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I feel overwhelmed...

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband was diagnosed with coln cancer stage IIB, it had gone thru the wall of colon but not in lymph nodes. He had surgery to remove a lrg section of the colon. It was or is a rapidly growing cancer. The original pet scan did not show it had spread, but dr's are wanting to do a very aggressive chemo treatment. We don't know which way to go, and they are pushing for it to be done like now. The treatment they are proposing is a pump, with an Eloxatin treatment (6-7 hrs day 1) and two other drugs on day 2, pump remover on day 3, and this is to be done every 2 wks for 6 months. Has anyone experianced this treatment and can you shed any light on this?

angelsbaby's picture
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

It could save his life beleave me you want to do what ever it takes to get rid of the cancer . good luck with what ever you decide,

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Sounds like the 'usual' chemo. I just completed my 12 treatment, my FINAL treatment, last Wednesday.

The 6-7 hours seems a bit much. My pre-chemo infusion was 30 minutes followed by 2 hours of chemo. I saw the doctor and had labs BEFORE each chemo so my every other week visit lasted about 4 hours. Disconnect of the pump took minutes.

Read THIS thread on someone who was Stage II and did NOT have chemo.

Click Here

Welcome and God bless!

lesvanb's picture
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

and in the situation you describe with an aggressive tumor, it sounds like the prudent thing to do to get the best results. The chemo sounds like FOLFOX which is what I had. My infusion with the Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) went over 6-7 hrs with a calcium and magnesium infusion before and after. I was at the chemo center for 8 hrs during that first day. The FOLFOX infusion cna be done over 2 hrs but my experience was that I tolerated the infusion better and had less neuropathy, a common side effect, when it went in more slowly. We experimented with infusion timing and I could also tell without looking at the pump when the infusion was sped up.


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Anne

You will hear the name Elotaxin also referred to as Oxaliplatin. It sounds like he will be doing the 5fu pump as well.

I was originally a stage IIb, but am now a stage IV...I'm battling out in my 6th year now and have chemo, radiation, cyberknife, rfa and stuff like that, so I would highly recommend taking the 1st step...we did mine agressively too, but it still spread, so I think the sooner the better to give you as much help as you can get.

Your onc may start him on Avastin by IV too - you have to wait so many months after surgery to begin this.

The infusion time sounds lengthy, although some of mine in the middle and towards the end were in the 6 hour range too...depends on how many bag drops that have on the tree pole...there will be saline, decadron for nausea and an IV steroid, then the Oxaliplatin etc.etc. They may be starting his drop off slow to see how he responds.

When you gather some more info on the meds he will be taking and what his schedule looks like, please let me know.

The docs have an urgency and I would not wait to get started, I would schedule it and begin the treatment. Right now, it's been caught pretty early, so getting on top of it now will help you later.

Think of it as a Room On Fire - if you start now, it can be contained and put out - if you wait till the whole house is on fire, then the treatments and recovery could become more difficult to manage.

Thanks for your post - I'm wishing you the best of luck.

I've had my Cancer spread twice - just rediagnosed again last week and I've fought the hard fight, so from experience this is my opinion and recommendation.

Please take care and keep us all posted - And WELCOME to the board.


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Leslie made me remember an important point I always like to talk about - Magnesium Sulfate.
Like Leslie mentioned above, it really helps with the neuropathy and the cold sensations in the throat. Please ask your doctor about this...it will improve the quality of life for your husband and make his treatments more tolerable.

Thanks Leslie...I can't believe I forgot to mention that one.


Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2009

They are wanting to do the two day treament, every two weeks for 6 months...Eloxatin,Leucovorin and Fluorouracil. The onc wants the port put in this week (we meet with the surgeon tommorrow) dont know if that will happen this week, but onc wants to start chemo Mon. He is concerned because surgery was 7/9 and chemo hadnt been started yet, but husband developed a wound infection in the hospital and we have finally gotten that cleared up. So surgeon didnt want chemo started till that was clear. Can you shed any light on what side effects he may have from all of this? and the magnesium sulfate? Does the Dr give him that or can we get it ourselves?

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009


One other item I can relay to you - I think it is of signicant importance.

Have the PORT surgery done first - BEFORE you do the 1st chemo treatment.

Otherwise, the first dose will go through the IV into his hands or arms and before infusion was over, he could be in a great deal of pain...this is what happened to me. The pain was so bad, then I almost did not do the next treatment.

It's a very harsh drug and is hard on the veins directly, that is why a port is necessary.

