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Chemo ?

Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2009

For those of you that had/are going thur chemo, did any of you take xeloda, oxaliplatin, and epirubicin?

Those are the ones dad is going to receive. Two thur IV and the other in pill form.

What were your side effects?

Also I have another question. Dad had Surgery 1st followed by chemo. He didnt get chemo first. Why do some get chemo 1st and others have surgery followed by chemo? What are the odds of having just surgery and then chemo?

God bless

K_ann1015's picture
Posts: 555
Joined: Aug 2009

my dad was on xeloda and oxaliplatin as well as a clinical trial drug Panitumumab. He was on this specific chemo radiation combo for 6 weeks and then re-evaluated to see if he'd be a candidate for surgery. The surgeon sadi that the cancer had to be reduced in his case before possible surgery. But he was very healthy before hand---I think some may not tolerate such an aggressive treatment program. My dad better than most (According to docs), but had a very difficult time in the 5th & 6th week with dehydration, nausea, low blood pressure etc. He finished this rx 10/9/09 and was able to have surgery 12/7/09. He is still tired, but tries to walk as much as possible, just got the OK to start eating. He still has the feeding tube, but is supposed to start eating gradually...

I think Dr's are trained differently, but also there may be specific reasons that they treat a specific patient differently. The best thing is to ask a lot of questions.. I am on my parents HIPPA privacy forms, so I can (and do) call the Dr office directly and leave a message/questions and someone can get back to me with an answer. But of course it is usually easier to ask the questions during the actual Dr appt. That is why I bring a lot of questions with me---(or give a list to my mom) --some are answered with out me asking, some become irrelevant or inappropriate.

What stage was your dad's cancer? My dad's was stage 3, but at one point there was a question if there was a questionable lymph node near his liver---they could not biopsy it--so we never knew. But after chemo-radiation there were no questionable distant lymph nodes. This is only one person's story. Every one seems different...

One thing I would really suggest is try to encourage parent sot ask a lot questions and make a personal connection to the doctor. Our parents aren't used to (mine aren't!) to questioning authority... Also, my parents were natural at talking to the staff and they grew to have quite a relationship---I feel the Dr's & staff see them more as real PEOPLE when this happens---rather than just a patient!.

Keep us informed---take it day by day and week by week---don't expect the worst---but be ready for anything! Keep your love and faith and share it with them!
2010 is the beginning of a NEW year for him!!! stay strong!

Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2009

Thank you Kim for answering so quickly!

Congrats to dad to getting the OK to eat. That is great, My dad is waiting for the same, but is allowed to have clear fluids. His leak started to heal so they said it was okay for him to have fluids by mouth.

I know when my dad went to meet with the Oncologist dr my Aunt who is a RN as well, but been working in the Cancer department since fresh out of Nursing school. She is due to retire. But she went with them because she knows about the meds and what they are going to treat him with. She wants to be involve and she dont want them to not treat this agressively. So my mom does ask ALOT of questions. Where dad just does as he is told. Casue he wants to get better.

When my dad went and saw the DRs on the 3rd of December they said we have to get this tumor out we have an opening on the 7th? Wanna take it? My dad said sure quicker the better. they told him he may not be able to have the surgery may need to have chemo first then finish with surgery. But he was able to have it done. during Surgery they took 20 Lymph nodes. 4 of which came back positive. So he will get chemo and radition.

They said its a stage 3. Didnt spread to any organs, just went too four of the nodes.

They did tell him to buy at hat, and gloves cause he will be sensative to cold and he will lose his hair. The least of his worries of course. He just wants to get better. They have him starting in Mid jan and finishing up in June. I know he is strong. He has been thur the surgery and Now had to go for a 2nd one due to an infection. so two major surgery's in 3 wks, hes a fighter for sure!

He has always been in GREAT health, strong, hard worker and enjoys life. So far we have hit many pittsburgh pot holes that are now filling up our streets and I know we may have more to come. But I like to think and hope for the best.

You know my mom give him a glass to drink out of that says ONE DAY AT A TIME. He loves it!

Thanks for your help, and I will keep you all informed on this journey! He goes to see the dr's again on the 7th

God Bless

mumphy's picture
Posts: 486
Joined: Jun 2009

Well some people get chemo first because from what I understand the Drs are trying to shrink or get rid of some of the cancer cells before surgery. Al has been on all of the iv chemo that he have listed that your dad will be on. Xeloda is the pill for of 5-fu which Al was on for 21 days iv.

I would rsay that having the chemo after surgery is the best bet.. I do not have all the info
right now. We Dr Gibson on Wed the 6th if he said that you should than I would.

Hope this helps,
God Bless,

aunti_m's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Tina,
My husband was dx with stage iv, EC in May of 09. He underwent 6 rounds of chemo EOX and had a very good response. The tumor in his esophagus had evaporated completely although the cancer still remained in the outermost cell layer. His side effects were mild during the treatment, sensativity to cold and hot occured after, then slowly diminished. He took anti-nausea meds to control that, he lost his hair after his 2nd treatment. His last EOX round was Oct. 6th and then began to lose his appetite completely and had developed severe neuropathy in hands and feet. He started a different chemo on Dec 7th because the doctors said the EOX had killed everything it could. I'm sure they've told you everyone reacts different, your dad may have a very different reaction to the meds. I hope for him he responds very well and has minimal side effects. Good luck to you all and you'll be in my prayers. Take care

Posts: 43
Joined: Dec 2009

Dear Tina,
The surgeon's explained to my husband that he had to have chemo/radiation prior to his surgery because of the size of his tumor. Shrinking the tumor would make his surgical prognosis better. At the time, I wanted them to get that tumor out right away but the doctors did know what they were talking about. By the time of my husband's surgery, Dec. 10, the tumor had melted away and was undetectable to the surgeons. I'm sure there was protocol that made having surgery first better for your dad.

I agree with other posts, don't be afraid to ask questions. I created a notebook of everything that had to do with my husband's cancer journey and I take it to every appointment. It's a place where I can keep all my questions and take notes on what we're told. It helps me so much to have them to refer to. It also helps me to know what I need clarification on.

I also always try to have another person on hand when we are making important visits. It helps to have another set of ears in case I miss something. I definitely make sure I understand everything to the best of my ability before we proceed. Don't be afraid to question things and have things explained until you do understand. While all of this may be routine to your doctors, this is new to your dad and your family and you all deserve to have all your questions and concerns addressed so you can feel confident with your treatment.

My husband's situation was not exactly like your dad's but everyone's situation is unique. I will definitely pray for you and your family as you begin this new phase of treatment. Day by day, one step at a time. That's how we all get through.


Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2009

You guys are Just Wonderful! I want too thank you for all replying. I know that we can ask all the questions we want, but when you are there and they are answering everything is running thur you mind. he returns on the 7th which feels soo far away, I know its coming quickly 3 more days.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Tina,
My prayers are still going out to you and your dad. My dad did not have the surgery, but he did take the oral chemo, Xeloda. His side effects were quite mild. He never lost any hair. His hair actually looks thicker now. I agree with taking a notebook with you. Write all your questions down, and leave space for the drs answer. If there is someone who can go with you, that is great. Today, I am taking my dad back to UVA for a follow up visit with the ogologist, and we will be discussing these lesions on his liver. Looks like we have to put our boxing gloves on once again! That is ok, we beat this once, we can beat it again. Best of luck to you and your dad.
Tina (also) :)

Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2009

Im glad to hear that the effects were mild. I hope the same for my dad.

I will be praying hard for you guys today. Your saying is soo true. You beat it once you can surely do it again!

God bless,

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