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Xeloda and seniors

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2011

Hi everyone,

I just joined this network since my lovely father has been diagnosed with liver mets after recently being operated for a lesion in his colon. I have lots of questions and concerns as I live far away from him and the feeling of helplessness seems even greater so any support would be great. He is 75 years old and has just started xeloda on Monday (2500mg per day) for 2 weeks on/ 1 off. The oncologist said that his mets are not curable nor operable nor did she tell us which stage/ or any other type of prognosis. All the questions I wanted to ask while in that room just flew out of my head and now I would love to bombard her with a never ending list! Nevertheless, my dad has not suffered any side effects yet and that makes me feel a lot better. The only concern I have is that she did mention that Xeloda is not as effective as (Port a cath chemo) but a lot more delicate for him. I noticed that many people are on different mixes of chemo. Does that mean that this could be a trial to see how it works and if there is no progression we can change it up? If you have any tips or can give me ideas on what to be asking and looking for it would be greatly appreciated. This is the first time going thru anything like this. Thank you!

Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2011

to hear about what your father is going through. I lost my Mother on Father's day of Bile duct cancer that spread to the liver. While my Mom did radiation she also took Xeloda. When the cancer came back, she took Xeloda again. The doctor was telling you right, Xeloda is not very effective with this type of cancer. However, each person is different so it is best to give it a try and see how your father tolerates it. There is always hope. One of the main side effects from Xeloda is fatigue. Also, watch him closely to see if his skin or eyes turn yellow or if he becomes very itchy, this will be sign that he is jaundice. The doctor will follow him closely, monitor his bloodwork and see if he has any side effects that are concerning. You should get a copy of his bloodwork each visit and keep track of his liver enzymes, bilirubin, albumin (a protein made by the liver) his hemoglobin, and his red and white blood cell count. If any of his counts drop or get too high, the doctor will adjust his chemo or talk with him about other possible treatments to try.

As far as doing a more intense chemo, your father has to decide what is best for him and his health and what his body can tolerate. My Mother had been through two surgeries, radiation, chemo and we didn't want my Mother to be sick during the time she had left so she opted not to do any further chemo. We were told it would only buy her a little time. I know this is tough stuff. I'm so sorry... I know this is so upsetting. I'm sick about it and cry everyday for what my Mother went through. My Mother was my best friend, my most favorite person in the world. My life has changed forever. When you hear those words from the doctor that there is "no cure" you feel like you are in a nightmare and you just want to wake up... but you can't. Life is truly so fragile.

You said that you live far away from your father. I urge you to take time off or do whatever you need to do to be with him during this time. Spend as much time as possible. Life is short, you wont ever be able to get this time back. My Mother and I use to take walks, take rides, go to lunch, get ice cream and cannoli's at our favorite italian pastry shop...we would go shopping...as long as she was feeling ok...I was also her full time nurse. I will always cherish every moment I had with her during those two years. I can always look back and know I was there and did everything I could to help her and be there for her mentally, physically and emotionally. Its so important. My heart truly goes out to you, Stefy. You sound like a sweet girl that loves her father very much... just as I did my Mom.

The next time you see the doctor with your father make up a list of all of your questions/concerns beforehand. Communication is crucial, Stefy. Please write to me privately, if you would like. I am here for you and will try and help you in any way that I can. Lots of hugs to you and your father. Angel

P.S. How is your father's spirits? Does he have an appetite at all? Keep Ensure on hand and his favorite foods/snacks. The ensure will give him the nutrients he needs if he is not eating a lot. I use to make my Mom her favorite things or go to the store each day and bring her surprises. I'm thinking of you and your father, Stefy. Praying for the BEST for him!! Never give up, sweet girl!!

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