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Jeremy2323's picture
Jeremy2323
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2014

Hi my name is Jeremy. Im 39 and was diagnose with stage three rectal cancer on March 3,2014. I dont have any suppoet groups in the area that i live so i will find one somewhere. Ive been in radation and chemo treatment now for two week and i feel pretty weak. I just that normal. Nobody in my family has any cancer. I was the luckly one! Before cancer i was a very healthly person with no health issues so i not really sure how i should be feeling. My job has been really my only support group and they are very limited on what they can do. Just looking for any advice, things that work for you, and just to hear others story. I hope i hear from you all soon. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

We're sorry you had to join us, but now that you are here, I can assure you that you've come to the right place for support, information, love and sometimes even a good laugh. 

I'm also stage 3. 3B. I did nine rounds of FOLFOX and 30 rounds of Radiation. There are different types of chemo, which one are you on? 

It is very normal to feel weak. Weak, tired, up one day, down the next.  It does get better, but sometimes worse before it gets better. 

You'll soon see that each person is affected differently by the cancer and the treatments, so lots of advice which you can sieve through and use what fits you the best. 

I am sorry that you don't have a support group and I hope you find one soon. Freinds really help. 

Pretty soon you'll be the one sharing support and comfort, but until you get there, feel free to ask us anything. Nothing is off limits when it comes to colon cancer. No embarrasment, as we're pretty much all travelling the same road. 

So, welcome again. Post often. And blessings!

 

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

 Welcome to the board tho sorry you have to be here.  I was stage3c colon. My wife could no take the constant illness so she left me during the aftermath of chemo. It is bad enough with support ,it gets a bit tough without it. I have just stared year 16 still cancer fre tho I carry a fair burden of problems from long term effects of chemo. I had 48 sessions of chemo over a year but no radiation, it is a bit hard to target the colon as it keeps on moving. All the best with your treatment. Ron.

Jeremy2323's picture
Jeremy2323
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2014

Thank you all, it looks like i came to the right place! Right now they have me on 1650 mg of xeloda in the morning and 1650 mg at night. I take that seven days a week and have radiation m-f.  I will do that for five and a half weeks. My oncologist said he doesnt believe it spread to the lymph nodes but wont know for sure till surgery. Does that sound normal?

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

I had surgery first, due to the tumour almost blocking the colon, but many go through treatment first and then have surgery. Its the preffered way, as they like to knock the cancer for six so that when they remove it, it doesn't spread. So it sounds like you're on the right road. 

Jeremy2323's picture
Jeremy2323
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2014

Great that good to know! I have tried to research some but its seems like it never from people in "our shoes" thank you, i so happy i found this site already. It calmed some of my annexity already.

danker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

i had a chemo pump giving me fu5 24/7 while getting radiation m-f for 5 weeks.  Then surgery. Some complications,but colonoscopy following year showed me NED(no evedence of disease).  Been Ned ever since.aslmost 4 yrs.  Good luck to you!!! Don't knock the bad days, you wouldn't recognize the good days without them. LOL

 

 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

I was 49 last May when I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Did the same treatment like you. On a CT scan they can see suspicious lymph nodes, but that is not 100% until they take them out and look at them under the microscope. I had no lymph node involvement, in fact 10 weeks after the radiation when I had my surgery all the cancer was destroyed. 

The big question for you is how close the cancer is to the sphincter muscle and can they save it. mine was right on the muscle, so I have a colostomy now, but it's not the end of the world.

The only thing that seems off is that most people did not take Zeloda on the weekend when they did not get radiation. So you may want to double check that. 

Let us know frequently what's going on, and good luck with everything.

Laz

Jeremy2323's picture
Jeremy2323
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2014

Thanks for the reply. I also was questioning taking xeloda on the weekends but my oncologist said if i can stomach it thats what he would like for me to do. The surgeon check and said that the cancer is high enough that he can remove it and sew me back up with no foreseening issues. I feel that is a blessing. All news i have gotten so far is about as positive as it can be for cancer. I feel truly blessed! I hope it continues thru my treatment. Thanks for all your support!! 

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Glad you found us as support from those on the same road is a very big help.

