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  • Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

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    Old 08-04-2006, 04:13 PM   #1
    NodiGoiterGirl
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    Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    Hi everyone,
    Want to thank you in advance for any advice you may give me. I have been a member of healthboards for a few years and have found many wonderful people here that have helped me through a lot.
    I have a family friend that was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. It has spread to her lymph nodes and her liver. She has been sick for quite a while but her doctor didn't think it was serious and put her on prilosec in February. Her symptoms got so bad her doc finally sent her for a colonoscopy that was set for July 20th. Well she got so sick during the prep for the procedure that she had to go to the hospital. Two days after admittance they took her to surgery and removed half of her colon, and her appendix. They found that the cancer has spread to her liver and lymph nodes. Everything I've read puts this at stage IV is this correct?
    She is still in the hospital and has fluid on her lungs and breathing has been difficult and her legs are swollen. Her WBC is 25,000. It was 13,000 when she was admitted. Her blood pressure is high as well. They are growing some cultures to try and figure out why her count is so high. She doesn't have any fever or noticeable infection. It seems like they are missing something. She has had a CT scan and is due for another. I guess one of my questions is how do they find out if the cancer has spread to her bones? Could this be causing the elevated WBC count. Her chest X-ray doesn't show any signs of cancer in her lungs, she is a smoker.
    I feel so bad for her because she's so weak. She doesn't want to eat anything.
    They don't want to do Chemo until she's strong enough. They told her if the tumor shrinks on her liver then they can take it out.
    I know that we can't predict the future and I'm not all about statistics and I would like to think she still has a chance. She's not even 50 yet.
    What can I do to encourage her? I'm thinking about getting some inspirational books or something. Maybe they can help me help her.
    Any enlightenment is appreciated,
    Thanks,
    Nodi

     
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    Old 08-04-2006, 04:43 PM   #2
    bossan
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    She sounds like me when I was diagnosed at 45. I didn't have it quite as bad but I lost 35 pounds, wouldn't eat, was in intense pain in the rear, couldn't breath comfortably, I could feel the energy/life being drained from the tumor. I was well enough to start chemo and I responded.

    I have seen some people give up, I almost did when I got dx'd. I had incredibly stupid things happen by the surgeon and nurses at first, it was very discouraging, I thougt everything was going against me.

    I thought the Power of Now was a very inspirational book. It got me looking at trees while I drive, really staring at the things I love etc. Somene suggested a trip to the pediatric cancer centers to help put things in perspective. If your friend can get out of the hospital it may help with coping. People on this board have suggested giving hospice a call.

    I hung on, mostly because the diagnosis was shocking that I really couldn't believe it. Since then I've learned that everyone is unique and responds in a different way to treatments, diet and whatever.

    One of the best pieces of advice I got was from 4 survivors who held me while I cried, they said "there is no hell and stay in the state of constant denial."

    It was a beautiful moment.

     
    Old 08-04-2006, 05:39 PM   #3
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    Nodi:
    I'm very sorry for your family friend. First of all, she should definitely get a PET scan... a PET will reveal cancer ANYWHERE in her body. Also her CEA (a marker used to monitor spread of colorectal cancer) should be evaluated. Lastly, Bone cancer is INCREDIBLY painful. If she has pain in certain bones, she should have bone scans to look for any cancer.

    Good Luck,
    CancerDad
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    Old 08-06-2006, 09:20 AM   #4
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    Hello Nodi my HB Friend, I am so sorry to see you here on this board - that you have a friend who has cancer. I actually started here at HeathBoards right here after my Dad died of colon cancer and only later branched out to other boards where we met.

    You asked in your post for ways to encourage her - I don't know if this is what you had in mind but it might help your friend if she IS aware of the statistics involved.
    My brother in law was diagosed with Stage IV terminal rectal cancer and given 2 - 4 months to live. That was in March of 2005.....
    He has never yet had surgery, just non-stop clinical trial/chemo - and a liver ablation.
    His CEA went from 1600 to about 37. The primary tumor (rectal) no longer appears on the scans. He looks healthier than when he was diagnosed. They are discussing their trip to annual trip to Florida and hope to be able to go "one more year".

    "There can be more time" is what I am hoping will help her if that is her goal.
    So many times people with cancer don't realize what a good fight can do if that is what they want!!
    Take care my friend,
    Ruth

     
    Old 08-09-2006, 04:48 PM   #5
    NodiGoiterGirl
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    Thanks everyone,
    Hi Ruth, been a long time dear.
    Just wanted to say that I appreciate all the advice. Unfortunately I lost my friend early Monday morning. She started going downhill Saturday and the family was notified. I guess her liver was just too compromised.
    At 3:33 my smallest dog woke me up with her, "I'm startled" bark. Very rare for that time. I know it was my friend saying goodbye. I looked at the clock and said, "goodnight sweetheart." My Uncle at the same time got out of bed, went outside and waved at the stars. She passed at that moment.
    She will be greatly missed but her laugh, Oh that wonderful..silly laugh will be with me forever.
    Thanks again,
    Nodi

     
    Old 08-09-2006, 08:43 PM   #6
    Ruth6:11
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    Nodi... I am so very sorry...
    And how wonderful that you have such a connection to her - if you are watching you'll spot many warm "hello's" from her in the days to come.
    Also, I found great support on the Grief & Loss board from others who have loved someone who has died -
    Such a big cyberhug comes your way...
    Ruth

     
    Old 08-10-2006, 12:44 PM   #7
    NodiGoiterGirl
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    Thanks Ruth,
    You're a great gal
    Nodi

     
    Old 08-10-2006, 12:51 PM   #8
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    Oh Nodi - I'm so sorry to hear of your friends passing, but it was nice that she stopped by to say goodbye to you and that you recoznized the sign....
    I think sometimes we don't notice little signs like that.......you could have just shushed your dog for barking and waking you up, but something told you to say goodnight sweetheart. Take comfort in the fact that your friend is not suffering anymore and now you've got another guardian angel

     
    Old 08-10-2006, 08:40 PM   #9
    NodiGoiterGirl
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    Re: Friend diagnosed w/Colon Cancer - Questions

    I sure do.
    I love my guardian angels
    I always feel them with me and that is the best comfort of all.
    Thanks Rose. It sure means a lot.
    Take Care,
    Nodi

     
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