Hi there! I am not sure where you are located, but I know what you're going through, both as a caregiver and a from a patients prospective. I am going to be 33 next week, I was diagnosed at 28 with stage 2 colon cancer. I have the gene that causes colon cancer-HNPCC(Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Colon Cancer), MLH-1 mutation. My mom passed it to me, she got it from her father, etc., My father also had colon cancer three months after me at age 73. He's had 7 cancers in 13 years-currently has leukemia and I currently have stage 1 cervical cancer.
The previous poster was right in answering all the questions and listing the different types of chemo-I did Folfox-5FU, with Oxaliplatin, and Leukovorin-I ended up having an allergic reaction to that after I had that nice port put in and they did 6 months of oral Xeloda with me. However, at the time they were doing clinical trials with Avastin and I hear that's AWESOME stuff.
Don't fret or lose hope! I have know people that were written off and stage 4 and they're here 10 years later! My advice to you and your husband is to be proactive! Listen and ask questions to your doctors, they are there to serve you! If you don't like their responses get another opinion, yes, time is of the essence, but this is life here, people get second opinions on their houses, cars, etc. take the time to do it on your body-I so wish we had did with my mother! Keep a chart-medical record-get copies of everything HIPPA allows you that freedom of your medical record-you'll need this information because chemo is no joy ride and if he gets ill and needs to go to the er you have his "current" chart there with you-it will speed things up and help the ER docs, etc treat him faster if needed.
I don't know what state you're located in or else I could provide you with more resources and contacts. How old is he? Also a PET scan-google or yahoo it! It is used to "help" diagnose cancer-better than an MRI IMO, they use it as a "re-staging" for cancer patients, my father and I have one done every 3-6 months, basically it's like a CT scan, but it's of your whole body, and they inject a little dye and you drink some barium and it's this SUV (Standard Uptake Value) that is measured-it highlights up on the films like a highlighter, the higher the numbers-the greater the chance there is metabolic abnormalities there, thus cancerous cells.
Chemo is going to be difficult, at least for me and my mother it was-my dad is very fortunate, he tolerates it well. Some things to keep in mind-use plastic utensils to eat things with-stuff will taste like metal if you don't and don't eat things from metal containers like canned fruit, etc., Once the chemo starts taking effect, like the second dose-he'll get the cold hands sensation-so no cold liquids-room temperature will be just fine, same thing with being around the fridge and freezer items & same goes with the grocery store-when you pick up a cold item it's like electricity is running through your veins. Avoid high acids foods-reflux and upset stomach will just set in-not a good combination. Zofran 4 & 8 mg was the best nausea med & now they have some that are in dissolvable kind for the tongue.
If his blood counts go down from chemo-which they probably will, he may have to take procrit or neulasta(sp) shots, the latter will cause some bone pain because it affects your bone marrow, it's normal, but don't hesitate to mention it to your doctor-don't hesitate to mention anything to the doctor!
Also-neuropathy-numbness in hands and feet-I found that vitamins B6 & B12 are amazing when it comes to this-but check with the doc first. If diarrhea sets in bad, A&D ontiment is good to have on hand, as are baby wipes & marshmellows-if he can tolerate them, they slow down the digestive track a little cause you get tired of taking immodium or at least I did.
I would love to talk to you some more, or heck I'd even chat w you over the net, check out my profile, it's got my IM info in there! Good luck!
LoL My personal experience with cancer~!