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Cancer: Lung Message Board

Cancer: Lung Board Index

For Conan
May 7, 2007

I am so sorry to hear that the Tarceva did not work for Patsy. You said she will be staring a new chemo either Alimita or Taxotere. Those were the same two choices my mom was offered as her 3rd line treatment so I did alot of reading about both and we decided on Alimita as it just did not sound like it would be as brutal as Taxotere. My moms hair had grown in from her months on Tarceva and she was depressed about it all falling out again as well as saying good bye to how well she had felt while on the Tarceva.

We dreaded that first chemo thinking things would change big time, but they didn't. She did not loose her hair:) so it continued to grow. She had a couple days of minor fatigue staring 48 hrs after chemo but her life really did not change so she had another good 7 months and saw shrinkage with Alimita. We decided we made the correct choice. She did take a supplement that I am not allowed to mention here so it may have been a factor in how well she did with this chemo. Alimita was by far the easiest chemo for her except for Tarceva but I don't consider that Chemo. The infusions were also shorter then her other chemos:) . She also ate very well while on Alimita and she and I often stopped for lunch on the way home from chemo.

When it quit working we moved on to Taxotere and Gemzar and from that first infusion she started having extreme fatigue and stopped feeling good,her hair started falling out after a few infusions. It was a rather brutal chemo and was the first time she ever needed procrit and neupogen. I was thankful that we did the alimita first and got those extra 7 months of good time to tack on to her Tarceva good time as that was a nice stretch of good time where I think that except for chemo days she forgot she did have cancer. I know everyone reacts so differently to chemo but I wanted to share my mom's story with you and Patsy.

I think alot of time people do better with care given by home health care workers verses family because I am sure even when they know they are not at all responsible for getting sick that besides the anger, it causes alot of guilt over what their illness is doing to the family. I think sometimes it is their way of starting to push loved ones away in hopes it will protect the loved one or help ease the loss should they die.

I think often they find it is easier to start exploring things like the end of life with non family care givers as it can be so emotional to discuss it with a loved one.I know in my job alot of end stage cancer patients are rather mean and curt with their loved ones and yet very sweet and kind with me or my coworkers and they often do talk about what is happening to them and ask questions about death as to them we are safe people as we do not have those strong emotional ties to them that family does. I will be honest and not just tell them what I think they want to hear and most appreciate that.

I can not imagine having to deal with all of this and having small children but I do know that kids do manage as my cousins lost their dad to lung cancer when he was in his mid 30's and they were all under the age of 10. There were 3 of them. they all turned out ok.It was a struggle but my aunt accepted it and and did a fantastic job. She died of pancreatic cancer about 10 yrs ago which is a shame as if she was still alive I would have her post about her experience as I am sure she learned lots of lessons she could share with those of you with young children.

I will be saying lots of prayers for you and Patsy.:wave: JanMarie

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