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sil has rectal cancer

Posts: 758
Joined: Jul 2004

hello semi's,
just found out sil has rectal cancer. she had 2 bouts with breast cancer, now rectal. she was bleeding and went for scope and when scope went in it stopped at 2 inches and found a tumor the size of a golf ball. she is up beat and positive but scared. she will be doing rad to shrink and than chemo. she called me for advise but i didn't have rad, any info will be appreciated.
be well
never give up never

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Oh, Bruce, I am so sorry to hear of your SIL's latest news. I am glad she has you to talk to and I know you'll be a positive help to her.

Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

hi bruce,
i have the following advice for rad. if she develops diaherra the following foods may help. applesauce, bananas, cheese, peanut butter(creamy), rice, tapioca, yogurt. they will give you cream for the burn ask for this at the first sign of redness. cotton underwear the boy briefs work the best as they dont cut into the thigh. when the burn gets at its worse make really good friends with your bathtub sitting in lukewarm water brings more relieve then any pain meds although she will probaly need them towards the end. my tumor was so low, partialy out, that the burn was pretty bad.i wish her strength and will be thinking of her. please keep us posted.

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

I'm sorry to hear the news about your sil. When I was diagnosed with rectal ca, they treated me with rad and chemo at the same time. The chemo was 5 FU and it was run continuously 24/7. I had quite some trouble with this combo, but it started very slowly and just seemed to creep up on me. The problems I had were diarrhea, cramping, poor appetite and a very sore bottom. But again...this doesn't start with the first dose, so it's not as bad as it sounds. I also developed a c diff infection which was not helpful at all. If I had to go through this combo again, I would treat the diarrhea more aggressively. They only told me diet (the brat diet) and imodium. I don't know if they would have helped, but i would try lomotil and/or sandostatin (both are prescription).
This combo did shrink the tumor sighnificantly. The surgeon said there was barely more than scat tissue. Unfortunately it had already spread by then.
One side effect that I rarely see mentioned here that I got was chemical conjunctivitis. I think this developed from wearing my contact lenses to chemo. I think that everytime I put my contact lenses on I subjected my eyes to more of the chemo. I could barely open my eyes when it was bright out and as time went on it was difficult to open them even when it wasn't bright. It was easily treated with eye drops ordered by my nurse practitioner.
Your sil is in my prayers.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Bruce,

It's good to hear from you, but I am so sorry for the news you are sharing. I didn't have radiation either so I can only wish your sister in law my best.



4law's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Dec 2004

I had tumor in rectum treated by 24/7 5FU and radiation. At first, there was hardly any problems, but within a couple of weeks, I suffered a lot of diarrhea, and pain. The pain resulted from sore bottom with frequent BM's / diarrhea. Speak directly to oncologist and ask what to expect -- I did -- so the pain was not unexpected. It can be, and should be, controlled with pain meds -- the patches worked best for me. Not a happy time -- but, tumor shrunk away so by the time of my surgery there was only scar tissue left. There usually is a several month period of add'l chemo following surgery. I understand rectal cancer is aggressive, so you have to be aggressive when fighting it. My surgery was Jan. '05 and my adjuvant chemo stopped in Dec. I am now NED. No reason why your sil can't get thru this -- she sounds like a fighter. Never give up.

ruggersocks's picture
Posts: 78
Joined: Aug 2006


I'm so sorry to hear about your SIL. I was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer in May 2006. I started raditation and chemo for 28 treatments with chemo being 'fed' intravenously 24/7 through a fanny pack and internal port-a-cath. These combined treatments significantly reduced my tumour to scar tissue.

I recently had surgery to remove the tumour and was diagnosed as a Stage III with 2 lymph nodes involved. I'll heal up from the surgery for 4-5 weeks and then start additional chemo in August for 4 months.

I was told by the oncologist and radiation folks to expect no symptoms with the chemo and radiation until the 3rd week of treatments. I had diarhhea, fatigue, slight nausea, and the radiation sunburn. I also had pain urinating. I was given meds for the painful urination and I brought a lotion called RadX that helped with the radiation sunburn.

Please keep us posted on how she's doing. This is a very supportive and informative website.


Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I am so sorry about Sil. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you during this difficult time.

God Bless, Eleonora

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Sounds like me....read my page...just the other way around....rectal in the first rectal fold....2 inch tumor. Is it adenocarcinoma, or, like mine, squamous cell? (The "rare" one that I have since met 5 other women who have had...sigh). My pre-surgical 'shrinking' chemo/rads COMPLETELY ELIMINATED the tumor...all that was left was the rad 'stars'.

Please feel free to e-mail me here...get your sil on here asap!

Hugs, Kathi

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