Hi. I read the previous discussions regarding 5FU vs Xeloda, but am still unsure what route we should take.  My family is facing this same dilema with my mom.  She is 70, just finished 4 rounds of Gem/Cis and is currently off chemo for 6 weeks until her next follow up CT beginning of Feb.  She tolerated the chemo well, still has absolutely no appetite and lost weight again, now at 121 lbs.  Her PET thankfully showed NO RECURRENCE in her bile duct (can't tell you how I wanted to shout for joy when I heard that), but there are still 2 nodules in her right lung that are mets from the CC.  Her ONC said next step (if she chose to continue chemo) would be to start either Xeloda or 5FU, otherwise if not, to monitor her with CTs.  Her liver enzymes are good, her RBC and WBC, etc are working their way back up.  She does have a horrible hernia that causes much pain at times, but she doesn't want to undergo any more surgeries.  I'm just not sure which would be the lesser of two evils, given her age and what her body has been through, which might be the best to kill the cancer that's left.  I inquired on radiation, per ONC only chemo is an option. 

P.S. Pam, you also mentioned you were going to have a talk with your daughter, Lauren's, doctor, did you get the answers you needed?

Any further insight would be much appreciated. 

Thanks to all,


(3 replies, posted in Pain Management)

Thank you, Marion and Lainy.  I'll speak with them asap as she is scheduled to return for chemo tomorrow.

God Bless

My mom says she is having chest pain as well as pain in her back behind her lungs.  Per mom, it's not SOB, just pains every now and then.  She is in her 4th cycle of chemo of Gem/Cis, so I'm not sure if anyone else has encountered this while on chemo? 


Hello everyone. I'm so excited for each and every one of you and to read your milestones is encouraging. My mom was diagnosed with CC July 2012 and is doing good.  She's getting ready to start her 4th cycle of gem/cis.  Her oncologist even told us her CT from 3 weeks ago was better than he had expected.  For this our entire family is grateful.  I was hoping some of you might be able to also share what helped or is helping you get and remain either symptom or cancer free? Was it a change in diet, Whipple, resection? We continue to pray for the day she will be told she is cancer free. 

Lots of love, Zonia.

Thank you everyone.  Her ONC said her bloodwork looks good so far!  Her CT Abd on Wed came back saying a nodule near her pancreas is "more priminant".  ONC says means it probably wasn't visible on last CTs from July since bile duct may have been shadowing it.  But CT also shows her bile duct not as swollen this time!!  Her birthday was wonderful.  One that she will always remember!

I'm not quite sure what #'s I should be focusing on when it comes to interpreting my mom's lab work results.  I see her obvious WBC, 7.6, RBC 3.93 (a little low I think, shows should be 3.50-6.00) and PLT 361.  I see the posts from everyone referencing the tumor markers and other markers.  Where can I find this?  I want to have a good starting point for when we meet with the ONC this Thursday, need to have my questions ready.  My mom just had her mediport implanted this past Fri and will be starting chemo soon. From what I can tell, the ones that show as low are HGB at 10.8, HCT at 34.4, MCHC at 31.4 and MPV at 7.1.  Is this bad?  Can you tell me where and what I should be focussed on?  Also, any suggestions for her before she starts chemo (Gem/Cis), stage IV CC, she is 70 this Friday?  And still as beautiful as ever!!  Thank you...

Hello.  My mom had a repeat CT in Jan 2012 which was negative and PET in Feb which showed an area of concern in esophagus/stomach.  Endoscopy results showed negative for cancer at that time also.  Which is why everything seems so overwhelming, it all happened so fast it seems.  I'll try the banana in the Carnation, perhaps she will like that.  She had been trying to stay away from sugars, but that should hopefully be fine.  Thank you for your reply and I am sincerely sorry for your loss.

Hello everyone!  I must first say thank you to everyone for their posts to the website.  I spend a lot of time looking over the different discussions, questions and answers and can't get enough to try to help my mom.  To start, my beautiful mommy is 69, will turn 70 on Aug 24th.  She had her gallbladder removed in Aug 2011, had been having horrible abd pain, and at that time we were told she had Gallbladder cancer from the biopsy.  Her ONC then referred her to University Hospital in San Antonio where she received a partial liver resection where the gallbladder sat (gallbladder fossa), to ensure that the cancer was completely gone.  The biopsy results from that were negative-whew and Thank God!!  She had been fine since then, no pain, good appetite.  But then, on a visit to her ONC in June, noticed that she had dropped 5lbs, which she attributed to just not being very hungry...which we thought may have been normal since she had a recent endoscopy (which came back negative), thus made her lose her appetite for a bit.  Then the week after July 4th, she developed a rash, which spread all over her body, her urine became dark, and finally had to be admitted to ER from abdominal pain and turning jaundiced.  That's when we were told that her main bile duct was dialated and the biopsy came back as cancer. We were in shock, disbelief, needless to say the emotional rollercoaster we were on last year returned.  How could this happen...again???  Since then, she has had a metal stent placed which helped her jaundice, she still has some abdominal pain, but the pain pills she's been given help with that thus far.  Her NEW ONC (we will not be returning to her previous for personal reasons) suggests pallative chemo, since she is Stage IV, would be given Cisplatin/Gemzar.  The cancer appears to be inside the main bile duct, no spread to her liver or kidneys, but unfortunately the last CT Chest/Abd/Pel from University in July showed nodules in her chest, which they think may be mets but they are too small to biopsy at this time.  I'm so scared for my mom, we all are..she's never undergone chemo and she herself is nervous (with good reason).  I've read over and over about this type of chemo combo, some good, some bad, but any information you can provide would be very much appreciated.  Is there anyone out there that has been in this same situation with their CC, or perhaps similar, and is still here, alive and well?  We don't want to lose our angel..we have been changing her diet, as well, but since she doesn't have an appetite most days, find that if she gets an appetite for something it is better than nothing at all.  The oncologist says that if she does the chemo might give her 1-2 years, but if not, then possibly a year or less....my heart is breaking just writing this, but my family and I will do what we need to in order to help her be strong.   Thank you again....to everyone on this site and fighting this horrible cancer...my thoughts and prayers are with you too!