I had my first FOLFOX treatment 3 weeks ago for stage 3 colon cancer. We had a long-planned 2-week vacation planned for the first 2 weeks of July, so we pushed back my 2nd treatment by a week to accommodate that schedule. I went in today for my 2nd FOLFOX infusion and I have neutropenia, so the oncologist wants to wait until next Thursday. That makes almost 4 weeks between my first and 2nd treatment. I guess I'm glad I didn't cut short the vacation only to get home and find out I couldn't get chemo, but ugh. Onc said they would give me Neulasta after all future infusions so this doesn't happen again. She also talked about the ramifications of neutropenia, about making sure we thoroughly cook, peel, or (last resort) wash fruits and veggies, etc. I'm a little nervous about going back to work on Monday at this point, for fear I might catch something. Any suggestions or encouragement for me? I feel fine at this point but man, I don't want to get sick. I need to read up on Neutropenia in the handouts they gave us, too.
The oncologist also told me I need to eat more meat; maybe because I'm slightly anemic? (Which I always have been; I gave up on giving blood years ago because of that and low blood pressure.) I do eat chicken for lunch at work often, but my husband is an ovo-pescetarian(?) -- we eat eggs, milk, plenty of cheese, and fish, but not meat at home. I'm careful to eat lots of high-protein foods, and I frequently eat non-red meat when we eat out and for lunch from the cafeteria at work (I do occasionally eat red meat, but that's once a week max). We were both so surprised by this that we didn't really pull ourselves together enough to ask questions about what she meant exactly, how much, or why. We haven't kept meat in the house for 18 years. I know I should check in with the oncologist or her NP about exactly what she meant, but have any of you gotten a recommendation like this?
Thoughts and reassurances welcome. Thanks.
DX: sigmoid colon cancer 5/2018. 48 F
laparoscopic sigmoid resection (24 cm removed); no stoma.
7.5cm adenocarcinoma -- mod. diff.
1 noncontiguous tumor deposit removed; 0/31 lymph nodes
T3 pN1c M0
5/18 before surgery, CEA 11.2
6/18 began FOLFOX
7/18: CEA 1.9; added neulasta post infusion
9/18: CEA 2.8
10/18: 25% chemo reduction
11/18: CEA 1.8
7/19 CT scan clear