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Chemo treatment

keturah
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2007

I am a new member. I was just diagnosed with colorectal cancer (stage 3b) in April and had surgery a few weeks ago. I am starting chemo on May 21st. I was shocked to learn that I have colon cancer, partly due to the fact that I had breast cancer in 2003 and have been under the care of an oncologist. I had surgery and chemo for the breast cancer- which has not returned. The colon tumor was slow growing and I have probably had it all along....Is there anyone out there who has had both breast and colon cancer? As one nurse put it- she didn't know what to say because "lightening had hit me twice". I am going to fight this disease but right now it is hard to get it together. Any words of wisdom?
Keturah

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

It's hard to get news of another battle to fight after getting past another one. I'm sure KathiM will respond to you as she gone through a similar course and has been an inspiration to us. You may want to view her webpage. We will pray for your success in this battle as well.

Dick

Faith4Cure
Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Hello Keturah
So sorry that you have to fight the "beast" again. That must be a huge shock after feeling as you had won the battle with breast cancer. This is a great place to come and get information and also share your fears. It has helped us tremendously. My husband was diagnosed with stage 3b rectal cancer also. He just finished his treatment this week and will be having surgery early in June to reverse his illeostomy. I pray that everything goes well for you. Please e-mail with any questions. Good luck!

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi.Sorry to hear that the beast has returned. You won once , you'll win again. This is a great site for support. You'll be in all our prayers. As stated, be sure to check out KathiM's webpage. Post often and God Bless.

Diane

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Yup, isn't it GRAND???

As others said...check out my page...sigh...welcome to the group of "rare as hens teeth"...(I personally know 14 other women that have had this happen to them.)!

Stay the course is the best advice. And come here frequently. And e-mail me with any questions. Laugh every day. Realize this too, will pass. Enough of the spiritual...lol!

Now, know that you may not lose all of your hair with this one. If you read the chemo stuff, the side is 'hair thinning'. My treatment was the reverse of yours...colon first...so I lost all of my hair with the second go round.

Take very good care of your body, you know the drill with the water. I drank 4 quarts the day before, day of, and day after infusion.

This beast is a little different than the breast. Mainly because you are still trying to USE the area they are TREATING...(hehehehee, I hadn't used my breast in YEARS....).

Know that we are here, that we can help, and I will close with a quote from my 5th second opinion for the breast chemo (I didn't want to do it again, barely 6 months after the colon): "I KNOW you are weary. But why would you throw out all your hard work on the first time around by not fighting as hard as you can now?" Darn, the ONE argument I couldn't poke holes in!!!!

I am approaching 1 year cancer FREE (well, sigh, unless my scans come back telling me different) from both cancers...It IS VERY doable!!!

BIG, SISTER hugs,
Kathi

83popsong's picture
83popsong
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2006

The main words of wisdom I have for you are BE OPTIMISTIC. Treatment for colon cancer has advanced greatly in the past few years. You probably already know this, but there is a new class of drugs out there fighting cancer called monoclonal antibodies. The names you want to know are Avastin and Erbitux. These drugs more specifically attack colon cancer cells then the systemic FOLFOX and FOLFIRI combinations. Erbitux is still in clinical trial, but available. Avastin is considered a front line therapy. I don't encourage you to seek out statistics, but if you do, remember that the impact that these new drugs are having on survival rates won't be seen statistically for a number of years, and are certainly not reflected in current statistics. I was DX'ed as Stage IV with nine liver mets (two significant, > 3 cm) and told I was not a candidate for surgery. Five months of FOLFOX & Erbitux got me to the OR and I have been NED for 9 months.

If you wind up on Oxaliplatin, watch out for the neuropathy. That makes it difficult the eat/drink/touch things below room temperature. The problem I had was staying hydrated (I like cold drinks). If this turns into a problem for you, ask for extra fluids following your treatment. I have a port and they could give me 500ml of saline in about 45 minutes.

Best of luck to you, and please keep us posted. You beat it once, you can do it again! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

--Eben

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

it's just cancer; as others have eluded to here..
I have a little bird on my shoulder that I talk to each morning to determine what kind of day this will be; sometimes s/he tells me to look left, sometime right..it really doesn't matter. It's just another step in the process, your process, one day at a time..and that's the secret.
bud

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