Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

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Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Louisa on Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:00 AM

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Please, I'm looking for information.  My brother-in-law, Eddie, was diagnosed on 8th Feb 07 with Adenocarcinoma of Esophagus, T3N1M0.  Pet Scan no evidence of other organs involved, laparoscopy washings - no evidence of malignant cells, cancer a little higher up than was thought and not involving the stomach.  Symptoms started end of Oct 06, first thought to be an infection (they had been on a cruise) but definite dg in Feb 07. Surgeon put Eddie on chemo for nine weeks (ECF) and then would do surgery if no malignant cells in laparoscopic washings.   Surgeon said only chemo, no radiation as cancer too near heart? (I am concerned  because I read that radiation is part of normal therapy in the States.  Eddie lives in Australia with his family).    Yesterday (the end of the second week) on return to Oncology clinic they found Eddie had an infection in the vein (or blocked vein).  He had had pain all week in the arm but just shrugged it off and went about his normal activities as he is determined to beat the disease.He has been nauseous, sick sometimes, dizzy and tired but continues to go out and about.

They found his white blood cell count so low that they would not continue the chemotherapy.   He has been put on oral antibiotics and has to return to the clinic next Friday.

My sister and I are extremely worried now.  What will this mean if they don't continue the chemotherapy?   The oncologist was away so they were not able to talk to him.   Has anybody else had this experience.  I would really appreciate any info anyone can give.

 Thank you all and my sincere best wishes to everyone.   I have read a lot  on this board and there is so much information that is of great help.

Thanks so much.

 Louisa

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Louisa on Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 3/24/2007 Louisa wrote:

Please, I'm looking for information.  My brother-in-law, Eddie, was diagnosed on 8th Feb 07 with Adenocarcinoma of Esophagus, T3N1M0.  Pet Scan no evidence of other organs involved, laparoscopy washings - no evidence of malignant cells, cancer a little higher up than was thought and not involving the stomach.  Symptoms started end of Oct 06, first thought to be an infection (they had been on a cruise) but definite dg in Feb 07. Surgeon put Eddie on chemo for nine weeks (ECF) and then would do surgery if no malignant cells in laparoscopic washings.   Surgeon said only chemo, no radiation as cancer too near heart? (I am concerned  because I read that radiation is part of normal therapy in the States.  Eddie lives in Australia with his family).    Yesterday (the end of the second week) on return to Oncology clinic they found Eddie had an infection in the vein (or blocked vein).  He had had pain all week in the arm but just shrugged it off and went about his normal activities as he is determined to beat the disease.He has been nauseous, sick sometimes, dizzy and tired but continues to go out and about.

They found his white blood cell count so low that they would not continue the chemotherapy.   He has been put on oral antibiotics and has to return to the clinic next Friday.

My sister and I are extremely worried now.  What will this mean if they don't continue the chemotherapy?   The oncologist was away so they were not able to talk to him.   Has anybody else had this experience.  I would really appreciate any info anyone can give.

 Thank you all and my sincere best wishes to everyone.   I have read a lot  on this board and there is so much information that is of great help.

Thanks so much.

 Louisa


For further clarification the infection is in the vein where the infusion port has been inserted.  He first felt pain when they changed the catheter after the first week and flushed the saline solution through BUT he did not mention this because he thought it was normal!   He was told to report any signs of temperature (has been normal all week) or any other abnormalities.   Eddie thought all the symptoms he had were a result of the chemotherapy!

Louisa

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by 2cats on Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:00 AM

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Do you know if they are taking a break in the chemo to allow his white counts to improve or are they actually stopping the chemo?  There is a difference.  While its best to continue on with treatment, if he is too sick to have it right now, taking a break is the best thing for him. I know with my mom they always remind her that they can take a break if they need to.

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Lou38s on Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:00 AM

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If the white blood cells are low because of infection, it's one thing. If it's low because of chemo, there are shots - for both red and white. At this moment I can't remember which injections are for red or white. They are quite familiar with chemo patients. If the port is not flushed properly, it can be dangerous. If it was hit or pressure put on it, that's not good either. ANY aches, pains dizziness - ANY and ALL symptoms should be reported. Don't feel overly cautious or feel like your are bothering anyone with concerns. This is not a cold or flu. You have never dealt with cancer before. There is nothing wrong with checking on each and every hiccup. (Just between us:-) - If something was bothering my husband, and he would say it's nothing, I looked it up and then checked with the doctor wether he wanted me to or not. Eventually they find out about the checking,because the doctor has to ask him, but better be safe than sorry. Listen carefully to what he says when you ask him how he is feeling. :-)

