Chemo breaks

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Chemo breaks

by Jess24lynn on Wed Mar 11, 2015 03:07 PM

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My mom was diagnosed on 4/1/14 with stage 4 PC with mets to her lungs. She has been on Gem/Abraxane since mid-July 2014 and has done extremely well. She has had a fantastic response, most of her lung mets are gone and the ones that are still there are not solid on the scans. Her CA19-9 has been hovering between 20-25, down from a high of 486. She has decided to take a break from treatment with the support of her Hopkins oncologist as well as our local oncologist. The plan is to check her CA19-9 every 4 weeks and do a scan every 8. Has anyone every done this? I am trying to support my mom's decision, I know she needs a break. It has been a long year. But I am very scared that we are giving the cancer a chance to come back. Her first tumor marker check is next week and I am very nervous. Would love to hear from anyone who has had success with taking an extended break from treatment.

RE: Chemo breaks

by lynjohn on Wed Apr 15, 2015 02:50 PM

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My brother was diagnosed with pc + liver mets in oct 2014. Treatment of abraxane and gemcitabine commenced 2 weeks later (3 weeks on, 1 week off).

At beginning of treatment his ca19-9 was 74, after 1 cycle down to 10, after 2nd cycle 5 and holding there.

Various side effects along the way, nothing too drastic. However after 5 months of treatment, the side effects are catching up with him.

His first 3monthly scan showed a shrinkage in the tumour of 30% and liver mets decreased from 1.3cm to 1.0cm.

He has completed 2 cycles of his 2nd 3month treatment. Saw his consultant yesterday and she has decided to give him 4 weeks off treatment for "good behavior"!  Being a very anxious person anyway,  he's  now worrying that they have "stopped his treatment because it isn't working".

During his 4 week break, hewill be having his 2nd. Scan, he has already made up his mind that the results will not be good!

Since commencement of treatment, he has had no symptons of his illness and his gp and consultant are extremely pleased with him, but we can't get him to accept that things are going well right now and he's losing interested in day to day "stuff". The sympathetic approach doesn't help, a firm approach works for about 24hours, then depressed again. This is getting really hard work!!!

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