chemo

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rheasgirl
rheasgirl Member Posts: 7
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
my sister had surgery for stage 3 colorectal ca and has had 3 months of chemo but she is so sick...diarrhea up to 40 times a day that she is begging to quit...should her husband and I support her decision or try to talk her into continuing another 3 months of this hell?

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  • chynabear
    chynabear Member Posts: 481 Member
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    Is she taking anything for the diarrhea?

    I was also stage III and went for 6 months of chemo. My team was HUGE on preventative measures and immediate action on any symptom. That meant taking immodium (or something else if that didn't work, but it always did) at the very first sign of a loose bm. If the first immodium didn't work, I was instructed to take another. This got me through the cycles of chemo diahrrea. It also meant being armed with prescriptions, "just in case" I had nausea.

    I think it would be a good idea to discuss the symptoms with her team of doctors to find the best course of action.

    If nothing is working to stop or lessen the diarrhea, the chemo dose may be able to change as well. It is important to talk to her doctors.

    Is the chemo an "insurance" or does she still have some cancer?
  • rheasgirl
    rheasgirl Member Posts: 7
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    the chemo is insurance...she was clear because of combined chemo and radiation before surgery..she has tried everything they give her and still the diarrhea is terrible...
  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072 Member
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    I also had stage 3 rectal cancer . I had the preop chemo and radiation also. I was supposed to have 12 more chemo treatments, but had diarrhea so bad I ended up in the hospital on TPN--IV nutrition. I receved only 4 out of 12 treatments postop. I wanted to get more but was told "the chemo can kill you"

    I was so afraid that the cancer was going to come back, but ut hasn't. It has been almost 5 years since my diagnosis and I remain NED.

    What are her docs saying?

    I also tried everything and nothing helped the diarrhea.

    maureen
  • chynabear
    chynabear Member Posts: 481 Member
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    Moesimo said:

    I also had stage 3 rectal cancer . I had the preop chemo and radiation also. I was supposed to have 12 more chemo treatments, but had diarrhea so bad I ended up in the hospital on TPN--IV nutrition. I receved only 4 out of 12 treatments postop. I wanted to get more but was told "the chemo can kill you"

    I was so afraid that the cancer was going to come back, but ut hasn't. It has been almost 5 years since my diagnosis and I remain NED.

    What are her docs saying?

    I also tried everything and nothing helped the diarrhea.

    maureen

    The good news is that the cancer is gone at this point and the chemo is insurance. I hope this fact helps in making the final decision to stop.

    In my opinion, and please talk thoroughly with her doctors and rest of family, and of course her, maybe her body has had enough. I cringe thinking about how sore she must be with no relief in sight. Diarrhea can lead to far worse problems than a sore bottom. At some point, she could get very sick from dehydration and loss of nutrients and end up in the hospital like Maureen did.

    I did chemo for insurance as well. While my side effects were mild enough that I completed all 12 treatments on time, the long term side effects make me sometimes wonder if I would do it again if I had the decision to make again.

    Remember, if she decides to stop the chemo, never look back.

    FYI, there are so many other options to help prevent cancer from coming back. Obviously nothing is fool proof, but it may ease your mind. Start researching cancer and nutrition books and cancer and healing books. If you do a search on this site, you should get plenty of information.

    Good luck with this hard decision.

    patricia
  • rheasgirl
    rheasgirl Member Posts: 7
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    Moesimo said:

    I also had stage 3 rectal cancer . I had the preop chemo and radiation also. I was supposed to have 12 more chemo treatments, but had diarrhea so bad I ended up in the hospital on TPN--IV nutrition. I receved only 4 out of 12 treatments postop. I wanted to get more but was told "the chemo can kill you"

    I was so afraid that the cancer was going to come back, but ut hasn't. It has been almost 5 years since my diagnosis and I remain NED.

    What are her docs saying?

