Topic: Update - Need Help
My mom who is 46, diagnosed with ICC in December has been on gem/cis between January until the end of June. Since then, she has been off as the chemo began to feel overwhelming and really made her fatigue and frail. Having said that, she decided to become a vegetarian and has lost about 15 pounds between the end of June and now. We saw her oncologist last week and he believes that the cancer has become active again because of her symptoms; weight loss, constant burping, very fatigue, muscle pain etc. I am not sure what to think because based on her last scan in July the cancer was stable (it had shrunk from 9cm to about 5x4cm and other liver tumors had dissapeared or were at 1cm with some lymph node involvement). I know that many people have the cancer return, grow etc, so I'm curious to find out whether or not anyone has experienced these symptoms and if this very alarming? Please keep in mind that the weight loss has probably a lot to do with the fact that she has gone vegetarian and was experiencing some nausea, vomitting throughout the months she's been off chemo because of some of the pain meds she was taking. The doctor prescribed last week 4mg of dexamethesone (once a day) to help her with her energy and it has actually improved her ability to do things and eat significantly (considering she was doing so well on chemo, it was when she got off that she started experiencing all these problems).
The doctor has recomended that we meet with palliative care and so we have an appointment set up in October, it was a little scary to hear those words but he re-assured us that he is not writing her off, he just wants us to have the ability to seek medical attention at home when she has pain or other concerns (she is very stubborn and hates any form of medication, doesn't like going to the ER etc). I am hoping to god that if the cancer is active that it hasn't necessarily grown significantly in the last two months, but I know how tricky it can be, I also worry that it might have spread somewhere else but I TRULY hope that is not the case. If anyone has any experience with the symptoms above please let me know, the doctor said that if the cancer is growing he would put her on Xeloda which makes me nervous as it is a new chemo. Any input would be appreciated, she is a widow and I can't imagine being without her. My brother and I are both fairly young and we are desperate to keep her around, she's our angel