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Radiation Treatments

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

I guys! I am getting ready to begin radiation treatments next Monday in Houston. I'm getting a little anxious now because of the papers I was given on all the possible side effects.

Has anyone out there had radiation to the abdomen area? My stubborn spot is about 3 inches above the navel. I was semi-permanently marked yesterday with the location for the radiation. (the cross-hairs, so to speak)

Anyway, any feedback, information, advice would be welcome. How much nausea, diahrrea, fatigue??

In addition, I'm back on the Xeloda....so double whammy for me.

Thanks guys. I'm hoping this treatment works. It's the third round for me - "three times a charm".


Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Kerry -
My mom received radiation and it was fine until the last week, when she had discomfort. (that lasted only a few weeks afterwards). I have trying to follow the posts, but I guess I missed a few - have you received a new diagnosis or is this radiation being done in conjunction with your earlier treatment.

Keep your spirits up - your attitude is inspirational !


kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Vanessa,

Brief history, I was diag. Dec. 02 and received 6 months of chemo. Pronounced NED and had a recurrance in 11/04. Have been trying to get back to NED ever since. I responded well to the Oxaliplatin/Xeloda combo except for this one stubborn spot. So now the doctor is going to try radiation/Xeloda combo to get into complete remission.

Was your Mom's radiation in her abdomen? I'm trying to hear from some folks who have had their radiation there. Some of the side effects that scare me are: spinal damage, kidney and/or liver damage, i.e. failure among other organs. I guess they have to tell you these things even if it is remote that something will happen other than killing cancer cells. Thanks for your answer and encouragment.


Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

I endured 6 weeks of preoperative chemoradiation prior to surgery for stage 3 rectal cancer in 1999. The combination of radiation and chemotherapy was not an easy one...but was bearable. Just be prepared for fatigue and some discomfort and be very very kind to yourself during this period. I found that if I rested, got fresh air, ate in small amounts regularly and got some excercise (walking) I felt o.k. You will do great, and if I am any measure, 7 years NED is living proof of the effectiveness of radiation! Good Luck and keep us posted!

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

I am so glad to hear from folks like you who are such an inspiration to those of us still trying to get to NED. I have been reading about radiation and read that it is the second most effective cure for cancer other than surgery. (cancer that is collected in one tumor, not systemic) So that is a lot of encouragment.

Thanks for the words of wisdom. I have rented an apartment for the 6 weeks while in Houston and plan to do some TLC for myself during my treatment. The area has a great walking trail, lakes and waterfalls and should be just what the doctor ordered.



Posts: 297
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Kerry!!
I have two abdominal tumors (1cm and 3cm) in the pelvic area. I am on the CPT-11 regiment. Because of radiation, I assume the tumor is inoperable. Right? I ask because my larger tumor is inoperable. I may be looking at radiation also down the road. Just wondering.
Good luck with everything. You are SO CLOSE to being NED. MD Anderson is a fantastic facility with an incredible staff. My prayers and throughts are with you.

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Terri,

I asked my doctor about surgery and he was pretty quick to say NO, it is not an option right now. He seems pretty optimistic that the radiation is the right way to go, so I have put my faith in him.

You are right about MD Anderson - it is a great place. I have a team of 5 doctors working on my case and they are all very optimistic.

Thank you so much for your thoughfulness. I draw my strength from my "semi-colon" friends.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Wadyahsayaboutmebein a hero? Hey...you are the hero...and then some gal. Every time I talk to you, you overflow with energy and yet I hear in your voice that the worry is with you. We will be thinking of yah Kerry. Don't forget to wear the little "roo" fella(but yah betta take him off when you get nuked!)
One day soon Kerry kanga is gunna send you a special nail polish for your tootsies. Thats confidence in you gal....they ARE gunna grow back when you beat this thing. In the meantime I will keep an eye out for a real pretty nail polish.
Our very best and you know our love will be with you,

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Kerry, Wishing you all the best as you start the radiation. I had a course of radiation for my rectal cancer. The side effects will be different, since mine was much further down (!). As you may know already, the side effects are cumulative. So, I didn't feel much fatigue or bad effects until after the first two weeks (but, sorry to say, the side effects did then last a couple of weeks after the radiation started!). I did have some fatigue, but not too bad at all. I had diarrhea (quite bad) and also skin reaction. My doc gave me some cream for the skin but you shd ask before you use anything yourself, because some are incompatible with the radiation. The radiation did end up frying my ovaries (as I had been warned). Not a problem for me. I understand the radiation beam can be controlled very precisely, using 3D computerized planning -- so I am sure yours will be handled beautifully.

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Hey Kerry.. like everyone else, I did 5 weeks of pre-op radiation with xeloda. I felt very tired during the last week. HOWEVER, I still worked full time until the last week.

Be good to yourself during this treatment. I hope you have amazing results.

Call me when you get to town. Maybe we can meet up, or I can come see you. :)

Stay strong. jana

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Thanks ya'll for the great support. Kanga, I sure enjoyed talking with you and Jen this afternoon. You always make me smile!

Jana, we WILL get together. I will be staying close to the med center (Holcomb and Buffalo Speedway). Can't wait to see you.

I'm prepared for whatever side effects come my way. I'm bringing lots of comfort from home to my new apartment to help me be comfy.

Thanks all for your support.


ernie53's picture
Posts: 68
Joined: Sep 2005

I had abdominal sarcoma that was blasted in July of '03 at MD Anderson. I drove to Austin the evening of my first treatment, big mistake! I had the most horrible case of diahrrea I have ever encountered... and I raised 5 kids! Most of mine was shot about 2 inches below my navel. Towards the end I suffered from very intense burns front and back. For some reason food smelled really funky, I hated cooking for the kids, and it was difficult trying to keep a little weight on. I started at 185 lbs in June, 140 lbs in July, and 118 lbs when I was released from the hospital in August. Now I lost a bunch of spare parts along the way, so don't think you are gonna loose as much weight as I did. I'm NED still and back to fighting weight of 150 lbs. Good luck to you lady.

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Thanks Ernie. I have confidence in MD Anderson and my doctors there. I will look forward to meeting you soon in Houston and hopefully see you in Austin for the Colon-Palooza.

Take care.


JohnWest's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2005

I started Xeloda and radiotherapy to pelvis last week. No side-effects so far. See http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jmwest/ileo.htm for my blog that will record details as my treatment progresses over the next 5 weeks.

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