I am BigSister and my younger sister Jessica was diagnosed in June of 2010 with CC. She satrted out with Gemzar-Oxiplatin but after 2 rounds her tumor grew. They then switched to Gemzar-Cisplatin the one where you have to stay away from the cold for a couple of days. For the past month and a half she has been having to be drained every 14 days and the past couple of weeks every week to the tune of 4.5 liters or more.

She also is having the bowel movement problem and sleep only comes in waves of 2-3 hours at a time. After seeing 3 surgeons, one being from Mayo Clinic, none wanted to do any surgery. She decided to try one more and found a more agrressive surgeon, who along with a team of surgeons, are willing to at least go in and check to see if they can remove the left lobe of her liver and treat the tumors on her right lobe. She said they would do a laproscopy first to see if it is feasible and if not, at least put a shunt in to help with the draining. I think she mentioned a procedure called "debulking."

My sister is 40 yrs old. and has been an ER nurse for the past 17 years. Some of her friends are upset that by having this surgery she is taking a big risk. She knows there are risks to every kind of surgery. She explained to them that giving birth is a risk and people who travel for work are risking their lives by stepping on a plane. You just don't think of it. She is looking at the positives of the surgery but others are not. When she told me, inside I was scared, but I know this is what she has to do so I support her decision. She even spoke to someone who had this operation done 2 years ago at the age of 55 and is now cancer free for the past 2 years.

She can tell us of the pain of feeling her liver rubbing against her ribcage making it hard for her to breath, or the pain of caring around an extra gallon of fluid around. She has lost 20 lbs. since this all has began and since she is a nurse, there are times they would have hospitalized her for observation, but because she knows what to watch for she has been able to return to be with the family.

Though some of us might not think it is a good idea for this operation we must be there to support her. They have to look at it as if someone needed an organ transplant or heart by-pass surgery. The patient would probably die if they don't have the surgery but one wouldn't tell them no. We have to be positive and think postive for the person who has the cancer. We have to take ourselves out of the equation.

Thanks for letting me vent and if anyone has tips on keeping weight on with low sodium she would greatly appreciate it.

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(3 replies, posted in Blogs)

Thank you Marion.

My sister is a trooper but she finally gave in to the pain meds while having her chemo treatment this past Tuesday. Whenever I talk to her I keep reminding her of how proud I am of her for her strength and courage.

We are keeping the faith.

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(3 replies, posted in Blogs)

My sister said "if I am going to die from this cancer people are going to learn from it."

Medically speaking it may be sometime down the road before they figure out a cure, but through her blog she has shown her strength and courage for her will to live. She has shown us how to appreciate the little things in life we take for granted. She has shown us how her positive attiude is addictive. She is not afraid to talk about it and she wants to educate.

Though I talk to her almost everyday I still enjoy reading her blog every morning.

Jessie, you are my role model and my HERO. 

http://thisisforjessie.blogspot.com/

Thanks for all the encouraging words. The fluid is filling up in her abdomen area which pushed the liver into her diaphragm and she said it rubs against her rib cage. As her blog states she is shuffling around liek a 90 year-old but she is bound and determined not to give into it.

Also, if anyone is aware of a low-sodium drink that will help her keep her weight on she would greatly appreciate it. I know she has an appointment to see a nutritionist but I am not sure when it is.

I am not very good with computers so if someone could put her blog in the external links for me I would greatly appreciate it.

I want to thank everyone for all your support.

An update on my sister. Her blog site has been moved to: http://thisisforjessie.blogspot.com/.

My sister has been receiving the chemo cocktail of gemzar & cisplatin for the last 2 months but it didn't seem to be helping much. Her tumor grew and in the past 4 weeks has had amlmost 10 liters of fluid drawn. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Last week they removed her from cisplatin and are giving her oxipaltin. Besides some naseau, a little vertigo and the liver pushing against her ribs she is handling chemo fairly well. She is still able to eat and gets around as best as she can but the fluid build-up is tremendous.

