Chemotherapy... Thoughts?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by michael.e, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    Not an easy decision I'm sure. Whatever you choose, I'm wishing the best for you man.
     
  2. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    In the last 5 years I have had 4 friends go through Chemotherapy. Between them I'm well versed on the patient side - but know very little about the medical side - aside from reactions. These days the Chemo is still destructive to the host - basically the chemical is bludgeoning the body in an attempt to kill things - fortunately there are some therapies coming in the next 5 to 10 years that are non invasive to the host - but more effective at eliminating the cancers. Only one of my friends didn't use THC to offset the side affects. The three who did - found it a Godsend. It cut the pain and lack of appetite considerably - and shortened the recovery time. All of them followed the first friends advice - drinking as much water as possible before and after a session - close to a Gallon per day (or more) prior - and the same post session. The Body needs the hydration to help flush the chemical out we think. In any case that also helped with the recovery post session - and everyone felt better by day 2 versus people they know who didn't hydrate religiously - they seem to take 3 days on average to come back.

    Be prepared for the side affects - tiredness, pain, lack of appetite, foggy state of mind etc...and get an advocate (wife, husband, friend) to be your defender - and help navigate the medical community and stop them from treating you as a routine patient. That's very important in the scheme of things.

    The fear factor is present - especially with something as frightening as cancer. Don't be afraid to talk about your fears and/or hopes - and have people around who aren't afraid to hear your fears and encourage your hope. Cancer is the devil incarnate - doesn't care who you are or what you've done in life - it just does what it does regardless. It helped all my friends to be able to talk openly about it all. That's something doctors can't provide - they will listen to patients - but it's not in their wheelhouse to walk them through. They are very clinical - and why many of them seem stoic - treating cancer is very hard on them if they get into the emotions of the patient. As the recipient/listener I can tell you that I rarely went home feeling okay - it's tough to talk mortality with friends - let alone stare it in the face.
    But I put that aside - I wasn't the one facing a monster.

    The Doctors will tell you the odds of survival or remission - take it into consideration but don't put your faith in it - as pre determined. My best friend from Grade School was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer - doctor said draw your will - and gave him a sentence of 3 to 5 months. He decided to fight for his life - and he lived in relative peace for 5 years after the initial diagnosis. I can tell you he valued every minute of life - he was always conscious of time and it's value - but it trebled in him - he made a bucket list and fulfilled 99% of it. Also keep in mind that Remission is quite a meaningless term - it doesn't mean you are cancer free - it means that the cancer isn't active - it's sleeping and may or may not wake up.

    That's about all I have - such as it is.
     
  3. iGouger

    iGouger Supporting Member

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    So very sorry to hear. Not phishing for sympathy, but need to state that treatment is not always the chosen path. Dad was diagnosed with an insanely advanced stage of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It's a rare cancer accounting for less than 1% of all cancers. Doctors at Mayo claim this is likely a direct derivative of exposure to agent orange. Dad choose hospice over treatment, a decision that we all dreaded yet respected. That damn war; still taking lives fifty years later.
     
  4. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Hey thanks! I was doing my yearly “over 50 doctor exams/bloodwork” but not the stool sample tests. I just didn’t want to bother. I should have. I began seeing blood in my stool. That prompted me to call my doctor and the colonoscopy was ordered right then and there. It was another 6 weeks till I got the procedure.
     
    Last Nerve likes this.
  5. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Thanks again all. Reading your thoughts and info is quite helpful. I figured this place would be a trove of knowledge.
     
    A-Bone likes this.
  6. pjs ire

    pjs ire Member

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    I wish you the best! I agree that it’s important for your boys to have you as long as possible! I have my cancer surg in 7 days. At times, I have felt like giving up. One day I realized how selfish this is- to deprive my two boys of their father. Family is an important thing to focus on- they are worth the fight! Again, best wishes to you and your family!
     
    majorminor likes this.
  7. time2kill

    time2kill Member

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    Thanks.
     
  8. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    And all the best to you my friend!
     
    pjs ire likes this.
  9. BigDar

    BigDar Member

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    Not cancer related, but I had surgery for a nasty case of diverticulitis that required the use of a bag for three months before the "take down" surgery to reconnect. Never looked forward to a surgery more in my life. Living with a bag is......interesting...you never realize how important that part of your life is to you until it gets messed up.
     
  10. lawsam

    lawsam Member

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    God bless you.
     
