Try to pin them down about the long term affects. I had chemo and radiation about 6 years ago. Every day since then I have felt terriable, pain, fitgue, etc. The radiation distroyed my lower back and now I can hardly walk, much pain in legs now. This has not let up for a single day, its every day every hour. I manage to work part time, but do not leave the house but for work, which is my own business, as I would never be able to be an employee of someone else. Not that you have a choice in the matter, sometimes it really, really messes you up. Take care Dan
Her regiment is 5-FU/ Oxaliplatin/leucovorin. I assume you all have the same thing?
I started out with that but am now just on 5-FU/leucovorin. I had really bad reactions to the oxaliplatin and had to be taken off it after 3 rounds. The only bad part of this new treatment is that it's 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off and I have 24 treatments. I'm looking at June before I'm done!
As everyone has said, take it one day, sometimes, one hour, at a time. Make sure your wife knows it's okay to rest when she needs to, and take care of herself.
Keep us posted!
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." ~ Anon
I also had 5-FU/leucovorin only. My radiation went well, no lasting complications. With radiation it very much depends on the exact location there are focusing on. My cancer was so low down that there was not much else in the area. They constructed lead sheilds to protect my kidneys but the only side effect I got was a bad 'sunburn' on my Butt. The only lasting effect is that there's no hair where I was 'sunburned' now which is hardly a bad effect in my books.
I was diagnosed w/rectal cancer last July at age 32...had 5.5 weeks of chemoradiation, then surgeries, - temp. ileostomy -7 months of chemo (FOLFOX then had to quit due to side effects so went to Xeloda only, which I tolerated)...then I had reversal surgery this July and a "bonus" surgery on 9/1 for a blockage. The good news is that I am cancer free and feeling FABULOUS right now!
My friends here have summed up well what to expect. I only wanted to add that you should TALK TO YOUR DOC ASAP about fertility... You may want to postpone treatment and harvest some eggs. That said, I do have a friend who was able to get pregnant after six months of chemo for Hodgkins. I would get online and see if you can find some info about that. That is one thing that you do not want to regret later...
Good luck to you and your wife. She is lucky to have someone looking out for her health as you are. She will need your support this year as she goes through treatment. As a young mom it will be so hard for her to rid herself of the guilt she'll feel for having to rest etc. It will be rough, but know that there is life after treatment and it is sweet!
V, you are so right about the colonoscopy. Unfortunately, many young people don't get colonoscopies even when they have symptoms. Many doctors still think young people don't get colon cancer and will not send them for a colonoscopy until the symptoms get really bad. There is a calendar called the colondar, which has pictures of survivors (showing their scars) who were diagnosed under 50. For 2007 there were so many models that there are 2 for each month. I think the youngest was diagnosed at 16! The object of the colondar is to show that many people are diagnosed at a young age.
my daughter was 22 when she was dx with stage 3c rectal cancer in april 05. her symptoms were very similar to your wifes. i had no idea this disease could strike someone so young. i kept telling her that it was ibs or colitis, not to worry. she was away at college at the time and after the school doctor told her to change her diet, she found a gastroenterologist and asked for a colonoscopy. thank goodness he didn't put her off due to her age. she would not be here now if he had. i still refer to him as our "knight in shining armour."
she went through the same chemo that your wife will have. she also had radiation which was more difficult for her than the chemo. she had good days and bad days but was still able to finish college and graduate on time! she's now working at a job she loves and bought her first new car. so, there is alot of light at the end of the tunnel.
my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife. good luck on your journey. susan
Hi everyone! Hope you all have a restfull Xmas! Mine sure was. We were supposed to have going through Chemo last Wedesday but I asked the nurse if we could do DPD test. She sure set us up. So now we are just waiting for the result. Her chemo will start on Jan 8. We have a little break!
CAts: I checked some places and the average cost is about 8,000 to 10,000.
That is a little too more than what we can affort. Also the chance of success for an embrio is only 10%. Eggs freezing has not been very successful and only in experimental stages. They say about 3% success per egg. So I dont thing we can have that option.
susan: thank you for sharing your daughter story. I am so happy for you that she is now go on with her life! it does inspire me to look forward to that.
