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Chemo plan tomorrow and nervous
Narges
13 Posts
Hi everyone, tomorrow I have appointment for chemo plan.
I am going to do radio for five weeks ( rectum cancer stage3)and during these weeks I will have oral chemo. ( they are going to treat me aggressively because I am 42) . I have no idea what am I going through. I don’t expect normal life but at least be present for my husband and kids.preparing food for them , watching tv with them , laughing with them and...
is it possible??!!?!!!
17 Replies
Yuliya
70 Posts
Narges‍ warm welcome to you! Although I can't speak about your treatment from personal experience, but I have learned from many people in our community that chemo and radiation are doable! Yes, you will probably have a good days and bad days, no hair days,fatigue days, but I hope you will still be able to keep some sense of normalcy for your self and your boys. Wise people on this forum also mentioned that fighting cancer is 90% mental and 10% physical. Colorectal forum here is very caring and supportive. I have noticed you already have met some members.
Please ask as many questions as you wish. We are here for you. Sending you virtual hugs
Kat62021
4 Posts
I am rather new to my cancer adventure, and have witnessed several different cancer journeys. I don't know that I can answer your question. But I do want to say hello, and welcome. I am 44 with a partner and an 8 year old and a 5 year old. I find your question intriguing, as I am using every resource I can to not have to prepare food, or do laundry or be present for others...beyond giving love or enjoying my time with them. We have bought Chef's Plates (deliver ingredients and a recipe to your door) so my spouse can make dinner and not have to go to the store, and I am shipping my kids off to family for a few days or longer during more difficult times. I personally think it might be a good idea to have options, just in case you need some time. The little I know is that this is tough. Be kind to yourself. And expect all the kindness in the world from everyone you know. Keep a group of helpers on your speed dial. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and to give specific directions...clean my house, bring my family food...whatever. Everyone wants to help you, if you are willing to ask. Sending you and your family kindness!
Chocoholic
98 Posts

I know you'll be doing your best. I know you'll take it one minute, one hour, one day at a time. You are a parent, so you know how to be flexible. You'll be flexible with your expectations, and say “not today, maybe tomorrow ".

I think one of the worst parts about cancer is worrying about how it affects our family. I found it was good to be somewhat honest about how treatment may not allow you to be as present as normally you are. As you see how you respond to the treatment, you will be able to ask even your kids for support. Giving the kids and hubby something to do makes them feel like they are making a contribution.

I really like the Moon Balloon book by Joan Drescher for helping kids (of all ages) deal with their feelings through art.

Sending you big hugs.

Boby1511
363 Posts
Narges
Hi there.
I had the radiation to rectum area - expect diarrhea. A lot of it. Drink lots and lots.
I had some fatigue with radiation, but probably because I was dehydrated.
I think the most common thread with chemo is fatigue.
Sending you best wishes as you begin treatment.

Boby1511
363 Posts
Kat62021
Hi there,
Great advise. Sounds like you doing well.
I too skipped the food prep and cleaning. I had a lot of fatigue.
Haven't tried Chef's Plates, I wonder if they have this in my neighbourhood.
Sending you best wishes as you undergo treatment.
JustJan
449 Posts
Kat62021‍ welcome to what I hope you will find to be a helpful and supportive community.

I don’t have experience with your type of cancer or with oral chemo. Hopefully oral chemo side effects aren’t as severe as IV chemo. Based on one person’s feedback diarrhea may be an issue. You may want to have some Depends on hand. Also perhaps something to put on your bed to protect your sheets. May help reduce some wash loads. Fluids and rest are key. Sounds like you are putting a great plan in place to help you through the next few weeks. When I was doing chemo, one thing I really enjoyed was cantaloupe. I bought it pre-cut at the grocery store and could just grab and snack on when I felt like it. It has a high water content so besides tasting good it also helped replenish fluids. I also enjoyed Watermelon as well.

I hope you tolerate your treatment well. Please check in if you’re up to it.
Narges‍ - Welcome!

Good luck at your appointment today! Remember there are no bad/silly questions. If it's on your mind... ask 😊

We have a great booklet to help you come up with some questions: Questions to Ask when You Have Cancer. I'd like to introduce you to alexisrj‍, Pinto‍, Brock‍, Whitelilies‍ who have had a similar type of cancer.

We also have this video about oral chemo:


Please let us know how it goes today,

Lacey
Cynthia Mac
3080 Posts
Narges‍ - lots of good advice from the others, particularly Kat62021‍. I agree with creating a “flexible plan” that will allow you to respond to the flow of how you may or may not be feeling.

