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Starting treatment for rectal cancer

Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2007

Hi everyone,

On June 7th I was told that there was a tumor in my rectum. After over a month of various testing I finally started treatment today. I will be on chemo 24/7 for the next 6 weeks and will have 25 rounds of radiation.
Other than extreme shock and sadness the first two weeks after my diagnosis i can honestly say i am at peace with my cancer. I will fight my biggest fight ever to beat this devil out of me.
I am a 33 yr old mom of one little girl who is almost 4 and also to a little boy who just turned 3 thatis waitng for me to bring him home from China.
I would love to hear from other rectal cancer survivors and hear experiences.

Stage 3c Rectal Cancer

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Stage III rectal, squamous cell...12/2004. Chemo, rads, resection to remove my rectum and sigmoid colon. 2 years NED.
Interestingly, all the stuff removed had no cancer in it...also had a total hysterectomy...

Welcome to the semi-colons...

Hugs, kathi

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

....this is AFTER chemo/rads...don't want to mislead....my rad/onc is so proud...lol!

This rectal cancer stuff seems to be pretty treatment responsive...I, like you, have made peace....
Ask us anything...where else can you discuss consistency, frequency, and form, and not be announcing for the Olympics?

(Do you think she gets that I am one of the comic relief people on this board????)

Hugs, kathi

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

As KathiM mentioned, welcome to the Semi-Colons. You will find that is discussion board will provide you support, friendships, information and available for anything else needed.

There are a lot of survivors on this board that will be more than happy to share their stories and insight. As for me, I am a Stage II colon cancer survivor since 7/06. I too had surgery to remove tumor, chemo after surgery and then surgery to reconnect colon. I found family, friends and church very supportive for me.

claud1951's picture
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi Marianthy

Stage III colon here. Suregery to remove 12 inch of colon and resection.
Am half way through chemo now. YEAH!!

You'll get there, too. You just need to keep your energy for getting better and not to worry about other things. Exercise as much as you can (which I'm sure you do with those little ones). Drink plenty of water.

Let your family and friends helps an anyway they can. I was used to saying "on no..I can do it"...Well..I don't do that anymore.

Rest as much as you can. Always tell your Onc nurses what you are feeling/ pain, etc. They are so wonderful.

Wishing you the best of luck.

davidsonxx's picture
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007


I am sorry to hear about your dx but you have found a great place for support. I'm a stage II cancer survivor dx 11/06. I am back at work and doing fine.

You can find lots of encouraging stories on the personal web pages. Just search for rectal cancer. You might also want to check out the chat room. It can be a great place to talk or vent when you need it. Feel free to email at this site if you would like to talk. There are lots of folks here to help support you.


JoyceCanada's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: Mar 2006

Stage III rectal cancer 2 nodes involved.

report from colonoscopy came back as benign 1 very small bleeding polyp involved- thank god surgeon decided to operate and remove it )

LAR performed- lower sigmoid January 4 2006
2 round of Folfox
28 rounds of radiation with continuos 5
6 rounds of Folfox
completed treatment - picc line removed October 5th 2006

NED yippee!!!!

My advice to you is:...don't be a martyr..if you are having problems with treatment tell your oncologist. There are drugs that can help you with any side-effects.

Lots of hugs and prayers going your way.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Welcome, Marianthy! I love your name and your spirit. I am stage 3c colon cancer survivor who finished chemo in the summer of 04.

I know you will do well and it won't be long before you can bring your son home.

All my best to you and your family.



kathleenss's picture
Posts: 49
Joined: Nov 2006

I have stage 3 rectal cancer. I just finished 12 rounds of FOLFOX earlier this month, had a CT scan yesterday, and am waiting for the results. Anxiously!

Tell your onc. about your side effects. Infact, he/she will ask about them. I am in my 60s and have been able to work throughout, except for the recovery time after surgery. I missed days whenever I felt yukky, but they were surprisingly few.

Hang in there. Give yourself time to rest and recover. Whenever you need support, come here. They are wonderful.

Thinking of you.

kbienapfl's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Marianthy, welcome to our elite club. I was Stage IIb rectal, diagnosed July 2006. Went through the typical 5-FU/radiation regiment. No surgery, as after the treatment the tumor was obliterated.

Fast forward to May 2007, PET scan revealed a met to my lower right lung. Moved me straight to stage IV. Currently undergoing Folfox6 with Erbitux regiment.

Listen to your radiologist. The pelvic radiation can cause tremendous irritation. If it happens, just know it is not uncommon.

Follow the advice of all of the great people on this board. They've been through it and want to help.

Good luck in your treatments. Keep a positive attitude. You will be with your new baby before you know it.

Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

I'm 38 and the father of 2 small children. It was heart wrenching to find out that I had stage IIa rectal cancer in October 06.
since than I went through 5 weeks of pre-op radiation and chemo; Post LAR I'm working on completing 6 months of adjuvant chemo.

I'm very much looking forward to a reconnection surgery in October :)

As my onc says -- "be agressive for your kids" --Every time I have a complaint his response is "so how are the kids doing?" He's right and every time I see them smile -- all the pain and frustration melts away.

There is always hope and the future is bright!

KierstenRx's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

I know initially it is a big shock. I was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer last September after turning 32. I also did the radiation and chemo that you did. After about 8 weeks recovery I had surgery. I had APR surgery done. I ended up with a permanent colostomy (which by the way is NOT the end of the world). I also elected to have a total hysterectomy at the time of surgery. Due to my age after talking to a genectic counselor there was a possibility of being at much higher risk for ovarian and uterine cancer. My female parts were non-functioning due to radiation so I decided to not let them sit there with the possibility of something happening. After surgery I healed for about 4 weeks and started 8 rounds of FOLFOX and Avastin. It was tough, but I still managed to work almost full time. I had to discontinue my Avastin 2 rounds early because I fractured my right foot and had a place from surgery that would not heal. I finished chemo on June 20th. I will have follow up scans in September.
It is a long journey, but you just keep taking one step at a time. There will be bumps in the road, but you will get through. You can read more on my webpage.


PS-my husband and I are looking at adopting (perhaps Russia) in the next few years. :)

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