• tlc's Avatar

    My Husband, has colon rectal lung liver andlympnoid cancer can someone please be honest with me about his life expectency.

    Asked by tlc on Monday, April 29, 2013

    My Husband, has colon rectal lung liver andlympnoid cancer can someone please be honest with me about his life expectency.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • Lindy's Avatar

      I asked my oncologist that question because my own research revealed my breast cancer is going to kill me. We had a frank discussion, he was very relieved I knew without him having to tell me. He made a rough estimate based on his own experience plus some statistical graphs. It is a rough estimate, no one can exactly know, depends on too many factors. The oncologist is the one to give you a probable answer. Bless you both.

      over 3 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Actually, the answer to your question does not belong to any earthly man.

      over 3 years ago
    • Wendywoo's Avatar
      Wendywoo (Best Answer!)

      I am a nurse who works with hospice patients often. Nobody can tell you for sure but I recommend getting hospice involved long before the end of life. It is a misconception that you don't call in hospice until there is "nothing else to be done". I have found hospice nurses to be ver frank about life expectancy AND very accurate. What a difficult thing to be in this world of unknowns.

      over 3 years ago
    • kevin_ryan's Avatar

      Unfortunately there is no simple answer as there are a number of factors that will determine his actual expectancy. What will help him live the longest is attitude and his support base of family and friends.
      I have exactly the same cancers as your husband. Last August I was diagnosed with a tumor in my colon after a routine colonoscopy. Originally they were planning on treating this with a combination of chemo and radiation to shrink it, then remove surgically. My oncologist sent me for scans prior to starting the treatment to get a better picture. What the scans showed was that the cancer had spread through my lymph nodes to the liver and lung and that radiation treatment was out of the question. I was also told that I was at stage IV and that my cancer was incurable. I was also told that I would need an ostomy and would have to live with a colostomy bag for my remaining time.
      The surgeon who was to perform this operation was a colo-rectal specialist and told me I had 2-4 months to live and advised me to just go to a hospice, get drugged up and try to enjoy the short amount of time I had left. I told him what I thought of that idea and wanted to go ahead. My oncologist is very honest with me and he told me that without chemo I could expect to live 3-6 months, but with chemo the average life expectancy was 20-22 months, but that he had some patients that had been diagnosed more than 5 years ago and still going strong. He also said that it was difficult to predict life expectancy as the treatments offered today were not around 5 years ago, so there is no data on these treatments yet that will give an accurate estimate of life expectancy.
      I have read that statistically there is a 6% chance that a stage IV patient will survive 5 years or more. Your husbands life expectancy will also be based on what stage he is at. I have also seen in here people that were diagnosed 8 years ago and there is one guy that was diagnosed with the same cancer more than 20 years ago.
      What I do know is that you need a good support base. I am in pain every minute of every day and it is a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. I am fortunate that I have a wonderful woman in my life that gave up work to become my full time carer. I also have a wonderful family that is in constant contact as well as a great network of friends that regularly call or email to see how I am doing.
      I plan on being in that 6% group and try to keep my attitude positive although it is very hard on some days. When I had the colostomy surgery I lost 90 lbs in weight (dropped from 200 to 110). Now I go to the gym at least 3 times per week and walk on the track and do light weights to put on muscle and gain weight back again. I am back up to 145 lbs and feel a lot stronger.
      Sorry that this is a long winded answer, but your husbands life expectancy depends on all these factors. You need to be strong for him and be there to help him through this. It will be very tough on you and so you need to also call on support from other family members where you have them.

      Good luck with it all

      over 3 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      The uncertainty can be so scary. What has helped me greatly has been seeing an oncology social worker. She has helped me bring peace to my mind despite what the future may or may not hold. My heart does go out to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      You will probably have several others on WhatNext tell you their stories of how they were given 6 months, or a year, 7-8 or 10 years ago. So like the others say, there is no "calendar" and no one can tell you.
      We wish him many more fullfilling years.

      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      The honest answer is, there is no honest answer. On the face of it, that seems very unhelpful, but when we think about it, it's true for all of us, whether we have cancer or not. I know a man who was ostensibly healthy in every way, worked on construction, was diagnosed one day with cancer, and was dead in 2 weeks. We all know people who were given 2 months to live, and are still going strong years and years later. As Kevin said, the usual statistics came about years ago, before the advent of the drugs that are available today. Hope for the best, enjoy every day, and try not to obsess about this. Easier said than done, I know, but it's the only way I know to have a meaningful life.

      over 3 years ago
    • spirithorse's Avatar

      In March of 2012 I was released from the hospital and given 3-4 days to live. I had stage IV colon cancer. I absolutely refused to believe this and God and I mounted a fight. I was operated on in August at the Mayo and they were able to remove all the tumor. I now have been diagnosed with two small tumors in my abdomen. So back in the fight mode. In my case I found the most peace with whatever was coming by fighting to live every day. I was absolutely positive I was going to be okay. Whether I kept living or not, there was a peace in knowing I was doing all I could.

      I like some others in this community do not ask and don't want to know my life expectancy. I have already been labeled an "outlier" or "miracle" so always have faith.


      over 3 years ago
    • Jray's Avatar

      I had the same question go thru my mind. I asked to speak with my husbands oncologist and she replied in a letter to me the same day ( I did this while he was doing his chemo). Anyway it was there in writing,the stage, percentages of the chemo being effective and his possible life expectancy. The news was not good but at least I had some perspective. My husband has diabetes, renal failure and heart failure on top of the cancer so I know at any given point things can " go south" you just have to take each day as it comes. And let me be the one to say it really sucks but try to hold on to your faith and even when you two have bad days...and you will! Try to be strong and forgiving. I often ask God to help me be all he created me to be :)
      My heart goes out to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I am an oncology/end of life nurse and just because your husband has cancer cells in these places does not mean it is a death sentence. Mets to the liver and lungs will usually clear easy with the right therapy. I would expect to see cells in the lymph nodes. An average tumor the size of an inch will slough off between 3 to 5 million cells every 24 hours. They are corralled by the immune system and brought to the jail or lymph nodes to be carried away and destroyed by T cells. I don't know what treatment your husband is on or whether his condition has has affected other co-morbidities, but if he has a will to live then the choice is his regarding his expectancy. You have to look at this disease from the nature of biology and how it behaves at a cellular level. Most mets that go to the liver are lesions on the outside surface and mets to the lung tend to stay in the middle or upper lobes and clear easily. Believe in him and his strength to push forward. I am always here if you have any questions or need a supportive ear. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • Skylex's Avatar

      I have basically the same cancer as your husband. I am inoperable and have been on chemo with no break since October 2012. I was told once from a surgeon to go home and prepare for the end and that I pry have 3 to 5 years if I'm lucky. I refuse to accept that and plan to be here for at least the next 20 years. Only God knows when your time on earth is up!! God bless!! Stay strong attitude is half the battle.

      over 3 years ago

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