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79 year old father with colon cancer

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Old 09-06-2005, 10:49 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2
snuggery HB User
Question 79 year old father with colon cancer

Hello, I need the assistance of those who have been here and done this. My father had a cat scan due to pain in his right side. The cat scan showed two "tumors" on his liver and "several suspicious spots" in his colon.

My sister works in adminstration at the hospital the test was done at so she has had the chance to talk to the doctor and radiologists indepth. She was told that it is, more than likely, colon cancer that has spread to the liver. Needless to say we feel as if we are trying to find our way around in the dark.

My father goes for a colonoscopy in the morning. His right kidney is only functioning at 50% so they will shunt that so it will hopefully start working at a better capacity. We are going into a diagnostic test pretty sure of the outcome and completely unaware of what to ask of the doctors or what to expect as far as treatment.

If anyone has any suggestions or advice I would greatly appreciate hearing it. I will be honest with you...I am terrified and my biggest fear is that some doctor will tell my father there is no hope. I feel our best defense against something like that is knowledge and I'm hear looking for knowledge.


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Old 09-06-2005, 12:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,336
Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: 79 year old father with colon cancer

Hi Cathy, I'm glad you've found the boards here.
But I am sorry that it is under such circumstances. One of the hardest things for me when my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer was to realize that the big decisions would be made by my dad & mom. That they would share the information that my dad wanted shared.
Granted, my mom shared with each of us 4 kids what it was we needed to know -
but truthfully the decisions on treatment were made by my father.

I don't know of an oncologist alive who tells a patient there is no hope. Or even mention the end of life unless they are specifically asked.
Everyone is different. Everyone sees the quality of their life and the end of their life differently.

ALL of us love our parents. We can support them, listen, share in the good & bad news if they choose to share it with us -
Along those lines, maybe you can ask to get a copy of the various tests he'll be having along the way. Does he have a Healthcare Representative? I ask because you didn't mention your mom and I did not want to assume...

You would probably be about my age, 51. And maybe a Daddy's girl like me? Sometimes I think there should be a special club for us daughters who danced on their dad's feet when we were small...

My prayers go out to you and your family - please keep in touch, ok??

Last edited by Ruth6:11; 09-06-2005 at 01:22 PM.

Old 09-06-2005, 03:31 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2
snuggery HB User
Re: 79 year old father with colon cancer

Hi Ruth and thanks for your kind response. Over the last couple of years my daddy has had some health issues. Nothing as serious as this but he has wanted my sister and I to have all rights to his medical records and freedom to talk to his doctors. He and my mother both have had strokes and I don't think either one of them feel as secure any longer in their ability to make proper decisions. There hasn't been a time, so far, that either one of us has been put in a decision making position. Thank goodness for caring, intelligent doctors who have realized they were dealing with elderly people who weren't working at full mental capacity.

I have a feeling that is what we will find throughout this experience also. Over the last couple of days my daddy has asked me to do some research online and made a point of telling my sister and I that he wanted us there at every doctor's appointment. I think he is afraid of not making the right decisions and that this time he is going to be leaning on us more than he normally would. You are right though, all decisions will have to be his and we will take on the supporting role that he needs us to.

Since my sister works at the hospital she will play the major role in finding out about what tests he will be getting. Her position at the hospital will probably turn out to be a blessing and something in our favor that a lot of people don't have. That is something to be thankful for!

Yes, I am daddy's little girl, so is my sister. We are all he had and do I ever remember dancing on his feet. He sang to us at night, "Three Little Fishies," and Horsie Keep Your Tail Up." He did the same for my children and, I hope he is able to do the same for his great grandchildren.

I am 51 also and there is a special club for women like us. There is also a special place in heaven for daddy's like ours. I hope your father is alive and thriving. If not, I'm sorry for your loss and empathize greatly with what you have gone through.

Old 09-06-2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,336
Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: 79 year old father with colon cancer

My brother and sisters range from two years younger to 3 & 5 yrs older. My oldest sister works in medical records at the hospital. She was least able of all of us to talk about my father's cancer! My brother was on a "need to know" basis, and I looked up EVERYthing I could find on the internet - sometimes a blessing & sometimes not!!

What I didn't have then - that you have here!, is a place where you can ask the questions and say the words and talk to people who been there or who are there now.
None of us can say what will happen. But we can be there every step along the way with you. Support can be what you need it to be here. Realistic, open & compassionate.

Especially realistic! You'll be looking for the results of the staging that is done after the biopsy if they do find something in his colon. But til then they remain "suspicious spots" and as hard as it is to do, the trick is to kind of float on top of the fears without letting them carry you under -

My Dad did Three Little Fishies too! And "All Day all Night Marianne" along with "High Hopes" (which would be a great theme song for our board here!)
I'm working Wednesday but hope to see a note from you on how things go in the morning...

Last edited by Ruth6:11; 09-06-2005 at 04:04 PM.

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