Topic: 5FU vs Xeloda for my mom who's 70, your insight please...

Hi. I read the previous discussions regarding 5FU vs Xeloda, but am still unsure what route we should take.  My family is facing this same dilema with my mom.  She is 70, just finished 4 rounds of Gem/Cis and is currently off chemo for 6 weeks until her next follow up CT beginning of Feb.  She tolerated the chemo well, still has absolutely no appetite and lost weight again, now at 121 lbs.  Her PET thankfully showed NO RECURRENCE in her bile duct (can't tell you how I wanted to shout for joy when I heard that), but there are still 2 nodules in her right lung that are mets from the CC.  Her ONC said next step (if she chose to continue chemo) would be to start either Xeloda or 5FU, otherwise if not, to monitor her with CTs.  Her liver enzymes are good, her RBC and WBC, etc are working their way back up.  She does have a horrible hernia that causes much pain at times, but she doesn't want to undergo any more surgeries.  I'm just not sure which would be the lesser of two evils, given her age and what her body has been through, which might be the best to kill the cancer that's left.  I inquired on radiation, per ONC only chemo is an option. 

P.S. Pam, you also mentioned you were going to have a talk with your daughter, Lauren's, doctor, did you get the answers you needed?

Any further insight would be much appreciated. 

Thanks to all,

The most beautiful sight I've ever seen is my mommy's love for her family.....the safest place in the world is in my daddy's arms...

2 (edited by Pamela Tue, 15 Jan 2013 21:37:57)

Re: 5FU vs Xeloda for my mom who's 70, your insight please...

Hi Zonia,

Let me first tell you about Lauren's experience with 5-FU and Xeloda. 5-FU was very easy for her to tolerate. The bad thing is the 48 hour pump. You can wear it as a fanny pack or over your shoulder. Since we were 3 1/2 hours away from her cancer center, I was trained to disconnect her pump and flush her port. If not, you will have to go to the hospital to be disconnected or have a visiting nurse come to her house. You cannot shower or bathe while on it either. It's just a nuisance, but was easier on Lauren. Xeloda causes Lauren to be nauseous and get really sore feet that turn red and peel. It goes away fairly quickly when off of it. It makes Lauren very tired too. I asked the doctorwhy we couldn't have 5-FU instead of Xeloda. He said it was our choice and Lauren could have it if she wanted. I asked him if he could choose which one to use on her, what would it be. He said he felt Xeloda was better for her because you can control it easier and it is in your system working longer. He said he thought it was a better fit for Lauren. So despite the ease of 5-FU on her, we chose Xeloda because he felt it would work better. If you are not sure, ask your Mom's ONC what he thinks would be better for her. I can't say for her because everyone is different when it comes to chemo. I hope I have helped a little. Feel free to ask me anything. I wish your Mom all the best.

Love, -Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: 5FU vs Xeloda for my mom who's 70, your insight please...

Hi, Xeloda for sure, but as you know,
I am a patient an not a doctor.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: 5FU vs Xeloda for my mom who's 70, your insight please...

My experience with Xeloda is that it works on some mutations of this disease, but the platin drugs worked better on both forms in my body.
The platin drugs made me more sick, but I have to say Xeloda also made my handstand feet very red and they burned. I kept them lotioned 2-3x a day to try to keep the peeling away, but the feet finally did start to peel AFTER I was done treatment. Unfortunately, I have no experience with 5FU.
Wish your mom the best and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

"Don't just have minutes in the day; have moments in time."
Any opinions I give are based on personal experiences, and are not based on medical knowledge. I strongly suggest receiving medical care and opinions.

5 (edited by thormagic Tue, 12 Feb 2013 18:38:53)

Re: 5FU vs Xeloda for my mom who's 70, your insight please...

I wonder why after just a 4 rounds of chemo treatments they wanted her to stop for 6 weeks.  My mom did the gemzar/chis for 6 months, the only reason she stopped was because the chispatlin was effecting her kidneys.  This was unfortuanate because this mixture was very successful at shrinking her tumors.  We were forced to take time off but during this time we were getting prepared for the y-90 radiation.  Untimatley she was un able to do this again because of her kidneys.  She just went thru 5 series of cyber knife, so easy.  And now she is on Gemzar/oxiplatinm.  We are waiting to get the results from the CT scan to see how this has been working.  We are very hopeful that the radiation will take care of the tumor in the liver, but the oxiplatin is proving to be too strong for her blood counts.  Her platletts went down to 19,000, she is going for her second platletts transfussion this week.  My sister  and I are donating our own blood and platletts so that she can get them from us as often as the doctor feels necessary. BTW my mom is 79 and she keeps plugging away, your mom is younger and i pray that she gets better.  Heck 70 is the new 60...  and if she is anything like my mom, and she sounds like she is, she has a lot of fight left in her. 

As far as your mom weight loss, please try Megestrol, this was a wonderful suggestion from someone in this group.  ,Not only did her appetitie increase, and she gained back her weight but as important she now enjoys her meals again.