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colon cancer?

my husband is blind, diabetic,double amputee,high blood pressure,incontinent,mostly wheel chair bound,thanks to agent orange if you remember the Viet Nam War  he went to his doctor and he ordered a CT Scan and Xray -of his belly and chest - well it came back with him having a apple core size lesion in his colon that has went to his liver which has lesions on it - plus it showed he had a slightley enlarged heart with water build up some on it - he doesnt realize how short of breath he gets after the health aid gets him out of shower - he is on lasix - the doctor didnt seem as concerned about his heart as he did his colon - but all his blood work came back good - his liver - everything - he seems to think beings all the blood work came back so good that he shouldnt rush to get a colonoscopy done - he says he doesnt have cancer because his blood work was good -now is this true for him to think this way - he is 63 years old and i am very concerned about him before you ask yes he does smoke - and he knows he should quit but thats what he likes to do-
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Avatar universal

Hi - gosh, what to say.  What leaps out from your posting is the pragmatic decisions that might have to be made regarding:-

- quality of life - continue "as is" or undergo "further medical procedures" (whatever they may be)
- will medical procedures significantly extend his life expectancy?  If so at what "cost" (measured as discomfort etc etc)

A colonoscopy is not a particularly onerous procedure.  It might be a good idea.  What then?  If colon surgery is suggested as a result, then you might like to view a posting I placed on Medhelp in response to another patient on:-


Good luck


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Avatar universal
i know about colonoscopies i have had 5 plus the surgery - its just he thinks that if blood work is ok he doesnt have cancer - what i would like to know could that be true - i want to thank you for ur posting

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Avatar universal
Hi Debby,

I'm also sorry to hear about your husband.  Agent Orange is a nasty chemical with long-range implications for diabetes.  I trust you've registered him with the VA for help financially for this problem?  

So far as the tumour,  I'm inclined to agree with Morecambe that quality of life is a very big issue.  From you post, it sounds as if your husband has multiple co-morbidities, ranging from amputation (was it that nasty war? Or was it diabetes?), blindness, wheel chair bound, etc.  My prayers are with you and your husband.  Whatever your husband chooses, should be respected.  It is his life, and if he chooses not to opt for surgery (not the colonscopy) perhaps that is something that should be respected.  Maybe a simple needle, minimally invasive biopsy can confirm if it is cancer or not, and then go from there.  

My elderly mother had lung cancer, and the operation would have killed her months before she died.  Perhaps your husband's overall health cannot withstand such an invasive surgery?  Again, this is something that he must decide for himself.  

Debby, you're very correct in saying that the colonoscopy -- while scary for newbies -- is a piece of cake compared to living with or dying of colon cancer.  My husband and I are newly weds.  After we hooked up a four months ago, I convinced him that it would be a good idea to have one.  Besides, he had lost a lot of weight over a few months we'd been married, plus he seemed to have lost his appetite and had strange back pains that would not resolve.  

This was a big warning sign in my head, as my first husband had passed away from prostate cancer three years ago, so weight loss and lack of appetite was huge warning sign for this old girl.  I asked him to go see his doctor, which he did several times.  Among several prescriptions for Vicodan, he came back with diagnosis that one leg was shorter than another and that he should buy Dr. Scholes inserts.  I lost it at that point.  What sort of quack was his doctor?  That's when I began to question my husband more deeply.  I discovered at that point that never once was he given a colonscopy LET ALONE a simple in-office digital rectal examine.  My second husband reply:"What's that?"  My reply?  "Honey, you'd know if you got one, BELIEVE ME!"  When I described the digital rectal exam procedure.  He assured me that he'd never gotten a test like this in his entire life!!!  The man is 57 and presents with weight loss, and has never had a digital rectal examine.  Duh?  Not once did he ever receive the first line of defense for both rectal cancer and prostate cancer from his QUALIFIED? MD.  At my insistence, he went to another doctor, that one ordered the colonscopy, did the digital rectal examine, PSA test etc.

