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I have some questions....

charelaine
Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2006

I am 29 years old and was just diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. I had surgery and they removed 12 lymph nodes, 8 of which tested positive. I am starting chemo at Vanderbilt very shortly. I will be getting oxiliplatin, lecovorian, and 5FU (Spelling?) for four treatments, then I will take 6 weeks of radiation while on a constant Pump of 5FU, then back for 8 or more chem treatments with the other drugs. I did get a port, and I have to have a colonoscopy through my stoma (I had to get a colostomy) on Thursday, so they can see the rest of my colon. It was blocked before. Has anyone else been on this form of treatment? Will it make me menopausal? Also, the port is sore. I have had it since Feb. 23. They accessed it for the first time this past Thursday and flushed it. It is sore now, but only if I bump it. Is that OK? Thanks

terril
Posts: 297
Joined: Apr 2004

Regarding your port, it will be sore for a while. It will get better. I had mine put in around late January, and it is sore if I bump into things or if the seat belt is too tight. Good luck with your treatments. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Terri

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

My heart goes out to you for being so young and having to deal with all this. The port should feel better and hurt less as it heals. I assume that you had rectal cancer because of the colostomy and that they will be radiating your pelvis. I was 46 and went into instant menopause. I think the radiation will make you sterile, you should ask your docs. It might push you into menopause. Good luck and let us know what we can do to help.

Moe

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kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Welcome to our family. I cannot help you with your questions but I hope a little support will suffice. Our best from oz, Ross n Jen

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Ditto others.
Chemo brought on immediate menopause. I looked at it as one less place to lose blood (I had rectal cancer, with ALOT of bleeding). Not sure on the sterilization...mine was permanent attributed to surgery (they removed all the stuff). I was 49 at dx, stage II. My port has been in since dx in 2004. No troubles, other than it sticks out pretty far, so when I bump it, it reminds me to be more careful. I have it flushed once a month. Will they ultimately reverse colostomy? I had MD that was able to avoid it for me, good luck on that!

Like moe, I'm sad that such a youngster has to go thru this....I'm an old lady, and I STILL don't like it.

Not to dredge up other stuff, but....during my dx for the colon, they found unrelated (or so they say) breast cancer. My surgeon's nurse said seems to be becoming a trend. Especially with us 'baby boomers' (50 plus). Please keep listening to you body, get your mammo, etc during this, report any wierd stuff. They almost missed mine.

Lots of hugs. E-mail me, if it helps.
Kathi

Allen55555
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2004

I had 12 rounds of folfox at Vandebilt with Dr. Lockhart. I was pleased. I dreaded the port until I found out if they used a lot of freeze spray I did not feel a thing. After a while you will not even know the port is there most of the time. I have had my port 2 years and am coaching high school softball and just finished refereeing basketball and the port was great. Just give it time.

DK2006
Posts: 126
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi!
I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I am 46 years old and doing 5FU, Leucovorin and oxaliplatin. I have had 6 treatments and I am still menstruating. My oncologists said I may go into menopause and I may not. Menopause may be temporary or it may be permanent. I think I read that the average age of someone with colon cancer is 67. The doctors don't see lots of young women with this disease (thankfully). Try and keep the faith. You're so young and hopefully, this won't affect your fertility. (Men are so lucky because they can just bank their sperm.) Best wishes to you. Donna

lfondots63's picture
lfondots63
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Charelaine,

I'm sorry that you have to join our family but we are a great bunch. I am stage 3 colon with 1 node out of 11 cancerous. I just had my 2nd treatment of the same thing you will be getting. I am 42 and still menstrating. You might want to ask your onc but I am sure like in another post they are not sure since the majority of women with this already are through menopause. About the port. Mine is still sore too a little it bumped or right after I have the pump taken off. I am diabetic so I have a bruise from the access but it sure beats having them do a different vein all the time. Think of it that way. It will get better. There are some side effects of the chemo that you might get in varying degrees. Naucea, diareha, tingly fingers when touch cold, can't drink/eat cold, hands turn colors. We are all different and have these at different times or not at all. If you want to talk, you can e-mail me here. Take care and good vibes to you.

