An Uncertain Battlefield

Cancer may be a word that sends chills down our spine, we do not acknowledge it till it affects US or somebody we tend to love. we tend to hope that this is not one thing that may invade our lives, however if cancer will rear its visual aspect we want to fight back with everything we’ve.

All cancer fights have 2 adversaries battling for the win: the sickness and therefore the person fighting the sickness. when a fierce battle, there’s forever a loser. However, build no mistake, generally winning the battle does not imply winning the war, it’s solely a brief win, because the overall war rages on.

In 2010, I found myself on the front lines during a battle that concerned my husband, Don, against his foe: glycoprotein glandular cancer, a rare variety of appendix cancer. sadly, when a vicious five-year battle, Don, lost his war; and therefore the destruction rages on, as this ugly sickness, in its varied mutations, indiscriminately strikes its next victims. In fact, associate calculable one,685,210 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in 2016 alone, going quite 0.5 its’ victims lifeless on the field of battle. Science is advancing and sometime there can be a cure for cancer, however that day still alludes US.

Like smart troopers, we tend to eroded the net for info, desperate for any news we tend to might notice. i used to be all consumed. whereas I explore for answers, Don stoically battled his body that had betrayed him. Over 5 long years, i started to grasp the sickness and its path of destruction.

THE designation

I keep in mind Don’s appendix cancer designation taking US utterly swiftly. Don simply had a surgery to get rid of excess connective tissue that had developed from a surgery a few years previous. The doctors believed it absolutely was the connective tissue that was inflicting Don’s abdominal distress. Once the tissue was removed it absolutely was biopsied. This diagnostic test disclosed his cancer.

The specialist determined the first website of the cancer, was Don’s appendix, and staged the disease’s progression as 111C that means it had invaded encompassing humor nodes and tissue. we tend to each were aware that folks will live while not associate appendix, however we tend to ne’er associated cancer with this little organ that solely measures 2-20 centimeters long.

We conjointly learned that almost all appendix cancers ar found through routine surgeries, as was Don’s, creating early detection tough. Don and that i mentioned his symptoms before his cancer designation as a result of we tend to wished to pinpoint once his cancer started.

Of course, there’s no thanks to say needless to say, however we tend to remembered that he suffered for many months before his surgery with associate intense abdominal bloating. He ofttimes fully fledged a decent, large, belly bloat that was laborious to the bit. It felt sort of a basketball. it absolutely was a painful bloating that might eventually dissolve and provides him relief. This bloating solely occurred each few months, thus Don did not associate it with something serious or life threatening.

The bloating might are associate early sign we tend to unnoticed. maybe if we tend to had investigated the explanation for his intense bloating, we tend to might have caught the cancer before it unfold.

Most glycoprotein adenocarcinomas ar a lot of aggressive than regular adenocarcinomas and ar tougher to treat. All in all, the prognosis wasn’t smart. Left untreated, the tumors would still grow, crush all organs, block digestion, and eventually starve its victim to death.


Once Don’s cancer was diagnosed, we tend to began a desperate look for a proved path of treatment, relying heavily on Dr. Google to coach US on appendix cancer.

There ar valuable resources on-line, like ‘The yankee Cancer Society’ that helped deepen my understanding of cancer. There also are nice blogs denote by people fighting this sickness.

The rarity of appendix cancer – and therefore the lack of information – quickly broken our hopes, as a result of there weren’t any proved methods of treatment. It became my mission to grasp the stages of the sickness. Through my analysis, I discovered all cancers do not act or progress a similar. This reality is particularly true with appendix cancer due to its tendency to develop blockages. There was our initial clue to Don’s bloating: it had been caused by blockage from a neoplasm.

NOT ALL TUMORS ar a similar

Mucinous cancer tumors, as in Don’s case, grow in characteristic flat sheets, creating them tougher to discover in scans. glycoprotein glandular cancer tumors manufacture “mucin” that is that the main part of mucose. “Adeno” means that secretory organ. Glands unharness enzymes within (endocrine glands) or outside the body (exocrine glands). The term “mucinous” means that uncountable mucose. place it all at once and you get glycoprotein glandular cancer, a awfully deadly variety of cancer. several specialists recommend that the presence of membrane willcer cells can unfold quicker through the body than alternative types of cancer. whereas not one thing we tend to wished to listen to, the data was very important to finding the acceptable treatment.

THE battlefield

Appendix cancer is extraordinarily rare and solely affects two of all cancers diagnosed. The sickness may be overpoweringly difficult to treat.

With very little info to guide US, cancer became our daily crisis. we tend to did not have any problem-solving mechanisms in the way to admit the matter of this insidious sickness, or the way to formulate associate outcome to the cancer crisis. Too usually we tend to found ourselves with lack of data that is essential to creating smart choices. Therefore, we tend to found ourselves during a vulnerable place, at the worst time of our lives, agonising over what to try to to next.

Several doctors were concerned in Don’s treatment, as well as associate specialist, a MD, a specialist and his family doc. They did not forever agree regarding treatment protocol so making a quandary we tend to did not anticipate, nor knowledge to navigate.

Our battlefield throughout the fight against his cancer conjointly carried a harsh reality: the existence of lifestyle ‘behind the scenes’, that might amendment at any given moment. there have been smart times, higher times and times we tend to barely got through.

