I know NSCLC and SCLC are like apples and oranges, but my husband did 20 cycles of two different doublets in a row with no break. As long as he was responding, the doctor kept going, and that lasted almost 14 months. He didn't need any blood boosters until the 13th cycle. Some people's bodies can handle this and some can't. Every person is a unique chemical factory. Although he never was NED, this bought him a lot of extra time.
Glad to hear you are doing so well!
Carepages.com for Tony's journey, Named: TeflonTony
Beloved Husband - 67 (at diagnosis - made it to 70 1/2) - non-smoker/23 years, night sweats, coughing up blood & very SOB. Oxygen 24/7. Lung capacity 50%, blood/ox levels 88%. TB Test, Broncoscopy, CT, PET Scan
- 3-28-05 Wedge section biopsy Dx'd NSCLC Adenocarcinoma Stage IV. Primary tumor 3 x 5 cm, extensive mets both lungs. Mediastinum, hilar, lymph node & supraclavicular involvement. Histologic grade: Poorly differentiated Emphysema also.
-4-05 PLAN A -Chemo TAXOL/CARBOPLATIN - 8 CYCLES(full strength dose)- 21 day cycle APRIL-AUGUST 2005
- PET & CAT in May & Aug. 2005 show marked reduction.
- Cycle 8 - Second severe carboplatin reaction - no more platinum based drugs
- PLAN B - New chemo - TAXOTERE/GEMZAR - 12 CYCLES (full strength dose)- 21 day cycle. SEPT 2005-MAY 2006 (22 actual chemo sessions in 12 cycles) Both drugs day 1 & Gemzar only day 7. Fatigue, high fevers, fingernail changes, & mouthsores. Procrit & Neulasta started during Cycle 3 (as needed).
-11-7-05 CAT & PET - more improvement. Large mass now 3.6 x 2.7 cm with less uptake. One small tumor in each lung.
-2-2-06 - PET & CAT scans show large mass down to 2.6 x 3.2 cm with lower SUV. R Lung clear. Areas of scarring in both lungs. Tumor in mid-left lung has grown.
-3-7-06 - 15 RADIATION TREATMENTS to nuke the tumor in mid-left lung while continuing chemo. (Chemo 9b skipped)
-5-16-06 - Cycle 12a finished. Trouble breathing, skipped 12b. Allergic reaction to long term use of taxotere. Severe fluid retention everywhere. Oxygen 24/7 continues.
-5-22-06 - CAT & PET Scans. Radiated tumor gone, primary mass unchanged. More scarring, thickening, etc.
***CHEMO HOLIDAY for 3 mos
-6-6-06 - 1-3-07 - PLEURAL EFFUSION ISSUES - 14 Thoracentesis done ranging from 500-1300 cc's on both sides. No cancer cells ever found in any of the taps.
-8-28-06 - PET & CAT scans."Significant progression." Primary tumor larger and seven new tumors found in both lungs. Higher SUV uptake levels then initially.
-9-1-06 - PLAN C - TARCEVA 150 mg daily begins.
-11-16-06 PET/CAT scans. Tarceva didn't do squat. Disease progression. Some lung tumors same size, growth in old tumors, many new tumors in both lungs (about 17). All are over 1+ to 3+ cm. SUV higher on all (high being 12.1). New uptake in R-iliac and L-Scapula. Increased adenopathy in L-hilum with corresponding uptake. First time cancer has left his lungs. Crap.
-11-29-06 - Port installed.
-11-30-06 - 4-2-07- PLAN D - 19 WEEKLY NAVELBINE INFUSIONS Neupogen/Procrit (as needed) Zometa for bones every 4th treatment. Night sweats & some fatigue.
-2-2-07-PET/CAT scans. Overall improvement with decreased number & SUV activity in most of the lung tumors. All but one are smaller. Bone mets are better. Empty head too. Effusion issues cleared up! Praise God for prayers answered.
-3-28-07 - TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY SINCE DX and now 70 years old!
-4-5-07 PET/CAT scans - Mixed results w/progression. R-lung tumors are still shrinking, bone mets are gone, two large areas in L-lung are stable. Progression in a tumor in the L-lung has increased in size & intensity and a larger area of new growth (3.9 x 2.4 cm) w/SUV 11.9 in subcarinal region. Need new chemo plan.
