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Chemo / Rad after Surgery

Gavin63
Posts: 98
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello Friends,

I am about to start my Radiation treatment nearly after 2 months of my Rectal surgery. I will have to go through 28 Treatment fractions & will be on Xeloda throughout the treatment, then more Chemo (Capox - 8 cycles)

Would like to know from friends who had undergone this treatment, about the side effects & how they managed those side effects. Any specific food / drink that helped managing the side effects etc..  

Gavin 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4190
Joined: Feb 2009

My chemo/radiation was before surgery but you will probably experience similar things, fatigue, constipation or diaharrea, hand and foot syndrom from the xeolda, radiation burns rectally which can get very sore (unless you've have a permanent ostomy), possible loss of appetite.  Wishing you the best through your treatment and if you have anything come up that you aren't sure about, contact your doctor.  You can also ask here as we have a lot of knowledge, but of course, aren't doctors.  Let us know how you are doing.

Kim

 

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 70
Joined: Feb 2013

I had chemo/rad prior to surgery, so your experience may be different, given the trauma already experienced by your body from surgery.  I would think that 2 months would get you back to your pre-strength norm? so that might not be an issue.

I'd have to concur: fatigue, diahhrea, etc. will be likely but didn't appear for me until well into treatment.  I worked full time during chemo/rad (the last week and the week following my last treatments during recovery I was able to work part of the time from home while dealing with diahhrea).  I didn't have burns, but painful BM's from the rad damage toward the end of treatment.  Used sitz baths and aquafore liberally - as well as A&D and whatever preparations give you relief.  I had a 5 day 5FU pump - so no foot and had problems due to oral Xeloda.   I didn't have any food restrictions but found that eating easily digestible food helped - and a kind of BRAT diet when diahhrea really kicked in (or liquid diet when I got really bad D).  Also, STAY HYDRATED.  Very important.  Push the fluids - escpecially water.

Best of luck for successful treatment!

danker
Posts: 723
Joined: Apr 2012

Loke Kim I had my radiation for five weeks while using a chemo pump giving me fu5 24/7.  For bunn burn I got RADIAGEL which I believe is available over-the-counter at Wal-mart.  On week 3 i acquired galloping diarrhea.  My radiologist gave me a prescirptiion for LOMOTIL which kept it under control.  Best of luck to you!!!

Gavin63
Posts: 98
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello Friends,

Thank you everyone for sharing your experience. I am off to the hospital tomorrow afternoon for my 1st Treatment Fraction of Radiation. My Radiation Oncologist says that I can drive in & drive out by myself most of the time during the treatment. I would appreciate your comment on this. Not that I don't trust my Onc. But after joining this wonderful forum I have realized that the feed back of you all do lot of good as I can expect of what I may go through during the treatment.

Thanks once again for your support. May god bless you all.

Gavin   

YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 539
Joined: Mar 2010

First, congratulations on getting through your surgery. 

 

You've gotten great advice so far.  I really don't have anything to add.

 

 I, like you, had surgery first.  I worked (half-time) through my 5-6 weeks of radiation, working in the morning and driving myself for treatment in the afternoon.  The fatigue did accumulate over time.  But we're all different.  Listen to your body.  Good luck!  Keep us posted. 

Gavin63
Posts: 98
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello YoVita,

Thanks. That's the kind of information I was looking for & its great news. I will also be going throgh 5 - 6 weeks of Radiation same like you. Yes we are all different & I fully endorse your statement. As you said, listening to your body is the most sensible thing to do. I will keep you all posted of my progress.

Good luck to you too in this journey  :)

Gavin 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1290
Joined: Jan 2013

I had surgery first then nine rounds ouf FOLFOX followed by 30 rounds of radiation and six week hook up to 5FU.

The actual administration of the radiation is quick and easy, but for me I had terrible bouts of diarrhea which would come on very quickly as diarrhea is wont to do. I would not have liked to be driving when this happened, though I was a passenger and there's probably not much difference..

When I was feeling REALLY bad, I know I could not have driven. Sometimes I just felt totally wasted and even needed help to and from the car.

But as we all say, our reactions to the threatment are all different so my experience is just one to add to all the others then you can decide what you'd rather do.  

Good luck with the rad. Be sure and let us know how it all goes for you.

robval30's picture
robval30
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2013

I just completed 5 weeks of Rad and 5FU (continuous infusion) Mon to Fri for a low tumor in my rectum. I had nausea on Wednesday's and Thurday's of each week from the chemo (I made sure I ate an apple and a banana, even if I was not hungry, as the nausea would go away or was not as bad after eating). I did not have any effects from the rad until about the end of the third week, which made bowel movements not every pleasant. I starting getting the fatigue in the afternoons during the fifth week, which I took off from work. Its been 10 days since my last rad treatment and I definitely can tell my body is healing as bowel movements are getting easier (not as much pain). I was told about getting diarrhea, but never had it (soft stools though). I am scheduled for surgery in about 8 to 12 weeks. Hang in there, just remember the side effects are temporary, and you can make it through it!!!!!

Rob

Gavin63
Posts: 98
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello Rob,

Glad to hear that you have completed your Chemo/Rad without much side effects & thanks for sharing your experinece. I will add those to my notes. I just completed 5 days of my Rad fractions + Xeloda twice a day & got 2 days off. Another 23 to go Frown  It was peaceful so far & believe that side effects may pop in after 3 weeks of treatment as you say. I pray every day for the side effects to be zero or at least in bearable range. Good luck to you on your surgery & am sure you will get over it peacefully.

Gavin

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4190
Joined: Feb 2009

My husband always went we me, but yes it is possible to drive yourself and we lived about 30 minutes away.  You will probably just have to play it by ear because everyone feels different and reacts differently.  The hardest part for me outside of the fatigue, was that my butt hurt so bad to sit and leaning on one cheek was usually the way I'd be sitting on the ride home - don't know if that would be very safe for driving though Wink.  See how you feel and if it gets too bad then you could ask someone to drive for you.  Good luck.

Kim

 

Gavin63
Posts: 98
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello Kim,

Thanks for sharing your experience. My drive is a little too long (1 hour +) I managed the 1st 5 days to the centre & back peacefully & got 2 days off Smile. My wife joins me every day to the centre & it takes me off the stress of long drive all alone. Unfortunately she is not driving anymore as she is on treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis. But I have no complains as she is going through a huge pressure getting up early morning, attending to our 3 kids & sending them to school, taking care of my needs etc..

As you say playing by ear is the sensible option. Few of my relatives & friends have offered their assistance to drive me to the centre & back home if a need arises. So I have this option if required. They are all so nice in volunteering to offer their assitance. I will keep you posted of my progress.

Gavin

 

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