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decisions

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi everybody,
I am stage 3 rectal, just had 21 radiation/chemo treatments, had to quit because of severe abdominal cramps and dehydration. My onc says I am in a gray area, no lymph nodes positive and no mets. I have to decide if I should go on with treatments or not. If I wouldnt have gotten so sick there would be no decision I would do it. I know it is my decision but if anyone has any comments they would be much appreciated. I need to finish 7 more treatments with radiation and xeloda, then one month off and then 4 months of chemo only. Not sure but think its called 5-FU or Folfox. Thanks and God Bless

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi there,
I do not fully understand your case because my tumor was in the Sigmoid colon and I did not have radiation. However, I assume you have already had surgery and had the tumor removed? No lymph nodes were positive? Then why are you Stage III and not Stage II?
At any rate, I think what I would do is ask the doctor what the difference would be, or the benefit of finishing those last 7 radiation treatments. If you can, I guess I would try to do that, but I don't think I would do that chemo with no lymph node involvement. I would not want to put myself through that if it was not absolutely necessary. I never did Folfox. I was on Folfiri, but I am an avid backpacker and the idea of the neuropathy from Oxy scares me. Like I said, I would not do it unless I had no other choice.
I hope that helps you, ultimately it is your decision, but that is how I feel about it. BTW I am a Stage IV survivor. I had mets to liver and lungs.
-Susan H.

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Hey,
The reason they classified it as stage 3 is because it had penetrated the wall. My surgeon said it was barely stage 3 but still recommended treatment. We are backpackers too, live right next to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Thanks again for your opinion. Robin M.

alihamilton's picture
alihamilton
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

I am sorry you are having a rough time. My husband had similar problems towards the end of his radiotherapy too. He was able to complete. Does your oncologist not suggest what decision you should make? There has to be a balance between the need for the treatment and the side effects and you have had the majority of your rads. Not an easy decision but I hope you feel better soon.

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