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alices Member Posts: 3 *
edited August 31 in Colorectal Cancer #1

Hello. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer with metastases in the liver and lungs back around Christmas 2022. Surgery was not an option due to many fistulas and cancer in her pelvis basically “sticking” everything together. She has been on chemo every other week since her port placement in January. Started with oxiplatinin and 5FU pump until she had an allergic reaction during her 7th treatment to the Oxi. Then she was put on irontecan and since 5FU is in a nationwide shortage, she was put on cacecitabin pills as a replacement. She does not tolerate the pills well. We are now getting ready for her 5th or 6th scan to see how everything is doing. The doctor wants to put her on Avastin but says that as long as she has fistulas it is too risky and the Avastin can cause a perforation. My mom has been doing well with very little side effects up until this most recent chemo. Mentally, she doesnt think she can handle anymore and I dont know what to say to her. I know that long term chemo or some kind of treatment is in the cards and I dont want her to feel discouraged but how do I keep her mindset positive? She is 66yo and retired 2 months before her diagnosis and now feels like cancer rules her life. She refuses to speak to a therapist or social worker or even a support group because she feels she has enough support at home. I am scared that she wants to “give up” but also know that ultimately its her decision? I feel like she has so much more life to live but she feels hopeless. Any advice would be appreciated.


  • SnapDragon2
    SnapDragon2 Member Posts: 711 Member

    Cancer is a devastating diagnosis to hear. I am happy she has support at home.

    It is terrible 5FU is a shortage now. A few months back capcetibine was also.

    Has your mom tried eating first, waiting about 15-30 minutes later to take the pills?

    Chemo can be very hard on the body. Hydration is very important and nutrition also.

    Quality of Life mindframe was #1 in all my decisions in how to deal with cancer.

    One of my dr's told me "strong body, strong mind is your best weapon going into this."

  • alices
    alices Member Posts: 3 *

    Thank you. Yes my mom eats prior to taking the pills and overall is eating well and staying hydrated. This past appt her RBC was low and they gave her an iron infusion in addition to chemo. For some reason this past time she just has not bounced back well and has been complaining of a lot of cramping and exhaustion and says nothing has been helping. Hoping to pivot from this when we see her doctor next.

  • SnapDragon2
    SnapDragon2 Member Posts: 711 Member

    Where are the fistulas?

    Sounds like her gut biome might be unbalanced (chemo does that). A good pro-biotic might help (the refridgerated types are the best for live strains)

    Has she been tested for c-diff, h-pyloria?

    Iri is better tolerated than oxi some say. Iri has nickname of "I run to the can"

    Exhaustion is classic of chemo. Chemo kills good and bad cells.

  • alices
    alices Member Posts: 3 *

    I am not sure. The doctor says she is most concerned about fistulas between her colon and ovary?

    She is really good about probiotics. I knew that about Iri actually. She actually liked Oxi better. Didnt experience many side effects.

    We know all of this is normal but she has never really gone to the doctor or needed any type of medication so this has been a huge change for her and she is just uncomfortable and doesnt tolerate it well.

    Today was her CT and she was in better spirits. Now just praying for good results.