Topic: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Hi Everyone. I am writing about my mom, age 73, diagnosed with stage IV biliary cancer.  Her first-line therapy (Gemzar/cisplatin) failed. December's CT and CA19-9 confirmed what we suspected given my mother's clinical symptoms (increased pain/palpable change in the size of supraclavicular nodes). She had been doing great on her second-line treatment (Xeloda), i.e., Tumor markers were down; pain decreased significantly; activity level waaaay up. Three days after meeting with her oncologist and on the very day she started her third round of Xeloda, her clinical symptoms came back with a vengeance. Her pain is very bad and the tumor in her neck is now very palpable, though it was barely palpable just three days ago. Here is my question: do we wait to see if the Xeloda, which she only started again yesterday, does anything to quell the symptoms or do we push the oncologist to do something more aggressive now? Given how remarkable my mom was doing, we got the okay to take my mother to England to see her grandchild. We are booked and ready to go next week. Do we take a wait and see what happens attitude or start squawking IMMEDIATELY? Thank you so much for your help and best wishes to you all. Kathleen

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Kathleen:

So sorry to hear about your Mom.  Have her doctor's talked about radiation?
My hubby has a reoccurance (after resection of 3/4 of his liver) and his tumor is inoperable.  He just finished 28 rounds of radiation and his tumor has shrunk.

If your mom is well enough to travel by all means take her to Englad to see her grandchild!

Go with God, prayers are coming your mom's way from Wisconsin.

Margaret

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Kathleen...We do not have any regular physicians on this site therefore, I would make sure to receive the medial o.k. for traveling from her doctor.   I can just imagine how happy your Mom will be to see her grandchild.  Kathleen, I am wondering regarding your request for a more aggressive treatment and would love to know what that entails.  Has your Mom's physician mentioned another form of therapy other than Xeloda with a possible better response then what she is experiencing now?
Best wishes,
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: treatment doesn't seem to be working

B careful with the travel.Make sure your mum really is ok to travel because it is stressful to be sick in another country.I have seen it happen in my own work in hospitals.It can be a really hard decision when you have already booked but you need to get it right.Good luck                     Janet

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Hello Mom's wonderful daughter. I would also ask the doctor before traveling. It's a long trip and if she is not comfortable how will she take the ride? IF she takes this journey, I would also try and get the name of a doctor or 2 you can call on there if needed. Also remember this is the time of year for colds and flu and I know after my surgery in October I decided I would not board a plane until Spring. Just some things to think about.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Thank you all for your kind and insightful thoughts.  We did get the enthusiastic support of my mom's oncologist.  I am taking her records and scans (just in case and because I am NEUROTIC!!) and, of course, am praying a lot.  We have tickets to see the Pope on Ash Wednesday.  If anyone is reading this and if they pray, please say a little prayer for my mom (Josephine) that she may travel well and safely and enjoy her time in England and Rome.  Again, thank you, thank you, thank you.  Kathleen

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Bon Voyage, dear Kathleen and Josephine.  Have a safe trip and may your Mom have the best time imaginable.  With a (repeating you) neurotic daughter by her side Josephine, will be in good hands.
Enjoy.
Best wishes,
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: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Prayers coming your way for a wonderful trip and that you will bring back a wealth of new memories to keep forever. Teddy goes to Mass every morning and I will have him light a candle for you and your mom.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Have a good trip! You and your mom are in my thoughts and prayers.

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Hi Kathleen,

I hope you and your mum have a safe trip and have a great time! I am sure that you will both enjoy it very much!

Best wishes to you and your mum,

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.

Re: treatment doesn't seem to be working

Have a wonderful trip and enjoy your time together. It sounds like fun! When you have a chance, let us know how it is going.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope