Crystal59's Journey:

Caregiver: Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Male, Age: 71

  1. 1
    • Crystal59
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Diagnosed with stage II rectal cancer, May 26, 2011. Was told that his rectum had to be removed with part of his colon.

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  2. 2
    • Crystal59
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    He had to take Xeloda pills for his chemo. There was little if any side effects.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  3. 3
    • Crystal59
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    He had to to chemo and radiation for six weeks. The radiation is what really wore him down. By the end of treatments he was very weak and exhausted. His tumor was very large and they hit him hard with radiation.

    Painless Experience: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    • Crystal59
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 4 years ago
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    Removal of rectal tumor

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery August 23, 2011. Removed his rectum and part of his colon. Has a ostomy bag now. Surgery went well out of hospital in 9 days.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  5. 5
    • Crystal59
    • Experience with Colorectal (Colon) C...
    about 4 years ago
    Crystal59's Avatar

    Fluid in the abdomen (ascites)

    Side Effects

    After his surgery in August he had a hard time keeping anything down. Getting sick every 2-3 days, getting dehydrated had to go in and do IV fluids. Did that 3 times in Sept. Our oldest daughter was getting married on October 8th and we were really concerned if he would be able to walk her down the isle. Wedding was beautiful and he was able to walk her down the isle really wore him out, I was an emotional wreck!! October 10, 2011 This is when everything started to go down hill. Went back to hospital and they found out he had a double bowel obstruction. Well they waited around for two weeks to see if it would straighten its self out well it didn't and surgery again on October 23, 2011. He & I really didn't think he would make it through surgery, because he was so weak. Removed about 18" more of colon. Out of hospital on Nov 2, 2011, 23 days this time. During this time he was supposed to be on his second round of chemo, but he was down 60lbs and too weak to handle the IV chemo this time. Our cancer dr said this chemo was going to be stronger and if he started it, it would prolly kill him, so no chemo. They didn't put in a drainage tube, and that would be another complication. On Nov 15, 2011 fluid had begun to build up since the surgery and pooled inside his body cavity and stewed up infection and burst out his rectal wall. When I called the surgeon's number and he finally called back which wasn't our dr just one on call he wasn't concerned what was happening and said its just a fistula and come in to the office in morning. I was furious, My husband was down 60lbs and very weak, fever, chills, uncontrollable shivers and the sob says wait till morning. Well we went to emergency room. Well his white cell count was severely high, got him on heavy doses of antibiotics, and this stay in hospital was 5 days. His surgical wound on his back side was 4" long and 4" deep you could put four fingers the length of your fingers inside this would. I had to pack it 3 times a day with gauze and flush out. Well the draining from his back side went on for 3 months, then they decide to put in a drainage tube in February 2012. And of course it comes out of the middle of his butt cheek!! He goes back in every 2-3 weeks to get checked out. Well somewhere along this time his body decides he needs a hernia. Two surgeries in his abdomen go figure. Surgery set for Aug 21, 2012. On August 13, 2012 they decided his drainage tube could come out, I said no, but they pulled it anyway. Well the fluid wasn't done draining and it pooled up again and burst out his rectal wall again!!! His wound had just about healed up and was looking good, and he was starting to feel better. Back to the hospital with an infection and two days before his hernia surgery. More antibiotics and still surgery. They could not put mesh in to fix hernia, they had to cut his stomach muscles on his sides and pull shut over his hernia. Very Very painful. 12 days in hospital. High doses of pain meds, made him hallucinate very angry. Which brings back his high blood pressure, which had gone away for 12 months, and back on blood pressure meds. Out of hospital August 30. Out of hospital one week and he has a stroke, which turns out to be a brain stem stroke. All strokes are dangerous but stem strokes are really bad, it can paralyze your whole body except your eyes. Luckily it was a very tiny stroke made his right side of face droop but left side of body no feeling, he could move but no feeling. Five more days in hospital. Started to come out of that, and his face was drooping bad again. This time it was Bells Palsy. After one more MRI no more stroke just the Bells Palsy. Just makes your face droop. Second daughter getting married October 6, 2012. Praying and hoping her dad is going to be ok and to walk her down the isle. Well he did and had another beautiful wedding. Well after the wedding he starting to get better getting strength back. Pain levels were getting better. Then he got a bad cold, coughing snotty, runny nose. The cough was bad. Went to dr for meds. On December 5, 2012 he was scheduled for a follow up CT. And that's when we find out the cancer has moved to his lungs. Right now it is small 1/2" ( 9mil ) right side behind shoulder blade. Right now my husband does not want to do anything. He is so tired of Dr's and hospitals right now I don't blame him. But I have so many more questions, we have to go back and talk. I am an emotional wreck, I cant stop crying. My mom passed away this past spring so this is the first Xmas without her, and now we have been given a shorter death sentence with him. I am working two jobs, which are very physical jobs, trying to stretch little money to pay all the bills. He did get approved for disability finally, at least we have that money, which you have jump through hoops to get. I have been staying pretty positive, but now with this lung cancer........I am out of rope to hang on to. If he had the second round of chemo maybe this wouldn't have spread. We will never know. Cancer is an ugly ugly disease it destroys you physically and emotionally. My dad died of lymphoma cancer but he only lived three weeks after being finally diagnosed. Lucky for him, but I was only 16yrs. Right now we are barely talking he is mad I am sad, he says XXX it, I say we find out more info, Yes it is his body, but I am the one that has to take care of him. Just tired of it all.

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