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Update on my Mama


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Hi all, Mom had her appt today with Dr. Joe (Rad. Onc.) in Victoria.

He reconfirmed no surgery due to emphysema, she'd be left with only 30% capacity. He said that because we have no tissue for a proper diagnosis, and based on the scans/PET, he'll assume that it's NSCLC. He said that chemo is not so effective on NSCLC, and that we'll start with radiation 4 days per week, for 4 weeks. She'll have to have one more CT in Victoria before she starts, and then radiation will commence. So it will most likely be for the month of September.

This is all I know for now, but I would really appreciate your opinions....



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Hi Linda. That all sounds good. I think I have already given you my opinion on the no chemo. Dr. Joe for starters is not a medical oncololgist. And I have heard that in BC anyhow, if you haven't received chemo earlier in the treatment plan that your options for chemo later possibly if needed can be limited. Most importantly access to tarceva. I would ask for an appointment with a medical oncologist and ask those kinds of tough questions. Sometimes what we don't ask earlier, because we don't know to ask, can bit us big time later. I know of one lady who was staged incorrectly, not given chemo, and now has to pay for her own tarceva (and it ain't cheap!). That is the only case I know of but that alone would cause me to encourage you to explore chemo options further. In your mom's case, radiation will probably be the big ticket item. But chemo is an insurance policy and you will probably hear from others here where they elected to have chemo as a proactive precautionary measure. Some Canadians I know have done so as well.

Please tell your mom best wishes with her radiation treatments. I hope she just sails through them.


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He said that chemo is not so effective on NSCLC...

I agree with Sandra that your mom should see a medical oncologist -- the rad onc's comment seems a bit overstated to me. It's true that NO chemo is as effective as we'd like against lung cancer, and SCLC is often more sensitive to chemo than is NSCLC, but that doesn't mean chemo is useless for NSCLC. It produces very good results for a lot of people. Best wishes and Aloha,


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If your mom does chemo first, maybe she would get enough shrinkage of the big tumor to move it away from the pulmonary artery. Then you could pursue some type of focused targeted radiation that would go for the tumor only and conserve her lung function.

Don M

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"Chemo not so effective for NSCLC"????? I don't get that one at all. Especially that he is "assuming" that it is NSCLC!!!

Think about getting another opinion - it can't hurt at all to do that and then you will have some peace of mind if everyone agrees on the same treatment plan.

Personally, I never received radiation, I have stage 4 NSCLC and will be getting my 31st chemo next week - so I guess chemo DOES work for non-small cell!!

Hoping for the best for your mom!!! Keepus posted.

Hugs - Patti B

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I second getting a second opinion. My mom has NSCLC and responded very well to chemo. Her primary tumor shrank significantly and has not grown in more than a year. It's the blasted cancer in her bones (the ones treated with radiation) that we can't seem to keep under control.

It may well be that chemo is not the best option for your mom, but certainly not because NSCLC doesn't respond to chemo.


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  • 2 weeks later...


I just spoke to Mom on the phone. :) She's had her 1st radiation treatment today, and it went just fine.

She'll have one tomorrow, and Friday, and then come home.

1 down, 20 something to go :(

Funny that I could miss her after just one day...but hey..I'm a Momma's girl!

I love her so much...I just want this all to go well...


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