chemo after surgery

littlejulie Member Posts: 311
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi there,
I was wondering how some of you reacted to chemo after surgery? My mother had 5 weeks of chemo and 25 radiation treatments before her surgery. She reacted better than we thought. She was extremely tired by the end of it, but during the treatments she experienced loss of apetite and visited the washroom quite frequently.

Since chemo after her surgery will be one week on and 3 weeks off for 4 months - is it different?

Is she's going to lose her hair. Judy - you mentioned that your eyebrows grew back - did you lose your hair?

I would love to hear anyone who's willing to share thier story.



  • kerry
    kerry Member Posts: 1,313 Member
    Hi Julie,

    So glad to hear that your mom handled the chemo well before her surgery. I had my surgery first and then had chemo. Remember everyone handles chemo differently and you will hear lots of different side effects. I took 5FU, Leukovorin and Camptosar every Wednesday for 3 weeks and then off 1 week and did that for 6 months. I lost some hair - eyebrows thinned, did not have to shave legs very often, eyelashes were ok, hair on my head thinned a little. My most serious side effects were nausea and diahrrea and sleeplessness. I took anti-nausea and anti-diahrrea meds and they helped somewhat. I also took Ambien sleeping pills and they helped somewhat. I was never hospitalized and my blood counts held their own during the course of treatment. Fatigue was another constant. I did have elevated liver enzymes on 2 occasions and the chemo irritated my stomach and intestinal (what was left) lining causing me some pain and fever - but the doctor was please with how I hung in there. I was stage 3 with 2 nodes positive. Similar to your mom. Once again, remember that everyone is different and takes different chemo. Just make sure your mom communicates everything she is feeling to her doctor and they can help her with meds for most side effects.

    I hope all goes well. Keep us informed.

  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072 Member
    I am glad that your mom tolerated her chemo and surgery so well. I also tolerated my pre-op chemo and radiation very well and was able to work full time during treatments. However, I received only 4 out of 12 chemo treatments post-op. I had diarrhea so bad that I was hospitalized and the treatments were stopped. My cancer was similiar to your mom's, I had 2 positive nodes. I recently had a CT/PET that sh0wed no evidence of cancer. It has been one year since my surgery. I hope your mom tolerates her chemo.
  • StacyGleaso
    StacyGleaso Member Posts: 1,233 Member
    Hi Julie,

    My hair thinned, but unless you knew how thick my hair was to begin with, you wouldn't have known the difference. I had no side effects from either chemo (before or after surgery). Same rules apply...drink tons of water, take nausea meds prior to chemo to prevent any chance of that, and keep that chin up! Keep us updated!

  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
    Hi Julie. I had a treatment protocol very similar to your mom: 5 weeks of chemoradiation, then surgery, then 4 months of chemo. My cycle was every day for five days, then three weeks off. I tolerated the chemo pretty well. Mild nausea during week one and two (helped by antinausea drugs but not completely), mild fatigue (I had a nap almost every day). I didn't loose my hair at all. I agree with the other advice you've received: drink lots of water, experiment with antinausea meds. Take care of your (her) mouth in case of sores. Weeks 3 and 4 of the cycle were generally very good for me - I tried to schedule social activities then. My best wishes and prayers to her and to you.
  • Hi Julie, please see my post that I just left for crazylady (Jaime). It's a brief recap of how Bert did with chemo after surgery. In short, considering the length of time he was on (10 full months) and the high doseage, he did remarkably well and I thanked God for it and still do every day.

    Monika & Bert