Jun 06, 2003 - 2:14 am
As some of you may know, an international symposium on clinical cancer was held this week in Chicago. Lots of new data on treatment of colon cancer. The new biotech drugs have been making a lot of news (Avastin, and the Imclone drug). These are only used for metastatic disease, and only in experimental phase.
As for me, a large multi-center study showed about a 25% redution of recurrance of cancer in Stage II and III with a combination of 5FU with Oxaliplatin, when compared to 5FU/leukovarin alone.
So, me, being Stage IIb, 40 year old,male,wife, two young kids...it makes sense for me to be as agressive as possibe. I met with my oncologist today, and next Tuesday I will start on this 5FU/Oxaliplatin combo. I had been preparing myself for the relatively "benign" side-effects of solo 5FU (including leukovein, of course). But now I have to contend with coping with this other agent Oxaliplanin. All I've heard is that it can cause neuropathy; the diarrhea, nausea and vomiting tend to be worse; it is more toxic to the veins, and most people can not complete the entite course without going from IV to some sort of central line; and lastly, there is some rare phenomenon where you feel as if you can not breath or swallow, when in actually you can do both, but the sensation is supposed to be pretty horrifying.
I feel lucky that the study was relased just as I am about to start chemo, and that I may be able to reap some of the benefits. But I am worried about the increased side-effects. i wonder if I will be able to hold down my job over the six-month process. Thoughts, ideas, sharing experiences, help would be greatly appreciatied.