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end of chemo.....need opinions please!

IzzieCat
IzzieCat Member Posts: 56
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I have been on chemo, 5FU/Leuc. since April. Once a week for six weeks on, two weeks off, for a total of 20 treatments, the plan was to have 24. I was doing fairly well with it until the last 3 or 4, and now it's really tearing up my stomach and making me feel awful! My chemo nurses tell me it's the "cumalative effect". But, I have a delima. I am diabetic, and must inject insulin 4 times a day. I have to eat! Chemo is making that very difficult lately. I want to stop chemo now. I talked to my oncologist about it, and he said it was my decision to make. I asked if having 20 treatments, and skipping the last 4 was going to make that much of a difference, and he said he didn't know. I feel like if 20 treatments didn't kill whatever microscopic cells that may have been left floating around, 4 more wouldn't make that much of a difference. But maybe those 20 treatments did work, and I can safely forgo the last 4. My onc. said the door would be open to me if I wanted to finish up later.....he didn't tell me to stay on it either.....What would you do? I was Stage 3, 3 lymph nodes out of 21 involved, with no cancer anywhere else. They removed the tumor back in March. I've been feeling good, except for the chemo days, which now seem to last longer. If I can't eat enough, I have terrible low blood sugar episodes, and if I scale back my insulin a bit, my sugar goes way too high. This is wreaking havoc! Help!!

Mary

Comments

  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028
    OH, Izzie....I can't help with info much...but, I will say something that was said to me when I stopped the last Adriamycin/Cytoxin infusion for my breast cancer: "What ever decision you make, this is the right decision. Never look back and second guess, regardless of the outcome. Believe in the decision with all of your heart when you make it...it is truely the RIGHT one, whichever it is".

    Hugs, Kathi
  • vinny3
    vinny3 Member Posts: 928
    Mary,
    There is no information on your webpage and I don't remember what stage you were at. However if the chemo is making you quite ill to the point of not being able to eat then it probably is better to stop it. As KathiM said, whatever decision you make will be the right one. We can't look back and change things.
    Best wishes on whatever course you take.
    ****
  • AuthorUnknown
    AuthorUnknown Member Posts: 1,537
    Mary,

    My opinion is that you should stop chemo. Chemo can cure and can kill also. Did you see 'pepperdog's' post yeasterday? Her husband died from chemo. Please read it. My mother almost died from chemo. Chemo is poison, it is barbaric method to treat people. I am adamant about it. In my opininon it should be used as the last resort. Please look into alternative methods of treating cancer. If you want to talk more about it, please do not hesitate to email me any time.

    Best wishes, Eleonora
  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248
    Izzy - I can't help with a definitive answer, but you have had LOTS of chemo - your are very close to done - if YOU feel it is the time to stop, I don't think that will be a wrong decision.

    Take care and best wishes,
    Betsy
  • IzzieCat
    IzzieCat Member Posts: 56
    vinny3 said:

    Mary,
    There is no information on your webpage and I don't remember what stage you were at. However if the chemo is making you quite ill to the point of not being able to eat then it probably is better to stop it. As KathiM said, whatever decision you make will be the right one. We can't look back and change things.
    Best wishes on whatever course you take.
    ****

    Thank you all for your opinions.....****, I was diagnosed Stage III, with 3 positive lymph nodes. The surgeon told me that my liver looked "beautiful". I was given a good prognosis right from the start. My oncologist told me that chemo, in my case, was like an "insurance policy", it would mop up any stray cancer cells that might be left floating around. I skipped my treatment this weekend, and I am considering doing one next friday, and then skipping another week and doing the last one on Nov. 17th. My oncologist said he would reduce the dose, and that he thought doing it that way would be fine. But, I am feeling so normal today, after not going through it this week, that I don't think I want to poison myself anymore. I have a few days to think it over some more. I wish I had a crystal ball.......

    Mary
  • scouty
    scouty Member Posts: 1,965
    Mary,

    You know the answer to your question or you would never have asked it. Stop the chemo, BUT you better make some other life changes too. If you are a type 2 diabetic, it is completely reversible!!!!!!!! Help yourself to feel better and prevent the cancer from coming back.

