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  • Stage 111 colo/rectal cancer survivors, please

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    Old 09-16-2003, 10:08 PM   #1
    Nassau one
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    Post Stage 111 colo/rectal cancer survivors, please

    I need some encouragement right now. My husband was diagnosed with Stage 111 rectal cancer with lymph node involvement in 11-18 nodes. He had surgery and they were able to remove the whole tumour. He is presently receiving chemotherapy...5 days on then 2 weeks break and is now on the second cycle. After the two weeks break, he will get radiation, then one more cycle of chemotherapy. Due to complications during surgery, he is more fragile than he would have hoped but, in spite of this, is tolerating the chemotherapy quite well. He is eating well which I am sure is helping him keep up his strength.
    I would love to hear from anyone, or, even better, several people who have been at a similar stage as my husband. Even though none of us know what the future holds for us, it would be encouraging to know that there is hope.
    Many thanks!
    Alison

     
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    Old 09-18-2003, 10:34 AM   #2
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    Maxeran(prescrip only) and Procrit for energy, Immodium(generic name Loperimide is cheaper get the doc to prescribe it)on hand for diarreha.

    During the radiation time period, corn starch the skin that will be irradiated to keep it dry. If(when) the burns appear use polysporin lightly. Radiation burns will normally not appear until near the end of the treatments but it takes quite a while to heal. It is the same as getting a very bad sunburn.

     
    Old 09-18-2003, 10:51 AM   #3
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    hi jaydees....thanks, that is helpful information...did you have a stage 111?

     
    Old 09-18-2003, 04:49 PM   #4
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    The doc I had doesn't like "stages". The cancer had gone all the way through the wall of the colon but no cancer was detected in the lymph nodes or any surrounding tissue. So what's that about stage 3?

    I did chemo + radiation.


     
    Old 09-18-2003, 05:26 PM   #5
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    I understand...you did not have stage 111 as the lymph nodes were not involved. I guess I am anxious about my husband's prognosis as there are so many lymph nodes involved. As no-one else is replying, I am becoming even more anxious!
    Thanks jaydees for the advice...procrit costs a fortune I understand. His other side effects to chemo are manageable....meds for hiccups, diarrhoea and stomach cramps are all available. I will keep the info regarding the radiation for when that happens.

     
    Old 09-19-2003, 10:43 AM   #6
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    I went without the procrit myself as my pharmacare only covers 75% of drug costs and the maxeran was administered in the chemo room of the hospital so it was covered by medicare 100%. The others are not too expensive.

    Lord knows I wish I could wave a wand and say to people who are going through what I went through, "there, all better!". Best I can do is try to answer questions. My best wishes go out to you and your husband.

     
    Old 09-19-2003, 11:24 AM   #7
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    Thanks jaydees...you are helpful and I am grateful for that.... I hoped I would also hear from people who had been at a similar stage to my husband and who could say " I was there too and I am fine now"

    You are an inspiration to others and that is what makes these boards so good...I am addicted to them!

     
    Old 09-20-2003, 12:35 PM   #8
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    I wish I could help more. My cancer was only a 1 or 2, no lymph nodes and it had not gone too deeply into the wall. I am vey lucky to have caught it early. I still did chemo and radiation before my surgery and am still doing chemo, hopefully the cycle I had last week is my last. Jaydee's advice was right on. Cornstarch for the radiation and Procrit for red cells and Neuprogen for a low white count. I hope you have insurance, the Procit is over $2000 a shot, unbelievable. All I can help with is side effects, I have had the hiccups, annoying, and diarrhea and mouth sores and being tired all the time. It is certainly no fun.

     
    Old 09-20-2003, 04:27 PM   #9
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    Thanks....I am glad you caught yours early too! My husband is tolerating the chemo quite well, though of course he feels tired. He is not on Procrit...just takes meds for the hiccups, the diarrhoea..whoever invented Immodium is brilliant so the diarrheoa only lasts for an hour or two. He sucks ice during the chemo and gargles with salt water twice or more a day, so he has not had any mouth sores...I am glad to say.
    Good luck! I am taking the information in hand for when he starts radiation.

     
    Old 09-20-2003, 08:07 PM   #10
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    i forgot about the mouth sores. I can't believe i tottaly forgot about that!

