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Colon Cancer --


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Last week we got a rather scary diagnosis for my wife, who apparently has colon cancer. We don't yet know what stage it is in, due to difficulties in getting a good colonoscopy reading, but there's at least one tumor that is 5 cm in diameter.

This is scary enough, but even worse news is that she is a real believer in natural cures and has decided that there is no way she is getting surgery, chemo, or radiation. She won't listen to me about it, either -- "stubborn" is her middle name.

I myself don't have much confidence in these natural treatments, and so I believe I am about to enter into a real nightmare: she's going to kill herself unintentionally, because by the time she figures out that her "cures" aren't working, it will be too late for the real thing to make much of a dent. The only thing for me to do is hope like heck that what she does will make a difference.

Just in case anyone happens to know a sure-fire non-medical cancer cure, now would be the time. I am all ears.

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I thought long and hard about sending this to you via private message, but decided I might do some good by posting it publicly.

I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2007, had radiation and chemo, then a resection of the tumor and a permanent colostomy, then post-operative chemo, which fried my immune system and put me in the hospital. For over a year, I had no recurrences of the cancer, but in 2009 a single tumor came back, which was treated with radiation, then in 2010, multiple recurrences appeared.

Since then, I have been on a long term chemo program that has kept it at bay, though I am under no illusions that it can affect a cure or keep the cancer knocked down indefinitely. When this regimen becomes ineffective, there are two more chemo treatments to fall back on. One I can deal with, the other is pretty brutal, and I have already told the doctor that I am not interested in that drug. So you see, I have a pretty good understanding of colorectal cancer.

When treated early, colorectal cancer is very, very, curable. Long term survival rates for Stage 1, where the tumor has not penetrated the colon wall, exceed 90%. Even stage 2 has a survival rate of 75%. For stage 3, the numbers drop below 50%, and stage 4 where the cancer has spread to distant organs, well, at that point the cancer is treatable, but no longer curable. Eventually, you WILL die of that cancer.

You can ask Steve Jobs and Farrah Fawcett, to cite two well known cases, what the results are when you refuse or postpone medical treatments. Oh wait, you can't ask them after all, because they are both DEAD. I did not know about my cancer, but in hindsight, had several subtle symptoms, but like most of us guys, just blew them off. If I had sought treatment earlier, there is a very good chance that I would not be in the current pickle that I am in. Life does not have a rewind button, but boy oh boy do I wish I would have gone and checked out the minor issues that popped up several months before I was diagnosed.

Finally, if she is adamant about not seeking treatment, have her read this posting from a cancer internet forum that I post to. This is what I have to look forward to, and sorry to be blunt, this is the experience that awaits her if she does not have her cancer treated in a timely manner. It's not pretty, in fact, it's pretty graphic. But cancer, the suckiest disease that ever sucked, can produce some pretty graphic results.


From one who has been there, and one who knows how that journey will end, please, PLEASE reconsider. Life is too precious. I take great comfort in my testimony of eternal life, but the heartache that my untimely passing will impose on my family...well, let's just say I would do just about anything avoid putting them through that. Sadly, I no longer have that option, but your spouse still does.

If she has any specific questions that she does not want to air publicly, have here boardmail me. I'll do my non-MD best to answer them.

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Hello Stargazer...

How very sorry I am about your wife... I, like Buzzard, thought carefully about posting here, but I too hope my post will be of help not only to your wife but to others. I'm going to be frank here...

I want to relate two case scenarios...

First, my husband.... We had been retired here to Oregon from San Francisco for about 2 years but continued to see our doctors semi-annually in San Fran. He started noticing signs of rectal bleeding and so he went to a local doctor immediately and in the initial exam it was discovered what looked like a tumor... so we went back to San Fran for complete tests immediately. The tumor was malignant but it was apparently early stage... surgery was scheduled for the next week. We made a quick trip home then back to San Fran. The doctor removed 14 inches of his intestine, but a colostomy was not necessary. After a month in the Bay Area we returned to Oregon where the local doctor received instructions for a treatment of intraveneous chemo 1 wk out of 4 each month for one year, plus a pill called Lavamosil(sp?) which is supposed to increase the chance of non-recurence by 60 percent. This treatment did not cause my husband to lose his hair.

Because we took such quick action to get diagnosed and treatment, including surgery, he successfully completed the year's treatment, and remained cancer free for six years.

He passed away from unrelated causes at age 74.

Second scenario... a woman friend of 70... again, noticed symptoms and went to the doctor. Tests showed an advanced colon cancer but still treatable by surgery and chemo. She opted for non-surgery and a holistic approach for medications. There was some type of drink that was supposed to cure difficult cases that one would brew and drink several times a day... plus other holistic-type measures. She was set against surgery/chemo. Four months later she was gone. It's true her case was more advanced than my husband's, but doctors felt that surgery/chemo would extend her life several years. She had a close friend that helped her brew her drink and with other measures, just to watch her quickly fade. I do believe if she had had the surgery should would have had several years.

Please tell your wife that I encourage her to please... please... reconsider the treatment of surgery and chemo for her best chance... think of my husband. He had six good years before another unrelated condition caused his unexpected death.


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I don't know where this rather pernicious compunction to ignore medical doctors has come from, but it seems most prevalent within our most educated people. Somehow they have reached a conclusion that medical doctors are not really committed to healing patients and, much worse, that they know better than all medical science how to heal the human body. The choices that people make are often motivated by a complex set of influences. In this situation your wife could simply be afraid of all treatment from needles to being in a hospital. There could be a host of other reasons. The best you can hope for is for her to understand the full range of options available to her, the process of each treatment, and the potential benefit of each. Regardless of her choice, her life has an impact on far more people than she realizes. This is a difficult time and I pray that both of you will be blest with an understanding of what is best for her and have the courage to make the best choice.

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I am so sorry and i can't imagine how difficult it must be to know that she won't do what she needs to do to give herself the best chance at survival.

Since you can't influence her directly, have you thought about praying and fasting that Heaven will intervene, if it is God's will, and that she will come to know, through the Spirit, that she needs to follow proper medical treatment? You probably have, but I thought i would throw that out there, just in case.

We certainly can't take away someone's agency, but I do believe that when God get's involved, people can be compelled to see things more clearly. I think of how the Angel who visited Alma the Younger said that he was there, basically, because Alma the older prayed him there. In the end, God knows what's best.

Your family will be in my prayers.

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Praying for you! I think when nothing else has worked, alternative treatments are worth trying, but I have also known a few people who thought they could go on a special diet to cure themselves. I can understand the fear of chemo, but unfortunately it's the only thing that works. My friend has been fighting colon cancer for years with chemo, but he has had so much time with his family that he wouldn't have had otherwise. If he hadn't have had chemo, his youngest daughter wouldn't know him or remember him.

Buzzard, thank you for sharing. What a hard thing to go through.

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I'm not sure 3 more years of medical involvement or six years would be that appealing to me, specially if I knew that the medical costs would make it harder for my loved ones after I was gone. This life is just a passage.

The six years my husband lived were cancer free/medication free, and had he not sought the type of surgery/chemo he would undoubtedly not have had those years. His unexpected death had nothing to do with cancer, or his previous colon cancer.

As far as cost during his bout with colon cancer, I think any out-of-pocket expense was less than $1,000 total. All other expense was covered by Medicare and supplemental insurance.


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