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Mom starting Iressa

Guest Piermarie

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Guest Piermarie

My mother had her catscan last week and it showed that the lung cancer had gotten slightly smaller but her liver ca had grown so the doctor changed her chemo to Iressa. The doctor also put her on Marinol, the marijuana derivitive, to help to increase her appetite and control the nausea. She has been very nauseaous since the last round of Gemzar and had lost more weight. The only problem with the Marinol is that she wanted to sleep ALL day. When she was out of bed, she'd be falling asleep sitting up on the sofa in front of the tv. Soooooo, the doctor told her to stop taking the Marinol after only a week and to take Compazine as needed. Not sure if the chemo is making her so tired or if it's the cancer that is taking over, please pass along any thoughts.

She is from Quebec so her sisters have come to take her home for a few weeks since she has not seen her mother since the diagnosis in the spring. This was also one of the reasons for putting her on Iressa, so that she could go away for a few weeks. I've been reading up on all of the side effects on the message boards and hoping that it might actually help her with her constipation from the Tylenol with codeine that she takes.

She has been pretty down lately and I was hoping that someone had some insight on antidepressants. She does not want to take anything but I feel as though she is losing her WILL to live.....

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I had been taking an antinausea med, I can't remember the name, except it began with a Z... also took antidepressants/anti anxietymeds -- prozac and atavan (lorazepam), the latter is also an antinausea med. I took some kind of white liquid which is a hormone? of some kind, for appetite stimulation that was pretty effective and without side effects.

Watch the constipation from the codeine, I got into big trouble with the morphine, it makes the bowels sluggish. Add fiber supplements, and if she has real trouble, talk to the doctor about alternative pain meds. I wound up with a colonostomy when my bowels collapsed and perforated. Not to get you upset, just to let you know, this is not uncommon among cancer patients, I have met others who also had ostomys.

I hope your mom is also drinking lots of water, and taking the fiber thing seriously.

Prayers that she can go with her sisters and enjoy her family.


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During my chemo I wanted to sleep all the time too. I attribute that to a combination of things - the chemo and the drugs I was taking to counteract nausea. Most of the ani-nausea drungs are "downers". Since I have beent off chemo I have gotten off the anti-nausea drugs, except for the lorezapam at bedtime to help sleep through the night.

Everything you have said about your mother, what I've seen posted on the board from others, and my own experience, I would say is pretty typical of someone on chemo.

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