Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

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Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

by anne1981 on Sat Jan 20, 2018 02:31 PM

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I was hoping that someone could give me some insight into what to expect about the progression of my dad's PC. He was diagnosed in Feb. 2017, and has gone through two rounds of chemo. Initial CA-19-9 was in the 40s, and now it's 26. The cancer is locally advanced and doesn't appear to have metastasized. The tumor is around 2 cm by 2 cm. He just finished his second round of chemo. He was initially given a life expectancy of 16 months (to the end of 2018).

We would like to go to Europe together in the summer, 5 months from now. This would be a special family vacation for us. The tickets are cheap right now and I would like to book them before the prices go up. 

Do you think we can book tickets for a trip for 5 months from now, or can things turn on a dime with PC and he could be too sick to travel in 5 months? He feels fine now. Can the tumor grow explosively in 5 months if his CA-19-9 levels are low now and he has responded well to chemo?

Thanks very much in advance for any insight that anyone can give. I am sorry that we're all here, but glad that we at least have a community for support and advice.

RE: Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

by StanToronto on Sat Jan 20, 2018 05:08 PM

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How is his energy level? My wife felt fine after 5 months, but between the chemo and the disease, an hour out shopping was all the activity she could tolerate for a day.

RE: Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

by anne1981 on Sat Jan 20, 2018 06:09 PM

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Thanks so much for the response. His energy level is good now - the same as it was before he was diagnosed. Could this change in 5 months? His last round of chemo was a reduced dose of Gemzar, maybe if they move to a more aggressive chemo in the coming months it could change things?

RE: Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

by StanToronto on Sat Jan 20, 2018 09:29 PM

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Anne, I don't know what kind of cancer your father has, but it doesn't sound lke the usual (75%) pancreatic adenocarcinoma which my wife had. She was initially diagnosed with a 2 cm tumor, and was given 11.5 months. She only survived 10 months.

She was initially on Folfirinox which was effective for about 4 months, until the cancer found a way to mutate around the chemo, and everything started growing again. She then went of Gemzar, which didn't help much.

Every case different. I recall one where the tumour seemed to be stable after chemo, so they decided to go in and remove the tumour. When they did the lab tests, they found that the chemo had killed the tumour, all that remained was a lump of scar tissue.

There is always hope, and if your dad is still fine after a year, it sounds like reason for hope.

RE: Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

by patrigib on Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:34 PM

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Nobody can answer this question, as things may turn bad at any time but myhusband was diagnised sept 2014 adenocarcinoma in the head of pancreas plus liver mets.

His health has deteriorated but we are now 3.5 years from diagnosis. Can't you book the trip with cancellation insurance?

It's nice to have positive projetcts.

RE: Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

by smyrnalover on Mon Jan 22, 2018 03:25 AM

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My wife was treated well with Gemzar, and we took a number of pleasant trips. I would not go that far in coach class, however. I think creating those memories was important for us, so go for it!

RE: Dad has PC, can we book a trip for 5 months from now?

by togetherwecure on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:23 AM

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On Jan 20, 2018 2:31 PM anne1981 wrote:

I was hoping that someone could give me some insight into what to expect about the progression of my dad's PC. He was diagnosed in Feb. 2017, and has gone through two rounds of chemo. Initial CA-19-9 was in the 40s, and now it's 26. The cancer is locally advanced and doesn't appear to have metastasized. The tumor is around 2 cm by 2 cm. He just finished his second round of chemo. He was initially given a life expectancy of 16 months (to the end of 2018).

We would like to go to Europe together in the summer, 5 months from now. This would be a special family vacation for us. The tickets are cheap right now and I would like to book them before the prices go up. 

Do you think we can book tickets for a trip for 5 months from now, or can things turn on a dime with PC and he could be too sick to travel in 5 months? He feels fine now. Can the tumor grow explosively in 5 months if his CA-19-9 levels are low now and he has responded well to chemo?

Thanks very much in advance for any insight that anyone can give. I am sorry that we're all here, but glad that we at least have a community for support and advice.

We have had a very similar experience to yours (size, time, etc...).  My advice is, if you want to go to Europe together, GO NOW!  We had a trip planned out a similar amount of months and had to cancel it.  Might I add at great expense to everyone with Virgin Atlantic only refunding the taxes, nothing else.  But money aside, quality of life, memories, spending time together, if your loved one is terminal my vote would be live life and go NOW.  If you can't go there, do something else fun closer to home if it's too long of a flight.  My FIL waited too long to go and did not get to see his grandkids again (because they don't yet have passports or money to visit) and he is now to sick to fly and in end stages.  So this last year of life has consisted of chemo, sickness, hospitalizations, and watching tv, not seeing all of the people, travel, etc.. he would have liked to do. Seize the moment, don't delay is my advice.  Oh one last thought - if buying travel insurance be aware that this is a pre-existing condition and will likely be exempt, so read the policy very carefully regarding exclusions, etc...  Wishing you the best in this difficult situation. 

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