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Is it okay to skip one treatment??

Posts: 62
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi All! I haven't posted in a while, but I do try to read your messages daily, and you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

My Dad is taking FOLFOX, and he is half way through his treatment. He has totally lost his appetite, and is feeling very, very tired. I told him he should see if he could take a break, delay treatment a week or two. His Oncologist said that if all possible he shouldn't do that. Have any of you had similar experiences, or taken a small break?

Hugs to all~

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003


My onc. said the same thing. "Try NOT to miss any treatments". Encouragement your Dad to keep on going.


jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Michele, This dealing with side effects can be so wearing. I am on 5FU and leuco, 6 weeks on, 1 week off. I've completed 3 courses, but my onc is recomending that I take 2 weeks off this time to allow for resolution of a blood clot in my neck, and to let the episodes of diarrhea settle down (which is already happening on my 1 week off). I'll know tomorrow, but it all seems smewhat vague as to what the consequences can be. Hope your Dad feels better. Regards, Judy

drmrgirl47's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Michele,
I have a 6 month course of chemo and radiation. Chemo for me is 1 week on, 3 weeks off. I have 2 more sessions to go. I also began radiation and got 1/2 way through it. I developed delayed side effects and wound up in the hospital for severe abdominal pain. To answer your question, I have been off my treatment for approximately 3 weeks. So yes, if you have to take a break you must. In my case, they couldn't finish my sessions until I was pain free and off all pain medication. However, I do have to go back. I will resume my treatments next week. I think everyone's treatment is a little different. But that is my story. Take care.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2004

My Dad is also on FOLFOX. He is at the half way point and wanted to wait three weeks instead of two because he was so tired. His Oncologist said take the week off, it will make no difference. I think for him it was the thing to do, since he really felt much better both mentally and physically after one week off. I guess different Oncologists have different opinions about it.


Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Michele, During my chemo, I had to skip one week because my blood counts were too low. (Luckily, they came back up).My doctor told me that a one-week delay wouldn't matter at all (at least in my case). I think there is a balance between 'pushing' oneself to get through the ordeal, and realizing when a break is needed. Your Dad is probably the only one who can really answer that one. I wish him - and you - all the best.

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

In general it is not great to miss treatments, but I have had several one week breaks in my treatment. Once when I had a bad cold as well as severe hand foot syndrome, and recently 2 one week breaks to reduce the risk of infection during a cystoscopy and subsequent bladder biopsy.

Loss of appetite can be tough. I have not ever completely lost my appetite with chemotherapy, but I have lost of much of my sense of taste. That can reduce your appetite. I found myself cruising the grocery store looking for things that I might be able to taste a bit. Perhaps your Dad's doctor has other suggestions.

Hope things get better for your Dad soon.


spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Kris -

I lost some sense of taste, too. I developed a passion for "Uncle Bucks Rocket Fuel Hot Sauce" - you couldn't really taste it very much, but - with the few mouth sores I got - I sure knew it was there!

(and who knows how many cancer cells that stuff probably obliterated when it got down into my colon!)


- SB

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