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Decision, decisions


purplelady47

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Hello everyone ~

I had my 3 month post treatment CT and the scan shows some slight progression of the tumors. I saw my oncologist today and he is recommending further treatment. I have an appointment set up for a port on Monday (thank goodness!!! :lol: ) and will meet with him on 08/01 to pick a treatment.

He's offering Alimta as a single agent or a clinical trial with Taxotere where a patient is randomized into either Taxotere alone or with Talabostat, which is an oral chemotherapy.

So my decision is basically Alimta or Taxotere. If you are willing to share your experiences on either of these chemotherapies, I would really be grateful.

Thanks so much,

Pam in FL

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Mom's experiences with Alimta weren't great, but I know for some people, side effects can be mild, and success can be great.

My advice from our experience and from what I've read here is to watch very, very carefully and be your own best advocate. If things feel awful and wrong tell the doctor, and find out what's going on in there.

We had to wait so long 'to make sure it had the chance to work' before scans that the weakness that the drugs themselves caused and the progression that came anyway combined were difficult to overcome.

It *CAN* be just the thing--I Can think of several people here who had terrific success with it. Some had success with lousy side-effects, and some with the milder ones.

But be watchful and vocal about any difficulties that arise.

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Hi Pam,

Sorry to hear that the tumor is growing again. Stupid cancer.

Just some of my experiences with Taxotere. After allergic reactions to taxol and carbo, I was put on Taxotere. I had both low-dose while I was doing radiation, and high-dose following radiation. Low dose was much easier to tolerate, although it was difficult committing about 4 hours to treatment on a weekly basis (I worked full-time throughout treatment). High-dose Taxotere (every 3 weeks) started out okay but got progresively worse for me -- my white blood cells nose-dived, the fatigue was overwhelming and I developed chronic diarrhea which may or may not be Taxotere related.

However, Taxotere did knock my Stage IIIB tumor into submission so I sing its praises. Doing great right now and wishing the same for you.

Trish

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Hi Pam,

I tried Alimta and it was unsuccessful. I then was put on Taxotere. My doctor is infusing me once a week for 3 weeks, then a week off. He says this should eliminate side effects. Instead if hair loss, I'll have some thinning. So far I have only had one dose (needed radiation for another problem), but I had no problems tolerating it. Also, the weekly dosage is only 1 hour.

If you go with Taxotere, I would tell the onc you want weekly infusions. Why put up with side effects if not necessary.

Mary

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Hi Pam,

I had Taxotere. There was evidence at that time (2003) that Taxotere was good at doing its job. I started out on Taxol/Carbo w/rad, and with an outside opinion, decided that I would switch to Taxotere/Carbo. The onc. said that the side effects were not as severe as those with Taxol. They were "different"; don't know if they were more or less severe...!

Don't know what helped me to survive 'til now...??? I did the treatments that I was supposed to and I shook my fist at the cancer....

Best wishes in deciding what road map to follow. I hope that you get many replies here that will be of help to you!

Cindi o'h

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Pam,

Tough spot to be in with the decision. Gosh I hate this disease. Tony was on a Taxotere/Gemzar combo for 12 cycles (Taxotere/Gemzar day one, gemzar day seven every three weeks.) After about 4+ cycles it knocked the heck out of him, but it also knocked the heck out of the countless tumors he had in both lungs. He is not in remission, but it did a good job. He had nail changes, hair loss (again), extreme fatigue and plummeting blood counts. Procrit & Neulasta helped keep him on the three week schedule. He also developed severe fluid retention issues which can be a side effect after prolonged use of Taxotere. He was on it from Sept 05-May06 and has just begun to feel better 3 weeks ago. (He also had 15 rounds of radiation during March too.) Our opinion was it was a good chemo for him. Well worth the side effects. We don't work and don't have young children to tend, so it wasn't a problem getting knocked back on his butt with the chemo. I guess it depends on your home circumstances.

Good luck with your decision. Keep us posted.

Welthy

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My wife, Lucie, had Taxotere the first thing, along with Carboplatin. That combo worked well for her. Three years and several chemos later, she was on Alimta and it did nothing for her. Of course, you know each person is different and I also believe it depends on when in your journey you have these things. She is now back to Taxol/Carboplatin, and that is working very well. Don

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Pam,

I'm sorry that the test results weren't what you deserve to hear.

I don't have any info on either chemo treatment but I just wanted to tell you that I'm thinking of you. I think that whatever one chemo you decide on, will somehow be the right one for you.

Get out there and kick some cancer *ss, okay?

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In May 2004 I had a pleural effusion drained and was told my cancer returned and I was told I had 6 to 12 months to live. I had taxotere treatments. I did have reactions but the worst was about 3 days after my treatment I was so tired I could barely get up and slept in my recliner for 2 or 3 days so I wouldn't have to climb stairs. It really hit me hard. However, I am still here and credit the Taxotere. I told my oncologist that it must have really helped me.

My cancer is still here but I am stable and have been put on Tarceva.

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Thank you to everyone for sharing your thoughts and kind words.

After listening to your wise words and reading everything I could find online, I am planning on going with the Taxotere. Once I talk with the chemo nurse, I will decide if I will go in the clinical trial or not. That decision is really based on my ability to get the Neupogen and Procrit injections during the trial. While I was on my first cycle of treatment, I was able to get these injections before I experienced any of the problems associated with low blood counts. If the trial protocol states that I must wait until I experience symptoms or until my blood counts plummet, then I will not join the study. I can't take that added risk of problems while having to care for my son by myself.

I will get my port put in on Tuesday and I can't wait for that. Originally I was told that I wouldn't know what time the procedure was scheduled until 3:30 the day before. This posed a huge problem for me because I need to make arrangements for my son. Thankfully, the scheduling nurse spoke to her supervisor and I am scheduled to have the procedure at 7:30 am.

There are kind and caring folks in the medical field and I am so grateful that she went the "extra mile" to make my life a bit easier.

Once again, thank you to everyone!

:)

Pam in FL

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