    I also tried everything and nothing helped the diarrhea.

    maureen

    thank you so much for your replies....she has been off and on with the chemo because of the diarrhea....and she has been told that it can kill her as well.....her side effects are killing her....so happy to hear you are still NED 5 years later.....her docs seem to think she is not telling the truth that she cannot be that bad...but she is...she cannot get to the bathroom on time and it is constant....she never goes out of the house except for chemo....she is so thin and hair is gone.....I am so scared ...she is NED ...but they have her in a clinical trial so I am afraid they are not really listening to her....
  • rheasgirl
    rheasgirl Member Posts: 7
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    chynabear said:

    The good news is that the cancer is gone at this point and the chemo is insurance. I hope this fact helps in making the final decision to stop.

    In my opinion, and please talk thoroughly with her doctors and rest of family, and of course her, maybe her body has had enough. I cringe thinking about how sore she must be with no relief in sight. Diarrhea can lead to far worse problems than a sore bottom. At some point, she could get very sick from dehydration and loss of nutrients and end up in the hospital like Maureen did.

    I did chemo for insurance as well. While my side effects were mild enough that I completed all 12 treatments on time, the long term side effects make me sometimes wonder if I would do it again if I had the decision to make again.

    Remember, if she decides to stop the chemo, never look back.

    FYI, there are so many other options to help prevent cancer from coming back. Obviously nothing is fool proof, but it may ease your mind. Start researching cancer and nutrition books and cancer and healing books. If you do a search on this site, you should get plenty of information.

    Good luck with this hard decision.

    patricia

    Hi chynabear...what are the long term side effects you mentioned....?
  • chynabear
    chynabear Member Posts: 481 Member
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    rheasgirl said:

    thank you so much for your replies....she has been off and on with the chemo because of the diarrhea....and she has been told that it can kill her as well.....her side effects are killing her....so happy to hear you are still NED 5 years later.....her docs seem to think she is not telling the truth that she cannot be that bad...but she is...she cannot get to the bathroom on time and it is constant....she never goes out of the house except for chemo....she is so thin and hair is gone.....I am so scared ...she is NED ...but they have her in a clinical trial so I am afraid they are not really listening to her....

    My long term side effects are probably mild compared to some, but I still have some tingling in my toes and memmory and concentration issues, which are more troubling. I had also had issues with my ovaries acting up and my gyn believes it was the chemo. I worry about my overall long term general health after poisoning myself like that.

    If her doctors are not taking her claims seriously and are not acting to help her, maybe it is time to switch doctors.
  • vinny3
    vinny3 Member Posts: 928 Member
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    rheasgirl said:

    thank you so much for your replies....she has been off and on with the chemo because of the diarrhea....and she has been told that it can kill her as well.....her side effects are killing her....so happy to hear you are still NED 5 years later.....her docs seem to think she is not telling the truth that she cannot be that bad...but she is...she cannot get to the bathroom on time and it is constant....she never goes out of the house except for chemo....she is so thin and hair is gone.....I am so scared ...she is NED ...but they have her in a clinical trial so I am afraid they are not really listening to her....

    If she is in a clinical trial it may be that her doctors are afraid that if she quits that it will affect their statistics. It sounds like her body is telling her to stop. I stopped after 9 cycles due to the neuropathy problem. I still have some 15 months later but it is tolerable. If her doctors are not helping her with the problems she is having I would recommend she see another doctor. It may be that she would benefit from chemo but something other than what she is on. Do you know what she is getting?

    ****
  • renee2u
    renee2u Member Posts: 27
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    Hello... sorry to hear about your sisters side effects from chemo. I recently finished with my chemo/radiation treatments and the diarrhea was horrid. I would say I had diarrhea at least 20 times a day and when the "sensation" would come I would never make it to the toilet in time! I was taking 10-20 advanced Imodium daily (per my radiation oncologist)...

    Here I am 3 months later and still having minor diarrhea issues. Still taking smaller amounts of Imodium, which is helping but has not alleviated the problem!

    Even though advanced Imodium gave me gas... it was better than being burned from the inside out by the acidic diarrhea!

    Hope your sister gets some relief soon!
  • hopefulone
    hopefulone Member Posts: 1,043 Member
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    The side effects seem excessive and a different regimen or adjustment in dosage may be indicated. I agree, it may be time for her to see new docs. You don't say what regimen she is on or how frequent, but if she is NED, I'd be questioning it big time. She can choose to quit a clinical trial at any time and a different regimen might be in order, if any. Good luck and God Bless
    Diane