Through thick and thin she is fighting this cancer with tooth and nail. Keep up the positive attitude sis!

I am glad you are enjoying my sisters blog - it is an easy way to communicate with all our siblings and family memebers who live out of state and in other countries.

It is a shame that you have to run around getting prescriptions from local doctors. You would think having something from your doctor from Mayo would be like an automatic "OK."

Good luck with your future treatments. I will keep you posted. She will get her results today.

Hi, Kathy, thanks for replying. I am not sure what nausea meds she is on but she is still eating; she is an eater. She just says her stomach feels fuller quicker but she still has an appetite.

If you go to her blog: http://bubbasez.blogspot.com, she is very thorough about her treatments. She is all about educating people regardins this cancer. She also throughs in a lot of humor to help her and others geth through the day. I talk to her everyday but I look forward to reading her blogs every morning.

She spoke to one of her nurses and they have her going in tomorrow for another CT and then she has a meeting with a ca surgeon on Thursday. I have another sister who is a nurse and she mentioned ascites as well. With my dad being a pathologist, my sister Jessica being a nurse and  I have another sister who is a nurse, these terms seem to roll off their tongues so easily that I have to ask them to give it to me in simpler terms.

Thank you agin for your support and I will keep you posted on her results.

Hi Kathy, I am new to the chemotherapy discussion board. My sister was diagnosed with advanced cc with the cancer spreading to her liver and lymph nodes.

She started her Gemzar/Cisplatin on July 8th. The first treatment was the combo but the following week her platelets were low and could not have treatment. The following week she had a double dose and the week after that her platelets were low again and was sent home. This past week she was able to get treatment but  only Gemzar. They decided to have a week off between the double dose  and the single dose.

For the most part she experiences nausea and a little dizziness. Her appetite is still good.

My biggest concern is that her tumor has gotten bigger to the point where she looks pregnant. We are aware that the chemo is unable to shrink the tumor but to slow down the progression. Any idea how quickly the chemo takes to work or is this a question I should ask the doctor?

Any advice from anyone would be a great help.

I want to thank all of you who have responded and for all the kind words.  I guess I am going through my anger stage and the last thing I want to do is upset her while she is on her positive high.

I am the third out of ten children and the first girl so being the "2nd mom" came naturally to me. Now I find myself in a situation where I can't fix the hurt or protect her from the cancer and it is driving me crazy. I know it is not rational and maybe just a little selfish on my part.

I will get past this and I will join her on that "positive high" wagon and ride along with her.

Hi, my name is Judy and my younger sister, who turned 40 this past February, was diagnosed with advanced cc on June 14, 2010. Growing up in a family of 10 kids is great but we are on the verge of losing a 2nd sibling within 5 years, both under the age of 46. My older brother was a testicular cancer survivor only to lose the battle with complications with a kidney transplant 4 years ago. We lost our mother 20 years ago.

I am writing because I am concerned because of the length of time they gave my sister to live, 6 months, and because the cancer has completely covered the left lobe of her liver, she has tumors on the right lobe but the right lobe has expanded to compensate for the loss of the left lobe, and the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. She began her chemo treatment of gemzar and another cisplatin last week.

She is definitely a fighter and she will not take any of this lying down. The day she found out she called a family meeting and told all of face-to-face. The next day she invited her friends over and told them face-to face. We are all helping her get her affairs in order so all she has to worry about is fighting and living. She is the most positive person I know. She is not afraid to talk about it and welcomes any advice she can get her hands on.  It is all about surviving. I was the one crying and she was consoling me?

I am still in shock and at times it doesn't seem real. I am so glad I came to this sight because it has given me more hope that my sister can and will live past the 6 months she was given.

A friend of hers started a blog for her to express her feelings. It is not only therapuetic for her, but it helps me as well. (They say humor is a good medicine and she has a lot of that.) It makes you appreciate how precious life is and how we take our health for granted.

I look forward to reading more success stories and welcome any advice on what more I can do to help her through this.

Thank you for your time.

P.S. Her blog can be found at : http://bubbasez.blogspot.com

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