Chemo or not chemo?

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Hi, there are so many helpful and positive posts here - only people living through it can really understand so this forum is just brilliant. I had a left side hemicolectomy 6 weeks ago, it was T3. They are not sure whether or not there are still some rogue cells and the consultant has left it up to me as to whether or not I want chemo – she has said it might make just a few percent difference. I live on my own, and I have no other income except what I earn and being self-employed, I need every penny I earn. I am tempted to do this holistically via a keto diet and healthy living. Any thoughts and opinions much appreciated. Thank you

  • Not an easy decision as it a very personal one.

    All I can say is.I went for the chemo then if the cancer did return I had given it my best shot and wouldnt be thinking "if only"

    Hope you take the best decision for you

    Why not read some personal stories by clicking on user names.,to view the various paths people have taken.


  • Hi, many thanks - it seems I am a slightly unusual case as they just don't know if I still have any cancer cells or not, which makes the decision quite hard!

  • Hi Solent Breeze,  I can really sympathise with you,  as I also live alone and it was hard to make the decision to accept chemo (4 cycles of CAPOX).  However, I think that I had a healthy diet anyway,  and the consultant told me that in my case the bowel cancer was hereditery,  not caused by life-style (I am a 76-yr-old retired yoga teacher),  so I reasoned that spending hours every day juicing fruits and veg would not make any difference to stopping the spread of cancer.  I had a hemi-colectomy in December,  then the medics found cancer on the outside wall of the section they had removed,  so recommended chemo, which I reluctantly am in the middle of now.  They can't tell me what is the percentage of full recovery (as I am one of the 5% whose bowel cancer is hereditory),  but even if it's a small percentage,  I decided it's worth trying!

    Wishing you strength and courage,


    PS. How do I put this info on my profile?

  • Hi Solent Breeze ,

    I'm on my third course of chemo, following spread to the lung and this time I am taking a much more integrative approach. I've cut out all sugar and processed food and I am taking re-purposed drugs 

    Had a check up with the GP and was surprised to find out I was pre-diabetic - always ran and exercise and felt I had a fairly healthy diet, although I like a biscuit with my cup of tea...

    I've done 5 rounds of chemo and my CEA has drastically reduced so waiting for scan in April to see results. The has quite a bit of info and some good podcasts on integrative medicine.

    Any questions, feel free to message me.

    Take care,


  •   If you click on the little symbol at the top right of the page (next to the bookmark) then you should be able to select profile and then edit profile to add any information. 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Thank you, Kareno62!  How can I make the font larger so that I can see what I'm writing?

  • Hi  It doesn’t look like you can change the actual font size but you can enlarge the letters by ‘zooming in’ - I use my iPad so put 2 fingers on the screen then move them apart to enlarge things? 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
    1. Hello I had left hemi 6 weeks ago and like you was very unsure of chemo and oncologist has been neutral in any recommendations. I had 1 lymph node out of 33 with cancer cells detected and some evidence of cells in blood vessels that were removed. I've made a good recovery and worried chemo would knock me back and would make not much percentage difference in terms of cancer coming back.After much research and stress decided to go for capectibine only and not the oxiplatin so am about to start 6 months of tablet chemo.If my quality of life is significantly reduced I will stop. I am 57  was really healthy before the cancer was diagnosed and went back to work after 3 weeks post surgery. Its a hard choice but trust yourself you know you best and what you need to do.Good luck.
  • Hi, thanks it is really good to hear your story. Why did you decide tablet only? From the info I was given, symptoms can be the same as having IV ?

  • Hi I think the tablets seem to be tolerated better and have some  less extreme side effects .Biggest reason was I really didn't want to sit in hospital ward for half a day on a drip.