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Newly Diagnosed Stage 3A & Very Scared

stuntmom
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi everyone,
I am 47 and underwent a colon resection last Monday. I am recovering very well from surgery and have met with my oncologist and have a plan. From what I can gather the chemo mix he plans to use is standard but I've heard different doc's dose quite differently. My doc plans on weekly low doses for 26 weeks. A friend happened to be diagnosed just a week prior and is going to have once montly doses.

Any way I can find out stats on whether or not it matters how the chemo is given?

Thanks everyone. Stuntmom

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Stuntmom, I have no 'stats' to share on this but have only heard of one other person who had 26 weekly doses of chemo. Almost 100% of us had chemo every 2 weeks for 24 weeks (6 months) and that's probably what your friend is going to have. I've never heard of a Stage III getting once a month chemo.

One thing I will tell you is that I felt really bad for 3 or 4 days after disconnect from the 46 hour wear home pump. If YOU feel bad, you'll only have 1 or 2 days to feel good each week for 6 months.

Anyhow, I'm glad you did well and since you're Stage III, you have super high chances of being cancer free forever!

Welcome to the forum!
Diane

stuntmom
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2010

Thank you for the info. I look forward partcipating on the board.

AnneCan
Posts: 3693
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Stuntmom,

I want to welcome to this forum. I have found it really useful; I hope you do too. Sorry, I can't answer your question but I think someone else will come on to help you. I am glad you are recovering well from surgery.

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2086
Joined: Oct 2009

Welcome to the most wonderful discussion board you never wanted to join. I'm not sure on stats but my hubby got his chemo (Stage IV) every other week for six months. After the six months, he had a break for a few weeks then he went on "chemo light" which is weekly 5FU, Leucovorin addining Avastin every other week. I really have not heard of infusions only once a month or for that fact, every week unless it is the follow up chemo.

Tina

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 455
Joined: Aug 2006

Stage 4 guy here who has had lots done. Glad you are stage 3. I'd suggest making sure you go to a major cancer center if one is close. They have lots of experience and ideas. You can ask for testing of the tumor to see if erbitux or Avastin can be effective as well, if they are being used. Some tumors have proteins that allow some drugs to work and others not. You are probably getting either Folfox or Folfiri. They have different side effects. I would get to the dentist before anything starts, start eating well, get protein in your diet and get a group around who can support you and your caregivers. You will do great.
Chip

luv3jay's picture
luv3jay
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

Hello stuntmom. Welcome to the board, although I am sorry we have to meet under these circumstances. I've never heard of the 26 weekly doses either. I am stage 4 (currently NED) and I was given bi-weekly doses of chemo. Anyway, take care of yourself and stay strong.

-Sheri

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 942
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Stuntmom. I was diagnosed at 46 and had a resection as well. I'm a stage III B and I used to get a treatment called FOLFOX4 (3 different meds). I got mine every other week for 12 treatments. (six months). I'll be done in June. Unfortunately, I was allergic to one of my meds and we're just doing the other two until I'm done. Diane is right though, your cancer is one that is VERY curable and your chances of being cancer free is high!! :)

polarprincess
Posts: 210
Joined: Aug 2008

hi i am 45 years old and was diagnosed as well with stage IIIa. i had a T1 malignant polyp with 1 lymph positive. my local onc was also going to do the 26 weekly treatments for me as well, but i had been to mayo clinic for my surgery and they had recommended the 6 months of biweekly folfox and being online i also noticed that almost everyone got the latter treatment so i told my onc i wanted that. I am curious why doctors would chose the weekly regmimen//what the advantage is since it isn't standard. who knows maybe it has something to do with stage III, or maybe it is something new, i am not sure. as the others are saying, the prognosis for stage IIIa is excellent. if you want to see for yoursefl. go to memorial sloan ketterings website and look for the colon cancer nomogram. welcome here!!

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1372
Joined: Nov 2001

I was 48 at dx. Had 48 weekly doses of 5fu enhanced with levamisole fortnightly. I was stage 111c into 6 lymph nodes. Still ca fee over 12 yrs later(good stat) All the best for a speedy and uneventful recovery...Ron.

suelanders's picture
suelanders
Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2010

I just had my first treatment yesterday, I have colon cancer stage III B, my ono is giving me treatments every 2 weeks for 12 treatments , total 6 months. It has only been around 15 hours, but I must say, I did great in the hospital yesterday, no bad reaction and so far am feeling pretty good. I can't say how I will feel in a few days but I am hoping I continue to do well. I know every one is different and your ono may think smaller doses every week will work for you. Good Luck!! and let us know how you are doing. By the way I am 55 and I had my surgery just 2 months ago.