My best recommendation to anyone held during a battle like ours is to require each supply of facilitate that’s created accessible to you. particularly if you’re the caregiver for somebody fighting cancer. nobody will or ought to be “The Lone Ranger” as they will not be effective all the time, as they have their rest too. Offers of assistance will are available in vast waves, particularly early in your journey, and its very important that you just settle for all of them.


With very little info on the net concerning appendix cancer, I took advantage of the numerous opportunities to raise our doctors uncountable queries.

One of my biggest ‘aha’ moments was, unless you raise specific queries, or looked for a lot of careful responses, you’ll lose some valuable info that might prove terribly useful in your fight against cancer.

I believe generally, whereas talking with associate skilled on a selected subject, they’ll choose the data they view as vital to share. there’s heaps of assumption on their half that you just ought to already recognize this, or they merely do not notice it relevant to say. These specialists have a wealth of data. generally the foremost vital info isn’t spoken. Sadly, you wish to be a robust knowledgeable patient advocate as they will not forever share what you wish to listen to.

This realization of omitted bits of data from our team of doctors, and therefore the knotty knitting of all info gathered into a lucid format, was the key to acceptance of the sickness and our main weapon of defense.

Talking to and questioning Don’s physician, and later his specialist, gave Pine Tree State several items of data that finally started returning along. My information investigation gave Pine Tree State a transparent understanding of what was happening within Don’s body and why.

SO, what is going on ON IN THERE?

During one in all my conversations with Don’s physician, he delineated what the cancer seemed like in Don’s abdomen once he performed the surgery. A mucous-like jelly had mutated out of management, constructing its means from within Don’s appendix out into his abdomen.

There, the substance had fashioned sun-flowered sized tumors throughout Don’s bowels. These tumors, too several to count, clung to his intestines and unfold webs of white on the whole lining of his abdomen. it absolutely was then we tend to accomplished we tend to were fighting against several tumors, not only 1 as we tend to originally thought.


Once we tend to knew what we tend to were battling, like several in Don’s position, we tend to opted for therapy and its later ravages of the body. Extreme weight loss, nausea, temporary state, hair loss, and overall uncomfortableness. we tend to patterned what wasn’t killing him was creating him higher. Boy, we tend tore we wrong.

Appendix cancer is rare, and appendix cancer-specific clinical trials ar difficult to search out. I learned several clinical trials could not settle for a patient WHO has been treated with therapy among the past year. In apprehension, we’d have stopped his chemo when 2 treatments and joined an endeavor. Hindsight’s forever 20:20. it is easy to understand the proper issue to try to to when one thing went on, however it’s laborious to predict the long run.


Don endured four rounds of therapy to treat his cancer. when every spherical, a CT and Pet scan was ordered to observe his tumors growth. the actual fact that Don’s tumors were flat and hidden in tests may be a excellent example of what I meant once I aforementioned, ‘some doctors assume you already recognize this info.’ So, albeit his tumors showed stability following these tests, our false hope was quickly fired once we tend to discovered the tests were non-conclusive. the tough reality was his cancer had uncontrollably unfold. Now, he required a feeding tube for mere survival.

Then came his second surgery for an additional intestine blockage.

After this surgery, Don’s cancer was resolute to own advanced to Stage four. it absolutely was terminal with no hope for the long run. They removed his feeding tube. He was placed underneath home hospice care.

Don continuing to fight his cancer a further 5 months, displaying daily acts of bravery amidst his circumstances. He ne’er adopted the angle of “why me” and instead unbroken a gradual target his religion, family and feeling higher.

Even within the throes of pain, he was fast to entertain his several guests, telling jokes and reminiscing on stories from his past, all his means of brick. Oddly, this gave Pine Tree State comfort.

FACING the tip AND shaping a replacement starting

Alas, once his cancer progressed toward its final ravages, it absolutely was robust. I had to unharness Don by reassuring him i’d be fine. I gave him permission to go away this world for an area of complete healing. when golf stroke up the great fight, Don gave up the ghost on Gregorian calendar month three, 2015.

The war was long, hard, and intense. Finding purpose, or answers, to why God permits for such suffering is nonetheless to be answered during this life. Our personal expertise was laced with several emotional highs and lows. I hold dear the time we tend to had. Even within the moments of surrender, i used to be crammed with awe and astonishment at God’s constant presence.

What Don left behind are some things to lay eyes on. throughout his battle with glycoprotein glandular cancer, he became a part of a study conducted by “the yankee Cancer Society,” that half-track his symptoms, his tolerance to treatment, his check results when treatment, the course of this awful sickness, and its impact on an individual physically and showing emotion.

Also, thanks to the complexness of this rare cancer, glycoprotein glandular cancer, several of his medical team currently have a clearer understanding of this rare cancer, that might facilitate promote higher treatments and outcomes for future generations.

All cancer is ugly and among putting distance of every people. My prayer is that nobody ought to got to battle this sickness. a part of the healing method when aiming to war with cancer is sharing info. Spoils of war, I suppose. nonetheless maybe my little insights might encourage be important to you or somebody WHO is battling this dreadful sickness and supply another weapon during a much-needed arsenal.

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