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Lou38s on Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 3/24/2007 Lou38s wrote:

If the white blood cells are low because of infection, it's one thing. If it's low because of chemo, there are shots - for both red and white. At this moment I can't remember which injections are for red or white. They are quite familiar with chemo patients. If the port is not flushed properly, it can be dangerous. If it was hit or pressure put on it, that's not good either. ANY aches, pains dizziness - ANY and ALL symptoms should be reported. Don't feel overly cautious or feel like your are bothering anyone with concerns. This is not a cold or flu. You have never dealt with cancer before. There is nothing wrong with checking on each and every hiccup. (Just between us:-) - If something was bothering my husband, and he would say it's nothing, I looked it up and then checked with the doctor wether he wanted me to or not. Eventually they find out about the checking,because the doctor has to ask him, but better be safe than sorry. Listen carefully to what he says when you ask him how he is feeling. :-)

Also - Unless you have had radiation before, if you are strong enough - there is no reason it should not be an option. Kevin had the "inoperable operation" done first, then radiation, then chemo. And, which I sometimes forget, he has a valve in heart doesn't open and close as it should. His Mother told me he has always had that. The irregular heart beat. NOTHING has challenged him except doctors. And he/we, rise to the challenge. TKO to those not up for Kevin.

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Louisa on Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 3/24/2007 Lou38s wrote:

If the white blood cells are low because of infection, it's one thing. If it's low because of chemo, there are shots - for both red and white. At this moment I can't remember which injections are for red or white. They are quite familiar with chemo patients. If the port is not flushed properly, it can be dangerous. If it was hit or pressure put on it, that's not good either. ANY aches, pains dizziness - ANY and ALL symptoms should be reported. Don't feel overly cautious or feel like your are bothering anyone with concerns. This is not a cold or flu. You have never dealt with cancer before. There is nothing wrong with checking on each and every hiccup. (Just between us:-) - If something was bothering my husband, and he would say it's nothing, I looked it up and then checked with the doctor wether he wanted me to or not. Eventually they find out about the checking,because the doctor has to ask him, but better be safe than sorry. Listen carefully to what he says when you ask him how he is feeling. :-)

Sonda,

Thank you so much - my sister is at loggerheads with Eddie - it's hard for her as he thinks she's nagging!  Mary has lost just as much weight as Eddie has.   She can't when eat when she's under stress quite the opposite as to what happens to me!  Her daughter, Susan, has also told me that Eddie is difficult (always has been extremely independent) and he'd have a fit if he thought they were talking to the doctors without his knowledge.  I'm just going to have to pluck up the courage and tell him straight out.  I did tell him to tell them that he had pain and that everything should be reported now but his reply was that he would tell them at the next appointment and look what happened!  I'll be talking with Mary later today and have her print out your message.     The pain was better when I talked to them this morning.  He did say he had pain in his neck now where the infusion port is.  I did not speak to him as he was in the garage painting something or other!!!   

A million, million, thanks - it's so comforting to know that others are offering their help and information and so much more when those people are going through the same stressful experiences.  You have no idea how much I appeciate your help.  

My very best wishes and prayers for you and your husband.  You are very rare wonderful people!

Hugs, Louisa

 

Havin

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Kilgh on Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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Chemo treatments will be delayed if the white blood count is below a certain threshold. I have never heard of a delay affecting the overall outcome however.

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Louisa on Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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They said they could not continue the chemotherapy because of the infection and the low white blood cell count.   I think the cause is both the infection and chemotherapy.

I told my sister to call the hospital because of the neck pain now.  I guess she told Eddie and she has just sent me a message that she called the hospital and that they were told to go straight in to check it out.   They are there now at this very minute waiting to be seen.

Thanks for all your concern.  I'll keep you informed. 

Prayers and thanks to all of you.

Louisa

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Lou38s on Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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Louisa - He sounds EXACTLY like Kevin!  Independent is a nice way to put it. Certain situations (I would even tell Kevs docs this) - Must be handled in way that, a sypmtom must be treated on thier terms. So, we must be very creative in our "checking" on them!  ~~ Actually, I was being polite - This is from a caregivers point of view - We have to be creative on how we go about sneaking behind thier backs to make sure they are ok!

God Bless,  love hearing from you!

RE: Chemotherapy stopped after two weeks - T3N1M0

by Lou38s on Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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Just saw your new message as I posted my other reply. Will be praying for Eddie. Big Hugs - Sonda

 

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