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    cindyvon1 asked a questionColorectal (Colon) Cancer

    chemo

    14 answers
    • dilisana's Avatar
      dilisana

      I was stage 3-c colon cancer at 46 years old. I had the greatest team of nurses, doctors and specialists! You didn't mention how old your daughter is or how many rounds of chemo she had already. She definitely needs to speak to her oncologist immediately! When I found out I had cancer, the first thing my primary physician did was put me on anti-depressant medication. I already was taking Xanax but he said I would need the other medication just for a while, to help me through everything because there would be many ups and downs. I was on Vicodin for another reason then later on he sent me to pain management because the pain was different. I feel I have to tell you what I went through to now where I'm coming from.

      I had surgery to remove the cancer first, had an iron-type infusions for several weeks because I was anemic. I had a port surgically implanted in my chest because my doc recommended it. BEST THING I ever did! Then I had 6 monthly rounds of chemo. I was on Oxaliplatin, Fol-fox, and did the 5-fu 48 hr. chemo pump. I also went for steroid medication the next day. Prior to chemo the nurses gave me IV anti-nausea meds. Fortunately for me I guess, I truly didn't get very sick after treatments because I faithfully took the anti-nausea medication and pain medication before I could feel sick or in pain because once you are sick/hurt it will take forever to make it go away. She has to be very pro-active! The first 3 days I ran around doing things because I had so much energy from the steroids then came the crash. I had to rest, sleep as much as possible and did feel exhausted then began to feel better 4-5 days before the next treatment. I had minimal hair loss.

      Yes, I had to stay away from ice (my favorite food lol) and wore gloves when I went grocery shopping because of the cold. Suddenly a week after my 5th treatment my feet became numb. I immediately told my oncologist and he discontinued the Oxaliplatin for my last round. The numbness came differently for me, he told me it was unusual because normally it was gradual. The neuropathy remained but I could live with it. I'm 52 now and just passed my 5 years being cancer free and it's been 3 years for the ovarian cancer.

      My problems began 2 years after the colon cancer when the port was to be removed. They did a body scan and found I had a tumor on my ovary. Yes it was ovarian cancer and I went to the gynecological oncologist the next day. We decided besides removing the tumor I would have a complete hysterectomy. I was 48 and knew I wouldn't have children now if I didn't already have any. Surgery was completed and I was diagnosed as stage 1! This was very rare it was found so early but I needed to have chemo also because the XXX tumor broke while it was being taken out. So really I was stage 1-c. It was a totally different cancer, not metastatic! This time they told me I would lose my hair within 17 days so my older sister from out of state took me to buy a wig (so real and beautiful) and scheduled to cut my hair off as soon as it began falling out. I didn't have the heart to tell her I wore caps and some neat hand made bandanna-type scarfs people left in baskets at the center more than the wig.

      This is where I could relate to your daughter's pain and other problems. I also wanted to stop my treatments! I can't recall the exact chemo meds I had this time but one of them had the exact side effects of Oxaliplatin too, more numbing! 1st treatment began easy enough but about 9 days after, I became so ill. I was in a tremendous amount of pain, my meds were changed to morphine. 2 days later I got a high fever, I became weaker and delirious, so bad I ended up in the ER and was admitted to my oncologist's ward. My red and white blood count were very low. They took blood to test for infection which takes 3 days to find out what antibiotic I needed. I needed a blood transfusion too. I began feeling better gradually and was discharged 4 days later. Unfortunately, I was in the hospital when my hair began coming out in droves after taking a shower...alone in my hospital room. Tears streaming down my face, a wonderful nurse came to me and held me until I stopped. She took the brush from my hand, brought my hair away from my face and put a surgical cap on my head. She said it would keep the hair off my freshly made bed.

      I got sick like this for the next two monthly treatments! Same thing...hospital, blood-work for antibiotics, delirium both times, 5 transfusions the 2nd time and 8 the next! Tests to see if I was losing blood elsewhere - negative. I told the oncologist I quit! No more treatments, ever! He wanted to know why I acted so crazy when they sent me for a CT Scan! Me acting crazy? I was imagining the strangest and weirdest things because I was so sick! Everything seemed so real and everyone was against me. It was late at night and no one familiar with me. As if it was my fault! Three months of treatments was all I could handle and I never wanted to do it again. Well, my family talked to me and my sister flew in. She suggested if the doctor lowered the dosage, would I consider it? My pain medication was increased as well as my antidepressant. My next treatment was in a few days! I agreed only if I could wait 2 weeks to get my strength up and feel better AND I wanted my dosage lowered. The neuropathy was creeping up my legs and my fingertips were getting numb too! OK, I conceded to a 1 week postponement and he agreed to lower the chemo.

      It worked! no more hospitalizations, much less pain because of the increase and I made it through the 6 months of treatments. Your daughter CAN do it! She must do it for herself first then everyone else...mostly for herself! In the end, the benefits do outweigh the drawbacks TREMENDOUSLY!! There are more sunrises and sunsets to see and life to live. I wish I could speak to her. Does she have an account on this site? Maybe you can let her read some of the comments. Most importantly for her to remember...this too shall pass. When treatments were over I realized time did fly by.

      There are so many websites I can direct you to but the first one below says a lot! Depending on how far along your daughter is, the 2nd one has a care package with things she may need. Oh, I forgot to mention, if she has sores in her mouth she may want to ask the doctor for a prescription for "Magic Mouthwash", it's a mixture of many things you may recognize and some you won't. It does work like magic! My prayers are with you and your daughter!

      http://hubpages.com/hub/Ten-Things-I-Wish-My-Doctor-Told-Me-About-Chemotherapy

      http://www.chemocomfort.org/home_1.html?gclid=CImgzazTu7sCFcxAMgod3SgA5A

      over 8 years ago
    • zubsha's Avatar
      zubsha

      It is so hard to have perspective when you are in the moment Sometimes people say they want to give up because that allows them to believe they have an alternative even if they never would actually give up. Help her to keep in mind the mantra,"chemo is now, cure is forever". Good luck

      over 8 years ago
    • romanina's Avatar
      romanina

      In the worst weeks, I felt like quitting too. On Monday I have my 12th (last) treatment, and am glad I lasted. It's crucial that your daughter's oncologist knows specifically what is bothering her. I had anti-nausea pills, anti-diarrhea pills, anti-pain pills and ultimately, the oxaliplatin was removed from my chemo formula, which made everything manageable. The important thing is to help the doctors help the patient. That can make all the difference in the world!

      over 8 years ago
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    cindyvon1 started following

    Question: chemo

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    cindyvon1 shared an experience

    Side Effects (Eating problems (anorexia))

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    cindyvon1 shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Nausea medicine)

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    cindyvon1 shared an experience

    Procedure or Surgery (Colon surgery (colectomy or hemicolectomy))