Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

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Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by anonymous_2018 on Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:52 AM

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My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer on August 3rd and had surgery done a month later to remove a 12 inch piece of his sigmoid. We felt pretty confident at the time that we caught it early since his CEA level was 4.0 before surgery and didnt exhibit any symptoms. Plus, he had been getting screened every 2 years using the FIT stool sample test for th past 10 years and they all came out negative except in 2018. THe biopsy results showed that the cancer had spread to most of his lymphs and was diagnosed as 3C. He started chemo in October (FOLFOX) and will be getting 12 rounds. My oncologist sounds very pessimistic and he had us all in tears. I haven't been able to sleep or eat roperly since and Iv'e been looking up anything we can do for him at home to reduce his chances of recurrence. I hate the fact that we're just at the mercy of chemo and I need reassurance that he can fight this. IF anyone has any advice or has beaten cancer then I would welcome any comments.

Thank you

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by onetoughbird on Fri Nov 16, 2018 03:51 AM

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On Nov 15, 2018 12:52 AM anonymous_2018 wrote:

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer on August 3rd and had surgery done a month later to remove a 12 inch piece of his sigmoid. We felt pretty confident at the time that we caught it early since his CEA level was 4.0 before surgery and didnt exhibit any symptoms. Plus, he had been getting screened every 2 years using the FIT stool sample test for th past 10 years and they all came out negative except in 2018. THe biopsy results showed that the cancer had spread to most of his lymphs and was diagnosed as 3C. He started chemo in October (FOLFOX) and will be getting 12 rounds. My oncologist sounds very pessimistic and he had us all in tears. I haven't been able to sleep or eat roperly since and Iv'e been looking up anything we can do for him at home to reduce his chances of recurrence. I hate the fact that we're just at the mercy of chemo and I need reassurance that he can fight this. IF anyone has any advice or has beaten cancer then I would welcome any comments.

Thank you

I had Stage 3C, diagnosed Oct 2017. Surgery a month later. While I've only survived this cancer a year, I survived Ovarian stage 4 for 17 years, with 6 months of the most horrendous chemo you can imagine.This chemo was a cakewalk compared. I'm a firm believer that a positive attitude is the most important. As with the ovarian cancer, I decided I wasn't going anywhere, absolutely not. I enjoy each day as much as possible and keep my mindset under control. Thoughts matter.

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by anonymous_2018 on Sat Nov 17, 2018 03:15 AM

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That's brilliant!

Congrats on beating your Ovarian cancer and I'm sure you'll get through this one as well. Was there anything you did to prevent your recurrence, like diet changes, taking supplements or exercising?
I've read so many inspiring survivor stries on beating advanced cancer that it seems like it's more of a norm now. 

Love your attitude. Keep on fighting the good fight and please do keep in touch. 

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by onetoughbird on Thu Nov 29, 2018 01:15 AM

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On Nov 17, 2018 3:15 AM anonymous_2018 wrote:

That's brilliant!

Congrats on beating your Ovarian cancer and I'm sure you'll get through this one as well. Was there anything you did to prevent your recurrence, like diet changes, taking supplements or exercising?
I've read so many inspiring survivor stries on beating advanced cancer that it seems like it's more of a norm now. 

Love your attitude. Keep on fighting the good fight and please do keep in touch. 

Thank you for the good wishes. As to preventing recurrence,  oddly enough I had been off all white sugar, all white rice, pasta, & bread, and had even been vegetarian for several years. Drank nothing but pH-balanced alkaline water, no sodas, and only the occasional coffee or tea. Having colon cancer was sort of ironic. I realize now, however, that I was totally addicted to food. The thing I should've done and didn't was exercise more. I was still overweight and both knees and lower back gave me fits. And I took a boatload of suppliments. Thanks again, and let's do keep in touch.

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by onetoughbird on Thu Nov 29, 2018 01:20 AM

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On Nov 29, 2018 1:15 AM onetoughbird wrote:

On Nov 17, 2018 3:15 AM anonymous_2018 wrote:

That's brilliant!

Congrats on beating your Ovarian cancer and I'm sure you'll get through this one as well. Was there anything you did to prevent your recurrence, like diet changes, taking supplements or exercising?
I've read so many inspiring survivor stries on beating advanced cancer that it seems like it's more of a norm now. 

