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Stage II Colon Cancer

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sep 2006

I am a 42 year old mother and wife and had emergency colon cancer surgery on 10 July 06. According to my path report and doctors my cancer was diasgonsed at Stage II with NO lympth node involvement and no signs of spreading. Cancer and surgeon doctors both recommended the FOFLOX Regime which is Osaliplatin w/Leucovorin and then 5FU over a day and half for every other week for 6 months. I was told this was precautionary, so I thought better safe then sorry. I started my treatments on 18 August and have had 2. My 3rd is scheduled for 15 September 06. It is very hard to get your mind to play nice. Mine is also thinking about every ache, pain, etc I feel. Is this normal or not. Is there really NO more cancer in my body? I was hoping I could ask a few questions for help and advice?

1) Do most side effects happen with the first few treatments or can they increase as treatments continue?

2) Does this chemo regime affect your RBC? The information I have read indicates WBC and platelets

3)Has anyone discontinued treatment due to the fact that the cancer was Stage II, NO, MO?

4) Are the doctors really concerned about your counts because people I have spoken with indicate that their counts got really low and a few dangerously low. To me this is NOT good.

Any help and advice is GREATLY appreciated

mum-of-four's picture
mum-of-four
Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Nudgie

I'm on the same drug regime, so will answer as best as I can from my own experience. I was supposed to have my 12th and final treatment today, but have been postponed to next week because of low blood counts.

1) Side effects - I found they were there for every treatment - pins and needles in fingers, toes and throat, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarreoh were the worst ones for me - have also had continuous "tingling" in fingers and toes since treatment 10.

2) My RBC has been fine

3) n/a - (mine's in my lymph nodes)

4) Have had terrible trouble with my counts, hence being sent home again today - after 6 treatments I had to have my dose lowered to 80% as my blood wasn't recovering

hope this helps

good luck and best wishes

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sep 2006

Thank you very much for your responses and thoughfulnees.

My side effects with two treatments have been minimal with no loss of appetite.

Do you remember which treatment that your counts got too low. I am really afraid of this. Do you know what your count levels were for WBC and platelets?

It's good to hear that this Regime did not affect your RBC count.

Was your treatment also considered precautionary?

What stage of cancer?

mum-of-four's picture
mum-of-four
Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2006

got sent home after no.2 (but had been in hospital with infection) sent home two weeks in a row after no.6 at which point dose was reduced. 9, 10, 11 and 12 - sent home - I don't know if this is normal or I am just unlucky!

Don't know what my actual counts were - sometimes it was my WBC that was too low and other times my platelets.

I'm staged as Dukes "C" I presume (?) this is the same as Stage III - it was in 2 of my lymph nodes. They advised me to view it as "an insurance policy" it is quite possible that I have no cancer cells left, but I couldn't take that chance. I'm 38 with 4 young children aged 9, 8, 5 and 3. I did get asked after no.5 if I had had any thoughts of giving up the chemo (I'd had 2 more hospital stays by then) but I said, I can't give up, I have to keep going for the children. I'm finally at the point of "just one treatment left" I never thought I'd get there, but I have and you will too.

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Nudgie,

Well we're almost twins! I had my surgery on July 6 and was diagnosed Stage II NO MX (the MX just means they couldn't find any metasteses).

I've only had one "hit" of the Folfox 6 regimen that you are on and I am looking forward to the second one this Friday. (NOT!).

I didn't have many side effects yet, either, just some mild nausea, some diarhhea, and some of the throat reactions to cold things. I also developed something in my esophagus that seemed to block my ability to swallow easily. It wasn't terribly painful, but docs thought it might be an infection due to the chemo and they gave me a "magic mouthwash" that took it away in a day or so.

They're discussing whether to reduce my dosage this time. We'll see.

I am part of a study to see if this regimen helps those of us in Stage II with no lymph nodes involved. Clearly, Folfox and Avastin have been helpful to those in Stage III. It has been less clear if Stage II patients benefitted because few studies concentrated on Stage II patients alone, usually lumping them in with Stage III. The study I am in also takes a look at your tumor for a couple of specific markers that researchers believe can help predict if you are a low-risk or high-risk for recurrence. I was deemed high-risk so I agreed to go the chemo route.

My surgeon was also concerned about my relatively young age (I am 49, but have probably had the cancer for a few years). They really stressed the chemo as a preventative to chase down any radical cells still running around out there. I was resistent to it until I was told that my tumor was high-risk for recurrence....

If I have to discontinue the treatment for any reason, I will not hesitate to do so and hope for the best. If I were Stage III or Iv this would be a more difficult decision.

The docs in the study watch us like hawks. So I am sure they'll be honing in on my blood counts each and every time I go for infusion.

Hope this helps!

HowardJ
Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi Nudgie and welcome. I was diagnosed with stage II colon cancer also, but opted not to receive chemo. I had a laprascopic right hemi-colectomy and am being followed every 4 months by the oncologist. My decision not to receive chemo had more to do with the stage...My tumor was staged as IIa. Had I been staged with IIb or higher I would have gone for the chemo.

I can't comment on most of your questions but did want to say that I too get anxious about every new ache or pain, thinking it could be cancer. Being active I often get minor aches and pains. I am just under 2 years from diagnosis so guess I will feel this way for some time. I recently asked my oncologist what types of things I should bring up (referring to minor aches and pains), and he said to bring everything up to him.

Folks on this site have a great deal of experience and wisdom to share so post as often as you want.

Good luck!

Howard

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7879
Joined: Aug 2005

Hey, gal....welcome! Stage III here...so I won the chemo prize! Resection, lost my rectum and sig colon...3 months after treatment finished, dx'ed with unrelated breast ca...stage IIb. Chemo there, too.
Yes, you WILL have moments of thinking everything is cancer related...only natural. Try to distract yourself. Do something you love to do. Then, plan to do something after the treatments are all over....I went to a Spa in Palm Springs for 3 days...planning switched my focus, and got me thru some rough moments!

Hugs, Kathi

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2060
Joined: Oct 2009

This post is more than six years old!  Can't figure out if you are selling something or not.   If you have comments, please start a new thread.  A lot has changed in six years!!

Tina

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