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5FU Side effects

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

I've been reading some of the posts here and i have been in awe of
the support from everyones heart. So i thought i should share my experience
with colon cancer.

March 08 i went to see a new dr. about my acid reflux. As we were talking
he had mentioned a colonoscopy when i turn 50(i was 46)to check for polyps.

As soon as i heard polyps i remember driving my mother to have her colonoscopy
years before. I also remember her having polyps. Well that started my colonscopy.
They found a mass. As soon as i saw the picture i wanted that thing out.
Surgery was in May 08.My Dr. said they got it all but wanted me to do chemo just
as a safe measure. Iwas introduced to Folfox-Oxiplatin,5FU and Leucovorin.
My first treatment was on 7-16-08. That afternoon i could not drink anything cold.
5FU took 22 hrs to finish one dose. 7-17-08 i went for round 2. I felt ok and thought
i can do this. 7-18-08 3am i woke up with chest pains and vomiting.I woke my husband
and told him i needed to go to the hospital. He was going to get the truck started when i said call an ambulance.They treated me as a heart attack patient.
The quick response from my husband and the EMTs saved my life.
Chemo is no longer an option for me. Colonoscopies are very important for my survival
and i will get them as scheduled without a second thought.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone but please understand the side effects especially
the ones that rarely happen.Ask your Dr. what exactly to do and make a plan just incase
you experience a rare side effect.
And the neuropathy stayed with me for about 4 mos.

kimby's picture
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Thank you so much for this post. It isn't discouraging at all. If fact, I find it very encouraging! It's so important that we listen to our bodies, particularly when we're feeding it poison! Sometimes those side effects are annoying (first bite syndrome) and sometimes they are life threatening (heart issues, blood clots, infection, bleeding, diarrhea, vomiting). Sometimes it isn't clear cut; you just feel 'odd' and know something isn't right. Listen to your body. Nobody likes the ER but we do what we must.

Just today my onc and I discussed to risks of giving me chemo with my poor labs. For various reasons we decided not to hold it, but to go ahead. So I got the lecture about infection and my body’s inability to fight one off. Any signs and I'm to call his cell and go to his ER, 75 miles away. He will meet me there and admit me. The decision has been made. Do I want to be admitted with a fever of 101? No, that's plain silly. I have a copy of my labs today. I can't fight anything right now and I'm not willing to take the chance. Guess I have to be compliant this time! LOL

Thanks again for posting and don't be such a stranger. Welcome.


grandma2selena's picture
Posts: 200
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you for sharing your story, we all have stories here. I know with my first treatment I suddenly got horrible diahrea, and a fever. My husband rushed me to ER where we were told I would be lucky to make it through the night as I had developed a secondary infection in my intestinal tract.

Sharing our experiences gives us strength and encouragement in knowing that we are not alone. I agree with Kim, it is very important that we listen to our bodies and respond, after all we are the only one's who truly know how we feel on all these toxic drugs being pumped into our systems.


Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

I am still rather new to all of this, although I have had rad/chemo and I am awaiting surgery......I appreciate learning from the experiences you share..Actually learning more here than from drs.

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