Bowel (colon and rectum) cancer

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dad 59 and diagnosed with what feels like it all :-( !!

No. of entries: 11 | Posted on 5 Oct 2011 11:05 AM

dad 59 and diagnosed with what feels like it all :-( !!

  • Hi

    I am sorry to bother anybody I am just very shocked and confused and need to speak to someone that might be able to give me some advice!!

    My dad has always been a very healthy active man and in March 2011 he took part in the bowel screening which obviously has came back with the shattering news that he has cancer not only that but it has spread to his liver lung and pancreas !! Because it is now in his Pancreas they cannot operate and they have put him on a combiantion of IV chemo and 3weeks of chemo pills this was supposed to be his 4th cycle, however he has taken a reaction to the chemo and his feet r over run with blisters and he has been finding it hard to walk !! so they have put his chemo off until they clear which also means his 1st scan has been held back as well.

    He seems to have become very withdrawn which i would imagine is normal but he is extremely tired and has pain in his shoulder snd chest which they said in his shoulder could be arthiritis due to the chemo and the pains in his chest is the tumours in his liver rubbing against his diaprghm ?

    I am just so scared and dont know what to do to even help him he keeps saying he is fine and just trying to reassure us but I just wish he would open up and let us know how he is feeling! I know they say the chemo may shrink it or keep it the way it is but what if it doesnt I am so scared I am going to lose him he is the best man you could ever have the fortune to meet !!!

    Sorry for going on if anybody has any advice or any experiences of this it would be good to hear from you

     Thanks xxxx

    Janice xxxx

  • Hi Janice

    It must have been a terrible shock for you, and of course your dad, to find out how far the cancer has spread. I can't comment on his treatment, but only on how you might be able to find ways to help him emotionally and practically. I'm 49 and was diagnosed with cancer following an operation last January. I too was on a combination of chemo drip (Oxyliplatin) and pills (capecitebine) which may be the same as your dad, since I have also experienced sore feet with blisters etc. At the moment I'm recovering from the effects of the chemo. I'm waiting for a referral to Basingstoke which specialises in treating abdominal cancers to see whether they can help me.

    I imagine that he is withdrawing emotionally because he is trying to come to terms with everything that is going on. He's probably feeling ill, scared and worried about the future. He will be telling you he is ok, because as a parent he doesn't want to worry you. It might be best for you to just treat him normally, but let him know that you're happy to talk about things when he is ready. Does he have a Macmillan nurse to talk to? I find that they are very helpful about explaining and clarifying things and can be very supportive. Does he have other friends he can talk to? Sometimes talking to friends can help a lot. My friends have been a tremendous support to me - and also my three children - who keep me going!

    Try and find out as much as you can about his condition, and if you feel that more can be done, then ask for a second opinion. Basingstoke and Christies in Manchester have specialists who may be able to help you.

    This is a frightening time and you need to find support for yourself too. Your dad is very lucky to have such a caring daughter. 

    Take care


  • Thank you for your reply Poppy !! I have been trying to treat him as normal as possible as i myself also have 3 kids that i do not want to be affcted by this i just find it really hard he just doesnt seem like my dad anymore !!!

    My mum has taken it really bad and is panicking at the slightest thing so he cant really talk to her and as u say he wont want to worry his kids other than that he doesnt really have anybody else he was always so involved with his work up until the chemo started and due to having bloody silly male pride he wont ask for advice from the nurses he said they r too explicit and he doesnt need to hear what going to happen. I just feel so bad for him he has never been ill in his life up until now i feeel like he is 1 of my kids i just want pick him up and never let him go !! sorry I am goin on a bit but its the 1st I have openly spoken about it :-(

    As i said because the scan has been put off until his feet clear he is on a knife edge i think because he said he can now feel the treatment( he says he feels like his insides r moving )he is expecting the worst as i have never had chemo i cant comment to him whether this is normal or not ? xx

  • Hi Jan,

    I felt exactly the same as you. My mum was picked up through the bowel screen. She was the picture of health and mentally I found it very hard to accept that she had a life altering illness. Infact she would never say she had cancer but would tell people she was having a "little treatment". The chemo did make her quite ill but two weeks after it stop it was as though she re-emerged.

    The first scan is very hard. Chemo works really well for some people and there are various combinations to use. Each year my mum has had chemo she has had a break for various reasons and it really helped recharge her batteries.

    Keep hanging on . Sometimes  chemo can do powerful things.

    Love Court




  • hi Court

    Thanks for replying !! Its not nice anybody having the illness but it is good to know there are people out there experiencing the same thing and that can help u out when ur feeling down. I have been so strong since he was diagnosed but this week has been quite bad he took the reaction that made his feet blister and ended up in a&e and then on saturday he ended up in a&e again with chest pains which they said were the tumours in his liver causing it and now he is really tired and feels sick !!

