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message for rheinstone1

scungileen
Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2006

Hi Martha, we've spoken before. I was just reading your message posted on March 13th where you said that your mother gets her chemo once every three weeks. My dad gets his once a week for three weeks and then off for a week. My dad, like your mom, has a malignant pleural effusion. As you said, the prognosis is 3 to 6 months as it is aggressive. You also said that your mother has had two scans to show you where she is at. I am curious because my dad hasn't been told to have any scans yet. In all he has had five treatments of chemo with a short break in the middle due to a pleurodesis. Should we be suggesting scans to see how things are going? Why do you think that he is getting chemo more frequently? I have to admit he is not tolerating the chemo all that well because the first of the three rounds is a stronger cocktail and by session two he is still feeling some effects from session one. He is very depressed because he feels awful and now his blood levels are low and they have to administer shots to bring his red count up. He feels that its one thing after another. I just hope its not all too much for him at his age. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. I'm depressed for him because I feel so helpless and it saddens me to see him not his usual jovial self. I know we have to trust our doctors, but I was just wondering why your doctor's method seems to be so different from my dad's doctor?

I have to tell you that hearing that your mother's condition has stabilized for the last three months is so uplifting. You should feel so blessed. Wish your mom the best and tell her it is stories like hers that gives people like me hope and less anxiety.

I feel a connection to your story because we share a commonality - malignant pleural effusion. Please keep everyone posted on the excellent progress of your mother. It truly lifts my spirits to know that there is hope.

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reinstones1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

I wish I knew the answers to your questions, about differences in frequency of chemotherapy. I don't. I know Taxol/carbo every 3 weeks is a common treatment plan, but also know that there are many other chemo "frequencies" out there. My mother didn't ask for the scan; her doctor recommended it to see if the Taxol/carbo was having any effect on her tumors. I guess they wanted to do a scan early, so that if the drugs didn't seem to be working, they could try different ones. Mtngirl said to me below-- "ignore the statistics and believe that your mom is different". That's some excellent advice, and I will toss it back at you. I'm so sorry your Dad is having a rough time. . . really, my Mom is too. There's so much that I don't say here. . . I just stick to the basics. The last few weeks haven't been so hot, for any of us. By the way, my mom also gets Procrit shots to boost RBC production. . . I think most chemo patients do now. My Mom has also had to have 1 transfusion so far.

This isn't a picnic. It really stinks. Every day is hard, and I think we all pretty much feel like we're living by the skin of our teeth.

I would recommend that you ask your Dad's doctor about his chemo regimen. . . say that you've talked to others undergoing chemo who are only having chemo every 3 weeks. . . see what he says, I guess. Let's keep in touch via the email system if you'd like? Keep the faith, and take care of yourself.

reinstones1's picture
reinstones1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

Also-- I want to clarify that my Mom's doctors have NOT given a prognosis of 3-6 months. They have been more upbeat and optimistic. When I mentioned the 3-6 month thing, I was referring only to things that I've READ about malignant pleural effusion, and how I'm trying very hard not to dwell on negative information like that.

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