Lisa

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

I don't think your port should be sore after a month..have your doc check it out-(preferably the surgeon who installed it) Bud

charelaine
Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2006

Allen5555, That's crazy! I am also seeing Dr. Lockhart. My first appoinment isn't until week after next though. (My first chemo, that is). They wanted me to be on a trial for Erbitux, but I didn't make it in time. I really think I will like Dr. Lockhart. I know I trust him. I have had my tubes tied, back in 1999. ( I had my kids quite young, starting at age 18. God does have His reasons for everything.) I have three children, ages 10, 8, and 6. I am not worried about sterilization, but I do think I might get menopausal. They will be radiating my pelvis, as I had a tumor in the sigmoid colon just above the wall of the rectum. I do still have my rectum. They say that my colostomy is not permanant, but I hear that the radiation may make reversal improbable. I can handle that as well. I would like information on what to eat. I have read several viewpoints on other sites, but I have trouble translating that into what to buy at the store. I did see my surgeon today. I had to get my Fleet prep kit for the colonoscopy this week. He said the port was fine and it was just sore because of them accessing it fir the first time. he says it will get better with time. It didn't hurt before last week, or maybe I was just too sore from my resection to notice, LOL. Thanks for all the support and prayers. There is only one cancer support group in my town. I feel like I need to talk to people with the same type of cancer as me. I do appreciate it.
Charlotte

andyc56
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2004

Charlotte, my wife (age 46) is also a patient of Vanderbilt Oncology. We talked with and liked Dr. Lockhart, and now use Dr. Young in Cool Springs. She was diagnosed Stage IIIc in Oct. 04 with 10 of 14 nodes positive. Finished Folfox6 in May of 2005 and did not require radiation. We have been very pleased with the care Vanderbilt has provided. She has not entered menopause as a result of the treatments. She did have port problems but mainly because it was installed by a non-Vandy surgeon.

Best wishes to you and your family and keep us posted.

markatger's picture
markatger
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Charlotte,

I too am young. I was 34 when I was diagnosed last year with rectal cancer. I was likely Stage 3 as well (although I went all last year thinking I had mets to my liver - that wasn't fun).

I had radiation too. I likely am in permanent menopause. I am probably going to start Hormone Replacement Therapy this week. As you know, there are health risks from going into early menopause - mainly to your bones and heart, I believe. I also have visited a website for women in Early menopause. :

http://www.earlymenopause.com/boards/index.php?s=7107fd59a8afaecddec255b3286bbcf0

Or if you have time, they may be able to move your ovaries out of the radiation field. I felt like I didn't have time to do that (again they thought I had liver mets and I wanted to just proceed with treatment ASAP). I think it is called ovary transposition and I think it can be done laproscopically.

I just finished all my chemo treaments finally!! (I had interuptions for two surgeries) Woot!! It really wasn't too rough for me. I hope it is the same for you. I just have one more surgery... my ileoostomy reversal!! I think there are many people who have had succesful reversal after having radiation. I would get more opinions about that before thinking that a reversal is not going to work for you.

So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. You sound though that you are very strong and grounded person who will persevere through this challenge.

Best Wishes,
Maria

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Charlotte,
I had squamous cell tumor in first rectal fold. Radiation was first, 25 days. Waited 4 months to heal before surgery, surgeon said everything looked great from waiting. He removed rectum and sigmoid colon. As I said in other post, immediate reenstomosis (spelling?).
Eating for me is trial and error. LOTS of fresh fruit juices and vegies. Sensitive bowel keeps me eating little meals, often. My surgeon said no nuts for 6 months, no popcorn forever. Heard others say no restrictions. Whatever you can tolerate. I still stay close to a bathroom when I eat something on my "gee, I don't know" list.
Listen to your body.
Hugs,
Kathi

charlotterose
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2003

not sure how to get in the group, I am 59 in may, have had cc twice -- would realy like to talk with others

AlanR
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2006

I am 70 years old lost my rectum 2 years ago. had a port during treatment, it is out now. But it will get sore if they don't flush it at least every 3 weeks. Keep the Faith.

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