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oxaliplatin, xeloda & Avastin

joenlisa500
Posts: 23
Joined: May 2004

My mom will be starting these treatments on Thursday, she was through a series of treatments last year for ovarian cancer,which she didn't have, and did pretty well. She has been taking vitamin B6 since then and while she was on xeloda waiting for a proper dianosis, anyway I was wondering if there is anything she could take to help her with the side effects. She took the zofran with the other treatments and that seemed to work for nausea, I guess I am just wondering what to expect and what if anything anybody here did to help with their side effects. I know she will be tired and I can help her deal with that if these treatments will give her a chance to be here for a while longer. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me in preparing both her and myself

You are all in my prayers,

Lisa

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Huh???? If I'm reading this correctly..you said your mom was treated for ovarian cancer, which she didn't have???? I'm a bit confused.. call it chemo brain I guess. Sooo.....is the proper diagnoses Colon Ca? Well... lets get to the side effects.. I've never had Avastin, but I will tell you that the other two (Oxaliplatin & Xeloda
are not going to go down under my best memories... I was on mega doses and got horribly sick. Now everyone is different and your mom might do much better than I did! But... it was effective for me. Side effects: Nausea..mouth sores..numbness in fingers and feet...touching cold things can really be uncomfortable!! cold drinks make the throat feel like it's closing...
You get cold easy! Dress her warm enough. Tired all the time... anemic.. The side effects of these meds should be given to you (or her) so that you have them for referance. She will be very vulnerable to infections or flues and colds, so avoid having her around others that might be fighting off a few bug etc.. Be sure to watch her temperature. If it goes over 100.5 keep her in close sight and take her in to see her Dr. or go to the ER for possible infections.
I'm sure I haven't covered everything, but maybe some of this will help and others can post their input as well. Good luck Lisa. Post back here when you need to. hugggs Wanda

turtletrot1
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2003

"cold drinks make the throat feel like it's closing"
Does this mean no cold foods...no ice cream? Everything warm or room temperature?
Do these side effect appear immediately after the first treatment?
How long was your infusion?

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Lisa,

I'm here with Wanda - does Mom have Colon CA? I was on Oxaliplatin and Xeloda, not Avastin, but I can tell you about the others. Same as Wanda, the Oxaliplatin causes extreme reaction to cold and Xeloda (which I am still on) causes "hand/foot syndrom" which is dry scaly skin and sometimes the nails raising off the nailbeds. All in all I had all the bad symptoms of the Oxaliplatin/Xeloda combo, but it was better for me than the combo of 5FU/Leukovorin and Camptosar. That made me mega sick and I had a recurrance.

Let us know what your Mom has been diagnosed with. We will be here for you and her.

Kerry

joenlisa500
Posts: 23
Joined: May 2004

Hi Wanda and Kerry,

My mom does indeed have colon cancer. Last year at this time she was operated on to have tumors removed that were seen during a lap. surgery for what they thought was gall bladder, turns out it was cancer. To make a long story short, after the surgery which removed tumors primarily in the reproductive organs, pathology said colon cancer (this was the last time she had surgery) however she had a clean colonoscopy and endoscopy and no elevated tumor markers for colon cancer so our oncologist at the time said he believed what he removed was indeed ovarian so she went for 7 months of ovarian treatments, near the end of the treatments she became symptomatic again, around Nov. 2004 so he finally ordered another cat scan, she had this and showed tumors again so back to square one we were. WE got a new set of Drs but in the mean time he had put her on xeloda as a momotherapy she was on this from nov-current. When we got a new set of Drs she ordered a PET scan it only showed one tumor remaining in the right side colon area so suggested another surgery to remove that, she is almost 6 weeks out of that surgery and this time we are hopefully treating the right kind of cancer. The surgeon said the xeloda was working great for her, he did a lot of biopsies when he was in there and it came back as scar tissue from dead tumors and that is good he said. Only one other small area removed for the small intestines, Anyway I guess what I am saying is after all of this and a year later it is Colon Cancer not Ovarian. Did any of you have problems working, mom only works part time but really needs to keep her job, mostly because it is what keeps her from getting too depressed about all of this. Anyway thanks for all your help.

Lisa

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Lisa,

I'm glad the Xeloda seems to be working for your Mom. It seems to be working for me too. I've been on it for 6 months and my last 2 CAT scans came back normal. The doctor is keeping me on it for 1 - 2 years.

