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Joined: Apr 2011

Hello all.....My wife who is 63 discovered she had stage 3b NSCLC Squamous cell on May 2...We have been thru all the tests and the Pet scan showed that it had nt spread out of the lung area even though it was in 2 of the Lymph nodes...I am taking that as good news...The treatment regimen they decided on was radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks and Carbo/Taxol once a week for 6 weeks...The first time they tried to give her the Taxol she turned Blue and coded....They brought her back to life and then from tha point on we have been just taking Carbo...This week coming the dr wants to start here on Taxotere as well as carbo for the last 3 treatments...I know nothing about Taxotere..Has anyone here had success with this drug? My wife is very tired from I guess the radiation and I am hoping that the Taxotere/Carbo treatment works...My understanding is that once the radiation is over you cannot have it again but you can have more chemo...Am I correct....Is there a better combination I should be discussing with my oncologist...We are getting treatment at Winship Cancer Center at Emory here in Ga and the drs. really seem top notch....I guess I am just antsy as it is a long process and you really do not get progress updates on a regular basis......Thanks in advance for any info and responses..Has anyone here tried Avastin for Lung Cancer?

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Mar 2011

... but I'm sure there are some people here who have been on it and will log in. I'm not sure "better combination" is the right wording. It seems the docs like to have you on two different chemo agents, one platinum-based, along with the radiation, but what goes into the choice of those agents I don't know. Probably based on the cell type, among other things. Obviously, as in your wife's case, if you can't tolerate one, they'll probably try another. I'm sure the docs will get into the rationale in more depth if you let them know you're the kind of person who's interested in detail.

I was also told that you can't have new radiation in a location that's already been irradiated, which is a bit disappointing, because as I understand it, the radiation does the majority of the hard work. But I believe the first line treatment regimen is to hit you with absolutely as much as the human body can realistically stand, with the intent of dealing a knockout blow right out of the gate. I had some hints that that might not be an ironclad rule, but if anything can be done later (no guarantee), it has to be a lot more precisely targeted. The description my radio doc gave me of the first line treatment was "mopping the floor," i.e. they start wide and target an ever narrower area as they approach conclusion of the treatment.

Sounds like you're in a good place for the best care, and the nature of the beast is that you won't get speedy feedback at every stage. I heard in essence nothing other than where my blood cell levels stood throughout the whole seven weeks of treatment and for one month following. My cancer happened to be in an area (bronchus) where I could perceive steady improvement from 1.5 weeks in until the end of the program. The flip side of that is that I can also perceive problems with the greatest of ease, be they of benign (e.g. allergy, cold) or more sinister origin, which is an anxiety generator to put it mildly. So far so good, say the pictures.

Hang in there, and all the best to you both.

sleepless in jersey
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2011

Im so sorry your wife had gone through that.
My Mom is 60 and 1st line of TX was carbo/alimpta and did very well with that. She had 2 seperate days of flu like syndrome, but other than that loss of hair and some fatigue. The scans showed major improvement, however one had grown a bit so change of course was Taxotere by itself and its 3 wks on and 1 wk off for 4 cycles than scans the begining of Aug. She's more exhausted on this one, a daminished appetite and having facial swelling (they seem to think its from the decadron at TX they give in her IV).

Everybody handles things differently and you have to take it one day at a time. If I could help you with anymore questions let me know.

Please just stay positive we are all here for you!

Posts: 121
Joined: May 2011

I had taxotere 6 times every 3 weeks after it was determined that no surgery would happen. It was combined with 5 Cyberknife visits. I've been in remission for 18 months now. I had no side effects at all, and I guess it worked. At my last onco visit 2 weeks ago I asked about future radiation if "it" came back. She said that of course that would be part of any new treatment. By then, and if it happens, We'll be talking about Proton Therapy.I'll travel anywhere to get that done. I had 30 Tomotherapy sessions and Cisplatin and Topocide treatments prior to the Taxotere and Cyberknife. All in all it wasn't any fun, but the results are worth it. I'm here writing so I'm in good hands and lucky.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2011

Chemo is given with radiation to make the tumor sensitive to the radiation. In my case I can't have any more radiation to the lung where the tumor is located. If small lessions develop in the lung elsewhere then I can receive cyber knife. My radiologist blast the tumor to limits short of making me a pulmanory handicap.
I went thru chemo carbo/taxol treatments for 7 weeks during the radiation treatments. Prior to every treatment I had my premeds due to the fact of posssible reactions to the taxol. The reactions to the taxol could happen at anytime regardless of pass experiences.
Fortunately I didn't have any bad experiences directly related to the chemo.

Stay strong and follow you Dr. directions. Always ask the doctor your questions.Being informed helps me with the challenge.

Dapsterd's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

I have same condition, I was on rads m-f for 6 weeks, carbo/taxol 1x/week for 28 weeks.
my orange size tumor in RUL is considered "gone" and my lymph nodes are now clear. Although the pneumonia with empyema was worse pain than the cancer.

Once, they rushed the chemo volume and I coughed very much, so they put me on sterdoids for the remaining chemo. Steroids cause a host of issues, but all tolerable.

The anti-nausea meds cost more than the chemo drugs !!

But I am told 40% of cancer patients do not respond to chemo at all, so I am blessed, my dad's lymphoma is not responding to chemo.

Best Wishes...

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