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Folfox 6 side effects

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

My husband has recently been diagnosed with Stage 6 cancer of the small intestine. He will be receiving Folfox 6 via a port that has been implanted in the upper right chest area. I would like to know what to expect.

Love2Cats's picture
Love2Cats
Posts: 127
Joined: Dec 2010

I'm a fairly new cancer patient too. To be honest, I thought cancer only has grades 1-4, so hearing about stage 6 is new to me.

I had my port installed in the last week of January 2011. You can expect the area to be bruised and sore for awhile, and you definitely don't want to be doing anything too physical for awhile. I stayed away from the gym for about a week.

Haven't had any problems with my port, and I am glad I got it.

Sandy

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3479
Joined: Apr 2010

There are only 4 stages, I sent her a private email about that. I think their more worried about the chemo. And I don't really know what folfox is, so can't help in that department.
But I agree with you Sandy, the port is wonderful.
Winter Marie

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

I'm sorry I meant to say Stage 3 cancer; the Folfox 6 is the drug that will be used....sorry for the confusion

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

I'm sorry I meant to say Stage 3 cancer; the Folfox 6 is the drug that will be used....sorry for the confusion

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

I don't know anything about the small intestines. I believe that's considered something other than Colon or Rectal cancer. I do have a friend who had carcinamatosis of the small intestine about 10 years ago, tho.

FOLFOX is a combo of 3 chemo drugs and a B vitamin.
FOL – Folinic acid (leucovorin) – sometimes called FA (a B vitamin that helps 5 FU work)
F – Fluorouracil (5FU)
OX – Oxaliplatin

The oxi part causes neuropathy in hands and feet plus a load of other things. The other med that he'll wear home for 2 days, causes bloody noses, sores in the mouth and throat and other things. The onc will go over these before he begins chemo. I did six months of FOLFOX and did just fine. I felt icky for about 3 or 4 days after disconnect but I never threw up.

Hair thinned. Nails got ridges and some brown spots. Avoid the sun! Avoid touching cold items (this is very important). OUCH!

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for the information. My husband has a history of crohn's disease, and it was thought that he had an intestinal blockage cause by inflammation. This turned out to be a tumor in the small bowel, 30 inches of intestine was removed along with the ilium and 25 lymphoid; 11 of the 25 lymphoid were found to have cancer cells.
We are really new to this and don't even know what questions we should ask the oncologist. We spent 15 days in the hospital and my husband still has drains in his side, a port was placed while in the hospital. We visit the onco this coming Thursday and I hope we will have a little better picture of whats to come. All I know right now, we are living on prayer and our faith in God. I must admit, I am more than a little frightened for my husband.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3479
Joined: Apr 2010

First most have suggested here, is to take a notebook with you, (little one) write down questions you have for the oncologist before you get there, this way during the nervousness of the first onc and future onc visits, you won't forget what you wanted to ask. You can also use this to write down what he/she says so you don't wonder if you remember right or not what was discussed. If you don't go to chemo101 class like I had to do, ask your onc for a list of the chemo side effects that his particular chemo is going to affect him (mind you these are possibilities, some do really great on chemo (I did) and others have a hard time) just remember for every problem such as diarrhea, nausea etc., there are medicines that can help these problems you just have to ask for them. Keep Imodium on hand for the diarrhea. Bring in a list of all medications that your husband is on, to see if compatible with the chemos. Also any alternative medication he might be on. Ask about over counter medicines before buying them or using them.
And of course your frightened, the word cancer is darn right frightening in it's own self, never mind it affecting your lives. Rest easy, breath deeply, calm down and try and relax, hard to do, but carrying fright around in your heart will only make things worse. You just have to tell yourselves, it'll be all right. Repeat as necessary. It's a rough road, but you both can do it.
Winter Marie

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Thank you for your advice, especially the part about being frightened.

Please stay in touch.
gail

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 940
Joined: Dec 2009

Diane gave you a pretty good list. I also did time with FOLFOX and it wasn't too bad for me either. Never had a bout of nausea or vomiting. I did lose my fingerprints, and had some jaw pain related to the chemo. It hurts to open the jaw and it's almost frozen, but it still works. I wore gloves to get milk out of the fridge, and meat out of the freezer. I can't say I have any residual effects except some pain and joint stiffness.

I'm so sorry to read about your husband. I am glad you found us though. What a great bunch of caring and knowledgeable people here.

Please keep us updated on his treatment. I remember writing out fifty questions for my oncologist before I went in my first time. I took my little binder with me to every appointment. It's only my opinion, but I think caregivers go through just as much or more than us who had the disease. :)

God Bless

Love and Hugs,

Holly

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

I also think small intestine cancer is not considered "colon" cancer. I have been unable to find much about SIC so I have been looking at colon ca thinking it is in the same neighborhood....we go to the oncologist for the first out of hospital visit and I am hoping to find out more info...

I thank you for your response.
Gail

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

I didn't have cancer of the small bowel/intestine but, I did have colon cancer in the small bowel and had a small bowel resection along with the resection of the colon. I was hypersensitive to FOLFOX ... what most people would call allergic to it. If you click on my name you can go to my blog where I kept track of my FOLFOX experiences round 1 through 6. Unfortunately, due to my sensitivity I couldn't do more than 6 rounds before having to stop. Please if you read my blog know that everyone's experience is different and everyone handles the chemo differently. Some can work and continue doing "normal life" with just some fatigue while others have a tough time with it. Like I said, I was hyper sensitive so there shouldn't be all the problems or to the same degree as I had but, the information is there is you'd like to check it out.

Actually here is a link to my blog: http://csn.cancer.org/user/129623/view/blog

Start at the bottom .... I even posted a pic so you can see what all the drugs hanging on the pole look like before he takes home his pump for the 46 hours.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

sorry you had to find us.

well, just expect the unexpected.
like lori said everyones experience is different.

its highly variable between patients. I hope all goes well.
just search on folfox on our forum.

don't get to worried as you read, we generally try an answer lots of questions about problems, the good news stories don't make it here always. just like the nightly news.

my experience with folfox so far has been pretty good.

all the best,

Pete

msp1953
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks, Pete, I am so glad that I have this forum. I have encouraged my husband to join, but so far he has not...I will not bug him, I am sure he will when he can do so....

Prayers for you.

Gail

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