30yr old with almost 2 year old T3N2M0-first post
I have never posted to any message board, so this will be my first post. I was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. It is a 3 cm mass about 10 cm into the rectum. The initial MRI and CT scan that I had done staged it at T2N0 or T2N1. However, I went for a second opinion and they redid the scan b/c they said first scan was poor quality. They say it is late T2, just beginning T3 and several suspicious nodes (N2). I am so scared. My liver so far is clear. I have an almost 2 year old son. Both my surgeon and oncologist are very optimistic about disease free survival; however, everyone has told me it is a rough road ahead. Therefore, I welcome any advice you have to offer me, especially if you have been through this while caring for a young child (and I have a full time job). My mother is going to come and help me, and my husband is very supportive, but I don't think he knows how difficult this is going to be. So far, our plan is to pursue egg retrieval, followed by chemoradiation, recovery, surgery, recovery and more chemotherapy. I would like advice about what to eat, how to handle the radiation--best skin creams, etc., what to expect from the chemotherapy, etc. I understand that everyone responds differently, so if you've had a good experience, that is nice to hear too. I have read a few thread entries, so I have picked up some good ideas already. For surgery, I plan to have a total mesorectal excision. The doctor said he will try to form a little pouch for stool to collect. I will have an illeostomy (sp.) for the four months of chemo after surgery. The first chemo portion will be pill form. Right now, I am having a hard time eating. I know I need to eat, but due to the stress of this situation, I don't feel hungry. Furthermore, I won't eat meat anymore, but I have been eating salmon, sushi, fresh fruits, and a lot of vegetables. Whenever I go to a restaurant and they offer their fried meat appetizers, all I can hear is "would you like cancer with that?" I wish I could just pretend this was not happening, but that is not an option. I will survive this. Please help me.