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Do you have a question about cancer? Our Digital Nurse Ellen or one of our specialist nurses will aim to respond within 2 working days.

Bowel cancer

Jane1980
Posted by

My partner is having radiation and chemo for bowel cancer stage 2 I'm really worried that treatment isnt working as they had to remove a lump today and there's no progress in treatment 

Jane1980
Posted by

The radiation and chemo hasn't removed any of the cancer cells it's just the same 

cancerchancer
Posted by

Is this to try and shrink the tumour before surgery or is it not surgically possible to operate on the tumour?

My chemotherapy didn't shrink my liver tumour, it carried on growing throughout chemo (although a bit slower than without chemo)

Stage 4 survivor - You win some you lose some. Currently Winning.
Jane1980
Posted by

No it's to try remove without surgery but he only had five treatments his oncologist said it's not uncommon for it to take a while to work but if after more than 10 then they will look at surgery it spread then went a little now they removed another lump so not sure what's happening 

cancerchancer
Posted by

ok, I can only go off my experience (and I'm not qualified medical in any way and every cancer scenario event is different) but I had 3 months of chemo to try and shrink/stop the secondary tumour on the liver getting bigger and it didn't work. They knew this at the time and they carried on with chemo but you just go with the plan they have in place.

It is a very scary time, but they are medical professionals and a treatment plan is in place for him. The only thing that I can say is that whilst the cancer diagnosis is bad, his life is not at this moment compromised as the medical team are on it (despite it looking/feeling like a bad situation).

Stay positive that his situation can be treated, stay positive that he is stage 2 diagnosis and the stats are in his favour.

It is a journey that is physically and mentally challenging for both of you but stay positive. 

Where are they removing the lumps from?

Stage 4 survivor - You win some you lose some. Currently Winning.
Jess-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi cancerchance and Jane1980,

It's great to see you both supporting one another. Please be mindful when posting as our Ask a nurse is for our nurses to respond to a question and we ask all members to refrain from responding to a question. Once the nurses have responded you can continue the conversation or start a discussion in one of our groups.

Kindest regards,

Jess
Macmillan Online Community Team

Jane1980
Posted by

They removing the lumps from his bowel I'm just so tired I suffer with fibromyalgia and In so much pain myself constantly tired and trying to support my partner through this hard time 

cancerchancer
Posted by

ok, didn't realise!

Stage 4 survivor - You win some you lose some. Currently Winning.
cancerchancer
Posted by

Ok, I'm sorry to hear of your condition as well. I have to stop answering questions as the Nurse will answer some of them. 

I wish you all the best and remember that there is a plan in place and that the stats are on his side. 

Stage 4 survivor - You win some you lose some. Currently Winning.
Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Jane1980,

Thanks for getting in touch with us.

It’s natural to worry about treatment not working when the doctors have removed a lump. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel like this. It’s because you love and care for your partner so much that makes you feel this way.

It’s still too early for the doctors to decide if the treatment has worked yet as radiation and chemotherapy continue to work after treatments have finished. The doctors are being cautious by removing the lump.

Doctors know waiting for tests can cause anxiety, so I’m sure they are doing their best to get his results as soon as possible. You would expect that once they have the test results they will be able to give you a clearer indication of what’s happening.

Caring and supporting someone with cancer can be rewarding, but it can also be very difficult at times too. So, given your own medical history and how that makes you feel it’s important that you find the time to look after yourself (I know it’s easier said than done when you’re trying your best to support someone else) It can be worthwhile making an appointment to see your own GP about how this is making you feel.

You can give our Support Line a call on 0808-808-0000 and talk to one of our nurses about what is happening. We are open every day from 8am till 8pm. If you felt up to it, you and your partner can look at our search engine to see what other support is available in your area.

I see from your activity that you’ve already joined our supportive bowel cancer group. That’s good to see as there is nothing quite like the support that you can get from others. There will be lots of people who know what it’s like to be in your position and willing to talk to you about how this is affecting you.

I have read that  has already been talking to you and offering you encouragement. That’s great to see as there really is nothing quite like the support that you can get from others who know what it’s like.

Best wishes and take care.

Please don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us and let us know how he gets on.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.

 

Jane1980
Posted by

We had some not so great news the cancer spread to the lungs so it is now stage 3 the oncologist has said it still treatable and curable but we no idea 

Carole F - Macmillan

Hi Jane 1980

Thanks for getting back in touch. I’m sorry to hear that your partner’s cancer has spread to the lungs. When this happens, it’s usually classed as a stage 4, but it’s good to hear that the oncologist has said this is treatable and curable.

Bowel Cancer UK have this information about treating bowel cancer that has spread to the lungs. We would recommend discussing treatment options with your partner’s specialist team. And if you think it would help to talk to one of the nurses on the support line, please give us a call.

I hope you’ve had a chance to look at some of the links Ellen included in her reply, as it’s important to look after yourself too. And as Ellen said, our online bowel cancer group can be a good source of support and information.

I hope this helps, and please don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you have any further questions.

Best wishes

Carole (Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist)

Jane1980
Posted by

The thing is I've read so much on Google that says its not curable and only treatable they basically say hes dying I just don't know what to do 

cancerchancer
Posted by

Hi Jane1980, it's difficult not read information online, I'm guilty as everyone else! But it is worth remembering that your partner is a statistic of 1 and if it has been suggested that he can be treated and possibly cured then focus on that rather than looking at the what ifs.

I know it's hard to do but try and not read about the outcomes and if focus on the reading things that may help the situation like what diet can help improve his wellbeing etc.

Technically with my cancer being stage 4 I was "dying" but am still here nearly 2 years later. You have to put your trust in the medical teams plan and focus on the positive that he can be treated. 

Here are some stories from people who are still going years later csn.cancer.org/.../288812

Stage 4 survivor - You win some you lose some. Currently Winning.
Donna - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Jane1980,

Thanks for getting back in touch.

I can see from your previous posts this has been a worrying time for you. I hope you’ve been able to look at the support my colleagues Ellen and Carole suggested. It’s nice to see you’re also getting some support from other users of our Online Community.

From what you’ve said, I’m not clear on what your partner’s situation is. As Carole said in her reply to you, when cancer spreads to the lungs this would be classed as a stage 4. This seems to conflict with what you say the Oncologist has told you, that it’s a stage 3 but treatable and curable. You might wish to read this information which explains a bit more about the different stages.

You’ve mentioned reading on ‘Google’ and I’m not sure if this could be muddying the waters for you but I’d strongly suggest with your partner’s permission, having a chat with his Oncologist or Specialist Nurse. They should be able to explain clearly the stage of your partner’s cancer and aim of his treatment. Please don’t worry about asking them to do this again, as they’ll understand there’s been a lot of information for you to take in.

In addition to this, it’d be a good idea to make an appointment with your own G.P. to discuss how you’ve been feeling. They could review your symptoms and perhaps offer you some extra support.

I also wonder if it’d help you to have a chat with us on our support line. We’d be happy to hear from you.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes,

Donna

Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse Specialist