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starting chemo thurs.

kennyt's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

I'm really nervous about what to expect. It's oxy plus avastin infusion once every three weeks with 3000 mg xeloda pills for fourteen days with one week off and it starts again. any words of wisdom?

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

The main thing with the oxy is that you dont eat or drink anything cold. It should all be room temperature.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Oxy = neuropathy (tingling in extremities).......ask about Magnesium Sulfate to alleviate those symptoms.

Oxy = fatigue...rest when you need to.....nausea...can be managed by meds.

Avastin = watch for irregular heartbeats over time.

Xeloda = upsets stomach lining....very hard on feet....buy tin of bag balm or moisturizer and run your feet down and then put socks on to hold in the moisture...do 3x a day if you can.....can be hard on fingertips...same thing mosturize them.

Feet can get bad though so get started now to head off any trouble....by the time you discover it will be too late and you'll never really catch up.  The xeloda makes your feet peel and blister....they can also develop deep cracks....which can inhibit your ability to wear shoes....or even stand up and walk....and if so, with quite a bit of pain.

Report all symptoms to doctor.....

IV chemo can be toned down....they can lower the dosage....and they increase the infusion time to help facilitate the distribution of said chemical. 

Good luck.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Start moisturizing your hands and feet now, because mine cracked after a few days and healed very slow.


Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012


lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

I don't have any experience with oxy which I'm gonna start in August. Other patients here will help you with that.

All I know that it will make your hands, feet and throat extremely sensitive to cold, so you have to avoid touching, drinking and eating those. You may have the usual side effects of chemo: nausea, diarrhea or constipation, tiredness. 

I have very recent experience with 3000mg/day Xeloda. I had no nausea, diarrhea at all. Make sure you take it with plenty of food and water. In my experience about 1-2 hours after I took it, it really dropped my energy, so I really timed it so that I don't feel the effect. Took the first dose at 6 am with early breakfest And the eveni g those right before bed time. I eat little bites constantly during the day, because that maintains your metabolism on a higher level all day. Took naps when needed, but no longer than 45 minutes. Set the alarm. I carry Immodeum just in case of disrrhea. Keep hydrated all day.

Very important that you lotion your hands and feet in the morning and in the evening, because Xeloda can cause nasty cracks in your skin that is painful!!!! Wear soft comfortable socks and shoes.

That's all my friend. For me it was absolutely fine.

Keep us posted and you'll see that things will be ok. Deal with the illness, but make good things happen every day.


Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

I agree with being careful with cold items.  I had to use gloves with anything colder than room temperature. 

Try to drink plenty of liquids every day!


herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Okay, others have covered the cold thing with oxi, here are a few other oxi problems that could occur:

Also expect jaw pain when you first start to chew food, it only lasts for the first couple of bites then goes away so don't be too worried about it.

Also your fingers and legs might go spastic on occasion, this does not happen too often, but enough to worry you, it also goes away in short order (not as quick as the jaw pain).

Crying, not recommended, it hurts your eyes when you cry.

Be careful of air conditioning and fans, you could lose your breath, remember you will breathe again if this happens, it's scary (happened to me twice, I was scared) but put your hand up to your mouth and nose and it will bring in warm air and it will be okay a lot faster.

Gloves help a lot when dealing with the cold side effects.

After a few days you will be able to drink cold things again, it was 5 days at first for me, but as time went on it would take up to 10 days before I could drink cold things.  It's kind of like drink glass shards if you drink cold stuff.  Warm drinks or hot drinks until you can handle the cold, get plenty of tea, coffee, hot cocoa, apple cider etc., as you need to keep hydrated, very important.  Another thing about the cold, it will hurt your feet if you get up on a cool morning and go to the bathroom without thinking about that cold tile floor, ouch, ouch, ouch all the way, keep your slippers handy.

As for nausea I used marijuana instead of nausea pills, it worked very well for me, didn't lose a pound while on that chemo.

