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Need advice on other chemo options

Guest Piermarie

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Guest Piermarie

This is my first time to post a message but have been reading thru all of your stories and feel like I can relate to so many of them.

My mother who is a 59 yr. old non-smoker and was a member of an outdoor club (kayaking, camping, hiking,etc.) was diagnosed in March '03 with stage IV NSCLC. What a total shock!!!! I took her to second opinions with Oncologists and Surgeons but was told the same thing, palliative care with chemo was the most they could offer since there was already spread to the liver.

She has undergone chemo with 3 different drugs (the third one is Gemzar which we'll find out if this one has worked with a scan on 9/16). The cancer has continued to grow despite the chemo and after doing a head CT in June (no symptoms), they found 4 lesions which were treated with whole brain rad. and radiosurgery. We just found out this week that the head CT looks good.

She is currently taking 2 tylenol 3's per day, an occasional atevan for nausea and senecot (for constipation from the tylenol). She has been eating less in the last couple of weeks with this last round of chemo (instead of every 21 days like the others, this one is 2 Fridays on, one off, and 2 Fridays on). She just had her last chemo today and we'll get a scan next week. She will doze off and on but will try to get out of the house and go on a short walk if she's feeling ok.

She lives with me, my husband, and her grandchildren (girls, 5y & 3y). I consider her to be one of my best friends as well as a wonderful mother and this has been the hardest thing to go thru. I miss her laughter the most. She hasn't laughed in such a long time, since the diagnosis and I would love to see/hear that again. I'm concerned that I push her too much with the chemo's and if this Gemzar doesn't work, should I just let her do the Iressa? I go with her to all her doctor visits and she wants me to help her make these decisions with her. She says if the Iressa will give her a few good months without feeling sick from chemo she wants to do it and not continue with alternate drugs. I feel that she is strong and her tolerance is high and she should try whatever the doctor thinks is the next best option. He is surprised by her lack of pain meds also. As far as that is concerned, she was never a "medicine-taker" and is more worried about the constipation as the side effect.

If anyone has any thoughts or advice, it is much appreciated.

Thanks for listening....

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I can't tell you how sorry I am that the cancer drugs did not work. I have no answers for you except compassion. Did you read the New research and treatment options? I wouldn't be surprised if something there could be of help to you and your Mother.

You have come to the right place. These people are so wonderful. They go out of their way to be helpful.

I will be praying for you and your Mother.

God Bless you both.

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Will sure pray that these last chemo treatments are working for your mom. Of course it will be her decision as to how far she wants to go with treatments or whether she wants to stop and start on Iressa. Iressa has helped some on here but so has chemo. One never knows if that next treatment is the one that will turn things around. One has to have hope that it will. God bless

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Hi. I'd like to email you to compare results for your Mom's Gemzar treatments, since I am also Stage IV NSCLC. and am on Gemzar/Carboplatin. However I'm getting much less: Two weeks on and then three off. Sept. 11 I start my 2d round with chemo for two weeks, then three off again. I do wonder why the difference in amounts; how do they decide how much we need? So far, my oncologist says my disease is "small" (the large number of tumors in both lungs); plus there are two in my neck. I had one removed from my hip in July (hip replacement). Also what effects does she feel from the chemo, besides being tired? Sounds like that's the main thing; same with me. My blood counts are climbing back some due to Prokrit injections and time off too, I imagine. I don't know whether I want more chemo to feel worse or if it matters.

Please email me what the results of her scan are next week. Thanks.

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