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Cancer: Lung Message Board


Cancer: Lung Board Index


Hello, I posted a while back my 62 yr old Ma was diagnoised with Adenocarcinoma on 10Aug. The past few weeks have been utter hell and we haven't even started chemo yet! I was wondering if anyone had similar experiences of My Mum's bad luck with this evil fluid the cancer produces
First My Ma had:
1. fluid removed from under lungs ( Pleural effusion) (was 5 litres I think)
2. then an op called pleurdesis (to seal lung and prevent fluid build up)
hospital then sent her home and she had big breathing problems, and we thought it was the 'cancer' but she just sat on the sofa like a rag doll and we knew something wasn't right. so we rushed her back to hospital and she had
*fluid was now on the heart (Pericardial Infusion) about a litre (so she could have easily died) as it can stop the heart.
3. and then another op, on Heart (in special Heart Hospital) called a Pericardial Window - where they cut a window in the sack our heart lives in, to prevent fluid build up.
This was in in the space of 3 weeks, and last week she developed
4. Blood Clots in the 'other' lung

Jan/Jan Marie boy were you right when you said this would be a white knuckle roller coaster ride. So sorry haven't had a chance to catch up on
your latest news yet.

Thank God my Ma is now stable.
Chemo starts tomorrow. Am in UK so drugs could differ.
Has anyone experience of 'GemCarbo' chemo - a cocktail of gemcitabine (aka Gemzar) and carboplatin?

Goodness I've been a nervous wreck. The nightly phone calls from her numerous pals wanting info, and repeating sad info call after call was
sending me over the edge! and people always want to visit! On a lighter note, my Mum had given specific instructions for no visits apart from a select few.She was livid when someone showed who was told not too so she just played asleep/deaths door and was prepared to sit in out for hours if necessary! was funny - maybe you had to be there :)


All the very best to everyone
Lesley in London (first day back at work in 2 weeks)
Lesley, I am sorry to hear about the rough time your mom has had. It sounds like she has had more then her share of problems but hopefully they are all in the past. My Mom had 3 plerual effusions in the beginning but then had a pleurodesis done and had no more problems like that. My mom's first line chemo was carboplatin and Taxol. The metals in the carboplatin tend to make food taste bad so watch out she may not feel like eating much. My mom is currently on Taxotere and Gemzar, so she has had both drugs just not together. Watch out for any signs of infection like fever even low grade fever as both the chemos can drop her blood count and make it way too easy for any bacteria or virus to cause a problem. As we learned don't count on her oncologist always catching a problem as my mom's was willing to write off what turned out to be both a bladder infection and an obstructive pneumonia to just cancer progression and had I not insisted on tests she would have gotten septic and died.( this was during her 1st 6 months so now I know why the death rate is so high during that period!)

I read somewhere that there are 3 reasons people with cancer die. 1) malnutrition 2) infection 3) organ failure. Hopefully you can control #1 and #2 and thus prevent # 3.


Conan, Does your wife's doctor know she takes the suppliments? It seems most oncologist are so against it for fear it will interfere with the chemo. I totally disagree and feel they should be on them as the immune system needs the help as if it is not strong how can they beat the cancer? My Mom's oncologist is totally against it and due to my mom's age she pretty much does what he says thou I did get her to take Immunopower for awhile but then she quit taking because of the doctor. I think it was helping but she is so set in her belief that doctors know best.

Lesley do your mom's friends have computers? I ask because when my friend had Hodgkins Lymphoma and was getting chemo and radiation she would once a week type up a E-mail about how her week went and send it to everyone. It saved her the hassle of everyone calling her and at the same time those that care about her were kept in the loop and were able to handle her illness better. People sent her cards, flowers , left meals for her family on her front porch after telling her they would via E-mail so she had a ton of support yet only had to deal with visitors when she felt like it and no one had hurt feelings. It really worked well . My own mom has enjoyed visits and phone calls. She has had days where she was feeling real down and the phone call of a good old friend has perked her right up but we are all so different in the way we feel about this issue when we are sick.

Your mom and Conan's wife have been added to my prayers.Conan I hope that your wife continues to do well and if she is put on Tarceva I hope she is like my mom and has a good responce to it. My best to you both.;) JanMarie
Les, my hubby Bud had Gemzar/Carboplatin for his first round of chemo and actually put him into a temporary remission. Following that was the Tarceva, followed by Nevalbine/Texotere, followed by Alimta, followed once again by Gemzar and Carboplatin,with Avastin added to the formula. The latetest seemed to be the most effective and went back into remission. Then, we found out the LC did mets to the bone, his spinal column and left hip. That devasted him and..well, us. His chemo oncologist will not treat him until the radio oncologist is done with him, which worries me. His chest CT done 2 or 3 weeks ago still showed him stable, but with all of the radiation and not to mention the latest tremedous stress, I wonder if this has brought about activity. Gemzar and carbo were the most tolerable for him. His did well both times and actually, beside the usual fatigue and tendency to burn very easily while exposed to the sun, he made it through with ...as you would say...flying colors. I hope everything goes OK at your end and you are always welcome here. We do try out best to help in any way we can. God love you. You have been added to my prayer list.

Jan
Well after 6 nightmare weeks of in Hospital and 2 operations , My Ma is now in a 'half way' house with a view to getting some occupational therapy etc and going home.
She is actually in a hospice but they also have people not quite ready to go home.
She is a changed person ! She has only had one course of chemo (Gemzar/Carboplatin) so far but I think it must be doing some good. She hasn't had any side effects yet.
She is walking about (slowly) and smiling and sharing a room with 3 'old girls' (much older as she is only 64) and is happy!!! She declined a private room.
They seem to be having such a laugh it made me think of a 'Frasier' type sitcom.

I'm a bit nervous of enjoying the moment, and wish SO MUCH it could be a 'she's all cured now' kind of feeling. I guess many of you have been there, when they seem ok and you can't believe what they have is terminal. :(
But to see someone happy once again you thought you had lost is worth so much.


Jan - Do hope you are ok and staying somewhere safe.
Jan Marie and Conan
Thank you for your posts - all the best to you and yours

Love from Lesley in London
hi lesley-

My wife had her second carcoplatin/gemzar last Wed. and is doing better than she has in a long time (moreso than the first). However, this time around she had a flu-like side-effect for a couples days, but afterwards felt great. There are meds for these side effects, but i guess you have to wait and see what side effects you get. She has gemzar tommorow, but her next carboplatin/gemzar is Oct. 18 when she will get a CT and consulatation prior to the treatment. In other words, we should find out just how well this working. ...I will keep you posted as it seems your mom is on a similar track.

Enjoy every day you can and tell your mom a couple in Charleston, South Carolina is praying for her. Not to mention, my wife lived in London until she was 12 and I was born there.

Take care and God Bless,

conan





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