My Dad is 7 weeks post op and had 4 cycles of FLOT chemo prior to that. Today we had a follow up appointment with the oncologist. He re-affirmed that the results of the biopsy taken during surgery have shown no further cancer (as sure as they can be!) and that things right now look very good. The pre op chemo did a great job and reduced the tumor about 80%. Surgery did the rest. It's absolutely fantastic news to hear and we are thrilled.
Obviously the oncologist got on to the topic of post op chemo and how dad would feel about having more. We talked about side effects and he explained that chemo this time around would be tougher and the side effects would very likely last longer (months!) and could be worse. Dad suffered terribly with loss of taste the first time and it put him off eating. At this point he has a jej feed tube but he's worried that he would likely not eat much for a longer time. His weight is an ongoing issue currently and we still finding a balance between eating orally and night feeds.
Dad's gut reaction was to say no to more chemo as he now feels he just wants to get on with his life and focus on getting fitter again after the surgery. I totally understand this but there's a part of me wondering if he could maybe do a couple of cycles (to give him the ultimate chance). I know it has to be dad's decision. I just don't think it's an easy decision to make as I know how his 4th cycle last time floored him. I realise more chemo could help reduce the cancer coming back but dad worries the nerve damage he suffered could become worse and even permanent. The oncologist has booked the chemo date (October time) but says dad can let him know if he decides not to go ahead. He has a few weeks to fully think about it. He also said he would reduce the dosage if dad decided to start chemo.
I just wondered what other people decided to do after surgery? Did you go for more chemo or decide to stop and what influenced your decision? It's a real personal choice and suppose it depends how the pre op chemo went. The oncologist also told us that about 50% don't opt for more chemo, so it's very split down the middle! Not an easy decision!