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When I went into my first meeting with the oncologist, I had been well prepared as the consultant that had spoken to me about my CT scan was clear about what had been discovered and that this would be confirmed by a biopsy, and although I hadn't been told the results of the biopsy, an appointment with an oncologist was a bit of a giveaway, so hearing the words 'You have colorectal cancer with secondary liver cancer' was simply confirmation of what I had been told to expect - not great. What came next did however set me back a bit: 'It's not curable but it is treatable.' and after a very short pause those words were repeated, I suppose that he waned to be sure that I didn't have unrealistic expectations. Very soon after this appointment the chemo started. I'm now on the first cycle of my third round of chemo and before each round starts I am always apprehensive.
I've accepted that it's not curable, and although occasionally I see reports of colon cancer being curable these reports are invariably followed by the words 'If treated early enough', the cancer was at stage 4 when it was discovered it's hardly likely to be treated early enough. However, having no or very low expectation of being cured doesn't mean that my life is hopeless and in spite of my apprehension before each round of chemo I know that it is working, my origin colon tumour is now of no concern, and the liver tumours shrink during each round of chemo, so on balance I prefer to have the chemo, and I'm more concerned when I'm having a necessary break to let my body recover because the thought that the cancer is there and nothing is being done about it is less than reassuring.
I'm receiving excellent care, what I have to do is maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and keep taking the tablets - not too onerous. As I said to my previous oncologist 'I have a good life.'
It can be hard sometimes seeing the reports of people being cured of cancer, for my wife that might perhaps have been the case if they had found it much earlier but things were complicated because she had something else - pyometra - a sepsis event came very close to ending her life.
Still six years on her cancer is "stable" and that is our new gold. It took a while and a quite a bit of help but we got to the happy state of living with cancer and having like you say a 'good life'. Treatment is often an issue for everyone and waiting for the result of the latest scan often gets referred to as scanxiety on here.
Janice only get called back to the oncology team every 9 months now and often they seem surprised at how well she is feeling.
You sound so positive and that is a really good thing, I was always pleasantly surprised how positive people were in our chemotherapy suite.
Keep safe, stay strong
I see my friend Steve src60 has given you a great reply and I thought I would chip in with a little of experience.
I have to say that I did find your post challenging but positive at the same time.
I was diagnosed in 1999 with a rare type of skin blood cancer that was also classified as incurable but treatable, as it was a skin Lymphoma it was always there and I never did have any remission form the challenges of living with what was like the worlds worst Psoriasis and I often had a 70% body coverage with open tumours.
Fast forward to Sep 2916 following an intense few years of treatment I heard the word ‘remission’ and for the past 4 1/2 years my skin has been perfect, as though I was cured....... but I know that this is not the case and indeed this virus could bring it all ‘alive’ again.
Living life to the full as best as I can, enjoying seeing the sun rise after a night sleep that fir years I never had due to pain. I am not cured, I will never be cured but I have a life to live..... a good life.
Mike - Thehighlander
It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela
There is a certain Grace running through these posts, one of Endurance and not being defined nor controlled by cancer and our fears, even though they exist in varying forms. The determination through this Endurance to transition to a "better place"' even different and better, is both profoundly encouraging and inspiring from your lived experiences and proves to me that it is by working on the challenges to overcome or adapt that brings about this transformation. Step by step I continue to work on this and your posts prove to me that reaching a different and "better place" where I can live with my diagnosis and the challenges cancer brings are achievable and eminently possible - The Reason I keep going.
With very best whishes
I have just read your post and wanted to wish you luck. It might be worth joining the Bowel Cancer group. There’s a wonderful person called court whose mum is an inspiration having being diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer.
Treatable is the word and there are many really positive stories of people who have had treatment for advanced cancer
Oh thank you Jacquiw10 . My mum has been on and off treatment for stage 4 bowel cancer for coming up 11 years . She never would allow a prognosis to be discussed with her but was happy for them to treat her and she would do her best to live a good life despite a difficult diagnosis. Taking the motto that today matters as much as tomorrow she always encourages us to “ put our best foot forward “
She is unsure what to make of the current situation as despite having it hammered home to her that she would never be cured she never received a shielding letter and feels she may have escaped from the system after 11 years . You are more than welcome to join us at any time in the Bowel forum if you have not made your way there . All the best with your treatment .
take care ,
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