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Update on Jim

Nana2's picture
Posts: 255
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Everyone. Sorry I have been absent from here for so long. (Gracie...thanks for checking in and asking for an update.) Well, we started treatments at Cancer treatment centers of America in March right after scans showed little or no improvement. He was put on the Avastin, Irinotican infusion every three weeks with xeloda taken orally twice daily for two weeks and one week off. After the first treatment he was in the hospital with a really low white blood count and a fever. WBC was 0.3 temp was 100.4. They did a million tests, had him on three or four antibiotics and kept him there for three days. Three weeks later after the second treatment we had a repeat of the same senario. In the mean time we had discovered that the chemo had done a number on his teeth, so he had to put treatments on hold, go off the coumadin, have all of his remaining teeth pulled, and give it time to heal before resuming treatments. Day before yesterday we finally got back up to CTCA for his third treatment which has been six weeks now since his last one. So I was afraid we might get some bad news. The Dr/Nurse came in and said, "Well,I have a good one for you." (honestly, I thought she was going to tell us a joke or something) Then she says, we're always concerned when we go so long between treatments, but your numbers look good and your tumor markers have come down. Last visit the cea was 6.9 and this visit it's 5.5. Well, that was the first good news we've gotten in about a year. Now we will see if he manages to avoid the fever and white blood count drop next week and that will be a nice little victory, then he gets fitted for some new choppers (just the bottom...already had them on the top) and hopefully we can start getting his weight up a bit again. We will go back in three weeks on the 21st and 22nd for his first scans since going there to CTCA and so will hopefully get a decent report.(praying) The treatments overall have been easier for him to tollerate than the Irinotican, Avastin and xeloda infusion every two weeks. So the difference in his treatment is that the Irinotican is oral, and in addition to his chemo, he was told by the nutritionist to take charcoal tabs one night before and four days following treatment, he takes vitamin D3 drops 3x daily, Acetyl L-Carnitine powder, Probiotic 3xdaily, Thymic protein A, and L-Glutamine powder 3x daily for 5 days starting one day after chemo. The treatments are every three weeks instead of every two with the xeloda spread out in pill form. Other than the expected fatigue and diarrhea he feels better than he did on the other treatment method. He even played some bad golf a few weeks ago.:) (Why do people like that game???) So for anyone interested in our take on Cancer Treatment Centers of America...we will reserve most comments until after scans on the treatment itself. Overall, I think I had it cracked up to be some kind of Cancer Treatment Utopia which it is not. But if what they do for him there proves to be helping then it will recieve very high marks from us. Anyway, that's the scoop. Prior to this treatment trip, I've been fighting some depression and just feeling afraid and so have been flying under the radar on the site here.
My love and prayers go out to all of you,

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Not a Utopia? Their advertising and marketing teams do a good job of painting a nice picture, don't they?

But a treatment center is just that - and if you get some good results, then that's all that matters.

Hoping Jim continues to tolerate treatment and enjoys the new chops. Thank you for your update.


pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Well done, hope for more good results in the next tests !
Have a big hug!

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Regardless of the 'where' treatment is given, if it is helping to control or improve the situation then that is great news.

Unfortunately, depression is a companion of this disease, not just for the patient but also the caregiver and loved ones. Please stop in when you need a boost. We will try to help you through it.

Hugs and best wishes to you both,

Marie who loves kitties

Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

My thoughts will be with you on the upcoming scans for Jim. Good that the numbers look better.
Take care of yourself.


idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Thank you so much for the update. It sounds like good news all the way around and I will be praying the scans follow suit. You take care


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lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi April,

I was thinking about you and Jim just today, so I am so glad to see your update! Sounds like things could be quite good- I am so relieved. I get so worried when people don't check in for a long time!
Please keep in touch and let us know how things go. Please take care of yourself & find a way to deal with the anxiety and depression.
I'm praying for you both-


Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009


Great news, keep it coming! Don't forget to breath. As Lisa said take care of yourself!

Nana B

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