Supporting a Family Member: My very... - Colon Cancer Conn...

Colon Cancer Connected

8,591 members990 posts

Supporting a Family Member

mgreen58 profile image

My very close cousin of 58 years has just been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer with metastases to the liver and lungs. A mass in her colon was discovered during a routine screening and from there things went fast forward for her in the diagnosing process. She is scheduled to have a PET scan this coming Monday, placement of a chest port on Tuesday and the first round of chemo on Wednesday. I am scared for her but have managed to suppressed any negative thoughts. She is feeling well right now and in good spirits and we, all her extended family want to keep her that way. I write because I want to know the best way to support her and her immediate family. What to expect during her course of treatment, I am medically knowledgeable so I need to reign in all of my assumptions on her prognosis and just be there for her spiritually and emotionally. Perhaps I can introduce her to this site and this community. I don't want to cause any alarm for her, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

9 Replies

The important thing is to keep positive and just take one day and one step at a time. Even though the prognosis does not look good, so much advancement has been made in treating cancer that it is no longer a death sentence. I just completed 8 sessions of chemo for stage 3 bowel cancer and have been feeling pretty good apart from some minor side effects. I am going for a CT scan in 9 days' time and an appointment with the oncologist thereafter to discuss the result. Keeping very positive has definitely helped me through this journey and not thinking too much about it and just getting on with the treatment. Having faith in God plays an important role too and He has been so great to me. All the best to your cousin and keep supporting her - she will need it.

mgreen58 profile image
mgreen58 in reply to Tofu888

Thank you for your comments, positivity is key. I don't believe my cousin comprehend the gravity of her diagnosis and I although I don't want her to be in the dark, I don't want her researching the detail of a stage 4 diagnosis. She has faith in God as does her family, which will be a source of comfort for her and them as she fights this battle. I will continue to support her and fill her days with optimism. I too pray that this journey will allow her good quality of life for a long as possible with her faith, family support and treatment. I wish you well in your journey with treatment and in recovery. My prayers go out to you and your loved ones.

Tofu888 profile image
Tofu888 in reply to mgreen58

Thanks very much for your prayers and kind wishes. Likewise, I shall keep your cousin in my prayers that she will find the strength to go through this journey. It is encouraging that she and her family have faith in God which is what they need to help them get through this. She is very blessed to have a caring cousin like you. Once again, all the best for the future and pray that all goes well with your cousin's treatment.

madgelet profile image
madgelet in reply to Tofu888

I have just had an operation to remove my colon and now have a stoma. when I had my pre op assessment I failed the breathing test (I have asthma) and the anaesthetist said that I didn't have much chance of getting through the op. Anyway due to God watching over me I surprised them all by sailing through a 5 hr op. I'm telling you this because I didn't worry at all and just went along with all the scans etc. please have a positive attitude and get everyone to pray for her. I'm clear now and I wish the same for your cousin. hope this helps in some way.

mgreen58 profile image
mgreen58 in reply to madgelet

Thank you for sharing your cancer story. That is what I want for my cousin, for her to just go along with the protocol; scans, treatment plans and to worry as little as possible. I told her not to Google and search the internet. I told her if she has concerns ask her medical team. I do think that is the best advice. Your are right in saying that a positive attitude is of utmost importance and her faith will help carry her through. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond when you too are burden with your own health. It so encouraging to hear you are now clear. Your story and the good results you have achieved definitely gives of hope. Thank you.

My brother was diagnosed with stage III color rectal cancer three years ago. He did one round of chemo and one round of radiation. He will never go that route again. It was personal choice. Not everyone feels that way. I’m sure everyone’s body reacts to chemo and radiation differently. He's been treating it with CBD oils, holistic food and smoothies. Every few months he goes 3 days a week for 3 weeks and sits in a chair for 5 hours a day with an IV that feeds him a concentrated form of natural nutrients. . It’s expensive and we’re not sure how long he can continue to do it, but that cancer rumor got somewhat smaller and his numbers are lower. The mix of what’s in that IV came from the result of a blood test that he had sent out of the country. As much as I love the US, it’s healthcare system is far from what it should be. His blood test was analyzed on a much deeper level. They are then able to create something better for his healing because it’s tailored to his specific needs not to everyone with the same diagnosis. I hope this helps you on this journey. God bless your loved one and your family.

Hi mgreen58,

Family support is a very difficult thing for every individual involved as we all react differently to different circumstances. I myself suffered breast cancer in 2010 then in February last year had to have a large part of my bowel removed due to bowel cancer then this year in January was again diagnosed with lung cancer for which I am now receiving chemotherapy at the Beatson Hospital Glasgow. Although I have had these three cancers none of them have metastised and I have been told they are three different primaries. I lost my husband in 2011 due to lung cancer and only have my 30 year old son to depend on. However this time they gave me steroids to help with the side effects from the chemo and although it may well be helping and I only take it one day before my chemo and for three days after it seems to turn me into someone I do not know. My son was very upset one day as I was jumping down his throat at every turn and when I asked him what was wrong he was almost crying and he said "I just want my old mum back". This comment almost broke my heart and now when I take the steroids I feel I have to watch my p's @ q's for fear of upsetting him. He however spots the changes in my mood after a couple of days and just stays out of my way. I cannot stress enough of the importance of support especially from family members but would repeat if these family members find it too difficult to cope with the varying aspects of this awful disease then they would not only be doing the victim of it a favour but also themselves by perhaps keeping a low profile.

I will remember your cousin in my prayers and wish them all the very best of luck for the future. Please be patient as where there is life there is always hope.

My 57 year old brother was diagnosed 5 years ago with colon cancer stage 1V. He had surgery to remove tumor. They were unable to get all of it because bladder was blocking it. He had 3 rounds of chemo, one round of radiation. It did not shrink it. His prognosis was very poor. His surgery would only be 25% successful and no surgeon wanted to do it. He was referred to a top surgeon out of Atlanta Georgia that agreed but his bladder, rectum, prostate had to be removed with the large tumor. They would also take part of his abdominal muscle to create a flap to cover any holes left by the organs. Oncologist, urologist, plastic surgeon would be working on him at the same time in. 12 hour surgery. They didn't give much hope but would do their best. My brother not only survived the surgery, he is doing extremely well!!!!. Having a colostomy and urostomy is a small price to pay to have him with us. Miracles do happen by the grace of God

Treatment has come a long way and I have met and know many individuals Dx at stage 4. I implore both you and your cousin join our Fb groups where you can meet individuals on similar journeys, caregivers, and survivors.We are a family and share everything from triumphs to the occasional sadness and as both a fighter and survivor of CRC, I implore you not to be discouraged nor to let your cousin be discouraged. Please consider joining our FB groups such as Colontown, Faces of Cancer, Colon Club, and Colon cancer support group! These groups were of tremendous help and support to me when first diagnosed and I know they would be the same for you! #YouAreNOTalone

You may also like...