To see if the chemo and radiation has helped.....and it hasn't.
He is now down to 113 lbs at 6 feet 2 inches. The cancer is still active and slightly bigger. His onc is giving him a month to make a decision about what to do next...there are two options. More chemo...or not. Please, pray for my dad to have the strength to make this kind of decision. I will support him no matter what he decides but how do you have the strength to decide to live a little bit longer or die????? I just don't know how he is coping...I would be freaking out...like I am right now even though it's not me!!!
The Following User Says Thank You to Ayre For This Useful Post: yingjie (01-24-2012)
Dying is not an option for your dad or any of us. It is the natural course of life. No one not even the doctors can predict how he will respond to chemo. treatments. If the doctors are saying it will prolong life, then it's the quality of life that is the question. My husband will not have another scan until July. Honestly if the cancer is unchanged I don't know if you will go through it again. I don't know if he could go through it again. I believe it is what he thinks he should be doing but I really don't believe it is what he wants to do. Even though it is your dad's decision he may look to you for guidance.
The following user gives a hug of support to feetofclay: yingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to feetofclay For This Useful Post: yingjie (01-24-2012)
I was sad to hear the chemo did not work, but is waiting a month to make a decision in his condition a little long? I would have questioned that as a lot can happen in a month with cancer that is very active. I know it is hard to weigh the pros and cons and I think quality of life is very important. I sometimes wish Stan had not done this last line of chemo because it has robbed him of his quality, but you know something else could have happened too so you just don't know. It is a decision that your dad has to feel 100% about and if he continues with chemo then he must be positive and continue to fight hard to buy some good quality.
You are in my prayers,
The following user gives a hug of support to Kimslos: yingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to Kimslos For This Useful Post: yingjie (01-24-2012)
Actually his Oncologist said he's not strong enough at 113lbs to take anymore chemo right now so that's why they're giving it a month...to see if he can heal more. This was his first round of chemo and radiation....he finished the chemo back in November/early December...so this most recent weight loss is either from radiation or Cachexia (not that it's been properly diagnosed but he has all the symptoms). I know that a month is a long time in Cancer but I'm wondering if maybe his oncologist knows that nothing is really going to help so she's letting him take a month to absorb it...I wasn't actually at the appointment and they tend to shelter me from things (being the youngest and the "baby) so I'm thinking maybe they didn't tell me everything. And now my step-mother is having issues with her health to boot. Things just aren't looking good.
Cachexia can be a real problem. There are prescription medicines that people take to stimulate the appetite for weight gain. Of course, at the moment, I can't remember what the name! Have your folks ask the docs about it. At least it will give your Dad a fighting chance to rebuild his strength so he can receive more chemo.
Is the Doc willing to try Tarceva at this point? That is another option with hardly any side effects that would impact his overall weak condition.
I'm not sure, is that available in Canada? See, I work and have been unable to make to all but one appointment so I don't even know what the name of the last chemo was. And also, as I mentioned before, they tend to shelter me from things and only mention what is absolutely neccessary, which, as you can imagine, is terribly frustrating. I have mentioned calling his doc personally to hear it straight from the source but I get the impression my father would rather I didn't, and I don't want to upset him in any way at this point in time. I will mention the cachexia and the meds. He is on a shot of something that tends to perk up his appetite a bit but it doesn't last more than a day or two and he only has this shot once a week.
Ok I researched a little and I see it is available in Canada but HOLY EXPENSIVE! Just the one place I looked quoted it at $85/tablet. Do you know if it's covered by drug plans? He's currently collecting Canada Pension and only has that drug plan now that he's not working.
Okay, yes I guess I had overlooked the weight loss issue...sorry so guess it does make sense the doctor is waiting a month. Is there a game plan to get the weight on him? When we met with the doctor last week for the last time the doctor mentioned to Stan was to work on Nutrition, so naturally we were both thinking healthy foods and then the doctor mentioned something about high calorie intake so then Stan asked what do you mean by nutrition and he said ANYTHING you can eat, eat it! He explained to us that cancer takes a lot of calories from ones body, especially when it is spreading. Stan is continuing to lose weight too, but no matter what I do he still won't eat more.
I am so sorry your dad is having such a weight loss issue on top of everything else as it makes them so weak. I do hope and pray your dad is eating more and having some good days.
Here in the States Tarceva is covered by most health plans. Don't know about Canada. The drug company also has a program to help people who can not afford the drug.
When my mom started it we thought wow that is expensive! ( about 3 thousand a month) My mom did respond to Tarceva so even if we had had to pay for it ourselves it would have been worth every penny!Then later when we looked into Avastin we decided Tarceva wasn't that expensive after all as Avastin was running about thirty thousand a month! Even the procrit and neupogen was up in the range of Tarceva. It is just insane what drug companies can charge for drugs!
As for the month wait, I know there were periods during my mom's last chemo where she either just did not feel well so they held the chemo or her blood counts were low so they held it so she would go more then a month without treatment.
I think my mom put up with her last chemo ( her 4th line ) much longer then she wanted too because she did not want to hurt us by deciding to stop treatment. By doing so she did suffer in the quality of her life as that chemo just wiped her out till she felt she could not go on and stopped it then only lived another month never getting any strength back. It was just a down hill spiral. I know she would have been happier had life been easier those last few months instead of longer.
I will send lots of prayers and positive thoughts your dad's way. JanMarie
thanks everyone. Yes I believe his blood counts are down too which is probably another reason why they are waiting. I'm not sure what the next course of action is as I wasn't at the appointment because I had to work. They basically just told him to take this month, get a little stronger, and decide what to do, either more chemo, or stop treatment. I'm assuming, when they tell someone to make a decision like that, it's not going well?