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Sister's PET Scan


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Just had to share! My sister had her PET scan on Wednesday and the MD called her to tell her the PET scan looked "pretty darn good"! I am soooooo excited! Now there is the decision of what to do next: radiation, radiation and chemo, just chemo, or surgery. She tells me there are 4 MDs discussing her case. She is hoping they do not do radiation as she hasn't heard good results from that. BUT, she said, by the same token, she doesn't know how much chemo someone can stand. Does anyone have any input?

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Both Chemo and Radiation gave me an additional 12 years here and I'm still going strong. Lung Cancer needs all the bang it can get to get rid of it. None of the treatments are a picnic, but if you weigh it out cancer/treatments/life...... I guess I would take all that they could throw at me. It's all doable. If it gets to bad the doc's will stop it or your sister can stop it too.

Good luck.

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That's terrific about your sister! In fact it's good news for everyone with a similar diagnosis (now or in the future) because she's one more developing success story that will improve those statistics we all complain about as being outdated and useless. Good show!

You are wondering "how much chemo someone can stand." Your profile says only that your sister was diagnosed with poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma on 12/21/06, her 54th birthday. Since we've corresponded before, I know a few more bits and pieces of your sister's history from your other posts -- Stage IIIB, chemo is (was?) taxol and carboplatin, third chemo session was 1/30/07 -- and that's about it. I don't know how many total sessions she had, the interval (21 days?), how severe her side effects were, whether any sessions had to be postponed due to side effects (including poor blood counts), when the last session was, what her CT scans have shown, things like that.

Now Suzy, I can tell you're already bracing yourself to be hassled a little bit, but I know I'm safe because NOTHING is going to take that beautiful smile off your face on a good news day like today!! :D

Here's my point. As of the time I'm writing this, 26 members have read your post and 2 have responded. When I hit "Submit" that will make 3. That's not a bad ratio, and it's a Sunday afternoon. But what if in that 23 or 24 who did not respond there were one or two with something potentially very helpful to say who moved on because they didn't know enough about your sister to know if their input would be applicable, and simply didn't have time to put "KleenTeeth" in the second search window and read your 34 other posts looking for clues. An up-to-date profile with a chronology of symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, side effects, test results, etc. is not just for the benefit of the other members -- it also helps you, and ultimately your sister, we hope. End of hassle. 8)

Back to how much chemo someone can stand. From what I've read, as a general rule with first-line therapies (there are always exceptions), most of the benefit (tumor shrinkage) is early in the program, and by the 4th, 5th, or 6th cycle not much additional benefit is likely. On the other hand, the toxic effects of the chemo tend to accumulate from one cycle to the next, and at some point the bad will outweigh the good. Exactly where this point is varies with each patient and depends on many factors. In January Dr. West had an excellent article about this on his onctalk.com website, and since I was approaching that point in my treatment I added my question to the discussion. The article is here

http://onctalk.com/2007/01/17/duration- ... ng-cancer/

and my question is here

http://onctalk.com/2007/01/17/duration- ... omment-201

Thanks for putting up with my friendly badgering! Aloha,


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One more answer,

You mentioned that your sister

''Hope they do not do radiation''


''doesn't know much about chemo''

would be time for her to learn a bit

more about options for herself and

ask the questions to the oncologist

or surgeon about what is offered to

her in the line of treatment.

She is the one that have to decide

what she wants not leave it to others

to show her the path to follow.

Good luck with HER decision.


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I never had chemo and radiation, but my sister did

The chemo she flew through,never got sick at all the radiation did cause her problems months later, but she is fine now!

and I am so jealous of her beatiful head of hair

although she never lost it all, it was quite thin

today she has a thick head of hair with beautiful waves

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Glad to hear the good news on your sister, that's terrific! I did chemo (even had chemo for another disease I have) for 48 months and for the most part had very few side effects and had very good results with all of them except for one. It is doable. They have come a long with chemo and meds to off set side effects. Look at all the options and go in with both guns blazing. One can always stop chemo or make adjustments as one goes along. Hope this helps. Prayers for the best.

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Ok, Ned I updated my profile!! I told you more about Diana! I will take your good natured hassling! :P Thank you all for your responses! :) I haven't checked back often as I really don't have much more to add to Diana's profile. Also, sometimes I don't receive the email that there is a response. I spoke to Diana on Saturday and she sounds wonderful! She doesn't sound short of breath, she didn't cough, she didn't have to clear her throat, nothing! :D She said she was going to ask the MD about Radiofrequency Ablation. Tomorrow she will get another chemo treatment and get to see her MD. She had been receiving chemo every week since Jan 10, 2007. She was hoping to come home (she lives in Montana)this month, but not knowing what direction her MD was going to go, she decided not to travel. :( I am hoping she will be able to come hom to Bflo in September. The other thing that is bugging her is, her nails are turning black and she is starting with neuropathy. I have read on this site about Vit B6, so I am passing on the information to her. Her WBC is up to 3.5. It has been much lower and she needed the Neupagin. Her insurance company denied her, but her boss (Diana works in a medical lab in a hospital) called the insurance company and read them the riot act! :D Inside of 15 minutes Diana had her shots! Diana says she isn't experiencing any discomfort from the shots.

I do have some good news from my standpoint. Some of you know I am a dental hygienist (hence the KleenTeeth, Ned!!!) and I am hoping to become a writer and speaker. When Diana became diagnosed, I was beside myself. To try to understand what was going on with my baby sister, I investigated everything I ould get my hands on. I wrote an article and it is to be published in a dental hygiene magazine! I have also started a power point presentation (an offshoot of my article) and am hoping to start speaking on lung cancer! I have a dental company that might be willing to sponsor me so I can go out to speak to others on lung cancer!

Well, Ned, I think I brought everyone up to date :P As soon as I know something else from Diana's visit, I will be sure to post! I truly loved the teasing! Gave me a huge smile for the day! Thanks, Ned!

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Hi, Suzy, good hearing from you! And thanks for updating your (sister's) profile.

I've heard about nail problems with that chemo, but don't have any good advice. A couple of mine did change color, not black, but a brown that looked like tobacco stain -- yuk!!

The neuropathy does have me concerned. I got a fast-developing version of it late in my taxol/carbo treatment program (see my profile attached to the message earlier in this thread). My onc called in a prescription for Neurontin, which did the trick. As for B-6, some docs say it helps, others are dubious. I think your sister should call her onc without delay, since that's one side effect that can become debilitating in a hurry.

Congratulations on the writing/speaking projects. We need all the help we can get! Aloha,


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Thanks for getting back to me. I will ask Diana if she is getting any Neurotin. I don't recall if she has (is) taking it. I am hoping to receive an email from her today.

Thanks for the well wishes on my speaking/writing projections. The article will be accessible online in August; I will pass it along!


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Suzy I will do chemo & radiation without thinking. Both of them had side efects but there are much better than the cancer. They can save your life.4 years ago I ony have surgery IB, so they told me chemo or radiation where not necesary. Today with my recurrence sometimes I ask myself. What about if I did chemo at that time.? I am so happy that your sister is doing great.

Best of luck, hugs & prayers



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Suzy, I'm delighted your sister is dealing with the treatment so well. Most people handle the radiation just fine with some minor discomfort while some people do experience more troublesome side effects. My husband had 6 1/2 weeks of radiation with little or no problem and we had to drive 180 miles daily.

Good Luck & God Bless


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