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Cardiac catheterization *UPDATE*

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013


We saw my brother's oncologist today. My brother will restart chemo either this upcoming week or the next. They're just waiting on insurance approval. They're usually pretty quick, so I'm assuming he'll start on Thursday. They decided that the 5-FU is too strong for his heart and the irinotecan stopped working. so they are going to put him on Vectibix. She said it can cause diarrhea, so we'll have to monitor that and his magnesium and potassium. She also said that it can cause a rash like the Erbitux. So we'll have to keep an eye on that. Has anyone else been on Vectibix only and how did it work? She said she has some other meds up her sleeve, but we'll try this first. The cardiologist scheduled a MUGA test for 6 weeks to check his heart function. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Hi guys. My brother had his cardiac catheterization this morning. All went well. He does not have a blocked artery and all looks good. No stent was needed. The reduced function of his heart is caused by the chemo. I have to call and make an appointment with his cardiologist and oncologist to find out what's next. I believe the 5-FU will now be a thing of the past. I'm sure he'll go back on the irinotecan, but they will have to find a chemo cocktail that will not do so much damage to the heart. My brother has been through so much, yet he still smiles and is pleasant to everyone around him. The nurses at Westchester Medical in the heart unit were wonderful. It's a far cry from his emergency surgery in late 2013. The nurses were nasty and we had multiple issues. I won't even go into the fact that they left a piece of metal in his chest. I knew the surgeon doing the procedure was an excellent doctor, so that's the only reason we agreed to take him back there. It's amazing how different units can be totally different.


As a side note, after I dropped my brrother and dad off at home, I was just pulling off the exit by my house and I got a frantic call. Dad dropped his medicine sorter and his pills fell out all over the floor. I had to go back and redo them. You have to laugh, otherwise you'd cry. I'm heading to bed soon. We were up ay 5am today. I hope everyone is doing well.

lizard44's picture
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

everything went well, and that  your brother had compassionate nurses this time. I hope the cardiologist and oncologist  can come up with an effective  chemo combination that won't do any more damage to his heart. Your poor dad-  he and your brother are lucky to have you around to  do all you do, Lin.  Take care of yourself- I'm glad you did manage to get a little break before having to deal with it all again.


Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

Dad has a cardiologist appointment today that I need to take him to, so I'll talk to their cardiologist about my brother to see what's next. Then I'll put in a call to the oncologist.

I don't know how I would deal with all of this without all the breaks. I go south for a week or 2 once every few months to visit the grandchildren. My sister steps in to help, but she doesn't do all the things that i do. I still have stuff to do when I'm away because it's just easier for me to do all the bills, etc. than to hand it over to someone else.

Our latest issue is that dad has been taking his med sorter off the table and accidentally dropping it. He did it twice the other day and I had to go over there to resort his meds. He doesn't see this as a big deal, but it is because 1) if he messes with the meds, he can have a stroke 2) I don't live next door, so I have to drive all the way over there to fix it. I've explained this to him, but he doesn't get it. I asked my brother to give him the meds when the timer goes off, and he is capable of doing it, but my brother tends to be lazy, so I don't know if he'll really do it. I'm thinking that if this keeps happening, we may have to put dad in assisted living.This will cause another problem because my brother can't live alone and we'll have to find somewhere to place him. The nurse is going to talk to my brother and dad to instil in them the importance of not messing with the meds and letting my brother scoop out the pills. It's easy to do because I have a sorter where I wrote in the times for each day. The sorter is for 1 week with 4 boxes for each day. When I go away I set up 2 weeks worth so my sister doesn't have to worry about being overwhelmed (although I have explicit instructions in the basket with his meds). 

Well, I'm off to the cardiologist in a little bit. Have a great day, everyone!


Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I am glad to hear everything went well. Maybe they can use the new drug that was approved yesterday TAS-102 in place of 5FU. That is the purpose of the drug from what I understand, it is for people who cant use 5FU any more. I don't know id and how it effects the heart but it is something worth asking about since it just became available.

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

I will be asking about it.The 5-FU is off the table for now, but could be back on the table if his heart improves. I'm glad they're being really cautious!


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Thankful that the procedure went well and there are no added factors to the heart distress.

Prayers that they will come up with a chemo that is not only kind to his heart but also controls the cancer.

You are a wonderful sister and daughter.  And you brother is a miracle of stamena and loving heart.

Marie who loves kitties

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

We saw the onc today. We're waiting on the insurance company to approve the new chemo, so I assume he'll start next week.

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