Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

gemd281280 (Essex )

6 months of chemo ahead and told my 7 year old son tonight

Stage 3 cancer removed in November 🙌
Oncologist today and 6 months of chemotherapy every 2 weeks for final blast 🙏🙏🙏😫 (folfox ) to start within 2 weeks. I have pre assessment on Monday .

Longer and more frequent than I expected😓, has anyone else had this same treatment post surgery and what can I expect ?

Also , Just spoke to my 7 year old tonight about mummy's cancer and chemo his response :

"Let's call it mummy's cancel not cancer or chemo , as you are just cancelling your Life for a while to get better right mummy " ❤️❤️❤️❤️

(Couldn't have put it better ❤️🙏)


your 7 year old has got it, @gemd281280 (Essex ) !
I also had 6 months of FolFox6, 2-weekly cycles. More details in my profile which you can access by clicking on my name.
We all react differently although there are many similarities.
Initially I had minimal reaction for the 1st 2 cycles. Then the side effects built up. However for myself, that was always only during the 1st week. I'd almost be "normal" during the 2nd week, except towards the end when I was still fatigued during the 2nd week.
Your medical team needs to keep a very close eye on your reactions to the chemo drugs so they can adjust, all along the way.
Help them by not hiding any reactions or side effects you get, at all times. But accurately of course.
If you search for FolFox or the component chemo drugs (especially Oxaliplatin) included, you will find a great deal of posted comments. My own comments will be too far back, probably.
It's all very do-able as the medics have really built up an extraordinary knowledge and experience of treating bowel cancer.

Hope that helps.


Good luck. Sure you will be fine


Your son sounds absolutely fantastic a true inspiration.



Hello @gemd281280 (Essex ), your team are cracking on to take care of you with a treatment plan that is standard and well-tested. Everyone reacts differently to the same chemo, but the important thing is that they will do everything they can to minimise any side effects, with medication and /or by tweaking the dose of your chemo drugs. Chemo is your ally, - make it fit into your life, not the other way round.
Your son sounds like an absolute poppet, you must be so proud of him, take very good care, Kim :x::x:


I had 3 months of folfox. Feel free to message and ask any questions....But as has been said should be lots of info if you type into search on here. I also have a 7 year old and 10 yr old, it's so hard telling them but I have found them incredibly resilient.
My case is a bit topsy turvy so I've done chemo and radiotherapy before surgery....Now facing surgery, how have you been after yours?


Hiya @gemd281280 (Essex ) yep my hubby had 12 cycles of folfox and coped really well, he got minimal side effects, and mostly carried on working. They will tell you lots and lots of scary side effects but you may not get them, and if you do they can give you meds to help. My hubbies main side effects were cold sensitivity and fatigue.
Your team are going aggressive and that is a good thing (whilst it may not seem like that to you now) see chemo as your friend, gobbling up all those stray cells!!
@1234annie had the same chemo so she can definitely help and give advice!
You got this, big hugs :x::x::x:


@gemd281280 (Essex ) I had 12 cycles of Folfox last yr after a right hemicolectomy. I mainly had fatigue and a horrid taste in my mouth as side effects but did develop peripheral neuropathy in my fingers after the chemo finished. I was advised by my oncologist not to work as I was a primary teacher and obviously exposed to lots of germs but I know I couldn't have managed it due to the fatigue.
Good luck hope all goes well :x::x::x:


Really wishing you well through chemo @gemd281280 (Essex ) . What beautiful and uplifting words from your son---- the wisdom of the very young! Lots of love, Gypsyxxx


Hi @gemd281280 (Essex ) - six months is normal, although I had one drug stopped after 3 months due to side effects (and I whinged a lot!) so anything can change.

Are you coming Thursday? You will have loads of us there to pick our brains, answer questions and give you support. And a laugh - you have to have a laugh sometimes or you'd go mad :x::x::x:


Good news!! I had Folfox every two weeks. I felt effects straight away but it was all manageable. They monitor you very closely. I managed 8 folfox and then finished off 3 5fu infusions on its own at the end. My hands were bad, the skin on my hands blistered in the end but I'm so glad I did it. They are not taking any chances offering you the full 12 which is really good. My little boy was also 9 when I had it. Mummy just had poorly days on the sofa but I used to go shopping sometimes with my chemo pump on 😄 and out for dinner! You will smash it !! X x x @gemd281280 (Essex )


Wishing you and your family all the best, xxx. John


Lots of love to you @gemd281280 and to your boy 💙
When I told my 7yr old he asked if my Dr was any good? When I asked him why he said....well if you’re meant to poo in that bag, why is he sticking it on your tummy and not on your bum? 🙄🤣🤣 out of the mouths of babes💙 :x::x::x:


Hi @gemd281280 (Essex ) it seems to me (as a lay person) that the treatment regime is tailored to each persons circumstances, so although my husband was diagnosed with a large sigmoid tumour it was stage 2B, and he is having 30 weekly infusions of 5FU. A friend that he made in hospital had a smaller tumour and he is 10 years younger than my husband, but he was Stage 3 because more nodes were affected, but he was prescribed only 3 months of chemotherapy. I'm pleased to say that the friend has had the 3months of treatment and is back to work in a physical job, whereas my husband with stage 2B is still having his treatment and is unable to work.
On a personal note, I was a single Mum to a boy (before meeting my husband) and I know that the bond between you and your son will be stronger than ever, he sounds like a great lad and you will get through all this together. Hopefully you will have help from friends and family, but you're part of our BCUK family too and we will support you all the way. All the very best, love from Gill :x::x:


Hi @gemd281280 (Essex ) , yes I had 6 months too. It will seem like a lifetime at times, but you will count the sessions off one by one, and after it’s over it may feel like it’s gone quickly. You ll be fine. The chemo is your best friend. Don’t fight it. Love the words from your son😊:x::x:


Hi @gemd281280 (Essex ) I too am on 6 months Folfox, and I too was a little knocked back at the thought of chemo every two weeks for 6 months. I was T3 x the end of my treatment is now in sight, but one one word of advise is to get a good diary, you will have lots of appointments, back and forth from the hospital, are you having a picc line or Hickman line fitted ! I opted for the picc and have had no problems but with either they have to be cleaned and flushed every 7 days, and what ever little side effect you get be sure to tell them, ohhhh also get yourself a good thermometer 🌡 if I can help in anyway please don’t hesitate to drop me a message, good luck Sal :x::x:

Quote from @EJO:
When I told my 7yr old he asked if my Dr was any good? When I asked him why he said....
well if you’re meant to poo in that bag, why is he sticking it on your tummy and not on your bum? 🙄🤣🤣
out of the mouths of babes💙



Hi. My husband had 6 months of chemo. Whilst it was tough a few days after the IV every 3 wks, for the most part he was fine although he didn't have the same energy levels. Sickness tablets worked really well. All in all he found it less daunting than he expected and we too thought of the chemo as his best friend! All the best to you. :x:


@gemd281280 (Essex ) I guess you live in Essex, so there's a possibility you may travel to London and go on the tube with your pump attached.
If so make sure you keep it covered as other passengers tend to panic if they see you with something attached to your body with what looks like a wire coming out of it ( the fine tube that goes from the pump to your picc ) I hadn't noticed my long jumper had ridden up when I sat down and the people opposite me were almost ready to pull the emergency handle till I explained🙄