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Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 597
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Margo,

Welcome to the SEMI COLON CLUB I hope you enjoy your membership here .

My name is Lisa and yes I am a stage 3 like yourself . However I had 10 positive lymph nodes , and that took me a long time to accept .

Yes , I had a portacath and it was great when it worked even though I had some trouble with mine I would definitely recommend it . It saves so much time and no one poking around looking for veins . Also my treatment was straight 5-FU , I never had a choice but I wish I had . It's been almost 18 months and I feel wonderful again.


spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Margo -

I believe Lisa Rose has summed it up.

I had 5FU/Leucovorin. I just missed an opportunity to be in the Folox clinical trial. In my book, anything that will nuke those lil' cancer cell buggers is good.

As for side-effects, everyone reacts differently to the meds. One thing I know for sure is that a portocath would probably have been a good career decision for me. Unfortunately, I was in denial and preferred to let them root around for 60-90 minutes looking for a vein (and I didn't even get a sucker or sticker afterward, but I swear I DIDN'T cry!). If I had the port, it would have been much easier to get hooked-up.

Sounds like you have a good attitude which is the only prerequisite for being a semicolon! Welcome!

Be well,

; ) SpongeBob

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2003

Hello Margo,
Hope all is going well for you. I should have my portocath in two days. Then the chemo begins. Anything I should know about inserting into the portocath?

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

Welcome Margo!

I could just re-type everything Lisa and SpongeBob just said, since they're right on target (as usual!). Sorry to meet under such cruddy circumstances, but hanging out here will help you feel better about everything you're going through. Keep up that chin, and don't let the petty stuff annoy you and you'll do just fine! Then, in 15 years, we'll have a reunion to celebrate our victories!

Take Care,

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Margo,


I am 47 with stage 4 rectal carcinoma. I have had a port since June '02. I love it. It has not caused a bit of problem. One thing my interventional radiologist told me was that if you are skinny and have the catheter run over your clavicle it can be uncomfortable, so he put mine in below it. I don't feel it at all. I initially had it for 5-FU, but then went on oxaliplatin/5-FU and now oxaliplatin/Xeloda. I hear from the onc nurses that most people getting oxaliplatin get ports because it causes an unpleasant sensation when infused in a small catheter.

As Sponge Bob has said everyone reacts differently to medication. however, I worked during the 12 wks I was on oxaliplatin, 5-FU last winter. After 6 doses of oxaliplatin on this current round, I am feeling great. It does cause a funky feeling when I drink anything cold for a while after I get it, and causes tingling in my hands to the point I use oven mitts to get things out of my freezer.

I can't taste very well these days- especially sweet stuff :(. Still, I haven't lost my appetite at all.
I am on a new antinausea drug Emend. Although I almost never vomit, it stops the unpleasant queasy feeling I used to get 3-4 days after chemo.

Xeloda and 5 FU causes some irritation of my hands and feet. My cupboard has become an advertisement for Dr. Scholl's with miscellaneous bandages for preventive mantainence that I mix and match to keep my feet comfy for long walks. All these things have been pretty minor and went away quickly when I went off of chemo the last time.

Best of luck,


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