What should I expect?

anestrill Member Posts: 1 Member
edited March 27 in Colorectal Cancer #1

December 28th of 2023 I was diagnosed with Rectal Cancer. Just recently they staged it at 3. The tumor is about 4 - 5cm big. Soon I'll be going in for radiation/chemo, then after will be the chemo port, and then surgery. This is all new to me, so let's see how this goes. Tell me what your experience was like and what should I expect. Appreciate you taking the time to read this.


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    edited March 27 #2

    Hello, and welcome to the group nobody wants to join.

    It seems a long time for you to wait, from December to March, to start treatment, so I am glad that you are moving ahead. Even though none of it is going to be a joy ride, it is good to be doing something to battle the demon.

    Everybody responds to treatment in a different way. Over the years, I have seen people breeze through, staying at work, experiencing few side effects, and I have seen people brought to their knees, experiencing every side effect in the book and then some -unfortunately, I was one of the latter.

    And I won't lie, we have lost many a good forum member. Some go quickly, some fight for years and finally are taken; but there are also vast amount of folks, especially those below Stage IV, who conquer the beast, and move on with their lives. In fact, we have just had a post from Lisa Rose, 22 years Cancer Free. So good to hear from her, as many folks are happy to leave the forum behind, as it is just too traumatic for them to be a part of.

    I did list all of my side effects, once. It was a morbid tale, but you know what, I am here to tell that tale, 11 years later and Stage IV. While treatment wasn't fun, I survived and look back and say 'it was worth it'.

    Some of the side effects that seem to hit most people are a sensitivity to cold. Especially touching things. I dropped many an item from the fridge and freezer. Many people actually wear gloves, even during the summer.

    One of the very first side effects I experienced, during my first chemo infusion, was a cutting feeling when I swallowed. Like I was swallowing glass. Luckily, a patient sitting next to me told me that it was just a sensation, and noting was actually happening.

    Nausea can often be controlled by Zofran, which I am sure you will be given.

    Well, there's a start. If I find my post with all of the side effects, I will come back and add it. But remember, it is the worst case scenario. You may very well breeze through treatment, and come out the other end with narry a worry.

    I am sorry the forum is running so slow. Gone are the days, when I first arrived here, when there were pages of answers, when a new person arrived.

    Tru - Here is my list https://csn.cancer.org/discussion/292593/my-personal-list-of-folfox-5fu-side-effects#latest

  • Sestra17
    Sestra17 Member Posts: 71 Member

    Yes, the cold sensitivity was intense. Also the weird painful sensation when swallowing. My nurse advised taking a very small sip/bite at first. Overall for me the radiation was worse, but my oncologist prescribed meds and Silvadene cream that helped. 7 years out and all is well. You can do this!