Just want to give an update...we will have the third chemo this wednesday. she was as expected down for 4 days and recover the 5th. She is doing better than average I suppose but she lost so much weight. Also she has a cold now and I dont know if that would affect her chemo this wednesday.
One thing for sure is that chemo it's not fun! But we have no other choice. We go to church more often now and pray every night...that keeps our spirit high.
I have my colleague of many years... and one day a few months ago, he came to me and told me he had stomac cancer...he said it in such a calm tone...but that sure gave me chills to the spines. Only a few months later that this horrifying news hits right at home. I am definitively scared, specially to the fact that my colleage just passed away a few weeks ago in his 40s...
I am now also in contact with another cancer patient (lung stage IV) and she has very high spirit...the church helps her heal. I hope she will make it.
what I found is in the time of despear as such, giving your trust to God helps heal your mind and spirit...on that note, I hope you and your family all doing well.
My wife just had her third chemo. She shows apparent sign of physical degradation - her skin darker, her hair thinner, more spots on her face, herself thinner... But what worries me most is the fact she starts to have lower left abdominal pain (where the ovary is I presume) I asked the doctor to see if we should check the OB doctor, he said go ahead. Anyone has the same experience? Any feed-back appreciated.
V, I can only address a few of the things your wife is experiencing. I have heard that skin color changes are not that unusual. Hair thinning is fairly common. With a lot of chemos you lose your hair. For me, I enjoyed not having a 5 o'clock shadow. Weight loss is fairly common. Her appetite is probably not the greatest. Sometimes it helps to eat a number of small meals rather than a few large ones. This is a time to pretty much eat what she wants. We have been conditioned to not eat high caloric foods. If that's what she wants, she should eat them. My oncs office always has a tray of cookies in the waiting room-they found that most chemo patients can tolerate sweets, and the calories don't hurt. People would also bring all kinds of cookies, cakes and candies to the chemo room for the patients. The philosophy was that it is better to eat something than not eat at all. Also, my surgeon said it can take a year to start gaining weight. Things have been shifted around inside. It takes a while for your brain to teach your intestines to take over what the missing parts did. At least in my experience, once chemo ended, I have gained about 25 pounds (I weigh more than ever). I always joke that if I didn't exercise 4 days a week, it would probably be 40 pounds. Keep us informed, and don't be afraid to ask any questions that come up.
When my dh had his first series of treatments he also experienced a darkening of his skin, his hair got thin and he developed spots of darker skin. My dh could tolerate sweets really well and he doesn't really care of them all that much. Have her try to nibble on something off and on all day. It might be easier to tolerate than a full meal. Do you have plenty of nausea meds on hand? The oncology nurse made sure that we had plenty and dh did have to use them occassionally.
I know how you feel about being scared. I have a knot of fear in my stomach that doesn't ever go completely away. But, you do learn to live with it as time goes on. I am so sorry about your colleague. We have experienced some of the that, we have lost 4 friends/family who were diagnoised after my dh with various cancers. Sometimes it is so hard in the face of all of this to have a positive outlook, but we just have to remember that our loved ones are individuals and not all outcomes are the same. My dh has had a wonderful attitude through all of this, only a few times has he really been down, but he told me when he was first diagnoised that he was going to enjoy every day and for the most part he has.
I will say extra prayers that the pain your wife is experiencing isn't anything serious. Take care of yourself during all of this and try to do something just for you everyday even if it is for only 30 minutes. You will be surprised how much it helps.
thanks for all your encouragement. it is scary. no doubt...there are times when the worst had crossed my mind and it is truly scary. Just to give you an update, my wife's symptoms have somewhat worsen. she still have stomac pain and have 4-6 bowel movements a day now. also she has lumps (3 I think) in the back of her head and neck. I dont know what they are but they seem to be appearing fast and I will check in with the doctor tomorrow.
last time he felt it, he said it was nothing. I hope those are just temporary side effects of the chemo.
My wife has finished her 12 chemo sessions. And it lasted 7 months. Needless it say, it was very hard on her and on all of us.
She did a CT scan last week and it turns out her liver has some "slightly heterogeneous density". Does anyone know what it means? Is it symptom of early metatastic? Doctor said come back in 3 months for another scan. Should I worry and go for a second opinion?