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Cancer: Lung Message Board


Cancer: Lung Board Index


Re: Hi everyone
Dec 18, 2006
Foxey Lady,

I am sorry to hear about your daughter. My mom had NSCLC stage IV. Her journey began in June 2004 and ended last month Nov. 2006. While it was hard having to see my mom who was a non smoker have to deal with lung cancer I do think it is worse being a mother and having to watch your daughter deal with it ..my heart goes out to you. Daughters are suppose to out live mothers as that was how life was designed to be.

My mom was 82 when she died and because of her age her doctor would not use avastin, as it has in increased chance of causing major bleeds in the elderly. He and I went around and around as I think the choice to take that risk should have been hers not his as from day one she was told he could not offer her a cure.My argument was if it killed her so what the cancer was going to kill her and at least she would have tried and maybe even have been lucky but he would not give in!And it should have been her decision not his! Avastin can be an amazing drug as it cuts off the blood supply to the tumor and I think it is one of the more promising cancer drugs out there right now.

My mom did several different lines of chemo and while she did get shrinkage with each it never seemd to last too long. She did Carboplatin with Taxol, she did Alimita and her last Chemo was Taxotere with Gemzar. The only one of those drugs that did not drop her blood counts and platlets was the Alimita. In the end she decided to stop chemo as that last combo just did her in and she feared it was going to kill her faster then the cancer would. She never really felt sick from any of them as they use other medicines and steriods to prevent that, but chemo would leave her fatigued starting about 48 hrs after a dose and lasting several days ( until the last one where the fatigue was constant except for the days of steroid highs that come with each chemo).

After my mom's first line chemo she developed a pneumonia and urinary tract infection and they decided to start her on antibiotics and a drug called Iressa. ( instead of chemo)Within a day there was a huge improvement and she just kept getting better each day and soon was back out enjoying life. The next month she was switched to Tarceva as Irressa was being taken off the market. She kept getting better and the Tarceva which was started in Jan 2005 did away with the actual lung tumor and when she died last month she still had no active cancer in her lungs.( so she did not suffer all the breathing troubles many here do) She did have liver mets from day one and at first the Tarceva shrank those but about 7 months later they were growing so she was taken off the Tarceva and put back on Chemo.

The sad part is Tarceva only works for about 10 % of the people but when it does work it can be amazing and I have met some people that have been on it since it came on the market that have been cancer free for all this time. There is also a drug called HKI 272 in clinical trials right now that is suppose to take over when the cancer mutates so the Tarceva quites working. I pray in the not so distant future that it is these biological drugs that will take the place of chemo in cancer treatment.

There is also a cancer vaccine that they do need a sample of the tumor in order to make it but it too shows promise in the treatment of NSCLC.

Consider things like nutrition too as I do believe it can help alot. There is a book worth reading called Beating Cancer with Nutrition. My mom's doctor was against any supplements but to be honest my mom seemd to do her best when she was on supplements but then her doctor found out.Because my mom grew up in a period where one did not question the doctors she quit taking them when he told her too and I think she made a big mistake there but the choice was hers not mine. A very hard fact for us care takers to deal with but it is important the choices for treatment belong to the one with cancer as they are the ones that have to deal with side effects not us and it is their life not ours.

Also ask others for prayers as there is research showing the power of prayer.
Feel free to ask any questions and never fear that a question is stupid as there is no such thing.

Though my mom's battle is done, I still check these boards to see how friends are doing and offer any help I can. If my mom's story helps even one person it is worth telling over and over to new people here and it gives her battle some value. I need to go get some sleep and I will say a special prayer for you and your daughter tonight along with my prayers for all the others that come here. Hang in there. JanMarie;)





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