As already said, the treatments and sequences can vary because of our individual circumstances and the doctors we see.  Most important is that you have confidence in your medical team.

It is also important to keep your doctor(s) in the know about how you are dealing with the treatments.  Don't hesitate to tell them about your fatigue, nausea or anything else which may come up.  Any change is important and should be noted.  In some cases they may be able to change things up or give you meds or supplements to help counter the effects.

This group is from all over the USA with some from other countries around the world.  So it is always helpful to know a general location (country/state) so that responses to any questions can be more direct when needed.

My best to you as you progress thru the treatments.

Marie who loves kitties

Jeremy2323's picture
Jeremy2323
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2014

I am in Mooresville,  North Carolina. USA.

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

It sounds like you are doing pretty good so far.It's too bad you have to be here.I'm stage 4,and working on my fifth tumor.When I did xeloda,with radiation I was one sick puppy by the end of treatment.My big problem was cramps after radiation,all I could do was take a pain pill,then go to bed.Try to keep up your strength ,it will make a big difference.Good luck.

Lisa2012's picture
Lisa2012
Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2014

Hi Jeremy,  you have friends here, and we are on the same journey so we understand.  As many have already told you, treatments affect everyone differently, but you are likely to find many similar situations.   I have plenty of experience with chemo, but not with radiation.  Like you, I am very healthy except for this cancer thing-stage IV colon.  Today is my two year anniversary of my diagnosis. Aside from doctor appointments, my life is pretty much the same, I have worked full time throughout and I play volleyball year round.  I guess my point is, you are young, your life doesn't have to change much, but you might have to rest more.   Hang in there, you can beat this.   Sorry about your wife's reaction, I hope she returns to support you.

Jeremy2323's picture
Jeremy2323
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2014

Wow!! Thank you all so much!!!  This is extacly what i was looking for and so much more!!!

lauragb
Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

Sorry to read of your diagnosis Jeremy.  I too had stage 3 rectal cancer.  Right now I've been NED (no evidence of disease) for over two years.  Like you, I was on Xeloda seven days a week.  The chemoradiation was pretty rough for me at the end.  Have you been given the info you need to help with side effects as they might accumulate?  Feel free to ask questions to help you get through each step.  Everyone is different and some people don't have that many issues with parts of the treatment while others do.  That's why it is good to ask questions so people who have had your particular issues can chime in to help out.

Hang in there!

Laura

UncleBuddy
Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

My brother had chemo and radiation before his surgery, had surgery with a temporary ileostomy, they reverse the ileostomy then he got more chemo.

Lin

PS Stay positive

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

Hi Jeremy, I'm Helen, I'm 44 and had Stage III rectal as well.  The chemo and radiation do suck but it's over before you know it.  The good news is that it's totally curable so keep pushing forward, get it out of your body and then get back to life.  I had two surgeries and now I'm on the road to recovery, one year out NED (No evidence of disease).  One thing I will say, if you are doing IV chemo, get a port!  It's an easy slip in surgery and it saves your arm a lot of heartache, you can use it for bloodwork, chemo and scans.  Also use the creams that they tell you to use from day one on your feet, hands and butt (I used Aquafor and that worked pretty well).  Cotton socks and gloves work well even though they are messy.   If you're doing IV chemo like oxaliplatin. at some point you will probably have a problem touching anything cold so you'll need gloves in places with air conditioning and the freezer aisle at the supermarket.  It looks a little funny when you're walking around in warm clothes (with gloves) in the supermarket while everyone else in in shorts but you do what ya gotta do.   In the beginning you have no problems from chemo and radiation but by the end it can be very painful.    Those three areas should be treated very well from day one for prevention.  I push brocolli sprouts because my neighbor got me into them.  They're on all the cancer hospital websites so I swear that eating a peanut butter brocolli sprout sandwich with almond milk daily helped me (not the best tasting but I could feel the healing in the chewing, that's my story and I'm sticking to it).  People thought I was nuts the way I chewed them, but that's okay.   As far as feelings, I went from scared, to okay I'm doing something about this, wow this really hurts when is this going to end is this really my life and now I'm back to wooo hooo I'm alive suckas!  So just keep pushing forward and hang in there=) 

lauragb
Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

Helen, I like your run on description of feelings, Yep, an emotional roller coaster for sure.  Glad you are doing so well. 