    I started to get nauseous with ice sucking so I switched to orange flavoured popsicles. Two years later and I am only now able to have more than 1 or 2 ice cubes in my drink without feeling sick.

     
    Old 09-26-2003, 06:13 AM   #11
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    Hope this helps someone else as much as it has my husband. my husband had,I say had because they say they got all of it and i want to belive it.anyway, they removed all but 3 inchs of colon. it had gone though wall and in 2 lymph nodes. he is on chemo,nausea drip and steroid. 2 weeks ago he was so sick,weak and dehydrating,from all the diarreha.nothing was helping that.they were talking about putting him in hosp. he was ready to give up on all of it.
    I put him on 3 milk skakes a day and gator aid.
    the milk shakes include 1 can of ensure or boost or any other weight gain,energy milk drink. 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream,1/2 can peaches w/ juice or a banana,or blueberries etc. i also do chocolate too,but can't think of nothing to go in it.ummm maybe choc. chips..anyway, he is gaining weight,feels 90% better and working 4 days a week. i let him have chemo. day off..if he's good.... cancer is not a laughing matter but laughter is a darn good treatment to fight back with. try this along with the milk shakes and see if it dont help. god bless all of you.


    [This message has been edited by catty123 (edited 09-26-2003).]

     
    Old 09-26-2003, 05:20 PM   #12
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    Hi catty123....it seems that you have things well in hand....did imodium not work for the diarrhoea? My husband hardly had any at all because the imodium worked so well. How are you coping yourself? I find it so hard to see someone you love so much, so down sometimes, particularly after chemo. Then just as he starts to perk up a bit, the next session is upon us!! I know it is all for his recovery but it pains me so much and I find my life is consumed by his illness. It is hard for me to put my mind to anything else.However, I do try to keep my spirits up in front of him....it is mostly at night that my anxieties kick in. All the best to you!

     
    Old 10-15-2003, 10:23 PM   #13
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    Alison,
    I just read your message and don't give up , because there is hope for your husband. My Mom was also stage3 and had a large tumor, which was removed last year. She also had 14 lymph nodes involoved, so it's a very similar case. What is your husband taking for chemo? Unfortunately, her doctor wasn't too enthusiastic about clinical trials and such last year and her cancer has returned with other complications though, but not in the same place. So, don't be discouraged. She was also a smoker for many years. One of her friends also had colon cancer and is doing great! He was stage2, but opted for a different treatment. It is called Tanorex, which is a monoclonal antibody. A company in Germany manufactures it and you can get it, but need someone willing to administer it, because in the U.S it's not FDA approved yet. It seems very promising, but also expensive and insurance won't cover it yet. It is somewhere between $5,000-$10,000, but if you can afford it then you should try it. My Mom was going to, but is considered stage 4, so she isn't eligible for it. She is taking 5Fu, Leukovorin and Camptosar. They probably should have tried Camptosar before, but did not. It may have wiped out the new cells. I hope it all works out for you and your husband. Good luck. Ask the doctor about the info I gave you if you are interested.

    [This message has been edited by whtnowblonde (edited 10-16-2003).]

     
    Old 10-17-2003, 02:48 AM   #14
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    Hi Alison
    My husband has stage 4 diagnosed earlier this year. He had large tumor in lower colon and had spread across to his bladder. Also tumor in liver and one node in lung. He had bowel resection and recovered v.well. Followed with 3 months chemo once a fortnight with oxaliplatin and 5fu. Now in hospital recovering from liver resection. Hope to get him home today. He will have another 3 months of chemo and then they will consider what to do about the lung.
    He is only 45 and otherwise v.healthy so the doctors are treating him quite aggressively as he seems to tolerate it well. They would not have done the liver resection without thinking they had a chance of curing him. His liver surgeon belives he has a 60% chance of cure and that percentage is rising all the time as the treatments are getting better all the time.
    So i reckon you should be optimistic but keep feet firmly on ground which it sounds like you do.
    Good luck.

     
    Old 10-17-2003, 01:31 PM   #15
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    Thanks to both of you. We are now in the UK for more chemo, which my husband is tolerating well and radiation. I am just hoping the cancer does not spread but he has been on quite an aggressive regimen of 5 days chemo, leukovorin and 5FU, and 2 weeks off, though he had three weeks off when we travelled. His white cell count was low last week but has bounced back nicely. I try to take it one day at a time. Good luck to you too!

     
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