Dear Marty, I'm sorry your dad has to go through this, cancer is hard on everyone in a family, not just the patient. There will be differences between the two chemo...I had FOLFOX and found that the biggest issues were the things that seem common to most chemos, diarrhea and nausea. For me the very best medications were Ativan (an anti-anxiety drug) for the nausea and lomotil for the diarrhea. Finding the right drug can be very much a matter of trial and error, as each peson reacts a bit differently to things. The key for your dad is to avoid getting dehydrated, so you might want to help him find drinks that taste good to him during chemo. Cold drinks probably won't be great if he develops another common side effect, cold sensitivity. For me, this made drinking cold drinks impossible; it also helped to have thin gloves to wear around the house to be able to handle stuff from the fridge. The final thing I dealt with was neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands, feet and legs). My doctor had me start taking glutamine powder for it (and for some chemo patients where I was treated it's standard right from the start). You can buy it at a vitamins store, and it does help improve these symptoms. I wish my doc had started me on it as soon as I started chemo, so you might suggest to your dad that he check with his doctor about this. Getting through chemo is not easy, but your dad will be able to do it. In fact, I've had several friends who managed to work and continue on with other aspects of life without too much difficulty during chemo-just have to adjust to the way the treatment cycle plays out, and plan for when there will be days that will require staying home and resting. And it looks like he's going to have some terrific family support, and that is definitely critical! Keep us posted on how things go with your dad, and hang in there, Ann
Dx age 43, Sept. '09, Stage IV Carcinosarcoma of the colon
5 surgeries, 2009-2011:
colon/sm. bowel res., node removal, peritoneum, hysterectomy
FOLFOX/Avastin Feb.'10-Aug '10
Carbo-Taxol Dec. '10-Feb. 2011
NED since Dec. 2011.