"diagnosis and treatment for recto-sigmoid bowel cancer "

About: Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust / Community nursing Royal Derby Hospital / Oncology

(as the patient),

Large recto-colon sigmoid tumour diagnosed in October 2011, my symptoms started in July 2011. went to stand-in doctor end of August, He told me my hemorrhoid was bleeding, and it could be banded if it was troubling me. I went on holiday, it was worse and not nice, came back went to regular doctor, he referred me for colonoscopy straight away. Diagnosed with large tumour, just one nothing else visible at that stage. too large to operate, 7 or so enlarged lymph nodes. Chemo and radiotherapy December and January, with excellent response. Major surgery, anterior resection and loop ileostomy May 2012. Recovering and taking it easy now, but got infection in wound, nearly cleared up as early June. Only just reread my various reports and noticed tumour classified as T3(B)/4 N2 Mx, not too good, noone told me this, so just as well I had really good response to radiochemo treatment.

Keen to get back to bike riding and DIY if I am lucky I think.

Saw surgical team on in June for post-op biopsy feedback etc. told that radiotherapy had completely wiped out the tumour and no cancer cells found in anything that was removed. But because the tumour was large and advanced they want me on chemo for 6 months. appointment to see oncologist scheduled for the end of June. #

Well saw oncologist and he thought I should not bother with adjuvant chemo due to risks. but he could not say cancer had not spread before treatment started. so left it to me to decide! ! I am having more chemo but just capecitabine (double the dose I had in december ) and not the oxaliplatin as I suffer with raynauds and don’t want neuropathy in my hands and feet as well.

on second cycle now and going well. bloods ok, back to diy gardening and cycling. doing 3 rides a week, may do 4, an hour at least each one. all hills where I live. did 25 miles on high peak trail 2 weeks back.

Have read the "anti cancer - a way of life " book and taking some actions accordingly.

it has set me on a new path of food, diet, activity, exercise and mental attitude etc.

now on cycle 3 of chemo capecitabine only, but max dose of 2500mg morning and same again evening. ok so far, felt queasy and sore feet and toes after 2nd cycle, took just one anti sickness tablet and felt a bit better creaming hands and feet 3 times a day seems to have done the trick for now. nearly done first week of 3rd cycle. feeling good today Friday (sept 2012). sun shine always makes me feel better. Also taking pyridoxine

October now, during third cycle I got a chill, got a sore throat couldn't shift it so ended up in hospital on IV antibiotic drip for 2 days, back home on antibiotic for a week then got skin infection so on second Antibiotics, flucloxocillin for a week. when all that done took a few days to feel better started 4th cycle and nearly finished that now. 3 days to go, beginning to feel quezy, like end of third cycle.

finished 4th and then 5th cycle still on max dose. side effects a bit worse each time. started 6th and last cycle. but after one week I noticed numbness in my feet and toes. rang nurse on the next day and she told me to stop. I said I could try a reduced dose but she said, no she had talked to oncologist last time I was in and they were happy for me to stop then so there was no problem me stopping at this point. So I stopped 6 days early..

two weeks on from end of chemo now and side effects easing off. fingers feeling a bit better still feel like my finger nails are trying to lift off my fingers though, and feet still quite a bit sore but a bit better than they were. mouth soreness easing off and also bum soreness easing off. Getting a bit more energy, back to diy and exercise bike.. 4 weeks on from end of chemo and side effects reduced further, still some hand and feet issues, mucosal areas improving too.

treatments received:

colonoscopy and biopsy, mri and ct scans, chemo and radio therapy, open bowel operation / anterior resection, adjuvant chemotherapy, antibiotics when required

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Responses

Response from Dan Oliver, Public and Patient Experience Officer , Patient Experience Team, Derbyshire Community Health Services

Hi Wikey

It is really encouraging to hear your story and the positive changes you have implemented in your life. Thank you so much for taking the time to feed this back to us.

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