My husband has had 3 major cancers over the past 8+ years. Non-functional neuroendocrine of the pancreas, with a removal of the tail 1/3 of pancreas and spleen out as well; at the same time he was found to have prostate cancer. We opted for the radical prostate surgery since he had 2 major cancers at the same time. There was a problem with removing the prostate as it "stuck" to the rectum so after recovering for a couple months he had full radiation treatments as well to the pelvic area. They also stitched the urine catheter to the urethra during the surgery so it didn't come out as it was supposed to after 10 days. Back to surgery to remove that. I say all this as it has compounded the decisions we are now faced with. 9 months after the prostate surgery, there was spread to the lungs with 13 nodules in 4 lobes. He has been on Lupron shots for the past 7 years. Last October he was found to have urothealial bladder cancer stage 4, as it has spread to the pelvic lymphs. The tumor in the bladder blocked the opening to the ureter from the right kidney so it wasn't draining and the kidney got blocked so a stent was placed. He completed a series of 6 high dose chemotherapy in January which has resulted in renal failure - currently at 25 % kidney function. He has had difficulty with emptying his bladder from a narrowing that occurred from the catheter that got stitched in so the neo bladder will not be an option and leaking continuously.
They need to MRI's now without dye to protect the kidneys so they are hoping to determine if the bladder cancer is gone and if so they want to do a complete removal of bladder, lymphs, and rectum (due to the previous problem with the prostate and the rectum and that he had the radiation as well and adhesions/scar tissue. A very invasion and complicated surgery in a couple months. So ileal conduit and colostomy are planned. IF the bladder cancer doesn't come back before. A full body PET scan is now being considered to clear him for surgery. Everything I've read and from the specialist we saw recently there is still a better than 50% chance that even if he has the radical surgery that it will come back. Differing opinions from oncologists as to whether immunotherapy would be an option and risks and benefits. Kidney function will worsen with Ileal conduit and will speed up his need for dialysis.
I'm at a loss as to how to support him. One day he wants to move forward, the next he say's "I know it's back somewhere". He refuses to talk with anyone and even as a nurse I'm at a loss. Any thoughts or advice I'd love to hear from anyone. Really, who gets 3 different major cancers, with two of them at Stage IV.