Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Hubby starting 5FU this week

Hello all, hope you are enjoying the sunshine? We have just returned from a last minute holiday in South Devon, because my husband Gaz will be starting 6 months of a weekly injection of 5FU this Wednesday.

Can anyone advise how he is likely to be affected by this, as he has hopes of returning to work as an electrician in August, and I was doubtful that he would physically be able to do it.

Thanks for your help 😊

Gill :x:


Hello @GB1962 A weekly boils of 5FU was my most recent line of treatment. I have previously been on CAPOX and FOLFIRI and this treatment as only one drug is much easier to manage. It is also quick so once in the chair and cannulated, it took around ten minutes. I had thirteen rounds and main side effect is some fatigue. I didn’t need either steroids or anti-nausea meds with it. However after so many rounds I was ready for a break.
Best wishes Wendy :x::x:


I can't really comment on weekly injections as I have 5FU every two weeks as part of FOLFOX but I do find it makes me very tired. There is no way I'd be able to work most days but as I'm a teacher I can't anyway due to the risk of infection with reduced immunity. Hope all goes well :x:


Hello @WendySue and @scruffysheep, thanks very much for your replies. All the very best to you both :x::x:

Polly 1

Hi @GB1962 is he going to have 5fu in the pump for 2 days as well as the quick 5fu bolus? Also I think you usually get a 2 hour infusion of Folinic acid to 'help' the 5FU do its business?? I didnt realise you could just have the bolus on its own @WendySue?

After 6 months of Folfox (5FU, Folinic acid and oxaliplatin) in 2013 my husband had 5FU with Folinic acid for 6 months in 2015. He found it very much easier to cope with.

Everyone's reaction to chemo is different but hopefully your husband will find it isnt too bad and he is able to work most of the time.


@Polly 1 @GD1962 I have just had the quick 5FU bolus weekly and forgot to explain this includes a syringe of folinic acid first which takes a couple of minutes only- so two syringes, both quick and then a flush.
It is also worth saying that this was after 26 cycles of heavier treatments so I was fatigued going in to it- may be less fatigue for Gaz if no previous chemo but everyone different.

Polly 1

Hi @WendySue I didn't realise this was an option. So in that case you don't need the pump/picc line then - interesting.
With my husband he found 5FU/Folinic acid so much easier than with Oxy which left him with permanent peripheral neuropathy.
All the best :x:


Hi @Polly 1 It wasn’t offered to me as an option initially but I found I could no longer tolerate the Capecitabine tablets before Christmas and thought that would be any form of 5FU over. Then my oncologist suggested trying the bolus and it has been so much easier on my body. I also got to point where I was allergic to the oxy and like your husband I have permanent peripheral neuropathy now.
Best wishes :x::x:

Polly 1

Oh I see - I am so glad you were able to continue with the 5FU. Always good to know all the options available

Sorry to hear about your neuropathy, its horrible isnt it :x:


Thank you @Polly 1 Yes the PN is awful and I thought it might ease with the hot weather but not so!


Hi @GD1962 I didn’t realise that you could have just the 5FU bolus either. My hubby also had it as part of Folfox. Hopefully this will be much more tolerable without the oxaliplatin, especially for his hands as an electrician. I wish you both the best of luck for Wednesday and for the rest of the treatment. :x::x:


Yep I had it as part of folfox. I had Oxy to cycle 8 which made me feel really crappy and I didn't feel well enough to drive. The last 3 cycles were just 5fu and I felt fine to drive home after, just a bit crappy when they took the pump off for a few days. :x: :x:


Im up to cycle six with oxy as well, and I would be quite happy to return to work but im not allowed as I work with children. I actually tolerate it very well. Im still out with my kids everyday and have recently joined the gym which I do three times a week. Everyone is so different. See how he goes-you might find you are pleasantly surprised.


Hello @Polly 1, @KarenE, @1234annie, @ch7091, thanks for all your help, yes it's a bolus of 5FU given once a week on a Wednesday. Your replies have really helped me, because I was getting a bit stressed and its really good to hear your personal experiences, thanks to you all, I do appreciate the support.
Love and very best wishes to you all, this group is wonderful 😃

Gill :x::x:


This is so helpful as was just about to ask a question about 5FU. I’m on 20 weekly bolis. . I was ok. Fir first 4 infusions. So much better than Oxi + Cap. Stopped due to PN. Cap tablets caused horrendous problems with feet. So now in 5FU. Had severe diarrhoea after week 5 ( with ileostomy it was horrendous). So had week off. At the end of the week off I debeloped severe blister on my back so stopped then fir another week (next due Thursdsy). My problem is even having a “rest” for 2 weeks thevfatgue is horrendous. And I’m not even on the drug! I don’t understand- is it normal to bevfatgued even when you haven’t had chemo med for two weeks? It’s so depressing as I thought I could plan to do things firvthe next few days but can’t get out of bed!


For everyone on 5fu. It's worth looking at apigenin as a supplement.


@Sean what are the benefits and is it any good after the 5FU finishes? I had my last round last tuesday.

Quote from @scruffysheep:
@Sean what are the benefits and is it any good after the 5FU finishes? I had my last round last tuesday.

when taking alongside 5fu, it increases effectiveness

No harm in taking after. Natural flavanoid.


Hi @GB1962 hope weekly infusions are going well. @debz, im afraid i too suffer from severe fatigue. On a two-weekly cycle i just about managed to have two good days before all started again.


Hi @Wren17, @debz, @Sean, thanks for all your replies, Gaz has now received 4 weeks of 5FU ( once a week on Wednesday) and is tolerating it well ( fingers crossed!) I noticed he had a few facial blemishes at first, and he is quite tired, but he is not yet experiencing any other side effects.
He doesn't seem to be able to put on weight despite eating well, but as long as he doesn't lose any I suppose that's ok?
My best wishes to you all, Gill :x::x::x:


@GB1962 stable weight is the best. Just keep an eye on it. I've been struggling a bit with mine recently. Have used the aymes shakes to great effect.
Can be prescribed by gp and don't taste bad at all.