    Diabetics are very prone to cancer, reverse that!!!!!!

    Let me know if you want to know more about how you can do that.

    I want you happy and healthy for a long long time.

    Lisa P.
  • Limey
    Limey Member Posts: 446
    Izzie, I bel8ieve your body knows best. if it is telling you it is time to stop chemo then it is the exactly the right time. Now, start rebui,.ding your body and fight with diet and antioxidants. I have read countless testimonies in books and on posts lately that all lead to claiming your health and making it so. you can do it.
    Mark
  • vinny3
    vinny3 Member Posts: 928
    IzzieCat said:

    Thank you all for your opinions.....****, I was diagnosed Stage III, with 3 positive lymph nodes. The surgeon told me that my liver looked "beautiful". I was given a good prognosis right from the start. My oncologist told me that chemo, in my case, was like an "insurance policy", it would mop up any stray cancer cells that might be left floating around. I skipped my treatment this weekend, and I am considering doing one next friday, and then skipping another week and doing the last one on Nov. 17th. My oncologist said he would reduce the dose, and that he thought doing it that way would be fine. But, I am feeling so normal today, after not going through it this week, that I don't think I want to poison myself anymore. I have a few days to think it over some more. I wish I had a crystal ball.......

    Mary

    With some positive nodes I would be more inclined to try to finish. I did discuss with my oncologist going 3 weeks sometimes between treatments instead of 2 and she said that it wouldn't make any difference. It is hard when you are feeling well to subject yourself again to the poison.
    ****
  • CAMaura
    CAMaura Member Posts: 719
    Hi there...It really seems as if your body is telling you something. There is PLENTY you can do after chemo to keep you healthy and cancer free...Just ask Lisa P. I will be happy to help you as well. The number of sessions on chemo can be somewhat arbitrary -- and everyone's body has a different tollerance level. There are a lot of people who have stopped early...And we are here, cancer free. Think about your options. You have them! You have probably kicked butt with chemo...Now you can kick it nutritionally. It is easy and you will feel wonderful and might even help your diabetes...All the best to you; sleep on it and think about what you really want and how you need to feel. Take care - Maura
  • IzzieCat
    IzzieCat Member Posts: 56
    scouty said:

    Mary,

    You know the answer to your question or you would never have asked it. Stop the chemo, BUT you better make some other life changes too. If you are a type 2 diabetic, it is completely reversible!!!!!!!! Help yourself to feel better and prevent the cancer from coming back.

    Diabetics are very prone to cancer, reverse that!!!!!!

    Let me know if you want to know more about how you can do that.

    I want you happy and healthy for a long long time.

    Lisa P.

    Ahhh Lisa.....if only it were that simple! ;-) Unfortunatley, I am a Type 1 Diabetic, my immune system destroyed the part of my pancreas that makes insulin, I will be on insulin for the rest of my life, or until they find a cure....I've been living with the "Big D" for 23 years....But, I do wonder about the insulin I inject myself with every day. There is no history of colon cancer in my family...

    Mary
  • nanuk
    nanuk Member Posts: 1,358
    Bottom line is that the decision is yours, and only yours, and so are the consequences..that being said, if it were me, I would quit - you have the "open door" if you want to resume treatment later, and your body is telling you what to do; a vacation from the chemo might be what is needed.. bud
  • Moesimo
    Moesimo Member Posts: 1,072
    I was also stage 3 with 2 positive nodes. I received only 4 out of 12 post op treatments of 5fu and leukovorin and had diarrhea so bad I ended up in the hospital. It was decided that the chemo was doing more harm than good. My last treament was on Halloween in 2003 and I am still cancer free three years later.

    Maureen
  • Kanort
    Kanort Member Posts: 1,272
    Mary,

    What a difficult decision to make. Sending you my best and hoping that you will feel peace with your final decision.

    Hugs,

    Kay
  • scouty
    scouty Member Posts: 1,965
    IzzieCat said:

    Ahhh Lisa.....if only it were that simple! ;-) Unfortunatley, I am a Type 1 Diabetic, my immune system destroyed the part of my pancreas that makes insulin, I will be on insulin for the rest of my life, or until they find a cure....I've been living with the "Big D" for 23 years....But, I do wonder about the insulin I inject myself with every day. There is no history of colon cancer in my family...

