Lots of good information here for you, Broken.
Everybody is highly daunted by the prospect of chemo when it's first presented to them.
It's like a milestone that nobody wants to contemplate, much less embark upon.
Some regimens can be extremely gruelling to some people, and these are the ones that have given chemo such a negative reputation.
And in our culture, especially the regimens that cause hair loss in women, their hair being so much a part of their identity.
Not that men are any less vain; we've just had baldies like Yul Brenner and Charles Barkley as macho role models.
Anyhow, the chemo regimens for CRC are rougher on the body's performance than on appearance; that's just the way things have progressed on the pharmaceutical path.
As others have mentioned, Xeloda pills (taken at breakfast and dinner) have specific side-effects, and it is easily doable:
* Overall fatigue and weakness, reducing one's daily activities by 10-20% (my own estimate, no clinical evidence).
* Constipation/diarrhea/nausea, well-controlled in most patients by OTC and Rx meds.
* Hand-foot syndrome, where the skin on the palms and soles becomes raw; this can be aided by gloves, socks, medications, and topical lotions.
Some patients develop thinning hair, but complete hairloss from Xeloda is extremely rare.
There's nothing ot prevent you from ceasing the treatment at any time, or adjusting the dosage with your onc's concurrence if the side-effects are too strong.
In many ways, chemo for a Stage 2 CRC patient isn't much more challenging than a diabetic who must take insulin, or an arthritis patient with special meds to ease their pain.
Please listen to Terry's tale: You must make the decision and live with it.
Would you feel better in a year knowing that you've done all you can to slap ths beast into the next universe, or kick yourself if it returns and you had not done chemo?
Sorry you've qualified to join our club, and I wish you the best in your decision-making and treatment.