Just Starting from Afar

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Just Starting from Afar

by ajm7392 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 03:43 PM

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I hope this is not too long, but we are in need of guidance due to distance.

 

My son’s father, aged 68, has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is recovering from a colectomy performed this past Wednesday in Antigua. A large portion of both the sigmoid and descending colon have been removed. I spoke to his surgeon this morning who said that the > 2” tumor appeared to be more confined than he expected from pre-op diagnostics. We will not know the staging of the cancer until the biopsy results from the surgical specimen are available; however they have already discussed chemo.

 

Our 22 y.o. son will be traveling to Antigua on 2/27 for two weeks to care for his dad. So far, John’s recovery is a bit slow (heavy smoker), but the surgeon is pleased with his progress. I can only find generic resources for post-op care; can you point me to something more detailed (either written or some organization that provides this assistance)? We are going to try to arrange a phone call with our son and the surgeon; however it would be helpful for my son to have something in hand that he can refer to, and also use to form questions for the surgeon.

 

Also, are there any books you would recommend for John, the patient? This has all happened very quickly and John is in the early stages of processing it all. Emotionally, he seems on the edge of denial, where he is not asking questions and relaying information in laymen’s terms, making it hard to figure what is going on. I think that it is important for him to know what to expect in terms of recovery, diet and bowel function moving forward, chemo options and their side effects so that he can report things when needed, the power of a positive attitude, cancer patients’ stories, etc.

 

We are faxing him daily and talk briefly via Skype to keep his spirits up. He did not line up after-care, so the surgeon is planning on keeping him in the clinic until our son arrives. This is important, as he lives on a large and remote piece of land in Antigua without the basic creature comforts found in the US.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

RE: Just Starting from Afar

by Jeanette57 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 06:52 PM

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Go to the American Cancer Society in Person if you can, the caregiver and patient guides are fantastic and free.  What if he has this or that and what to do to help.

If he had a MRI they could have staged it, but surgeon must have done the slides when taken out so much.   Infection is the number one problem. foods to eat- beg doc to not allow smoking in hosptial or no american cigs, only organic non trade tobacco with out all those chemicals.  Roll your own, and some filter tubs.

ACS is the best place to start.

 

RE: Just Starting from Afar

by ajm7392 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 07:10 PM

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Thanks for the first response.

Medical care in Antigua is not as advanced as in the States, so he did not have an MRI, only a CT scan of the abdomen. Specimen has to be shipped off island for biopsy, so there can be a delay with results. He's at a good clinic, with a capable surgeon (who reattched several of his fingers after an encounter with a circular saw). They tend to be very conservative post op due to limited resources on the island should an emergency complication arise.

Will try the American Cancer Society as recommended.

Thanks.

RE: Just Starting from Afar

by xbarjoe on Mon Feb 20, 2012 03:20 PM

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Make sure a KRAS test is done with the biopsy samples. This is an important genetic test that determines what chemo will be used and the effectiveness. You can learn more about colon cancer at the web site National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Oncologists use the information for treating cancer. Good luck and God bless. Ron
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