Metastasized colon cancer: At a loss..what is next?

Posted by lah @lah, Sep 24, 2019

My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer over 5 years ago. It will be 6 years on valentine’s day. About a year later it metastasized to both lungs. There are a lot of small modules in both lungs. He had a lung biopsy done and confirmed it is colon cancer. He has taken all of the chemos and immunotherapy for colon cancer.
He has worked pretty much everyday except for surgeries or chemo days. It has taken me a long time but, I get it now. He works to keep busy and keep his mind off it.
He takes care of all his own needs. So I don’t really feel I deserve the title of caregiver. But yet, here I am feeling lonely, depressed, and sad most of the time. The last 2 weeks I went through a really dark time. I might mention that during these 6 years I lost my mom, dad and in February my youngest brother died suddenly of a massive heart attack.
No matter what I say or do it is wrong. He likes a food one week, so I buy it again and suddenly he doesn’t really like it. Nothing I cook is right. Nothing I say is right. Nothing I do is right in his eyes. I act silly with the grandkids and he shakes his head in disapproval.
I realize he is sick, and not feeling well. I try to remember that he is just taking it out on me cause I’m the closest one to him.
All of my family lives in different states. I work full time, take a yoga class once a week and ride my stationary bike at least 45 minutes 4 days a week. Last summer I broke the tibula and fibula off in my right ankle. Had emergency surgery and still not 100%. I’m 62 so maybe it’s as good as it’s going to get.
Wow seems sort of selfish when I re read this. Mostly about me.
I notice in the past several weeks he seems to be breathing harder. He finally admitted he gets out of breath easy and has heart palpitations.
I want to know what to watch for next. I know everyone is different and there is no set answer. But is this something he can overcome? When I ask the dr he said we always hope to cure.
Wow sorry so long.

@susan2018

@lah Your comments just seem real to me. My husband and I are early in the cancer journey, just a month in to a pancreatic cancer diagnosis after life altering surgery. But previous health issues this year have hinted at the coming changes in our lives. All situations are different but there are similarities too. Mainly that life has changed. That the future is unknown but surely includes stress. And you, as do I, have no nearby family and also have other losses in our lives. Before I even knew the diagnosis would be cancer, I requested a referral to a counselor from my physician. I knew I needed a support system. I also asked two women to be my companions on this journey, not close friends or relatives but rather wise women who I felt would be empathetic and emotionally available to me. We don’t live close, but they are available to me online. I don’t communicate with them continuously, just know that I can if need be. I also found a woman through another group who I did not previously know but whose husband is going through similar diagnosis and treatment and we support each other through occasional texts. To be honest I struggle with resentment because some of my husband’s health issues are probably related to health choices he’s made in life but now not only he but I too am suffering the consequences. And I feel that it has often in our lives together fallen to me to be the strong one despite the toll it has taken on me. And then I feel bad and remind myself that no one’s future is guaranteed, my own included. I also wonder if the energy I am expending on his care, physical and mental, will end up hurting my own health. I suspect you understand. Perhaps it can help all caregivers, you and me included, to know that we are not alone.

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How are things going? I have my first counseling session tomorrow. Do you think it helps you?

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@lah

How are things going? I have my first counseling session tomorrow. Do you think it helps you?

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Hi @lah. Well, we haven’t been home, but no snow where we live, But wow! Out West! We’ve been at Mayo Clinic for post op appt for my husband and to meet with oncology. They want to get him set up to start chemo ASAP but they discovered a pocket of fluid in the abdomen on CT so now he’s on two weeks of antibiotics. After that we have another checkup at Mayo. He’ll be having chemo at the hospital at home eventually. Good Luck at your appt. my first one was pretty much just an assessment, lots of questions. Know this, if you don’t click with the first therapist, don’t give up. Try another but give it a little time first before you do.

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@lah

How are things going? I have my first counseling session tomorrow. Do you think it helps you?

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Hello @lah I just wanted to say great news on getting your counseling appointment! I know, over the years and years my wife and I went to counseling, it was an incredible help to her, to me, and to us. It was something that neither of us ever regretted, even for a second.

I wish you all the best with your counselor!

Strength, courage, and peace!

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@susan2018

Hi @lah. Well, we haven’t been home, but no snow where we live, But wow! Out West! We’ve been at Mayo Clinic for post op appt for my husband and to meet with oncology. They want to get him set up to start chemo ASAP but they discovered a pocket of fluid in the abdomen on CT so now he’s on two weeks of antibiotics. After that we have another checkup at Mayo. He’ll be having chemo at the hospital at home eventually. Good Luck at your appt. my first one was pretty much just an assessment, lots of questions. Know this, if you don’t click with the first therapist, don’t give up. Try another but give it a little time first before you do.

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Hope your husband is on the mend soon so he can get started.

