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is it working?

Posts: 125
Joined: May 2012

How do i know its working? I finish 5FU this week then wait 6 weeks for follow up exam with surgeon then 2 more weeks til surgery. I have done really well on chemo/radiation - just diarrhea and burn pain (ouch!) And im really tired. But thats it. I worry that "its not working because im not sick enough." Is that warped or what? But seriously, for stage 3 rectal does the first round of radiation and chemo ever NOT work? Is there anything i can be doing now to check to see if its working? My friends tell me im worrying needlesslly. Am i the only one?

As always, thanks....


steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

If you are pretty good health to start with you may not have too bad a reaction. Only time will tell when they check things out. Praying all is good. Jeff

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1302
Joined: Oct 2010

You are on a largely fixed program, as long as nothing disrupts it.

With stage III, a big concern will be to avoid metastasis associated with surgery due to immune suppression. Many readers on these forums with advanced CRC have stated that they wished they had only known about perioperative cimetidine in time. see LEF.org on CRC protocols, and Matsumoto (2002).

My wife is stage IV, had a large cluster of unresected periaortic lymph nodes for 13+ months as well as mesenteric invasion, and still didn't metastasize, to the amazement of many doctors. We did add other things too, but cimetidine, PSK and high vitamin D3 were high on the list preoperatively. Your doctors' ok for high dose cimetidine for rectal might be best right before surgery to maximize therapeutic radiation effects between radiotherapy and surgery.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

regarding the efficacy of the chemo you had, but I can reassure you that severity of side effects does not correlate with efficacy, at least it didn't in my case. I got tremendously sick on FOLFOX, more so than the average patient, and had significant cancer progression while on it. So I would just assume the chemo did its job, and that you were fortunate to have gotten through it with limited suffering. Congratulations! Ann
PS Would second tanstafl on the cimetidine for surgery. I used it before and after my last surgery and finally got my first clean scan in three years. May not be connected, but it's a "can't hurt" kind of thing to try.

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