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1st Chemo Week

fighting_ big_c's picture
fighting_ big_c
Posts: 64
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi everyone. I hope we all are hanging in there. My mom is doing fine with her chemo regimen (Oxalipatin, Xeloda 3,300 mg and Tamoxifen 20 mg). So far, the side effects were tolerable for her (dizziness, nausea and sensitivity to cold). Today marks her first week and I am thankful that she is showing strength. I still have my down moments esp when I think about the fear of the "unknown". I am doing my best to be strong for her and I am just thankful and grateful everyday that I get to see and spend time with her. I have a question about CEA. Prior to her right hemicolectomy, her CEA was 189. About 2 weeks ago, her CEA was 8. I know that is considered outside the normal range and indicates something. She only started her chemo last Tuesday, would her CEA go down due to the chemo drugs she's taking? Her oncologist will start her Avastin on her next cycle. Sorry to be asking so much, I am still learning. Thank you and I am all praying for us.

Coloncancerblows's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

I don't have an answer to your question but just wanted to say I'm glad her first session went well.  She's lucky to have a daughter like you to take care of her.  I'm on Folfox so my chemo is a little different.  Have had 4 treatments so far and from what I found, each one has been easier.  Hoping the same for your mom.


Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi there,

I'm happy to hear that your mom's treatment is going well so far.  I think it is possible that her CEA will go down if she is responding to the treatment.  My mom's CEA was 31 prior to starting xeloda.  After two weeks of pills, it was down to 6.  It is now at 1.3 after 5 rounds.  My mom's CEA is always tested prior to starting a new round of xeloda (i.e., every four weeks since she takes the pills for two weeks and then stops for two weeks).  Hoping for great results for your mom.   

Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2013

What a wonderful, wonderful young lady you are....I'm new to all this myself...so cannot advise technically....but I will say your mom will derive so much from your love and help...which comes across so evidently in your post.  I wish you both well...and keep positive.   

KayeKay's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

I'm sorry that I dont really have an answer for your ? either and just wanted to let u know that we are all here for you and you will find great support here. Some days the strength and support I find here is the only thing that gets methrough another day. I can tell you to watch out for the side effects of avastin and make sure you or your mom let the onc know about any bleeding side effects. I did 6 or 7 rounds of avastin and it caused me nose bleeds and abnormal vaginal bleeding to the point that i had to have a uterine ablation to get it to stop. But dont forget that you can always find support here no matter what. Its always such a good feeling to be on here and know that you are NOT alone. 

Sending thoughts prayers and well wishes your way,


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

189 to 8 is a nice drop....

8 is still out of the range per say, but her numbers are trending downward at a nice pace. So, there is no reason to be overly concerned about this. 

Here's something else to consider....

Sometimes, when we are doing chemo and get a CEA test, you might see the numbers JUMP UP some....this will panick the folks who are just starting out, because they assume that the numbers must always be falling.


Were that to happen, that could be considered a good sign too (especially while in treatment).

Here's why...

When cancer cells die, they omit a protein into the bloodstream that can temporarily elevate the CEA reading...this can be an indication that treatment is working....and not that things are going wrong. 

When not in treatment, if CEA levels rise, this would be a reason to contact the doctor.

So, I just wanted you to be aware of this, so you won't flip out.

Best wishes moving forward!

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5513
Joined: Jan 2013

I don't have much in answers on anything but the CEA. After my resection it was in range, about six weeks later it was 13. My oncologist ordered a PET scan which showed no evidence of diesease. 

I'm now through chemo five. I asked the Onc if he is going to do a CEA, and he said no, he'd rather wait until all chemo treatments were finished. He didn't seem concerned. 

I ccontinue to pray on your mothers behalf, indeed all family members taking care of her. 

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