Do you know if chemo is failing? Just paranoid...

I have a question, I would ask on the ovarian board, but it's not as active as this one.

Last year at this time, I was diagnosed at first with stage IV cancer.  I had a significant pleural effusion, about a week later, I had my debulking surgery, three weeks later I started on chemo.  My pleural effusion came back really quickly after it was drained.  It never really left.  I felt OK, but I was not confident the cancer was gone-- my chest hurt, I had dizzy spells, and I was fatigued.  I found out that the cancer was not completely gone at my 12 week follow-up, and I started on single agent doxil.

The first two infusions my CA-125 did not go down, it went up (not significantly-- at re-diagnosis it was 90, a few weeks before starting chemo 109, first chemo 163, second chemo 172).  My pleural effusion is gone, the tumors cannot be felt anymore in a digital exam.  I do have some aches and pains, but I think that might be par for the course recovering from/getting treated with cancer.  The doctor says if the CA-125 doesn't go down, then he is going to stop this chemo and try something else.

So did you know if the chemo is failing?


  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996 Member
    edited January 2017 #2
    Please remember that we are all so different

    For me, each time the CA 125 went up , it was an accurate signal that something was not right.  And a CT scan would show new growth.  I Have had different reaction to different chemo treatments that made my oncologist stop and try something new.  Reactions to the Carbo.  Doxil was very harsh for me. It worked on small tumors but let larger ones groW.  Including one that intwined itself between my intestines causing a complete bowel Blockage... Surgery to remove 30 centimeters of intestines,  Topotecan stopped after two rounds because the CA125 rose and the CT scan confirmed that it was doing nothing. AVastin caused a mild heart attack after two rounds and it was working.  

    Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann