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Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi everyone,

I hope that you're doing well.
I am feeling down tonight. I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow to discuss chemo after surgery and I am dreading it.
I did fine with radiation and chemo before surgery, but the surgery was more extensive than expected and took a lot out of me. I am finally starting to feel sort of human and don't want anything to slow down my recovery. I just don't want to deal with any more treatment, but know that I have to in order to give myself the best chance to not have a recurrence.

I'd appreciate any advice.


Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

hey jamie,

hang in there... as I told you before, I had the APR surgery also. I had 3 positive lymph nodes and had pre-op chemo/rad, then post op chemo with xeloda & CPT-11 for 4 months. I started my post op chemo 6wks after surgery. My surgery was long too, took over 8 hours.

The chemo does slow recovery down a bit, but I think it is well worth it. Because your lymph nodes were negative you will probably only need 1 chemo agent, your onc will know best though.

Recovering with chemo on board isn't so bad, especially if you tolerated the pre-op stuff well. It is VERY normal to feel hesitation to start up again.

Just do what feels right. If you would regret it later, definately do the chemo!! I was able to work full time post-op while on chemo after about 10 weeks - I went back part time at 6 weeks. Be kind to yourself. So far luck has been on your side - ride that wave.

Don't be too scared. This too shall pass. Best of luck - we are here for you.


StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003


When I read your posting, I thought I was hearing myself allover again. That is EXACTLY how I felt! I had no side effects from the chemo and radiatin prior to surgery, made it through a 10 hr surgery, and I was NOT in the mood to (what I felt) regress back to chemo. Then, I was totally elated to learn that I would need only 4 sessions. That elation was soon smashed when I learned that each session was 4 weeks long!

Ok, so here's the pep talk:

Think of it this way, you'll probably have 6 months of chemo. Before you do that, though, take a look back at how far you have come. You're whipping through all of this with FLYING COLORS! You're on the upswing, and this is just to seal the deal. Take the time now to wipe out those microscopic little nippers so you can FINALLY LIVE! Then, on your last day of chemo, you can thump your chest (not too hard to screw up your port!) and declare victory! I know you can see that finish line, so just get through this and cross it---YOU'RE DOING GREAT!

All the best,


littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Jamie,
I agree %100 with Stacy - Look how far you come! The worst is over! We must think alike because I was wondering the same thing about chemo after the surgery. My mother is really postive and believes the worst is behind her. My mom has an appointment on Tuesay to discuss chemo after the surgery. Its almost a year of treatment but worth it! GOOD LUCK!!!

julie :)

Anonymous user (not verified)

Jamie, from a caregiver's perspective I can only but imagine your hesitation to start up again but all I can tell you is stay with it. Your best chance at cure is surgery with adjuvant chemo therapy. Bert started his three weeks after major colon surgery back in July 2003 (surgery that was only supposed to last 2-3 hours turned out to be 8+ plus with much more involvement than originally expected). He did not require any pre-op chemo or radiation and for the most part, tolerated four months of 5fu/leuc and than an additional 6 months of 5fu/leuc/oxal quite well. More oft than not I hear that the majority of people handle this combo with relatively few or tolerable side effects. Additionally, both Bert and I were amazed at how quickly the time actually went by. He's off chemo now and doing well.

The decision is ultimately yours and I'm sure you will make the choice that best suits you.

Monika & Bert

taunya's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

Hi Jamie,
I agree with Stacy, just consider this your insurance policy. That little extra slam to make sure the pesky cells are obliterated for good!!! Try not to let it get you down. I will be sending some strong good vibes in your direction. Hang in there sweetie.

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