How do you Know When You Are In Remission?

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How do you Know When You Are In Remission?

by Jean1 on Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi My mom who was diag. in dec with dcis .Had a full mysectomy and 6 nodes all neg is just finishing 4 sessions of chemo .She is 72 she wants to know how do they determine if she is "cancer free"or in remission .she she have any additional tests and what should she "watch" for ?She is also very weak and tired after chemo any ideas on how to help boost her energy level..she would love to start traveling but is way to tired .She wants to have peace of mind that her cancer is gone .how do you kow?She sits home most of the time ..and I really would like her to start enjoyinhg herself so is fearful thast the cancer is not gone and seems depressed and isolates herself..any help or imfo would be great god bless ! tara

RE: How do you Know When You Are In Remission?

by Sally55 on Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi Tara I think that your mom is depressed and might need an antidepressant from her onco ( oncologist) It is never good to isolate oneself. As far as being in remission and how you can tell. The onco usually does circulating tumer cells test as well as a tumor marker test. For the tumer cell one anything over 5 is not a good sign, and the tumer marker usually is 0 to 35 and anything over 35 results that the cancer is still present in the body.also the tests that are by blood test like thwe CA-125 etc. Tell your Mom to get out and do somethings even if it is for a little while, Tara you can also get people to call her and to have people write cards and letters of encouragement to her to help her not be so isolated. Also you can put cards out every day for her that people have sent to help her be encouraged.I hope this helps....Take care and GBU Sally

RE: How do you Know When You Are In Remission?

by Jean1 on Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 7/5/2007 Sally55 wrote:

Hi Tara I think that your mom is depressed and might need an antidepressant from her onco ( oncologist) It is never good to isolate oneself. As far as being in remission and how you can tell. The onco usually does circulating tumer cells test as well as a tumor marker test. For the tumer cell one anything over 5 is not a good sign, and the tumer marker usually is 0 to 35 and anything over 35 results that the cancer is still present in the body.also the tests that are by blood test like thwe CA-125 etc. Tell your Mom to get out and do somethings even if it is for a little while, Tara you can also get people to call her and to have people write cards and letters of encouragement to her to help her not be so isolated. Also you can put cards out every day for her that people have sent to help her be encouraged.I hope this helps....Take care and GBU
thank you so much..she is taking paxil but she just is very tired ! Are all these blood tests ?

RE: How do you Know When You Are In Remission?

by Sally55 on Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 7/7/2007 Jean1 wrote:

 

On 7/5/2007 Sally55 wrote:

Hi Tara I think that your mom is depressed and might need an antidepressant from her onco ( oncologist) It is never good to isolate oneself. As far as being in remission and how you can tell. The onco usually does circulating tumer cells test as well as a tumor marker test. For the tumer cell one anything over 5 is not a good sign, and the tumer marker usually is 0 to 35 and anything over 35 results that the cancer is still present in the body.also the tests that are by blood test like thwe CA-125 etc. Tell your Mom to get out and do somethings even if it is for a little while, Tara you can also get people to call her and to have people write cards and letters of encouragement to her to help her not be so isolated. Also you can put cards out every day for her that people have sent to help her be encouraged.I hope this helps....Take care and GBU
thank you so much..she is taking paxil but she just is very tired ! Are all these blood tests ?

 

Tara, yes all the tests for tumor markers are by blood test and they should already be doing this on a routine basis when she has her appointments. Is she going to a cancer center...Let me know...Sally

RE: How do you Know When You Are In Remission?

by Sewwonderfulwoman on Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 7/2/2007 Jean1 wrote:

Hi My mom who was diag. in dec with dcis .Had a full mysectomy and 6 nodes all neg is just finishing 4 sessions of chemo .She is 72 she wants to know how do they determine if she is "cancer free"or in remission .she she have any additional tests and what should she "watch" for ?She is also very weak and tired after chemo any ideas on how to help boost her energy level..she would love to start traveling but is way to tired .She wants to have peace of mind that her cancer is gone .how do you kow?She sits home most of the time ..and I really would like her to start enjoyinhg herself so is fearful thast the cancer is not gone and seems depressed and isolates herself..any help or imfo would be great god bless ! tara

Hi Tara,

If your Mom has just finished chemo please be aware that it takes a year to recover from treatment for cancer.  She has just gone through a LOT for a 72 yr. old and her body and spirit need recuperating time.  If there is any way you can have an appt. with a dietician (someone who specializes with cancer patients), I highly recommend it.  I saw one and got lots of great advice, including that extra protein (good quality, not high fat) is important.  Make sure they are testing her white and red blood counts.  Low counts can make you tired, esp. low red counts.  I needed red cell booster shots after my last chemo (they automatically gave me white cell booster shots----Neupogen). 

I traveled 3 weeks after my last chemo---flew to visit girlfriends (nothing like girlfriend therapy!!).  Yes, I was tired but I paced myself and didn't overdo, however I am 20 yrs. younger than your Mom. 

If the oncologist said that the chemo was "insurance", then I would take that to mean that as far as they were able to tell, they got all the cancer with the operation.  Yes, yes there's always the chance that some cells traveled elsewhere but your Mom needs to believe they got it all and that her job now is to get strong and healthy again so her body is able to fight off ANY illness.  Basically this is what I've told myself and I had invasive lobular carcinoma with 16 positive lymphnodes---stage 3A.  I've looked at the chemo & radiation I've gone through as "insurance" to make sure no other little cancer cells left over had any chance to grow.  I've also had a PET/CT scan (that scans from about your knees to your chin, I think) and a mammogram and breast MRI of the other breast which showed no signs of cancer so these are other tests to help give her piece of mind

 I would also encourage you to ask your questions (write them all down before you see the dr. so you'll remember) of the oncologist, including the ones about what to be on the watch for in terms of recurrence.  I did--actually asked the surgeon, oncologist AND radiation oncologist---covered all my bases!

Hang in there.  It's wonderful you are taking care of your Mom.  Make sure she's eating properly and getting quality sleep--both important components of healing.  You'll both see the gradual improvement in strength and energy as time progresses.  If she can take little walks or a gentle exercise class that will also help her energy and healing.  Best to you both.

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