  Meanwhile, my husband's back pain becomes debilitating (cancer chocking off his ureter, creating pain like passing kidney stones) -- but his blood work is fine, so no rush order for the colonoscopy, something that takes about 2 weeks from time of booking to delivery.  Day of his first and only colonscopy?  March 4, when the doctor who performed the procedure reports blockage and possible colon cancer.   Day of first visit to the surgeon?  March 5.  Date of admission to hospital?  March 6.  Date of first emergency surgery to save kidney and ureter?  March 7.  Date of second surgery?  March 9.  Date of diagnosis of Stage 4 colon cancer with mets to the retroperitoneum?  March 9.  

Yes, it -- his colon cancer -- was slow in coming (about 10 years from polyp to stage IV -- and was something that could have been prevented with regular screening and care by a COMPETENT USA-based doctor (which sadly, my second husband lacked).  But the operations were very quick once the diagnose was mad.  Sadly, I fear for husband number 2.  My hope is that because he was in great health overall -- a real bear of a fellow with a strong desire to live and no real bad habits other than perhaps eating a bit too much red meat and overly processed foods -- I'm praying that he'll beat the odds that are clearly stacked against him.  

Luckily, my background is in sports medicine, so I've got him on a good diet (something that was very hard for him to adopt, given his knowledge about good nutrition was non-existent).

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Avatar universal
Yes he goes to the Va and is considered a 100% disabeled, It sounds like you are going threw alot too - I feel for you - My husband doesnt have A apotite at all he has some diminsha- never wants to eat -plus he is incontinite- the doctor did a strip on him and the poop came back normal - then he had the xray and cat scan done - we do have a aid that comes in 3 times a week for 2 hours each time because i never could get him in shower  and with her she never has a problem with him and if i need to get out i can - other wise i try not to leave him alone - we will also have a nurse come in and check his vitals and other things - the VA takes care of all that - in other words they pay for it or we couldnt have had it - but any way he doesnt look like he has lost weight because of the water build up - he also has never had a rectal exam either - he is the kind of man that when he is ready to do something he will let me know - the thing is i went to the doctor 4 days before his apointment and the doctor told me that it didnt look good for my husband that he had colon cancer that had spread to his liver and had liver lesions -plus on the chest xray he had water around his heart -  the doctor which i adore asked me not to tell my husband but hes my husband and he knew when i got into the van that there was something wrong -so when we got home i told him - when my husbamd and i went in to get results i told the doctor that if he didnt want him to know he shouldnt have told me -
i havent had it good with doctors myself they told me a few years ago i had colon cancer and cut me from one side to other and found no cancer ( which was good ) but its theidea - then last year they told me I had a mass on my kidney and they did surgery and guess what lucky again no cancer - they finally figured it is my back -i have 2 disc rubbing bone to bone plus have artheritis and that degenerative diese in my back - if i bend over my back about kills me - i dont want surgery -there will be no one to take care of my husband -
My husbands mom had cancer and they opened her up and the cancer went like wild fire and she passed 7 days later -this was years ago -and he is afraid this will happen to him -
he lost his legs from sugar -he lost the first one about 7 years ago and the second one 2 years ago - we have been married only 3 years the 6th of this month - but i think i knew what i was getting into -
as for him he makes the desesions on his body - i cant bully him into anything -so i just have to set back and wait for him to make up his mind - I just think everyday it is getting worse - he lost his brother about 2 weeks ago and he was only 60 - and that has about killed him -he is drinking more everyday -he says it helps him  i tell him its killing him - his family dont seem to care - they never come by and see him and he just loves his grandbabies to death the one daughter is to busy with other things and going to school but i dont think she realizes that if it was not for stanleys disability( VA) she wouldnt be there - so i think he has givin up - i have tried to get them together but i think i have givin up on that -its me and my husband and to heck with them -
I do have to call the doctors office monday about his appintment to see the doctor that will do his colonoscopy - it has taken them over a week to get ahold of us about it -

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