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Sept. 27 Scans-- Stable


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I admit I am quite disappointed that there is no reduction at all, after six rounds of chemo... but this is still good news, right? Stable since May 2005. Dad's largest tumor is around 6 - 7 cm. and I presume the size is causing him discomfort in one way or another. Even the nodules in the right lung are still there. The oncologist prescribed Tarceva as maintenance drug and at 175,000 Philippine pesos ($3182) every month that is really steep. I'm on a quest to avail of financial assistance for the drug, so I'm looking around and checking local websites, but I haven't been lucky yet.

I'm hoping for partial or better yet, full response will Tarceva. I have done some reading and I believe it works better on non-smokers. Any smokers / former smokers 'round here who's doing great with Tarceva? I know Leslie is one of them. :) Would anyone with a history of smoking be so kind to share your experiences with the drug regarding effectiveness?

I thank everyone for the overwhelming support as I go through this journey. All my love.

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Stable is very good news!!!

I was a smoker and gave up the day I was diagnosed. I have had great results with Tarceva, much better than I could have ever hoped for. Things were not looking so good there for a while and Tarceva has changed all of that.

Best of luck!

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Have you tried contacting the company that makes Tarceva? The company name is Genetech. There is information if you go to tarceva.com. They have a link for SPOC. (Single point of contact) that has several questions about insurance. I would start there for insurance purposes.

My Mom was a smoker for 50+ years and has been on Tarceva since June. She is "stable" and is continuing to use it. The side effects are very mild for her and she is doing great.

Good luck to you and your Dad!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you everyony for the kind words! :)

No luck with getting financial help, though. Melinda, thanks a lot. I have checked out SPOC and I think my dad is not eligible for it. :( Unfortunately my dad only has life and not health insurance hence it is not covered. We are, however, trying to get Tarceva for a cheaper price. It's still expensive, but a few of hundred dollars can still be a big difference.

He had a nosebleed earlier today but he's okay now, thankfully!

Wishing everyone great days ahead. <3

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Frances, is your father still working?

When I was diagnosed, I had no health insurance either,and I was still working. The cost of the drugs was exorbiant, and I was having trouble paying. A chemo nurse told me that there was a program that gave free chemo drugs out if you had no income.

I arranged to become unemployed soon after, and the drug companies started supplying my chemo drugs for free.

I am not certain of the name of the drug company, or if this is a US-only program, but you might check.



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Many thanks for the assistance :) Mike, my dad is currently not working but he used to be self-employed. Now that he stays in the house my mom and other family takes care of the business he used to manage.

I will tell my mom about it and hoping we also have that kind of program here. :)

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I can't tell from your bio info whether your dad is a former smoker who smoked for 30+ years or whether he quit 30+ years ago. I can tell you that my mom's onc. nurse told her that she and the doc considered my mom a non-smoker for Tarceva purposes because she had quit more than 25 years ago. of course, she also qualified this by saying that Tarceva is so new, so the information is just being practically applied, etc. etc. my mom has one of two genetic markers doctors have pin-pointed that seem to predict success with Tarceva. unfortunately, it seems that these only occur in women. you could ask your dad's doctors to test for it, anyway, I suppose.

good luck with it.



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Ooops, I apologise for the ambiguous profile. My dad has been smoking for 30+ years now. He started to smoke in his teenage years I suppose. He quit cold turkey upon diagnosis and I really hope he won't start the habit again.

My dad did not have the test on genetic markers. The onc just put him on Tarceva after chemo and that's it. It certainly is better if we are assured that Tarceva will work for him because apart from the health risk it is also very costly. I have read however that it also works well on Asians. I hope it works for him. Many thanks for the info :)



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frances, funny thing:

yes, from what I read, the markers came out of studies done on asian women, especially. so my mom's name has always made people think, before they met her, that she was japanese. :) so we like to think that now she's reaping the benefits of her asian-sounding name. :D

by the way, I don't want to jinx it, but mom is almost 3 weeks into Tarceva with no real side effects...I might be wrong, but from what the doc said the first month is when you find out how people are going to react.

anyway, I always look for your posts and keep you and your dad in my prayers. I hope and trust the tarceva will be a great thing for him. :oops:

edited: I thought I was in another forum - I am so OUT of it lately! xoxo


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