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Let the Radiation Begin.

menright's picture
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

I start tommorow with 28 daily radiation treatments in combination with daily Xeloda. It has been nice to be off any drugs for the last week. I feel great for the moment. Wish me luck with the radiation, I am uncertain what side effects will come my way. It is a necessary evil on the way to a cure.


msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I will pray that you have minimal effects from the chemo, outside of killing off the cancer cells! Remember to keep on top of all the possible side effects others have mentioned and you too will be on the other side soon!

maglets's picture
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

Good luck Mike...lots of people here pulling for you. I've never had radiation but xeloda is familiar territory.
One day at a time.


VickiCO's picture
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

I had 28 radiation treatments as well, although I was on 5FU via pump. Here's hoping for minimal side effects. Do watch out for the exhaustion, though. It sneaks up on you. Keep us up to date!


Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I'm new to the board, and just wanted to wish you good luck with your radiation, it sounds pretty scary, but I bet you'll do just great! You will be in my thoughts!


Craig S's picture
Craig S
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 2008

Had about the same treatment as you a couple years back. Hope the bad stuff is minimal. My secret: Bacon Cheeseburgers. Your milage may vary. Good luck.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Mike,

When I had my radiation last spring, I would spend my time on the radiation table to pray and concentrate on the treatment. I would pray each time for "minimum side effects and maximum effects on the tumor". I did have some side effects, but they really were not nearly as bad as I thought they'd be. I didn't get any burned skin until the last treatment or two. I had some diarrhea, but not nearly as much as I was warned about (although keep the immodium on hand in your car and with you at all times). That didn't hit me until more than halfway through. I found when the diarrhea did hit, using diaper rash ointment for the skin burn around the anus helped the most (sorry to be so graphic, but we're being real here).
Yes, as you said, it's all part of the cure- so you'll get through it!!

Blessings to you as you begin this next phase-

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I forgot to mention in my above post that my rectal tumor had what they called a "complete response"- it completely disappeared from the radiation/chemo combo!!
I remember asking my radiation oncologist towards the beginning, "if my tumor disappears from the radiation, will I still need the surgery?" She looked at me kind of funny and told me that she wasn't expecting the tumor to disappear and just reminded me that the radiation is to "shrink and soften the tumor to prepare it for surgery". Well, she was sure surprised when the endoscopic ultrasound six weeks after I finished radiation DID show that it disappeared!!
I know it doesn't disappear on everyone, though, so even if it does just "shrink and soften", that's a good thing, too. I just wanted to give you some hope, because I do know one other person who's tumor also disappeared from the radiation.

Take care & best wishes to you!!!

menright's picture
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008


Thanks for the hopeful story and congratulations. What a wonderful story of hope. Did you have surgery? I have wondered the same thing.



lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Mike,

No, I did not have the rectal resection surgery. I had been told by my surgeon that she always does the surgery, even if the tumor goes away. I read online that's what most doctors do also. Then, after I found out my tumor did shrink away, I was desperate to find out if any doctors decide not to do the surgery if it disappears. I researched online & did find a few. Apparently, more doctors are starting to believe that it isn't always neccessary to remove that part of the colon or rectum if there's no more tumor. I talked to God and said, "Lord, why would you give me this miracle, just so I still have to go through the surgery, have a bag, etc.? Couldn't you get into the head of my surgeon and convince her I don't need it?" Literally, late that night, I got an email from surgeon saying, "Lisa, I've been pondering your case and going over your pathology reports. With no evidence anymore of cancer in the rectum, I see no reason at all to put you through this surgery." Whoah- I screamed to my husband when I saw her email. So, no, I haven't had the surgery, but we're watching me carefully & I know I will need it if I ever have a recurrence there.

I've had a recurrence in my lungs (I'm stage 4), but not in rectum. The one surgery I did have was a liver resection this past May (which I healed from very well).

Again, if this happens to you, wonderful- but again "softening and shrinking the tumor" is still a good thing.
God bless you and protect you from any severe side effects as you go through the radiation.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008


You're always in my prayers, and I will continue to keep you there. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the tumor disappeared from the radiation? Please keep us posted when you can. I know you'll probably be tired a lot, but try to occasionally let us know.

Good luck, my friend!


jillpls's picture
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2008

I had 30 treatments and then surgery to remove the rest of it. This was in Dec 06 for rectal cancer stage III. I went to see a nutritionist to help me through the process and that was very helpful. I did have sever diarrhea but lomitil did the trick. Also, eat even if you don't want to. It's important not to lose weight at this point because of the mapping done on your body. Try to maintain. I didn't lose any energy. I was very lucky. But I did get lots of blisters on my feet that prevented me from my 3.5 daily walk. It just was the last few weeks of treatment. Then I was up and going again. Take and and stay positive.

MoonDragon's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Jun 2005

Wishing you the absolute best, Mike!! Keep hanging in there!


Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Mike I had Chemo (5FU & Myomycin) plus 32 radiation sessions for anal cancer. Just finished in the begining of December. My PET scan just done last week shows its gone. I didn't have to have surgery. The radiation wasn't nearly as bad as I'd thought it would be. Did have some burns on the bottom but, With minimun pain meds I got thru it. I'm feeling pretty good now. I still get tired easily and have some "Chemo brain" stuff at times but all in all doing ok. You will be okay Mike. Make sure you talk with your Dr's if you have any pain or side effects there is stuff they can do to help.
God bless

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Just hold on to the rope bud....you'll be fine.......

ldot123's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

Hi there,
I had radiation many years ago for another form of cancer. (Hodgkins) I had no problem with it but found I did get tired as the treatments went on. So be sure to take it easy when you need to.
Cheers, Lance

Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

Mike, You look strong in your photo. Your moving to the next step, good luck, we are all here for you, I bet it feels good to be off meds for a while. Soon it will be for good.

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