New here - What to expect with Folfox, Oxilaplatin, and Xeloda.

My mom who was just diagnosed with stage 2A colorectal cancer met with the oncologist yesterday and he suggested Folfox, Oxilaplatin, and Xeloda for her treatment. She is getting a 2nd opinion in a few days but I wanted to see if anyone could tell me their experience with these drugs? Is there anything I can do to make this easier for her and was there anything you found helpful?

I know this is going to be a hard road but I want to be prepared and help her the best way I can. Any advice is appreciated. 


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,562 **
    edited November 2021 #2
    Hello and welcome to the forum

    I am sorry to hear abut your mum, and I know she will be happy to know that you are reaching out to find out how you can help her through this Cancer journey. 

    A second opinion is always a good thing, especially seeing she is staged a 2A.  Time is on her side. 

    FOLFOX is a combination of Leucovorin Calcium (FOL) Flurouracil (F) Oxaliplatin (OX) and it is administered intravenously. 

    Xeloda is the oral version of Flurouracil.   She will either get intravenous treatment or oral I think. Don't quote me on that. 

    The treatment may also include 5FU, but I'm not sure if this is part of treatment for lower stage Cancers. 

    You mum and her Oncologist will determine which threatments are best for her. 

    When one starts on the Cancer journey, there is always a information overload. It gets to the point where it can all make your head spin. 

    Each one of us who have had treatment, have different experiences as far as side effects go. Some are lucky enough to have few, others - like myself - seem to run the gamut of side effects or anything in-between.  I always say 'perpare for the worst and hope for the best.' 

    I could write reams of information, but I won't, becasue it will scare and confuse.  Take it one step at a time, and try not to jump too far ahead to the future. 

    Saying that, it is good to get some standard info under the belt. Preparation is good. 

    Until you know which treatment your mum will be getting, my advice would be to stay as healthy as possible. Walking, eating well, drinking lots of water.  The basics!   

    The internet can be your friend and your enemy. Be careful what you read. Many statistics on the web, are way out of date. While I would not say 'great strides' have been made in the treatment of Colorectal Cancer, some things have improved - just some. Take for instance, Oxaliplatin. Discovered in the 70's I believe. 40 years ago. You would think they could have made some improvements since then.

    Sorry, got off track there. 

    Again I say welcome.  The forum is running slow, and others will pop in and out across the days, so be patient. 

    Ask anything you want. 

    I will be happy to scare I mean share my list of side effects, once you know if your mum is going to be on FOLFOX, which is the treatment I had. 



  • SnapDragon2
    SnapDragon2 Member Posts: 607 **
    edited November 2021 #3
    Yes, second opinion is a very

    Yes, second opinion is a very good move as is a surgical consult or two with a board certified colorectal surgeon.

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,222 **
    edited November 2021 #4
    Gather information

    I think it prudent that your Mother gather information about the risks and benefits of chemo with a 2a diagnosis.  Has she, or will she, undergo surgery? If not, what is the basis of the diagnosis? How much benefit will she gain with the treatment and what are the risks?  These are serious and life-altering matters.  Being as informed as possible seems to me to be the best approach.

  • NewHere
    NewHere Member Posts: 1,380 **
    edited November 2021 #5
    You Called?

    I am NewHere, not you ;)

    Tru gave you a good rundown on the drugs.  (5FU is Fluorouracil, shorthand for it.  Being a New Yawker I love that abbreviation.)

    When I was diagnosed (long story) someone looking at my scan saw Stage I or II and said "You probably won't need chemotherapy" after surgery since it is usually not recommended by where I went at the time until advanced Stage 2 (C) or even until Stage 3.   Of course when they did the colonoscopy, surprise!!  Alot more happening. 

