A New Road to Travel

edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hello everyone. Haven't posted in a few days as once again, I needed a cancer break and couldn't really talk about all the things that have been going through my mind. Tried to answer a few posts today and thought I'd fill everyone in real quickly (LOL...as if I could ever do that) on what's been happening with my mom. I know this is a colon cancer group, but I consider you all part of my extended family and I've kept you posted all along on the fact that I'm dealing with Bert's colon cancer and mom's lung cancer, that I feel comfortable speaking about her with you folks. Hope no one minds...but sometimes I think cancer's cancer...ugly and devastating no matter how you slice it.

Anyway, as you all know, Bert is doing well (thank God). Mom is another story. For my mama, the writing is basically on the wall. Results are in, have been reviewed, and diagnosis is "metastatic lung cancer that is progressive" pretty much says it all. Not only is the tumor that was 1.4 cm back is December still there, it is now 1.7 cm and a brand new tumor that is 4 cm has also come about, which is extremely rapid and aggressive growth. There is much hyperbolic activity around both of these tumors as well as other parts of her right lung, although no tumor evidene is present. Oncs recommendation is that she go, and she will go into a clinical trial, phase II, starting April 23. They are testing a brand new drug called MAC-something or other (I'll get the exact name later) and is specifically geared towards lung cancer. The purpose of the drug is for those who have failed platinum based chemotherapy, which she basically has because even though her treatment with chemo worked wonders on her old tumor, blasting it to smitherines, it obviously did not kill metastasis for if it had, I wouldn't be writing this e-mail. What they have discovered is that in lung cancer, many tumors do not absorb the platinum, which is designed to kill them....almost if you will, the tumor will absorb it and then "spit" it out. This MAC-XXX drug is geared towards making tumors retain the chemo that they absorb, thus working from the inside out. She will not be given any placebo...but will be given the actual drug.

I am quick to add that all side effects are not yet known, but from what they do know, it's a chemo therapy drug and therefore, you can pretty much count on one or many of the usual side effects....with maybe a few more thrown in. Additionally, and as I'm sure you too well know, there are no guarantees that it will even help my mom in any way. But the good thing is, they will do a complete work-up, including all scans in six weeks, after she has had the drug twice, and if no change is detected, they will take her off (why give her the poison if it isn't working). The actual treatment plan is six treatments over a period of 3 week cycles (once every 3 weeks....18 weeks total)....but again, it works pretty quick, if at all, so if nothing is detected in six weeks that shows any improvement, she will be taken off. At that point, we can research with the help of her oncologist for another clinical trial or put her on Irrissa, a new lung cancer drug approved by the FDA January 2004. Any way you slice it, it's come down to quality time...which could be years and could be months. I am hoping for the first and not the later. Mama is begin to feel shortness of breath in that she really can't walk very far or exert herself very much without it becoming a little difficult to breath. This is her cancer, and nothing else. It breaks my heart to see this. We are talking about a woman who is fiercely independent and full of life or the three "V's" if you will....vim, vigor, and vitality. And it bothers her tremendously....I can tell.

We did a lot of talking this weekend, my mother and I and got things pretty clear. She remains optimistic and is very much still of the mind set that she will do whatever it takes to continue fighting this disease. My mama is one heck of a woman and I only wish and pray that I have one quarter of her dignity, compassion, and strength.

Hugs to all,
Monika, who will continue to fight with and for both people that she loves...along with everyone else..."we shall fight them on the beaches"...sounds pretty funny coming from a "kraut" :o)


  • jsabol
    jsabol Member Posts: 1,145 Member
    Boy, Monika, what a tough row for you these days. You describe momma as such a strong woman, and she sure raised you right. She is lucky to have your support; and I'm so glad for both of you that you are able to talk all these tough issues out.
    You're all in my prayers; remember, hope is knowing that you will manage your future; sounds like you are all doing an amazing job. Judy
  • Kanort
    Kanort Member Posts: 1,272 Member
    God Bless you and yours, Monica. What a burden you do carry. Your mom sounds like a fighter and I pray that one of the new drugs will help her battle. I will keep her, the Semi-colons, and their caregivers in my prayers. Keep us posted.

    Hugs to you,

  • littlejulie
    littlejulie Member Posts: 311
    monika - please keep sharing your stories. your bravery help me get by! hang in there - your in my prayers.
  • kangatoo
    kangatoo Member Posts: 2,105 Member

    monika - please keep sharing your stories. your bravery help me get by! hang in there - your in my prayers.

    Hi Monika--what can I say--the love and support here is the best one can ask for--YOU HAVE IT!!!!-from both of us!!!!
    Thinking always of you/Bert and your mum!
    luv n huggs-kanga n Jen