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help! liver mets growing-chemo not working!!

Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2009

Help! My mom is recovering so well from her massive stroke, only to have the doctor tell her that the topotecan is not working. Her liver mets are growing, now lining of pancreas inflammed from ovca, lymph nodes in abdomen are larger. She has had taxol/carbo initially and it worked wonderfully! Then after her debulking surgery, everything went down hill. Gemzar/Cistplatin did not work, weekly taxol did not work, topotecan hasnt worked, now dr says will try doxil. If this does not work, he said she has about 3-4 months left. He said this will be the last chemo. Does anyone have any advice/experience with doxil and liver mets?? Is there something else we should do?? She wants to fight still, says she is not ready to go. She wants to see her grandbabies grow up )-:

leesag's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm so sorry that the current chemo isn't working. I highly recommend a second opinion, and inquire about clinical trials, as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom!



saundra's picture
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

I had three 2.5 cm tumors in my liver when diagnosed 3/2/2007. They were burned out during the debulking surgery with radio frequency ablation as they were "non-operatable". They have not returned as of the latest CT scan. This was done in Dallas at Baylor Sammons Cancer Center direction. My Gyn/Onc there found a surgeon that agreed to do it. Saundra

Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2009

Saundra-the last time we checked, she was not a candidate for ablation. Her latest new tumor is one inch in size-as well as multiple other lesions. What do you think about Doxil? Im wondering why he hasnt suggested Avastin as I have been reading about that one as well.

msfanciful's picture
Posts: 581
Joined: Nov 2009

I would definitely get a second opinion.


azgrandma's picture
Posts: 597
Joined: Feb 2010

i would get second also

Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2009

thanks for your advice ladies. I know there is probably not a whole lot to do for her because of the advanced stage of her cancer and also her massive stroke she had two months ago, but this is only her sixth chemo. There are a lot more to try and she wants to try!! He said we will know pretty quick if the doxil is working or not and if not, and he doesnt offer anything else, then onto to another doctor we will go! Does anyone have any suggestions as far as any other drugs to try? I am wondering about avastin if the doxil doesnt work.

Cindy Bear
Posts: 570
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello. I am sorry for the reason you are here and wish your mother well. I can't really answer your questions but I have done a bit of research on avastin. (My mother passed away from Stage IV uterine cancer last year) Avastin is a drug that shrinks the blood vessels supplying tumor and actually starves the tumor . At least that is what is hoped for. It's usually given in conjunction with other chemo drugs, not by itself and I do know what one of the possible side effects of Avastin, though rare, is stroke. With your mother's history, that might make them hesitant to try it. I don't think they consider Avastin a chemotherapy drug per se and from what I've read it's not given alone. Maybe the Doxil will work for her. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2009

thank-you Cindy Bear for your post! I am actually reading about doxil/avastin combination as we speak! I am going to call dr. in the morning to see if this is a possible treatment for my mom. She starts the doxil on wed. Thanks again for all the helpful posts!!

Posts: 210
Joined: Feb 2010

My mom started Doxil in April. We are hopeful that it is starting to work. Her CA125 was sky high at 3800 and has come down to 3200 so far. You might want to look into having your mom ice her hands, wrists, and possibly feet and ankles during infusion and for about a week after chemo. There is no conclusive evidence, but it may prevent the hand-foot syndrome that can happen with Doxil. Good luck and best wishes for a positive outcome.

Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Teal Warriors!

My mom had her first doxil infusion today. The dr. only gave her a half of a normal dose and will give her other half in 4 weeks?? I questioned, said that he didn't know if she could handle the side effects. She has had VERY bad liver pain today. I stressed to him that we don't have time to mess around because this lady is getting sicker by the day! Avastin is a no go since she had a recent massive stroke )-: Is this it?? This is how it ends?? There is nothing else????

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

I wish I could offer something in the way of comfort or advice, but this is one of those times that words fail us. I cannot convey how terribly sorry I am to hear of this turn of events. I will not sugar coat it....liver mets are bad news. Doxil, as far as I have read, does not have a lot of side effects, but your mom is already very, very fragile. Doctors will often give "light" chemo to shrink tumors and preserve maximum quality of life.

Give the Doxil a chance and if it looks like it isn't going to work, you might have to start thinking in terms of comfort and palliative care.

I am so, so sorry. I read your words and wonder if they are destined to be written someday by my own children. May God bless you with the strength to see this thing through.


Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Your mother may not be able to take any more treatment. Her doctors can decide that better than you can, sweetie. They are committed to whatever is the best course of action for your mother.

There may be nothing else to fight with, the war may be over, but this is not how it ends. This is how it proceeds. Your mother is still very much here, and it is up to you to recognize that. Remind her that it is not a personal failure to be sick. It's natural to die, everybody does it. Let her talk about it when she wants, but manage your own anger. You don't want her to feel guilty for letting you down.

A wise general knows when to quit. So should their first lieutenant.

msfanciful's picture
Posts: 581
Joined: Nov 2009


I am sorry to hear this troubling news.

Just a thought, have you asked your mother's doctor if there are any other meds she could try?

I assume you have, but never give up; just when things look it's darkest then that little silver lining peeps through!

Maybe my question shows my naivete about the liver meds; but I always believe in asking because you never know.

My doctor and I would sit around and brainstorm on what we could/should do next for our next stage of defense and just when we thought we were possibly out of options, we would find a nother life-extending solution!

So ask and ask your doctor to be as honest with his answer.

Please stay strong through this!



Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Ladies. I just wanted to thank you all so much for all of your advice and kind words. My mom is now in Hospice, as her kidneys developed blockages and severe infection. Her poor body is just worn out from the long and courageous fight. She is now unconscious and surrounded by all of her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. We are here with her as she gets ready to be with jesus.

Thank you all again and god bless you all! I will never forget you all for the love and kindness you have shown.

Love Becky

kikz's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: Jun 2010

God bless your mom and all your family as you face this difficult time. I hope your mom finds the peace she so richly deserves after her courageous fight.

Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

thank you for updating us on your mom.She has fought hard with you by her side. Your mom is so blessed to have such a loving and strong daughter as you. Praying for peace as you all go through this special time together. Being born and dying never happen on our schedule. Only God can determine the length of time that we are going to live, and knowing that He really loves us and knows best can be reassuring.
Warm hugs,

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Dear Becky, god's blessings back at you. I don't post as often anymore but do come and read the board and pray for everyone. You, your mom and family continue to be in my prayers. Hugs ♥ Prayers Bonnie

sanam's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: May 2010

Dear Becky
I pray for peace for all your family and beloved mom.

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

I lost my mum 18 months ago and I am so glad I spend as much time with her as I did. Just keep on talking to her because she will be able to hear you. Touch her and stroke her face and tell her you love her. You both will get comfort from this.

Bless you all. Tina

msfanciful's picture
Posts: 581
Joined: Nov 2009


I am so sorry to hear things did not turn around as we'd hoped for your mother.

I pray that you and your family have peace through this very difficult time and please know that God always has a plan, although for us we never know what it may be.

Rest assure and pray for peace.



Cindy54's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

May peace fill both you and all of your family. While this is the hardest thing you may ever have to face, both you and your Mom have fought well. Ther are no words that I can say that would comfort you. Except that you and your Mom fought this together, and you have stayed by her side until whenever the end comes. The love you shared through all of this will comfort you. Maybe not right away, but in the days and months to come. Only God knows what the length of our days are. Hugs to you, Cindy

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