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Huh. What now?

Starleen
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2007

Stage III colorectal. Had a colon resection in June, they removed all surrounding lymph nodes, and one of 24 was positive for cancer cells. The area was so necrotic from radiation they could not really tell for sure if those cells were viable. I'm doing folfox and 5-fu for six months every other week. Before surgery, I just had the 5-fu for six weeks via a pump. The folfox really sucks. The side effects are so much more than the 5-fu. My platelets are low so they had to back off. Taking a break really scares me. I keep worrying a runaway cell will have a chance to do some damage I won't walk away from. Just wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I feel like I have been through so much, I'm just ready to be done with this mess! I want to move on. The affected lymph node was the one right next to the tumor, and they say it's good news, but I feel like they are throwing me a bone of positivity so I don't freak out. I have no intention of being killed by this, but I have to admit, I am scared now.

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I know you feel pretty much shell-shocked by now. Stay with this board and you will see that there are many stage 3 and 4's have been around for a long time. I'm stage 4 and have been NED for 2 years. Do a search of stage 3 or stage 4 and you will find many results. There is also a great deal of information here when you need it.
Jo Ann

Faith4Cure
Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Hello. we understand. My husband was diagnosed one year ago with stage III rectal. His blood counts also required that he take a longer break between treatments and also the dosages had to be reduced. I think this is very common, but it does cause a lot of anxiety and fear. Of course you were wanting to hear that no lymph nodes were involved (just like we were) but it could be so much worse. You are doing everything that you can do to fight this. Keep feeling positive and you will get through this! Tomorrow it will be a year since we heard the word cancer. I never thought we would get to this point where we would have it all behind us, but to be honest, it has gone by faster than we would have expected. Yes, it does suck, but you will get through this. I am sending you positive thoughts and prayers to keep you strong!

Faith

claud1951's picture
claud1951
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi Starleen

I am stage III with 2 out of 28 lymph nodes postive and I feel lucky that there were only 2!

I have only 2 more chemo sessions left. Had to change my chemo treatments after 3 or 4 treatments on Oxi and Xeloda cause it was to much for me. Am now on champtosar/irinotecan and the 5fu pump. Much better.
You are right, chemo does suck and you get tired of it. Just get all the rest you can, drink your water and have an outlook for the furture.

Use your energy for moving forward and thinking postive. You need that energy. Don't waste it on looking backwards or worring all the time.

I know the beast will never come back!

Thinking of you!
Claudia

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

Welcome to the warriors! Yeah, I remember it well. Stage 3 rectal, one node 'interested'...not intersting, by the way but it knocked me into stage 3. I had to take a break for the same reason...sigh...chemo/rads did a GREAT job..lol!

Then, I decided that wasn't enough, so I fought stage 2 breast cancer (not related). Had to take a break after 3 Adrimycin/Cytoxins...actually dumped the last A/C...took the Taxol...WHEW!

Just remember, the effects of radiation 'lasts' way past the treatment....heavens, my surgeon wouldn't even take a look for 8 weeks!!!! (I chemo/rads before my resection...).

Cancer IS a scary thing...but you are realizing that if you give youself a bit of a break, you can come back fighting even harder!!!!!

Hugs, Kathi
(NED, 2 years later, on both cancers)

moniquebar
Posts: 57
Joined: Jun 2006

Hello, Starleen

No doubt about it, cancer is really scary sometimes. I had a colon resection last year, and two out of forty-odd lymph nodes were infected. As with you, my surgeon was cheered that the two infected lymph nodes were close to the tumour. And yes, FOLFOX does suck. For sure it does. In my case, my platelet and blood counts got so low that I had to take two breaks during my treatments. Once for a week, and then again for two weeks. Eventually my oncologist had to lower my chemo dose.

Try not to worry too much about your platelets. Everybody reacts differently to chemo, and if your body is demanding a break then so be it. It's likely that your platelet count will bounce back, and then you can continue with your treatments. If not, the doctors might lower your chemo dose (which happens all of the time). Anyway, try and hang in there. What you're experiencing is common.

Best,
Monique

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