Advanced stage 4 bowel cancer spread to liver

Received the news yesterday that I have advanced stage 4 bowel cancer and I’m freaking out,  my whole body is in shock, I feel sick, tingly and really struggling.  I’m 48.  They are shocked at how aggressive it is and I’m all over the place.  Can anyone help me?

  • Sorry to hear this . I will tag in  whose mum has survived 12 years from. a stage 4 diagnosis. Sending hugs xx

    Onwards and flatwards (don't do hills) and keep walking if you can!

  • Thank you for the tag…I’m really struggling as I can’t tell my kids at the moment.  My son is still at university and about to sit exams…luckily my husband is here and I have my daughter but have to tell the kids together.  I’m so scared.  

  • Oh sorry to hear that  . A difficult time for your family for sure . Bowel cancer that has spread can still have a lot of different treatment options despite a stage 4 diagnosis. They aim to gain stability over the disease and hopefully some shrinkage. This can open up other options as time goes on . If you click on my user name you can read how my mum’s team have navigated her spread and this was before a lot of the newer treatments were available.

    It had initially spread to her liver then into her lung . I will link in a good leaflet that gives some insight into the treatment approaches open to your team .

    Only recently someone else highlighted a new approach for treating a liver spread and another one from a team in south Hampton looking at directly administering chemo to the liver .

    Whilst it is frightening and uncertain it still should have treatment . Going straight to chemo allows them to work not only on the visible disease on the scan but also the invisible.

    My mum went from inoperable to operable twice with chemo so hang on in there . You will also find people on the boards on their fifth and six year of treatment with chemo . Not all people get that but there is a subgroup that do and therein lies the hope . It does take time for the oncologist to get a feel how you respond as an individual. That’s not easy , but they are always rescanning and reassessing to see if other options are available. You also might like to read  story to treating a spread to her liver .

    Back in June 2010 my mum had 73% of her liver surgically removed . It took two full years to get to that point but her liver remains clear . I have been down today and cut her grass , followed her directions for planting and let her make me my lunch !

    It is a difficult process at times but you are not alone .

    We are here to support you . My mum found it easier to consider it a chronic condition that was treatable but not curable . But even then she managed to get discharged last year .

    One step at a time through this process but once you know your treatment plan we can link in threads that might help you .

    Take care ,


    1. PS sorry it’s turned into a novel but a hard topic to condense . 

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  • So sorry to hear this I was diagnosed 3 months ago with stage 4 bowel cancer which has spread to my liver ,lymph nodes and overies like you I was in shock but I’ve calmed down and I’m having chemo with the hope it shrinks it so they can operate ,stay strong get everything they can do for you ,your not alone think positive xx

  • Hi ,

    Sorry to hear of your diagnosis,  you have come to the right place, we're an understanding lot with heaps of experience between us so ask any questions at all.

    This is the most difficult time, it will take a while for it to sink in but I promise you will feel so much better when you have a treatment plan and can crack on with the chemo.

    It will be hard to tell the kids but sounds like your husband is supportive and you can do it together and you will have their support.

    I am 47 and was diagnosed Nov 20, I've since had loads of chemo, liver surgery, radiotherapy and am now waiting to hear if I can have bowel surgery.  

    Try to get through it one day at a time, and please don't Google, it's so out of date.

    Take care, 

    Michelle x

  • Thank you Michelle it helps to know your not the only one going through this x

  • Wow, amazing!  They think I may have 2 lots of primary cancer both spread to the liver, so think a liver biopsy is on the cards…I’m all over the place, keep sleeping as it makes me forget what’s going on.  Every time I think of telling the kids my tummy gets upset and I feel sick.  I will keep reading your reply for much needed inspiration.  Thank you Heart

  • So the same that they want to control the spread first before surgery?  How do you cope with the poor bowels?  I have no pain anywhere else?  What chemo are you on?  How are you feeling?  Sorry for Hearto many questions - really appreciate your time Heart

  • Thank you so much for sharing…what chemo are you currently on?  How are you doing on it? Sending huge hugs to you Heart

  • Yep, there's lots of company here. There's also a Facebook group which is great for us stage fourers if you haven't already joined, Living with stage 4 bowel cancer.

    Hope you are finding the treatment OK, it's good to get off the starting block.xx