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Guest peggyd

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Guest peggyd

Mike is going for a ct scan next week following his sixth chemo session. The onc talked last time about doing a seventh and eighth chemo session as well as doing some radiation. From what I have read on the web, I thought chemo tended to stop working after the sixth session. I also am wondering why radiation is being considered now, especially because they have no idea at this point in time what the scan will show. Also, I was under the impression that radiation was not an option as Mike has incidence in this lungs as well as mets to his adreanal glands and lymph node. Does anyone have any experience with the extended chemo or with radiation at this point in time? I sure would appreciate some information. I hesitate to ask too much in the onc's office as Mike generally hates to ask too many questions in case the answers are not what he wants to hear.

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Hi Peggy-

I would call the doctor when you have time alone to ask your questions. You have very good questions and deserve the answer. My mom doesn't like the questions either during appointments, so I reserve some of the scary questions by bringing a notebook with me, writing them down (so I don't forget) and call the doctor the next day. Good luck.

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Peggy,

I do the same thing. I write my questions down on paper and my mom hands the paper to the Onc. and he writes down answers for me and my dad is completely out of the loop. (He prefers it that way)

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Hi Peggy,

Chemotherapy can be continued even after the sixth session, at the descretion of the oncologist, if he/she feels that the patient can or will still have some benefit from a particular drug...they do not want to leave a drug if they have not used it to i's full capacity-- No what might have beens--... also,radiation is generally not an option for extensive small cell, but some oncologists are still more aggressive tan others and feel it isworth a shot, and Iagree with them. So give it a shot, why not??

God Bless......

Jonathan

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Peggy,

Even when the scans are clean, many times they will do radiation to help rid of the loose cells that may still be there. That is because the cells in SCLC are much smaller than others. It can help. Hang in there, ask questions. Our prayers are with you.

Dona

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Aslo want to add that my dad has been on this latest chemo for four months. That is the equivilent of 12 continuous rounds (one day every other week) Think of it as maintenance - keeping things stable - Dr. had said....But things didn't stay stable - they got better. Dad's lungs are CLEAR again. Now, we just need to work on that liver!

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Guest canuckwebgrrl

Peggy,

My step-dad has just finished his 6th of 6 chemo rounds, and he will be starting chest radiation very soon. He was diagnosed with mets to nodes and liver. Before he even started the chemo his oncl. said he would probably use radiation after the chemo to 'solidify the progress made with the chemo'.

Hope this helps,

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My father-in-law had both the chemo and radiation while he was only in limited stage. Now that he has mets to the brain, upper spine, and adrenal gland they are doing full brain radiation, and they also say they will most likely use chemo again for the rest. He did have 7 rounds of the chemo the first time. (I do recall the 7th was a doozy and caused him to miss work for the first time during his treatment, but he rebounded just fine.) I think Katie B's notebook Q and A strategy with the doctor is a great one! I actually went in with my in-laws in December because their onc was talking about doing the PCI(brain radiation) as a preventative measure and they didn't seem to be able to get their questions answered. The onc doesn't have the best "bedside manner" but I was able to get the answers as I questioned until I was satisfied. My in-laws are very sweet and it always seemed they would leave the visits with questions asked but not fully answered. Being a little more removed from the problem than them, I was able to focus on questioning over and over until we got the answers they needed to hear.

