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32 yr old going into radiation

NAMMAN
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2003

Hello everyone.... first time on. Its nice to read the posts of others who understand or have gone through similar problems.

Here is my concern (for now... this minute)
I am a 32 yr old male who was diagnosed with a Stage 2 tumor, no lymph nodes. I had a resection of my rectum and part of my colon (no bag.... whew). Unfortunately a week after discharge I had a couple of obstructions/distentions in my large intestines which required surgery again. It caused a staph infection and the need to resection to more parts of my large intestines. After three long weeks over the holidays this past year I made it through and I am coping with all the changes and procedures pertaining to our cancer.

I just finished my 3rd session of chemo yesterday. In a couple or few weeks I look forward to getting a pump and starting radiation. So far so good. I expected the worse in terms of diarrea (none) fatigue and nausea. It hasnt been as horrible as I thought. It still sucks but its tolerable so far.

My only fear is how I might take radiation and the continous 5FU. What should I be expecting really? I need a layperson's response rather than a doctor's. Is the pump cumbersome? Will it be painful? Messy? Are the possible adhesion a big factor? (It would really be bad if I had another obstruction this time caused by adhesion. Dont really need a 4th surgery.)

Just wondering. It prevents me from starting work because I just dont know how I will be. I mean I am not 100% but my mind is positive. I would start work tommorrow if the rest of my treatment is as it has been so far. Bearable. Starting work, being social would help me feel normal. I would hate to start work then have to leave again because of whatever side effect.

thanks for listening.
J

wildcat's picture
wildcat
Posts: 40
Joined: Apr 2002

You bet you can work. The pump is about 5 inches square and it makes this pump noise every 31 secs. You will be very tired but you can keep going. I had stage 3 and also no bag but both the chemo and raditation. If you get too tired just tell them. Keep telling you doctors your systems they have a lot of things to help. Trust me one more drug isn't going to hurt when you are on chemo. I like your attitude. Good luck.

bobs
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

I had colon cancer 9/90 at age 50 and went thru chemo and radiation at the same time. I had gone from 160lbs to 106lbs and the doctors had to wait until I had gained 15lbs. Eventually I went thru with it and became ill from the chemo so the radiation had to be postponed. Finally I felt better and it was completed about 3 weeks after it should have been. I was living in Los Angeles and was treated at Cedars Sinai. You have to have faith in your doctors, eat as much fruit as you can, especially bananas, and have people on your side to support and take care of you.

gowest
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

Are you getting a continuous infusion pump with a picc line? I'm around your age and I had one throughout radiation 24/7 for 33 days. The pump is about the size of a paperback, but it goes everywhere you do...shower, bed, driving. Take advantage of the days when they disconnect to recharge the meds. Go run around the parking lot or something while you're free! Remember it's only temporary. My worst moments were when I leapt out of bed leaving the pump behind for my car alarm going off in the night...sproinnngg....and awaking to my cat with a length of picc line hanging out of both sides of her mouth. Nice kitty, nice kitty. We'd both have been toast if she bit through.

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