question about chemo response (Re: Will)

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8/1/2010 6:51pm
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Replies: 6

Will is now about 11 days post chemo (carboplatin and taxol, to hopefully reduce tumor burden and allow him time to participate in a better treatment, perhaps Oncovex if we still cannot get ipi).  His main problem is extensive liver tumors.  However, he had a number of skin lesions that had shown up since April - bumps on his head and two on his face.  Since the chemo, all the sub Qs seem to have reduced significantly or disappeared.  I know one cannot extrapolate response to other organs, but would this indicate these tumors are responding to the chemo?  They also went down fast after the biochemo (but that was so toxic it was stopped after 2 rounds - and the tumors returned just as fast as they'd disappeared).  Are sub Qs just more responsive to treatment?  

For what it's worth, Will has been feeling quite good the past week.  I have not seen much of any side effects from the chemo - mild fatigue but he's actually feeling better now (he's on better pain management for hip mets) and has been walking further and more than he has since April.  His appetite is good - no hair loss - no other apparent effects.  In fact, I would say he's actually feeling overall better than I've seen him feel since perhaps March.  His quality of life/performance status is considerably improved.  It could be the pain management but perhaps it is also the chemo - I guess only the scans will tell.  His former oncologist painted an extremely bleak picture three and a half weeks ago - basically suggested things may be hopeless and would go quickly downhill.  And obviously it's far too early to tell - but I was expecting things to be much worse - and today we were out having coffee and donuts and chatting like we did before he became so ill.

I have no experience with the drugs Will is on, but I'm so happy to hear he seems to be doing better.  He is so fortunate to have a friend like you.  I'm glad you were able to go and enjoy coffee and donuts today.  Sometimes just being able to get some normalcy helps everyone's outlook.  I will continue to pray for you both.  Take care.

Amy S. in Michigan

IIIa

16 mos NED

Stage IIIA 5 years NED Completed 1 year interferon 2009.  God is Good.

It is true that sometimes one area of mets will respond and another will not. That being said I think it is extremely encouraging that the SubQ lesions have improved. Best wishes to you.

Ditto to Amy S.  I have found it to be very important to find a doctor who will be very positive and encouraging with the patient and family.   Bless you in your time and effort in being an advocate. 

Bob F in CA

Hi Lori,

I don't know about the sub-q's cuz I havent been there (and hope not too of-course) but I have surrender to pain meds this past week and I am feeling pretty darn good. So I want to go with the pain meds that are helping Will, they have their place and it looks like Will has found his, good for him, keep a steading stream in him. You guys are a great inspriration and we all know what a very long and hard road it's been. Sending you guys love and hugs. love, Sharon in Reno, Stage IV

To Thy Own Self Be True & Move Fast When You "Know" You Have To!!

Hi Lori

our son had the same combo back in 2008 plus maybe Sorafenib an early BRAF drug. He experienced dissapearence of subq's and some reduction internally after 2 treatments mainly stable for 6 months. It had sneaked into the Brain so Trial was stopped.

keep up the good work we pray that he continues to improve

James

thank you all!  Will has moments of fatigue but other than that continues hanging in there and doing pretty well.  He goes for a 2nd round of chemo (provided his bloodwork is okay) in a week, so we are hoping he will continue to improve or be stable.  He had a lovely visit today from another mel. patient (stage IV currently NED) which encouraged him a lot.

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.   He is amazingly brave.