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Xeloda Newbie

Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2007

I am 43 and was diagnosed with a stage 3b rectal tumor on August 2 and began my xeloda and radiation today. Will be on this until October 17th. Then if the tumor has shrunk enough will have surgery to remove what is left roughly 6 weeks after that. This has been a whirlwind month with tests and biopsies (I had 4 before they got a difinitive diagnosis) and I am just wondering if anyone can tell me what they have experienced...good or bad. Shelley

Limey's picture
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Shelly, sorry to hear of your DX but glad your found us. Many on here have done or are doing Xeloda. quantities vary as do the side effects. I started out at 5 pills 2x per day. am not on 3 morning 2 eve. I get strong pain in my feet and hands and have had peeling skin. I would really not worry until/if you start to get symptoms. Many have had little or light side effects. overall My biggest hurdle is making myself take them as I near the end of the cycle. Me- I wanna cheat but have not yet.
best of luck. check here often, you will get lots of help and assistance.

Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2007


Thank you...how long before you noticed symptoms? I feel twitches in both my hands and feet that I did not have before so am wondering if this is what it begins with?
Glad to hear you are near the end of your cycle....I find it hard already to force myself to take them and I have only had 5 days so far!


claud1951's picture
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi Shelly,

I was on Xeloda for a while. Side effects can cause hand/foot syndrome. hands and feet hurt and start peeling.

There are two types of cream that seems to work well. Eucerin cream. Use this alot and I suggest you get the one in the jar and not the Tube. The one in the tube is hard to get out.

Also..Mary Kay has a product called Emollient cream and that works well, too. (the one has a scent. sometimes people don't like things that smell

Put white gloves and footies on your feet at night after you have "lathered" up with the cream. You can get those at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Hopefully you won't have those problems but it you do...this should help.

My thoughts are with you.
Best of luck,

PS..I'm stage 3 colon. On chemo now for four months only 2 more to go! Yeah...I didn't have to have rads.

jerseysue's picture
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

I was dx stage IV in 2005 at the age of 41. The cancer came back in my stomach and I was all clear for awhile. The cancer came back once again and this time I'm taking Xeloda so far I like it the best it's quick and easy. Pop the pills in your mouth. So far no side effects however I've only been taking them about a week. The hardest part is remembering to take the pills. Lots of luck to you.

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Hey Shelly,
I too was dx with stage 3 rectal, I think 2b, but anyway I took xeloda and radiation for 6 weeks after my surgery. I had some bad side effects after about 20 rads. My onc said the side effects were caused from the radiation and not the chemo. So if that is true I had no side effects from xeloda. I had nausea and became dehydrated. So my advice to you is drink lots and lots of fluids because the radiation really sucks up the fluids in your body. Also at the first sign of nausea I took a drug called anzemet and it worked wonders. Looking back on this experience I would do it all over again because I believe it worked. I will be praying for no side effects for you. I would be glad to compare notes with you anytime, my surgery went well. Email me anytime and I will reply. God Bless You, Robin

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

See my previous post on my hubby. Xeloda has helped him tremendously with shrinkage of liver mets along with the other regimen(THANKS TO GOD) and I wish you the same success. God Bless and keep the faith

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I had stage 2 rectal cancer and initially had 5-FU intravenously along with radiation. Developed some rash on my face (the sun damaged areas which then cleared nicely after I was done) and a little bit of the hand/foot syndrome (took vit B6 for that). The radiation did not cause problems for the first two weeks but I did then have quite a burning down there. Went away about two weeks after stopping treatment. Had a local excision to remove where the tumor had been (it looked like it had disappeared) but 8 months later it came back and I had a resection of the rectum and sigmoid colon and a permanent colostomy. I don't mind the colostomy and can do all my activities although I won't deny it would be nice not to have it as well. Feel free to ask further questions as you go through this journey with us.

God Bless, Dick

Posts: 90
Joined: Jan 2007

Sorry to hear about your Dx...stay positive and focus on the future...

I was dx with stage 2 rectal cancer about 1 year ago at age 38 and began with the xeloda/radiation combo prior to a full resection about 6 weeks after completing the regime. about 8 weeks post surgery I began 7 cycles of Xeloda as adjuvant therapy - which I'll be finishing this coming Sunday (yee haw). After that I'll have surgery to reverse a temp ileostomy. That's my story.

As far as the Xeloda/Rad combo. - drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. And don't forget to eat - no matter what. Weight loss was a big problem during the pre-surgery time. Don't be picky about what you eat as long as it tastes good.

The temporary ileostomy has not been as bad as I thought it would be. It's actually made things easier with issues caused by the Xeloda. It helped me to go back to work for awhile - which I could not have done otherwise.

Be well.

Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2007

Glad to hear that you are so close to finishing! I will be thinking about you tomorrow knowing that you are on your last!


Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

Welcome and sorry you're here too. In 2006 I was stage IIIb too. I did the six weeks of Xeloda and radiation. Neither bothered me much other than fatigue on Saturday. But I was only taking 2000 mg of Xeloda. Still between the radiation and the Xeloda there was signficant reduction and 98% of the tumor was dead post surgery. I had the surgery and it went well. My onc then started me on Xeloda for five cycles (15 weeks) at 5000mg per day. Very very very bad hand and foot syndrome developed. If you want the details just email me and I'll respond. Some advice if you don't mind: get on vitamin B6. Its recommended to lessen the effects on the hands if you get the syndrome but you must take it prior to the syndrome or its worthless. Talk to your doc first and watch out for folic acid, it reduces the effectiveness of the drug. Hopefully you will be one of those who have little or no side-effects at all. Good luck!

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