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good news...now what

8965
Posts: 34
Joined: Nov 2005

Greetings...after 4 rounds of chemo my dad had his whole body scan and monday got the results..the cancer in his lung has disappeared and the cancer in his liver has a small fading spot. The doctor has put my dad on Tarceva..why not give him more chemo if he responded so well? And what happens now, does he keep going in for checkups or what. He was diagnosed in Novemeber with stage IV lung cancer the doctors are thrilled with his recovery thus far whats next?

rpatt
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2005

First of all, congrats to you and your father! He has already beaten a lot of statistics! What a quick response.
My advice, ask your dad's doctors all of those questions you listed and remind your dad to report any changes to them immediatly. Doctor's go on statistics based on how most people respond and then work their way down the list. Tarceva is working for a lot of people and in some, even reduces tumors that are present. Why not try it and have your dad monitor himself closely. He'll know pretty quick if it is not working. Also the standard is, as I understand, to have a scan every three months once the cancer is stable, so any changes will be caught then. Also, check and see how aggressive your dad's cancer is, ie mildly, moderatly or poorly differentiated. This, we found out makes a difference as to how stable (no growth) partial remission can be. All good questions for a doctor, as I am no real expert,
That said, my husband went through the same thing, but the Tarceva did not work. He knew pretty quickly without a scan because his breathing worsened and he lost weight. His doc moved down the list and my husband is now three weeks into chemo with Navelbine, which he seems to be responding to if his mood, more activity, weight gain, and easier time breathing are any indication. We remain optimistic that this new treatment or a few more the doc has in his bag will take him into complete remission!
I hope the best for you and your father! He has already come so far!

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Based on my experience, the doctor will schedule regular, routine checkups for your dad., probably at monthly intervals, until the liver spot(s) is gone. When and if that happens, the doctor will probably go to three month intervals for a year, then six months for another couple of years, and finally, one year checkups until the five year mark comes along. At intervals, the doctor will schedule scans to check the areas in question. However, and I think all here would agree,- a certain paranoia occurs in cancer patient/survivors. The slightest things will set us of - worrying if "it's coming back". It's natural, and the doctors expect it. Your dad should listen to his body, and if he has the slightest worry, he should call his doctor immediately, - "he shouldn't wait and see". At the very least, a chat with the doctor will put him at ease. Should there be a problem, it will be attended to immediately.

8965
Posts: 34
Joined: Nov 2005

Thank you both so much...I always feel better about things after I visit the site. I tell my dad about it but he cant even figure out the call waiting on his phone. Im sure the doctors will direct him but I cant make it to every appt. and I wanna know all thats going on and I dont want him to hide anything from us to protect us. He starts Tarceva on thursday and is feeling stronger everyday. Platlets shot up and he is doing more and more. I wonder if he will ever get his strength back enough to leave the house for other things besides Dr.s appt. I pray for his health and happiness every day as I do for all of you out here thanks again

Christine

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

If your dad catches on to the call waiting button, have him call and explain it to me. Seriously, - if you have concerns about him hiding anything in order to protect you, try calling the doctor on the telephone. He may or may not discuss your dad's case with you. There can be legal complications related to that, but it's worth a try. The chomo treatments can be tough on a lot of patients, and it can take quite a while to build one's self up again. Patience is needed there. Ernie

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