Jump to content

Mom's cancer is growing, now what?


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone. I am at a loss here. My mom has been receiving chemo (second line) for the past year and it has not been working. Her first line was Cystplatin and Vp 16 and her second line consisted of Topecatan then when that caused a blood clot, and the cancer grew more, they switched her to Taxotere. And her most recent scan showed the tumor had grown even more.

The doctor really had nothing to offer. She said THIS was the standard treatments and were effective on others. I suggested more Cystplatin, since it worked the first time. (She was cancer "free" for 9mos)

My questions to you are- Have you or your loved ones had this treatment plan? Did it work on anyone? Should we get a second opinion? (it's seems like alot of work to hear the same things) Would you get a second opinion?

She is taking weekly chemo and the tumor is growing. 6mos ago the tumor was 3.3cms. Now it is 5.9cms. That is alot of growth WITH TREATMENT! My mom is getting very sick and tired. She is almost giving up. And I KNOW she doesn't want the platins.....But I donn't know what else to do or say. I feel so defeated. And how big can a tumor grow before it just takes her? I am so lost and confused. And I feel really alone. I hope you may have some insight for me. Thanks.

Connie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Connie,

I'd seek a second opinion. There are other treatments available. It doesn't look like she has had the Carbo/Taxol/Avastin combo or Alimta or Navelbine or Tarceva. These are all treatment options that might produce a better response. You can also go over the www.cancergrace.org to ask the oncologists over there what other options she might have. They are great about answering questions. Even though they can't give specific medical advice, they do talk about some of the options they might consider in a similar situation.

Susan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tarceva, Etoposide navelbine Gemzar Alimta Avastin Taxol and even Iressa has been shown to help in some cases! My suggestions aolong with 2nd opinion!

also some times you can ask about starting over with a second round of a previous treatment! Debs Oncologist told me that and we had discussed the possibility of it once!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was wondering aqt what stage your Mom was diagnosed? That may determine whether she can tolerate any more chemo. Carboplatin and Taxol are very common chemo's used for lung cancer, but I will share with you that the side effects of these two can be pretty rough. It caused severe pain in my muscles, and I was very sick from it. Everyone reacts to chemo in different ways, but it was rough going for me.

I'm praying for your Mom for good quality of life and more time to be here with her family.

Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Connie-

Some of the chemos listed in the other posts are only for non-small cell, I see your mom is small cell.

I would run, not walk for a second opinion. There may be some clinical trials that may help her or who knows what but I do know that I for one will keep looking for options. Of course, that depends on her but a second opinion never hurts.

Hoping for a turn-around in your moms health.

Hugs - Patti B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much for your replies. I am so grateful for this board. I feel so comforted by your words.

Mom has Small cell LC, limited, on one lung. It is the size of a tangerine, and growing. The biggest problem with her is that she still smokes and surrounds herself with second hand smoke as well. Helping her seems impossible. And she is resistant to changing doctors. But I feel like we have no other choice. If there are more choices, why doesn't the doc recommend them? It's mind boggling. She did mention a possible clinical trail in Miami. But she didn't seem hopeful or confident when she nonchalantly mentioned it....

I was the one who mentioned trying the carboplatin/etopiside combo again, which she had first line. The doc casually said "we can try it". It's just so frustrating and leaves us feeling hopeless.

Well, I will look into this clinical trail and seek out a new doc. Thank you all so much for your opinion and advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?t ... mi+Florida

This Might help and save some time! There are a few that ware recruiting but you can find there requirements by clicking on the links in the site!! If I can help Let me know!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for small cell, the treatments your mom has had are "standard" so the doctor is right. Unlike NSCLC there aren't as many treatment choices BUT there ARE radiation, cyber knife, gamma knife, etc...options and the combinations of these treatments have been tried in different order and more than once depending on the overall health of the patient AND there may be clinical trials.

It could be that your mother's doctor isn't going the extra length to find more options for your mom because she isn't being active in quiting smoking and getting healthy. A lot of doctors may find it difficult to work hard for a patient who they think isn't working hard for themselves and their health.

That said, even so, I would RUN to another doctor for a second opinion. Even if the same options are presented at least you have a little peace of mind.

Ask Dr. West at GRACE for his opinion and check out the clinical trials.

With your mom's sclc in limited stage, there should be more that they can do!

My prayers and biggest hopes for your mom. Please keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again you all. My mom was admitted to the hospital last night. She has a bacteria on her lung that caused a fever and she has low oxygen levels. (This is her second time in the hospital for this in the past month!)

Katie, I feel like you are right when you say that tthe doctor may not be offering more options for my mom because she is not doing her part but living a healthier lifestyle. We all feel that way, really.(my family)

And maybe my mother is too weak to handle the harsh chemos, and that is why she didn't offer it. Now that we know it is a bacteria on her lung, how can we safely give more chemo when she cannot get well from THIS NEW problem.

Mom has already had maximum radiation. They cannot operate. It's either chemo or nothing, (I assume.)

Well, I will keep you posted. It looks like mom will be going home with an OXygen tank. She cannot breathe. All of this news is very grim to me. I feel like this is the beginning of the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Connie,

I'm so sorry to hear this news. Setbacks are always hard, especially when you are worried that this might be the beginning of the end, as you put it. We will be here for you, so keep us informed on your mom's condition so we can help in whatever way we can. Sometimes it might mean getting advice on how to deal with your mom's illness, othertimes it might be just to vent your frustrations and fears. Either way, we will be here for you.

Susan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Susan is right. We are all here for you.

I can't know what the next step of the journey will hold for your mom, just know that there is still hope.

I still think a second opinion is always a good idea either for more options or to confirm what's already been told.

Just a side note- I know a 6 yr extensive stage sclc patient who still smokes, and shes been cancer free for 4 years. Go figure right? Everyones body is different...she is actually afraid to quit now because she has done so well for so long- afraid to jynx her situation. :shock: My dad was dx. at about the same time as she was, extensive sclc, and quit smoking immediately and his cancer journey was just 11 months and 21 days. :?

Don't let the issue of smoking stand between getting good medical care or having a good relationship- for however long that will be.

Bless you both and please keep us updated.

Hugs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...