'll leave it to you to go look at what they are only if you wish. In the end this must be your mother's decision. I honestly do not think it is fair of her to tell you she will undergo chemotherapy for you if you want her to do so.

    If it were my mother, then I would tell her that I support her decision either way, but that this must be her own decision.

    People have varying reactions to chemo. Some have severe side effects while others have few mild side effects. In my case, chemotherapy actually helped to reduce my pain by reducing the size of the tumor and thereby reducing the area affected and the pain associated with the tumor. I have also been able to work part-time while undergoing treatment. My friend's stepdad worked full-time during his course of FOLFOX.
    May 1988 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (2 yrs chemo & radiation)
    Sept 2009 papillary thyroid cancer (thyroid removal & radioactive iodine)
    Sept 2009 colon cancer stage IIIC (removal of sigmoid colon & resection)
    Oct 2009-May 2010 FOLFOX6
    July 2010 stage IV colon cancer, irinotecan & avastin
    Dec 2010-July 2011 avastin maintenance
    Sept 2011 tumor removal involving small bowel resections
    Nov 2011-April 2012 resume irinotecan
    May 29 2012 begin radiation treatments 15 total
    current age: 28

  5. #5
    Thank you so much getting these replys have helped me understand that I should support her decision. I went with her to her consult yesterday. I read so much online and it's scary. The doctor said that her cancer is very curable even though it was classified as a stage IVB. The pathologist results all came back negative for cancer. During surgery more than expected had to be removed as the cancer had invaded from the colon to the small intestine. The doctor explained that since it is an invasive type of cancer chemo for 6 months is recommended. I don't remember the type of chemo he recommends, but I know that one is through the vein for 2 hours in the clinic and the other she takes home on a pump for two days, every 2 weeks, for a total of 6 months. The doctor explained that she has a 72% survival rate of 5 years without treatment and an 80% survival rate of 5 years with treatment.

  6. #6
    Newbie Regular User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    11

    Stage 4 Suvivor

    I was diagnosed stage 4 colon cancer Nov. and had surgery Dec. 2010to remove sigmoid. Cancer had spread to 13 lymph nodes and told I had 3 yrs to live. Treatment: 6 months of chemo = 6 hrs. at lab and sent home on chemo bag for 42-48 hrs. (nutrition that feeds you but not the cancer , daily exercise, stress free environment ) I went in to see what would happen in 6 months... It is a trying experience with in my case severe nerve damage.
    I am now cancer free,but the nerve damage from chemo is a problem. Shoulder pain that at night runs down the arms I believe related to the shingles that just appeared on the rt side of my head. I exercise daily and am doing all I can nutritionally to repair my immune system damaged by the chemo. I will post any favorable results.
    Best GQ




    Quote Originally Posted by jijji1313 View Post
    In December my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. On January 18th she had surgery to have it removed. After surgery we got the news that she was a stage IVB and that the cancer was aggressive and had gotten into her small intestine. Now she is supposed to start chemo, but I am not sure what to do... She told me that she does not want chemo, but will do it for me. I feel trapped. The doctor said that with chemo treatment for 6 months we increase her survival chances by 8%. Eight percent does not sound like a lot to me. I don't want to have my mom go through chemo that will not help her for my selfishness. I know very little about chemo and pain. If someone could honestly tell me if this treatment is well worth it for my mother or not. Sometimes I cry, other times I pray, mostly I am afraid. Please advice me. Thank you in advance.

  7. #7
    jijji- Im confused -how could it have spread- do you mean it grew within itself>?yet the results of the pathology said negative for cancer??
    unless you posted the wrong word.
    Curable? is he saying the tumor hasnt spread anywhere and this is why? upon removal that they should have gotton all or most of it and the chemo is just t make sure? If thats the case then thats fantastic ! they never gave mom more than it was stage IV and had spread to the lyphnodes on first diagnosis. she was given 6mo-1yr at best.
    ...we are not going on almost 6yrs.
    but she hasnt had too much of the socalled quality of life. its been hard.
    I see your mom made the decision to go into battle mode soundlike if the doctors are accurate about this shes doing good.
    hang in there and remember quit googling not good and if you have questions ask on the forum or write it down for her doctor.-to assure more accuracy in the answers. wishing your mom continuing good news and hope this works out for her.
    sounds like her support system is a good one too!
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  8. #8

