I've been reading the forum for a while now and thought I should introduce myself.....
I was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer last August and subsequently underwent 5 weeks Chemo/Radiotherapy to get the primary tumor under control. In December last year I underwent a liver resection during which 5 tumors were removed. The op was successful and achieved clear margins but I did end up with a nasty bile leak resulting in a 16 day hospital stay (A bile drain and endoscopy to place a stent sorted it out in the end). Having recovered from that I had an Abdominoperineal Resection 8 weeks ago to remove the rectal tumor. Again the op was a success and achieved clear margins. 3/22 lymph nodes were involved and there was evidence of vascular invasion. The end staging was T2N1M1.
I've got a permanent colostomy as a result of this op but look at that as a small price to pay if they have been able to give me a chance of beating this thing. Unfortunately there was also some bladder nerve damage and I currently have to self-catheterize to urinate. I'm told this may also be permanent but only time will tell!
I've just completed round 1 of 8 Capox sessions lined up over the next six months and am feeling pretty good all things considered. I've had a post op CT scan and am awaiting the results. Hopefully all clear and i can get on with the business of completing the chemo regime.
I've found reading about everyone's stories and experiences immensely helpful since I was diagnosed and was much better prepared for what was coming as a result.
I'm now concentrating my efforts on maintaining my fitness as much as possible during chemo and have been pleased to be able to get back in the gym over the last fortnight (even if I can't use the exercise bikes just yet). I thought that having benefitted so much from all your advice I should add my experiences to the forum and hopefully be of some help to anyone else about to tackle these challenges themselves.
All the best,