junderhill wrote:My wife (32 yrs old) was just diagnosed with colon cancer (details in sig). We were initially being herded towards surgery upon diagnosis but once they reviewed the CT, they changed course to chemo. The seem pretty concerned about the # of mets in the liver and took surgery off the table, indicating maybe it would be worth exploring later dependent upon how her cancer responds to chemo. She's slated to start chemo (FOLFOX) next Tuesday - 4 rounds, 2 weeks/rd. Any insight into similar experiences would be greatly appreciated, especially relating to effects of chemo, nutritional recommendations & ideas for how i can best care for my wife during this time. Thank you!
kandj wrote:We were in your shoes in Aug of 2015. My husband was diagnosed @ 36. No family history, no symptoms until 2 days before diagnosis (he had side pain, thought it was a pulled muscle). Low and behold, a mass in his colon and at the time, 9 mets throughout his liver. He started chemo, we consulted a liver surgeon at MD Anderson, and were told that surgery was not an option and unlikely to become one with just chemo due to the amount of mets and locations (scattered throughout the liver). We decided too seek a second opinion with Dr. Nancy Kemeny at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC, and I thank our lucky stars we did. He got the HAI pump to put chemo directly into his liver, shrinking the mets to the point he could have surgery. His initial tumor response with systemic chemo was 20% response rate (based on the colon mass they took out during the HAI pump surgery). Thanks to the HAI pump, his response rate increased to 75-85% when they took the liver mets out this past May. He had over 15 mets removed or ablated and that was made solely possible due to the HAI pump and the doctors at MSKCC. If surgery is not possible for your wife, and they are suggesting just systemic to shrink things, consider going to MSKCC for a second opinion. The earlier they start the process, the better the chances of her having a chance to beat this.
Congratulations on the birth of your boys! I am so sorry that a time that should be so joyous in your lives be impacted by the worry of a Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis. I was in your wife's shoes 8 years ago when our last child was born. She was delivered via c-section and through the surgery my OB/GYN discovered swollen lymph nodes beneath the uterus. This discovery led to the determination that I had Stage IV colon cancer with 5 mets spread to the liver (both sides). A year of chemo and surgery (colon resection, liver resection, HAI pump implantation) followed. As of this month I will be in remission for 8 years. My daughter just turned 8 in November and is in 2nd grade.
I reiterate what was said above. Dr. Nancy Kemeny is the pre-eminent colon cancer/liver mets oncologist. It would serve you well to initiate a second opinion from her. Likely she would concur with beginning a regimen of chemotherapy and then liver resectability to be determined after 4 treatments. Perhaps the HAI pump would be a great treatment for your wife. When I first started under her care she said that our plan was to do the 4 chemo treatments and then evaluate the efficacy of the FOLFOX. If the chemo was working we would continue but if it wasn't working she would schedule an HAI pump surgery to allow for the direct infusion of chemo to the liver. As it turns out the FOLFOX worked quite well for my mets (over 40% reduction) and she scheduled me for immediate liver resection. The mets were 95% and 99% necrotic. I had the HAI pump put in to hopefully avoid recurrence in the liver.
My advice other than seeing Dr. Kemeny would be this. Go for the gusto in terms of treatment. Unfortunately I have seen many come here who start on a less aggressive treatment path which eventually doesn't work and then they seek more aggressive treatments which may no longer be an option as disease progresses. Go for as much as your wife can handle. I asked my doctor to throw the kitchen sink at my disease.
I know it will be hard to find care and figure logistics for your children but I recall something Dr. K said to me. I was in her office getting my first scan results and she told me I would be in surgery 9 days from then and I would be away from my home for 8-9 days. I hemmed and hawed a bit as I thought of all the arrangements I would need to make in order to have my household run while I was away. Finding care for 3 young children can be difficult. She then asked me what was more important than saving my life.
Please PM me if I can be of any assistance. I would be more than happy to get on the phone with you and your wife.
Lily em wrote:This sounds very similar to my wife's situation. She was diagnosed in April of 2016 (age 36) with rectal cancer that spread to her liver and a small amount to her lungs. Way too many liver mets to operate. The two biggest liver mets were 10 cm and 7 cm. She immediately got her port placed and began Folfox with Avastin. She finished 12 rounds this past October and got scans after every 4 rounds. Each scan showed shrinkage. On November 11th she had a rectal resection during which they removed her ovaries, appendix and lymph nodes. She recovered from that surgery in about 6 weeks. At that point they did another scan of the liver and found that most of the remaining tumors were in the right lobe with only 1 small one in the left lobe. All tumors appeared to be mostly calcified. They ran her CEA markers and they remained stable since her chemo stopped last October, around 30. We found an excellent liver surgeon that did a right lobectomy on 01/05/2017. They removed most of the right lobe of her liver and did a small wedge removal of the spot on the left lobe. Recovery has been slower with 2 back to back major surgeries. We spent 11 days in the hospital. She just had blood work done last week and liver functions ALT, AST ect. are all perfect. Her CEA Tumor markers are now 2.6!! (Anything below 3.8 indicates no active cancer) She gets another PET/CT scan in early March 2017 to verify what the tumor makers are indicating. At that point they will determine the next course of action. Its has been a long hard 10 months but for us there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.