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Hello Everyone,

I've been off line for over 2 weeks while visiting my sister in Colorado. We got her moved to a lower altitude which, hopefully, will help. I had the opportunity to go with her to chemo treatments and see first-hand what she goes through each time. She does extremely well and now has the nausea under control. Since off Tarceva for 1 month now, her rash has cleared completely. She is scheduled to see her oncologist Thursday (sure wish I was still there for that) at which time he'll decide weather or not to put her back on Tarceva.

Now my latest questions to all you pros out there:

1. She truly hates being on Tarceva. How can the Dr. tell which one is working..Tarceva or Chemo, when both are being taken at the same time?

2. Has anyone been switched from Tarceva to another drug? If so, how is it working and what are the side effects?

3. They are slowly taking her off steroids. Will she experience any reaction to being off the steroids? I've heard fatigue or depression. If this is true, does this go away after time?

Your continuous help is always very much appreciated. By the way, our visit was absolutely terrific. She really seems to be doing better. She is bald & beautiful.


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Hi Sis-

My mom took Tarceva, which the docs explained IS a form of chemo because it is designed to attack the cell by starving the cancer. She was on it for about 18 months. She did fairly well with it But ALWAYS had the rash and dry dry skin. No other real side-effects from it.

Tarceva did great for a while and her primary tumor appears 'dead' now on the PT scan, or as scar tissue only....she did have some other tumors start to appear in March of this year. Doc said Tarceva was not working so he doubled the dose-which was a BAD thing...she coughed up more blood than she ever has and started using oxygen for the first time ever in this process...he took her off of Tarceva and those symptoms went away quickly....

she takes Alimta now which is doing an awesome job

I am not sure about the steroids but sending you and your sis great thoughts and good news at the doctor



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I guess my question is how does she know it is the Tarceva she hates and not the other chemo or steroids bothering her? I know the rash and side effects can be hard to deal with but if you are one of the lucky people it works for --it can be a miracle.

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Thanks for writing back. Her reaction to Tarceva can be traced back to the beginning of her treatment. Her doc put her on that med prior to chemo and steriods. She has an unusually bad reaction...The rash causes her lips to swell to the point that she can't talk. Her eyes swell, and it causes a terrible burning sensation all over her body.

I know that the rash is normal, but it seems that she is super-sensitive to it. She's so determined to beat this disease, however, I think that the Tarceva is bringing her WAY down emotionally. I just wish another type of treatment could be of help without the intense side-effect of Tarceva. She says chemo is "nothing" compared to Tarceva. Many thanks for responding. Sis

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Hey Sis-

I know that Alimta is fairly new and that it is used specifically after othr treatments have not worked and cancer has spread.

It takes 30 minutes to administer and in my mom's case she gets a shot every 3rd week for 9 weeks-so 3 total in that round. Here is their website


She has really done well on this drug.

It sounds like your sister has a great attitude and that makes a huge difference in the fight.

Let me know how you are-I am sending you great thoughts and blessings


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Deb went to Etoposide VP-16 after tarceva failed. Her next would have been avastin combined with Alimta. the other option was to re try Navelbine Gemazar which was her first line of Chem nearly 3 years prior.

Avastin Link; I know you have Alimta already;

http://www.avastin.com/avastin/index.js ... 8&fr=b1ie7

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/drug ... 02234.html

Sending Prayers for good news always.

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