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littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

hi everyone,
todays was my mother's first treatment for her stage 3 rectal cancer. she had the port put in her and her first radiation treatment. i guess it's good to know that the treatment has started but in another way its also scary. how was everyone's port & radiation treatment? my mother is going to have her surgery after this cycle. any thoughts? positive thoughts would help.


Posts: 31
Joined: Feb 2004


I did not have radiation, but as to the port question--having a port is wonderful. It sure saves a lot of wear and tear on the veins! They can use the port to draw blood, administer chemo or other drugs...I had to have 4 units of blood because of anemia, and they transfused me through my port. Also, if you're hospitalized and can get out of bed, it's a lot easier to drag the IV pole along if the IV is in your port rather than your arm.

Good luck to you and your mom, and God bless you. Maybe if we all pray hard enough someone will come through with a cure for this nasty disease.


grandma047's picture
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Julie, I'm glad that your mom has started the treatments. I have the Hickman Cath port. I was able to get all my chemo through it, but they were never able to draw blood through it. They said they thought it had sucked up against the chest wall. So, darn, I still had to be stuck. The radiation and chemo were really not that bad. My worse symptoms were diarehea and raditation burns on my front and back, but they had meds for both. I never really got tired until about the 5th week, but it really wasn't too bad. I went to the surgeon today and will have surgery in 4-5 weeks. Will keep the port until after surgery, to see if I will need further chemo. It really does help having it. Good luck to your mom and if you have any questions, or any thing I can help with, just let me know.
Love and prayers, Judy H

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Julie- I love my port. I have had mine since 6/02. Although they sometimes have difficulty drawing blood from some ports, mine was only a problem once. Changing positions, coughing and moving around solved the problem.

I had no problems during radiation until the last week when I developed severe inflammation in my rectum. My radiation oncologist prescribed steroid suppositories which helped a bunch, so I was only uncomfortable for a few more days. You can get irritation of the skin. The amount depends upon exactly the site they have to treat. I had only a quarter size red area like a bad sunburn. A topical ointment Biafine controlled that very well. All in all it was not bad at all for me.

Best wishes,


StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Julie,

I have my port still. I will get it removed on my 5 yr anniversary, which is about 2 yrs away. Yes, it is scary...the unknown usually is. But don't let it consume your entire being. You need to be positive for your mom. Nobody enjoys any of this, but you need to fight the good fight for the simple sake of being here. Take each day as it comes, and before you know it, you'll be telling all of us about HER success story!

Blessings and positive thoughts for you BOTH,


Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi-my husband started the same treatment 2.5 weeks ago and is doing really well with it-I completely understand your concern and worry about it beciuase it is the not knowing what to expect that is hardest. He is at present still working and although is a bit more tired than usual and gets a bit of diarrhoea(controlled with loperamide) things are really much better than we had envisaged so hang in there and cross the days of treatment off the calendar-at least teatment has started and you can begin to get this tumour healed so you can get on with life-good luck

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Looks like my wife beat me to replying to you but yeah I'm just a couple of weeks ahead and have to say it is not as bad as I expected. still working and although I get aa bit tired at teh end of the day it helps keeps some normality to the surreal feeling your life takes on. Keep communicating with the radiotherapists about any side effects and stay on top of them before they get serious. The port becomes stragely normal after a while and jsut think how good you feel through that six week gap before surgery. Plan something good (I'm having a baby but I guess that is probably out of the question for most unless you planned ahead!) and sue this site for advise and suppport throughout.
Best of luck and if you want more personal advise feel free to email myself or my wife above.

Anonymous user (not verified)

Julie, Bert is not on the same protocol as your mom but he loves his port...wouldn't be without it. I know the feeling of starting treatment giving some comfort because now you know that hopefully something is going into your mom that may stop this terrible disease. Yet, fear of the unknown and the dreaded "side effects" of this poison loom over your head. Both my mom and Bert have adopted the attitude that what is going in them is attacking this beast and killing it. It wouldn't hurt to tell your mom to visualize something of that nature. Stay strong and positive.


jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Julie, Hope you are feeling better. I think it's just as hard on the caregiver, or maybe harder. Your mom is lucky to have your support.
I can't comment on radiation, but I, too, love my port. I had six treatments without it and my veins on my hands were screaming for a few weeks after each treatment. The port is a little strange, and I'm thin, so mine sticks out a bit more than I like to look at, but it is a gift!
You may want to read my post to grandma about surgery, but be sure to talk with the anesthesiologist about pain control after surgery. It helps so much with the healing and your attitude to not deal with pain after surgery. Hang in there, keep us posted, Judy

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Julie, I didn't have a port so can't comment on that. My radiation went OK. Like others, I had some diarrhea and also radiation 'burn' (very sore butt). Fatigue was not bad at all for me. The best thing is that it ends, and becomes a distant blur....
Wishing her -- and you -- all the best

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