what is chemo for life?

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Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:40 pm

what is chemo for life?

Postby natelaugh » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:16 pm


My dad and I just got back from a new second oncologist appointment. The new doc is concern with the rising CEA and agreed with the first oncologist to do a PET scan. He said if the cancer came back then there is zero chance of a cure. Moreover, since my dad only taking 5FU, he said taking more will not work if there is cancer detected in PET scan. My goal is have my dad survive long enough for new drug that can cure colon cancer.

1. My question is "what is chemo for life" mean?
2. Do you take the same chemo even if it is not working, maybe to slow the cancer down?
3. Anyone with Adjuvant/ mop up chemo that had cancer return and later cancer free or NED?

I want to thank anyone here, I learn alot and when I have time I will share all my experience and what I learn so the community can benefit.

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

Posts: 355
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:41 pm
Location: Montana

Re: what is chemo for life?

Postby Claudine » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:54 am

Good morning Natelaugh,

I will just share with you this story about a colleague who, some years ago, was diagnosed with small bowel cancer. She got ressected, and that was that. Then a year later she developed a large met in her pelvic area; its location close to vital organs made surgery and radiation impossible, so she was put on chemo for... However long it would take. The diagnosis hit her hard. She would get chemo once a month, over a couple of days. She expected not to make it for very long.
Then one day, after a year of treatment, she came into the office wearing a new wig, a new dress. "Looks like I'm not a goner after all!".
That was over 5 years ago! Her body handled chemo quite well, and ever so slowly, the tumor shrank... Until two weeks ago when a scan couldn't detect it anymore! her onc believes she still has cancer in her system, but for the first time in about 6 years she gets to have a chemo break. And during all this time, she got to see her grandson grow. So maybe she'll never be completely rid of cancer, but she still works full time and has good quality of life!
Wife of Dx 04/18 (51 yo). MSS, KRAS G12A
No primary (involuted?)
Lytic tumor L4 vertebrae, EBRT radiation 04/18, SBRT 02/19
Resection small intestine 05/18 (no cancer found - Crohn's)
Failed adjuvant Xelox
Folfiri + Avastin 03/19 to 01/20
6.7 cm left adrenal mass 03/19, successful resection 02/20
CEA since 03/19: high 58, low 3.2, now 7.6
Scan 03/19: Multiple small lung nodules up to 5mm
Scan 12/19: one 1mm stable nodule
PET 04/20 small uptake by L4
L3-L4-L5 fusion surgery and residual tumor removal 05/20

Posts: 2425
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: what is chemo for life?

Postby NHMike » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:57 pm

Chemo for life means that you have to keep taking it to survive. I have a coworker with lung cancer and he took a targeted therapy which shrank his tumor by 50% but it stayed there - which means that he has to keep taking it or the tumor starts to grow again. Hopefully a proper cure comes down the road.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:40 pm

Re: what is chemo for life?

Postby CrossfitChick1980 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:47 pm

My husband was on chemo for life and it was basically a lower dose chemo every two weeks with very few side effects. He was on Avastin with a low dose of 5FU for about 2 years.
Caregiver to DH dx with Adenocarcinoma of Small Intestine
Mar14- Small Bowel Resection (dx @31)
May14-Oct14: Folfox
Apr15- Liver mets
Jun15- Xeloda/Oxalyplatin
Oct15- Folfiri/Avastin
Dec15- Liver Mets, lymph nodes shrinking.
Apr16- Liver mets gone! lymph nodes stable
Jun16- Avastin/Xeloda (MSS, KRAS)
Jul16- Maintenance Chemo
Jun18- Cancer is back in liver
Sep18- Lonsurf
Oct18- Therasphere txment (failed)
Dec18- Folfiri/Avastin
Dec 22 2018- He is no longer suffering- My Love is sleeping in Peace

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