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suelanders's picture
suelanders
Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi to all,

I just found out 2 months ago that I have Colon Cancer. I went to the hospital with pains on my right side, they did a CT scan and found a mass in my Colon. I had surgery to remove the mass and the Doctor told me it was cancer with cancer in one lymph node, I saw the pathology report and I am Stage III B. It has been quit a shock to me and my family, we have no history of any cancer in our family, I am 55 years old and live a pretty healthy life, no smoking and eat well. It just goes to show you, cancer can happen to anyone. I have a great attitude and will be taking Chemo treatments for the next six months. I will start on Wed the 28th of April. If anyone has advice about the possible side effects I would love to hear from you. The Doctor told me I will not lose my hair but there are many other nasty side effects to expect. well thats it I guess, just looking for some support out there. Thanks for listening.

Sue

damama24
Posts: 175
Joined: Nov 2009

Sorry you had to find us this way but you will find this forum very helpful. If you can tell us what chemo you will be receiving it would help to better answer your questions about side affects and such. Hang in there we will be here for you. Blessings to you. Deb

suelanders's picture
suelanders
Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2010

I have a port and will be getting ForFox 6 or 5FU with two other drugs, pretty common to my type of cancer. I will have to go to the hospital for about 4 hours and then take the medication home with me for two days. This will happen every two weeks for 12 treatments. Does this information help?

Sue

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

That's the "gold standard" for us colon cancer survivors. Most of us have had at least some of oxaliplatin and can help you with managing side effects. I only had 3 treatments before they had to take me off the oxaliplatin due to side effects, but others have taken all 12 treatments with minimal problems. Just remember to document your side effects and mention them to your onc and/or chemo nurse; you can be sure that if you are experiencing a side effect, others have before you and there's medicine that can alleviate it! Journaling your experience and bringing it with you to your appts helps tremendously as we all tend to blank when it comes to what questions to ask/things to mention once we actually get to the doctor's office!

Oh yea, welcome to the board! You will find wonderful information and support here! Hate that you had to find us, but glad you found us so early!
mary

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

Try this link: http://www.cancercare.on.ca/pdfchemo/Folfox6-adj-col.pdf Print it out and take it with you to discuss with your onc or onc nurse.

Remember to ask you onc lots of questions. Write down your questions and ask them all. I do this every week and I'm almost done with chemo. I have 5 more doses left of FOLFOX4. The only difference, If I'm correct, is that I get leucovorin on day 2 and you only have to go in on day 1 and 3. :)

There are a list of side effects in the above link. Some you'll have, some you won't. Oxaliplatin is notorious for giving people neuropathy in which you feel like your hands and feet hurt if exposed to cold weather or even taking milk out of the fridge. Some people get it and some don't. Everyone is different.

:) Please ask questions if you need to. Hopefully, you onc nurse will go over all adverse effects or side effects with you.

onward and forward,

Holly

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Sue, Yep, you're having the 'usual' chemo for Stage III colon cancer. I made it thru all 12 treatments and completed them last August. I'm NED, which means no evidence of disease.

I was so very scared before my first chemo! I had not found any forums and had no idea what to expect. I actually spent my first day watching TV, making friends, reading magazines and eating snacks. I never threw up. I did get very tired after being disconnected from the pump. Most of us had some bloody nose issues toward the end but the whole thing was quite doable. I'm going to be 60 and also expect to live 40 more years.

You'll do GREAT!

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I had cancer in my right colon too and the whole right colon was removed and had resection.I was stage II

The list of side effects should give you some idea of what might or might not happen. We are all different. I haven't had much nausea or diarrhea but on the Folfox regimen I did have mouth sores ( ask for Magic Mouthwash...it is great ), bloody nose with sores, red itchy hands,Incredible fatigue, and neuropathy. The neuropathy became bad enough that my Onc took me off of the Folfox after 5 treatments and now I am on Xeloda.

Like others said, ask questions. Take a notebook with you with all the questions you have thought of and take someone with you so you'll have 2 pair of ears.

