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What to expect?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in April/May 2009 and I have no idea what to expect. It has been a tough ride so far, but getting better. I am only 30 years old with two children under the age of 6. I have had two major surgeries (removal of part of right colon and ovaries-due to MET), port inserted, and chemo-I am on everything out there (5FU, Avastin, Oxlil, leuovorin, folfox, neulasta, emend). And to make the situation worse I was diagnosed during a second trimester pregnancy, so I have a pregnancy loss due to the blood loss of the first surgery to add to the stress. Putting the past couple of months aside, I have managed to not let all of this keep me down:) Any advise to handling chemo or what to expect would be helpful--not up for anymore suprises at this point.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi there

Read your post and had to talk with you this morning.

First, I think you are an incredibly brave and strong woman and I can feel your strength in your post. You are so young to have had to go through all of this.

I'm a stage IV myself and I'm into my 6th year...colorectal cancer, mets to liver, and possible met to pleura of the lung. So, I definitely understand how you are feeling. I think you have held it together rather remarkably.

You are taking the same type of chemo drugs that I was taking at one point - you did not say how long, but there are side effects with those drugs - neuropathy in your hands and feet, cold sensation in your throat and cold sensation touching things. These intensify the longer treatment continues.

Surprises can always come up as there are no definite answers with Cancer. But anytime that you have a concern or question, you can ask anybody on the board and you will get a response that will help you. We've all done this in one fashion or the other, so anybody talking to you has direct experience with everything from surgeries, treatments, scan reports, scan anxieties etc.etc. No subject is off limits and that's the beauty of this board and the people who live here.

I'm sorry that you are in the middle of this, but thanks for finding the board, you've made a good decision by coming here - it will be a lifeline in your darkest and brightest hours - really great people here and they amaze me everyday!

We know that you can fight this battle right along with us and share in your journey and you with ours.

Thanks for your post...I'm saying a prayer for you and I wish you all the best going forward...


Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

I start round 3 on chemo soon. I have the sensativity to cold and some back pain with the Neulasta. Other side effects have been minimal so far and I have been able to keep working. I need some kind of normal so I go connected to pump and all. Thank you for the support, prayers and information.

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

I was diagnosed at the birth of our 3rd child (during a scheduled c-section) when the attending surgeon felt a lymph node beneath my uterus. Turns out I had Stage IV colon cancer with mets to my liver. That was in November 2008. I did chemo Dec/Jan and early February was scheduled for my colon resection, liver resection and implantation of HAI pump. I went back on chemo end of February and so far have completed 4 of my HAI chemo injections (2 more to go) and 6 of my 12 systemic chemo treatments. I am currently NED.

I don't know what to tell you about surprises as I had the biggest on in my life when I was diagnosed as I had not had symptoms to indicate a problem. But I have learned that I need to take one step at a time on this journey and not get too far ahead of myself. When I see older kids and get teary thinking I may not see my young ones make it that far I remind myself to not let those feelings get in the way of enjoying the time I have with them now. My doctors have told me I have a 50/50 chance for survival so I try and focus on all that is positive. I exercise, I juice, I try to eat well and definitely avoid red meat. I cut down on my stress level and don't let the little things bother me as they used to. I cherish every moment with my husband and children and feel that I have become a better wife/mother as a a result of this disease. I pray a lot.

ittapp's picture
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

Hello, I was also diagnosed in May of 2009 stage 4 mets to liver...I was operated on the next day after colonoscopy to have my colon resected.I am on Folfox/Avastin every other week for 10 treatments. I am waiting for liver to shrink before I can have surgery. I have experienced most of what others have wrote with the addition of mouth sores and blisters on my lips. The blisters and mouth sores actually did not occur for the third treatment. Nausea was minimal, and fatigue is early evening. My kids do help with pushing me to get up and get started everyday. I try and take a shower first thing and get my day started. I do not go out as much as I did before because I find myself cautious of germs. My kids are getting ready to start school and sports that we had already signed up before this hit. I am wanting to see them do everything and just pray that I will have the strength and blood counts to do so. I know how you feel and would be willing to talk with you privatly anytime. I am 41 and with 2 kids 13 and 10, I have times when I am sooo emotional and just need someone to talk to without putting it on my husband all the time. This is an awesome site where you can ask away with any questions. Good to talk to you God Bless, Patti

JR's picture
Posts: 140
Joined: May 2009

I agree with Craig that you seem to be dealing with everything very well. You have been through alot in a short period of time. I commend you for your strength. I to am stage four with a liver thats fully involved plus mets to both lungs. We are on the same chemo cocktail, execpt I had to stop the Oxi after the 8th treatment due to an alergic reaction. I had my 10th treatment this morning. As far as side effects go, I think everyone is different. You will probably have some but not all. The cold sensitivity, fatigue, nausia, are all very common. I started with a few mouth sores after my 9th treatment, but with "Magic Mouthwash" they cleared up fast.

Whatever side effects the chemo give you, you can deal with them. I can tell that you are a strong woman. Keep up the fight and God Bless.


Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

So sorry to hear what you have had to endure over the last few months.Not just the whole "cancer thing" but I am truly sorry for your loss as well.

I wanted to write to you because our diagnosis sounds very similar. I was diagnosed Stage IV at age 42 with metastasis to the ovaries also.It was frustrating to me at the time because I could not find anyone with mets to just the ovaries. I felt like I didn't fall into the typical scenario. I had 12 treatments of folfox and Avastin. I was to continue the Avastin for 6 months but had to stop because of a pulmonary embolis.

Now here is the encouraging news- I am 21 months from diagnosis, had my last PET/CT at the end of May and there is no evidence of disease. I feel good and am starting to enjoy life again.

I would be more than happy to talk with you and share anything else I can if you are interested.

Hang in there- you can do this.


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