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Malignant abdomenal ascites + lymphedema advice please

Padme
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2014

Dear all,
I know that there are a lot of topics like this but I am impatient to read them all, and also believe that all cases are different. My mom has an advanced ovarian cancer with metastasis on her bladder, liver, lymph nodes etc (scattered in her stomach). It was first diagnosed in september 2006, and only short time in 2009 she was in a remission. She has been through a lot of different chemos after her ovaries were removed, and even in some ineffective clinical trial. Currently, she is dealing with annoying and unpleasant malignant ascites. She is having paracentesis (drainage) very often. In addition, she has lympedema in her leg (sometimes in both legs, it changes, have no idea how) and because both of problems she can't move. She also lost weight and will for anything. She is constantly not in the mood and has a terrible pain- which makes things worse. Her doctor literally dismissed her, actually told us that my mom is fading away, and doesn't even want to suggest anything for our last hope. Mom has been given albumin 2 x per week, for 3 weeks this month, and she is taking Alkeran (which is very very weak cytostatic drug). Also we are trying to improve her immune system with homeopathic ISCADOR injections even if it was only a placebo.
We are five- member family that lives in Serbia (former Yugoslavia) and do not have enough money for treatments in some private clinic abroad. I have read about avastin and removab (catumaxomab) but we can't afford the complete dosage (therapy). I don't know if there is a way to have a discount. ..Oh and an important thing- Removab and Avastin are not registered in Serbia nor in neighboring countries (Croatia etc) for the tretment of ovarian cancer, which complicates things. Can you please please help me somehow with your experiences? I've heard about topotecan, doxil, gemzar, but experiences are different, and not promissing...

I understand this is an awful disease, but I just want mom to be resent in important parts of lives of my sisters and mine

Thank you very much in advance

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1263
Joined: Jul 2012

From what you are describing treatment and attitude towards late stage ovarian cancer is not very different in Serbia and in North America. Frequent paracentesis is the palliative procedure of choice for ascites. I heard of long-term catheter placement so the patient could drain ascites herself. Removab is not approved or covered by insurance here either, though one can purchase it privately. Ascites will not go away without treating the underlying cause (cancer) with chemo.

All the chemos you listed (Doxil / Topotecan / Gemzar / Avastin) are used for recurrent ovca and they help some patient and don't help others, you never know until you try. That is if your mother wants to have more chemo. BTW Avastin is not approved or covered by insurance yet in Canada where I live.

I don't know if iscador makes any difference; I am sure you know that there are plenty of opinions either way and nothing solid.

I realize that you and your sister love your mom and want to keep her around for as long as possible. After 7+ years of fighting ovarian cancer I encourage you to focus on her quality of life, make sure she is comfortable; meaning enough painkillers, draining ascites, lymphedema stockings, etc. 

I wish you best of luck in this difficult time,

Alexandra

Marie V
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2014

Hello there,

I'm am new to this site however I do read many posts here regarding. OVCA. My mom is going Through somewhat the same as your mom. Though her doctor haven't switched her chemo to Avastin yet but I wanted to reach out to you about it. A company called genentech actually made the drug and offers financial assistance for this medication. You should check it out... 

http://www.genentech-access.com/avastin/hcp

 

if you're not able to access it Google Genentech and avastin.. I pray for your mom and everyone who is battling this horrendous disease. 

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