July 10, 2010 at 2:58 am #39207
Thank you all for your encouragement. Since my last post, my father’s biopsy turned out to be positive. He has several lesions and has begun chemotherapy just this week. He has been given Xeloda as well as Gemcitabine. His first treatment went well although he is now beginning to feel the effects and is quite fatigued. They are going to do another scan in 6 weeks to see if the chemo is working. What an encouragement it is to hear your stories and how you are working through it with such a positive attitude.June 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm #39206dmeekParticipant
ANP, I was diagnosed with CC in 2004. At the time, I asked my doctors what were my chances of survival. They told me something I continue to remember today. That each person’s cancer is unique to them, and to look at survival numbers only as they relate to you personally. If there is a 90% chance of things being bad, I could still in be in that 10%.
In 2004, I was told I had CC cancer, when they found a 4.5 cm malignant tumor in my liver. I had a liver resection and follow-up 6-weeks of chemo & radiation. In May this year, I celebrated my 6-year anniversary as a CC survivor.
I like KrisJune 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm #3920532coupeParticipant
At 5-1/2 years out from treatment, they found “spots” in both lungs during a routine six month CT scan. I was told there was a 90% chance they were ‘mets’. Very frightening. More so than the original diagnosis because it meant that the cancer was no longer localized but systemic. A byopsy of the nodules in the left lung proved to be benign although somewhat unexplained. Perhaps “scar tissue”? I opted to not byopsy the right lung but instead to watch the “spots” via CT’s. That was eight years ago… 90% means there’s a 10% chance of it being benign. There is always cause for hope…
Peace, hope and faith to you,
bobJune 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm #39204devoncatParticipant
Tell your dad that here I am, a year and a half after my reoccurance and still going strong (for the most part). In fact, my sister and I are planning a 2 week trip to Germany as soon as I finish my radiation. My doctor today even used the term “uneffected” in how I live my life in relation to my cancer. Yes, my cancer is still there and yes it has grown.
In my medical anthropology class in college we talked about how people describe their lives and illness. I think the most important thing I still take with me from that class (almost 15 years ago!) is the difference in fighting cancer and living with cancer. If you think of what these words imply, the difference is startling. However, I have chosen to do both…fight and live with cancer. I feel that decision has greatly enhanced my quality and quantity of life. I have no illusions what the likely outcome is, so I try to “live” each day. Yet if you have been on the boards long enough, you do see the miracles. People who responded to chemo enough to have curative surgery. PEople given 3 months and lived a quality life for years. For this reason, I fight. The odds arent good that I will be that miracle, but it could happen and for goodness sake, why not me?
The first couple of months after reoccurance are the hardest. It is then you start researching again and seeing all those statistics. IT is then when you question what is the point of treatment. You hear the horror stories of the final days, the jaundice, the pain, the emotional turmoil. I cried and cried after I had my reoccurance. I spent HOURS, DAYS on the internet looking for the magic weapon that would cure me or make it all go away. I knew there wasnt one, but I kept looking anyway.
For me the reoccurance was more scary than the initial diagnosis. The first time, I had surgery and there was a chance I was cured. The second time comes often with the label “terminal”. Give your dad a chance to digest the news. It is a hard blow.
As to your questions, everyone responds differently to chemo. There have been a couple here who have gone into remission after chemo or a combination of chemo/radiation. It doesnt happen often, but it does happen.
As to time left, that is anyone’s guess and it is a guess. Some people live years after a reoccurance and some only months. There is no one that can give you that kind of information. And you need to ask yourself is that something you or your dad really want to know. Sometimes I feel that when people are given a timeline, they spend their time counting down and not living.
As to the best treatment centers, there are links to major treatment centers under the “Newly Diagnosed” tab. Also dont be afraid to ask your dads doctor about drug trials.
KrisJune 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm #39203
My dad is 59 and in Alabama. I know it will most likely be a long tough road ahead and I want him to fight. I will pass along the info in regards to the clinics you mentioned. Thank you so much!June 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm #39202lainyParticipant
Dear ANP we are so sorry to hear about his latest report. No one can say how long/little anyone has. No expiration dates when we are assembled. We have members who were told 2 months and here is it 2 years later. Some took Chemo some did not. It is just all a personal decision as I well know having just gone through it with my husband. I think being prepared is excellent. The more you know the more you can ask the doctor about. Wanting to know is not negative, it is being prepared to fight. I also think some has to do with your dad’s age. How old is he? Where are you located? MD Anderson in Houston and Mayo in Rochester MN are both excellent. I think you can FAX your dad’s records to them and they will give you a consultation by phone.
Look up some past posts and tell your dad about some of the success stories on this site. Please visit here often and let us know about his progress.June 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm #3677
This is the news my father recieved yesterday at the doctor. Two months ago he had a scan and biopsy which came back negative for cancer. Was believed to be “fatty tissue” on his liver from diabetes. New scan this week showed several more lesions and the previous ones have grown; one in particular from 1.8 cm to 2.5 cm. The doctor set up biopsy next week and said there is a 90% chance it is recurring CC. This comes almost 1 year to the day from diagnosis and successful resection. I know most of you here encourage to stay away from statistics, however, while I do not want to dwell on the negatives, I do want to be prepared for what may come. Does anyone know even if he were to respond well to chemo, what the chances would be that he could go into remission? Is it true that most likely (statistically) he would only have a couple of years if not? Any suggestions for the best treatment centers? Also, do any of you have any suggestions how I could encourage my father? His mind set now is very negative, and I feel like he is already giving up. I know I have a lot of questions, but thanks for any help you can give!
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