Love your attitude. Keep on fighting the good fight and please do keep in touch. 

Thank you for the good wishes. As to preventing recurrence,  oddly enough I had been off all white sugar, all white rice, pasta, & bread, and had even been vegetarian for several years. Drank nothing but pH-balanced alkaline water, no sodas, and only the occasional coffee or tea. Having colon cancer was sort of ironic. I realize now, however, that I was totally addicted to food. The thing I should've done and didn't was exercise more. I was still overweight and both knees and lower back gave me fits. And I took a boatload of suppliments. Thanks again, and let's do keep in touch.

I hope your Dad does well. It is possible to survive. Doctors don't know everything. I'll be thinking of y'all.

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by anonymous_2018 on Sun Dec 02, 2018 04:37 PM

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Thanks.

Im pretty confident about this. The success rate for Stage 3C survivors is pretty good. I'll make sure my dad follows yuor advise. We're trying to keep him active and turning his diet around to go vegetarian. It's very ironic that this happened to him because he 's been getting screened for colon cancer for 10 years using the FIT test (stool smaple tests.) In Canada, *apparently* you can't ask for a colonoscopy unless you have a family history, which my dad doesn't. I realize now that we should have headed south and paid for one years ago since FIT tests are highly unreliable. I asked his oncologist about using Metformin to control sugar levels and he saif that there is promise in this. He now takes between 2-5 tablets everyday depending on his sugar levels. It is something you can possibly inquire about. I also inquired about clinical trials that he may be eligible for after his chemo's done and apparently, there are some with high success rates. So chin up, every year that goes by improves your prognosis. 

My best of luck to you,

P.S. Did you take vitamin D supplements or aspirins as well while on chemo?  

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by KarenD1 on Thu Dec 13, 2018 04:49 PM

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On Nov 15, 2018 12:52 AM anonymous_2018 wrote:

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer on August 3rd and had surgery done a month later to remove a 12 inch piece of his sigmoid. We felt pretty confident at the time that we caught it early since his CEA level was 4.0 before surgery and didnt exhibit any symptoms. Plus, he had been getting screened every 2 years using the FIT stool sample test for th past 10 years and they all came out negative except in 2018. THe biopsy results showed that the cancer had spread to most of his lymphs and was diagnosed as 3C. He started chemo in October (FOLFOX) and will be getting 12 rounds. My oncologist sounds very pessimistic and he had us all in tears. I haven't been able to sleep or eat roperly since and Iv'e been looking up anything we can do for him at home to reduce his chances of recurrence. I hate the fact that we're just at the mercy of chemo and I need reassurance that he can fight this. IF anyone has any advice or has beaten cancer then I would welcome any comments.

Thank you

I was diagnosed with CC Stage 3B and in lymphs.  During first round of chemo, I was violently ill.  Turns out I had DPD deficiency.  It occurs in a very small percentage of people, but is usually fatal with FOLFOX treatment.  EVERYONE should get tested before any FOLFOX treatment is done, but docs don't talk about it or test for it because of the small percentage affected.  Long story, but after a long delay and second opinion, dosing was reduced to continue treatment.  I will be celebrating 5 years cancer free in July 2019. 

Unfortunately, the family suffers along with the patient, and I imagine you feel helpless.  Continue to be positive and supportive.  Many people survive at this stage. 

Wishing you and your dad the best.

Karen

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by anonymous_2018 on Tue Dec 18, 2018 07:07 PM

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Hi Karen,

Welcome to the thread. 

Many congrats on your 5th year cancer-free aniversary! It is so heart-warming to hear stories like yours'. I had no idea of this DPD defiency thing and am quite surprised that our oncologist nor our surgeon bought it up during the pre-treatment consultation. I understand it only affects a small percentage, but I would imagine that when you're dealing with cancer, every subtle thing needs to be taken into account. My dad has been getting screened for CC for 10 years using the FIT test which under his phycisian, was just as effective as getting a colonoscopy done. All his results were negative up until this year and when the cancer was confirmed, we asked his specialist about the efficacy of these tests and we were then told that it's not a reliable substitute for a colonoscopy at all. It has a tendency to detect cancers late and very rarely has it detected pateients within their 1st or 2nd stage. Putting too much faith in doctors can be harmful to one's health.
Thank you for the advice and i'll be sure to bring it up with his oncologist. I wanted to know if you did anything after your treatment was over that may have helped in preventing recurrence, like taking vitamins, following a particular diet, additional treatments?