    Anyway there are many factors in determining whether to have chemo.  Age of patient, results of surgery (I had over half of the lymph nodes cancerous, was high chance of it already being out and about my body), location of the tumors (certain locations have different ways of approaching things), number of tumors, composition of tumors and other factors.   Things also include, how was your Mom diagnosed?  Colonscopy?  Polyps removed?  An at home test?  Just a scan? 

    I am one who is probably more lnclined to get chemo if it looks necessary, but in this case what Sandia said (and I probably repeated a couple of things Sandia said) - but it sounds like you are in position to dig a bit more and get answers. If it gets to the point that your Mom needs chemo, many will jump in here to help with tips, tricks, what to expect. 


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,562 **
    edited November 2021 #6
    When I read New Here, in the subject line....

    I thought, YAY! New is back on the board. 

    Good to see you, friend. 


  • ashley.mckenzie
    ashley.mckenzie Member Posts: 5 **
    Thanks everyone

    I appreciate all the answers. Thank you

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 **
    edited November 2021 #8

    Hi Ashley:  Welcome to the boards and I'm sorry that your mom has cancer.  It sounds like she caught it early which is great.  The treatment they want to put your mom on is the same as mine was.  The Oxi is a hard drug to be on, but wait until you get the second opinion and see what they want to do.  I've answered you on your recent post, but wait until tomorrow when she sees a new doctor.  Please let us know what they say.  Wishing your mom the best.


  • stratplayer
    stratplayer Member Posts: 42
    Great surgeon will listen

    I hope your mom gets a second opinion from a different source.

    I took these drugs back in 2009 along with surgery. I am 12 years out. It has been tough, but your mom will make it through this. 

  • BoulderSteve
    BoulderSteve Member Posts: 2 **

    Wow... my first day here and I can try to pass along some personal information! It's been a while for this thread, but I'm just reading these for the first time so I apologize if this is old news.

    I went through the treatment you are wondering about over the course of the past year. I had IV chemo first and then oral chemo with radiation afterwards (and then surgery and then....).

    My IV cycles were every two weeks. I had about four hours in the center getting a few IV bags of stuff. one bag was Oxcaliplatin (sp?), one bag was steroids to help handle the chemo, one bag was anti-nausia and there was a fourth bag that I don't recall - maybe just saline. After I was finished with the four hours in the center, I then went home with a portable pump and a bag of 5FU that was administered over a few days.

    On the days when I was at the center, I was pretty much useless. I couldn't concentrate and I had no sense of the passage of time. What felt like five minutes to me was over two hours in the real world. Nausea was a problem and sleeping on any kind of a regular schedule was no longer possible. Rest when you can and eat what you can and hope for the best. I didn't have much physical pain. IV chemo started the neuropathy process for me. It took about three cycles to start up and it was pretty scary when it did. I couldn't touch anything cold. Drinking anything colder than body temperature was torture. Breathing outside in the wintertime was extremely difficult. I had to wear gloves inside at all times. Advice here: talk to your oncologist. They have dealt with many patients going through the steps and they will have suggestions on what to take/try to minimize symptoms. In my case, I didn't lose any hair and my body weight stayed pretty constant throughout the process. My liver rebelled against the treatment around cycle 3, but I was otherwise healthy and my oncologist decided to continue the treatment. Your skin will dry out so moisturizer is your friend! Each two week cycle was relatively predictable... about two days of feeling like a complete zombie followed by a week and a half of getting back to "normal". Then it was time to start the next cycle!

    When I finished the IV chemo, I then went onto oral chemo and radiation. I took Xiloda for five weeks during radiation. Initially things felt fine, but the last week and a half or so the bottoms of my feet ended up blistering up and I couldn't walk without pain. I didn't seem to have huge issues with the oral chemo.

    My advice for you is to help you mom with whatever she needs. Driving will be difficult. Sleep will be difficult. The brain will change in areas like concentration. Keep her comfortable and take whatever chores you can off her plate. Know that the entire process is a limited duration and that eventually it will be over no matter how hard it seems at any given moment.