rose20 Member Posts: 258
edited January 2012 in Esophageal Cancer #1
Okay, Jr. (Ray) was suppose to have his chemo for 6 weeks, I believe, and then PET on the 7th week. He just finished his 4th round and the oncologist says he wants to wait another 2 months for the PET, he wants more chemo in Jr.

Get this, Jr. lost 6 more lbs. but the onc. "is not concerned about the weight loss."

Am I crazy or what!? But isn't it important how much weight someone keeps losing weekly???

How long can someone keep losing weight???

Oh well, I guess it is just me.

Jr. has had some pain off and on and has to take his pain meds more it seems.
All I hear is, "his blood work is good."

Can someone be dying of cancer and their blood work be great??
I don't know, just how much does blood work tell of what is going on in the body??

I was hoping for the PET but now another 2 month wait.

I will keep you all posted.


  • sangora
    sangora Member Posts: 213
    Labs are different
    There are alot of things to be confused about with EC. One is the blood work. There are a little different definitions of normal and good for those of us living on Chemo drugs. I have a medical background and well know lab norms. The first time my onc told me by labs were "fine" and how pleased he was I looked down at the paper in my hand and suggested he look at them again. We then had a discussion where he explained the norms for chemo patients are looked at differently because ours will rarely be normal against the general population. I have been at this almost 23 months and my red cell numbers have been consistent the entire time. The week immediately following treatment they will nose dive and within 6-7 days when I have my follow up labs they are back to my normal. The first 4 chemo drugs did not bother my white cells, those that indicate immune system health, but the drug I am on now does destroy the white cells and badly. I take a shot for that problem and all remains well. I have been blessed to have the red cells come back fast enough that I have never needed any blood transfusions.

    As far as weight loss, they are not generally concerned as long as the patient can remain not more than 10- 15 pounds below their ideal body weight. I am a tube feeder and am now having difficulty maintaining a steady weight. My feedings have been increased and things are improving. It seems that far to often, docs don't jump on the weight train fast enough and the patient becomes depilitated more than they need too. You may need to push this if you can. I was again lucky in that my doc put a tube in before I started treatment and it has been a great help.

    Yes a persons body can go into overdrive and keep the blood levels near normal for a long time. It goes back to the different expectation for those of us with this neat little disease. Hang in there and try to push for that tube. Sam Stage IV
  • fredswilma
    fredswilma Member Posts: 185
    I am so sorry for what Ray is going through, you are not alone when you wonder about weight loss, it frightens the heck out of me and yet as you say the Onc's don't seem so worried I don't know when it becomes a problem, I weighed my Mark and in a fortnight he has lost 5kgs, which I think when converted is about 12-13pds, scared to weigh him again cause I know its just falling off him, will let you know if and when this alarms our Onc, keep in touch Rose I am thinking of you.
  • Cindy Bear
    Cindy Bear Member Posts: 569
    Hi Rose
    I just wanted to say I'm sorry that you and Jr are going thru this and I will be keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers. I wanted to comment about the bloodwork. My mom was diag. with stage IV uterine cancer. She was to have 6 rounds (that's 18 wks of chemo) of carboplatin and taxol. She went once a week for 3 wks and 1 week off. They did blood work every week including the off week. The oncology nurse who first talked to us about chemo, made it sound (blood work) like the holy grail. We were comforted by this, thinking surely if something is amiss it will show in the Blood work. Not so. After my mom passed, the oncologist and his NP both told me that blood work is not a good indicator of how well chemo is working . So yes, sadly, you can be very ill and still have blood counts that are pretty normal.
    Big hugs,