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pamysue's picture
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2008

I found this board the day after I found out I have rectal cancer. Reading it has been a great source of information and a greater source of comfort that I am not alone.

I had my surgery and went into renal failure, so I ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks. Dr also took out my ovaries and gall bladder. One lymph node came back bad, so now I will have to have chemo and radiation. Did not have to do either before surgery. I do have an ileostomy, but Dr says it will be reveresed in about 6 months.

Trying to get back on my feet after this surgery is so much harder then I thought it would be. I'm trying to listen to my body, but my mind feels like I'm going nuts. I'm so scared of how my body is going to react to the chemo. Control freak in me, I suppose. And dread.

Your posts of your experiences mean so much. No one in my life has dealt with this who is still alive. I have been on Paxil for 4 years, but it doesn't seem to be cutting it at this point. The anxiety and then depression are overwhelming.

Posts: 529
Joined: Nov 2007

Talk to you psychopharmocolocist about the paxill it may not be the best for you. I take zoloft and and there are many newer drugs. You only have one postive lymph node. I can't comment on the renal failure etc. Are you being treated at a major medical center? What are the details before the surgery? If you can let us know, those on the board who have experiences like you can help.


Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi Pamysue,

Welcome and sorry for the circumstances you found our board. Most of us understand the anxiety you are feeling before chemo, we all felt that way. Most of the time it is useless worry. Chemo isn't fun, but it's also not nearly as bad as we fear it will be. The first time you get it it will take longer than any other time because they administer it slowly to make sure you won't have a bad reaction to it. They also give you premeds to prevent nausea, and most of the side effect you may have. I truely believe the better the attitude you go in with, not negative, the easier it will be on you. If you look back on this board you will see many post about the first chemo and how it was much easier than expected.
You've already been through the worst of it, so just take care of yourself, recover and soon you will be feeling more in control again. Good Luck and prayers for the rest of your treatments.

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Aw, my dear, sorry to 'meet' this way...but, welcome to one of the best boards around!

Chemo is not easy, but doable. It's just part of the process. I know you didn't choose to have cancer, but there it is. No use dwelling on it. Our whole world changes with those 3 words. Even the most 'lemonade' person around is stunned.

Reality is that you are a fighter!!!!! And treatment is just a stage in your life, one to tollerate and get passed. Know that we are here for you, no question too big or too small. You are not alone.

I am celebrating 3 years NED (No Evidence of Disease) on stage III rectal cancer. Through it all (I battled stage II breast cancer 6 months later), I considered my body to be a loyal, old friend. It went thru it all for me...and I treated it very gently. I, too, started out life as a BIG control freak...if nothing else, cancer teaches patience. With your body, with your treatment, with others around you. Not easy to learn for me, but a valuable lesson.

Do ask your oncologist about a different anti-depressant...if this one isn't doing the job, there are others.

Hugs, Kathi

Madre's picture
Posts: 124
Joined: Apr 2008

Hi friend, sorry to hear your news. I am new to this site as well, and I am glad to be here, glad you are here too. I had my surgery 4/17. Stage 3 colon cancer, 3 positive nodes. Just started chemo this past wednesday. The surgery kicked my butt! I had a complete hysterctomy in '04 and I was up and about in a week. This surgery left me tired, no energy, sore. Just to walk 3 houses down made me take a nap. Doc says "normal" so pay attention to your body. I still find between 11 - 2 is my worst hours of the day. You want to be healed as much as possible before chemo. I didn't have renal failure but I had a few set backs in the hospital. 10 days! I too am a control freak and have little patience. I have learned to accept that I can only do what I can do and sometimes that means doing nothing at all. Get some squishy pillows to support tender areas and rest. Good luck to you. The people on this board are great! They are helping me and they will help you too. Praying for ya.

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Welcome to the semi colon club, but sorry you have to be here. I don't often post anymore, but I also had 1 positive node (my surgeon said it was a free pass to chemo to be sure to get all the microscopic cells!)
I came to this site just after surgery and was scared beyond belief about chemo (and I'm a nurse, and my dad went through a year of chemo with flying colors!). So here I am, nearly 4 years post treatment, No Evidence of Disease, and I will pass on to you the words I read in response to my first post: hang in there, you will get through this, one step, one day at a time. Utilize all your internal resources and tap all those true friends and supportive family around you to help hold you up. Accept all genuine offers of help, people feel better being able to do something, anything, for you! And be sure to keep your medical team informed about how you are really doing.
This site was a lifeline; chemo went OK, but the tips and help I found here were so important. It takes time and energy to get through this, but you are facing a vital fight. Nothing is more important than managing this right now and you will be a changed person for it.
Stay strong and focused.
All the best,

pamysue's picture
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2008

Thank you all for your replies. Monday was a bad day. It felt good to finally reach out and your messages of support lifted me up. Today was a pretty good day. I'm trying to take them about a 1/2 day at a time and enjoy them when they don't suck. :)
Thank you again for your messages. I'm sure I'll be talking to you all again soon.

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