Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jan 19, 2019 9:50 am
Have you had a chance to review the link to chemotherapy that ACH2015 gave you?
Posted by ABeaz03 on Jan 21, 2019 8:28 am
Posted by jaacck on Jan 22, 2019 12:26 am
Posted by ACH2015 on Jan 22, 2019 7:29 am
I'm sorry that the situation you are in has not been made clear to you by the doctor. You are right to say stage Stage 4 cancer has spread to other organs, and it also means in your case outside the rectum wall into the lymph nodes.
From what you say in your post, it sounds like the cancer may have spread too far for surgery to be effective. That is why it sounds like chemotherapy is the option being offered.
You are certainly allowed to seek a second opinion Jack. Especially if it will help you understand your situation better, and hopefully offer you more options. You need to understand why you are being offered specific treatments and why others are not options for you. You may also be able to participate in any clinical trials available to you. You have to ask and advise your cancer team that you are willing to participate - if you are willing to do so. Clinical trials are experimental treatments that have shown promise in treating cancers, and are being put into limited use to determine effectiveness. Understand there are risks involved and there is no guarantee they will work.
Who do you have with you for help? Family members, friends? I am concerned with the length of time that has gone by with your situation. If I am right, the doctor you refer to is the family doctor? It sounds like you have not met an oncologist yet, is this correct?
When do you have the consult with the cancer team Jack? Please let us know what you find out from the cancer team, and I sincerely hope you get better information than you have been given to date.
Understanding your situation and getting greater information will help you decide how you want to move forward Jack. Chemotherapy can be offered for curative purposes, and like any treatment, it can be offered to give a person as much time as possible.
ACH2015 - Andy.
Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jan 22, 2019 10:38 am
I'm sorry to hear about all you are going through. Like Andy said you have a right to ask for a second opinion.
Have you tried calling our Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 to speak to an Information Specialist and get some support to discuss navigating the health system and getting answers? I think you will find it really helpful.
Keep us posted,
Posted by jaacck on Jan 22, 2019 10:05 pm
Posted by ACH2015 on Jan 29, 2019 2:26 pm
I'm back after being away for a few days.
First off - an Oncologist is a doctor that specializes in treating cancer. To name a few, there are Medical (they deal in treatments like chemo or immunotherapy), Radiation, and Surgical Oncologists.
I'm happy to hear you have a new family doctor Jack, and it seems to be working out well. The doctor (gastroenterologist) that conducts the colonoscopies for you is doing so at the request of the medical team working with you. All the information is shared with the team to look at your situation and make the best decisions for your treatment plan.
If you feel comfortable with your family doctor, he or she has all your information and can assist you with any questions about the treatment plan. This way it helps you focus on making decisions in moving forward. Do you have video conferences with the medical team in the city? Sometimes these can be arranged with your local hospital to set up camera so you can see and hear the medical team in the city - and they can see and hear you. It can save you time and energy in travel if its just for to ask questions and no physical exam is required.
These can be scheduled by your family doctor to coordinate with your local hospital and your medical team in the city, It can help you get information about any possible immunotherapy or other treatments as well Jack.
I too had some pretty serious difficulties in my diagnosis and treatments. All I can say to you Jack is to move forward for yourself and put your energies into your treatment path and let go as best you can of the past.
Each of us will react differently to chemotherapy Jack. Yes - I lost my hair, and its a common side effect many of us face.
Chemotherapy is designed to kill, slow down and hopefully stop the progression of cancer cells. Cancerous tumors are made up of cancer cells. The process can also cause us side effects like losing our hair, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and many others. The good news is that we can take medications to help reduce the nausea, increase our appetite, and reduce our pain Jack. Each of us will react differently and what affected me may not bother you at all or as much. We will all be different and need to adjust our treatments and medications to get us through as best we can as individuals Jack.
I hope this information helps you Jack. The more information you have, the easier it will be to choose the treatment path ahead for you.
Keep well Jack. I will keep an eye out for your next post.
Posted by jaacck on Jan 29, 2019 8:58 pm
Posted by ACH2015 on Jan 30, 2019 7:14 am
It's very good to hear you today. You sound positive, confident and happy with the direction of the ball moving forward.
I send you strength and positive thoughts Jack. Know that the treatments will affect you and your whole being while attacking the cancer. It is part of the process, that can test our strength and faith. Understanding this can help us get through the treatments in body and spirit..
Please keep in touch with us here when you are able.
êkosi ani Jack.
ACH2015 - Andy.
Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jan 30, 2019 8:29 am
Posted by jaacck on Feb 12, 2019 10:42 pm
Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 13, 2019 6:55 am
Thank you for updating us.
Our treatment plans can change many times right up to being put into effect.
It's good to know you have questions prepared for the meeting. Keep in touch with us here to let us know how you are doing and what you learn from the meeting.
ACH2015 - Andy.
Posted by jaacck on Feb 15, 2019 1:39 pm
Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 15, 2019 2:02 pm
I like what you said, you have "a short term plan with a future goal".
My suggestion to you Jack - concentrate on the present. Chemo will hopefully attack the cancer, shrink and kill the tumors and get you to Radiation and Surgery or visa verse. Did you get the name of the type of cancer and the name of the drugs you are being given for chemo? There are many different types.
Many of us here have said this here before: We are all different, our cancers are different and we will all have different levels of success with treatment outcomes.
How many rounds of chemo are scheduled? In my case, I did 3 rounds, then had a CT scan to check the results. Then I did 3 more rounds of chemo for a total of 6. That got me to surgery, then after I healed from that I had radiation.
I want to mention that chemo was not meant to be my only treatment. Chemo was not expected to kill the cancer on its own. It was meant to stop it spreading, kill and shrink the tumors that were already there for the next steps in my treatment plan.
Your plan sounds similar. Positive thoughts to you Jack.
One step at a time.
ACH2015 - Andy.
Posted by jaacck on Feb 15, 2019 8:00 pm
Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 16, 2019 7:53 am
Thank you for letting us know the treatment plan and the chemo drugs involved.
Each combination of drugs is designed to treat the specific cancer, and is given at specific time frames.
The reason there is a break in the cycles is to allow for our bodies to recover before the next cycle begins.
The oncologist (chemo doctor) will do tests after a certain number of cycles to see how the drugs are working. This too is a normal part of the process we all go through.
One thing that I noted during my chemo treatments was that the tumor pain decreased. That is a good indicator that the chemo drugs are working, because the tumor is shrinking and dying. That also helps us reduce the level of pain medications we need to manage our pain.
Take care Jack and let us know when the treatment is set to start for you.
ACH2015 - Andy.