Hi all, today I finished my 25th and final fraction of pelvic radiation, with Xeloda 3000mg/day. I must say after reading this thread I was pretty terrified going into this. This post isn’t meant to diminish the difficulties I know many folk have had - clearly this can be a very tough process with long-lasting effects.
Overall I was fortunately to find it fairly tolerable, with the main side effects being diarrhoea, fatigue, and some local burning-type pain. Imodium, MooGoo cream and a bidet toilet attachment were my friend. On a couple of days I also had some nausea, so Zofran and Buscopan helped a lot there. I was doing treatment ‘supine’ (on my back) due to my liver surgery wound (rather than the usual ‘prone’, ie face down), which I was told would result in more gastrointestinal symptoms but likely less local skin damage. The first 2-3 weeks were largely side effect-free, with the last 2 weeks being a bit more challenging. I wasn’t working thankfully though probably could have, with the exception of maybe 2-3 days in total where nausea and fatigue was worse. Overall, I found this much more manageable than FOLFOX chemo.
I had a good naturopath who helped me throughout with vitamins, glutamine and pre/probiotic supplements to try to maintain gut health.
This is just a brief note to give folk some hope going into this that all outcomes are possible in terms of side effects, particularly if you’re prepared and get on top of them early. Best of luck to all.
Male 37 years; Melbourne, Australia
10/2018 Dx: 3.5 cm rectal adenocarcinoma, 10 cm from verge. Well/mod diff (G1-2), T3bN1bM1a.
3 enlarged local lymph nodes and 4 liver lesions.
MSS, MMR-proficient, mutated in NRAS (G13R).
CEA: Oct-18 = 12; Nov-18 = 14, Mar-19 = 2.4
11/18 - 6 rounds neoadjuvant FOLFOX
12/18 - DVT, started clexane
3/19 - Liver resection, R0
4-5/19 - Long-course pelvic chemoradiation (45 Gy w/ Xeloda)