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Old 10-18-2006, 12:00 AM   #1
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Daddys #1 Girl HB User
Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

Hello All,

This is my 1st time posting a message. My father was diagnosed with stage 4-colonrectal cancer in March 2006. The cancer has spread to his liver, lungs, and spine. The cancer has spread to his liver, lungs, and spine. He is at MD Anderson in Houston getting treatment, but the chemo this not working. He has lost a considerable amount of weight (he is almost 6 feet tall and weighs 123lbs) At first he was taking 5FU, Leucovorin, Asastin, and Eloxatin but the doctors have stopped the Eloxatin and added Camptosar (today was day of the new treatment). He goes every two weeks for chemo and he is in extreme pain. The doctor told me that if this does not work that my father may only have 2 - 3 months to live, but if it does work he may be able to live for an additional 6 months. I told my father lets give it a try for 1 month and see if it works. I have looked into taking him to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa,OK. Can anyone give me some advice?

Take care and God Bless,
Daddys #1 Girl

 
Old 10-18-2006, 07:35 AM   #2
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Jeni61 HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

I know there are stage 4 folks here who have done a number of treatments, many successful for a long time.

Hopefully they will respond to you. Prayers for your family at this time, I know how difficult it is to be strong. Many folks live a lot longer than they used to, there may be some treatment out there that can work for him.

Any chance at a clinical trial ?

Jeni

 
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:25 PM   #3
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Lifes2short HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

I'm so sorry to hear of your father's illness. The biggest question is "what does your dad want to do?" One of my oncologist phrased it "is the juice worth the squeeze?"

I understand that it is very difficult to face the fact that his illness is terminal and you are going to lose someone you love dearly. But I urge you to consider quality verses quantity and take everything into consideration. The most important thing is to do what he wants. Some people feel that every possible day is worth fighting for, no matter the cost. Others feel that a shorter and higher quality of life will better allow them to say goodbye to their loved ones and tie up loose ends. Everyone is different and nobody can say what is right or wrong in this situation. Just know that whatever your father chooses is the "right" decision and go with it.

The treatments he's undergoing are very toxic and painful. I know this from firsthand experience. The chemo "might" extend his life up to six months. Please read as much as possible about the stats and ask lots of questions of the doctors. The chemo also might not work at all and only serve to shorten his life expectancy. If he has any chance to have some quality of life, then if might be best to stop the treatments and let him live out his life.

I know this advice may sound harsh and I I write this with some trepidation. I can only speak from my own experience, I'll share my story in hopes of giving you the perspective of someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

I was dx with rectal cancer last December. In April my docs found the cancer had metastasized to my liver. They told me that my condition was terminal and that my life expectancy was months to a couple of years, depending on how quickly the cancer spreads. They told me that chemo might extend my life by as much as six months, maybe even more because I am young, strong and otherwise healthy. I am a 42 year old mother of two small children. I spent the first four months of this year in chemo/radiation and surgery, it was horrible for my family. I made the choice in April NOT to do chemo and to enjoy what might be my last summer with my children. It was a wonderful summer and I have absolutely no regrets. I recently found out that I may be a candidate for surgical resection of my liver cancer. This could extend my life by years if it is successful. With this news, I decided to go forward with chemo in hopes of shrinking the liver tumors and enhancing the liklihood of successful surgery. I began chemo last week. The side effects are absolutely horrible for me. I will try one or two more rounds but I will not allow myself to be killed by the cure. If not for the possibility of surgery I absolutely would not sign up for another round of chemo. Some people tolerate it well and it helps them. Others are horribly sickened by it. Everyone is different.

My heart goes out to you, your father and your family. Best of luck to you.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 12:06 PM   #4
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Lifes2short HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

Bossan,
Thanks for sharing the success story. That is very cool! What type of chemo did you do? Did you use Avastin? How were your side effects? I can't imagine 14 months of the stuff I'm on right now. You must be very strong.
Congratulations and I hope you continue to win the fight!

 
Old 10-19-2006, 06:51 PM   #5
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RedRiots12 HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

My husband has been in treatment for Stage 4 colon cancer for almost 11 months now. His CEA was 2562 and with FOLFOX, Avastin and a few rounds of Panitumumab the CEA dropped to 35 by July. It has since crept up a bit so he is now on Erbitux and Irinotecan. Our feeling is keep on fighting, keep on seeking out treatment. If you even have a chance at a liver resection, do anything to reach that goal. Liver resection is the best way to slow down and maybe even cure colon cancer that has spread to the liver. My husband , due to "too numerous to count" tumors spread from the colon to the liver is not a candidate for resection. We are exploring every option available from chemo to SIRTeX spheres to isolated liver perfusion to alternative therapies. His first goal is to celebrate in 50th bday in Jan. '08 and my first goal for him is to be at our daughter's college graduation in May '09. Never give up the battle, there is so much research being done right now on colon cancer that the object is to survive and keep trying any new technique/chemo that arrives on the scene. The current stats are all outdated - Avastin, Oxaliplatin, Erbitux, and Panitumumab(a drug that was just approved Sept. 27 for 3rd line therapy) have all been made available in just the past few years. Techniques such as RFA (radiofrequency ablation) and SIRTeX spheres are also showing promising results. hang in there, keep fighting, you are only 42 with 2 small children who would love to have you around for a loooooooooong time. Good luck with treatment, if you are having a tough time with the side effects , call your oncology nurse, talk to your doctor. They can help you out.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 10:35 PM   #6
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Lifes2short HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

Thanks for the encouragement, Red. I also consulted with the local cancer research center on Yiridium 90 implants - radioactive beads implanted directly into the liver. Sounds similar to what you mention. The local University hospital / Huntsman Cancer Center here in Salt Lake City has had some pretty good success with it. If you would like more info or a referral to their clinic I can help you.
Thanks!

 
Old 10-20-2006, 03:53 PM   #7
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Anders HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

Bossan,

You are remarkable and a true inspiration. I hope it is not correct below your name that you are banned. That would be a real shame. Good luck on your continued success.

Daddy's girl, good luck with your dad. I hope the doctors are able to help him.

Lee

 
Old 10-27-2006, 04:39 PM   #8
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christy1975 HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

I would say to check out the drday site and listent to the testimonals.

 
Old 10-27-2006, 05:15 PM   #9
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Anders HB User
Re: Stage 4 colonrectal caner & chemo is not working

Red,

I wish your husband much success, it sounds like you BOTH will be celebrating his 50th B-day and attending your daughter's graduation. He too is an inspiration.

Lee

 
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