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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

I am so sorry you find yourself in this position. It must be adding to your stress that you cannot afford to be off work during your chemo treatments. No-one can really say whether you will be able to work as everyone responds differently to treatment. My husband was able to work part time after five months of chemotherapy. Some people find they can work, others cannot. It will probably take some time to get used to the colostomy too, though others here will hopefully encourage you on that particular issue. The most important challenge for you right now is to focus on beating this illness and worrying about work is a reality that you don't need! I do wish you well and hope you will post again to let us know how you are doing. Do you have good support from family and friends? That helps so much.

Have they told you what type of chemo therapy you will be on (drip or pill)? I took Xeloda oral chemo for my rectal cancer and just completed my 6 week program on Jan 23. Xeloda is used for rectal cancer (and others) and I did pretty well with it. Only suffered some minor side effects. I would have been able to go to work although I would have been very tired. I had no nausea at all and for that I was very happy. I was also having daily radiation at the same time so that could have contributed to the fatigue as well.

My next step is surgery in March to remove the section where the tumor is and then have a colostomy. I've been told mine will be permanent because of the location of the tumor. I am not at all pleased with this news but am becoming more used to it as time goes on and with lots of help from a colostomy board I joined.

I pray your journey is quick and pain free.
Thanks for all your insight everyone. Karen I too am having radiation while on chemo(capecitabine) pill form. Then I have 6weeks to heal from radiation, then I will have surgery. My colostomy will be permanent as well. After that I was told there would be 5 months of iv chemo, I don't know what drug yet. I'm half way thru my radiation. At 41, I've been told I'm young for having rectal cancer. I have a very good support system, and lots of prayers from my church family. GOD bless you all.:cool:[COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR]
Golficon, I may face the additional chemo after surgery too. They really won't know until they get in there to see if any of the nodes are affected. If so, then it's the 5 - 6 months of the iv chemo. The PET scan didn't show any activity in the nodes but the tumor sort of covers up where the nodes are so it's uncertain to know for sure. I can only pray that they aren't.......

My tumor is close to the sphincter muscle so that's why I will have to get a colostomy. Since mine will be in the descending portion of the colon, I am a good candidate for irrigation so that after I retrain my colon to the procedure, I will only have to wear a large 3" bandaid over the flat stoma. My stoma nurse is amazing and says that after a couple of months healing, we'll start the training for irrigation. It may take a few months but I'm certainly willing to put in the time necessary and hope for the best. I'm older than you (I'm 56) and that's even considered young for this type of cancer so I know what you mean. My stoma nurse is the one that said because of the location of the stoma, my age and fitness level, I was a great candidate for this type of procedure. If they haven't talked to you about it yet, you might want to bring this up to see if you are able to consider this type of cleansing of the colon. Not everyone can but this was the one thing that helped me get over the thought of having a colostomy. Vanity for sure but more practical for my lifestyle.

I wish you only the very best in your recovery.

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