Topic: New member

My husband was diagnosed the end of May 2012 with hepatocellular and CC Stage IV.  Within one week we learned of the mass and found it had penetrated his bones and lymph glands in the abdomen.  The right arm was moth eaten from the cancer and eventually broke despite efforts through radiation to prevent this from happening.  He now has a rod in his arm and is undergoing PT to help him regain use of his arm.  He has gone through eight cycles of Gemzar/Cisplatin.  It started to affect his blood and he has gone through numerous transfusions of red blood cells and platelets.  The end of February he was in the hospital for 8 days as the platelets were down to 3 and they were having difficulty getting them back up.  His doctor then put him through 1 cycle of 75% strength Gemzar as tests revealed the kidneys were being affected by the Cisplatin.  She then decided two weeks ago to change the chemo to Docetaxel and give him a shot of Neulasta.  His lab work came back yesterday and showed the WBC at 43 (unusually high) and the AFP tumor marker at 1844 as well as some other abnormalities.  He is very discouraged.  The last PET showed no evidence of cancer in the bone or lymph glands and the mass in his liver was a little smaller.  This was done in December.  We went in October to Johns Hopkins for a consultation and were told that surgery was not an option due to involvement with the hepatic portal vein.   This last bloodwork showing the increase in the AFP tumor marker from 1139 to 1844 is quite disturbing.  When he was first diagnosed the tumor marker was 2452 and based on treatments with Gemzar/Cisplatin it had dropped to 972.  Has anyone had any experience with Docetaxel?

Re: New member

Dear Ceance, welcome to our amazing family, but am sorry you had to find us. My goodness, my heart hurts for your husband and all he has been through. And for you as well as his Caretaker. I am most curious as to where he is being treated. It is so important to be at a facility that has a lot of experience in treating CC.  When you went to J.H. in October did they verify that  hubby's Onc was on the right track or just talk about surgery?
I cannot help on Chemo as my husband had a Whipple surgery but never Chemo. I just wanted to welcome you and I know you will be receiving more posts. Please keep us posted as we truly care. Be strong!

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: New member

Ceance...I too would like to welcome you to our site. Thanks you for the indebt account of your husband's experience with this cancer.  In re: to your question: we have numerous postings on Taxotere (Docetaxel) however; it may be difficult to read through all.  Either way, I feel that you are entitled to search out the information and we are here to help you:
http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org/punbb … 1368179946
Although, you have consulted with John Hopkins in re: to a possible resection, you might want to again search out another opinion for a center of physician treating a high volume of cholangiocarcinoma patients.
Thanks for joining in and please stay in touch.  We care.
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: New member

Hi Ceance,

I'm not familiar with the details you are looking for but I wanted to say hello and welcome to the board although I am sorry that you have had to find it.  There are so many wise and experienced people here (2 have been along already) that can offer you advice and support for your husband and you.

Clare

In the stars now . . . .

Re: New member

Thanks for the advice and support.  It helps to know that we are not alone on our journey.

Re: New member

Ceance,

I want to welcome you to the site and say I am so sorry to hear about all that your husband and you have been through.

I do not have any experience with Docetaxel.  I had surgery and 6 months of Gemzar.

I wish you best wishes on this journey.  You are definitely not alone, we are all in this with you!

-Randi-

Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: New member

Hi Ceance,

I just wanted to welcome you to this site and say I am sorry your husband has CC. Sorry, but my daughter, Lauren has been on many chemos, but not Docetaxel. I think it depends on what facility you visit as to who might do surgery. My daughter, Lauren, has tumors on both sides of her liver, and has portal vein involvement. She had been on various chemos and had Theraspheres last year. She was thought to be inoperable at the beginning as well. Her surgeon thought now was the right time to do surgery on her and she had part one the end of March where her liver was cut in two and tumors were removed from one side of her liver. She will be having the second part of the surgery probably mid May. It has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination, but never say never. Don't give up hope on surgery and best of luck with the new chemo.

Love and hugs,
-Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

8 (edited by PCL1029 Thu, 18 Apr 2013 21:31:52)

Re: New member

Hi,
below was the suggestion I had made to another member who had ask the same question about docetaxel monotherapy not long ago. Here is the link.

http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org/punbb … 607#p70607

Normally, if the current regimen works (stable or shrinkage of the tumor),most oncologist will keep the same regimen until disease progress or side effects intolerable.
There are conflicting data as to the benefit of docetaxel in CCA patients.
one study indicated that  out of 25 patients of CCA;there were 2 complete and three partial responses ( overall response rate=20% ). Another study of the same regimen was ineffective  in a second phase II trial of 17 patients.
Side effect : grade 3-4 neutropenia were not uncommon.from uptodate.com.
BTW the high WBC=43 is  because of the Neulasta(pegfilgrastim) injection was used to increase the WBC count and thus reduce the risk of infection due to chemotherapy induced neutropenia (white blood cell deficiency).

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: New member

Thanks for all the words of encouragement and sharing of the experiences you have gone through on your journey.  Friday, we discovered the oncologist has sent Jim's file to a doctor at NIH to see if we can possibly do a resection of the liver.  The doctor at NIH called this morning to let us know he is going to review the file and hopes to set up testing in the next week or two.  Jim is filled with hope that this might be the answer to our prayers.

Re: New member

Ceance, this is the best kind of hope there is and deserves a big YIPPEE! I know the next 2 weeks will be like awaiting the arrival of a baby but take each day and try to relax. We are all here for you and we are a huge cheering section. Go Jim, GO!

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.