He had his first chemo treatment by the end of Feb and had 15/18 treatments until the end of July. His chemo was 3 weeks on 1 week off with gemcitabine and abraxane. The second week of august he ran a fever and was admitted to hospital. It took him 6 days to recover in hospital. He has had chronic leg pain since he started chemo but they ran all sorts of tests including a bone scan to confirm no cancer had spread.
Today his medical oncologist said they can no longer give him any chemo based on the oncologist who saw him for those 6 days. His cancer markers have gone from being 10,000 to being 300 throughout the course of his chemo.
My father would like to pursue treatment - do you think we should get a second opinion?
No treatment plans were discussed with us in February the only option given was chemo. We understand the outcome will always be the same but my father would like to live as long as he can.
I often feel like the health care system is failing me and I don’t want my dad to suffer
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
I commend your dad for wanting to keep going with treatment. He is a fighter.
When I was doing chemo for breast cancer I too had leg pain. My oncologists nurse suggested I try taking magnesium supplements. I had good success with that and the chemo leg pain went away.
Something he could ask his doctors about.
My 81yo mom had the same treatment. Hers was discontinued after it seemed to be affecting her heart. She was on a palliative dose-- half i think. Afterwards radiation palliative therapy was tried but it killed her within 4 weeks. She had daily rad. treatment for a week and then immediately landed in hospital after that and then it was 2 weeks of downhill from there. My mom had operable Stage 1 but opted out of Whipple surgery and with the bit of chemo she lived less than 3 years. But, it was a fairly decent quality of living. She still did her usual activities. Sounds like your dad's Stage 4 means he has a prognosis similar to Alex Trebek's if he's lucky? They say here spread to lungs; never to the liver which i found so odd. In hindsight I suspect maybe the numercous CT scans caused the tumours in her lungs. So the one advice i would offer is to avoid CT scans and stick with the antigen blood tests.