Been through radiation? What to expect?

NWmom Member Posts: 80
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi all,
My husband is at the halfway point with his FOLFOX-Yippee! (Dx 10/06 age 36 Stage IV w/liver mets) We are now going to be doing chemoradiation after he recovers from this round. He will be having a continuous infusion 24/7 of 5FU and will be getting radiated 5x a week. We were just wondering if anyone has gone through this and would be willing to share their experience. We've got a handle on the FOLFOX, but now we will be stepping into the unknown which is always a bit scary. Thanks!
Heather and Carl


  • vinny3
    vinny3 Member Posts: 928
    I had rectal cancer and had chemoradiation for that. Didn't notice too much until the end of the second week. Then some fatigue. The most bothersome side effect thereafter was a tremendous burning sensation of my bottom. They told me to sit in the tub. Of course, we had just moved into our new townhouse in which we decided not to install a tub. Have him keep trying to get some walking in for exercise and of course drink plenty of liquids.

    Hope he just sails through it.

  • AveriRN
    AveriRN Member Posts: 61
    Hi Heather and Carl,

    Your story sounds like mine a bit (dx at 33). I did also get rads, yes by second week had fatigue, also plenty of diarrhea that they tried to control. by end of 3rd week I developed a paralytic ileus and was sleeping in upwards of 20-22 hrs a day, spent a week in hosp to get over it. After that was all cleared up, went back on rads and the 5FU infusion and all went well from there on out. Take care and prayers that all goes well with Carl.

  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
    I got 33 radiation treatments -- 5/week. The treatments took 3-5 minutes each and were completely without sensation. I did get diarrhea and gas after a couple of weeks, but controlled pretty well with Lomotil. No burning. Gas persisted about two weeks after the last radiation treatment.

  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072
    I had chemoradiation with a continuous fanny pack. I was able to work full time but I did not do much of anything else. I had fatigue and lots of diarrhea. I was able to drive myself to the radiation treatments. I would work 7-3pm and had the radiation at 3;15. I did take 2 days off from work due to fatigue. One was a planned day off because my daughter was graduating from college,

    Good luck with the treatments. Make sure to tell the nurses about any side affects--they have all kinds of remedies.

    LOUSWIFT Member Posts: 371
    I had six weeks of radiation/chemo prior to surgery five days a week Monday through Friday. I continued working and the chemo/radiation had little effect except on Saturday I was wiped out physically. However come Sunday I was back to "normal". Well as normal as you can be on Chemo/radiation and ready for Monday's treatments. No other physical side effects. The radiation we discovered after surgery had killed about 98% of the active cancer in my colon. It also knocked my Platelet count low for nearly a year and my white blood cells down for about 8 months. It was good that I didn't get sick I guess all the germs out there were afraid to get cancer so they stayed away (Sorry feeble attempt at humor)The surgery was hard and recovery from surgery was harder but nothing as bad as the chemo/side effects after surgery. 15 weeks with chemo 2 1/2 times stronger using every fiber of strength not to quit. The radiation will affect the bone morrow in the pelvis where blood cells are produced and the chemo delays a return to normal. Still NED a year later just getting back to about 3/4 strength but improving now everyday. Putting it behind you is very difficult because there is always the belief that cancer is just one test away from being back. He can do it you can help although you will feel helpless at times and he will be angry and frustrated. Both of you will be scared but you can beat this. Use this site it helps.