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Finished Taxol, Carboplatin and Avastin! NOW WHAT!?!?

Posts: 31
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi. Gary, husband, finished his treatment with those 3 drugs and 35 radiopathy treatments. Dr Moy, our oncologist surgeon did not like the idea of surgery. He said that it was an extremely difficult surgery to recover from and that it's possible that the cancer has spread anyway.

But he's had pet scans that show that he only has cancer in and outside of his lung and in the two lymph nodes directly above the lung so it's stage 3A. dr flemming, our current oncologist told us he was putting him back on Avastan just to keep it at bay. When the tumor starts to grow again they will put him back on full chemotherapy.

We went to get a second opinion at Johns Hopkins. The doctor there said he was getting the right treatment and would be doing the same thing. He said that the reason gary does not qualify for any investigative treatment is because he has already had treatment with chemo and radiaogrphy. DOES THIS MEAN HE SHOULD HAVE HAD SURGERY IN THE FIRST PLACE OR AT LEAST AN INVESTIGATIONAL DRUG IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!! He hemmed and hawed when I asked him that.

He did think we should get a second opinion from another surgeon who is skilled in partial reconstruction on the lung; like only take one lobe out. (left lung)

He did give me his card and said that when the tumor starts to grow again, I could call him up and discuss an investigative treatment for gary.

So now Dr flemming is referring us to a different surgeon for a second opinion about the surgery.

I feel so confused. Can anybody please give me any insight on all of this?????

Thank you for reading this. Donna

Posts: 41
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Donnanva,
I know your doctors are a lot smarter than I, so I would bet you have received the proper treatment plan.
The only thing that sounds confusing to me is the dr saying your husband would not qualify for investigative / clinical treatmet because he/your husband has already had treatment with chemo and radiaogrphy?? In my wifes case (as well as many of the posts I have read and research I have done on the matter)it was the opposite approach, they were required to attempt chemotherapy and other means to address her NSCLC before she could begin her clinical trial.
Also, I am assuming your husband bas already had a biopsy and tissue tested to see if he is a candidate for one of the Lung Cancer trials, if not I would highly suggest you do that as soon as possible, because without they will not know what trial may apply to him/you.

Good luck and stay strong.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

The most critical point is that if your husband does not believe in or trust his doctors, you (he) should get new ones. If I read your post correctly, you have already received a second opinion from folks at Johns Hopkins. That is to say, if you are seeking further opinions, they will be third and fourth and so on.

There comes a time, sadly, when all of the opinions in the world will not change facts.

From what you describe (I am not a doctor, but a survivor, by the way, so take what I say with a grain of salt), your hub's cancer has already spread beyond a lobe, even beyond a lung. When that happens, in my personal experience, they tend to throw in the towel with respect to removing the cancer entirely and then devote their time to alleviating it, to keeping it in check, to maintaining it.

That isn't the best possible news, but it is better news, by far, than when they decide to stop treatment altogether. There are any number of folks on this very site who are long-term survivors of 'maintenance' treatment.

Treatment is hope.

As for the rest of what you are describing, I agree with you that you sound confused. I wonder if your husband is as confused as you are? If that is so, you two need to hustle down to see the doctor you trust most, and make your activity list based on what he/she says.

In the meantime, trust me, please, that this is typically a very emotional time and that you need to, as his caregiver, start taking notes, or start taping the meetings with docs, so that you have it together, between the two of you AND can ask new questions at subsequent meetings. If I were you, I would also ask for all paperwork generated for any particular appointment. These measures will surely help.

Best wishes to hub and all who care for him.

Take care,


Dapsterd's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello Donnanva,

I am also a canidate for surgery, in other words, they could pull out my right lung, not much issue here, but...my left lung will not support me due to low results of my pulmonary tests.

I am assuming, his potenial remaining lung is satisfatory?


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