So, port first, then schedule the first round of chemo - a few extra days to get this done, will not be a deal breaker and will cause unneeded suffering on your husband's part.


seanslove's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009


My husband made it through three rounds of this chemo plan before he passed away last week. His doctors just waited to long between DX and starting treatment for us to have any hope. They also ignored his eating problems which allowed for him to lose a vast amount of weight,going from 180 down to 125 from May to August. He was in stage four when Dx was given and they waited till almost the end of July to begin. All I can say is this:1) if your going to try chemo get going,2) if you get the port get the Elma cream:it's a life saver;had first chemo without the cream on the port and hubby thought he would die from the needle going in and apply the cream about two hours before in a large amount to the port area,he said it was the greatest thing ever,3)everyone reacts differently to chemo,for my hubby the back and stomach pains the first nights were always beyond belief,therefore,I would sit with him in a warm tub of water and soak out the pain along with him taking an extra victain,and finally 4)anytime the doc's tell you something is normal and you or your other feel it is not,do not let it go as we did,normal is not normal for everyone. I will keep you both in my prayers.

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

I was DX with Stage II Colon Cancer in 2006 and had the FLOFOX Chemo Treatment which consists of 5FU, Lecovorin (sp?) & Oxyplitain (sp?) every other week. Treatments would begin with a 20 / 30 minute IV Infusion of Magnesium and Calcium and then Chemo Pre-Meds of Decadron and Zofran and then 4 hours of Chemo Drugs. After the 4 hours of the chemo drugs, I would receive a small amount of 5FU through a sirenge and then be hooked-up to a 5FU Pump for 46/48hours, which would be removed on Sunday. Would arrive at Hospital around 8am and leave on average around 2:00 or 3:00pm.

My opinion (not a doctor or in medical practice) would be to thoroughly discuss ALL options with the Oncologist and determine the best method or path to follow. You can also get a second and third opinions to see which plan of action would best fit the needs, but with all that said, I would opt for the Chemo. My treatment was an "insurance" policy treatment, meaning, giving to make sure if there were any micro cancer cells missed, the chemo would get rid of them and I have been NED since 2006. 3 Years !!!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Looks like the usual plan. It never hurts to get a 2nd opinion if you're not comfortable with what you've heard from your current team. If you are comfortable, I'd said go for it too.

Julie 44
Posts: 479
Joined: Oct 2008

I had the same chemo done...The same surgery too. Except I had lymph nodes involved...I think this is the right course but like Phil said (and I am a big promoter for this) If you are not sure go and get a second opinion..If for nothing else it will ease your mind that you are doing what 2 doctors suggest...
Make a list for all your questions you need to ask the doc cause we all know your heads are spinng with to much info...It gets very over whelming...I also kept a folder with EVERYTHING you get from the docs and insurance compny...This way you won't go crazy looking for something because you will be swamped with papers...
Keep posting any questions you have ..Know that we are all here for you.....JULIE

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

stage2B isn't automatically chemo treatment stage- so I am curious about when they said a rapidly growing cancer- do they know something more specific about his cancer?

I was dx'd stage3B- and my surgeon pushed me to look at 4 weeks vs 6 weeks and it ended up being 5 weeks. I appreciated her constant and consistent push, she really wanted me to have the upper hand at all times and just didn't want this delayed. There has already been such a delay with your husband- my best guess is this is why they are pushing hard now.

What they are recommending is standard chemo treatment- my Mayo oncologist was the first to tell me all about it, that no matter where I went in the world, the treatment would be the same. Now for more advanced cc, there are other options and routes, and actually my understanding for stage 2 is chemo is not always the route people take. That's why I am confused on your comment about it being a rapidly growing cancer and they are pushing hard for chemo. To me that is a huge red flag that they are viewing his stage2B differently-

That being said. Gather all the info you can about the chemo side effects and so forth- ask the doc and infusion nurses questions, ask questions here. Knowledge will help ease the fear.

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Anne,

I was stage IIB also, and that was the regimen I was on. It is a "standard" regimen at that stage. The treatment is like a lot of others, inthat the effects are cumulative and tend to worsen over time. HOWEVER, not everyone gets side effects and not everyone gets every possible side effect. The best advice I can give is as follows:

1. He MUST stay hydrated.
2. He MUST keep up with his nutrition.
3. He should listen to his body; anything wierd should be mentioned to the doctor--don't assume it's just some passing thing.
4. He should think positive thoughts. If he gets depressed, get him on antidepressants. A positive attitude really helps the healing.

That's the main advice I have for him. I am sending positive vibes and lots of prayers your way!!!


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