As for working, I am fortunate in that I don't need to work, but I have very few side effects with this drug (except for sore feet). I think I could work outside the home just fine, I am very active every day and have lots of projects, so it does not slow me down.

I'm so glad the doctors have find the cancer. I wish you and your mom the very best. Please know if you ever have any questions or need support you can always come to this site. We'll be here for you.

Take care.

Kerry

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Hi Lisa.. Glad that the Xeloda is working for your Mom, and you too kerry if your reading this. Lisa, I'm fortunate as well, as I am not working at this time. I am on disability and my husband has income from being retired. I'd like to work part-time as soon as I feel well enough to do so. You say your mom works to keep her from getting depressed. May I suggest humor... see funny movies, or find things to laugh at. I know...this isn't so easy when you're sick. Your mom may need to take a few days or even weeks to deal with some of the effects of the chemo drugs. Try to make sure she gets all the nutrition she can, and just be there for her. This isn't a smoothe road for either of you. Bless you sweetie... post back here when you need to ,and be sure to take care of yourself too. You're a good daughter. Huggggs ~ Wanda

markatger's picture
markatger
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Lisa,

So sorry to hear about your mother's problems, it sounds like an ordeal.

I didn't have many problems with my four rounds of Oxaliplatin, Avastin and 5-FU ( I believe Xeloda is 5-FU taken orally). It probably helped that I got two anti-nausea drugs including one called Anzemet which is like $80 a pill. Hopefully you insurance will cover it... it apparently is really good.

I did have the cold sensitivity, dry hands and feet, and what seemed like neuropathy in my tongue! It tingled a bit, kind of felt like it was burned a little...but more just annoying than really painful.

I was worried about Avastin before I started it. It is a new drug. There were a very small number of people who had problems with it in trials I think. It works by inhibiting blood vessel growth around cancer which essentially will starve the cancer if it can't grow a blood supply. But because of this action, you have to wait a while after surgery to start Avastin because it can cause problems of wound healing. I read a lot about Avastin and probably scared myself, hope I'm not scaring you. I'm of course not a medical person. The only problem that I had with was maybe a little blood when I blew my nose, but that could have been from the other chemo causing dryness. I am off Avastin right now while doing radiation, but am very anxious to get back on it, because I believe it will really help inhibit cancer growth.

I'm sure you will get lots of info from nurses about the chemo your Mom will be on. Ask any and all questions that you have!!! It eased my mind to get more info.

Best Wishes,
Maria

themis01
Posts: 168
Joined: Feb 2005

My mom is on oxaliplatin and avastin. She has the tingling in her fingers and lips for about 3 days after the pump is removed. She also got mouth sores after the 5th and 6th session. Her cancer in the liver and peritoneum was out of view from scans after 4 sessions. The only thing she hates is getting so tired for a few days after each session and not being her spunky little self. Overall, I think she feels the side effects have not been too bad forthe results she has gotten.
Erika

HisJoy's picture
HisJoy
Posts: 115
Joined: Feb 2005

Hope your mom's chemo for colon cancer is going well. As for me, I have just completed my 8th treatment with FOLFOX and Avastin. Side effects have been quite manageable and include: the reaction to cold - tingly lips and fingers - this generally only lasts a few days and then I even eat ice-cream! Watch touching metal or drinking chilled drinks until the effects wear off. The neuropathy CAN become permanent if it continues and gets worse. My onc gives me an extra drip of calcium and magnesium before and after the oxaliplatin to mitigate the neuropathy because it got so bad, and that has worked very well. Nausea - controlled by Phenergan pretty effectively and lasts only a few days. Low white count - controlled by a shot of Nulasta after each treatment. Fatigue - well, ya just gotta deal with it, I guess. Try getting out and walking in the mornings, but when you're so tired you can't even sit upright, just lie dowan and enjoy the rest. Diarrhea - controllable with Immodium. Pain in legs and abdomen - feels like someone has taken a club and beat the crap out of me, but this usually only lasts a couple days and so I just take Tylenol and try to rest through it. I'm familiar with what side effects hit when at this point, and so I try to be pro-active and take my Tylenol or Phenergan BEFORE it gets too bad.

Best wishes!

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