Remember if you get diarhea start the immodian right away, and it's two tablets every two hours (I would usually end up with 6 tablets per episode but wasn't too often) but check with your onc to make sure.  If your bum gets sore, get some A+D medicated cream to put on, it's used for babies diaper rash and is great for grownups bums too!!  Also soft wet wipes that are flushable are good to have around, but don't try to use them right after oxi, a little too cold on the hands.

As for the Xeloda, I was on the 3000 per day, 1500 in morning, 1500 in evening, two weeks on, one week off. I did what my onc said, didn't use my fingers for much for very long lengths of time, I never suffered cracked fingers or feet, never had to do the lotion.  I wore sandals instead of shoes and socks.

And onto the Avastin, watch your blood pressure, this can cause a rise, and you need to be very careful.

And I don't remember which one you have to do this for, (I was on the same combo as you are going on) but you need your protein checked before every infusion, make sure they do that, they often forgot and my protein was a bit out of whack once, had to do that 24 hour protein check and everything was okay.

Good luck Kenny.   It isn't as bad as you imagine, I had imagined much worse and was pleasantly surprised it wasn't as bad as I imagined!!

Winter Marie

MaryCarol5's picture
Posts: 102
Joined: May 2013

The oxaliplatin side effects have been covered pretty well.  I was taken off of that drug since my side effects after two infusions were as severe as someone who had 10-12 and ther fear of permanent neuropathy guided that decision by my oncologist and myself.  Hopefully you will have minimal side effects and are able to give yourself that edge.  We may revisit it later but for now it is only 5FU. (and cimetidine that I threw in myself)  The 5FU side effects are no walk in the park either but for me, are more manageable.  Mostly fatique for about 3 -5 days, nausea, constipation, sore and tight hands, It basically makes me feel like I have the flu- a bad flu. 

There were some very good tips offered about ox and remember them, especially the tips on the cold.  It is hard to fully grasp until it is experienced but take everyones word for it.  The cold HURTS. 

Good luck to you and I will be thinking of you, sending hugs and well wishes.


kennyt's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

thank you so much for all your input. I think one of the hardest things could be not knowing if the chemo is working or not. if my scans show improvement  or just stable stanford will cinsider surgery at the time. I guess one day at a time that's easier said than done for me.

Maxiecat's picture
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2012

Let your doctors know aNy and all side effects you are feeling.  I had developed neuropathy from FOLFOX...the Drs were able to cute the oxaliplatin portion for the last few treatments... This helped minimize the cumulative effects of the drug. .  Best wishes to you.  

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 715
Joined: Mar 2012

First - do not be nervous, everyone here can give you a wealth of info.  We were all there too.

My experience was: 5fu and Oxi for 6 months after the hemichol surgery.  I am a 3b colon cancer with signet cell dx'ed 1/13/12.  I have had all clear scans and cea very low with no rise.  Had a small pre-cancerous polyp removed this Jan during my 1 year colonoscopy then a follow up flex sig which showed some pre-cancerous cells but all else ok - I am very closely watched.

Back to my Oxi/5fu fun;  Side effects, neuropathy, hands, feet, face, teeth (yes teeth), tongue and gums.  A whole lot of numb.  Could not tolerate anything cold to touch or drink.  The chemo can give you diarreah.  Try the BRAT diet (B=bananna, R=rice, A=apple sauce and T=toast)  An RN told me about this and it really helped.  Usually the day after disconnct was a little rough.  The neuropathy came at about #5 or 6.  You may not get at all.  I know alot of people who did not.  My Onc added a mag/calcium drip before and after that took off the edge.  I never had my dosage adjusted because it was manageable.

You will get very tired as treatments go on.  This is the cummulative effect. 

At almost 1 year after my last chemo treatment the neuropaty remains but is very workable. 

Take a notebook to all appts with your questions.

The most important advice I can give is you WILL get through this and come out on the other side.  We are alot stronger than we think.  The csn board was always a great source of info, advice and help for me.  Come back often, no question or feeling is too silly.

Keep us posted.

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