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Hi lah, I've read through many of the posts and they have given many good suggestions. Do you ever go out "with friends" or go to a movie to just
"get away from things for a couple of hours. Even coffee after work with someone. Even grabbing a good novel and reading for awhile. Have some "you" time every evening. The food situation is probably due to all the medications he is taking so his liking and then disliking a certain food is probably due to that. I have a suggestion with your leg. My husband broke the main bone in his lower right leg rollerskating 5 years ago in March. One place right above the ankle and then a jagged break about half way up. Plate and screws fixed it. For rehab he used a recombant (sp) bike peddling both forward and backward after he got the approval to put weight on it. He also lightly bounced on a trampoline for 1/2 hour at a time. This was great for his calf muscles as well as a good drainage for his lymphatic system. He had to cut a slit in his work boot (farmer) and sock in order to accomodate for the screws for the first year. Later he just loosened the ties. It healed well and he was able to harvest our crops that fall. As long as you have the bike try peddling backwards. Just a few suggestions. Take care of yourself. Blessings, Kathy

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@kateia

Hi lah, I've read through many of the posts and they have given many good suggestions. Do you ever go out "with friends" or go to a movie to just
"get away from things for a couple of hours. Even coffee after work with someone. Even grabbing a good novel and reading for awhile. Have some "you" time every evening. The food situation is probably due to all the medications he is taking so his liking and then disliking a certain food is probably due to that. I have a suggestion with your leg. My husband broke the main bone in his lower right leg rollerskating 5 years ago in March. One place right above the ankle and then a jagged break about half way up. Plate and screws fixed it. For rehab he used a recombant (sp) bike peddling both forward and backward after he got the approval to put weight on it. He also lightly bounced on a trampoline for 1/2 hour at a time. This was great for his calf muscles as well as a good drainage for his lymphatic system. He had to cut a slit in his work boot (farmer) and sock in order to accomodate for the screws for the first year. Later he just loosened the ties. It healed well and he was able to harvest our crops that fall. As long as you have the bike try peddling backwards. Just a few suggestions. Take care of yourself. Blessings, Kathy

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Thank you so much! I do go out for dinner with a friend on occasion, and it is really nice. I will try peddling backwards – never thought of that. I know it took such a long time for my ankle to look like an ankle again. Glad your husband is doing better.
I understand that his tastes are off because of the chemo. But, geesh he doesn't have to blame me for it. Actually I'm doing better with that.i just say ok then move on to something else. I do remind him his tastes are off because of the chemo.
Thank you for taking the time to give me suggestions. everyone is so nice here! Have blessed day🙃

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@IndianaScott

Hello @lah I just wanted to say great news on getting your counseling appointment! I know, over the years and years my wife and I went to counseling, it was an incredible help to her, to me, and to us. It was something that neither of us ever regretted, even for a second.

I wish you all the best with your counselor!

Strength, courage, and peace!

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Thank you. I actually felt good when i left. Just to have someone listen to me, and not tell me i am wrong was amazing. What a shame I have to pay someone to get that. Looking forward to this week appt.
We go to dr tomorrow to get results of CT scan taken on Thursday.

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@lah

Thank you. I actually felt good when i left. Just to have someone listen to me, and not tell me i am wrong was amazing. What a shame I have to pay someone to get that. Looking forward to this week appt.
We go to dr tomorrow to get results of CT scan taken on Thursday.

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@lah You sound so much ‘lighter’! Therapy with the right person can help so much. I’m so glad you went. Good luck with the doctor visit tomorrow

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@becsbuddy

@lah You sound so much ‘lighter’! Therapy with the right person can help so much. I’m so glad you went. Good luck with the doctor visit tomorrow

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I'm glad i went too.
Thank you!

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@lah

Thank you. I actually felt good when i left. Just to have someone listen to me, and not tell me i am wrong was amazing. What a shame I have to pay someone to get that. Looking forward to this week appt.
We go to dr tomorrow to get results of CT scan taken on Thursday.

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@lah How are you doing? I think you were getting scan results last week.

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@colleenyoung

@lah How are you doing? I think you were getting scan results last week.

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Several of the lesions in his lungs have grown.now he is taking a new immunotherapy. Vectibex or something like that. His face is starting to burn and hurt. Hes lost a lot of interest in food. Can't find anything that tastes good.

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@lah

Several of the lesions in his lungs have grown.now he is taking a new immunotherapy. Vectibex or something like that. His face is starting to burn and hurt. Hes lost a lot of interest in food. Can't find anything that tastes good.

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@lah Try doing Ensure to get needed nutrients into him. Keeping up your body is important. Another thing is to try things like Slimfast type powders, or protein powders, making up milkshake type drinks with ice cream, blended fruit [bananas, strawberries, etc] or flavorings to make it palatable. Also, check with his doctor and local support groups, for any tips they can offer. I hope this helps.
Ginger

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