I had a consult with Dr Gehr at Dartmouth Hitchcock and he laid out the treatment plan with about five weeks of chemo using an oral medication called Xeloda and daily radiation treatment.
My oncologist stated I could continue my multi-vitamin, but took antioxidant supplements off my allowed list.
Regarding the drug, the first time (years ago) I got a prescription from my doctor in advance.
I tried to focus on diet and exercise during the waiting periods. I just wanted to feel like I was doing something positive.
The electromagnets used in MRI machines vibrate slightly during the procedure, which is what makes the noise. However, it's no louder than sitting in the cabin of an aircraft - around 90dB.
From my understanding, the CT is a great tool for finding cancer in the liver/lungs (which yours didn’t—yay!)
Maybe find something nice you (and the family?) like doing and try to immerse yourself in that for a few days!
NCCN Guideline for Rectal Cancer Patients
https://www.nccn.org/patients/guideline ... index.html
Also, one huge help is that I started a binder right away. I printed out a calendar and began writing all appts along with phone numbers and contact info.
This really is an awesome place to come to if you are in the CRC club.
Did you take Xeloda 7 days a week? I read your story when I first came to the site but I'll have to go read that stage again. He said most people do fine with it but if it gets hard, you can do 5 days & take the weekend off because it's most important to take it as you're doing radiation. I hope I don't have to stop any. I hope I can get through it all & take the maximum dosage of everything.
He made me an appointment with the radio oncologist but the first appointment they have is next week. Hurry up & wait! He said they would do a trial run to see figure out the exact place to radiate & that it would be about 3 weeks before treatment actually starts.
They sent my Xeloda prescription in but it said it would come through the mail like I believe yours did. Right now they are trying to go through the approval process with the insurance & see where we stand but the doctor said they usually have it on hand at the pharmacy downstairs so maybe I can pick it up after the first one, I'm not sure.
NHMike wrote:... Radiation is another lengthy topic but you have some time to read up on it before you start....
If you want to do some reading on radiation, you could start here:
https://coloncancersupport.colonclub.co ... 45#p372445
BTW, I recommend some kind of diary on when you take the Xeloda
MeAndMine wrote:...The surgeon said it'll be like a little sunburn. I haven't met with the actual radiation team yet but hopefully they'll tell it like it is & not downplay things so I can be on top of it!
MeAndMine wrote:I've been trying to think "one step at a time". I'm trying not to think too far ahead but it's getting the best of me.
How did you get ready for Xeloda & radiation? Both doctors have said the Xeloda is not bad & the radiation is like a sunburn but not much more than that. I haven't seen the actual radiation oncologist yet & won't get to until the end of next week. On one hand, I'm ready to get going! On another, I feel okay right now & don't want to feel bad. It's still 2-3 weeks off from starting treatments I think.
Did you do any special prep to prepare your skin for radiation? I know I read not to use zinc based products once you start. I used to use Desitin on summer rashes or burns but I think it's hard to wash off so I won't buy that. I have read so much but at the time I didn't take notes like I should have at the time. I'm wondering if there is anything I can start using before hand to help out or what products I should buy now to have on hand.
I remember we used to put cream or lotion on our hands & feet & sleep with them in a plastic glove and/or socks to combat rough skin. I asked the doctor about that for the hand foot syndrome & he said, no, just put lotion on like normal. Did you all have any tricks for that?
I'm going to read back through the threads & take notes, but thought I'd ask in case any of you found a product recently that you thought was really good at taking care of the issues.
As for exercise, I believe they say it's a good idea to at least walk every day & keep moving to help with fatigue. I read that you should not do anything that causes friction on your feet or hands to combat the hand/foot syndrome but I think making sure you are walking/exercising should be a top priority to feel your best, right? I'm also a big crafter so I was planning lots of crochet/knitting projects while I'm resting in between. I wonder if that kind of pressure would be a problem.
One big help for me was [*][*]Everlasting Comfort Memory Foam Seat Cushion Designed for Back, Hip, and Tailbone Pain - Fits Office Chair and Car that I ordered from Amazon.
Here's a video of me (on the right) hitting tennis balls on the next-to-last day of chemo and radiation.
I think that the machine aligns based on the tattoos and then applies the radiation so moving out of position wouldn't be a good idea.
MeAndMine wrote:What position were you in the machine? Is it like an MRI? Was it very long? My shoulder is the thing that gets me in all of these routines. One of them I had to have it over my head & it was hard but doable with some pillows for it to prop on. Then one wanted it up but settled for that arm to be down & the other up. The MRI was arms down but was so long it that position that it ached to hold it that way, too. I'll manage it, but just wondering what to expect.
I am so glad to have found you all & feel better prepared being here!
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