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timing of chemo

Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2002

I was expecting to start my chemo this week to "mop" up after my liver resection and for a "spot" on my lung. I met with the onc a couple weeks ago & got the chemo regimine sorted out. Then this week I met with the local doc at the cancer clinic in town- everything seemed set. Now my local surgeon has sent me to a thoracic surgeon out of town to talk about doing surgery on the node in my lung. I am now booked for surgery next month. Now the question is do I do a couple doses of chemo before surgery or wait? I know the best thing is to surgically remove the tumor but it just has left me feeling like I am in a whirlwind with the quick change in plans. Unfortunately the onc is sick this week so I don't know if I can talk to him or not. My local surgeon is a real advocate for me and wants to go for a complete cure (yea!). I guess I will just have to wait to hear what the plan is for chemo. I think the hardest thing is that I hate the waiting.
colon/rectal Ca Nov.2001
total colectomy and ileostomy Dec 2001
6months of 5Fu & leucovorin
liver resection Jan 2004
?lung surgery april 2004 & FOLFOX SOMETIME

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Sounds like some mixed messages or lack of communication between all of the doctors. Just wondering.....how big is the "spot", is it for sure cancer? Is there only one of them? I think that if you receive the "Folfox" regimen (CPT-11/Xeloda, is that right?) you can add Avastin (the new drug) to that and it would have a higher likelihood of getting rid of the "spot" w/o surgery. But this would only work if your tumor exhibits "epithelial growth factor". If you do have surgery, however, I am 99.99% sure you will have to wait to begin the chemo until about month after the operation. This is due to the fact that your body cannot properly heal from surgery while on the chemo. It sounds like you have a really good surgeon. I think it is a really great sign that he uses the word "cure".......I guess you have to decide what to do. But to answer your question, yes you would have to wait 2 more months to begin chemo.

Posts: 29
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Kickerrn: You are right, the waiting period is terrible. My husband (stage 4) just finished a his last round of chemo before he can be scanned. So he will be scanned on March 19th, the onc. is out of town that week end, will not be back until 23rd, so we will wait 10 days for the results. Hope you receive good news, and kick this diease, they are telling me that my hubby will always be on some kind of treatment. Keep us posted. Schoolgirl

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Barb, You're right; it's all about waiting after this disease is diagnosed. I have nothing to contribute to your questions, but want you to know that my thoughts (positive all the way) are with you. Hope your onc gets back sooooon. Judy

Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2002

Thanks for your responses. I heard back from the onc & the local surgeon. We are going to do start the chemo & see how I react to it to see if we will continue while waiting for surgery. I am going to have thorascopic surgery which is minimally invasive and the healing post op is not as intensive as for abdominal surgery so we won't have to wait the two months after to restart the chemo. I don't think I can get Avastin because it isn't approved in Canada. In fact you have to get special approval for oxiplatin in Canada. The way the surgeon explained it is the chemo would shrink the tumor to where we couldn't see it but it would still be there.thanks for all the support.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Barb: I had a thoracoscopy two weeks before starting chemo. They did a wedge resection and were able to get two nodules that were positive
for colon cancer mets. I was in hospital for 2 days. for a discussion of the procedure, visit

Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2002

Thanks Bud
That info was interesting and helpful. It was good to hear you could start chemo so soon after the surgery. At least I will be home for easter after the surgery. Did you have a chest tube in? And if so how when did they take it out?

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