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Cancer: Colon Message Board


Cancer: Colon Board Index


Hi CancerDad,

You have been through so much at such a young age. My heart goes out to you.

You mentioned you are at stage 3C. I have about 7 lymph nodes involved, which after reading these messages, I see that is a lot How many positive lymph nodes did your doctor find? Are you currently still on chemo? How many treatments did you have to take? (or are you still on?)

How many days after a port is inserted do you have to wait before getting chemo treatments?

My surgery was Apr 5th, and I'm concerned about cancer spreading while I'm waiting my colon to heal and waiting for my port.

Thanks for answering so many of my questions.

Bamc
[QUOTE=bmccrea]Hi CancerDad,

You have been through so much at such a young age. My heart goes out to you.

You mentioned you are at stage 3C. I have about 7 lymph nodes involved, which after reading these messages, I see that is a lot How many positive lymph nodes did your doctor find? Are you currently still on chemo? How many treatments did you have to take? (or are you still on?)

How many days after a port is inserted do you have to wait before getting chemo treatments?

My surgery was Apr 5th, and I'm concerned about cancer spreading while I'm waiting my colon to heal and waiting for my port.

Thanks for answering so many of my questions.

Bamc[/QUOTE]

Bamc:
Welcome to the Boards... sorry about the circumstances. Thank you for your well wishes. I wish you the same. I know you will do great. Just keep a positive attitude and take it day by day. ;)

To answer your questions:

7 Lymph Nodes puts you at an N2 staging and [I]is[/I] considered a lot of nodes to be involved. I had the same N2 staging with 6 or 7 nodes positive out of 10. This, however, was AFTER receiving pre-operative chemoradiation. I did an aggressive regimen of chemo with oxaliplatin, 5FU, and Leucovorin at high doses, along with radiation to shrink the tumor... I am a rectal cancer survivor (they use radiation for rectal cancers but not for colon cancers because the radiation causes permanent changes to the cells and tissue and literally burns killing both good and bad cells... it is unsafe to use radiation for colon cancer for fear of irradiating the small intestine causing further harm.

I am not currently on chemo, as I am currently (and knock on wood it stays this way forever!) in remission. I did, however have a few months of chemoradiation--I don't recall how many sessions, but I did 5 days each week and each time was "zapped" three times at the points where they tattooed me prior to beginning radiation.

I also had an even more aggressive regimen of chemotherapy after surgery because my oncologist was very disappointed that I had so many positive nodes even after all that pre-surgical chemo and radiation. He said it made him wonder how many nodes were involved prior to beginning therapy, and felt it was prudent to go with an even more aggressive regimen of chemo to kill off any possible micro-mets (cells that don't show up on scans but have the potential to spread and cause mets elsewhere in the body). Again, I was SO sick from the regimen, I don't remember exactly, but I HAD to make the decision to stop treatment after two months of cycles because it made me SO sick that no medications could control the vomiting, and I would have to go into the cancer center/hospital twice a week just to get fluids. It was an EXTREMELY difficult decision that we had to make, but so far it seems to have been the right one.

My port was VERY sore in the beginning (the radiologist told me that it took him double the amount of time to install due to the muscular tissue in my chest... I used to lift weights and at one point had a pretty muscular looking upper body. In an odd way, the compliment made me feel good in a weird sort of way!). They first accessed my port about a week to two weeks later.

I know you are eager to start chemo and get it over with, but you need to remember that chemo really does do a number on your body... it's very draining and you need your strength. It really is better to go into chemo with a strong body. With that said, you need to be patient and let your body heal. If you had your resection April 5, I would suspect that you will be scheduled for your port within the next couple weeks, and begin chemo shortly after that. Remember, MOST colorectal cancers are VERY slow growing. What did your pathology report reveal? If you don't know, I would call your surgeon and tell him/her you want a copy of the pathology report. They should have it by now. This is very important as it will tell you how aggressive the cancer is... poorly differentiated cells are the most aggressive, while moderately to well-differentiated are the least agressive and slowest growing. Well-differentiated are the best kind to have, if you have to have colorectal cancer cells growing in your body!

I think I answered all that you asked. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. There are MANY knowledgeable people on this board who are willing to provide support and share their experience and answer questions too. Not that I mind AT ALL in helping you how ever I can. I just wanted you to be aware that we are like a family on this board, and there will be times you just need to vent, or ask questions, or need some advice, or someone to listen.

Lastly, on a side note, I want to mention issues of fertility. I feel very strongly that you be aware about issues surrounding your ability to produce offspring after treatment, and what you must do before treatment if this is important to you. I don't know your gender or age as I type this, but it is VERY important for you to donate sperm or have eggs harvested and "banked" if you are still considering producing offspring. Normally I like to talk about this even before the resection... sometimes men lose the ability to ejaculate or even acheive an erection, and women need to worry about the possibility of early menopause. Also, both genders need to worry about the effects of chemo or radiation on sperm or ovum and how detrimental they can be. I don't mean to offend you. My sole intention is to make you aware of how chemo/radiation/surgery can affect this aspect of your life.

Again, I wish you the best of luck. :angel:

Regards,
CancerDad





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