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urgent question on Iressa


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My husband was given the choice today to either immediately start Iressa or wait until Tues to go to Sloan and see if he qualifies for a clinical trial. Here is the problem.....he is very, very sick and there is a strong possibility that he will not be around on Tues. This morning, he decided he wanted to go to Sloan........however, as the day progressed he started panicking and was very short of breath so the morphine was increased. He went from 2mg to 6mg an hour. He is heavily sedated and deeply sound asleep (but not in a coma). I called his oncologist tonight but he is not 'on call' so I left a message for his backup to call me and he hasn't yet. Bottom line, here is my question: How long is it from the time Iressa is ingested to the time it starts working? If it takes several days to work, then my dilemma is moot. If it starts working immediately, then I might decide to have him start the Iressa asap vs waiting for Sloan. Right now it is a question of time and odds....I am trying to figure out what his best chances of survival are. Thanks for your help

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Check if the pain is short and quick or if its long lasting and severe. Obviously you don't want him to suffer with pain, yet you dont want him to be sleeping all day and getting even weaker. I never tried Iressa, so I cant help you there. Getting enrolled in a clinical trial may take weeks. If your dad can eat food, I suggest he eat and try not to lose weight. Try alternative supplements or research bcg vaccine. I heard that the bcg vaccine can be given by most doctors. This vaccine is supposed to boost the immune system. Dont give up good luck

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Hi Ray,

The morphine for Chris is actually for his extreme shortness of breath and intense anxiety. The nurse told me that the morphine is to calm him down, make him sleep and slow down his respiratory system which will help him breathe. From what I can tell, his level of pain is not bad. He is so weak and is having such a difficult time breathing that when the nurse helped him from the bed into a chair while she changed his sheets he started gasping for air and shaking (really scary to watch) and it took a while for him to calm down. That incident is what led to the increase in morphine. Whenever he starts to 'come to' he absolutely panics and wants to 'get out of here'. He sits up and starts shaking the bed rail, pushes his covers off and attempts to get out of bed in a panic. It is possible that the morphine is more to calm the nurses (?). It is scary to watch and I know he is in bad shape (very late stage). I want to do what will give him the best odds but also keep him comfortable. If there is extreme minimal hope I don't want to selfishly sustain his existence. :cry:

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