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Update on Sister and Opinions

mssue's picture
Posts: 243
Joined: Oct 2003

Hi Everyone,

Would like for You all to know your help and guidance in the past was well recieved and appreciated.My Sister Barbara,going through Ovarian Cancer,is contemplating not taking the last 6 treatments of Taxol.To begin with they gave her 3 trmnts of Carboplatium and Taxol,then the debulking surgery from which they said the first 3 trmnts killed all except one very small peice of Cancer in one Ovary which was on it's way out anyway.They also put in a second port(this was justed passed by the FDA 2 weeks before)this one in her upper abdomen.The next plan of action was to give her straight Platinum in the abdominal port 3 x and Taxol in the upper port. I guess she is thinking that if the first 3 killed almost all of the Cancer and she has had 3 more heavy duty treatments,there shouldn't be anything else left to kill.It makes sense - my question is it really safe though? All of this is really taking its toll on her in several different ways.If most of You remember her Husband passed away right before her surgery,she hasn't been able to work and Lord knows it takes Government agencies for ever to get things rolling,in the meantime she is left looking at Cobra,since her time is coming up that she won't get the same rates as she was before it has become a source of worry for her.She doesn't think she will be able to afford it,so this saddled with the big hit the chemo has taken on her-what do You think? Any suggestions-I would like to print this if I get enough responses and mail it to her so if anyone has anything in the way of encouraging words please-now is the time -I need Your help to help my Sister.
God Bless You All,
Big Hugs-Sue

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to you, Barbara, and your family.

I had heard of direct chemo injections into the abdomen but don't know much about it's success. I would imagine, though, that the side affects are just as nasty as the IV method. It's good to hear she is having such a positive response to the treatments. Consequently, I would hate to see her have to stop treatment because of all the red tape involved with insurance, etc. I understand about the COBRA situation - been there. It's certainly an extra stress factor on top of an already difficult situation. Maybe some other members of this site can give you more info regarding medical/financial resources. In the meantime, tell Barbara to take one day at a time - actually, I even take one moment at a time. And DON'T give up. I know she has had other hardships, but I'm so glad she has a wonderful sister to help her and be there for her.

Keep us informed. Sending big hugs and many prayers your way.


BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Dear Sue, First what a loving sister you are, I have a sister Susan and she is just like you. God Bless.

Now my opinion, and this is from someone who has had to deal with cancer ongoing for over 3years. I would take the follow up chemo, both types. Even before this became a practice again, my chemo nurse told me that people who managed to do even one treatment abdominally did way better than those who don't. I wish it was available for me. My ca125 had dropped to 6 after my surgery and 8 rounds of carbo taxol, but yet the cancer grew back. I think if there would have been one abdominal treatment it would have found what didn't go away. I felt I was cured, we thought we got it all. I went from having a ca125 of 2000 to 6 so you would have thought so.

I dont' mean to frighten you or her and really understand the insurance issues. But my feelings are it is worth the hassle and time now. A person's life is worth the dollars and inconvience and you can only have abdominal chemo in the first go around, later it is not an obtion. Take advantage of whatever the Drs can do now to ensure a long long life without cancer later.

Sorry I got so long, and hope I didn't sound to preachy. It is just one opinion, I am sure you will get many others. Some may agree and some may not. Pray Pray Pray... God will put in her heart what the right road for her is.

I will be praying for both of you. Let us know how it is going and how we can help support you and your sister.

Prayers and Hugs Bonnie

Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi Sue,
I didn't need chemo for my ovarian cancer but I read recently that tests actually show that injections in the abdomen actually work better.
The ACS newsletter this month has a lot of information about financial/insurance issues. You can probably find it here in this sect6ion, just before coming to the boards.
You and your sister are in my prayers.
God Bless!

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

Sue, I wonder if anyone's talked to your sister about how ovarian cancer can become resistant to carboplatin/taxol treatment. When I was told I should have six rounds, I was so afraid of everything that was going on, I asked my doctors (other than the oncologist that directed my chemo) what they thought about me possibly only have four rounds. One of them told me that it is very important to kill all of th cancer cells during the initial chemo treatments, if possible, because if it starts to grow again it would most likely be resistant to that therapy, and other drugs would need to be tried.

I would like to give words of advice about insurance, but I'm afraid I'm still looking at having to pay for a $3600 bill out of my own pocket that was incurred after my surgery almost four years ago. My surgeon recommended I have the tumors tested for chemosensitivity, and it's not an approved test through my insurer. They apparently don't feel it's important to know whether your cancer cells will respond to chemo treatment, unless it doesn't work.

JanQ's picture
Posts: 238
Joined: Jan 2004

Hey Sue, I know it is so hard when you feel you don't have the choices but like Bonnie said, when it comes to your sister living there really is only one a choice,and when you feel you are between a rock a hard place, pray God can make a way.

A friend of mine is having the abdominal chemo now. She has to be admitted to the hospital because it takes about 23-24 hrs. We have the same doctor. I feel like Bonnie does I wish I had been able to take the abdominal and perhaps I would not still be dealing with it.

I can't imagine watching a loved one with this disease. You sister is blessed to have you. Keep praying and praising and he will hear you.

May God Bless You!

mssue's picture
Posts: 243
Joined: Oct 2003

Hey Everybody,
Thank You so much for Your words of wisdom,You don't know what it means to me to have Your support. I finally got everything printed with the help of my Husband-it kept cutting off half of the sentences,he so smart don't know what I'd do without him and surely don't want to find out . Barbara is suppose to see her Doctor Wednesday to give him the answer about taking the rest of the treatments-she still hasn't heard from her Insurance yet-They should be able to put them off until she finds out about the Ins-right? I don't know - is there someone out there who could answer that question? I mean how much time is there between the cystplatinum(sp) and taxol combo and going to just taxol that wouldn't interfere with the chemo doing its job.I'm sure months wouldn't be acceptable-You know when we are on it -it is a scheduled regiment. I wish there was something else I could do for her-I guess I'm not alone with that feeling,but it sure can be frustrating,makes You feel helpless and empty. Well I guess I've spilled enough milk,sorry so long - but Thank You all so much. My prayers are with You all-God Bless You!
Hugs and hugs

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