I am currently two year NEDSmile     Here's to staying there.

 

Your posting is very uplifting.

Jimmontana
Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2014

I hear you buddy.  I can relate.  This is a great group of people that will offer a bunch of great advice, support and information.  Ask away. We are all here to help and get help and support!

JenCo
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2014

I am glad you found this network. I too am new here. My brother is fighting the same battle you are. He was diagnosed with stage 3b colon/rectal cancer this January 2014. He is 31 years old. He also had to do radiantion and chemo treatments first for 5 weeks. He is now taking a break and will be going through surgery to remove the tumor. The doctors did radiation and chemo first to shrink the tumor before surgery.  He is doing pretty good...his main challlenges are coping and fighting anxiety. He has had alot of discomfort and pain also. The radiation caused him to have more pain than he had originally when he was diagnosed with cancer. His bowel movements are never consistant. He is back and forth between diarreah and constipation.  He takes pain medication and anti-anxiety medication to help him cope. He has to take fiber (Miralax) when he gets constipated. He has good days and some bad days. I find that trying not to think about the illness too much is helpful. Taking a break from thinking about it can be very refreshing and strengthening.

YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 590
Joined: Mar 2010

I too was diagnosed with rectal cancer - stage IIIC.  I had surgery, radiation and chemo.  Just wanted to tell you - visualize your future - you're going to have a few tough months while you're going through treatment and post-surgery.  Try to focus on your future plans.  It helped me.  4 years out - I'm still here.  My best to you.  

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

DX stags 4, Nov 2009. Colorectal surgery first and 5fu, then liver resection. 

2012 reaccurance, tried xeloda. Didn't work so I'm on Folfri now. 

 

You out come to the right place to ask your questions.  

 

 

 

 

 

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

Hi Jeremy,
You don't know me but I've got your back. I was always very healthy too, without a cancer history and wham, out of the blue, a cancer diagnoses. Life lesson 1, we can get blindsided in a flash so take nothing for granted and appreciate everything you have. I was stage 3a colon, had a colectomy and then folfox6 for 12 sessions with a pump. It wasn't fun but bearable. If you have any nausea I recommend 'emend,' it worked great. I had a pet and 2 ct scans and was pronounced NED yesterday! It was a sigh of relief that I felt like I was holding for a year. Life lesson 2, keep the faith, hope is strong!I'm glad you're on this site, I'm sure you'll be inspired by the support from people here as well as your friends and family, that's another lesson, people are awesome and they care, that's important, lean on others. Be strong, don't stop fighting! And soon you'll be NED too!

Maxxhunt47
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi Jeremy - I'm really sorry to hear about you having cancer.  I had colon cancer (2006) and had surgery first because the tumor completely blocked the colon.  I did really well but in 2010 - 2011 I had a recurrence and this time it was in the liver.  I had chemo before my liver resection. But you will find a lot of support here.  Feel free to ask any question.  We've all been there.  Good days, bad days and even worse days.  But we're still here and still fighting.  Take care.

 

MaryC62
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2014

Hi Jeremy. My name is Mary and I'm new to this board too. I was diagnosed last July with stage 3 colon cancer. Did resection surgery then 12 rounds of chemo but no radiation. My advice: research all you can about treatments and the side affects. There is alot I wasnt warned about. Strange, annoying and bad side affects. And as everyone else has said expect an emotional rollercoaster. Most days I dont think about all thats happened then wham, reality bites. Keep family and friends close, let them do what they can. The one good thing that came out of all this? You get to know whats important and whats just stuff. Didnt realize how much I needed that. Funny way to reach that conclussion. Best wishes on your journey. Mary

carrieh's picture
carrieh
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2012

Hi Jeremy,

Welcome to the site. Any questions you have or if you just need to get your worries off of your shoulders for a little while, you've come to a great place. Everything you're going through sounds like pretty normal treatment for colon cancer. I was diagnosed at 32 with hereditary colon cancer known as HNPCC. Thought I was healthy too. Be an active part of your own healhcare...doctors aren't perfect and forget things etc... Make sure and tell them about ANY and ALL side effects... people react differently to the chemo. Best of luck

Carrie

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