Help, Advise Please

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My father was diagnosed with rectal cancer , he was going to have it surgically removed but the scan done the week before showed it has spread to the liver. 
It went to the liver team who said it was borderline operable, difficult but doable. 

The oncologist was quite positive in telling us the next step was chemotherapy to shrink the tumours, then liver resection. 
The oncologist has since sent a follow up letter , saying he has discussed everything with us and we agree to the chemottherapy.

He then goes on to say that he doesnt think that chemo will shrink the tumours enough in the liver ,but hes aiming to shrink the rectal tumour anyway. 
can anyone shed any light on this or offer advice because i am terrified. 
In person he was very positive but the letter is exactly the opposite. 
Any advice would ve appreciated, thankyou

  • Hi  

    We have been through this a few times with mum. Our experience is they are generally cautious until they see the effect chemo has had on the tumours . However it sounds as though your dad is not far off being operable from what you say . My mum was not . She had significant disease and surgery was not talked about . However six cycles of chemotherapy turned that around , not once but twice .

    Her liver has been clear since 2010 . The other benefit of going straight to chemo , it not only gives the opportunity to try and achieve better surgical margins , given it’s systemic it can tackle all the other stray cells that may be about . I attribute chemo to being a major player in my mum’s longevity.

    It is roughly what I would anticipate them to be saying at this stage . It’s rough going through this part , sweating it out , sounds about right . But they most definitely will review after the next lot of scans .

    The problem is we hang on every word . Sometimes even reading something we already know can impact us in different ways . I remember my mum made it to surgery and during one follow up visit they mentioned they would keep a close eye on her lungs and I nearly fell off my seat . I knew they did but hearing it hit home in a way I did not expect .

    It is perfectly normal to have waves of anxiety over aspects of the treatment plan . We are here to help you over those bumps and regroup . Your dad has the best plan in place and here’s to significant shrinkage , smooth cycles and positive outcomes .

    You take care of yourself too . But it’s not easy is it !

    Court 

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  • Thankyou for your reply Court. Ive read your Mums story, she is incredible. 
    Your words have calmed me down and today is a new day. 
    i have tried to remain positive, but the letter set me back a bit. 
    Hes just started Chemo and all going smoothly so far so fingers crossed it stays that way x

  • That’s great to hear . The chemo will be getting to work right away .

    The liver surgeon told me the liver is different from the bowel . They don’t need as wide a surgical margin in the liver .  
    A little shrinkage would be even better .

    It used to take me a few days after each visit to find my feet then it was full steam ahead.  

    Court 

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    Helpline Number 0808 808 0000

  • reading this has calmed my nerves , husband had a rectal tumor diagnosed 2019 , following radio and chemo and papillon we were in remission for 2 years ,  scans were clear in November but just got word on Saturday CT showed a liver tumor , meeting today re plan . Scary times but some hope now. 

  • Sorry to hear about your husband . Its so scary isnt it. Devastating even. Ive found some comfort reading some of these posts. Are they going to refer him to oncology? X

  • Yes the oncologist is arranging a PET scan  seeing him today so hopefully will lay the plan out and get chemo started . We were given a clear in Jan so quite the shock that the secondary has appeared. Forward we go.

  • My Dad had two hospitals arguing which one were going to do the operation and inbetween all this a scan before his op revealed it had spread. So chemo , then op. X

  • Hi  

    Oh so sorry to hear it has surfaced again .

    Sounds as though he was a good responder first time round and hopefully will do the same again .

    All the best with the appointment and give yourself a few days after it to pick back up again but then best foot forward with a good treatment plan .

    Always here to chat ,

    Court 

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    Helpline Number 0808 808 0000

  • Good plan  

    Wishing him the very best ,

    Court 

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    Helpline Number 0808 808 0000

  • Thankyou Court,you dont know how much your posts are helping me right now! And Fifra, hope everything goes well with your husband x