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Old 04-06-2004, 10:25 AM   #1
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T.Gross HB User
When the Colon Cancer comes back...

I hate to even ask this question but this Board has come through for me so many times before...

God forbid....but has anyone ever had the cancer come back after being diagnosed and treated for Colon Cancer? If so, what were your symptoms?

I have a stubborn mother with no insurance and this year would be her 5th year of being Cancer (Colon) free. However, since Christmas she has had unexplained symptoms that keep getting worse. She refuses to do anything about it but wondering is killing all of us. Symptoms are, but not limited to, a pain in her buttock/leg (so bad that she limps), weight loss, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and generally just not feeling well.

I can't imagine I am the only one with a stubborn mom. I offered paying for her medical bills, etc. but she has given up without even knowing the problem. Any advice would be appreciated...

 
Old 04-06-2004, 12:13 PM   #2
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ktee_uk HB User
Re: When the Colon Cancer comes back...

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Gross
I hate to even ask this question but this Board has come through for me so many times before...

God forbid....but has anyone ever had the cancer come back after being diagnosed and treated for Colon Cancer? If so, what were your symptoms?

I have a stubborn mother with no insurance and this year would be her 5th year of being Cancer (Colon) free. However, since Christmas she has had unexplained symptoms that keep getting worse. She refuses to do anything about it but wondering is killing all of us. Symptoms are, but not limited to, a pain in her buttock/leg (so bad that she limps), weight loss, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and generally just not feeling well.

I can't imagine I am the only one with a stubborn mom. I offered paying for her medical bills, etc. but she has given up without even knowing the problem. Any advice would be appreciated...
Hi T Gross

Hah..... mothers who'd 'av 'em eh!!! I'm afraid I can't help with recurring cancer but I can sympathise with the obstanate mother part. Mine has a long history of "grinning and bearing" with pain or a "what do you expect at my age" type answer. Mine has finally come round to accepting that we her children need to know what is wrong to at least make sure she is getting the best pain relief and comfort that is right for her condition. We just had to sit her down and try to get across how we felt when we didn't know what we were dealing with. Strategy largely successfull so far but the only strumbling block is when her symptoms change she does not equate that to probably needing a change in medication so it is often back to square one again.

The one thing I am most sensitive about is not to treat her like a child cos she is still a grown woman with an independant spirit and that needs to be respected with good grace.

Good luck with yours
Ktee

 
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:51 PM   #3
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truthrules HB User
Re: When the Colon Cancer comes back...

Hi T ! I can empathize. My mom has an aneurism in her aorta - but because she had a stroke the last time they did surgery for one on her, she refuses to have it this time. She's 80 years old and she just wants to 'take her chances', I guess. My dad, who recently passed away, was the same way - he hated surgery and hospitals and 'took his chances' - and lived to be a healthy 94. But my mom is more high-strung than my dad...and I believe women have a higher risk, if I'm not mistaken.

I have done research on the 'net for her and left it for her and her doc to review...I believe there is some radiation methods that may be available...but either way, it's her decision.

And....I guess that's what I'm trying to convey to you, in my own awkward way...it's your mom's decision. And your decision to accept it - without guilt or "what ifs"- or freakout, which does no good.

Oh - and don't forget to pray. That does ALOT of good, IMO. Love, Moni

 
Old 06-21-2004, 09:41 AM   #4
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Re: When the Colon Cancer comes back...

I decided that I needed to let her make her own decision about her care and medical attention. Unfortunately, she chose to not do anything about it. I took her to the doctor's on Friday due to extreme lower abdominal pain and nausea. She had a hernia from the colon cancer surgery in 1999 and it is either tearing more or causing strangulation of the bowel. A direct result of not doing anything about it 2-3 months ago when I first took her. Her costs will be a lot more than what they would have been then (she doesn't have insurance which is the main reason she didn't want to proceed with treatment) and the damage is unknown at this point due to her refusal for a cat scan (again because of $$).

I agree, to a certain point, that able adults can make their own decisions when it comes to their medical treatment. But there comes a point in time when loved ones needs to step in to make things right. I will never let her get away with refusing treatment because of $$ again. She can be mad at me, I can be considered the ugly step-child and I'll go in debt if I need to - but she will get treatment.

 
Old 06-22-2004, 03:39 PM   #5
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: When the Colon Cancer comes back...

Just checking to make sure that she is not seeking medical treatment just because of financial issues... I wasn't sure how old your mom is.
Some people of a certain age, when faced with recurring or say, Stage IV cancer, choose to only receive palliative care. They're choosing quality of life for the time remaining vs the debilitation that chemo/radiation bring.

I hope my family will understand if that would be my choice down the road. Have you been able to talk to her to be sure that it is lack of money alone that is causing her to refuse treatment?
(My dad died of colon cancer but chose to do clinical trials until he could no longer get in the car to get to the oncologist so my viewpoint is quite odd for someone whose parent chose the route you would like your mother to)

Last edited by Ruth6:11; 06-22-2004 at 03:40 PM.

 
Old 06-23-2004, 02:19 AM   #6
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ktee_uk HB User
Re: When the Colon Cancer comes back...

Hi TGross

As you know my mum tried chemo until effects were too much for her. the effects were not due to just the chemo but how it interacted with her other medications for other ailments.

She went through a phase during Autumn of last year that she did not want to try anything else and her decision was made before even talking to doctors. But when i sat down and talked it through with her that she could at least listen to what the doctors suggested and then make her mind up she was a little more flexible with her choice. In the event she was even up for more chemo as she knew she could stop at any time..... but .... by then chemo was ruled out as her condition had worsened. Her decisions were made, i think, out of fear and lack of communication between her and the health professionals. Plus the fact that she lives alone and probably dwells on it too much without having a good debate with someone to bounce ideas back off. Money did not come into it as here in UK we do not have to pay and the area we live in is extremely good in cancer care and provision of expensive drug therapies.

I suppose the bottom line is that there are always choices to be made but you need to make sure you are well informed and that the one you are caring for is well informed and feels in control. And the choice needs to be flexible as with cancer a persons condition can change so quickly.

Regards to all
Ktee

p.s. my mum also had a hernia post operatively..... the pain from hernia masked symptoms of the cancer returning, so please beware. good luck

 
Old 06-23-2004, 06:11 AM   #7
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T.Gross HB User
Re: When the Colon Cancer comes back...

I understand your individual concerns and situations. However, my mom never had anything to confirm the cancer was back. She was refusing treatment only because of $$.

She seen a surgeon yesterday and she was admitted immediately for stand by emergency surgery. Her hernia was so bad that it was kinked up around everything - they had to remove her appendix just to get the bowels where they needed to be. Fortunately, they did not have to remove any bowel and there were no signs of cancer. The doctor said it was amazing that she lasted as long as she did in that condition.

Her heart and diabetes is unstable; she may have suffered a heart attack prior to surgery but she is not stable enough to go through the necessary tests yet to find out what's going on. All of this could have been prevented with the proper medical follow-up's and tests that are supposed to be done after Colon Cancer Recovery.

It is our job to our loved ones who have to go through cancer treatments or surgery to make sure they do not make their decisions based on $$ or the fear/negativity that can be spread in the faces of those closest to them. I believe my mom thinks I am a pain in the butt to say the least but I am now the one she turns to support because I will give her the facts without the negativity.

 
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