Anyway, I bring this up because they may talk about doing the PCI or brain irradiation as it is also called with your husband. All the research I have done points to it as a better way to ensure longterm survival for SCLC patients and the onc concurred with this. For some reason it is the most likely place for the next cancer to show up. My father-in-law agreed to do it, but when they had to "strap' his head down to prep for the radiation he had a major anxiety attack. This was a big surprise to us all as he is this tough Charles Bronson type; I had to remind my husband that his father is human! He called the whole process off at that point and announced it to us the day before Father's Day. At that point all CT scans were clear. Now a month later the cancer is back...at least 8 visible lesions in the brain now. He is doing the radiation every day now until the 31st. We can't know for sure whether doing the PCI a month ago would've prevented this recurrence so soon, but from the research I did and the stories I've seen on here(one gal with a 4 year survival so far after doing the PCI) I think the preventative route is worth exploring. My father-in-law could've taken some type of meds to relax himself before the PCI treatments but then he started worrying about the effects to his brain's ability with short term memory. What I do know from his experience and from a friend's son who had brain cancer is that if the cancer goes there, it will cause side effects for sure. My father-in-law was "foggy-headed", lost the ability to use his right arm, and walked kind of wobbly for the whole week prior to us finding out the cancer was back. Now that he is on some steroids to help, the right side is more in his control and he isn't foggy at all. The radiation side effects can occur but are not an absolute, some folks have none.

Ask the doctor about this stuff though. Like I said, the brain seems to be the next place unless you can head it off with the PCI. There is a post about a gal with 4 years survival you need to check out. I think 4 year survivor is the subject and it may be in the SCLC forum. I shared the info with my in-laws and it made them quite hopeful. I am also going to check out Sam's posts. I hear he has gone through this and is a physician himself.

Take care...will be praying for you and Mike!

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Guest peggyd

Again, thanks to all of your for your replies. Thank you, Karen, for your input on PCI. I have not done that much research into PCI as of yet ... as I suppose I should. But from what I have read, there can be side effects which kind of scared me. But as you said, the side effects of brain cancer are a bit more devastating. I know how crushing a blow it must have been for your father-in-law to see this curse come back. I will be praying for a full recovery for him and for strength for you and your whole family. I will be watching for updates from you.

Peggy

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Peggy,

I did a search for Sam's posts with the word brain involved and was able to read many replies and a variety of thoughts on it. Sam has the best way to explain some of the terms involving PCI, being a doctor himself, so if your husband ends up going this route or just talking with the doctor, check out Sam's posts. Some folks are up on doing this, some are not. I discovered that "CindyRN" is the one who knows the 4 year survivor and a few more who have done PCI with no major complications.

This road is not an easy one, especially since it seems to have different bumps and curves for each passenger. It is ultimately up to each one dealing with cancer what they should do. It is so helpful though to have this place to read about what others have done, how they have fared, and to get support.

My prayers are with you and Mike.

Let's beat this thing!!! :lol:

Karen

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Hi Peggy,

When I was diagnosed with sclc in a atypical carcinoma tumor in the middle lobe of my right lung my wife did a lot of research as did I. I have an excellent oncologist. He was very forthright in his plan of attack. I had tumor radiation while I did my six sessions of chemo. The combination shrunk the tumor half size. He was very happy with the results but the next assignment was surgery. I then had a right middle lobectomy. Several weeks after surgery I started 15 days of brain radiation. He explained that the brain is like a cesspool for cancer cells. I continued to teach high school drafting during this time because the radiation technicians were kind enough to come in 15 minutes early so I could get my brain radiation before I went to school each morning. I got to lose my hair twice. The kids thought I looked better bald.

My encouragement to you is to not take the research as gospel for your particular case. I don't know if I had some of the side effects or not. Sometimes too much information is overwhelming. I do know that the support of friends and colleagues helps keep a positive attitude. My nurse friends are always ready to answer questions and continue to ask how I am doing.

Keep the hope of the Lord in your heart,

Bengel

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Guest peggyd

Hi Bengel:

Thanks for writing. Its stories like yours on this site that keep me going. I would say God bless you but He already has! Thanks for your support, prayers and information. You're right. If I read too much on the web, it scares me to death. Mike is not a statistic (as you weren't) and this thing can be beat and we need to use every tool we can to achieve that result. May God continue to smile upon you and all of us on this site.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest PamaSue

Hi Peggy,

I can tell you that radiation saved my sister when she had throat cancer and is now having radiation treatments to her lung cancer. I expect this to save her life with this also. Her's is not operatable so hopefully this will take care of it.

God bless you and your husband. I know He is blessing all of us right now bye giving us this site.

Love,

Pama

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