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My Oncologist recommends that I stop chemo.

CessnaFlyer's picture
CessnaFlyer
Posts: 97
Joined: Aug 2009

Due to a perforated diverticulitis that landed me in the hospital, my Oncologist has said the chemo (Fluorouracil) could cause another perforation that could lead to emergency colon surgery and since I’m Stage IIA I should stop the chemo. I’m a little more than half ways through the Roswell Parks regiment, in which I was to receive 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin once a week for 6-weeks and then 2-weeks off and then this is repeated for four cycles, or 24-treatments. I’ve now had 12 treatments. Does anyone know if this provides any benefits as far as stopping a possible recurrence of the cancer? Has anyone else had to stop their chemo half-ways through?

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

DX in July 06 with Stage II colon cancer by emergency surgery. I was told by my Onc Dr that the industry standard, in 2006, for Stage II colon cancer was a chemo regime called FLOFOX given every other week for a total of 12 treatments. Cocktail included 5FU, leucovorin and oxyplitian (sp?), but before 2006, surgery was considered the "cure" for stage II.

My Onc Dr also called it an insurance policy just incase I had any microscopic cells floating around in my body, so after discussions with family, friends, etc., I dedcied to be proactive and finished my chemo in Nov 06. I have been cancer-free ever since.

I would request a CT scan to see if the 12 treatments performed their duties and you are good to go, but your doc is correct, the chemo regime you are taking can cause perforation in the colon.

I did 6 treatments out of the 12 treatments.

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

From the very beginning my onc has told me that at stage II the chemo gives you about a 7% extra security of the cancer not re-occuring. That is, the Folfox regimen. She made me make the decision...said she was ok either choice I made. I made the choice to have the chemo.

After a few treatments of Folfox she had to lower the dose 50% because of severe neuropathy. After 5 treatments and worsening neuropathy she said we needed to discontinue Folfox. She set me up to have my port removed and rx'd Xeloda.That dropped my percentages to about 4%. I am now into my 7th tx...5/Folfox...2/Xeloda and have 5 more to go. What my oncologist told me last time I was in was that we are going to reassess every 3 wks and if it gets too intolerable we will discontinue..."no problem" ...her words.

She keeps reminding me that there were NO lymph nodes involved & I keep reminding her that that tumor was a huge monster! ( Don't really know if size of tumor means it is more likely to spread...someone jump in here? )

I know I probably sound like I am rambling but the point is that my doctor is comfortable with me getting off of chemo at anytime now. I'm not comfortable with it so I try very hard not to complain too much, but if I were in the situation you are in I might make another choice.

Keep us updated. I don't meet very many stage II's and I am curious. The doctors readily admit that there is a lot of grey area in treating stage 2.

Best wishes!
-Pat

coloCan
Posts: 1864
Joined: Oct 2009

the "Big O", as I now refer to the oxaliplatin, because the oxi was too much for me as far as the attacks of uncontrollable shaking, teeth-clattering, alternation between swesating and freezing, burning up and then freezing, difficulty breathing (I have COPD as well).....After 4 doses of the oxi this time around, she removed it from the FOLFOX. Maybe your once can modify your treatment......steve

PS: I.m stage 3c......

Hovea
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2010

I am trying to locate people who are undergoing/or have undergone chemo and had a reaction such as you have described in your post. I have Mucanous Adenocarcinoma Stage 1V Grade 1 and had some very strange side effects from the chemo cocktail I am on. I have had 6 cycles of a combo of Xeloda tablets plus Oxiplatin in varying doses and Avistan was added on cycle 4 comb. with a 100% dose of Oxiplation. I had a terrible reaction and ended up in hosp. for 4 days. Cycle 5 the Ox was reduced by 25% and although this treatment went well (very little s/e) I took a 'turn' whilst in the Dentist chair the next day and it was so EMBARRASING. As the CNM and my Oncologist at the centre I attend have NEVER seen this side effect I would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to contact me. I am registered on this site under "Hovea' and have my journey documented on my blog. I live in Perth, Western Australia.

