Stage 3 Rectal Cancer - Chemo Side Effects

6 Posts | Page(s): 1 

Stage 3 Rectal Cancer - Chemo Side Effects

by boycek on Mon Dec 06, 2010 09:08 PM

Quote | Reply

Hi All

My name is Kent and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer back in Sept of this year. On Nov 1st I underwent surgery to have my rectum removed which contained a very large tumor (9cm long) that extended into the rectum from a point about 2 cm above my anus.(tumor filled approx 65% of my rectum). Of the 56 lymph nodes removed during surgery, all came back as negative (good news) and the tumor in my rectum classed as a Grade 1 tumor. I am currently in my 5th week of recovery from surgery and healing well and i can almost sit down on my butt again like a normal person....ha. I now live with a permanent colostomy but it is not so bad and better than the alternative.

With the surgery now behind me I still retain a very positive attitude but admit I am remain very anxious and worried about the upcoming chemo and radiation treatments which are planned to begin in late December. I am told my chemo will be 5FU and administered via pick line and fanny pack type chemo bag 6weeks on, 4 weeks rest, 6 weeks again). Radiation i am told will be 5 days per week for 5 weeks and about 15 minute sessions.

i must admit i am scared of the side effects of chemo and radition, especially after having endured a very tough surgery. i am told that with radiation i could experience the feeling of a "third degree sunburn" on my butt among other skin irritation side effects and also concerned about my stoma and effects that may be imposed on it

Anyway, i  have posted this message in hopes there are others out there who have rectal cancer and have gone through the chemo/radiation treatments and who can extend their comments.

Much appreciated

Kent

 

 

 

RE: Stage 3 Rectal Cancer - Chemo Side Effects

by SHOTPUT on Thu Dec 09, 2010 04:22 PM

Quote | Reply

On Dec 06, 2010 9:08 PM boycek wrote:

Hi All

My name is Kent and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer back in Sept of this year. On Nov 1st I underwent surgery to have my rectum removed which contained a very large tumor (9cm long) that extended into the rectum from a point about 2 cm above my anus.(tumor filled approx 65% of my rectum). Of the 56 lymph nodes removed during surgery, all came back as negative (good news) and the tumor in my rectum classed as a Grade 1 tumor. I am currently in my 5th week of recovery from surgery and healing well and i can almost sit down on my butt again like a normal person....ha. I now live with a permanent colostomy but it is not so bad and better than the alternative.

With the surgery now behind me I still retain a very positive attitude but admit I am remain very anxious and worried about the upcoming chemo and radiation treatments which are planned to begin in late December. I am told my chemo will be 5FU and administered via pick line and fanny pack type chemo bag 6weeks on, 4 weeks rest, 6 weeks again). Radiation i am told will be 5 days per week for 5 weeks and about 15 minute sessions.

i must admit i am scared of the side effects of chemo and radition, especially after having endured a very tough surgery. i am told that with radiation i could experience the feeling of a "third degree sunburn" on my butt among other skin irritation side effects and also concerned about my stoma and effects that may be imposed on it

Anyway, i  have posted this message in hopes there are others out there who have rectal cancer and have gone through the chemo/radiation treatments and who can extend their comments.

Much appreciated

Kent

 

 

 

Hey, not to fear. The surgury is about the toughest part of the ordeal. I had about the same done, but 6 weeks of chemo and radiation pre-op. The radiation was pretty rough at the end and on the end. I too have a permanent colostomy. For chemo, I did the Xeloda pills. I was lucky on the side effects, really didnt have too many. The colostomy was about the scariest part of the process. But, once I came to terms with it, I have to say it has provided a couple of embarrassing moments and lots of laughs.... As far as the radiation, make sure to keep the radiated area lubed in the cream. You will get to drop your pants in front of more strangers than you ever thought. Just remember, the cup is half full.... My radiation tecks were a hoot, we made it as fun as possible...

