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Hi. My 83-year old mother was diagnosed about 5-6 weeks ago with stage 4 adenocarcinoma.  Due to her age, the doctor does not think she will tolerate chemo. She will be having her first infusion of Keytruda this week. Does anyone have any advice as to what to expect post-treatment and what I can do to make this easier on her? I'm especially interested if anyone at a similar age has had experience. Thank you! 

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Sorry about you Mom, my wife was on keytuda she is 60 so I can only tell you what she went through. On the day of her infusion she had blood drawn and analyzed. After about an hour she goes back to the infusion center where she is administered 2 steroids one at a time then the Carboplatin and then the Keytruda after each she was monitored  for any reactions. Depending on the blood test results she might get potassium and b12. She also started taking folic acid and some oral steroids the day before the day of and the day after to help with nausea , body aches and fatigue. Her treatment  may differ but that is the course my wife had. Hope this helps.


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All I would add as a heads up is to make sure her oncologist is fully aware if your mom happens to have a history of any kind of auto-immune disease, such as lupus, ulcerative colitis, crohn’s, etc., as immunotherapy drugs like keytruda may possibly cause a flare up.

Sending best wishes to you and your mom.

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Your mother will likely not need most of the things that Robert discussed in his post - the potassium and B12, and nausea are mainly related to the Carboplantin his wife is receiving along with the Keytruda.  My mom did about 1 year of Keytruda alone, she began with chemo and Keytruda - this was where most of her issues came from.  Once she was on Keytruda, she had a much easier time.  Here's what most people experience with Keytruda - some sort of fatigue, itchy skin/rash (some people have success with certain types of body washes and creams, my mom had to take benedryl to tone down the itching), issues with thyroid function that will likely need to be doctored by meds.

If your mom's cancer is reduced by Keytruda, she is in great hands with immunotherapy.  It has helped so many people with late stage diagnoses, my mom included.  You can check out my mom's 1st year of treatment with immunotherapy  here.

Take Care,


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