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31 year old Stage 2A.

Erica2016
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2016

Hello friends,

         My name is Erica, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer on August 2016 after a 5.5 cm tumor was found during a colonscopy (no family history). I had a resection surgery that removed part of my rectum, the surgery was successful and I did not require a coloctomy bag. I started my first cycle of chemo today with Oxaliplatin-D5W with a combination of 5 daily pills of Xeloda. I am scheduled for six cycles of this combination ( I did not receive treatment prior to my surgery)

       I am also a 31year old newlyweed with no children, we proactively had one egg freezing cycle saving 9 eggs before my surgery and on monthly shots of Lupron. My oncologist and I talked about ovarian transposition surgery, hopefully it is granted by my insurance and scheduled in December before my 5 1/2 weeks of radiation treatment begins. 

      My first treatment took me down for a few hours, but I am now up and doing some things on my to do list. My mind wants to keep doing things around the house but my body wants to stay still. What are some things you do to relieve fatigue?

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5139
Joined: Jan 2013

For me (which means, we all respond differently) the fatigue was THE MOST dibilitating part of treatment.  By the end of my nine sessions, I felt like a deflated balloon. 

At first, I was able to make myself get up and do things. As treatment progressed the fatigue got steadily worse. I ended up with a walker (old folks walker, you hold on to and push along). When the fatigue hit, I would sit on its little seat. I could only walk up and down our little road. By the end, I could no longer go out for my walks, as the fatigue would hit, and if I were, say, in the kitchen, I could not even make it back to the couch in the living room on my feet, but would crawl on my hands and knees.

That is the extreme version. Others here had less fatigue and were able to continue going to work and everything.  You are so very young, I bet you will feel tired for sure, but probably not 'crashed out can't move' kind of tired - at least that is my hope for you -

One does not know how it is going to affect you until you go through it. 

My advice, eat a good healthy diet and excercise, even if its a little walk around the block. And DON'T feel bad when you have to rest. I felt like I was lazy, but its not the case. 

Welcome to the forum. 

SUE

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

We seem to forget that our body will tell us exactly what it's in need of, when it needs it the most.

To survive; to repair any injury to the body, physical, emotional, or chemical, your body requires more energy than it usually requires for survival.

Fatigue is the body's signal to slow down, to take it easy and to take time out for rest.

We all try to "push" our way through tough situations and do things ourselves, thinking it shows our strength to survive. Unfortunately, that "showing of strength" doesn't last very long, and the cost to ourselves far outweighs any progress gained.

Laying in a hospital bed 24/7 because we simply would not listen to our body's screams for some relief when we could have easily provided that at home, is a bit silly at best. The novelty of being waited upon in a hospital room and eating all their great food wears off sometime between the 23rd and 30th hour. Ringing that neat nurse's call seems to do less and less the longer you lay there, moored and tethered by what appears to be thousands of tubes and wires..... Oh to be home again.....(?)

If you feel fatigued, stop whatever you're doing and do what relieves the fatigue. Put your body first. Give your body a chance to fix itself. You're not being lazy or "weak", you're being smart. You'll be listening to the most important part of you that's there for your survival.

Ignore it at your own peril.

My best wishes for your better health,

John

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm sorry you're here but glad they caught it at an early stage. It sounds like they're really on top of it, too, that's great! For fatigue I just laid in bed. Sorry, I have no magic bullet for that. I love reading but I'd be so lacking in energy that thinking about what the words said was too much effort. I used to tell people I felt like those milk commercials where the people are doing something like dancing and then they flatten out and droop onto the floor. That's how little energy I had. It goes away, though, eventually. Some people are able to work through chemo and others are knocked on their butts. The oxyplatin is a tough one, it really makes life difficult while you're on it. I don't know anything about Xeloda, sorry. Don't push yourself. You're in treatment for cancer, don't try to push hard when you're not doing well, you don't need that extra burden.

Jan

NancyJN
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2016

My 47 year old boyfriend was diagnosed with colon cancer a month ago. He is stage 2, so that is good news. But the treatments are going to be grueling. He in in week 1 of chemo & radiation and will be for 6 weeks, then a surgery. This has been a whirlwind of course, we have had to ride the rollercoaster of tests, bad news, some good and then bad. It has been very hard on us, of course.

As his girlfriend and now caretaker, I am having a tough time adjusting to my new role and his reaction to all of this. He is very withdrawn and moody after week 1 of treatments. He is not fully sharing with me what he is feeling, and I feel I am saying the wrong thing and not giving him what he needs. We have a very strong relationship for 6 years, but his cancer diagnosis is hard on us. I just feel very alone and unless you are a caretaker, you don't know what others are going through. My friends are great to talk to, but I came to this website to find out how other caretakers are going through and to get some ideas on how to do this more gracefully, and be of service to my boyfriend in the most supportive way possible... Thank you!

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Sorry for the reason you're here. You might get more replies f you start your own thread, by the way. Anyway, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think it might be harder to be the caretaked than the person with the cancer.

Are they using chemo and radiation to shrink the tumour before surgery? That's what happened with me. I was on 5FU with a pump. Then they removed the tumour about two months after I was done as the radiation actually enlarges the tumour before it shrinks it. I was so fatigues I could barely function. I spent a lot of time in bed staring out of the window. As an active person it was an odd feeling to be that inactive and not care. I found I was in an emotional fugue. I wasn't sad, I wasn't happy, I just didn't really care about anything. The fatigue takes several weeks after the treatments end to go away.

I can't speak for your boyfriend and men likely react differently than women and we all react differently to everything. The only thing I can suggest is just to listen to anything he wants to say. Even if he gets very dark and talks about death or anything else morbid, give him the opportunity to talk about his thoughts and feelings. Never say 'oh don't talk like that, you're going to be fine' or be dismissive of his concerns in any way. Don't always try to be positive so he feels he can't confide in you. Ask him how he feels about it, ask him if he wants to talk about it and then let him say whatever he wants. He might rail against it, he might feel that he's letting you down as a man who's supposed to look after everything, he might be scared, he might feel like he's going to kick cancer's butt and he might fel many different conflicting emotions in a very short period of time. You can ask him what he needs from you, what you can do to make his day better, let him know you're open to discuss anything no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can bring out all kinds of thoughts and feelings we don't expect. One of mine was to feel aplogetic. I felt like I'd let my family down in some way. And I knew I'd unintentionally brought upset, fear, and heartache to them. I knew it wasn't my fault but I still felt like I'd let them down.

I hope some of this helps. You're probably already doing these things anyway but maybe, if so, it helps to hear someone confirm what you're doing.

All the best,

Jan

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