For those that wrote and are curious as to our fathers situation, going forward.....it's good news.
The CT showed that the cancer cells/ sites have not grown or spread further.....yet, the largest mass remains identical in size @ 8 x 16 cm.
This is good news because the Gemzar is working and obviously giving us more time with our father.
His blood work came back good on many levels and even the "clotting" issue appears to also be under control for the time being.
We're pleased but also realize what's coming.....even though this is probably the best we could hope for in "quality of life" and know his situation could be worse, we're thankful.
The "itching" was determined to be a reaction to the CT contrast and will decide whether to 'pre-medicate' him prior to the next CT.
Of course, this all hinges on how he tolerates the continued Gemzar treatments and this being his fifth series of "3 weeks on and 1 week off".
He tolerated the first treatment of the fifth series well the first day after; however, he's feeling it this morning and is stronger than before. We're associating this to a "build-up", as it's been the course all along.....just will have to see how the rest of the week goes.
One option in suggestion is a greater dosage of Gemzar twice a month.....in essence, he is receiving a 175ml/ 1568mg dosage now (80% strength) 3x's a month. They feel he could tolerate a heavier dosage of 100% strength just two weeks a month giving him two weeks "off"!!!
We like that idea and was what I was looking for, as noted above.....
In addition, when PDT was brought into the conversation, the doctors acknowledged this is available and ideally for my father in controlling the pain once the cancer regains momentum and resists the Gemzar.
We are told his CC is known to eventually resist the Gemzar.....so the PDT timing would be a form of "maintenance" w/o stints, at the end of the Gemzar treatments.
It all clears alot of "unknowns" for us and is gradually eliminating the "what-ifs".....at least we know he is receiving quality care and hope to enjoy our remaining days with him, without him suffering.
In regards to the "Tarceva".....our doctors did confirm that it can be effectively utilized with Gemzar (as I read it could be from the above responses), but essentially that patient would have to have sufficient liver function in order to be able to receive such a medication, because of the side effects.
One final note.....I just sincerely want to thank all of you who replied and pray for the best in your situations. Please feel free to contact me individually, as some of you have.