Might I suggest printing out Kat’s post for future reference? 😊

And, not to give them “a job,” but kids can be caregivers, too, even if it’s only small tasks like bringing mommy a yogurt from the fridge or moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer. (Again, though you’ll have to be specific - you’ll want a spoon for that yogurt!)
Pinto
52 Posts
Hello Narges‍,

I was diagnosed with stage 4, colon cancer in October 2019 at 42 years old. The cancer was in my sigmoid (a 14cm mass) and liver (one small nodule). The sigmoid mass was removed laparoscopically and the liver nodule was treated with 6 months of CAPOX.

Starting with the good news, I’m still here and I’m currently NED!

I don’t have experience with radiation but I have heard from others that it can shrink your vaginal canal so this might be something you’d want to discuss with your doctor as there are things you can do to help prevent that from happening.

I had both IV (oxaliplatin) and oral (capecitabine/xeloda) chemo and I found the oral component to be quite tolerable. For the capecitabine, I was on 1650mg 2x daily. (I’m 5’7” and 120-130lbs.) As far as oral chemo side effects, I did suffer from hand/foot syndrome which was a cumulative side effect and became much worse at the end. I exasperated it with gardening, which was a good but regretful distraction while I was feeling crappy! Fatigue was also a big issue. Digestive issues - yes. Night sweats - yes. Gross, chemical taste in my mouth and smell in my nose - yes. I also had low red blood cells and low neutrophils which resulted in my treatment being cancelled one cycle early.

Just remember to report all your symptoms to your oncologist. If anything gets really bad, it means your body is having difficulty metabolizing the drug and they can reduce your dosage. That is very common.

General advice I can offer: keep your body moving... get outside with your kids for fresh air and exercise as often as you can, even when you feel crappy. The exercise will do wonders for both your mental and physical well being. Also, drink as much fluids as you can! Flush out those toxins! And eat what you can, when you can... avoid processed food, cured meats and candy but don’t stress about what you’re eating. Just eat what you crave and what works for your stomach. Everyone is different in that department - especially with colorectal cancer.

Wishing you all the best. Feel free to reach out to me with @Pinto if you have any specific questions! x
Narges
13 Posts
Hi everyone and thank you for your support. I had my appointment and it was better than I thought. I will have on oral chemo for five weeks ( with radiotherapy) and then switch to Iv for a few months. ( injections and 48h pump)
I will have bad and good days but
the amazing part is:
doctor told me that I can do most of my chore like preparing food and even grocery shopping and
he told be try to be active and do your routine as much as you can to help your progress.
I know I will have bad days but I know I will have better days too and it’s enough for now.
thank you again for all your support. I don’t have any family member (just my husband) to share and I find this group really helpful.
So glad your appointment went well Narges‍ . Thanks for circling back to let us know.

Keep us posted on how you are doing throughout your treatment and always feel free to ask if you have any questions. While we can't give medical advice, there is a wealth of information and experience in this community to share with you.

Take care
Lianne
Narges
13 Posts
Pinto‍ thank you.really great information.
I am really happy for your treatment journey and wish you best
Ciony
8 Posts
Hi Narges
i was diagnosed with blood cancer (acute myeloid leukaemia) October 2019, it’s always hard to hear your diagnosis. I went through 6 cycles of chemo. I just take it one day at a time. My husband was so supportive, I didn’t think of cooking and cleaning when on chemo due to fatigue but in between I managed l cook but tired. Self care is important for me so when I’m tired I’ll just excuse myself and go to bed. Praying for your recovery .
Brock
55 Posts
Hey Narges

How's it going a week into your treatment?
At 58 I was diagnosed with Stage 3 anal canal cancer. My treatment was similar to yours: 6 weeks of daily self-administered chemo in the morning followed by a hospital visit for radiation. The first week was challenging to say the least. I'm wondering how you have handled it and what you anticipate going forward.




Narges
13 Posts
Brock‍ hi Brock , I hope you are doing great and thank you for your response . I will start my treatment on April 19 . I have no idea what will happen. But I plan to continue to work part time ( Just an hour online personal training) and I hope I can manage my daily routine with the kids ( as much as I can).I have no clue...
Essjay
1418 Posts
Hi Narges‍ I found on chemo that I had to accept a few days when I was not up to so much - days 4-10 for me. We did. Click and collect for groceries - meant I didn’t risk exposure by going in store or the hard work of pushing a cart. It also meant my husband could collect the groceries without going inside and buying doughnuts and cookies which we didn’t need! I paced myself on chores - one cleaning job per day, and I had a goal of getting outside daily (even if just to sit on the deck), and taking some form of exercise (I went to the gym for the first few weeks, dog walked, hiked, but over time exercise became yoga and walks). I enjoyed cooking even if everything tasted different and I found pottering around in the kitchen helped the joint pain...

Hope everything works well for you. essjay
Narges

Great tips from Essjay above!

I thought you might find this info helpful:
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