My oncologist told me that very few people get through the full 12 cycles of FOLFOX without having to lower the dosage or take breaks to let platelets rise up to treatable levels. Including in the original studies. This is, of course, different from taking a break because of severe side effects or just plain feeling lousy.
I personally tolerated FOLFOX better than many, and although I felt progressively crummier as time went on--I recall telling someone at coffee hour after church during round 8 that I had to admit that it was really wearing on me--I never felt that I wanted to pause, in fact I found the platelet pauses frustrating. I just wanted to get through it as quickly as possible.
What side effects does your mother have, and how bad are they? Some of them can be ameliorated to some degree--nausea, cold sensitivity, diarrhea, depression, even loss of appetite perhaps--but fatigue is something that I think you just have to allow yourself to feel and give yourself permission to rest as much as you need. I don't know how some people keep going to work. I can only imagine what it feels like to take care of young children who are too young to understand when every atom in your body seems to be screaming that you need to lie down on the sofa NOW. I had the luxury of just concentrating on doing chemo, without a lot of other demands on me. If she's developed low ANC, there's Neulasta. My NP recommended that I eat a rare steak during the second week of every cycle to combat my incipient anemia. (It worked!)
Another thing to consider is whether a 2 or 3 week break would actually make her feel any better. I know that when I was forced to take 2 weeks off at once for blood counts I didn't feel any different. I wouldn't count on a short break helping much, and then she probably has to go back and finish it.
She can reassess after her round 5 test, talk with her oncologist. Some people just do a shorter course for adjuvant chemo. There's research out there about it.
My best to you both.
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemi
11 of 25 LN,5 mesentery nodes
5mm liver met
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
7/18 and 11/18 CT NED
12/18 MRI 5mm liver mass, 2 LNs in porta hepatis
6/19 Multiphasic CT LNs normal, Liver stable
6/28/19 Pause Key, predisone for joint pain
7/31/19 Restart Key
9/19 CT stable
Pain: all fails but Celebrex
12/23/19 CT stable
5/19 MRI stable/NED
All MRIs NED