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5fU Continuous Pump Infusion

dylan626
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2003

40 y.o. male, 6 week post-op for Stage II colon cancer (with some lymphatic involvement but not nodes possitive). Will be receiving 5FU, but one oncologist recommended weekly IV infusion in office, while another strongly recommended continuous infusion through an implanted pump (involving placement of central line). The latter said there is higher survival and lower side effects. Anyone had the continuous pump? Any suggestions?

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

I've had the continuous pump prior to my surgery. It's similar to a fanny pack, and unless someone knows what it is, the general public has no idea. In fact, my kids didn't even realize it was pumping meds into me. I am now a 35 year old female, and had my pump through my port-a-cath in November/December 2001. After my surgery in January 2002, I had the once a week chemo as a "clean up." That was for six months. I didn't have any real side effects from either format, so really, I guess it could be a personal choice either way for you. Showering with the continuous pump was similar to a demented form of the game "Twister." It will require a little strategy to keep the pump dry, but it is possible. If I were you, I'd go with the one that your docs feel will have the greater impact. But again, it's a decision you'll have to make in the end (no pun intended!) I hope this was helpful and didn't confuse you more! Let me know if I can help more...

Take care,
Stacy

Ray23
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

Hello, I'm a 52 y.o. male. I just began the 5th week of my 6 weeks of 5fu via the continuous infusion. The fanny pack with the bag 'o chemo and pump is only a moderate inconvenience. My side effects were non-existant over the first 3 weeks. During the 4th week I became somewhat fatigued. I began sleeping from about 9:00 PM until 6:30 AM. Finally, this past Friday, I took off from work and spent 4 days in bed, hoping to get enough rest to carry me through this week. It didn't work. It's now about 11:30 and I could use a nap. Other side-effects are chapped lips, dry nostrils, sore fingers and sore soles of the feet. None of these side effects has been overwhelming, just minor irratations.
And, by the way, the installation of the central line was quite tolerable. The nurse gave my arm plenty of lidocaine and I didn't really feel a thing.

For me it's 1 more week of radiation, 2 weeks of chemo, and 6 weeks of rest -- then surgery to remove that nasty tumor.

Best wishes to you for a speedy recuperation.

fandaj
Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2003

I am a 56 year old female and also had stage II colon cancer, no lymph nodes involved. About 20 inches of the colon was removed. I only saw one oncologist and he recommended the IV. I am also getting 5FU plus leucovorin. I have had 4 treatments so far with no side effects. I suck on ice chips during the chemo to avoid mouth sores--I got that bit of advice from this website. Is the oncologist leaving it up to you? Good luck with however you decide to do the treatments. Regards, fandaj

dylan626
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2003

Thanks for the input. My situation has changed a bit, I'll be on a combo of 5FU/leukovarin with Oxaliplatin (see new message above). As to the question of whether the oncologist was leaving the issue of bolus of continuous infusion: it was the second opinion oncologist who strongly recommended the continuous infusion, while my first oncologist saw it as unnecessary and not proven to be superior. I have decided to go with the standard non-continuous approach. But now I'm concerned about Oxaliplatin. Aren't the little decisions in life a ball?

pattieb
Posts: 176
Joined: Mar 2003

I am a 59yr old female with stage 4 colon cancer I have had 20 treatments of chemo with a rest in between when they found 2 small nodules and now
am on the 5FU along with daily radation tomorrow I will be starting my 3rd week of 5FU and I have have no major side effects, as a matter of fact I am feeling pretty good, I will be done both treatments on July 11 then have a month off with some test and then my DR will decide what other course of treatment. Yes it is a pain in the butt carrying this thing around with me, but I am kinda get used to it, I called my pump my new boyfried and his name is Henry and we go everywhere together, my co-workers enjoy joking with me about it. So good luck in whatever decision you make.

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