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Posts: 9
Joined: May 2007

I"m waiting for radiation therapy to start for rectal cancer...treatment is 8-10 days out. Need to hear from those how survived treatment and can share with me some secrets of how to endure. josie

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes that is not easy. Looking back, you'll be able to see how far you've come. My motto now is "looking forward...".
Jo Ann

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I had 33 doses of radiation for rectal cancer. Each treatment took 2-3 minutes, and there was no sensation at all. The after-effects -- diarrhea and gas -- were just an inconvenience. So, you can expect it to be irritating, but it's not necessarily going to be an awful experience.

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

I had radiation and chemo prior to my surgery for stage 4 cancer. No side effects at all. I was warned to anticipate irritated skin, but nothing. Boring in this case was definitely fine with me! That was over 5.5 yrs ago. Been clear of cancer ever since. Are you having chemo, too? I was able to get "zapped" @ 7 am, then right off to work afterwards. Same with chemo, no side effects. I was pretty lucky. (no, make that VERY lucky!)

My best wishes to you and those still active in the battle...STAY TOUGH, YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!



P.S. Read the web pages of those whose names appear regularly, and you will see a spectrum of survivors who will prove that cancer can be beaten!

alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

it's always soooooooooo good to read your story....just what I needed to get ready for my surgery tomorrow....you are an inspiration...
God bless

Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

josie, I am an 8+ year survivor of stage 3 rectal cancer, diagnosed at the age of 36 when I had 3 young children and a lot of worry. I also endured preoperative chemoradiation, surgery, and follow-up chemotherapy. It was no picnic, but I made it...and I am still here disease free 8 and one-half years later. It WAS WORTH IT! Plan to buckle your seatbelt...the next several months may be a bumpy ride...but it is worth the destination!!

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I am 4 years out from my radiation. I was able to work full time, but I did not do much else.

I had alot of diarrhea and fatigue.

Just remeber, you will get through this. Keep that in mind, esp. if you are having a bad day.


KierstenRx's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

It's ok to scared and nervous. I was also. I completed 28 sessions on December 1 of last year. The treatment itself is not bad, just takes a few minutes. I did have side effects. I had burns on my pelvis and also my behind. The pain was really bad the last week and then about 2 weeks after finishing. I took Lortab around the clock and that helped. It did hurt to go to the bathroom. I also experienced fatigue toward the end. However, I never had any diarrhea. I actually went the other direction with constipation (pain medicine contributed). I had a very low lying tumor and that could be why I had more pain. Anyway, I used a Rx cream called biafine to help with the burns. Take it one day at a time and don't be afraid to use pain medicine it you need it.
You will get through this just fine. Take one day at a time. I was able to work almost full time. I would leave work every day at 4pm to go to treatment. That way I would be done working and could rest during the evening. I'll keep you in my prayers.


Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

Josie I too had 27 radiation treatments with chemo prior to surgery. My advice is get it done as early in the morning as you can. I work nights when I got off work I had the radiation and then went to sleep. I had no side-effects from the radiation or chemo prior to surgery. All I noticed was by Saturday I was exhausted but pounced back by Sunday. It did knock down my platletts and white blood cells for over a year so it is serious even though it takes less than a minute and other then a small humm you won't even know it. You won't glow in the dark at least I didn't notice it?? The tattoo is still there and of course modesty during treatment is out the window. They kept taking polaroids during my treatment but nothing on the web yet. Seriously, you'll do fine. We were all scared but jams67 is right, it isn't where you've been, it's where you going - NED

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