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Thoughts on Immunologist?

ChrisHB
Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2006

First, I would like to thank all who have replied to my post about my brother, Mark. Mark has been battling colon cancer for nearly four years. He has had surgeries and chemo treatments, yet the cancer is now in his abdomen, liver, lymph nodes, and we believe a tumor in his rectum is pressing on his kidney. He was on the third week of a Stage I clinical trial, which is as I understand it is just after animal studies, through USC and became terribly sick. He was vomitting continously, slurring speech, falling down. He went back to USC and they had him rehydrated. The doctor told him that he had gone longer than any other person on this treatment. He wanted Mark to have an MRI of his brain and ultra sound of his kidney, and then to finish the fourth week of the treatment. Feeling that the USC doctor would continue him on it for the sake of the study and not for Mark's good, Mark returned to his original oncologist. She talked with him about all he'd been through and where he is now and it was decided that now was the time for him to step back, stop the chemo, stop the tests, and take time for disability from work. He didn't have to do anything he did not want to do.

Mark has an appointment with an immunologist named Fereshteh Akbarpour MD at Orange County Immune Institute in Huntington Beach,CA. A few months ago, I had emailed Patrick Quillen, author of the book "Beating Cancer with Nutrition". He replied with a recommendation of going to her for another opinion. Part of her approach is the alternative of Vitamin C IV and supplements to detoxify and build up the immune system. We hope that even if Mark can not beat the cancer, at least he could regain some of what he lost from the chemo , and feel better. Any thoughts?

pamness
Posts: 513
Joined: Nov 2007

I can't offer any educated thoughts or opinions. But it sounds like it would not hurt to see what the immunologist has to say. I would say that there is a time to step back and regroup - perhaps this is Mark's time. Couldn't hurt to see what she has to say. I will send my prayers.

Pam

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

I agree with Pam. Mark needs to rebuild his strength and meanwhile, he can pursue other options. Please let us know how the appointment goes. Monica

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hi Chris,

Sounds like a good plan...fallback, re-group, and come up with a better plan that works for your brother.

Have you or your brother thought about Hoag in Newport? They have a stellar cancer center there and I highly recommend a visit. Their oncologists would certainly work in tandem with an immunologist for a tailored treatment plan. If nothing else, just to get another opinion.

I discovered that changing from a highly rated and successful cancer center like Hoag to a large university hospital (due to a cross country move) is the level of care and attention is quite different. To me it feels kind of like going from shopping at a boutique where the people knew exactly what I wanted and needed to shopping at a large warehouse super store - I feel lost in the shuffle of a huge patient population and folks truly don't know me or see me. It makes me crazy that my doctor has to relearn my case every time I see him. I have to remind him at each appointment that CEA is not a good indicator for me and I need more regular screening (as suggested by Hoag). I've heard things from their oncologists like, "oh yeah, you're that girl with the rare genetic cancer." After seeing them last month and getting totally frustrated, I will be shuffling out of the large university hospital cancer center to a smaller private group later this month. Hopefully my new oncologist can measure up to the folks at Hoag.

Check them out...
http://www.hoaghospital.org/CancerCenter/

Hope all goes well with your brother...and you...keep us posted.

Katie

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