Topic: My dad has cc, treatment or not

Hello everyone, this is my first post, and I have to say this site is very informative because of the people that take time to share their info. Thanks to all. Well, my dad was diagnosed with cc and a liver mass in April 2007. On May 9, they took out 60% of his liver and found another spot. They were not able to remove the spot because it would have been too much of the liver to remove. Sadly, the spot was cancerous. On May 30, we seen an oncologist and he ordered a CT for June 18. We went yesterday, June 22 for the results. He said the liver had not fully regenerated yet, and there were no visible tumors but (of course there is one there that they found) but that he would like to start him on chemo. He said he would give us all the literature and that he would use Gemzar and Xeloda. Our BIGGEST question is to take treatment or not. It is such a hard decision. Of course I want the best for my dad, as does everyone, but I feel like if it is going to bring him down more, then why do it. I know it is his decision to make, but I do not want to see him so sick. He also has Lupus. Is there anyone else that has Lupus and cc ? Since lupus attacks your own immune system, I wonder if he could even handle the chemo. I did ask the onc. about that and he just really didn't have an answer. My dad is 71 and we are just having a hard time on deciding what to do. Any advice or info would be appreciated. Thanks for your time, Paula......

Re: My dad has cc, treatment or not

Dear Paula,
First of all,  we want you to know that we are so sorry that your dad and your family is having to go through this terrible experience. 
Patty is 61 years old.  On Feb 21, Patty had the surgery to attempt the resection and it was not successful.  I remember clearly that Dr. Rosemurgy, the surgeon, came out to tell me after the surgery that Patty would only have 3 to 6 months to live.  I asked him about chemo and radiation and he said that the chemo might extend her life for a few months but Patty had to choose whither she wanted quantity or quality of life.  We were visited by a oncologist and he described the chemo and what to expect.  Patty decided, and I agreed, that she desired to live our her remaining time with as much quality as possible and just pray for a miracle and use as much supplements as we could discover that might help.  We both know that the immune system is the heart of healing and if it can be boosted high enough, there is a possibility of overcoming any cancer.  First of all,  Patty drinks about 20 ounces of fresh carrot juice a day.  We have res earched several supplements on line and decided on IP-6 and AHCC as the ones that looked like they had success on others with cancer.  As we mentioned on the posts, there were other supplements that she takes also, including Shitaki mushroom and Reishi mushroom extract. 
The decision to go or not to go with chemo and radiation is a very personal choice and we can only tell you what Patty decided to do.  Her lab work has improved over the last few months and she feels good and there is no nausea or pain.  She is leading an active life.  Her quality of life is very good.  We read all the posts and how some of the people with cc have extended their life with chemo but we also read how they suffer and believe that Patty made the right decision.  We know that we are in God's hands and we leave it all up to HIm to guide us.  We pray that your dad will know that what ever decision he makes, that it will be the Lord's leading in his life.  Please know that we are praying for him and his family.
God Bless you,
Ted and Patty

Re: My dad has cc, treatment or not

Dear Paula ... I agree 100% with Ted and Patty.  It is a tough call to make.  Personally if I were of your Dad's age and know what I know now I would have probally chosen quality of life over quanity.  Taking his previous condition of Lupus in to consideration is another factor to look at  for sure.  Iv'e found that a few of the  problems with going the chemo and radiation quanity road is age, previous and current health issues and really having the support and knowledge/medications to deal with the side effects of either chemo or radiation.  Just the liver resection alone I can imagine took a toll on him emotionally and physically already.  Paula, If your Dad's CC is low grade and slower growing opposite from some of us that have got hit with the real aggressive type.  He might want to feel good and and press on without treatments.  Maybe once Liver is fully regenerated a course of radiation may be more appropriate.  I Had 3D conformal radiation on my liver when I actually starting feeling pain and pressure on the liver itself and had good results.  Radiation is accumulative and I didn't realize the effect until a few weeks after radiation stopped and the pain in my liver stopped.  I've actually had little if any pain to the liver since that treatment done back in Dec. 06.  Well, I probally just gave you more to dwell on.  The bottom line is the limited freedom of Individual choice when dealing with this horrible relentless disease.  Paula, Like Ted and Patty said it's in God's hands.  Irregardless which direction you decide upon , It will be and already is in God's hands.  Being a lot younger than your Dad I'm still pushing ahead with different options and maintaining hope for something to roll around the corner that could be a surprize for all of us. I'm optimistic but certainly understand the reality of the bigger picture and have come to terms personally, that I'll be in loving hands irregardless of which direction I am at or destined.  I surely wish the utmost and best possible out come for your Dad !!!  Paula you can always stop treatment at any time you wish.  That is your Dad's choice also.  I just mentioned that again as some people can tolerate treatment well with proper administratation of side effect meds. Like PRN's I take before I need until waiting until the nausea is already clobbering down on me.  Also, If there is only that one spot and it is where you can get to it with radiation I would be asking about that option.  I better stop rambling.  I could go on forever sometimes.  Any questions Paula just jump back on this site and there will always be someone that will respond and try to help the best they can.  We all have something in common but have had different turns in the road.  God Bless you for being such a loving and supportive daughter.
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: My dad has cc, treatment or not

Hi Paula,
So sorry you and your family are going through this. Please know that all of us are with you and there's no right or wrong answer to whether chemo is beneficial or not - with cc, it depends on the person. That said, I was struck by the fact that you said your dad has lupus. My mother had autoimmune hepatitis and they thought it was lupus at first because it exhibits the same symptoms and is an immune disorder of unknown origin, like lupus.  I don't know if it was because of her terrible immune system or her low pain threshold, but my mother didn't tolerate chemo well AT ALL and in hindsight I wouldn't have done it.  Her quality of life wasn't so bad when she first got diagnosed, but after a couple of weeks she had a lot of nausea and discomfort and weakness and we thought we'd give chemo a try.  The chemo was definitely overwhelming to her system, much more so than it is to other people, and she died less than 2 months after diagnosis. I'm not telling you that your father's case would be the same, but given the fact that chemo damages your immune system, I think a pre-existing immune problem could complicate matters. Also, anyone over the age of 60 usually has a tougher time with chemo.

My mom's oncologist had her on a regimen of Gemzar and Xeloda also - and when we asked what would happen if we just didn't opt for chemo at all, he said "With chemo, you'll have bad quality of life - without chemo, it'll be worse." Of course, that really scared us, but he was an insensitive moron, as some doctors can be, and we shouldn't have listened to him. The chemo caused my mother to become so weak and anemic and short of breath that she was hospitalized with cholangitis (infection) and made thoroughly miserable in the hospital. The best thing I've ever done in my life was when I broke her out of the hospital against doctor's orders, told them we'd have no more chemo, and arranged for her to come home under hospice care. She only lived for 2 more weeks, so I know the chemo would have been useless suffering at that point. She also had allergies to many drugs, and all the drugs she took for her symptoms may have had a bad effect on her immune system, which was overloaded.

Like I said before, any decision you make is the right one - and I don't want to advocate my position as if I know the answers. I just have my own personal experience to go by and your situation could be totally different. There are always miracles and amazing remissions and you have to hold on to that until all hope is gone or you'll go insane.

I wish you and your father the best of luck in your battle,
- Joyce

Re: My dad has cc, treatment or not

Thank ya'll, Joyce, Jeff, Ted and Patty. I really appreciate your replies. My dad still has not made his decision. I'm sure it is weighing very hard on his mind every minute. The nurse at the onc. called earlier today and he told her that he still has not made a decision but that he would let her know at the end of the week. I will keep everyone posted and my prayers go out to each and every one of you. Paula..