Sue

zenmonk
Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

I am sure there a plenty of stats out there. The question is can you apply those stats to your situation. Probably not. Many times the chemo regime will need to be adjusted after it is started to fit the individual and the response that is seen. If your DR's plan works and your getting a good response and the stats for other people say differently which way are you going to lean. In my opinion stats are no better than antecdotal information. The response that I had to chemo is seen in about 5% of patients according to my oncologist. If he would have told me that prior to treatment I would have been looking at another way and would have missed the oppurtunity to get the response that I did. Be very careful when looking at stats.

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 987
Joined: Jun 2009

First of all welcome to the board. The people here are truly great to have around. I'm a stage 3 colorectal survivor. I did radiation 5 days a week for 8 weeks while being hooked up to the 5FU chemo pump 24/7. Next came surgery and with it a temp iliostomy bag (Leaky Sac-o Sheet). Then came the real chemo treatment of 5 FU and Oxy every other week for 16 weeks and came home with the 5 FU pump for 3 days. Chemo on Wed and unhook Friday late afternoon. I think the chemo treatment a person is one depends on what type of cancer they have. Mine was a slow growing type. I hade my first scan last month and no cancer!! The chemo treatments really sucked but I lived through it.

Good Luck
Brooks

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 1838
Joined: Jan 2007

Since you're just getting started, let me offer you a suggestion...

Get other opinions from colorectal surgeons and oncologists
that are not of the same group or organization.

You are embarking on a life-changing event, and you should not
be basing your decisions on one individual's opinion; get other
opinions and pick the one that your instincts tell you is correct.

There is no "one way" to get through this; there is no generic
remedy. Only you alone should make the choices, since it is
your life at stake.

Get other opinions.

Best of health to you!

John

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi,
Welcome to the board- this is a great place for both support and information- it's been my saving grace many a time in the past year and a half I've been coming here.
The differences in dosages and what oncs give apparently does vary. I believe it's pretty standard to do Folfox after a resection for stage III. Folfox consists of oxaliplatin, leucovorin, and 5FU. That regimen usually is given once every two weeks. So, I'm thinking that is probably not what you're on. I've not heard of getting something once a week, so I am curious what it is you will be getting. Nor have I heard of just getting once a month, as you said your friend is getting. Both Folfox and Folfiri are normally dosed once every two weeks. Xeloda pills are an oral version of what is given in the 5FU pump. They are normally taken daily for two weeks, then one week off. Is it Avastin you're getting weekly? I have heard of that being given weekly. If you're only getting Avastin, I'd question the oncologist about why he isn't giving the heavier stuff along with the Avastin, if that's the case. Do some research online about the different regimens and different dosages. You can look up the NCI (National Cancer Institute) standards for chemo dosages. I did that a couple of different times with my treatments and questioned my doctor when he gave a dose that was "off" from what is considered standard. One time, he had a good explanation of why he didn't give me that & I was satisfied. More recently, he went along with the dosage I read about and we changed my dosage(to slightly stronger than what I was getting).

Take care and always feel free to ask any questions on this board- I've found/read that NO subject is off limits here. We're real people who are experiencing real issues, real side effects, etc & are ready and willing to share what we know and what we've experienced.

Blessings to you,
Lisa

P_I_T_A's picture
P_I_T_A
Posts: 133
Joined: Oct 2009

welcome to the board, though I sorry you have to be here. I was diagnosed at 40 last August, and had my resection in September. Which went smoothly, except for finding the positive node post-op. Chemo here we go. My Onc recommended FOLFOX, as Diane mentioned earlier, should be the standard treatment in this case. 12 rounds every other week. Even though I have, as the CT scan nurse put it, veins a nursing student would dream for. I elected to go the port/cath route with no regrets at all. Simple procedure, small incision, and minimal pain. The Oxi is a real booger, does a number on the cancer, but can do a number on you as well. I only made through 8 of the 12 rounds because of the nueropathy. I finished my chemo back in April and aside from the lingering nueropathy(which the doc said should pass within a year), I have resumed a 'so-called' normal life. After a CT NED pre-chemo and a CT NED post-chemo, I had my port removed last month. Back at work(gotta pay those med bills) and doing things around the house. Basically, everyone responds differently to whatever treatment you choose, but don't be scared, it's treatable, and I hope you do fine. You always have this board for support as well. As far as stats, they're just that stats. There's always deviations. I say throw everything you can at it and, hopefully, rid it for good. But, I was told 65-70% chance of non-reoccurance within 5 years without chemo and 80-85% chance of non-reoccurance with the FOLFOX.

-DJ

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