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In a limbo


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We had various tests done this week and it turns out that father's tumor and some enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes are pressing on his esophagus and probably also the trachea.

The narrowest part of esophagus is 5mm. Father can only eat very mushed type of food. The oncologist left it to us whether to put a stent or not. He says that himself he would not do it because the mushy/liquid diet could be quite enough for now. Does anyone have an opinion here ?

Another matter is that father's breathing is getting worse by the day recently (last week or so). It is probably the lymph nodes pressing on the trachea and maybe also the tumors in his lungs. Our oncologist seems to think that this is just the nature of father's cancer and is unwilling at the moment to offer him anything. It is driving me crazy. Being SOB does not help my father's fighting spirit at all ! I read here of people taking inhalers, O2 concentrators and also steroids. We can do the inhaler and concentrator ourselves but with the steroids I am a bit uncertain. Would they help my father ? If I knew they would we would be more agressive about them with our oncologist. I should mention that there is no effusion visible.

At the moment we are at a limbo. We gave up on Gemzar because one of the tumors progressed. My father breathing is bad so the oncologist thought that he looked too weak for chemo last Friday. But then... he did not want to go straight to Tarceva either trying to keep it for the third line. My father just got Avastin. And we have a week to regroup.

But as long as my father's breathing is bad he will be weak. I do not see how it can be otherwise. His blood work is very good. So our family feels that

we should just try second-line chemo. If we insisted,

our oncologist would probably agree. One thing though: can SOB mean that chemo can be dangerous to my father ? Is SOB (even severe) enough of a problem to discontinue chemo ?


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Weisa: I think there must be something the oncologist could do to ease your father's breathing. I think it should be paramount to make your father comfortable. Steroids have a downside though when used long term as you may know. I don't think there are any sob problems with tarceva or avastin, but others here will know more about that than me. I hope the avastin gives good results.

Don M

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