Topic: Newly diagnosed in South GA

My mom was just diagnosed within the past few weeks, so it's all very new to us.  She turned 70 yesterday!  She is in the hospital.  Her bilirubin is down to 5 from 9 - - is that good?  She had 2 stents inserted a week earlier and ended up with an infection and high fever - that's the reason for the hospital stay.  Today is day 5.  Many tests, many xrays, many prayers already and many yet to come, I'm sure.  The Dr. here is going to refer her to Mayo in Jacksonville, FL  Palliative treatment is all that seems to be available to her.  It is inoperable having reached her liver & lymphnodes already.  Does anyone have any opinion of Gemcitabine chemotherapy?  Please share any information you have.  Thank you.

Re: Newly diagnosed in South GA

Jamie.... get that second opinion.  Just because it has reached the liver and lymph nodes doesn't automatically disquailfy her for a resection.  Chemo is a choice to make.  It can work on some people then have no effect for others. It could work for your Mom for a while then peak(stop working) and that is when they might try something else.  Pallitive radiation has been known to stop CC growth but a lot of doctors shy away from doing it to the liver due to chance of to much exposure could kill the liver comletely.  Jamie Gemcitibine is the first line of chemo normally tried for this type cancer.  The outcomes are so different for everyone, so hard decisions to make will be coming your way.  Take time to discuss with your Mom what she wants as some people don't want chemo and focus on quality VS quanity. Wish your Mom and you the best at Mayo.
God Bless,
Jeff G.

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

Re: Newly diagnosed in South GA

Hi Jamie,  My prayer's are with your mom and family.  My mother also spent 6 days in the hospital from a blood infection that her doctor thinks evolved from the bile duct stent placement back in early December.  She had terrible chills and a fever here and there and ended up hospitalized and the blood cultures were positive for Klebsiella bacteria.  She is over that now and will be starting back on the Gemzar chemo on Wednesday this week, as her oncologist indicates that it can give her some quality months ahead.  She went through a first treatment of chem with Gemzar on Dec. 27th and did just fine on it, a slight thrush infection in her mouth only. Then she got very sick from the bacterial blood infection and was hospitalized.  We didn't think it was the chemo that made her sick because she was just fine for 5 days afterwards.  I am anxious for her to have that next chemo treatment, as I want to have her with us for as long as possible.  I don't think we'll be taking my mom for a 2nd opinion anywhere, as the cancer has spread into the liver and the oncologist gave her only 2 options, Gemzar or hospice at this point.  Keep your faith.  Candee from Burnsville

Re: Newly diagnosed in South GA

Jamie,

I would look into that 2nd opinion.  My fiance was dx with CC in Oct. 2006 that had spread to the liver with lymph node involvement.   We found a surgeon willing to perform the necessary surgery and it has now been a year from month of surgery and he is currently doing well considering and all CT scans have been negative and show no sign of cancer regression. 

Please look into a 2nd opinion.  If it weren't for a second opinion, he probably would not be here today.

Chrissy