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this chemo not working


cathyr

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Hi all,

Well, I just got the results from the ct-scan after 3 cycles of cisplatin and gemzar and the news was not favorable. :( I have nodules in the mediasteinal area that are growing larger. They are still small at this point, but larger than three cycles ago. The nodules in the right lung are a bit smaller or status quo. Anyway, the oncologist gave me a choice of taxotere (start over with 6 cycles) or Iressa. She said it doesn't do any good taking them both as they seem to cancel out the effects of one another if taken at the same time. She suggested I go with the taxotere and save the Iressa in case we need it later. She said while I am still strong and able to tolerate taxotere, I should probably consider that first.

I must say that I am so disappointed that this first treatment has not worked. Has anyone else here been through Gemzar and Cisplatin and then moved to Taxotere? What has been your result?

God, I need some good news just once. Sorry if I sound whiney, but I let myself think that this might actually work (the chemo) and when I was told it hasn't worked, it's just devastates my hopefulness.

When does the hair start falling out? I did not lose my hair with the current treatment, but was told I definetly would with taxotere.

Thanks for all the support! I love you all.

CathyR

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Hi Cathy,I had good results with Paraplatin and Taxol.Minimal hair loss,did get very sick though.Between 7 rounds of chemo and 35 rads there was enough shrinkage to give me a 3 month break.( i go back again april 15th and find out were i'm at now)

However the chemo and treatments are different for dif. people and dif. cancers.Good luck-and There are lots of very informed survivors here that can probably help much more than me

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OH Cathy,

I'm sorry it didn't work. I'm sending my prayers your way that the taxotere does work and quickly. You will probably lose your hair after about a week or two after starting this chemo- but bald is beautiful and killing those tumors is whats important.

((HUGS)) Will be thinking and praying for you. Keep us posted

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Cathy,

You have every reason to be disappointed and to even feel devastated. Who wouldn't after getting the news you got today? Pls don't dump on yourself for feeling this way. I wish I had more to offer, but I will talk or listen or anything I can to be of help to you.

Elaine

Stage IIIB/IV NSCL FEB 2004

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Cathy-

I hated like he** to read your post that this treatment is not working for you. If you can stand it, I'd go for the chemo first and save the Iressa, as suggested by your onc. I know you are devastated right now; it always takes a while to assimilate the latest turn of events. My heart is with you right now and prayers coming your way. Hang in there.

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Cathyr, i found from your profile and showed you just tried two chemo drugs previously and I just think you should have many other chemo options, right?

I don't know about Taxotere and just wish you to know that you still have options....don't be too disappointed...

I pray for you having the most appropriate treatment plan .

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Cathy,

I too didnt want to read your post, just by reading the title. First, I dont think anyone here would say you are whining, so enough of that..I dont have any advice for you because my dad never experienced chemo, I just wanted to let you know I care and will pray the next plan of action works for you..

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Cathy,

Sorry this chemo didn't do it. There are others on the shelf, and if the taxotere doesn't do it, there may be more things to try before Iressa. New medicines coming all the time.

Have you looked into clinical trials of the newer chemos?

You're in my prayers.

Hang in there!!

XOXOX

MaryAnn

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Cathy,

I've been concerned (my private email bounced back because you are out of the office). I'm sorry that this didn't work out the way we had hoped. It's always nice when the first thing we do (or the second) accomplishes what we are after. I really wish it had worked out that way for you, this time.

I started losing my hair on Taxotere at day 23. By day 25 it was gone. I kept it long during this time period because it was easier for me to clean up than short jair would have been. I wore it in a pony tail at night so that the hair did not end up all over my pillow and in my eyes. I lost my eyebrows and eyelashes around the 5th treatment. It's just hair. It grows back, and I've discovered that I like wearing hats.

I'm walking along the same path....so you aren't alone. We'll see each other through what lies ahead.

Fay A.

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Hi Cathy:

Sorry to hear about the treatment not working. I am presently taking taxotere and am told its a very powerful chemo. After my third session, i had nothing left in the head or the mediastinum area and only a very small one in right adrenal gland.

I lost my hair after radiation, in other words gone before I even started chemo. My doctor listed the following possible side effects of taxotere before we started. They are as follows:

achy

hard on blood (lowers red blood cells)

lowers white blood cells, so risk of infection

diarhea

Good luck Cathy whatever you decide

Francine

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Hi Cathy-- Sorry for your past protocal not working. I to had several treatments with different combos of chemo the last being taxotere. No doubt by itself it is a very strong chemo but it worked fo the lesions i had in the liver a total of four in different lobes. so as hard as it might be i would go with it. If it is to much you can always stop. Take Care Carlton

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Cathy,

I hope that this treatment will be the one that works. I started on Carbo/Taxol and after two infusions was switched to Carbo/Taxotere because Taxol resulted in intense neuropathy very rapidly. I had my head buzzed at 3 weeks into chemo because it seemed more positive and convenient to me. I got tired of wearing them, but turbans were my favorite head covering.

I wish you the very, very best in this new treatment. I had to come off a clinical trial in February and have had two infusions of Gemcitabine. It always feels like a step back when the treatment is determined not to be working, but I came to the conclusion that it is a blessing that there was another option for me.

