newly diagnosed 43 y/o male

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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR

newly diagnosed 43 y/o male

Postby wdt » Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:20 pm

My husband is 43 and is almost 3 weeks post low anterior resection (LAR)for rectal cancer located in upper 3rd. They were able to reattach, so no colostomy at this point. I am an RN so I understand medical jargon and tend to use it. What I would like to know, and have not seen discussed thus far from what I have read, is about side effects following radiation. Radiation is not part of the follow up for colon cancer, but is for rectal cancer due to the possibility of local recurance near the original site. My husband is (right now) a stage III with 3 of 12 nodes positive. He has a PET on Jan 2 for staging, so we do not know if there are any mets in the liver and are praying there are not any. The oncologist is suggesting Xeloda for him.

My husband's fear is about sexual health and side effects following radiaiton. He has read that there are a lot of associated problems. He was SO relieved that his "parts" seemed to work following the LAR surgery, but when they told him there were positive nodes and he would need Rad Tx, he became concerned.

Any words of wisdome from some men out there, especially any around his age would be very appreciated. I might be able to aleviate some of his anxiety abou this. Truthfully, it doesn't matter to me - I just want him around for many years and healthy. Sex seems to be low on the priority right now, but I know as human beings we are sexual in nature and this can be very difficult for someone who is so young. THis is my first post and I am so thankful I have found this message board. Thanks!

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Postby Ron50 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:08 am

Hi wdt,
I would love to tell you that there will be no side effects to your husbands sex life but there may well be. It seems to vary greatly for individuals , some do not suffer problems others lose an important part of their life.
I was st3 with 6/13 nodes involved . It was at the bend where the transverse meets the descending colon. Because of targetting problems they did not consider radiation and I had weekly infusions of an old chemo regime for 48 weeks . I have suffered total sexual dysfunction ever since(This Jan 22nd I commence year 10 of survival). I have tried most remedies including cialis and viagra with very limited effect. I do not know if the problem is ca related ,surgery related,chemo related or a problem in my head. I do know that it is a problem that none of my doctors wants to deal with and it is certainly one of the reasons that my marriage is failing after 13 years.
It is something that needs to be dealt with early in your husbands treatment . The statement "what does it matter you are still alive " is utter crap. It matters greatly. I hope you and your husband do not have to face this problem but at least forewarned is forearmed. My best wishes for your husbands treatment . Ron.

Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR

Postby wdt » Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:27 pm

Ron, thank you for your reply. I appreciate your candidness of your insight. I have read that the surgery itself can damage the nerves in the pelvis leading to impotence, but I had not read about chemo causing problems before. The ACS has a lot of good info on their website, but of course it is general in nature and I wanted to hear what others had experienced. Apparently, it would be against dr's advice to not do the rad tx because rectal cancer has a high rate of occurance at the site, so we will just have to do the best we can in dealing with it. You are right, tho - we are all just too young to give up that portion of our lives. It is not right for your doctors to write that off as not being important.

Thanks again.

I would like to hear from rectal cancer survivors.

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Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:12 pm
Location: florida

Postby Dave » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:09 am

I just turned 47 two weeks ago.
I finished my 6weeks of chemo-radiation December 8th for rectal cancer; at this point everything works just fine, no difference at all. I still have surgery ahead, so im hoping my surgeon has a steady hand.
Quality of life is important to my wife and I also.
Good luck to your husband and you,

Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR

Glad to hear from you Dave

Postby wdt » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:35 am

Thanks so much for posting, Dave. I have also sent you an email. Best of luck in your surgery and our prayers are with you and your wife.

Where are you receving your treatment and surgery? Keep in touch so we can compare notes through this "ordeal" with the demon cancer.

My family doctor gave me some advice that I would like to share with everyone:

Have Faith
Never loose Hope
Never look back, only move forward
Take each day one at a time - and some days you will need to take one hour at a time within that day, or you will be overwhelmed.

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