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Looking for Advice

jenn02
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2004

I was diagnosed in August 2002 with colon cancer with mets to liver and lungs. My last colonoscopy showed no tumor left in the colon and 2 polyps were removed. My PET scan which was done in August 2003 showed tumors but indictated that they were dead. I am seeing my oncologist tomorrow as I am still undergoing chemo. I was just wondering how long do people usually go thru chemo? I just want to get back to having a normal life(or as close to normal as I can get). I have a 2 year old son and am just anxious to be an active parent again. Does anyone have any information to help me make decisions. I ask my dr. all the time how much more chemo I have to have and I always get the same answear--we don't know that other people who have stopped chemo have had a reaccurance. Does anyone have any advice?

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1248
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Jenn,

I had 6 months chemo after my surgery. Then, I had my ileostomy reversed. Haven't had anymore chemo, and have been cleared of cancer over 2 yrs. Mine was only liver mets, not lung. That may be why they're keeping you on it. Plus, if the scans showed the tumors were dead, the chemo is obviously helping.

When I was getting my chemo after my surgery, After 6 months of it, I told my doc that if a PET scan showed up clean, then I was done with chemo. If not, then I was her prisoner until she said otherwise. I won, and have been fine since.

Don't forget, though, everyone is different. "2bhealed" on this site never had chemo and managed to keep the beast at bay. I dove head first into chemo, and ended up fine. So it's really hard to tell which is right for you, and I hope I didn't confuse you more!

Keep in touch,

Stacy

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Jenn: What a great question..I have cc lung mets, and am presently going through chemo..no diagnostic
tests so far, so no idea if it's working. Because it's recurrent cancer, I have no idea where else in my body it might be, but the doc says chemo is systemic, so it will be attacking all areas. She also said that a PET during chemo may give false readings, and hence advised no PET until off chemo..(?) Your question may not have a definitive
answer, but that's no reason not to have a normal life, one day at a time.. Bud

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi jenn,

It's done when you say it's done.

If you want it to be done then tell your onc. I don't know of anyone ever doing chemo non stop for 1 1/2 yrs.

Did you know that oncologists make 2/3 of their income from chemo? I just read that today in an article. So be wary.

peace, emily who said no thank you and lived so far so good

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi Jenn:

Bert, my husband, was diagnosed stage III August 2003. He went on 5fu/leuc until December 2003, although the last few dosages were considerably reduced as a result of colon infections and uncontrolable diarrhea.

In January, we switch oncologist to one highly recommended to us at USC/Norris Cancer Center. Because Bert had four nodes involved, he is considered high risk for recurrence and the first thing his new onc did was put him back on chemo adding oxaliplating to the 5fu/leuc cocktail and said that he would like to see Bert get at least an additional three months worth of chemo. We are now in our fourth month and still on because Bert's CEA went from 0.9 in December 8.2. He is being watched very closely and all scans, including PET show NED. When I asked the onc how much longer on chemo, his response was that if scans continue to show nothing and next week's colonoscopy comes back clean, perhaps another month or two. He's tolerating it very, very well with very little compromise on his quality of life or I know that the oncologist would be thinking about taking him off sooner.

Fondly,
Monika

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