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stage III rectal cancer

rdy2shop
Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi everyone, I'm new to this site. My husband was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer in Aug 2003. He had chemo/radiation treatment for 6 weeks, then had a colon resection with a temporary ileostomy. After surgery the dr told us that the tumor had shrunk down to the size of a ulcer. Everything looked really good. Then three days later we got back the results of his biopsy and he had 6 out of 19 lymph nodes were involved. This really blew us away, I don't think we were expecting that news after the surgery went so well. Anyway, he started on oxaliplatin and 5fu every two weeks then started having chest pains. He had to discontinue that treatment because of abnormal ekg's. They told him that he could have a heart attach. So they started him on oxaliplatin and camptosar. He's on it every three weeks for 6 months. He has 3 months to go. His cat scans last week were clear. I worry because camptosar is normally given to patients who still have recognizable cancer not to patients that don't show any metastises. We are going to MD Anderson so I feel like we are in good hands. My husband is in good spirits, he feels like he has beaten this. But of course, he doesn't like to hear the facts about it. I continually think about it. He was 40 years old when he found out, we have 3 kids. Its been very hard. I know all of you know this. I see other people taking things for granted, and complaining about things that don't even matter to me. I wanted to know if anyone out there has been on this specific treatment, or have had that many lymph nodes involved and how you are doing. This seems like a great site, I'm so glad I found it. Thank you all for your advice and support.

alihamilton's picture
alihamilton
Posts: 344
Joined: Jan 2004

Welcome to the site...you will find it so comforting but emotionally challenging sometimes. Each person deals with this illness differently and my husband, like yours, does not like to know too much. I, on the other hand, want to be equipped to deal with anything. However, sometimes, too much knowledge is so scary!

I hope your husband continues to do well on his treatment and that you continue to cope. I have been in this situation for eight months now and it still seems like a bad dream.

schoolgirl
Posts: 29
Joined: Feb 2004

Yes, we are kind of in your situation. My husband was dx end of Feb/first of March 2003, he had a large tumor removed, mets to the liver and 17 out of 18 lymphs nodes were diseased, stage 4 colon cancer. He was on camptosar for 18 treatments and was clear for 45 days, reocurrance to the liver and was treated with oxaliplatin, this didn't do much except the spots did not "grow", so Monday we start different chemo. By the way, welcome to this wonderful site. I really get a lot of encouragement from these wonderful people. Thanks for your reply to my posting. It gives me a lift to know that there are people out there that cares. Keep a positive outlook, stay with positive people. Fill you "front row" with people that supports you, and kick the other people out of your life that takes up your time with negative talking. Prayer works for us, and our prayer line is long and strong. We do have down times, shed a few tears and then thank God that we are still alive. Loving thoughts and prayers. Yvonne

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 589
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi rdy2shop,

Just wanted to welcome you and your husband to this wonderful support group!!!

I was also 40 years old when I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. My surgery took place March 20,2002. The surgeon removed 18 inches of bowel, that also went through the bowel wall. I had a stage 3 moderate grade rectal cancer, with a grand total of 10 positive lymph nodes out of 14. Here I am 2 years later and doing very well for myself. One day at a time.

Lisa

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1075
Joined: Aug 2003

I am also new to this site. I was 46 when diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in March 2003. I had 2 out of 12 nodes positive for cancer, but my tumor did not go through the bowel wall. I am a nurse, so I know all the horror stories. I have had chemo and radiation and then surgery with a temporary ileostomy which was reversed in August. I was supposed to have 12 more chemo treatments, but only had 4 because I had diarrhea so bad I was in the hospital. Both the surgeon and the onc. decided to stop the chemo. I received 5fu preop and 5 fu and leukovin post op. I finally feel better. If I can help you in any way let me know.

teri_hatcher's picture
teri_hatcher
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2004

in March 2003 I was diagnosed with Stage III rectal cancer also. I had a colon resectin in july. I have a temp Ileostomy also. I went through 5 weeks of chemo and 5 weeks of radiation before the resection. I am waiting on the reversal. I have had 2 failed attempts. I was 33 when I was diagnosed. They said they got all of it. I decided against a 2nd round of chemo til I get rid of my bag. How did he find his?

Teri

cindiH
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

in Feb 2003 I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. Had the concurrent radiation and chemo for 7 weeks followed by TMEin June, ten days later I deveolped a recto-vanginal fustula and had to have a temp colostomy. I have had 4 repair attempts to date, hopefully this last one holds and I can get the reversal. No one ever suggested another round of chemo after surgery. They waited for Mri's, PET scan and biopsies. Biopsies have all been negative but the darn MRI's are always labeld suspicious because I am ever recovering from repairs and the inflammation reads as suspicious. Its very frustrating. To boot my CEA level hovers at about 12.

cindiH
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

in Feb 2003 I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. Had the concurrent radiation and chemo for 7 weeks followed by TMEin June, ten days later I deveolped a recto-vanginal fustula and had to have a temp colostomy. I have had 4 repair attempts to date, hopefully this last one holds and I can get the reversal. No one ever suggested another round of chemo after surgery. They waited for Mri's, PET scan and biopsies. Biopsies have all been negative but the darn MRI's are always labeld suspicious because I am ever recovering from repairs and the inflammation reads as suspicious. Its very frustrating. To boot my CEA level hovers at about 12.

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