Reviresco wrote:Thanks again to everyone for the encouragement!
I had surgery (LAR right hemicolectomy) on 4/4/18. All of the news since then has been good. One of 25 lymph nodes had cancer in it. My tumor, which was large (9.5 x 5.5 x 2.5 cm) had invaded 5 of the 6 layers of the colon wall, but did not get through that last layer! My CEA level was 21.5 two days before surgery, and dropped to 3.9 within two weeks after surgery. My oncologist recommends four rounds (three months) of CAPOX. I qualify for the new protocol set by the IDEA Collaboration. I will be getting my port next week and starting treatment on April 30. I know there are a lot of threads about coping with treatment, but if anyone has any recommendations specific to CAPOX, please let me know!
Sending love from Maine!
I'm glad that things are going well for you. I had round 6 of CAPOX two weeks ago and it's been rough. You're fortunate that you're starting in the near future when temperatures are relatively warmer so that you don't get hit as hard with cold sensitivity. The side-effects from CAPOX are pretty close to those of FOLFOX - CAPOX gives you pills for 5FU instead of having to carry a pump around. Your oncologist should provide you with a chemo training session which goes over the side-effects, what to avoid, what to do in an emergency, etc. But we don't always absorb it that well in the training session.
The cycles went like this for me: first day - in hospital for infusion which lasts about 1/2 day or a bit longer. They take your blood, get results, you meet with the oncologist to go over the lab work and any other issues, then get the infusion. You take Xeloda (or generic) pills in the morning 30 minutes after food with water and then you do it again 12 hours later. You take the Xeloda pills for two weeks and then have a week off and then you do the next cycle.
The side effects are cumulative. For me, it wasn't so bad the first cycle but the second cycle hit me like a ton of bricks in terms of side-effects - basically everything that i had in the first cycle only stronger and longer-lasting. The side-effects from the Oxaliplatin will diminish with time while the side-effects from the Xeloda will increase as you take it for two weeks. For me, the side-effects from the Oxaliplatin are:
- Neuropathy in fingertips (tingling)
- Cold sensitivity in the fingers, toes, eyes, nose, lips
- Throat-closing feeling drinking cold liquids (your throat doesn't actually close, it just feels like it; sometimes it feels like drinking glass)
- Calf cramps (the Oxaliplatin seems to drain electrolytes - an electrolyte supplement can help, the oncologist might add electrolytes to the infustion)
- First bite shock - an electric-like shock when you take your first bite of food
- Painful tears
- Nausea (they give you drugs to suppress this and it works for three days)
The side-effects from Xeloda for me are:
- Arthritic hands and feet "Hands and Feet"
- Low red blood counts which can result in fatigue
- Low white blood counts which can greatly increase susceptibility to getting sick
- Peeling skin on your fingers and toes
- Brown marks on your hands and feet
Things to avoid:
- Getting sick
- Getting cuts as they take longer to heal