Glad to see that the surgery is over and you are starting chemo. I don't remember - are you taking Xeloda as a single agent? If you are on Xelox or some other combination, the side effects could be very different than Xeloda alone.
I'm sure your doctor explained a lot of this to you already, so skip to the next paragraph if you want... Xeloda is essentially the same drug as 5FU, but it works as a "targeted" agent. It is not actually 5FU, but it metabolizes into 5FU inside your body - with the idea that the drug goes to the specific tumor cells rather than spreading to all the cells in your body like IV 5FU. People are able to tolerate much higher levels of Xeloda because the drug is going straight to the tumor instead of getting all caught up in other parts of the body. If you get 5FU via IV, it is going all over (systemic). This is why Xeloda has two really good things going for it - 1) you can get more actual drug to the tumor than if you take IV 5FU and 2) the side effects are less even though you are getting more of the drug
Regardless of all of that, almost everyone still gets side effects - most commonly the hand and foot syndrome. My cousin took Xeloda, and although she had somewhat bad hand and foot syndrome from the very beginning, the best thing is that she was able to tolerate the Xeloda so much better than past chemos. She was nauseous, but never actually threw up, which helped her gain weight. She also was so glad that she didn't have to go into the hospital (because she was on it as a single agent).
Everyone is so different - you may never even get really bad side effects no matter how high a dose you take! If you are already tolerating 2000 mg a day, I would urge you to listen to your doctor and take what you can handle. The side effects will come if they come, and you can deal with it, but they probably won't be a lot worse than what you will have to deal with anyway. If you take the higher dose and have a tough time, you can just decrease (which happens all the time with all kinds of chemo).
Hannah K. Vogler
Co-Founder, The Colon Club
cousin of Amanda Sherwood Roberts
dx 1/99 Stage III at age 24
died January 1, 2002 at age 27