CessnaFlyer's picture
CessnaFlyer
Posts: 97
Joined: Aug 2009

(Don't really know if size of tumor means it is more likely to spread...someone jump in here?)

Pat, from everything I have read, the size of the tumor doesn't indicate a worse prognoses with colon cancer. So, don't let the size worry you. Mine was also very large.

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks CessnaF. The gastro doc who missed my tumor the year prior came into my hospital room after the biopsy and said that the mass was so large that he thought even if pathology came back benign he thought I'd want to do some lite chemo anyway.Well duh!! My surgeon was furious and I have been paranoid ever since.

I won't worry so much now. Thanks.

-Pat

Smethport's picture
Smethport
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2010

I had right hemicolectomy on 2/9/10 for stage 11A. My oncologist said that I did not need chemo or radiation, just follow up CT scans and blood work every 4 months. This talk of you guys having chemo with Stage 11 is making me a little afraid. I am 65, maybe that is a factor in determining if you need chemo or not. My oncologist said that in the past they gave chemo, but now they feel that all the toxicity is not worth it.

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks. Your story is encouraging.Glad you piped in.

-Pat

Smethport's picture
Smethport
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2010

Thanks Babs - I am still in that "scared to death" mode and appreciate your comments regarding your follow up treatment. Your encouragement is really appreciated. My tumor was small .7 x.7 x .5cm. My prayers and best wishes to all.

k1
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Pat, do you mind me asking are you naming a "huge monster" Stage II tumor? I'm curious because I don't have much of a basis with other Stage II and consider mine that way too -- mine was 6 cm, or in "fruit size," as Wanda Sykes jokes, (due to the lack of literacy among Americans when their doctors give them tumor sizes on the metric system), about the size of a small apple or plum.

K1

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

I just call it a huge monster. I never saw it..LOL

This is what I know: 16 1/2 inches of right colon was removed.

The pathology states tumor size:7.5 x 4.6 x 1.4 cm.

My surgeon, who is a normal sized man, put it this way. The tumor was as big as his fist.

http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/centimeters-to-inches.htm

Don't know how to make a clickable link here on this site.

-Pat

CessnaFlyer's picture
CessnaFlyer
Posts: 97
Joined: Aug 2009

Pat, mine was also the right colon. The turmor size was 8.5 x 7.5 x 2.5 cm, and the surgen said it was the size of an orange. They took 20 cm of the ascending colon, which I assume is the entire ascending colon.

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

Cessna..my path report says they took 42 cm. which = 16.5 inches. I don't know how large the ascending colon is but I do know that my small colon was pulled up and attached to what was left of my right colon.Doctor drew me a picture and looked like he was removing about 3/4 of mine.My friend who is a nurse read my path report and said "they gutted you"....that was depressing:(

-Pat

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1533
Joined: Mar 2010

I had IP chemo, which was more important in my case (appendix cancer - direct 5FU to the belly) but the drs stopped it because they were afraid it was doing more harm than good. My pain was off the charts, and should have registered at "discomfort and bloating."

I then went on to FOLFOX, and got through 7 of 12 cycles. I chose to stop that, and my drs supported me. They feel that I got the benefit from the early cycles of both, and didn't need to complete the standard "set" number, in view of the side effects I was having.

So far, I'm doing great (2 years post-chemo, 3 years post dx)

PamPam2's picture
PamPam2
Posts: 375
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi. I did 7 out of 12 treatments. Stage 4. Needed surgery for prolapse of colostomy so had to quit chemo to have it. I'm still here 5 1/2 years later, doing pretty good.
Pam

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4678
Joined: May 2005

It certainly doesn't look promising if you continue with it:
"my Oncologist has said the chemo (Fluorouracil) could cause another perforation that could lead to emergency colon surgery and since I’m Stage IIA I should stop the chemo."
I would most likely stop it if it were me.
-p

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