Hi, I have been around the cancer sites on the Healthboards for some time, but this is a first for this board.
My brother-in-law has rectal + anal cancer and they are devastated.
I would like to give you a run down on what has been happening. Dad died last year of lung cancer, BIL's father died in November of heart failure and now BIL is also sick. He has been for, I would say, over a year but had not beem to a Doctors until 2 weeks ago. This man has not been to a Doctor for almost 15 years, just never felt the need. He is an outdoor worker and during the winter months does not work, has been laying around on the couch and we figured he was grieving his Dad, which he probably was but also he wasn't feeling well. My sister tried numerous times to get him to go to a Doctor but he always refused, until 2 weeks ago. He is at the point where he couldn't bear it any longer. He has always been a very private person and has always dealt with life a bit differently then we do.
Now the news is not good, they have ask me to become involved with them and the Doctors, they don't understand the medical part of this or really what is going on so I am there for support and whatever else they may need.
I am sure this does not have a good outcome but need to hear some stories positive and negative of what may be ahead for them, through you and me they will hear of only the positive but I need to know what to expect down the road and what assistance I will be able to be for them.
It's a very complicated situation but they have put their trust in me to help them understand what the Doc says to them.
There are going to be loads of positive stories from people here. You do not say at what stage your brother-in-law is but there are so many treatments available that it is far too early to give up. What are the treatment plans suggested by the doctor? I know when people hear they have cancer , they feel it is a death sentence but that is not necessarily so. Get as much information as you can...I am sure you will get lots from here. And encourage your brother-in-law to do everything possible to get the best treatment available to him.
All the best.
Husband dx July 2003, advanced rectal cancer stage 111C; myself dx July 2006 indolent lymphoma; husband dx February 2010, stage 2 prostate cancer.
Blackbird - My mother was just diagnosed with rectal cancer. It is very close to her anus as well. For her, luckily, it looks like it's in the early stages, so the cure rate is close to 90%. Of course we were all devistated with the word cancer, but I think she'll be just fine. Not sure yet whether she'll have to get a permanent colostomy or not yet, as she's still getting more tests. That is the part that frightens her most...having to have the bag for life. She will also get some spot radiation, but doesn't look like she'll have to get chemo. Apparently, the chemo they use for rectal cancer isn't the same as for breast cancer. Its a lower dose, so you usually won't lose your hair. Excepting the disease is the first step, then devising an action plan on how to get rid of it. Your family and Brother-In-Law will be in my thoughts.....
Hi again, my BIL will be going to one of the top cancer centers in Canada on Monday. From what I have gathered they will do surgery first and go from there. The tumor has been stage at T4 which I know is not good but am keeping that to myself at the moment.
Monday everything will be gone over and then BIL will know exactly what is a head for him.
Please send your prayers.
Sorry to hear that he is stage 4, not great news. I will definitely send prayers....Glad to hear he is visiting one of the top cancer clinics....hope all goes well. I am sure it will be very possible for him to recover fully...and cancer free!