What to expect when chemo is finished

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What to expect when chemo is finished

Postby wife2jeff » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:01 pm

Lately people keep saying things to me like, oh when he's done with chemo the after effects are still there for months, hope he doesn't experience too much of that. So hearing this has made me start to think and worry about this. His oncologist hasn't said anything about long term effects other than the possibility of the oxiliplatin but she said if he does that one they would monitor it carefully.
What are long term effects he could experience or what others have?
Now I should say he is only doing the 5 fu right now and NOT the oxiliplatin due to some neuropathy issues he developed right out of surgery. His oncologist has omitted it until we hopefully get it under control which he just completed 5 days worth of IVIG treatments. However my husband is very worried about using the oxiliplatin due to his current neuropathy and reading about the permanent after effects of it.
So I was just wondering what others have experienced as in long term.

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Re: What to expect when chemo is finished

Postby Jacques » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:20 pm

wife2jeff wrote:...What are long term effects he could experience or what others have?... So I was just wondering what others have experienced as in long term...

Here is some information on long-term side effects of chemo.


Of special interest would be the diagram displayed in the link

Long-Term Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

This diagram shows 18 areas of the body where long term side effects of chemo could occur.

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Re: What to expect when chemo is finished

Postby Koreysue » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:39 pm

In January it will be 2 years since I completed chemo. I have slight neuropathy in the very tip of my fingers, and the tips of my toes. It effects more parts of my foot when I have to wear shoes a long time. This is a major improvement from what it was. It doesn’t really effect my normal activities... I just have to be a bit careful hiking on uneven ground when hiking shoes make it worse.
I had 10 cycles with oxaliplatin (a slightly lowers dose for most of them) and 2 without.
Take care,
Diagnosed: June 2017 stage 3 colon cancer
Sigmoid colon, 2 nodes affected
CEA at diagnosis: 6.1
Sigmoid Colectomy and folfox (chemo complete January 31, 2018)
CEA 4/2018: 2.4
CEA 7/2018: 3.7
Colonoscopy 8/2018 clean
PET scan 8/20/18 NED
CEA 11/2018: 3.8
CEA 2/2019: 3.2
CT NED 6/18/2019 / CEA : 3.4
CEA 10/21/19: 3.2
CEA 3/9/20: 3.8
CT NED /CEA 6/17/20: 3.8
CEA 11/4/20 4.6 <——— whyyyy? (will retest in a few weeks)
CT NED 12/1/20 CEA: 3.5 (happy to see a lower number)
CEA 5/17/21 4.2

Deb m
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Re: What to expect when chemo is finished

Postby Deb m » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:46 am

My husband did 10 hits of folfox and two without the oxiplatin. He is 8 years out of treatment now and only has slight nephropathy on the balls of his feet. It really doesn't bother him. He did have it pretty bad on his feet and fingers while going thru treatments, but after about 3-4 months post treatment, it all resolved except for that little bit on the bottom of his feet. He has no other post effects other than that. Whether down the road, something may show or he may age more rapidly with wear and tear on his organs from the treatments, who knows. He is 61 years old and I think he is healthier than me. I try not to worry what May show down the road and continue to be grateful for his very healthy status now.

deb m

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Re: What to expect when chemo is finished

Postby Jannine » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:45 pm

I completed 6 rounds of FOLFOX treatment in December 2018; I didn't get any Oxaliplatin at my last 2 chemo appointments. I still have some neuropathy but it has improved significantly since January, and does not affect my quality of life. I also get some slight swelling in my feet at the end of the day most days, but it goes away overnight. It doesn't happen at all if I walk a lot or wear compression socks.

I have no other side effects.

Be aware that there are other chemo drugs that are much rougher on the body than 5FU. So if these are people who are speaking from experience with other chemo treatments for other cancers, their knowledge isn't necessarily relevant to you.
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

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Re: What to expect when chemo is finished

Postby natelaugh » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:11 pm


My dad finished his 12 cycles of 5FU. He is doing ok but doesn't eat much on chemo week. I keep track of what is mixed with the leucovorin. My dad CEA increased when they used sodium with leucovorin. Also, note the machine rate per hour IV dripping, because this number can be different than the nurse enter into the computer for record keeping. I keep note on what the nurse give him and modified it when needed. However, if results are trending bad, I go back to the time where he is doing good and give him that exact med.

Caregiver to 80M
11/2018 rightPain
1/19/19 scopy,path
1/23 CTscan
2/19 surgery
2/26-2/28 NGTube
2/28-3/14 TPN bc ileus
3/2 2nd surgeryCloseOpenWound
3/4-3/28 woundVac
size: 6cm Adenocarcinoma
grade Poorly
Stage IIIC T3N2aMx
Surgical margins:clear
MSI:MMR (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2) Intact nuclear expression
Lynch status:N
Laparascopic, partial colectomy
CEA:3/28/19 2.8
Chemo:4/16/19-9/17/19 5FU,12cycles,every 14days,leucoverin,zofran,Dexamethasone

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Re: What to expect when chemo is finished

Postby mobrouser » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:28 am

Wife2jeff, one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is how long it may take your husband to get back to normal energy levels.
I finished chemo in August 2018 and it wasn't until April or May this year that I felt normal again. That may be partly due to diet as I had no desire to eat much until Feb or March.

My chemo brain was never really severe, but I do still have some lapses in memory.

Neuropathy in my fingers is down to constant mild tingling and my ability to do up buttons, etc. has returned, but my feet and legs issue is a different story. I still have numbness half way up to my knees and the wet sand feeling is still there. I will have to see if it gets worse now that the cold weather is returning.

One weird thing is that even though it is a year after having my PICC line removed, it still feels as if it is there. Can't explain it...

All the best for your husband's remaining treatments.

mob 8)
CC Dx 102017 age 58
Lap. right hemi-colectomy Dec 2017
Adenocarcinoma ascending colon – 6cm x 6cm x 2cm, Low Grade, penetrates to peritoneum
T4a N2a M0, Stage IIIC
lymph nodes 6 positive out of 18
FOLFOX start Jan/18 end Aug/8 (felt like a year)
CEA - 01/15/18-2.8; 07/29/18-5.3; 09/19-2.4; 03/20-2.7; 09/20-2.9
CT scan 08/18 - Clear; 10/19 - Clear; * 10/20 - 8mm & 6mm nodules in liver
PET scan 09/18 (thought about bringing the cat :wink: ) - Clear
Colonoscopy Dec 7 2018 - Clear - Next in 3 years?

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