Hi all - any insight here would be much appreciated.
To summarize, I've been through 20 cycles of chemo and have had 3 liver directed therapies. My original scan showed something like 20 tumors in my liver, with the largest being 14.5 cm. The good news is that the response to therapy has been fantastic, and although I'm not NED, there's very little to see on my MRI/CT scans aside from scar tissue and random spots of that look fuzzy on the images where they can't completely rule out recurrent or residual disease. My CEA when I began chemo was 120, and for the past year it's bounced around between 2.25 and 3.25.
The bad news is that I'm pretty beat up from all the treatments (I'm currently on FOLFIRI+Avastin). I'm showing early signs of portal hypertension, have to receive Neulasta and Nplate to keep my counts up, and the side effects from bi-weekly chemo are getting more difficult to deal with.
I've been chatting with my oncologist and nurses about potentially switching to maintenance chemo. I'm wondering from others experience:
1. Is there an ideal time to make that switch (ie, coinciding with a scan to know exactly where I'm at)?
2. How tolerable was the maintenance chemo? I believe our first choice is daily xeloda.
3. Anything else that would help me make an informed decision?
Dx June 2020, stage IV, w liver mets in both lobes. M, age 50. Right-sided colon tumor. BRAF mutation. CEA 120
July 2020 - October 2021 21 cycles chemo (FOLFOXIRI x9, FOLFIRI x10, 5-FU x2) + Avastin
December 2020 - February 2021 Radioembolization, Chemoembolization x2