Hi, my husband who is 57 has colon cancer with mets to his liver. He is terminal.
He is not receiving any treatment at this stage, he has had an op on his colon and chemo for 6 months and was cancer free for 1 year and now its back and we have been told that they can only give him chemo to try and prolong his life a bit but that he is terminal. He has deceided not to have any more chemo as he would rather like to have a better quality of life thats left. We have had many different opinions. We are both still finding this all so unreal as he still is feeling quite good and is working full day.
Please could someone tell me what to expect when the end is near so that i can try to prepare myself and what i can do to try and make my husband as comfortable as possiable.
Thank you, God Bless
I read your post yesterday but didn't reply because I don't like to be a downer and just post doom and gloom. I thought about you last night and hoped someone else had answered you, however, they didn't so here goes. My husband was diagnosed with esphogeal cancer with mets to the liver. He was 57. He managed to hang on for 2 years. They treated him with chemo and radiation and the esophageal tumor was gone but not the mets to the liver. Eventually, that's what took him in Nov. 2006. Once his liver started to go he felt fatigued and started retaining fluids, especially in the midsection. His urine turned dark (like cola) and mental function slowed as well. Near the very end he turned yellow. I mean cartoon character yellow. Not being funny here, just honest. It was unreal. Keep in mind everyone is different and your husband may not go through the same things the same way. I hope I haven't caused you undue upset. That's why I was hesitant to answer. Please know you and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers and if you want to talk, I'll be here. Take care and God bless you both.
Last edited by rudiraven; 10-26-2012 at 12:27 PM.
The following user gives a hug of support to rudiraven: Tazinhoover (10-29-2012)
I am so sorry you are faced with such severe problems at a young age. The time he has left depends a great deal on how aggressive his cancer is and how much of his liver is compromised with mets. His Dr could give you some info on that. I would highly recommend if he hasn't done so yet. for him to apply for disability, since he is still working. He could live a few years if the mets are small and his cancer not too aggressive, and that will at least provide income when he gets too sick to work. Fatigue will probably be his initial symptom of advancing disease, and he may lose his appetite and weight, or have specific food aversions. His liver enzymes will be a good indication of progression of disease, and if they are still normal, the mets are early. Jaundice, swelling, pain, confusion, lethargy are late signs. If the mets are early he may have quite a while before he starts to feel ill, so I would encourage you to do all you can to live your life in a normal way, and get in some of the experiences, trips, etc he has always wanted to do while you are able. Try to take care also of financial matters now before he has any alteration of mental abilities, which can make legal matters, like wills, invalid. I would talk to a good estate attorney to get advice on positioning any assets appropriately so you don't have huge tax consequences or hassles getting access to your funds later on. The laws around this are complicated! There are lots of really understanding and supportive folks on the boards to help you, so keep in touch. You can ask for hospice care when the estimated time left is 6 months or less, and I would highly recommend you take advantage of their wonderful services. My hope is that you have time left together that is loving, enjoyable, and that you can live in the present, not in the future. You don't want the inevitable to be a constant cloud over you from now on. Enjoy the sunshine while it is still out, and deal with the clouds when they come. Easier said than done I know, but worth striving toward.
Thank you for your post. My 44 year old brother was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in May of this year. It had spread to his liver and they told him he had 6-9 months if he did nothing, maybe 18-24 if he did chemo. The liver is the concern. The tumor in the colon is not really causing any harm - other than being cancer of course. They said he was not a candidate for any type of surgery. The liver was too covered in tumors. He looks jaundiced to me already. Not severely, jut noticeable. I can't get anyone to be honest about it... they all say hope and maybe and time will tell... but I know what liver failure would mean for him. He has considered not continuing treatments to preserve the quality of life he has left. Everyone is telling him he shouldn't think like that, he should fight. I just think he should enjoy his kids and family while he can, and not be tied to a hospital and sick all the time with treatments.
It's hard to accept reality sometimes, especially when it comes to mortality. I understand your reasoning, that he should spend his remaining time not being ill from the treatments. People hope for some sort of miracle and think maybe if he continues treatment that one will happen. Ultimately, it's up to him to make that decision. Just because he discontinues treatment does not mean he has given up. He might want to contact a naturopath for good diet to help prolong his vitality as long as possible. I'll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.
The Following User Says Thank You to rudiraven For This Useful Post: Tazinhoover (10-29-2012)