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what to expect if I decide to follow up with Chemo?

thingy45's picture
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi All, I am new here. I am the Marjan half in Marjan's daughter. My daughter is my Rock and coach and is with me every step of the way.
Eastermonday I will be operated on, left side ( see posting Marjans daughter) so far no signs of spreading to lungs or liver, however enlarged lymphnodes will be taken out also.
Marjan's daughter enlisted all the other information.
My question is if I should take the recommended chemo for three months right after the operation. What to expect of the chemo. I like to stay as healthy as possible and NOT become weaker because of the Chemo.
Any advice on this? I am open to any advice.

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009


I am so glad you joined us. It is terrific that your daughter has been here for you. I don't want to advise on chemo; I am not qualified, but I want to wish you all the best with your surgery.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

OK first off whats up with the name thingy ? LOL......Thata funny..haven't heard that one used as a screen name but maybe that needs to be kept underwraps....

To try and answer your questions first lets dissect it...quote...
"What to expect of the chemo. I like to stay as healthy as possible and NOT become weaker because of the Chemo".....unquote
First of all if you do choose to do the chemo, fatigue will be part of the side effects. Am I right to assume that Folfox will be your treatment regimen ? Maybe not with only 3 months treatment. But, anyway, with chemo used as a post op mop up it is simply and adjuvant preventive to be done (if patient wishes) to try and erradicate any lingering cancer cells that may escape through lymphatic system, etc, unless its what we call maintenance chemo where for the most part the patient either stays on the same regimen of chemo for life or until it stops working and changes have to be made. Its what we call "mop up" it may or may not mop up all of it, it didn't for me, I re occurred after 2 years with no activity. But, to remain as healthy as possible is a type of two edged sword , if you are looking for upping your percentages of never re occuring then in my opinion the post op chemo would be my choice (remember, my choice)but its not a guarantee, or if you simply want to bypass the post op chemo after surgery and yes feel better sooner, then you have to get into your head that if you do re occur ( hopefully not )you have to be adamant about your decision you make initially. There doesn't need to be any regret about would have, could have, should have, I hope you understand where I am coming from. Its a choice only you and your Onc should make but for the most part its your choice. You have time to really soak on this, do so, and then make he decision that both emotionally and physically you can handle with no regrets...Thats basically what it boils down to......

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

six months of chemo passes very fast ! I think it's worth!
Good luck and welcome to the board!

thingy45's picture
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Buzzard, Thanks for the reply. I am from Holland and years ago when I couldnot find the correct english word I named it "that Thingy" that kind of stuck with me and the 45 is the year I am born.
The specialist told me that after the operation on this coming monday he would like to follow up with 3 months of Chemo. Her also stated that if I would like I could have a bit of a summer and start the chemo 3 months later. That is the choice I have to make at the moment, but lets first see what they really find during the operation.
Thx again for your expertise.

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2011

Thingy- I would reccommend getting 2nd and 3rd opinions after your surgery when you are feeling up to it!! I almost made the mistake of not getting opinions from other doctors. I would be getting chemo right now for something that I never had. The hospital where I got my surgery read my pathology wrong. Go to other hospitals and have them look over your pathology, scans and records and let them give their opinions on what and when your next steps should be!

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

so far you are NOT a stage 4, maybe a 2 or a 3. The enlarged lymph nodes, and depending how many they actually find that are cancer, if any of them, will be the deciding factor on stage 2 or 3. Of course 2 would be wonderful, but ya know, 3 is pretty dang good too!

I don't know that I understand the option of no chemo, 3 months of chemo or even delaying until after the summer, what 4 months? I have never heard of this? I also would want to wait until after the surgery and the lymph nodes come back before looking at the next plan of attack.

I was staged at 3B- there was no way until after the surgery and they got the lymph node results back that they could stage me. Then I met with the oncologist, right there in the hospital and the treatment was discussed. I had my port in 5 weeks later and 1 week later was getting chemo. 6 months, once every 2 weeks for a total of 12 weeks. My colorectal surgeon was in my face insisting that I get going with chemo no less than 6 weeks from surgery. She called and followed up with me several times!

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plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi Marjan, good luck with your surgery. I also had lymph nodes involved. I am now on my last 2 of 12 chemo treatments to finish up getting rid of all the cancer. I am confident and hopeful that is what it's doing. My onc recommended the chemo and I did it. Good luck to you with your surgery. We will all be here for you. That in itself is an accomplishment. Just walk as much as you can, eat small easy meals, and take the pain meds...many of us have been there and this seems to be the trick to a faster recovery.

Love and hugs, Gail

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Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

Kind of history of Cancer and Chemotherapy. It is called The Emperor of all Maladies and you can get it at Amazon.

While it won't directly answer your question of should I or should I not do mop up chemo, it does go into the early therapies, and sort of the "why" of chemotherapy vs other modalities. It is a great history of the disease if you have the time to read it.

OtherShoeFell's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

on the binder? The crab symbol of the horoscope (cancer)....If so I did see it at my local library, and will pick it up. Thanks for the info.

I picked up a book (done reading it already) about "Cancer Etiquitte". If I made any errors in previous posts, I do appologize.

Buckwirth's picture
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

Who was the author? Maybe I should read that one next?

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Hello there, glad to see you posting.
Just wanted to let you know I've had my surgery and am on Chemo and Avastin. My days are filled with going to college full time, babysitting my grandson in the evenings, of course the house cleaning and all that, gardening, taking walks quite often (get a lot of walking done carrying my heavy book bag to all my classes on campus)and do my gardening and weeding. So, while you might imagine the horrors of chemo and of course there are many, there are also the ability to keep up your regular schedule of life as it is. (my surgery was December 20th, my college started the first week of February)
You won't know unless you try it. If you can give us an idea of what chemo they are talking about you taking, there are many that can give you their experiences on it.
Glad to meet you,
Winter Marie

OtherShoeFell's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2011

Good luck with your surgery on the 25th. I'm right behind you.
Waiting to be able to see through the "fog" where I'll be headed. Waiting to see what the "new me" will be like after the surgery....it is unsettling.
Best wishes to you, hugs to both you and your sweet daughter!

Posts: 75
Joined: Sep 2008

Hey Marjan, sorry about your situation. I think I would wait and see how you're feeling after the surgery. You need all the strength and energy you can get while doing chemo. It does take a lot out of you over the long hall. If the oncologist recommends the chemo, then I would say to do it if you feel up to it. The main thing is to keep a good appetite and eat regularly, you must eat to maintain an energy level plus it keeps things working, if you know what I mean. Hope everything goes well, God Bless you, Randy

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