-4-18-07 - 7-9-07 PLAN E - 5 cycles ALIMTA - 21 day cycle (Zometa still every 4 weeks)
Alimta has proved to be more challenging then we hoped. Crud. Fatigue, increased SOB & cough (some blood). Counts are good. Fevers/sweating episodes. Still on Oxygen 24/7.
-6-15-07 - CAT/PET scan results -- mixed bag, but overall stable. Some tumors have grown, none have shrunk, some are somewhat higher uptake values, several are somewhat lower. Bone mets still gone & no liver involvement. Dealing with 7-8 lung & mediastinum tumors, 3+ cms on most. Doc says continue with Alimta as the cancer is not running totally amok.
7-18-07 - Week from hell. Crisis SOB, cough, on antibiotics, fevers/sweats, very bad. Pleural effusion tapped. Partial collapse of upper R-lung.
7-19-07 - X-ray -R-lung almost reinflated, bottom of L-lung is collapsing from pleural effusion. Wait to tap L-side until R-lung fully inflated. Coughing & SOB still bad. Hospital/Doctor visits are now in a wheelchair.
-7-24-07 - Onc. visit. Obvious symptomatic progression.
-7-30-07 - 8-27-07 PLAN F - 2 CYCLES salvage GEMZAR -21 day cycle days 1 & 8
-8-2-07 - CT scan shows L-pleural space loculation & tumor progression. One tumor is now encasing pulmonary artery. SOB worse.
-8-6-07 - Doc appt. Still very SOB, but tolerates Gemzar well. Onc does not want to do radiation. More harm than good. Pray it works.
-8-9-07 - Breathing issues escalate. Reluctantly went to hospital as both docs are out of town. Infection in L-lung. Re-confirmed tumor progression. Main bronchial tubes still open. Home on 8-12. That was a waste of time.
-8-15-07-Onc. visit. Continue Gemzar. Scans after next cycle. Weight & r-side fluid somewhat stable.
-9-4-07 - Wait on scans for another cycle. Hgb up to 11.1 Yay!
-9-10-07 - No chemo. Gemzar stopped, not working. Weight is plummeting.
-9-11-07 - Echo Doppler test on heart. Results normal. Pulmonary artery difficult to detect on this type of test.
7-18-07 - 10-2-07 - PLEURAL EFFUSION ISSUES AGAIN - 9 Thoracentesis done ranging from 600-1600 cc's on both sides. Loculation in upper half of L-pleural cavity. Lasix to try to reduce fluid & help breathing. Toward the end, fluid was bloody on L-side and contained poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma malignant cells.
-9-12-07 - Dr. appt. Discussed options, had "the talk." Tony chooses to continue treatment. On we go.
-9-17-07 PLAN G - IRINOTECAN (aka CAMPTOSAR, CPT-11) AS OF 10-9-07 - 2 CYCLES COMPLETE. - 21 day cycle.
-10-3-07 - (And now for something completely different...) Hgb down to 8.3. Need transfusion. Heart rate went nuts, 180 & into atrial fibrillation 1 1/4 units into transfusion. ER 5 hours - controlling with meds - home.
-10-9-07 - Chemo
-10-10-07 - 10-12-07 - Gasping for breath, falling down, refuses to go to hospital. Finally called ambulance against his wishes to get him morphine to calm breathing, meds to straighten out A-fib, antibiotics for lung infection & 15 liters of oxygen vs. the 4 at home. Walked down the stairs 2 hours before ambulance was called. Fought til the end...
-10-12-07 - 6:14 pm CDT - My beloved Tony is with God in Heaven.
FINAL TOTE BOARD:
CHEMOTHERAPY 60 infusions in 48 CYCLES, 23 THORACENTESIS, & 15 RADIATION SESSIONS.
Never cancer free since diagnosis, never missed a treatment -- Tony was a cancer Warrior.
"How do I live without you, I want to know --How do I breathe without you...." - LeAnn Rimes
"And I'll try, oh Lord, I'll try, to carry on..."- Styx