Blessings,

Margaret

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Cathy,

I can't help you with taxotere but can mention that my hair fell out after 3 weeks. As it started falling out in the shower we decided to just buzz it off. It was traumatic for about 15 min and then Ijust put my "lovey" on (got it from the American Cancer Society) and went on about my life. Get a wig prior to going for treatment. That way they can match your hair color and style a little easier. I am so sorry you are going through this, and NO you are not a whiner! Keep your chin up and know that many, many prayers are headed your way.

Nushka,

aka Nina

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Guest phyllisb

Hi, I know what you mean. There is nothing more discouraging than to go through three chemo treatments to find out they were not working. I just went through that with a trial of cpt-11 and thalidomide. Four treatments and did not work. I am now on carbo/taxol. Isn't taxodere an offspring of taxol. I am feeling much better and pretty hopeful. My cough is much better and no more pain in my shoulder and that is after just one treatment! Still having to get over the trauma of the last chemo, and I don't think you ever get used to it. One thing that helps me is to do research to find alternatives. If this chemo doesn't work I have a backup plan. When I whined to my oncologist after he painted a glum picture he said but you have many options left. Could have said that to begin with, but if he is telling me that after all the things I have tried with 12 tumors in my lungs then you definitely need to be optimistic. I am also having to deal with the trauma of the hair. I have held on to every strand of my hair for over two years now. With this chemo I did not have any side effects but I am losing my hair. I just cannot bring myself to buzz it yet. I have my beautiful wig and hats. I am just still in denial. You have to develp an attitude and I am trying. I am just really vain about my hair. D_! Good luck and hang in there. You still got GVAX, rfa, maybe surgery? Lots of options. Plus you will be taking a good strong drug.

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Guest phyllisb

Hi, I have had to struggle with the surgery question. I have tumors in both lungs. They have considered surgery for me despite that since I am healthy with good lung function; however, they still had to question what quality of life it would leave me so I and they had to decide against it.

The other thing was on the photo dynamic treatment. I believe that they are doing that at the Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan. That should be close for you. I was told that the treatment will make you very sensitive to light and that you have to wear sunglasses and be careful about sunlight for a while.

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Hi all,

Had the first treatment of taxotere today. It went fine. I'm getting used to the idea that I have to start this chemo thing all over again. But, at least it's available.

Your comments and advice was so helpful and considerate. But of course, that's family for you. I say my prayers every night for all of us. None of us deserve this and we all stand a chance for remission and/or cure.

Blessing to you all and my sincere thanks for all of you being there! You make me stronger.

Cathy R

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Chemotherapy resistance is the major cause of cancer treatment failure. Breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers represent malignancies in which the development of drug-resistant forms has prevented significant cures with current conventional chemotherapeutic agents. A high degree of drug resistance is also associated with cancers of the liver, colon, pancreas, kidney, and lung.

Although modest inroads continue to be made in the treatment and understanding of chemotherapy refractory cancers (cancer that progresses during treatment or recur within six months of treatment), a therapeutic approach to drug resistance is urgently needed.

As more research occurs in discovering this drug-resistance pathway, researchers have uncovered a marker that will be tested in breast cancer patients and evaluated as a predictor of response to chemotherapy. As they have identified the gene responsible for some forms of chemotherapy resistance, their aims are geared toward gene therapy employed to incapacitate the resistance mechanism. Having recently found similar resistance patterns in prostate and ovarian malignancies indicates that they can apply a like approach to combat chemotherapy resistance in other specific cancers like lung.

Some tumors are highly resistant to virtually all anti-cancer drugs, while other tumors are quite sensitive. Most patient tumors fall in between these two extremes, with resistance to some drugs but not to others. Many mechanisms by which cancer cells develop resistance have been identified. Most cancers have some degree of drug resistance with many patients not responding to the chemotherapy most commonly prescribed for the tumor type.

Conventionally, oncologists rely on clinical trials in choosing chemotherapy regimens. But the statistical results of these population-based studies might not apply to an individual. For many cancers, especially after a relapse, more than one standard treatment exists. There is rarely a situation where you would get everyone to agree that there's only one form of therapy. Physicians select drugs based on their personal experience, possible side effects and the patient's condition, among other factors. The system is overloaded with drugs and underloaded with wisdom and expertise for using them. All the more reason to "test the tumor" first.

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Hi Cathy R,

I went through 5 cycles of Taxol/Carbo when I was first diagnosed. Nothing shrunk, nothing grew. I lost all my hair. I went on a "break" that only lasted 1 month when the tumor started to grow again and I went on Taxotere with clinical trial ZD-6474. I received 5 cycles of Taxotere and am still taking the daily pill of ZD-6474.

When I started Taxotere, my hair was just starting to grow back. I amazingly did not lose ALL my hair with Taxotere, it just thinned at the top a little bit. Now that I'm on another "break", my hair is growing back much quicker than after the Taxol/Carbo.

I also had fewer side effects with Taxotere. Low Blood Counts were my worst effects. I also had 31% shrinkage of the primary tumor with this regimine!

Keep your chin up and I hope the Taxotere does the trick!

TAnn

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