Good luck with your treatments and best of health to you.
-Pat

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

You are now part of a large community of colon cancer survivors including many who are long-term Stage 3 and 4 survivors. Many of us have undergone the same chemo treatment you are about to start. While some of the side-effects are common to us all there is wide variation in the severity. Many of us have coped quite well with minor discomfort and adjustment.

A helpful way to get to know folks here is to "click" on their name (<----- to the left))and read their profile. You will be able read some amazing stories of healing and recovery and learn about different ways of coping with cancer and chemo. When you have a moment you could add information to your profile as well.

I hope things go well for you on Wednesday.

Rob; in Vancouver

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi, Sue.

Welcome to the board! I did not have to do chemo, so I can't answer questions about that, but I just want to tell you I'm glad you're here. Not for the reason you have to be here, though!

*hugs*
Gail

chicoturner's picture
chicoturner
Posts: 285
Joined: Apr 2009

Thinking about your going in Wed. for your lst treatment. Just make sure someone is there with you to listen and gather info. so when you ask later they can help you! I too had the pump at home for 46 hours and completed 12 treatments. I did have some side affects, but I figured I was a tough old broad and I wasn't going to give up easily! I am currently on a rest from chemo, and feel very good, and still have "poor me days". But...I get over it and move on. The people on the site let me whine when I need to and encourage me so much. Don't be afraid to say how you feel. Prayers and thoughts are with you on Wed. Jean

suelanders's picture
suelanders
Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2010

Thank you all for your suggestions and support. I will spend much time here as I am not working while on treatment. You all sound so uplifting ...with the support of you all and my family I will be fine...wish me luck!!!

thready's picture
thready
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Sue
I am a State IIIB person. I also did the Folfox treatment, I finished on 4/14/10, so you see it is do-able. You got great suggestions here. One thing to remember is to stay on top of the nausea and hydration. If you get dehydrated the nausea is very difficult. You might ask your Dr for Emend-this is anti nausea. You will take one pill the day of treatment then one pill each day for 2 more days. It is one of the most helpful antinausea meds around. I also took Ativan for the nausea especially at night. I only took it during treatment days and usually 3-4 days after but it also helped. About the hydration: I would get my chemo every other Wednesday and then go have the pump taken off on Friday. On Friday I would also get a bag of fluids that really helped carry me through the weekend. I also drank a lot of hot tea.

The need for rest is really important. If you need to rest than that is exactly what you need to do. I found if I pushed myself that is when I would start feeling bad. I would take a book to bed and read (usually not for very long) until I fell asleep. For some reason that made me feel very pampered.

One other thing that I found helpful is walking. Often it was just getting out and walking around the yard, other times I would feel good and go for a long power walk. I almost always did not want to do it, but I would feel better if I did.

I think I read that others have told you about the neuropathy. Well it is what it is. Please make sure you keep your doctor posted about how it is going. I got calcium and magnesium as pre-meds before chemo. When I started having trouble with the neuropathy the oxaliplatin was infused over 6 hours and I got calcium and magnesium before and after treatment. Those two things really helped.

O.K. That is enough for now. If you have any questions, need to visit or need to vent please not hesitate to come here. You can PM most of us and we will be there for you.

Take care.
Jan

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2122
Joined: Oct 2009

Hello and welcome to the discussion group you never wanted to join. That being said, like others have said, some sail through chemo and some do not. My hubby was 60 when diagnosed 3/09, Stage IV, lots of mets in the liver and lungs, and his side effects were minimal compared to most. In fact, he continued working full time but for infusion days. Even went to work with that darn pump. Many others are not so lucky. Like Rob said, read our stories (just click on our names) most helpful and takes the anxiety level way down.

Only other advise I can offer is that it is difficult to shower with the tubing and pump so George would just skip the shower that day and just wash up before going off to work when he had that pump.

Be careful not to grab anything too cold, hurts the hands. Once you do it you won't forget the next time.

Take a deep breath and come back and let us know how chemo went.

I will be thinking of you on Wednesday as you start your journey.

Tina (caregiver to George)

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Sue, Yes you have good advice here. My husband had FOLFOX and had a reaction to it on his 7th treatment and 8th treatment so 9 thru 14 were wirhout OXY. He is inoperable and on Xeloda and is stable.
Good luck. Best to you, Paula

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