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Starting Fluorouracil, 5-FU and Leucovorin next week.

CessnaFlyer's picture
CessnaFlyer
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

Hello. I’m new to the group. I’m 56 years old and had colon cancer surgery one month ago, in which a tumor in the Ascending colon was removed. The doctor took out 26 lymph nodes and they have all tested negative. The margins are also clear. My CEA is 1.9. I’m told that I am at stage IIA. They are putting a thing called a passport in the arm in which they inject the chemo. I’m getting Fluorouracil, 5-FU and Leucovorin. I understand there is also something called a Flow Fox Regime that includes Oxalipalatin, but I’m not getting Oxalipalatin. Not sure why. Have any of you had the same type of chemo treatment I’m getting and is there any information you can share about it with me, or anything I should be aware of? Thank you in advance for your help and for reading my message.

Frank

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

I may be wrong, so I hope somebody jumps in and quickly corrects me :)

I think fluorouracil is the same thing as 5-FU?

I think it is pretty standard to get 5-FU, oxalipalatin and leucovorin, at least for stage 3. Ha, feels like sometimes I am jumping off of a limb. I know this is what I had at the beginning, and they gradually reduced the oxlipalatin cause it was so toxic for me. By like treatment #6 I was only on the 5-FU and leucovorin. Again, I was told, my understanding is 5-FU has been the chemo of choice for colon cancer for like a zillion years. give or take a few.

I also had a power port, underneath my skin right below the colar bone.

Without the oxalipalatin, you will probably actually ENJOY chemotherapy. (partially kidding) It is generally the oxal that gives the nasty kick-butt side effects.

Good luck and welcome to our little family!

neon356
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Frank,
I was diagnosed stage 3, 15 of 20 nodes positive, and had the 5FU and leucovorin. The leucovorin is actually in the vitamin group, and enhances the effect of the 5FU. You'll more than likely feel very tired a lot of the time with not much energy. You may or may not feel nauseous. If you do there are pills for that, or if it's available marijuana helps immensely. It also helps to increase your appetite. If you have trouble keeping your weight up try Ensure. It comes in lots of flavors (I liked chocolate) and is pretty much a meal in a can complete with most of the vitamins. Good luck, and just keep remembering that there's an end in sight, and you'll get back to normal before you know it.
Carl

4law's picture
4law
Posts: 112
Joined: Dec 2004

Fluorouracil is 5-FU. Anyway, you're looking good! I had 5-FU and Leucovorin for 32 weeks after my surgery healed. Once a week for 6 weeks, then 2 weeks off -- the 8 week cycle was repeated 4 times. My surgery, also, went well, and this 32 week cycle was adjuvant chemotherapy, i.e., icing on the cake - to be sure that any isolated cancer cells that may be too small to detect are destroyed. People react differently to chemo -- my problems were more related to the temporary ileosty I had. You look to be in pretty good shape: 26 negative lymph nodes! It looks like they removed all cancer -- this is an insurance policy. Good luck - - keep smiling. Before you know it, you'll be 5 years NED (my 5 year NED anniversity of my diagnosis is in a couple of weeks).

CessnaFlyer's picture
CessnaFlyer
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, I'm on the exact same chemo and cycle that you were on. Once a week for six weeks and then two weeks off and then we do another three cycles, for a total of four, for a total of 32-weeks. It's great to hear that you are doing so well and that there were only minor side effects. I'm real glad I'm not getting the Oxaliplatin becasue I hear the side effects can be nasty on that one. They gave me the option of getting the chemo-port in my arm or chest. I went for the arm, but I guess most people have it placed in the chest.

shrevebud's picture
shrevebud
Posts: 106
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Frank:

Welcome:

I have stage IV colon cancer (two and a half years now) and have been on the medications you are asking about. Also to clarify, it's FOLFOX and the alternative is FOLFIRI. Like the others said Flouoracil (sp) and 5FU are the same thing. 5FU has been around for a long time. I used to get it in a pump that I would take home with me (makes for a nice bed partner)! and get the pump off after 2 days and then be free for two weeks. Oxaliplatin is the other drug in FOLFOX and it has a lot of side effects so if you don't have to be on that, I would say that's good. Keep me/us posted and ask away if you have questions - that's one of the helpful aspects about these boards - is that there is someone on here that has experienced what someone else is going through and can offer their opinion or just listen. Best of luck to you. Roy

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

"I’m told that I am at stage IIA. They are putting a thing called a passport in the arm in which they inject the chemo. I’m getting Fluorouracil, 5-FU and Leucovorin."

I had stage IIA cancer, also, and I got 5FU and leucovorin without oxaliplatin, just like you. They only put the passport in if they think you're going to leave the country.

--Greg

CessnaFlyer's picture
CessnaFlyer
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

I appriciate the information. How were the side effects. Also, did they put a port in your chest or in your arm? I understand they can do it either way and I was just wondering what the advantages of one over the other might be.

Frank

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I haven't read of anyone else getting chemo in just the same way I did, so don't take my experience as a guide. I got 10 injections over the course of two weeks in my wrist, done by an oncology nurse. She did keep a tube in my vein for several days at a time, to minimize the number of needle sticks, but I don't think it counted as a "port".

I had some nausea one day that kept me from eating, but that's all. I felt a little tired one week, while getting both radiation and chemo, but that could have been my imagination, since I had been told to expect some tiredness.

--Greg

CessnaFlyer's picture
CessnaFlyer
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

What cycle did they do with you? Mine is once a week for six weeks and then two weeks off and then we do another three cycles, for a total of four, for a total of 32-weeks.

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

I had 5 injections on 5 consecutive weekdays, then 4 weeks off, then another 5 injections on 5 consecutive weekdays. This coincided with the first and last weeks of a 6 week course of radiation treatments. (I've never figured out what "cycles" means.)
--Greg

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Sorry about your DX. Glad that you are stage 2 and not 4. My husand has been on Folfox + avastin. Oxy was taken out of the mix after treatment #8. He didn't miss it. It is a bi***.
You will do just fine. Tired and maybe some other stuff.
People on this board have helped us a bunch. Good luck to you. Paula G.

grammadebbie's picture
grammadebbie
Posts: 431
Joined: Jun 2009

This is a great place to come for answers and encouragement. I am stage IIIc, 8/38 lymph nodes positive, colon resection 12", 6 mos chemo including Oxi. It's my understanding that it is the Oxi that causes the most severe side effects so thats good for you. I just wanted to give you the information on the pick line. I had one placed in the inside of my upper right arm after surgery. Had some complications and needed to be fed thru it. They left it in for my chemo and it was fine for almost 10 months. Had a little problem showering etc. but it really wasn't that uncomfortable. Sorry you have to go thru this but know you will fight the good fight.

You'll be in my prayers.

Debbie (gramma - there is another Debbie here so I added gramma)

PS I will be 57 tomorrow yeah

pluckey's picture
pluckey
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm 47, DX'd March 2009 Stage 4 with mets to liver.

I am on Folfuri/5FU, Leucavorin(booster to 5FU), Campostar(ironoteacan) and Erbatux(aka cemuxitab).

Side effects from Erbatux- rash on face, neck and back. Sun sensitivity big-time. Fatigue, fissures/sores on feet and nail beds and pads of fingers. Taste buds gone.
No nausea thank goodness.

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