• Colon/liver stage 4 & chemo

    Asked by jlacquement on Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Colon/liver stage 4 & chemo

    I am terrified about chemo which Ive not started. Has anyone w/ stage 4 colon/liver cancer beat it without chemo?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • abrub's Avatar

      The anticipation of chemo is much worse than the reality (tho that being said, chemo is no fun.)

      I was terrified of chemo as well, but somehow, we do what we have to do. With Stage 4, you do want treatment to spread throughout your body, to attack any rogue cancer cells.

      I can't answer regarding people who have beaten stage 4 colon cancer without chemo.

      almost 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Stage 4 means the cancer has metastasized so surgical removal of the primary area is typically not a beneficial option, nor is radiation. So that normally leaves chemotherapy as the only option, since it is systemic and can kill cancer cells anywhere in the body that they have spread, unlike surgery or radiation. Spontaneous remission of stage 4 cancer is extremely rare but some people have lived for several years with stage 4 cancer as a chronic disease, although quality of life is limited. But even in most of those cases, chemotherapy has been part of their treatment.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Nancyjac is correct that once the cancer is found in more than one place they normally assume that it is in polaces they have not found yet and chemo is the normal treatment. While threre is a long list of scary side effects it would be rare for anyone to get them all. Federal law makes then tell you about the side effects. Most times side effects can be managed with other meds. The good thing about Colon cancer is that there are a number of different chemo regimines available so if you have a bad reaction to pme you can switch to another. The problem with trying something else first is that chemo works better when started earlier so any delay makes things worse.

      Once you have been on chemo for a while and your cancer has not spread then you can talk to your Drs about other options like surgery, radiation, cyber knife, radio frequency ablation etc. That is what I did and I have had succressfy surgery three times since being in your spot.

      While chemo is scary it is not as bad as the literature makes it sound, and it is much perferable the alternative death. The people here on WhatNext have a wealth of experience with chemo and how to get through it with the least pain. Let us help you woith your journey,. ;et us know what questions you have and what help you need.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Bellamore's Avatar
      Bellamore (Best Answer!)

      My oncologist's specialty is colon/liver canger. She implants a hepatic artery infusion pump in the liver that treats both the liver and the colon. This infusion pump produces NO side effects because the chemo is confined to the liver. She uses this pump for colon/liver too.

      I sometimes have system chemo along with the pump. But's it's always been Gem Zar which the only side effect I've ever suffered from was Fatigue.

      In case you are looking for second opinion my doctor is Dr. Nancny Kemeny who works out of Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan. I travel from Vermont to see her.

      almost 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      The anticipation of chemo is definitely worse than the reality. For me, the nurse spent hours reviewing all the possible side effects ahead of time and it was really scary and depressing. Sure, I had unpleasant and undesirable side effects but none of my worst fears were realized. Tell your oncology office about every issue as soon as it comes up and they should be able to help you manage it.

      almost 3 years ago
    • PETSR2LOVE's Avatar

      MY Friend< If there was anything to replace chemo I would change tomorrow. Some I have heard use the so called pill but I cant take pills. I am on my fifteenth month of chemo, and
      my oncoligest says I may be for the rest of my life. There are several ways to try and remove
      the cancer depending on the location in the liver.. Cancer is removed in colon with surgery.
      I'm betting that soon they find a shot or pill that will replace chemo. Hang tough.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Okiegrandma's Avatar

      the anticipation is worse than the reality. The two good things about chemo is it doesn't hurt and you don't have to take your clothes off! I have stage four colon cancer in my lungs. They cut it out of my colon and removed the left lobe of my liver but the Mersin my lungs are too small and too numerous to treat with anything but chemo. I have hadveryfew side effects that cant be treated with anti nausea drugs or something else.