Thanks again and god bless! 

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by KarenD1 on Tue Dec 18, 2018 08:05 PM

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Hello again,

I tend to be a type "A" person, and I research the heck out of things.  Too much of that can be dangerous too, because there is just so much information out there, it can get very scary.  No doubt your doctor will downplay the DPD thing, but if you do some research on people who have had it, they suffer horrible deaths.  It is just so darn unfortunate.  I was one of the lucky ones, and if my husband didn't literally drag me out of bed and to the hospital that day, there is no telling if I would still be here. If your dad has already had treatments with 5FU/Folfox, then he is most likely ok.

To answer your question regarding after treatment regimen...

I had been exercising quite a bit before being diagnosed (karate).  I got right back into exercise as soon as I could after treatments were completed, although the after effects of chemo had forced some limitations on me.  I am not a very religious person, however, I express gratitude every day for what I have been blessed with in life, including the opportunity to live another day.

After the fact, I read a lot about avoiding sugar.  Cancer or not, I'm certain that is a good idea.  I tried to eat healthy when I could during treatment, but honestly, if I felt like eating a whole tray of cherry turnovers, I did it, only because if I were going to die the next day, at least I took the opportunity to indulge myself.  Also, there were times when I couldn't eat anyting at all for extended periods of time, and the steroids caused awful binges. So, if I was able to eat, I did.  Had I understood the role of sugar and cancer a bit more, I may have tried to be more careful.  I have no doubt that a healthier diet would help almost anyone.   But I did not do any special vitamins, etc.  Different vitamins can interfere with medications, so before adding any new ones, please consult with the doctor.

The illness is very personal.  Everyone deals with it in their own way, and no single person's "way" is right or wrong.  I often feel that the caretakers suffer almost as much as the ill do.  The pain in my husband's face while he tried to be strong for me was difficult to bare. All I can really offer is to be supportive, and to try to do some research to understand your options.  Ask for copies of blood tests (all tests actually) and follow his numbers.  Ask questions.  If you have a good doctor, they will not mind answering any questions you have.  By doing research, I had a very active role in my treatments, even suggested alternative dosing, etc.  The standard treatment isn't always the best for every person.  Not everyone has the time to do a lot of research, but just being aware of blood test results and what the numbers mean can be very helpful.

My heart goes out to you.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out.

Wishing you the best,

Karen

RE: Any stage 3C colon cancer survivors out there?

by Sandridge on Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:18 PM

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On Nov 15, 2018 12:52 AM anonymous_2018 wrote:

My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer on August 3rd and had surgery done a month later to remove a 12 inch piece of his sigmoid. We felt pretty confident at the time that we caught it early since his CEA level was 4.0 before surgery and didnt exhibit any symptoms. Plus, he had been getting screened every 2 years using the FIT stool sample test for th past 10 years and they all came out negative except in 2018. THe biopsy results showed that the cancer had spread to most of his lymphs and was diagnosed as 3C. He started chemo in October (FOLFOX) and will be getting 12 rounds. My oncologist sounds very pessimistic and he had us all in tears. I haven't been able to sleep or eat roperly since and Iv'e been looking up anything we can do for him at home to reduce his chances of recurrence. I hate the fact that we're just at the mercy of chemo and I need reassurance that he can fight this. IF anyone has any advice or has beaten cancer then I would welcome any comments.

Thank you

Hi, in early summer 2011, at age 55 I was diagnosed with polycythemia vera. A couple monts later, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. I took this seriously, but kept a possitive attitude through it all. I was put on Fu5 chemo and had 20+ rounds of radiation. Operation was Jan.11, 2012. I went thru a few more months of Fu5. I am approaching 7 years of being cancer free. I was very lucky as the PV will blindside cancer with no signs of anemia or fatigue. Encourage your dad to keep a possitive attitude and never give up. I beat it! I hope all is well and you may have a very Merry Christms!  Dave

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