Thought I'd share some updates with everyone, since I found this forum immensely helpful and encouraging.
Last week, my mom completed her fourth round of chemo and she is going for a full body CT scan tomorrow. We're hoping for the best
Here's a brief history of what happened so far:Aug 29, 2011 - Dx
Came in for a persistent cough and pain in the chest. Doctor recommended tylenol a few times already, and finally relented to send her for an X-Ray.Aug 31, 2011 - CT scan
Found lump near the bronchi on the left lung and some other suspicious spots.Sep 2, 2011
Confirmation there is cancer on the lungs - found collapsed upper left lobe and diminished lung capacity.Sep 15, 2011 - Biopsy / Bronchoscopy
Procedure in the morning. Was pretty hard on her. They also found her oxygen levels were too low, so she received 3L dosage of oxygen on a bottle / oxygen concentrator which was installed at the house later that day.Sep 20, 2011 - Met the Doctor
Met Dr. Foley. Explained this was a Small Cell Lung Cancer and the usual about mortality rates and that we have up to a year of life left.Sep 27, 2011 - First round of chemo
etoposide // vepesid vp-16
cisplatin // platinol - aq
dexamethasone // decadron
ondansetron // zofran
This was followed up by two days of oral chemo (8 pills) & dexamethasone.
Went pretty well. She didn't really feel any effects until three weeks later. Hair started falling out around that time, so she decided to shave it all off. Overall, feeling pretty good and solid.Oct 14, 2011 - Bloodwork
Found out that blood count was too low to receive another Chemo, so it was delayed by a week.Oct 25, 2011 - Second round of Chemo
Same cocktail. Started feeling some of the side effects finally. She was more tired this time around but still remained active with occasional walks. Experienced a little bit of weight loss. No vomiting, but she did experience some stomach pains.
IV was followed up by two days of oral chemo (7 pills)Nov 8, 2011 - CT scan
Tumor seems to be responding really well and has already shrunk from 5cm to 3cm and lung capacity was restored. She came off oxygen which was a small win.
However, we found that two lymph nodes around the stomach area were enlarged.Nov 15, 2011 - Bloodwork
Found that blood count was too low, so we had to delay treatment by another week.Nov 23, 2011 - Third round of Chemo
The doctor increased etoposide, but lowered the overall dosage. This one hit the hardest. Mom ended up passing out about 5 days past chemo and broke her hand while falling. She is now in a cast. Felt very tired and beat up. The effects this time lasted a lot longer. Strong stomach pains.Dec 14, 2011 - Transfusion
Bloodwork found that her blood counts were too low to receive chemo and were not recovering as quickly as needed. She received 2 units of blood. 2 days later she started feeling a bit better.Dec 22, 2011 - Fourth round of Chemo
Nurse explained that this dosage is about 25% less then the first round. They also rearranged the post-chemo pills to taper off on the dexo and ease her into the tiredness.
We're now 5 days after this treatment and she's just now starting to feel the tiredness come on. I bought a few supplements including B6/B12/Folic Acid; Zinc; Calcium & Magnesium; Astralagus which we'll start today. Idea is to help with the bone repair and boost the blood count.
In order to increase energy, we'll try some Korean (red) Ginseng, Ginko Biloba and some Siberian Ginseng.
She has another CT planned for tomorrow (December 28, 2011), so I'll report back when we get the results. The next doctor's appointment is January 10, 2012 when they'll let us know how many more treatments she has left and what's next for us.
The cancer seems to be responding really well to chemo and chances are they'll do radiation to the chest and maybe the brain (as a preventative measure) in the new year.
I'd love to hear from any of you with experience and hope to share more good news with you on this journey.
Happy New Year!