  11. DK207

    DK207 Member

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    @michael.e Good luck with treatment!! I’m in the field. PM me anytime with any questions.
     
    mcuguitar and michael.e like this.
  12. jmonk99

    jmonk99 Member

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    I was lucky in the fact that they were able to re-connect me. My biggest fear was having a bag.If you need a bag it will likely be for a couple of months and then another procedure to re-attach.
    The surgery lasted 6 hrs. I was in the hospital for 5 days. Came home on Christmas eve, eve. You're going to want a recliner to sleep in for a few days.
    I was back to work in 2 months, I'm a self employed contractor. Took a full 6 months till I regained my full strength. Be as active as you can during your recovery. And I don't know how your diet is but you're going to want to eat clean, really clean.
     
    mcuguitar likes this.
  13. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Sage info! Thanks. I know I’m going to have to bag it. It may last through the chemo process after surgery. Question... you say 6 months to feel back to snuff. Can you work/play as hard as you used to? I surf, climb, skate pools, go bananas with my little man and I worry about that “connection” point.
     
  14. Patch

    Patch Gold Supporting Member

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    Hi Michael!
    I'm a colorectal surgeon.
    There's a difference between stage 3 cancer (which means that you have involved lymph nodes) and T3 tumor (which means a big tumor).

    If you have stage 3, you will probably need chemoradiation for 5-6 weeks. The chemo (5-FU) is used to make the tumor more radio-sensitive. You won't have a lot of side effects from this chemo.
    This will shrink the tumor (surgery will be easier) and the lymph nodes can be sterilized.
    Then, you will have a break for 8-12 weeks to let you recover but mainly to let the treatments continue to work and let the inflammation go.

    Usually, we will redo an MRI during this time to see if the tumor has shrink.

    The surgery can be done open or by laparoscopy (preferred).
    Your surgeon will remove a big part of the rectum, will reconnect the left colon to the residual rectum and do a loop ileostomy to protect the colo-rectal anastomosis.

    You will keep the bag for 6 months if you have chemo, 3 months if not.

    I would highly suggest you to have chemo if your oncologist recommend it.
    Don't pay too much attention of everybody's chemo story and side effects.
    Nobody has the same cancer, chemo is different for every cancer and nobody has the same side effects.

    Feel free to PM me for questions and keep a positive attitude.
     
    A-Bone, GGinMP, RunninWDevil and 6 others like this.
  15. jmonk99

    jmonk99 Member

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    You shouldn't have any problems at the connection point. Once it heals it should be as strong as ever. You "WILL" be able to do everything you do now. You're going to be going through a lot, much more then I had to, and it going to take some time to get back to full strength. You can do this! Kick it's ass!
     
    mcuguitar likes this.
  16. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

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    Hey ME
    I had a radical prostatectomy and lymph node dissection last Monday. Some minor complications during the surgery but I was lucky as so far it was all still confined to my prostate. Lymph node pathology still to come. My choices from my Urologist were radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks or removal which in his opinion had the highest percentage of success for my strain of cancer. If it does come back radiation is still a possibility. I have a catheter for a few more days and then will be incontinent for a while until I can retrain my bladder. Many of us are going through or have gone through the fight and come out the other side. My prayers are with you my friend!
     
    mcuguitar likes this.
  17. mcuguitar

    mcuguitar Gold Supporting Member

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    As a prostate cancer survivor, I urge ALL of you to read “Anti Cancer A New Way Of Life,” by Dr. David Stevan-Schreiber. Changing away from a Western diet filled with sugar, preservatives and pesticides, is the best way to change the terrain where cancer thrives.
     
  18. thewhit

    thewhit Silver Supporting Member

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    Two weeks ago in The Daily Mail I read about a new chemo breakthrough developed at a University whose name escapes me but it apparently works directly on cancer cells and leaves normal healthy cells alone. Maybe a Google search will turn up some info for you. Good Luck.
     
  19. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Hey you know there was another blatant sign that I did not clue up on.. over the past 5 or 6 months I would get so unbelievably tired to the point of passing out if I sat down for too long. It is happening now with more frequency of course as the cancer grows and overtakes more of my body. I wish to hell I would have sent in those damn fecal sample tests. It is possible that if I do survive this all, im going to pay for it via a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. Do NOT put this stuff off.
     
    Last Nerve likes this.
  20. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    Best wishes to you, Mr. E.
     

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