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Treatment Unsuccessful

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

The latest CAT Scan indicated that the chemo did not slow or reverse the spread of the cancer. Therefore, the chemo has been discontinued and the cancer is left to run its course. I should expect "months" to live rather than "years".
For a short time, I will feel better as the side effects of the chemo wear off.  There is a lot to absorb. The outcome did not come as a complete surprise; but I was on the other hand not quite ready for it

Christine135's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: May 2012

Hi ToBeGolden,

No matter how much we think we are prepared to hear the worse of the worse news the truth is we never are truly prepared. I am so sorry to hear that the chemo did not work and I can relate as my husband who was diagnosed with a second round of esophageal cancer in April of this year which is now stage 4 is now unable to continue chemo for his breathing has worsened and he was diagnosed yesterday with stage 3 emphysema as well as air and fluid in his chest. It was quite a blow to hear that not only had the cancer returned after months of chemo and radiation last year and a 9.5 hour surgery to go 8 months and have to live with the cancer and worse all over again.  As I told my husband that we need to live our lives to the fullest extent while he is here for it is now quality instead of quantity of life. We can not change the cards we have been dealt but we can decide how to move forward with knowing what we know and that willl be with dignity and grace.   

I realize that you have to process and you are overwhelmed with this news and as I told my husband, do not let the cancer dictate how you will live the rest of your time here. My prayers and thoughts are with you and please know that we are all here for you on this site..


ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Thank you for your kind thoughts. You're right, I and my family are still processing the news. Rick.

Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2013

I am also sorry to hear the chemo did not help.  I like your photo.  We have 3 goldens that came from the rescue and they bring us a lot of joy every day.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi, you are so right. Live each day to the fullest.My husband who is 61, had breast cancer 9 years ago, quadruple by-pass 4 years ago, and has just been diagnosed with Stage !V Lung Cancer. It has spread to both shoulders, ribs, verterbrae, and i think his thighs. We were devastated when we got the news beginning of August'13. We cried and cried. We are now waiting on results from biopsy of his right Lymph Node. Then they will decide on treatments. But we are taking each day as it comes. We try to carry on life as usual. He is my best friend, and the best man I have ever had. I just do not want him to suffer. He is the sweetest man alive. All we do every day is laugh. The children don't want to be around us, because they say all you two do is giggle. We have been married almost 9 years, and we are still on our honeywmoon. I love this man with all my heart. I pray everyday, "Lord if you must take him, please make it quick, please do not let him suffer"


Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Your husband must be a dear sweet man indeed. Together you have been through so much and I'm sure you have enriched his life greatly.  When you say he has stage IV, I assume he has a non small cell lung cancer.  Knowing the type of nsclc will help us help you know what you can expect.  Do you know if they tested the cancer for mutations?  If not call his nurse and ask.  When you know if they are doing chemo make a note of the type and we can help you with side effects. The same with radiation.  You will find us supportive and glad to help or share our experience.  

Be good to yourself now, too.  This roller coaster can be hard on you but you'll do great. 

when you have the info or a new question, start a new thread please to make it easier to find you.  There's a link on the left side of the screen just above the names of each thread.  You'll get the hang of it.  

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Mar 2011

Sorry to hear this, Rick.

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Is there a chance that you could get into a climical trial?  The PD1 trial has worked well for others in your position.  Talk to your doctor about compassionate use.  Please keep us informed as best you can.  Thank you.  

glcs52's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 2012

I truely wish you the best in the coming months.  One day I know I may hear that same thing and I think at first the mind goes numb to protect itself/you.  Like hearing a re-occurance of new cancer..  Hopefully, you will be able to enjoy what you can, while you can.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.   

kandi C
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2013

Sorry - but I am new to the boards - so please excuse me if I am out of line.  Just because the chemo you tried did not work, does not mean thats all there is and its over.  Am I missing something?  You can go by the average protocol and have the standard one size fits all chemo - or you can have a piece of your tumor tested and find out what kills your cancer and have chemo using that drug instead.  I don't know if there are rules that restrict talking about treatments on this board - If there are - please excuse me.  Life is a precious thing.  Don't give up.  It's not over until the fat lady sings - and if you think you hear music - BUY BETTER EAR PLUGS!

Do you know about all the stats on standard chemo?  Look them up.  There are other options.  My Father was dianosed in November last year.  He had a small knot on the side of his neck for years and they said it was nothing to worry about.  That little knot suddenly grew at the end of last year and they found it was head and neck cancer when they tried to surgically remove it.  It was little on the outside of the skin but large on the inside.  I think it was close to eight inches long.  He had thirty three radiation treatments and we thought they got it all.  A routine scan showed small dots or shadows in July 2013.  He had a lung biopsy (needle) and it was confirmed that it is the same cancer as was in his neck squamous carcinoma.  

We found a wonderful doctor who runs a lab that tests chemo drugs on tumor samples and provides a report based on the results.  We are currently trying this method.  He had a regular lung biopsy last week and they removed the lower right section of his lung to get a tumor sample and we just received his report.  He will start chemo with the drug that they claim his cancer is sensitive to next week.  I will let you know what happens as we live it.

Maybe there is hope by using an alternate type of chemo?  There are many types and methods out there.  I am new to this so I can't say what works and what does not - but it can't hurt to check around right?


Posts: 772
Joined: Apr 2012

When you have been thru all there is and nothing will help, then you have to decide on quality vs. quantity.  It is not called giving up, it is called accepting what you cannot change.

My husband refused further treatment in February for a reoccurrence and spread of his cancer.  Surgery was ruled out and after 70 rounds of radiation and 10 rounds of chemo, he decided enough.  He is 76 and his choice was quality over quantity.  Today he is doing about the same as he was in February.  So he has made the right choice for him.  In fact we just saw his oncologist and he is surprised at how well he is doing. 

Three different doctors told us there was no cure.  That chemo would only prolong, not cure, and possibly hasten.  Everyone has to decide for themselves what they want to do.  I have not tried to change his mind, nor have our grown sons.  I don't want to see him suffer anymore than he has to.  My husband's cancer is squamous carcinoma which started in his larynx, he underwent radiation, chemo and surgery to remove his larynx and reconstruction of his throat due to radiation damage.  Then one year later the specialist found a tumor at the cervical of his esophagus (which is a rare spot and the changes of survival very low).  He underwent more radiation and chemo and was NED for 4 months then it reoccurred (much larger tumor this time) and spread to his right lung. 

Radiation causes a lot of side effects.  My husband's spine was damaged by the first round of radiation and before the second round we were told up front, we had to watch him carefully because his cartoid artery in his neck could burst.  Radiation and chemo are the gifts of life, yes but they are also the gifts that keep giving and giving. 

Wishing your family the peace, comfort and the best in your father's treatment -- Sharon

nick770's picture
Posts: 195
Joined: May 2012

Rick, I wish you the very best. I also wanted to let you know you have been very inspirational to me I have followed and read your stories here and your blog. 

You are a survivor! Stay strong & keep your heart in the fight.

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