kat1960 Member Posts: 14
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Thank you Tootsie1 for asking some of the same questions I've been wondering about. Until I found this site I was afraid of sounding silly. I was 46 yo when diagnosed w/stage III colon cancer and resected a month later (due to holidays). Only 2 out of 17 lymph nodes had shown infected cells and CT was negative. Soooo-prognosis is excellent doc says. I get a port-a-cath in next week - very nervous about that - and start the oxipilatin/and 48 hr continuous every 2 weeks only. But I am sooo scared about every little thing I feel and you are right, the anxiety can be overwhelming. Does it get easier? Does anyone have any experience with this chest catheter? Apparently, it is quite common now. Thanks for any help.


  • valley
    valley Member Posts: 94
    It was 2 years in Jan. for my husband stage 3 rectal cancer 10 out of 28 nodes positive. He's doing great but even after 2 years we never stop worrying. I worry about every little ache or pain he has. When he had his port put in the doctor clapsed his lung. THis is not very common just his bad luck! He stayed in the hospital one night because of this. Other then that the port was great much easier then having an IV for every treatment. Even great for other procedures such as ct scans and mri's you can use it for regular blood work but they have to flush it every time.
    Hope this helps.
  • Monicaemilia
    Monicaemilia Member Posts: 455 Member
    The port-o-cath is amazing. My veins take quite a beating so the port has been quite a blessing. Monica
  • sladich
    sladich Member Posts: 429 Member
    The port is the best way to go. I've had mine now for over 3 years.

  • cahalstead
    cahalstead Member Posts: 118
    I'm sorry you found the need to here but so nice to have you.

    I, too, was dx'd w/Stage III, 1 node. I had the same chemo you are getting, it's tough, no doubt, but so necessary and you will get through it. Believe me there were some days I didn't think I could do it one more time. But I did and I just had my CT and am cancer free! The oxaliplatin is tough, your doc may reduce the strength and shorten the number of treatments. Trust you doctor and tell him about all your symptoms, they are very important. My doctor was very big on preventative treatment, stop the symptoms before they started.

    Best of luck to you and keep up posted.

    By the way, I had the cath it did just fine. I had it removed 4 months after treatments ended and that was so nice~~it was an end of a passage for me. I was ready to move on. You will have to have it flushed monthly but your doctor will tell you all about that.

  • Faith88
    Faith88 Member Posts: 55
    hello, I'm also pretty new to this board but have been reading for awhile. My hubby ws diagnosed with Stage 3 last April with 12 of 36 nodes positive, and completed the same chemo regimen you are going two months ago in December. The porta-cath was no problem for him and I think you will agree as others have stated it's so much easier than having your veins pierced. The pump you wear is also more convenient as you can stay in the comfort of your home for those two days rather than going out for infusions.
    I want to mention that the drug Oxaliplatin can cause some rough symptoms with nerve stuff and they will tell you that. My hubby survived the chemo with flying colors but is now suffering with severe neuropathy due to the oxaliplatin. He was on a heavy dose as his oncologisst wanted to treat agressively since his age (44) was considered young, like yourself, and hopefully better to withstand it.
    I wish you the very best and try to take it one day at a time it seems like a long haul but looking back you will be surprised how fast it goes.
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    Welcome, kat1960. As I told one of my friends when I was diagnosed, I joined a club I didn't want to join. Looks like you've joined, too. Sounds like your prognosis is good, though! Don't be afraid to ask any questions or express any emotions you're feeling. That's why this group is here.
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Welcome to our board. I had my port-a-cath for 2 years, thru 2 cancers and a IV nutrition from a bowel was great keeping my veins!!!

    Yes, it will get into a routine...and so will be less nerve wracking...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • kmygil
    kmygil Member Posts: 876 Member
    Hi Kathy,
    I'm so sorry you have a need to come here, but this is the best group ever! Yes, I had a port put in and it was sooo convenient. Just make sure that it gets flushed every 6 weeks when you are not using it. I got mine out 2 months ago, but it sure was a blessing when I needed it. I was on the same regimen that you are going on, and being able to carry around that 48 hour pump is very convenient, even though you don't quite feel up to running marathons and such... Anyway, the pump is way better than blowing out your veins. Good luck and I'll pray for NED to come see you soon!
  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375
    Hey Kathy... welcome to the club! I guess the first thing I want to say is for you to try not to be scared. I know it's all new and the whole thing can be more than a little overwhelming, especially at the beginning when the doctors are trying to prep you with all kinds of information. Your brain will just shut down and inside you are saying "Enough!! I don't want to hear anymore and I don't know if I want to go through all of this!!"

    But, from someone who had almost the exact same diagnosis as you (only difference is I had 1 out of 17 lymph nodes that tested positive), I can tell you right now that if you take it a day at a time and a treatment at a time, it really isn't that bad. I never did have any nausea, although I did get more tired than I normally would have. The worst of it was the Oxipilatin... when they told me that one of the side affects was a sensitivity in the fingers and feet to cold, they weren't kidding!! :D I literally did have to put a glove on just to take anything out of the fridge... and forget even sipping on cold drinks. But if you know this ahead of time, you can deal with it... it's not fun, but it's doable.

    Just to give you an example of how well I did during all of this... in the summer, when I was 5 months into my chemo treatments and I had finished 6 weeks of daily radiation, I took on a volunteer job of working as Box Office manager for two full musicals (Oklahoma! and Grease) where we would have to get audiences of 2500 in every night. I had the time of my life. I would take the day off when it was chemo day since I would go to the Cancer Agency for 4 hours of infusion and then they'd hook me up to the portable pump for 48 hours. With that, I just got me one of those fabric water bottle holders and attached it to my belt. Hahaha.. it did mean I had to wear a belt for two days, which was hard on making a fashion statement in the summer, but what can you do? It was either that or a fanny pack. But I had a terrific summer and got through with the chemo sessions just fine (although I did miss those cold beverages in the summer!)

    The worst part... was actually post-chemo. 2 months after the chemo, and the neuropathy (numbness) bothers my feet and now I'm feeling joint/muscle pain, which they say is definitely caused by the chemo, but it will go away.

    I did all 12 sessions, plus 6 weeks of oral chemo while I was doing the radiation.

    And yes, I have a porta-cath, which I still have. It was a God-send to have that rather than 8 months of IV infused chemo. The surgery for putting the porta-cath in was a piece of cake. They do give you enough meds so that you fall asleep and don't remember it... except for me, I never did fall asleep, so I was awake for the whole thing. Didn't feel anything since they really do freeze the area good. Oh, and when they say your arm may be tender for 24 hours... don't believe them... it was more like tender for a week and that is perfectly normal :)

    Sooo... please do try to relax. Yes, it's a long road, but it's not as bad as our imaginations will make it out to be... if that's any help.