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Center visit, staging and chemo ......


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Old 10-16-2006, 10:11 AM   #1
Too Sweet 74
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Center visit, staging and chemo ......

Hi everyone,
Just me again. We went to the cancer center last thursday for his first visit. The doctor gave him his staging (according to the scale they use) it was T3 N2 M0. We had the chances explained ect with each chemo type and my husband is REALLY convinced he will be one of the 40% that gets the cancer back again. No telling him different. No matter what I say or the docs say. He's decided on the stronger chemo, Oxyplatin,5FU and leucovarin. He starts next week. Hope I spelled those right. He got all ticked off because the doctor is Indian (east indian) and said he couldn't understand him but I could. I had no trouble getting what he said.His doc has been doing this for like 22 years . He said things like "this is all about you and how you feel" ect when we were talking about the chemo making him sick . I think my husband was confused by the statistic chart that he gave us about each chemo choice. the doc said as far as they see there is no detectable cancer . Which I thought was a huge "good" thing. The chemo he is going to get did not exist when his parents were fighting their cancers but my husband still sees his chances as slim to none on surviving this. He seems to think that he will get a different chemo (or better one) somewhere else like Cleveland maybe. I told him that people on here are from all over and are getting the same thing he will. Anyone have any idea how to get thru to him? I know he's terrified and depressed. I tried to get him to see our doc for the depression but he had me cancel the appt. Saying he has no depression. I have had it for too many years to remember and know what it looks like all too well. I told him that a low dose of a antidepressant may relieve the anxiety and maybe help him quit smoking. He is laying on the couch ALOT. Not walking like he should. He is having alot of back pain, cramps are getting lessened but he still has a lot of upset which he was told is normal. He felt better when he was up and moving. He agrees but still just sits there. I get so frustrated . I just don't know what to say to him . I'm trying really hard to stay positive and take care of things but it is wearing on me more and more. This weekend I ddn't want to do anything but sleep. I see my doc soon about a new pain med,darvacet(sp?) and a antidepressant(cymbalta) for me really soon and I am praying it helps. My last comp hearing is next week and my lawyer is asking 5 years comp.He doubts I'll get it but may get 4 which is fine. We need the money. He said the reason it is so low is because I didn't have a job worth more. It didn't matter that I was a painter before this and haven't been able to do it the two and a half years since. I'll be glad to have this comp thing over with though. With the settlement our bills won't be an issue or worry so much for a while anyway.

I got off track there. Sorry. I hope there are words of wisdom about any of this mess.I'm feeling lost . I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this. Can't tell you all how much just getting this out of my head helps. Thanks to all.

Love, Sherri

 
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:53 AM   #2
Jeni61
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Re: Center visit, staging and chemo ......

Sherri, he should not assume he will get a recurrence, esp since using the Oxaliplatin with the other chemos does seem to be very successful.

He may just need to think this way - go the worst - to handle it. Then anything over and above that feels like a victory. So long as he is willing to do what he needs to do to up his chances, then his negative attitude may just be how he copes.

Be sure to take care of yourself in this, as you are right, it is wearing on you. We are all here to listen.

Jeni

 
Old 10-17-2006, 08:53 AM   #3
Jeni61
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Re: Center visit, staging and chemo ......

Sherri, he should not assume he will get a recurrence, esp since using the Oxaliplatin with the other chemos does seem to be very successful.

He may just need to think this way - go the worst - to handle it. Then anything over and above that feels like a victory. So long as he is willing to do what he needs to do to up his chances, then his negative attitude may just be how he copes.

Be sure to take care of yourself in this, as you are right, it is wearing on you. We are all here to listen.

Jeni

 
Old 10-17-2006, 09:55 AM   #4
CancerDad
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Re: Center visit, staging and chemo ......

Sherri:
As YOU know, EVERYONE handles this differently. I think we talked about how I went numb, and it turned out he told you that was his way of coping as well.. Also, he is DEFINITELY going to compare stats to his parents, and experiences, and results, etc. I was a T3N2M0 and had 6 or 7/10 positive nodes for cancer AFTER Chemoradiation AND surgery. I was actually given Much Lower 5 year stats... they were down-right depressing. I had rectal cancer though, which does have a higher rate of recurrence and all... I can't remember what your husband was diagnosed with-- colon or rectal cancer.

I do remember what a doctor friend told me in the beginning... "Remember... you are MORE than just a statistic!" He went on to tell me to "listen to what they say regarding the stats, let it go in one ear and then forget about it; it's good to have a positive attitude." However, with this said, I bet he will develop a positive attitude and "snap out of it" a bit once he has a little more time to process it all. Again, that's how it was for me.

He might feel better once your comp thing is settled and money is not such a big worry. We men tend to worry about these things despite WHO the breadwinner is. I don't know why... I think maybe out of love for our wives and kids?? It's a scary thing, and we want to make sure that our families are protected.

I wish you both luck. Keep in touch with us, and good luck with your comp thing.

Fondly,
CancerDad
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:27 PM   #5
Too Sweet 74
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Re: Center visit, staging and chemo ......

Hi Jeni and CD ,
I was wondering something. In your experience did you just hear the bad things you were told? It seems that is what my husband does. His surgeon 's nurse talked to me yesterday when I called about his pain med and she sad that alot of people do what my husband is doing. She was not happy about him not moving and thinks it would help if he got out and did anything.Even walks with his little boy so he isn't looking at the four walls all the time. The surgeon does want him on an antidepressant he said. I've been trying to get him focused on the settlement and what we could do with it. The big thing is finally having a house of our own on the property. I thought that looking ahead may help but so far it hasn't. The doc said to not take the stats as what will happen because everyone is different and will react differently. They said he is in good health and his colon cancer could have been much more involved and wide spread. I hope he does "snap out of it" .The more he sits around the more pain and things he has going on. He keeps getting a pain like he is being kneed and we have no idea why. I told him to call the doctor about it or maybe the nurse and describe what is going on. I have no idea what could be causing it. It keeps him up at night frequently along wth the abdominal pain and back pain (previous injury that acted up after surgery). I'm thinking he may need a catscan or MRI if it these things don't resolve.
I had better get going,dishes are calling me. I hope you are taking great care of yourselves. It was awesome hearing from you both.

Love, Sherri

 
Old 10-17-2006, 10:55 PM   #6
Jeni61
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Re: Center visit, staging and chemo ......

Yes, I do sometimes have a tendency to only hear the bad things. Again, I think sometimes you feel like you have to get your head around the very worst thing, and then anything that happens will feel like a victory. Having said that, if he stays in his funk, he really does need the antidepressants and some help getting back into the game of life.

My tendnecy is to hear mostly the bad, but rely on others to the good. I know my hubby, who is a " glass half full " guy will let me know the good side of things, and my friends will too.

Remember something - the stats really are just that, and they do change over time. For example, the longer he goes without a recurrence, the better it gets. So you might, at surgery, have a survival rate of 65% but if a year goes by it jumps up to like 75% or something like that - don't quote me on those numbers, but I just read an article that says that it is more accurate to note that those stats do change -- the longer you go without recurrence, the better it gets, your statistics improve.

There are tons of T3N2M0 folks here who are well past their 3rd year, which is really great, a great sign. Most recurrences happen before that, if they are going to. All kinds of folks do very very well.

And recurrence is NOT a death sentence. There are also many that have had recurrences and done just find, there are just too many variables for anyone to say that recurrence means death.

Your dr is right, it could have been a lot worse.

jeni

 
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