      almost 3 years ago
    • Okiegrandma's Avatar

      The worst thing about taking chemo is that it is BORING. I take a Bag filled with snacks, lunch (it takes me about five hours) magazines, my iPad, and cell phone. The treatment center has drinks , coffee, water, and television. I have a port so it only takes a second to plug me in instead of digging around for a vein every time. I am on my third round of chemo and will probably be on it from now on. The treatment center is an hour away so I bought a new car for myself for Christmas so I can go in comfort. I have a treatment every two weeks and then have to go back to get my pump removed. The pump is a pain in the kazoo because you can't take a shower with it. It has to stay dry. That means baths only for two days. Small price to pay for extended life. I have been in treatment for a year and a half. It will be two years April first.
      You have to realize that stage four cancer is a chronic disorder in most cases. Lots of people have chronic diseases that have to be treated for life. This is ours.

      almost 3 years ago
    • ibcarolek's Avatar

      "Chemo" covers so many different types of medicine, it's scary as you hear all the bad, the very bad. John postponed starting it for weeks much to my angst. We had tickets to seats for a SF Giants game...Family was coming to stay with us...Can't be sick because....every reason was used to delay the start. In hindsight our experience isn't nearly as bad as we feared (in fact, it may have helped us cope because we feared so much!)

      1. Our regimen doesn't cause you to lose your hair (I had no idea my BF was vain! - I think if he was going to lose his hair, it would have been a show stopper. I'm not sure why - but there was such relief that he got to keep his. Mine, however, seems to be affected - it is turning gray at an alarming rate!)

      2. John hasn't gotten sick once - well, not from the chemo. He had/has a partially collapsed lung / pnemonia / and that was horrible - he'd cough so much he couldn't breath and would start throwing up. Scary. I'm not sure if it got better on its own or because of the chemo, but if it were the chemo, we'd do it again. Actually, we do it again every other week.

      3. The hardest effect we've had to date is the sensitivity to cold. John has had to give up ice cream, frappachinos, Jamba Juice and ice cubes. THIS is the worst. He keeps gloves in the car as we don't have a heated steering wheel. We have a lot more throw rugs to keep feet warmer and the heater is up higher in the house.

      4. Temporarily there was intense sensitivity to smell. Nooooo way to cover up a fart. Have to take it outside...... Small lifestyle change.

      5. John's tired M-Thurs of chemo week, and we generally have soup Wed or Thurs night, and it's off to bed. All in all, sleeping is a good way to cure the disease and help recover - so sleep away. However, from Friday on through the following week, life is pretty normal with just the cold sensitivity fading, but not going all the way away.

      6. He's starting to be high blood pressure from one of the drugs, and in the morning his nose is slightly bloody, but nothing to get on anything beyond Kleenex.

      Now that his coughing has all but gone away, he drives himself to Chemo, is bored *out of his mind* for ~6 hours on Monday getting infused and plugged in and a couple on Wednesday when he's unplugged. The hospital where he goes doesn't have good cell or internet service. They have personal TV's but I hear it's frustrating when you finish mid movie. Reading is good or check into how good their wi-fi or phone cell coverage is in the infusion area!

      On the Sunday before chemo, he has to get a blood test. We get up early, get the blood drawn and go some place new for breakfast. We're on a Diners Drivethrus & Dives kick - so we generally go to one profiled or whatever has high yelp reviews within an hours drive. There truly is nothing like awesome french toast to get one ready for the next week's chemo.

      One newbie thing we did that others after us have done too - I don't know why the dr didn't tell us how to dress for the first chemo day. Don't wear a pullover shirt - button down is best for chemo. The first time is also feakingly scary as they gave us a 'hazmat' kit & suit, just in case the chemo spilled (what the [email redacted]). Anyhow, it's really the only evidence John's on chemo at our house when he's not plugged into his 'buddy'.

      Recognize the fear as being the fear of the unknown. Outside of the time and boredom, it's ok and better than getting sicker (stop it before it gets to the lungs!)

      almost 3 years ago

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