Jump to content

Thursday is moms last Chemo treatment


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, I hope everyone is hanging in there as well as possible

I had some questions or topics to discuss, hope you all dont mind

Thursday is my moms last chemo treatment....she has been going since July 23. Though she is kinda 'happy' that she will be done with the Taxol/carbo, we are left wondering what will happen next

Here are the few questions I have

*Should we expect a sit down with the doctors again to discuss her treatment/success/future options and tactics? Is this a usual procedure or should we ask for one?

*She did well with her treatment. The last scan a month or so ago showed her tumor had shrunk by 80%. Hopefully...by now the tumor is even smaller. But, if it is not all gone when her chemo ends, what happens next?

*Do people go back on chemo after a break in order to try and zap whats left? Or do they just leave it there and wait and see if it grows? This question worries us most.

*We are also wondering, if the cancer is gone or almost all gone, could she be a candidate for surgery. She wasnt at first cause it was in her nodes, but if her nodes are clear could they maybe do surgery now? Do people have a better success rate with surgery?

*She had a PET scan before her 1st chemo treatment. Since then, she has been getting CT scans. She is scheduled for another CT scan when her treatment is done, but the PET was more specific. Should she be getting another PET scan?!? Should she demand one??

*Radiation and Cyberknife. I've heard a lot about this here, but dont really know its purpose. If a tumor is small is this method still effective?

We want to be 'smart' about this. She is doing well we feel, as do the doctors, but we want to make sure she is getting all the options and the best treatment. We just dont know anything about anything

Any comments would be welcomed!!

I should add though, she will still be going in for weekly treatments with the Irbitux.....the trial biotherapy drug she has been on. It is a targeted drug which doesnt have the same side effects as the chemo. They say that should keep the tumor from growing any further....or that is the hope and intent

My best to all!!!

*sorry this was so long*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Sounds encouraging for your mom so far.

Yes you should expect a sit down with the doctors again. After chemo is finished there should be a CT or Pet Scan performed to see where one is at. In my case I would have all the treatments, get a Ct Scan then see the doctor to see where we go from there.

Depending on the outcome of the test one would take a break if it is favorable, have another scheduled test to keep an eye on it x amount of time later, see the doctor again and go from there. Or if not favorable one would start another line of treatment. I'm on my fifth line (35 months) of treatment. Sometimes I took a break, other times went right into the next line of treatment.

Depends on the person, the cancer, where it is, age, other health factors etc.

Sorry can't speak on if surgery is possible. But surgery is better off if possible, I myself would have it if possible. Might want to ask the experts that one.

As far as Pet vs Ct Scan. Does it "taste great or less filling"? I myself have only gotten Ct Scans all along. I asked my doctor about a Pet and she felt she could get all she needed from a Ct Scan. Depending on the situation a Pet can give false readings I was told. I have confidence in my doctor and was comfortable with her going with the Ct Scan only.

Please keep in mind everyone is different, has different plans, treatments, reacts differently etc. This has been my experience so far.

I think the best defense is a good offense/be pro active, the more one knows, the better off one is. Ask about everything and anything. Hope this helps.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi J

First of all, congratulations to Mom and to you for the success of the shrinkage! Great news!

Secondly, I think that the end of chemotherapy would be a great time to ask about future follow up appointments. Ask what will be done at those times and the intervals that the doc recommmends. Also, I would ask what clinical signs your Mom should be aware of that might alert her to any metastasis.

Thirdly, it is to her benefit to be in a clinical trial. From what I know, patients who participate, receive scrutinizing follow-up care. Is this something that Irbitux is doing with her? Are they associated with her oncology group or does she need to go elsewhere for treatment with the Irbitux?

Just feels so good to be done with treatment. Also, it can be a difficult transition as it has for many of us. We have been busy. We have had purpose. Now, most everything comes to a halt. Oftentimes, a check in with a shrink can be in order...someone who understands what ya'll have been through. Sometimes an antidepressant can be invaluable. I am not suggesting these sources as a must, just not to skip this part without looking to see.

Diet and nutrition is another area of concern to discuss with the doc. We weren't supposed to take supplements during our treatments, but what about now?

Well, that is about all I can pull out of my bonnet right now. There will be others by, I'm sure with other suggestions.

Again. Congratulations!

Cindi o'h

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! It was so great to see replies this morning when I woke. :)

Rich, thank you for relating your experiences with chemo and breaks in between. I see that it can be a case by case thing when a course is finished. That makes some sense.

The PET scan still is a mystery to us. She never had biopsies of her nodes, so we kinda wonder if all the ones that lit up are actually infected etc. I guess the test can be 'hypersensitive' to a degree.

And surgery....it sounds so invasive yet the instinct is to 'get the cancer OUT!' She is older (72) so it might be risky for her. Still, I want to speak with the dr about this option

Cindi o'h, you bring up some great points!!

Signs to watch out for...that is something very important for us to discuss. Thank you

The trial medication is given to her by her oncs in conjunction with her regular line of chemo. She seems to get extra attention because of her involvement, which is a bonus. She will continue the trial treatment since they are encouraged by the results, so she will remain under their eye. Yeah!!!

Very good point about life changing after treatment and suddenly finding a void!! I was actually glad to hear last week that she will continue weekly sessions of the Irbitux because of that. My dad and her will still have a reason to leave the house once a week and feel proactive in the meantime! Seems much better than just abruptly ending things

And again...good point about supplements! We were planning to ask about this, but since she will remain on the Irbitux she doesnt want to start taking anything. They dont know much about it and she doesnt want to counteract any of the drugs benefits. Though we were interested in the mushroom supplement therapy

And thank you Bunny, its always good to hear from you. I hope your mom is well!

( I am sooooo long winded *lol*)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been on Taxol/Carbo 2 diff. times and Taxol alone 1 time.Had pretty good results with them too.I also had radiation each time as well.

After each round I was put on a chemo break as the chemo & rad are both cumulative.They keep building up in your system.Therefor when you go on a break for a while it keeps on working and killing cancer cells in your body.

There should be a sit down with the drs.after completion.I think you shouild ask them at that time if surgery could now be an option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you mom is doing great. She seems to have alot of support with her docs. You are a wonderful daughter to be there with her through all of this. You are asking the right questions and receiving some good advice here.

I just want to wish you mom good luck with the trial drug.

Keep us posted.

Maryanne :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I am wondering about surgery too. I can certainly understand that wanting the dang thing out.

However, I thought your Mom has mets to the plerua of her lung. I am not certain about this, but I think that once the cancer is detected in the pleura, then surgery is not an option. I'm not a doctor but this would be a good point to bring up with hers.

Cindi o'h

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.