    Mary

    Mary,

    You have my upmost respect with your type 1 diabetes situation. I will have to do some reading up on it. Mostly I try to help type 2 folks. In the meantime I will pray for a cure for you and all the other type 1 diabetics.

    Lisa
  • LOUSWIFT
    LOUSWIFT Member Posts: 371
    It's a gamble. When I was enduring my treatments and a very bad side-effect I thought about qitting more than once and I just don't mean chemo. I had 25 treatments with the last two cycles being almost unbearable. But then I looked back at what I had come through-radiation/chemo/surgery and heavy chemo post surgery like you as a preventative treatment. Since I felt like dying surely those cancer cells are dead too so why not stop? My answer was that if it meant I didn't have to repeat this again, I could dig down and find what was left and do as much damage to the monster that had do so much to me. In truth I didn't and still don't know if I could do it again. I got to the point where I could smell the Xedola (5-fu) on everything everywhere. I know you're a insulin-dependent diabetic (type 1) and I also know no one knows more about diabetes than a diabetic. So you know the drill on your blood sugar. I can tell you I don't like your onc anymore than mine from what you said. Still everyone is right here. You have to do what is best for you. It been nearly five months since my final chemo day and I'm still fighting the effects. What tipped my scales from quitting on one side and pain and suffering on the other was simple- been there done that and I want the greatest odds that I won't have to do it again. Of course there is no guarantee just the odds. The problem is what is the wrong decision? I may had made the wrong one in continuing through those horrific last weeks when it may not have been necessary or it could come back anyway. No easy choice here. I made mine based on my circumstances and its almost condescending to say good luck with yours. But it must be yours to make. Don't quit because it's the easy way out. But don't continue if the damage by the treatment exceeds the benefits. I know, I know it's easy for me to say. God Speed!
  • IzzieCat
    IzzieCat Member Posts: 56
    LOUSWIFT said:

    It's a gamble. When I was enduring my treatments and a very bad side-effect I thought about qitting more than once and I just don't mean chemo. I had 25 treatments with the last two cycles being almost unbearable. But then I looked back at what I had come through-radiation/chemo/surgery and heavy chemo post surgery like you as a preventative treatment. Since I felt like dying surely those cancer cells are dead too so why not stop? My answer was that if it meant I didn't have to repeat this again, I could dig down and find what was left and do as much damage to the monster that had do so much to me. In truth I didn't and still don't know if I could do it again. I got to the point where I could smell the Xedola (5-fu) on everything everywhere. I know you're a insulin-dependent diabetic (type 1) and I also know no one knows more about diabetes than a diabetic. So you know the drill on your blood sugar. I can tell you I don't like your onc anymore than mine from what you said. Still everyone is right here. You have to do what is best for you. It been nearly five months since my final chemo day and I'm still fighting the effects. What tipped my scales from quitting on one side and pain and suffering on the other was simple- been there done that and I want the greatest odds that I won't have to do it again. Of course there is no guarantee just the odds. The problem is what is the wrong decision? I may had made the wrong one in continuing through those horrific last weeks when it may not have been necessary or it could come back anyway. No easy choice here. I made mine based on my circumstances and its almost condescending to say good luck with yours. But it must be yours to make. Don't quit because it's the easy way out. But don't continue if the damage by the treatment exceeds the benefits. I know, I know it's easy for me to say. God Speed!

    Yes, I am at that point....I can taste and smell the 5fU all the time, and I hate that! But, I rather like my oncologist, (it took a few months, but he grew on me!) I have been mulling it over, and I think I'm going to compromise. I'll take a reduced dose, this friday, and another in 2 weeks, then I'll be done with it forever. I think it might be managable. But, if I have a hard time of it next week, I'll forgo the last one. My onc told me he'd be fine with doing it that way. I have a lot of medical issues, and I MUST pay attention to all of them! Thank you all for your support through this! May you all be well!

    Mary ;-)