new to board

fedester Member Posts: 753 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
i have been dx with stage11 colon cancer.i had tumor removed, lymphnods negative 21 out of 21
started chemo 5-fu and lv once a week.
any advise would be welcomed


  • StacyGleaso
    StacyGleaso Member Posts: 1,233 Member
    Hi fedester,

    Can you give a little more detail regarding age, family history and things like that, if you feel ok doing so. I was a stage 4 diagnosis, and today, am all clear. Mine also spread to my liver. You can gain a lot of insight by reading through the message boards. Everyone here understands a lot of what you are going through. It does not have to be the end of your world. You can get through this. Each day will be its own little battle, but when added together, it's quite the victory!

    Did your oncologist say whether or not you will get a port-a-cath implanted? It's a way of getting the chemo rather than being poked each week while searching for a cooperative vein. Drink tons of water before and after chemo. You also might not want to eat a whole lot prior to chemo, until you see if nausea will be a factor or not. I had no chemo side effects. Not sure why, but I really don't need an explanation---that kind of mystery is ok!

    Come here when you have a question, but don't use this to replace what qualified experts suggest you do. However, if you feel your physician isn't handling this in a way comfortable to you, then a second, or third opinion is definitely the way to go.

    Keep in touch,

  • steved
    steved Member Posts: 834 Member
    Welcome- it sounds like the surgery went well and with all nodes clear the future is looking great- well done! I am just behind with my op next week for what looks like stage 2 and will then go onto chemo after that.
    I had preop chemo and radiothreapy to shrink back the tumour as it was getting too near other things (I'm 31 and want more kids so all teh other structures in my pelvis are very precious to me!) the chemo wasn't too bad at all- managed to work for most of the course. It was at a lower dose than you will be getting post op but my understanding is most people tolerate it pretty well. Some fatigue, dairrhoea, a bit of nausea and cracked/dry lips are pretty common but managable with help. Other sides effects are less comons eg dry eyes, mouth pain etc. Let you oncologist know of any side effectsas they have meds for most things- there is no use suffering in silence.

    Hope all goes well adn as stacy said let us know a bit more about you if you feel able to (age, situation etc)

  • jsabol
    jsabol Member Posts: 1,145 Member
    Sorry you have to be here, but welcome. I just finished 6 months of 5FU and leuco for my early stage III cancer (1 microscopically positive node), and looking back, the 6 months of weekly treatments went by more quickly than I had feared, and overall, was easier that I had feared.
    Each person reacts differently to the chemo agents; there are a percentage of folks who have serious diarrhea problems with this regimen, but I was one of the people who alternated constipation with mild diarrhea. Other side effects were more annoying than limiting....lost my eyelashes, so my eyes teared a lot, skin got very dry and blotchy, so lotions and sunblock are a must. Occasional mouth sores that were knocked out quickly by the "super mouth wash" from my onc. I worked for the first 12 weeks of chemo, but got too fatigued to do anything else but work and rest. Went on disability for the last 12 weeks, and could fit my naps in whenever I needed, as well as being able to manage house, 2 high school kids, hubby, dog and cat (and a garden).
    Stacy's advice about drinking plenty of water is right on the mark. I would start sipping on the way to treatment, and keep it up right straight through. My sense of taste got effected, so at some point I switched from water to diluted cream soda!!! Lived on the stuff, but that's changing now.
    I did my first course of treament without an access port, but the veins in my hands and arms were getting really inflamed from the solutions. Loved having the port, which solved the problem; they were also able to draw all the bloodwork from the port prior to treatment. I did develop a small blood clot in my neck, but it's resolved with coumadin therapy.
    Hope this helps, hang in there and keep us posted. Good luck to you. Judy
  • jana11
    jana11 Member Posts: 705
    Hello... sorry you are with us, but welcome!!!

    Like Stacy suggested; more info is great regarding specifics in your life - if you are comfortable! The shock of cancer diagnosis wears off with time.

    I started off with stage 3 at 32 years old; now I am 34 with stage 4 - but getting amazing care. Currently on chemo.

    My first round of chemo was xeloda (oral 5FU) and CPT-11. I tolerated it great - worked full time the entire time. I was a little fatigued (but baseline I have tons of energy) and had diarrhea. That was it for side effects. I had to eat constantly to keep my weight up - I only lost about 8 pounds total.

    Definately hydrate like crazy. I considered it washing the processed chemo out of my system. Carry water with you everywhere! My hair thinned a little, but no one could tell but me. During the later part of treament I needed Procrit injections to increase my red blood cells. I got pale, but still worked.

    Colon caner sucks, but the chemo agents aren't too bad, relative to other cancer treatments.

    Whenever you have questions.... we are here. Best of luck to you.