"I am also going through or trying to deal with survivor's guilt now for I know a few folks with CRC are probably not gonna make it... How do you guys cope with it?"
This is a really tough one. My husband and I have three people in our lives who have cancer: two with stage IV colon cancer and one with stage IV prostate cancer. One of those with CC was told he had no chance of survival but actually was able to get his liver to be resectable. He had his surgery lately and achieved negative margins. At this stage, he is NED - a 180 degree turn in a very short period of time. He is someone my husband can relate to (to a certain extent of course) and who can relate to my husband. Now that he's doing well, my husband feels comfortable sharing his success story with him.
The one with prostate cancer went through a "nothing left we can do, start making arrangements" situation to a new treatment protocol at MSK after which he thought he was NED. However, he's now been avoiding my husband and seems to be very depressed, as if he has received bad news about recurrence. My husband is now tiptoeing around him, not knowing what he should say, if anything at all.
The third is a friend of my aunt's who has been battling CC with metastasis to the liver (same as husband) for close to five years. She has been on the above-described rollercoasters herself a number of times. I actually just got a text today from my aunt that she has been in the hospital the past two days and not doing well. Yesterday, the doctors gave chemo directly into the tumor on her liver (not sure of the exact procedure) and she had a bad reaction which kept her in the hospital overnight. Earlier today, they did some radiofrequency ablation into the tumor. Her blood pressure has been skyrocketing. I spoke with my aunt right after I read these recent posts in this thread, before writing this. My aunt conveyed that her friend expressed her happiness for my husband's NED-ville. It was extremely awkward responding.
I just realized I am not providing any advice or tips. I'm sorry I don't have any. I wish I did!
Wife 4/17 Dx age 45
5/17 - Lap left hemi
5 x 4 x 1 cm
T3 N2b M1a
Stage IV A
lymph nodes: 9 of 54
8/17 Sub-total colectomy
2nd tumor 5.5 cm T1 N0
CEA: 1.4, 2.1, 1.5, 1.9, 1.9, 2.1, 2.1, 2.4, 1.7, 2.0
Lynch no; KRAS wild
Immunohistochemsistry: Normal MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2
Tumor DNA variants: MTOR, APC, TP53
Liver left hepatectomy seg 4 1/31/18