lowering chemo-dose thought?

CAMaura Member Posts: 719 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I'm really new to the site - and one quarter of the way through chemo. It is battering my body - big time. I have an appt this am and want tospeak about lowering the doses. Any thoughts. I have looked up low dose chemo on-line and it seems to be paired with more alternative techniques - mostly nutritional. Sounds good to me. I have already incorporated massive amouts of yogurt and acidophilis to help put back flora andf I feel better.
I would really appreciate any comments. I'm a little worried that my docs are beating up my system - and possibly other organs....like my heart. Thanks -


  • BobCh
    BobCh Member Posts: 6
    Hi, I was getting beat up pretty good by my 3rd Folfox treatment and mentioned it to the doctor about the possibility of lowering the dosage. He said OK and I didn't have any real bad effects afterward. I still didn't have a lot of energy,but, no complete fatigue.
    I've completed the 12 treatments (Dec2) and will be having a PET/CT Scan tomorrow.
    Hope this helps. Keep the faith.
  • Kanort
    Kanort Member Posts: 1,272 Member

    I'm sorry you are feeling badly from the chemo. When my liver counts became very elevated while I was on Folfox, my oncologist did not lower the dosage, but he extended the infusion time for oxaliplatin by an hour. So I received it over three hours rather than two. I received 130mg of oxal. for the complete 12 cycles. My counts returned to normal very quickly and the extended infusion time seemed to be easier to tolerate.

    Let us know what you decide.

    Wishing you well.

  • rejoyous
    rejoyous Member Posts: 259
    Sorry you're having a hard time with the chemo. It's amazingly powerful stuff!

    A little over half way through my chemo I took an extra week off. I didn't think the break did anything positive for me until I returned for my next chemo after that, and had a much easier time. The rest of the chemo was also easier to tolerate.

    I hated thinking about the toll the chemo was taking on my system. I just had to tell myself that I'd work to stay as healthy as I could while on chemo and then do more after it was over. During chemo I always felt that exercising helped. My form of exercise was to try to walk at least three times a week, though I couldn't always do that. I also tried to get as much sleep as my body needed--I just gave into it. Maybe if you let us know of other specific ways you're being depleted, people will have other suggestions.

    And I hope you watch for the ever-helpful Emily (2behealed) and her alternative advice postings--she's very knowledgeable and generous with ideas. Good luck.
  • jsabol
    jsabol Member Posts: 1,145 Member
    Those months on chemo were the longest months of my life; the fatigue that I felt was incredible. I felt somewhat better after taking a leave from work. I rested when I was tired, ate healthy and generally looked after myself.
    I don't know what regimen you are receiving, but I also postponed treatment once by one week, and felt much better the following week. I had some wierd complications towards the end of chemo, with blood pressure and potassium problems. We were very worried about kidney damage, but, good news, shortly after chemo, kidney and liver values were normal. It seems that I have a probably unrelated and pre-existing problem with my adrenal glands, readily controlled with meds. I also worried about heart damage; I felt so winded and my pulse was pounding and racing when I resumed exercise. My PCP gave me a full work-up to put my mind at ease: I was "just" out of shape, with no cardiac problems!
    Best of luck to you in seeing this through. Hang in there; it does get better. Seven months post chemo, I am feeling more like myself...just spent a glorious week cross country skiing in Canada. Judy
  • steved
    steved Member Posts: 834 Member
    Chemo doses can be related to its effectiveness and the aim is geenrally to give the body as much of an insult as it can handle but that is a very individual thing. One strategy can be to lower the dose but there are otehr options that may not compromise the efficacy of the treatment. These include changing the infusion rate, using side effect medications to limit the effects, altering the timing of the regime or altering the route of administration eg 5FU can be given iv or orally now. These are options that you need to discuss through wiht your onc. People also find the alternative/ complementary therapies can alsoo help you tolerate chemo as you have already found. Your onc may not know as much about these but many here on this site have first hand experience to share.
    Hope this helpfull and let us know how things progress,