    Not... Good... Update.... on my mom... :(

    Yesterday, my mom had surgery to have her port put in for chemo... everything went well. Today, she had a follow up appointment with her oncologist to review CT scan results. The results were not good. A laceration was found in her lungs. They said that when CT scan is compared to the CT scan from 3 months ago... the laceration appears to be longer. The doctor said a biopsy is needed. Chemo has been postponed until biopsy results are in. When I thought everything was going to be okay... we got bad news. The worse part of all is that I have to be strong for my mother and help encourage her, when I am feeling horrible, numb, and sad. Any information on this topic would help. I need to know what I should expect as time goes on. Thanks....

  9. #9
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    122
    Quote Originally Posted by jijji1313 View Post
    Yesterday, my mom had surgery to have her port put in for chemo... everything went well. Today, she had a follow up appointment with her oncologist to review CT scan results. The results were not good. A laceration was found in her lungs. They said that when CT scan is compared to the CT scan from 3 months ago... the laceration appears to be longer. The doctor said a biopsy is needed. Chemo has been postponed until biopsy results are in. When I thought everything was going to be okay... we got bad news. The worse part of all is that I have to be strong for my mother and help encourage her, when I am feeling horrible, numb, and sad. Any information on this topic would help. I need to know what I should expect as time goes on. Thanks....
    Ok well clearly things aren't better, but from my experience my dad had chemo and destroyed him even more, i want to add it did prolong his life but no quality whatsoever, in fact he was bedridden for months and got all kinds of bad bed sores.

    As for her laceration that isn't good, its another battle but don't give up, things can get better and smaller and less painful, but its a gamble with the chemo. Personally and again im nobody, i will never do chemo if i get cancer. It killed the cancer for awhile in my dad but it also killed his immune system therefore it killed him in the end.
    December 2010 Diagnosed rectal cancer 3b
    March 2011 5fu chemo and radiation
    Sepsis & pneumonia
    Liver mets 2 spots
    July 2011 8 spots on liver (not resectable)
    October 2011 obstruction due to perforation of cancer
    Emergency surgery (ileostomy and colostomy)

    Oct 19 out of icu recovering on surgery floor awaiting chemo plan
    Dec 17 no chemo no surgery, awaiting palliative floor!
    Dec 18 on a peaceful palliative floor
    Dec 21 8pm passed away with wife at bedside

  10. #10
    JiJJi-oh Im sorry to hear you recieved bad news The doctor isnt giving up so dont you. They knew it was there before I guess its just larger than originally thought. like Ive said before we havent dealt with lung problems yet and I dont know anything about it to really ease your mind- I can assure you Ill say a prayer and altho chemo may not work for eberyone it does work for enough to give you hope.

    Vinny -your still huting and angry and Im sure I will be soon, why it didnt work for your dad is a question that wont ever be answered -why the chemo was working for mom but isnt now leaves me in the same questioning. I like you dont think I would do it either but one can only assume this thought untill actually put in that position.
    and Vinny you may not have the medical knoweledge but you certainly are somebody-sombody that cares abd thats huge.
    you were the most supportive and loving son your dad could have had . You are special.
    jijji- take things as they come- I today had to slow my thoughts down from tunning amok on me. it is what it is and we will do what we can day to day-my goal is to be loving and supportive to the end.
    My God didnt let me down he didnt give mom cancer our prayers are always heard and when we dont feel they are being answered its because we arent hearing whats being said. They are answered but it doesnt mean we are going to like the response. I truly with my heart and soul believe....
    everything does happen for a reason whether its to teach us something to help others.
    we dont have to know why all the time-this is what faith is.
    I have faith (this is only my belief not of all others on the forum)
    hang in there If on this forum looks as though most are really having a terrible time of it you have to realize alot of the ones who arent posting have made it and have no need for the extra support. so the statistic here arent so accurate as a whole. dont go by that.keep us posted..............prayer was said
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

 

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