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Doctor stopped my chemo today, becasue of all the problems I have had from it.

CessnaFlyer's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

I’ve completed three out of four cycles of the Roswell Park Regimen in which I receive 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin once a week for 6-weeks and then 2-weeks off and this is repeated for four cycles, or 24-treatments. I have completed 18 treatments. I’ve landed in the hospital with each cycle and the last treatment resulted in 8-days in bed and 4-days in the hospital after being rushed to emergency. My oncologist says I’m just one of those people who can’t handle 5-flurouracil, but that he feels OK taking me off chemo since I’m Stage IIA. I asked if 18 treatment has any benefit and he indicated it was better than nothing, but I would like to know how effective it might have been. He did say we will keep an eye on things with CT scans every 3-months, and if the cancer comes back we can try other types of chemo. Has anyone here stopped their chemo before completion and did your doctor give you an idea of the benefit you might have received from your treatment?

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

That was some of my initial questions to the docs:

Can you tell if I have single cancer cells inside me?
If I do chemo, can you tell if it killed any of those cells that we can't see?
How do we know if it worked?
We wait and see.

"You wait; I'll seeya'."

Take each day as it comes, and do what you feel you have to do to stay alive,
but whatever you do, don't do it out of fear of not doing it.


Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Cessna,

I'm also stage 2. Had 5 tx Folfox, neuropathy was severe so went to Xeloda and managed through 4 more treatments. My onc seems confident that 9 was enough. As a matter of fact, she would have stopped it before that except I was determined to try to finish the whole 12 rounds.I asked her after my 9th treatment if it were her would she continue chemo and immediately & without a blink of the eye she said "Absolutely NOT!" I asked her again 2 weeks later and she said the same thing with my sister as a witness. She said that 12 rounds ( or 24 in your particular regimen )is the standard but that they really don't know how much is enough...especially with stage II as there is such a grey area when it comes to stage II.

you asked < did your doctor give you an idea of the benefit you might have received from your treatment?> Mine told me she thought that I had received all the benefit I needed from the chemo, considering the chemo was causing so many problems. I asked her IF the cancer reoccurred was it probably going to anyway and she said yes, most likely.

I am wishing you the very best.I am trying not to second guess my decision. I really don't think I could have made it through 3 more treatments...and come out as a functioning human being.


Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I had rectal cancer in 2003. I had preop chemo with 5 fu and radiation for 5 weeks. I had surgery and then post op chemo was supposed to be 12 treatments of 5fu and leukovorin. I started late due to diarrhea and received only 4 out of 12 treatments, I had diarrhea so bad I was in the hospital and had to be on TPN--IV nutrition for 3 weeks. There was no more chemo for me. I was a T3N2M0 -- stage 3. I have been followed closely, and have remained NED since then.

Good luck.


Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

continue treatment due to its bad effects upon us; in my case, that meant the removal of the oxi from the FOLFOX after the fourth of nine . I truely felt a fifth dose would kill me.....I asked onc what effect that would have on possible cancerous cells remaining as well as effectiveness of Tx(I had had surgery and preop chemo/rad)and she felt chemo already given should have been enough even tho protocol called for more. I still feel my remaining doses had to have had less of an impact but had I continued with the oxi, the impact would have hurt me hell of a lot more I think...... Think about it: if you had such bad reactions, would it be wise to continue if it jeopardized your life? Thats something some of us end up deciding in this journey....steve

maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

Cessna I think you would be surprised at how many of us have had to stop chemo before the final dose was reached. Like you I had a really really bad reaction to 5 FU....it was like I was allergic to it and I had to to quit I think at 5 when there was supposed to be 6.
Like Steve I had to stop my oxy early and I have even missed a xeloda round. In 6 years of fighting i can honestly say I have never though oh if only......

Sometimes our bodies and our oncs just have to say enough and I trust the messages coming both from my body and my onc. I no longer ask for stats.....if I have a 4th round of mets and I never rule that out.....I will cross that bridge when I get there with chemo that's ready for me at that time.

I have tried to tell this story before and I never get it right....my GP is a wonderful lady who specializes in cancer care. she once said...try to think of cancer as a deep deep valley. Chemo and radiation and diet are designed to get you through that valley to the other side one way or another. She says the problem is looking at chemo as if it were a bridge up over the valley and if you don't get across that chemo bridge then you don't cure cancer..you don't get to the other side.....but chemo is not that bridge...you can get there....bla bla blah....sorry

soooo Cessna...be happy you got some chemo in and enjoy your time now


nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

DX with Stage II colon cancer in 7/06 (emergency surgery) with no lymph node involvement or signs of spreading.

My Onc Dr indicated that the industry standard (2006) was FLOFOX which included 5-FU, Levovorin and Oxy every other week for a total of 12 treatments. He called it an insurance policy in my case. Before 2006, the norm was just surgery.

Due to side effects and finally a allergic reaction, I decided to stop after the 6th treatment. A decision I could only make and could not second guess.

I have been NED since 2006.

I have not heard of your type of treatment for Stage IIA colon cancer.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6734
Joined: Feb 2009

Have never heard of the program that you are on. Is this a new treatment or is it normal for what your doctor gives. Sorry you are having so many problems though. Has to be very frustrating with each cycle that you have taken. Hope you are feeling better soon.


CessnaFlyer's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

The Roswell Park Regimen, consisting of 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin, was the standard chemo treatment for 40-years until they added Oxaliplatin a few years ago. The new regimen is now called Folfox and contains Oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin.

PamPam2's picture
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Cessna
I was stage 4. Only did 7 out of my 12 treatments. Still here and doing ok, going on 6 years this fall. Looks like you even did more that me, and hoping it did the job for you!

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