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Maintenance Chemo - Extended Break

Posts: 52
Joined: Jun 2012

The basic question today is: Has anyone experienced having their "Xeloda break extended to two weeks?"

By way of background, I was on Xeloda 1000mg twice a day for two weeks with a one week break, which I have read is a pretty standard regimen for Xeloda.  It is even the regimen recommended by the company.  During the second cycle, the hand and foot syndrome spread rapidly and began burning.  The various creams and ointment recommended got it under control but mornng were the worst as it inhibited my ability to brush my teeth, shave, and etc. until I had applied some Udderly Smooth and it soaked in. 

Yesterday, I visited my oncologist.  Overall, the visit was okay, but after looking at my hands he backed off the Xeloda by advising me to take a two week break to let my hands heal. 

Some additional information: my oncologist believes I'm in good shape and it seems everything is stable.  It seems so because right now we're in a kind of "holding pattern, as my insurance company rejected a request for a PET/CT.  My oncologist investigated the denial and it seems the request came too close to a CT I had in December to determine whether some stereotactic radiation treatments I had in October/November eliminated a single iliac lymph node that "lit up" in an October PET/CT.  According to the radiation oncologist, on the Dec. CT the lymph node appeared to be a "mass of dead tissue" but he wanted to confirm with a PET/CT in January, the imaging my insurance company rejected.  He's basing his opinion that everything is stable on good labs and the CT from December. 

So, again has anyone experiened or heard of having the Xeloda break extended to two weeks? 

Thanks for any information you can provide.


Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Dont have an answer but hopefully someone will be along that can help.

Good luck!

renw's picture
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

A two week break from xeloda is not unusual when you have severe symptoms. If the symptoms are milder, the usual course of action is to decrease the dose.

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

they way I look at this stuff now, is us cancer fighers on chemo have our heads on 2 possible paths.

1. Take the chemo as a hammer to pound back the cancer to Reduce the Size and/or amount of cancer, and to stop it from Growing.

2. Take the chemo to prevent spread or growth of cancer.


and, as it comes to those to lines of thinking...

we then can think about the side effects and how to manage the side effects or what to worry about.


So, if your side effects are so bad that you cannot function in daily activities and you cannot live.... my docs have always choosen "take a break and get better" we'll get back to cancer fighting in a couple weeks.  I've been at this battle for 15 months now... and during that time I've had 3 breaks from the action. one for side effects like you're having, another because after I had the side effects break and all went well... I asked for a 2 week break to go on vacation with my family. (took a week off prior to the vacation and felt great). And, another break for my body to heal for surgery. (colon resection, colostomy bag take down and reconnect the colon).

If i were you, i would not be concerned about the break in the action as it relates to the cancer.

i would treasure the break in the action, and go do something or go somehwhere you've wanted to go for a day or a couple day get away.

or be with someone you've wanted to be with or see.


good luck.

you're in my prayers this week.




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