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Guest KDeason

Carboplatin, Paclitaxel & Radiation for Stage IIB Adenocarcinoma

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Guest KDeason

Hi all, I’m searching for some information and thoughts about my mother who has been diagnosed with stage IIB poorly differentiated lung cancer. She has a 3.5” mass in her left upper lobe and has spread to at least one lymph node on the same side. My mom is 82 years old and has early stage dementia. The treatment plan they propose is radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks along with chemo once a week for 6 weeks and then an additional 2 rounds of chemo, and go from there. The chemo drugs are paclitaxel and Carboplatin to be done together. She is not a candidate for surgery because of her age. My mother’s sister had the same type of lung cancer at the age of 66, she did radiation and chemo and suffered terribly the entire time. She lived a little over a year. My moms first reaction is that she doesn’t want chemo because she doesn’t want to go through what she watched my aunt go through. I’m worried the same, but for some reason the 5 days a week 6 weeks of radiation almost worry me more for her. She is otherwise fairly healthy, but she’s 82 and there’s not doubt we can see how things are much harder on her now than they used to be. It scares me to death. My mom is very independent, vivacious 82 yr old. Taking any of that away from her is like hell for her. She has always and still says she much more values quality over quantity. Is there anybody that has gone through this treatment that would mind giving me their thoughts? Maybe how the treatment was for you, and how you might picture it would’ve been had you been my moms age? Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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KDeason,

Indeed I went through the same treatment that is proposed for your mother.  Thirty days of conventional radiation with weekly infusions of Taxol (Paclitaxel) and Carboplatin is the first-line standard of care for non-small cell lung cancer when surgery is not possible.  A standard of care is a therapy routine that has been shown clinically to have generated the best outcome for the majority of patients.  In this treatment protocol, the radiation is the principal agent while the chemotherapy is a secondary component.  Radiation will be focused and shaped to zap the 3.5" mass and lymph node while a weak concentration of chemotherapy is designed to remove cancer cells from the blood and lymphatic systems.  I didn't even lose my hair from this weak concentration of chemo but I was only 53 years old.  I wouldn't know if your mom can stand the rigors of first-line therapy at 82. This is indeed a tough call.

What to expect from the treatment?  Here is a blog I wrote some time ago telling of my experience with Taxol and Carboplatin infusion.  My experience with 30 days of conventional radiation (M-F) suggest no side-effects from treatment for the first two and a half weeks but a loss of energy, sore throat and non-productive cough for the last two and a half weeks.  The last week of conventional radiation was very disabling.  I hardly had enough energy to leave the bed to receive treatment.  But my first line therapy was a success.  My large tumor 3" long tumor blocking the main stem of my right bronchus was completely eliminated and it allowed surgery which was our treatment objective.  Again, be mindful I experienced my first line treatment as a healthy in shape 53 year old.  I've known about folks in their eighties undergoing first line treatment and some can tolerate the rigor. 

I'm not trying to push my book but I have a very detailed description of my first line treatment in Scanziety available on the Amazon e-book site. You might want to read it to help you make the treatment decision.  Here is another resource that may be helpful in making your treatment decision.

Stay the course.

Tom

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This is a hard one, especially given you mom's early stage dementia. Generally, I think treatment decisions should be the patient's, but dementia adds a complication.How much can she understand now about the choices facing her?   Do you have other family members who can be involved in the decisionmaking process? Does she have  a primary care provider or other health  provider who has known her for a while who can weigh in on this and advise her and you? ? Is there a prognosis on her dementia? Is it progressing slowly or quickly? How does that affect the decision? Best wishes to you and to her in making the hard decsions  I hope you'll hear from some others on this forum who've had this treatment about how it affected them.

Bridget O. 

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Hi I just started Chemo last Monday with radiation  six weeks of fun and appointments make the days just fly in. I was given paclitaxel and Carboplatin to be done together and had no concerns at all. What they did when introducing the nurse stayed right there for any adverse reaction I had none and have been fine all week bit tired because of the radiation but rest soon cures that no side effects and the doctor is very happy with no weight loss and said keep going and eat as much as you can which I do so I will do that for sure.  lol.

Back Monday for round two and eleven appointments next week, had count I have three doctors nine nurses that included chemo and radiation and three schedulers that fix my appointments weekly and three van drivers that take me home for weekend. They said rest during treatment and gain your strength later but still fit my walks in daily to the clinic and back no shuttle for me.

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Just had my third chemo today and number eleven of radiation and the treatment is going excellent so far.Fatigue last Saturday the break after five days of radiation seems to affect me for that one day after  all is good and back to the routine for the next week of treatment.

Doctors and nurses are happy and so am I looking forward to the next three weeks when the testing will begin and maybe some results will show .

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On 3/27/2018 at 5:59 AM, Robert Macaulay said:

Just had my third chemo today and number eleven of radiation and the treatment is going excellent so far.Fatigue last Saturday the break after five days of radiation seems to affect me for that one day after  all is good and back to the routine for the next week of treatment.

Doctors and nurses are happy and so am I looking forward to the next three weeks when the testing will begin and maybe some results will show .

Thank you for sharing the good news, Robert! Please continue to keep post updates!

With gratitude,

Lauren
--
Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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I have one more Chemo on Monday last one of the cycle and seven more radiation which will finish on April-24 and then scheduled meeting with the Radiation doctor. Met the oncologist this morning and she kind of let it out the bag. She has scheduled two more chemo treatments three week intervals after next Mondays treatment with a increased dose because of the way I handled my treatment. l looked up why they do these further chemo treatments and found this result from where I am getting treatment.

Maintenance therapy

Maintenance therapy is treatment given after standard therapy to slow or stop cancer from coming back. It may be offered for advanced or metastatic non–small cell lung cancer that has responded to chemotherapy.

The drug pemetrexed may be given as maintenance therapy for adenocarcinoma (non-squamous) types of non–small cell lung cancer.

Bob

Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/lung/treatment/chemotherapy/?region=on#ixzz5CbTH3BZ2

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Just heading out for my  chemo this morning this will be number seven with two doses three weeks apart with scan scheduled for June after the last in that cycle.Seen the doctor on tTuesday and she warned they have upped the dosage and gave me some new medication to combat. No problems in the last six treatments but we will see. Que Sera Sera.

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I asked the nurse about  my dosage and she explained instead of getting six rounds weekly chemo they give you the same dosage in two three  week sessions.

She also mentioned getting radiation at the same time as the six week chemo cycle the like to stay with the reduced dosage till radiation is complteted.

 

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.Well number seven chemo after the last April 16 went real well took five hours and fifteen minutes.The longer dose and time frame from the previous six treatments. Woke up this morning feeling great had breakfast took the dog out for the longest walk this year No side effects no cough or breathlessness  or fatigue this has to be the best I have felt all year and some since being diagnosed last October. Back June 14  for round eight of chemo.

Bob

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Hi, Bob,

I'm happy to hear that you're feeling better! And I'm sure the dog is happy about the longer walks too! Please continue to keep us posted. We'll be thinking of you next week!

With gratitude,

Lauren
--
Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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Just finished  my chemo Today number eight and last in the cycle the nurse informed as they have scheduled scan for July-25. 

PS

Hair  is now departing and shaving is now thing of the past. The things you have to put up with.  lol

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Congrats on crossing the finish line!  Hey, maybe keep the hair short through the summer--stay nice & cool.  :)

Will look forward to good news after your scan next month!

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