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Mom Update -- 6-5-06


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Well, mom (mom's going by Annie these days) and I had our followup appointment with our usual oncologist yesterday after being discharged from the hospital just over a week ago. We had already completed our hospice consultation last Monday as was recommended by the hospital oncologist -- think we have all the info. we need there if mom should ever decide to go that route.

We are basically in a holding pattern for the next 3 weeks on further treatment: we need mom to get stronger and have those "runs" under control before we continue with treatment (nothing appears to be stopping that problem despite many different Rxs tried) -- new treatment plan is Tarceva starting at end of the month/beginning of July if mom looks strong enough at that point. We are going to see a gastro. doctor on Thursday to see what he can do to stop mom's digestive upsets (C-diff isn't the problem anymore and the onc. doesn't think it's from the chemo/radiation she's already had).

Mom nixed the idea of a second opinion from Don M's contact yesterday after the onc. said it's illegal for another doctor to do a case review without seeing the patient -- not only is transportation issues a huge problem, but mom is just too tired and weak right now to endure going to Seattle. Our onc. seems to know DonM's contact really well too.

Onc. said we should see improvements in mom over the next several weeks if her current run-down condition is from the chemo/radiation treatments. We'll see the onc. again on June 27th and do a restaging of everything just prior to starting Tarceva. New head CT scan done on June 1 showed a one-month growth of 5mm to 6mm of a couple of nodules evident a month ago -- onc. said this wasn't enough to worry about right now: basically, there isn't enough evidence to conclude mets to brain, but to watch it.

Mom's bloodwork is still all over the place from the labs I picked up yesterday. So far, doesn't look like the fish oil pills are doing much for the wasting (still really low proteins not explained by her diet intake), but she hasn't been on those for that long. Mom almost fell again a few days ago -- she was trying to bend over to get something from her nightstand and just kept falling forward....somehow she just sat herself on the floor rather than pounding the ground hard this time. She just doesn't have the strength in her body right now.

She still appears anemic too from the bloodwork (just not quite as bad). Electrolytes are swinging around a bit, borderline OK -- at least kidney function appears to be back in normal limits.

Crossing my fingers that she will rebound during this time off -- quite frankly, from what I read, this time off should help with the Tarceva choice: hasn't been that long since her last taxol/carbo chemo and I had found a study in my research which indicated that Tarceva effectiveness appears related to the length of time since last failed chemo -- the longer since last treatment, the better.

All I can do is watch now.


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Crossing my fingers (and toes) that this little break will build up your Moms strength and that the Tarceva will begin to work it's magic as it has for so many here. Hang in there :D

Warm Hugs,


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