Hope that helps, after 2 months post-op, I would suggest trying to irrigate your stoma. Once you let your body adjust and figure out what foods your body likes ( it will let you know) you will have a way more normal life than what you thought. At least that is how mine went...

Good Luck

Terry

RE: Stage 3 Rectal Cancer - Chemo Side Effects

by gitarmaninaz on Fri Dec 10, 2010 06:15 AM

Quote | Reply

Yeah, I totally understand. I had about 4" of my rectum removed after the doctor found cancer there from a routine Coloscopy just over a year ago. I had 2 months of radiation and chemo. It did not effect the stoma at all (I had an ileostomy and then the reversal). I don't know your age, but I am 58, and the radiation caused 'no more sperm', basically dry 'output'. After 4 months after radiation, I have only been able to "make it work' twice in the last year (I am married). I went to the doctor and he said that radiation in the private area of a guy can certainly cause that. If a guy is young and want kids or more kids, they are suppose to 'store' any sperm "before" radiation, as afterwards, you may not have any more. Ive had my kids, so no problem with that, but just thought I'd let you know.

I had some redness and some sorness from radiation right where the rays hit the skin, but it does not do that till about the 1 week mark or so.

I had no stymptoms at all from chemo. Just really tired. No other side effects.

RE: Stage 3 Rectal Cancer - Chemo Side Effects

by EstherMSKCC on Fri Dec 10, 2010 02:39 PM

Quote | Reply
Dear Kent,
 
I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I'm an employee of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and came across your post asking for more information about side effects of chemotherapy and radiation for rectal cancer. I am writing to suggest some resources that may be helpful as you prepare for your upcoming treatment.
 
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society both offer comprehensive information that addresses this topic:
 
What you need to know about rectal cancer: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/colon-and-rectal
Side effects of chemotherapy and how to manage them:
Side effects of radiation and ways to manage them:
Managing Physical and Emotional Effects of Cancer: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping
Managing Effects of Illness and Treatment: http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/SupportProgramsServices/Prog
 
I hope this information is useful and wish you the best of luck as you move forward with treatment.
 
-Esther

RE: Stage 3 Rectal Cancer - Chemo Side Effects

by kmpill on Fri Dec 17, 2010 02:57 PM

Quote | Reply

Hi Al, my name is Ken. I had my surgery and chemo/radiation for rectal cancer back in 2007. I had an ilieostomy that was later reversed, but other than that your course of treatment sounds similar. I've read some of the other posts and my experience with side effects were different than what I am reading. I made it thru the first two months of 5FU with only minor side effects (skin rash and mouth sores) that only lasted a week or so. It was when I got to the midldle course of treatment (5 weeks wearing the chemo pump and daily radiation) that I had real problems. After about 3 weeks I was really run down and couldn't work. I wasn't hungery and it didn't realize that I had severe diahera. I remember going for a radiation treatment and was so bad they put me in the hospital. It took two weeks to get the diahrea stopped. A month later, I did another week chemo treatment and the diahrea returned and it took three weeks in the hospital to stop it. Never did the last chemo treatment. The doctor said that while 5FU is usually pretty easy on most people, in some people it bulids up and causes the severe diahrea side effect. So my advice would be to be on alert for such a reaction and advise the doctors imeadiately. I also had no noticable side effect or reaction to the radiation.

RE: Stage 3 Rectal Cancer - Chemo Side Effects

by kitty36 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:57 PM

Quote | Reply

Hi Kent, I was sorry to read of your diagnosis.  It is so difficult to know the right things to say, even though I have been through Chemoradiation. I am not going to lie to you, it is tough, and there will be burning. I did not sit down properly for nearly five months. Use plenty of Acquous cream and if possile hydro-gel.  Also try and get some cool pads.  It will get easier I promise.

 

All the best,

 

Kitty36.

6 Posts | Page(s): 1 
Subscribe to this message board discussion

CancerCompass Survey

If you were considering traveling for cancer treatment, which headline would you find more interesting?

Get $75 for taking a research survey

We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.