Metastatic Colorectal Cancer and Folfiri

Meowycat Member Posts: 66

My mother has been diagnosed with Metastatic Colrectal Cancer which has spread to her right hip and of more concern a huge tumor near her throat. Her oncologist has set her up with Folfiri and using Zometa to strengthen her bones. This is her 2nd bought with Cancer in only a few months. At 71 years of age she has severe neuropathy, throat blisters and mouth sores, severe constipation, bone pain and it's breaking my heart. There are talks of also doing radiation this go around.

I would appreciate any tips/words of wisdom/issues with folfiri/positive feedback to help my mom through this difficult time. As her oncologist said, there is no cure-just treatment. 


Thank Everyone and Huggies.




  • gfpiv
    gfpiv Member Posts: 59 Member

    Hi Nellie,

    Sorry to hear about your mom, sounds like she has really had a tough go at it, she really deserves a break from all the difficulties she's experienced so far.  Personally I've been spared a lot of the debilitating side effects your mom has suffered, so I don't have a lot of help to offer there, other than being sure that her healthcare team is made fully aware of everything she's dealing with. 

    Sadly, many of us are on "chemo for life", but that doesn't have to mean "misery for life".  I've been one of the lucky ones and had great quality of life during 2.5 years of chemo, except for a few days after treatment.  (Well, that plus the minor permanent neuropathy in my feet from Oxaliplatin.)  Hopefully your mom's quality of life will improve a little with treatment and pain control, so she can still spend some memorable quality time with loved ones.

    The most common issues you'll see with FOLFIRI are thinning hair (most get this), and nausea - which you should be sure she keeps under control with medication if necessary, to ensure she's not losing too much weight.  Diarrhea (or sometimes constipation) are also common be side effects.  But again, the side effects and severity of them vary greatly by person, often no rhyme or reason, so hopefully mom is one of the lucky ones. 

    Best of luck,





  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571 Member
    I'm really sorry to hear that your mom has to go through this.

    There are indeed several members here who are "chemo for life".  It can be pretty daunting, but people do manage it, and can have a reasonable quality of life while doing so.  I wonder if the symptoms your mom is experiencing are due to the chemo (I can't tell from your post if she's started it yet) or the cancer itself.  It would be worth talking to her doctor about how to target the tumors that are causing the most discomfort if it is the cancer causing the problems at this point.  Things like surgery and radiation, and chemo itself, can be considered "palliative" in the sense that they relieve symptoms and help with pain management.  So perhaps the thing to help your mom focus on is to get the best outcome short of a cure (which is realistically not available for many of us), with the fewest number of side effects.

    If your mom has not yet started chemo, once she does, this board is a good place to ask questions about how it's affecting her.  I never did folfiri, but there are others here who have, and they will hopefully chime in.  Tell your mom we're hoping the very best for her.  

    Sending hugs and strength your way~Ann Alexandria