    I know they said that it might shrink, stay the same or get bigger but its just hard to think of it getting any better when he feels so bad and if it does shrink or stay the same will he always feel so bad and so low?! xx

    Janice xxxx

  • Hi again Jan,

    Court is right - you can recover fairly quickly once the chemo treatment stops and your dad might feel the benefit of this short break in treatment. I don't have the same type of symptoms as your dad, but I know that the tablets upset my stomach and did make me feel pretty poorly. It is quite a gruelling treatment, with drip on one day and then pills for two weeks.

    I understand what you say about your dad's reaction - my dad had prostate cancer, and refused to really talk about it. Your dad needs to deal with his condition in his own way - and if he doesn't want to talk about it, then so be it. Just let him know that the help is out there. Also, if you find out more about his condition you can talk to him and that might give him some motivation to find out more. During my chemo I often felt so grotty that I didn't have the energy or willpower to start asking questions - but my partner and my sister did find out more and fed the information back to me.

    Maybe you and your mum could talk together to your dad's Macmillan nurse? They work with families as well as those of us with cancer. I've also phoned up the helpline on this site and they have been really helpful and supportive. If your mum is upset and panicking it might help for her to do this, as it won't help your dad to have her so upset. 

    I'm sorry that I can't reassure you about your dad's health - but the best thing for him is to know that you and your mum are there to support him. Also it may help him to have your children around - I know that my children always lift me out of my low times!

    Take care and keep positive


  • Hi Girls Thanks again for listening i was just having a really bad day sounds funny but just havin u both reply has kinda picked me up a bit :-)

    I think I will give the nurses a wee phone and see what they can do to offer support I think theyr just scared as in a way its them kind of admitting that its all real if they phone for help !!!

    My dad absolutely loves havin my kids about its not so bad with the boys as they can go out and play and give im some space but my wee girl is only 6 months old and he really feels to poorly to pick her up and stuff but sure her wee smiley face is enough to reassure him that we r all here for him !!


    Thanks again Janice xxxxx

  • Hi Jan

    I'm glad that we helped a bit - it is such a horrible time for you and so upsetting and you've done the right thing by coming on-line and sharing your worries.You're right - talking about it all does make it more real - but it also means that you can find the support that you need :-).

    I understand a bit about what you're going through with your dad - when my dad was first diagnosed with prostate cancer it was such a shock for us all - and really hard to come to terms with. He wouldn't talk about things, and he refused to consider surgery - he said at 80 he was too old. The main thing is to try and keep in touch with the hospital and then you'll know what the next stage is for your dad's treatment. Don't let him get lost in the system - you can talk to the hospital staff via your Macmillan nurse if needs be.

    I hope that he feels better soon from his chest pains and his sore feet heal up quickly, so that he can continue with his treatment. he must be so fed up with this delay! 

    You sound like a brilliant daughter and I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this pain - but try and keep positive! I'm going to put in a friend request to you on here so that you can email me privately if you feel you want to, at any time in the future, to talk about how you're coping with helping your dad.

    Take care,

    Poppy x x

  • Hi

    The only advice I could share with you is make every day count. My Dad passed away in August after being diagnosed with bowel cancer that had spread to his liver in April this year, at that time he was given 7-21 days!  There was no treatment option. He had visited a GP in 2009 and prior to that he saw a GP in 1958! It's a huge shock and my Dad was the same he always said "I'm Alright". He was always tired but refused to stay in bed, so he had power naps day and night. Dad was 74 and after he passed away I found opened envelopes and reminders for bowel screening. I wish you all strength and courage in your own troubles x 

  • Ruth

    Iam so sorry for your loss it is so hard to think that that may happen !! i think we r just lucky that my mum is very pushy and made my dad to the test !! He has been given the option of treatment which he has obviously took and they have said that may shrink or keep them the same however on the other hand it may not do anything but they have also said that if this doesnt work they can try other things so am hopeful that soemthing helps its just hard to see him change so much in such a short space of time .

  • Hi Jan,

    Wow your poor dad, and all this from the bowel screen, proves it works but bloody hell what a spread he has.  Sickness is caused from the liver and pain under the ribs, not sure about the chest area, that could his chest glands from his lung spread?  Have they mentioned radiotherapy to the more painful areas?

    Chemo is so powerful and knocks people off their feet, it is strong stuff so I'm not surprised he feels so tired and low, that's bad news about the feet, glad they're keeping an eye on him though, can't afford to get an infection in them.  It's really positive that they're trying lots of treatments on him and well done you for being there and helping him.  Emotionally it's such a rollercoaster, some days I feel relatively happy when i know I shouldn't then others I'm a mess, you have to cope as best you can and go with the way you're feeling each day.  If you want to scream and cry, do so, it will help. If you feel destroyed one day, doesn't mean you'll feel that way the next HUGS

    Hang in there xx