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Upper back and shoulder pain

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My brother had 6 chemo treatments of carboplatin and Taxol. His scan is scheduled for next wednesday. Until last week he was doing fine however since last week he has been complaining that he is having upper back shoulder pain also lot of fatigue. He feels hungry but not able to swallow, lost so much weight because of this. He is also having severe heartburn. I am confused are these symptoms mean cancer is growing or side effects of chemo? So depressed and devastated at this moment since I live far away from him and not able to help him.

Thanks

Kaly

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Kaly,

The symptoms you report are side effect-like (fatigue, and heartburn) and not (pain and swallowing). With this potentential mixed bag, I'd report the symptoms to the doc and wait for the scan. 

Of course, during my chemo, I had a handful of phantom pains. Is he having radiation with the chemo?  This could explain the swallowing difficulty. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Thank you for the Reply Tom. He is having only chemo no radiation, I did talk to the doctor regarding radiation he said it doesn't help not sure why. So he is getting only chemo so far. His cancer spreaded to supraclavicular lymph nodes he is thinking swallowing difficulty might be because of that.  It seems doc suggested him to eat mushy foods to swallow easily.

 

 

Thanks 

Kaly

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Kaly,

A swollen supraclavicular lymph node would indeed cause difficulty swallowing. Hopefully the chemo will address this. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Hi Kaly,

Has he looked in to drinking some Ensure? It will provide needed nutrients. Its not bad when mixed with ice cream into a shake. The ice cream would also provide extra calories and nutrients. It might be easier swallowing a shake, and would help stop the weight loss.

Blessings,
Michelle

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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Thank you Tom and Michelle. His planned 6 chemos are done and waiting for the scan results which was done yesterday. Hoping for the shrinkage.Reason I am more worried is he was absolutely fine until last week other than 2-3 days after chemo infusion.(His last infusion was almost 3 weeks back) From last week he was very fatigue and not eating anything because of pain. Since I was not with him I am not sure where he was feeling pain exactly yesterday he clearly mentioned that it's painful at throat and rib cage when he is earing. This worries me a lot. Unfortunately he can not take ice cream as he is diadetic as well.

Will update as soon as scan results come.

Thanks

kaly

 

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Got the scan results, feels devastated . Looks like chemo is not working .primary mass size increased from 10 cm to 12cm. Supraclavicular, mediastinal, abdominal lymph nodes sizes also increased and new nodes also found. Is this the reason for not able to eat?Tomorrow is Oncologist appointment to know the future plans.

Also I read some where squamous cell doesn't respond to chemo, is it true? If chemo doesn't work what are the other treatment plans?Immunotherapy is very expensive in India. Since no mutations found no question of Targeted therapy.

I asked my brother to ask doctor to insist on radiation but I doubt doctor will go that route. (Last month when I talked to him he said he suggest if it spreads to bones /brain to manage pain)

So confused, scared. 

 

Thanks

Kaly

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Kaly,

Your brother's report is not a good one. But, Squamous cell does respond to chemo. If it didn't, I wouldn't be here. 

With the extent of metastatic disease, it is hard to see how radiation could be used except to moderate pain as palliative care. And, Squamous cell does not respond to targeted therapy. This treatment is only available for a percentage of those with adenocarcinoma NSC lung cancer. But, there have been recent advances in immunotherapy for Squamous cell folks. Ensure your brother asks about immunotherapy at his next doctor consult. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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