Married and working as a dentist.
Diagnosed with rectal cancer 07/2020. Clinical stage T3aN1M0.
The consultant advised due most recent trial (RAPIDO) shows Total Neoadjuvant Therapy is shown to have much better chance of achieving total pathological response, they are going to put me on this new regime. 5 days of short intense course of radiotherapy, follow by 6 rounds of Xelox, then lower anterior resection.
24th of August: started 5 days of radiotherapy. Had nausea, tenesmus and cramping as side effects. Not too bad all manageable.
Started first round of Xelox on 08/09. Palpitation at the end of the infusion lasted the rest of the day but no other problem with the infusion. However, severe diarrhoea started a few days later and had to stop the chemo pill.😢
2nd round chemotherapy: oxi 100% with capecitabine 80%. I was very nervous due to previous experience. However, it went remarkably smoothly.
3rd round: oxi still at 100% with capecitabine up to 90 %. Experience more discomfort with Oxi and more tired. Sore throats and palpitations at times.
Had CT scan at the end of 3rd round: showing a reduction in tumour size and no spread!!
Blood test: low platelets so reduce dose to 80% for both Oxi and capecitabine. Also 1 extra week off. Not bad.
Completed 6 cycles of Xelox on 13/01/2020. Unfortunately post chemo MRI and CT indicated no response to the therapy. No metastasis though!
Operation dash 19/02/2020. Due to previous extensive pelvic operation and radiotherapy, I have to have a hysterectomy and colostomy instead of ileostomy.
After 11 nights at hospital back home and recovery well. getting used to live with a stoma permanently.
Final pathology report T3N2a (4 lymph nodes), EMVI and PNVI negative. Was devastated that radiotherapy and chemotherapy had not down staged the disease at all. Learned to accept it and moving forward. 3 month MRI and 6 month CT scan surveillance to follow.
09/2021, had result from 6 month surveillance scans ( MRI and CT) NED 😊
11/2021 had an ASBO 🤣 acute small bowel obstruction. I was in hospital for a few days and catching up with the nurses on L4 ward. I had another CT scan and that was all clear except a collapsed lung, an enlarged spleen, and a hiatus hernia . The consultant said this can happen at random so just luck. Hope it won’t happen too often. The bonus is the next CT scan will be 09/2022!