Topic: Are we on the right track?

I must say that I am so very glad I found this site for my wife. It's been an incredible source of information, communication, and compassion.

I still don't know the terminology well so forgive me if I state something incorrectly. We are in our first phase of treatment for ICC (multiple tumors in liver plus lymph nodes). By phase, I mean we are now in the second of the three chemo (Gem/Cis) cycles prescribed. Each cycle being 2 weeks on and one week off.

Overall, I feel my wife is doing OK with the chemo regimen. She started cycle 2 yesterday and today is doing well. Biggest issues; fatigue and then nausea but both under control.

My question/concern is her abdomen is still very distended. At our meeting last week with our Onc, we asked about it. We did not get any actionable response. Her blood work has shown great improvement in all indicators. Her bilirubin level has dropped to 1.0 (from a high of 5). But she is so very extended and cannot function normally. We don't know if this is all tumor related (she does have large tumors) or something else which could be corrected.

Is this what we should expect at this point or should I be pushing for further tests? I feel like something positive is happening, but it is not reflected in my wife's current quality of life. She is not able to do much, yet feels better now than she did a few weeks ago when pain was the major issue.

Thanks for your assistance.
Carl (and Lynn - my wife)

Re: Are we on the right track?

Carl....welcome to our site - I am glad that you have found us.  Please know that we care first and foremost about what others want to express.  We don't care about language skills nor do we care about using a specific terminology.  This is a board for the people and it is run by the people touched by this disease.  Carl, as far as I understand, your wife has had an extended abdomen for quite some time now.  Am I correct?  And, you are wondering whether the chemotherapy treatment will reduce the swelling?
The physician should be able to determine the cause and he/she should be able to give you this information.  The type of swelling you are describing  could be related to the collection of fluids retained in the peritoneal cavity, in her abdomen.
Don't shy away from asking the physician, you deserve an answer.
I am sure that others will be around real soon and will share their thoughts with you.
Again, I am glad that you have found us and please continue to share with us. We are in this together.
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Are we on the right track?

Hi,
Distended abdomen may be due to the accumulation of  gas  in the stomach and small intestine and colon; your wife may feel bloated ,burping may help if the distended is cause by gas.
However, abdomen distension in cancer patient will be most likely coming from the accumulation of fluids in the abdomen due the inability of the circulatory and the lymph system to channel the  interstitial  fluids properly like a health person.
Doctors can prescribe diuretics like Lasix or Aldactone to help the body to decrease the fluids volume. Paracentesis also can be used too to relief the symptom.( Paracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid that has accumulated in the abdominal cavity (peritoneal fluid), a condition called ascites.)

God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Are we on the right track?

Hi Carl,

Here is a link with more info about ascites that may be of interest to you -

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinfor … cites.aspx

And please do not worry about terminology, language or anything like that. My dad had ascites as well and it is very common with this cancer.

My best wishes to you and your wife,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.