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Iressa no longer working

Guest Piermarie

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Guest Piermarie

Well, I haven't been posting here lately since all had been going well and to be honest, reading the posts were getting me a little down. I'm embarrassed to even admit that but for some reason I feel the need to.

My mom had been doing great on Iressa since October and had just returned home from a two week vacation in Alaska last week. She said she caught a cold there and was just run down with all the walking and sightseeing. Although, when we had her f/u CT done last week it showed her liver mets had significantly increased in number and size and she has had a pleural effusion but it is slowly getting larger also.

Wasn't expecting the oncologist to tell us that if she decided not to do chemo again, then we'd have to think about hospice!!! She was experiencing pain from the liver mets in the last few days prior to the catscan and for the first time since October had to go on pain meds. At first, my mom said she did not want chemo again since initially she had 3 lines of chemo and none of the drugs had worked and only made her feel worse. But, when faced with that or hospice, I felt that she could tolerate chemo since her health and activity level was good.

I didn't want to make the decision for her to do the chemo but I know I influenced it. Now I'm wondering if I did the right thing since she had planned to go "home" to Quebec and see her mother and two sisters for the month of July and now has to stay to do the chemo. They have her on Navelbine and it is once a week for two weeks and one week off.

Please let me know your thoughts on this both as the lung cancer survivor or the caregiver. When do you know it's time to fly the white flag? When will I know it's time????

Most Sincerely,


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You'll know when it's time because your Mom will tell you it is time. And you won't be able to talk her out of it.

I hope that you will do some checking in to the Lung Cancer Vaccine Trials being conducted right now that can harvest tumor from pleural effusions of 600cc and larger.

I am sorry that your Mom is facing progression of the disease. Hope that what she tries works well for her.

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I am sorry the Iressa is no longer holding the cancer stable. Fay is right, your mom will decide what she can or cannot tolerate. Ask the doctors about working the trip to Quebec in around treatment, I'm sure they will work around her plans.

All the very best to you and your mom


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I don't think I'm going to even try to answer this one, but I do think Fay and Ry's responses make a lot of sense. My family hasn't had to walk down that road, although we are approaching the time when some decisions need to be made about quality of life. It's tough. It's real tough.

I'm sorry you find yourself having to even think about this type of decision. Just take it one day at a time, make the best decisions you can as they come up, and then trust that whatever decisions you make on a daily basis are the right ones. I have always believed that if I pray and ask God what I should do that He will make the decision I make the right one. I don't look for a bolt of lightning, a sign or a verse to tell me what to do. I just make a decision and thank God for helping me, and then trust Him for the results. The results don't always turn out to be the way I would like them to be, but I know that I turned it over to God and that eventually He will make it right because I trusted Him.

Hope this helps.



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I am so sorry to hear that the Iressa is no longer holding your sweet mom stable. I too would encourage you to research some trials, there are several promising new chemo trials as well as the vaccine trials mentioned above.

Please know that you and your mom are in my thoughts and I hope to see you this month (the 19th) at support group.

Take care,


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Dear Pier,

Just wanted to send you a HUG for now, and let you know I too am sorry to hear that Iressa isn't doing the trick. THANK GOD for our John in sending you some information on other treatments.

Stay strong my dear, and never give up hope! I know that sounds easy and it can be, if you apply it.

God Bless and Good Luck.

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