Discussion Board Forums General Discussion Cancer markers

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  • #41629
    raylogu
    Member
    Katja wrote:
    Totally understood, Ray. You get on with gaining your weight and recovering proerly from the surgery cos the xeloda will have at least stalled that. May you have no more inpatifnt experiences. Are you continuing to improve now treatments are ended?

    Thanks for your support, yes I am continuting to improve since finishing treatments. My last radiation was 9/3/10 and the Xeloda at lowest dose (500mg 2x’s daily) was discontinued the same day. Some days when on Xeloda I took 1500 mg only once a day due to side effects, but most days I was able to tolerate the 1500 mg 2’x daily for up to 3 weeks. But after stopping completely for 2 weeks due to stomach bleeding, even 500mg of Xeloda caused side effects.

    Anyhow is great to be off that stuff and I am enjoying feeling better, I have enough interest and energy to walk our two dogs several times a day and
    am still working 4 hours a day as a design engineer. The work has been good to keep my mind active.

    regards and my best to you~! Ray

    #41628
    katja
    Member

    Totally understood, Ray. You get on with gaining your weight and recovering proerly from the surgery cos the xeloda will have at least stalled that. May you have no more inpatifnt experiences. Are you continuing to improve now treatments are ended?

    #41627
    raylogu
    Member
    Katja wrote:
    Ray, you should be posting in the good news section! Brilliant news on your scan results.
    Of course it’s such a personal decision about starting on Gemzar. If my dad was offered it I’d encourage him to give it a blast (he’s in pretty much exact same situation just a few weeks ahead of you – plus he’s only 59 and was in extraordinary health before all this). Does the oncologist give any reasons why he’s recommending it? If there were suspicious nodes or high markers then you could understand. If you start chemo you could always stop it if it wasn’t worth it for quality of life.
    Good luck with your decision and enjoy your clean reports.

    I am more concerned about the aortic calicificaiton that surfaced during treatment. Comparing an echocardiogram done in May to one in August there is definite damage from treatments of radiation and Xeloda. I will move with great caution before I jump on more chemo, I know the whipple is the toughest surgery recovery, but I don’t want to experience how easy heart surgery would be as compared to whipple. I too was in good health prior to this, in fact this was my first in patient hospital stay.
    my best to you and your family! Ray

    #41626
    raylogu
    Member
    marions wrote:
    Ray…..congratulations. You did it. Enjoy. Ray, I am wondering. Why the switch from Xeloda to Gemzar? Is it expected for you to tolerate it better?
    Best wishes,
    Marion

    The Xeloda built up in my system, had to stop this after 3 weeks and when resumed 2 weeks later still had difficulty with the lowest dose.
    My thought is the toxicity to Xeloda (probably due to age/ 77) the effects of xeloda would have been stronger than expected so hopefully it knocked out
    the ugly cells more quickly. I was told the Xeloda was the easiest to tolerate
    when I started this, and now the onocologist tells me the Gemzar is easier to tolerate. I have hesitation knowing Gemzar is infused, once it is in I have to suffer the effects, with the Xeloda I could stop a pill at my discretion.
    Tough decision, but from what I read looks like the stats for ampullary tumors with surgery give odds of 50/50 of recurrance with or without the chemo/radiation. At my age, I will drag out the double sided coin, both sides are heads… and take my chances! Thanks for everyone’s input, is very helpful to me and my family. Regards, Ray

    #41625
    damamma
    Participant

    haiminh

    my sister was deemed to be in-operable so no surgical intervention. She along with the CC has Adenocarcinoma in her appendix (removed) and in her omentum. Surgery for that was in the works when her CC was found.

    She spent 8 months on Gemcitabine and Oxaliplatin every second week. SHe had done far better then any of the doctors ever expected and was given a 3 month break from chemo this summer. However – now that her Ca19-9 is on the rise they have put her back on chemo.

    #41624
    lainy
    Participant

    We have discussed to BIO or not to BIO many times and it is right up there with to Chemo or not to Chemo. The problem is the fear that a BIO can lead to problems having to do with spreading the cancer. I believe that it is up to the individual whether to BIO or to Chemo as we can only suggest or talk about what we have experienced. We have Caretaker 101 experience but are not qualified as Physicians. I for one do not want thier jobs and I am SURE they don’t want mine! :):):)

    #41623
    djhappytalk
    Participant

    Hi Charlea,

    Glad you decided to join, but sorry for the need.

    Markers are just that, markers. Generally, it seems that the CA 19-9 marker is found in cases of obstructive jaundice caused by cc, however, it is also used as a marker for cancer in the pancreas. My sister

    #41622
    hollandg
    Member

    Ray
    Well done on such a speedy recovery since your op last May. Your question concerning the need for chemo arises all the time on this site. I’m not sure if there is a right answer, but my circumstances are very similar to your’s. I had a whipple last May also, I recovered quickly, I feel fine and I’m back a work for the past month. There was no sign that the cancer had spread and my surgeon did not recommend chemo or radiation. I have my first post-op check-up with my surgeon next week and I’m hoping he finds no reason to change his mind.

    Take care…………………………….Gerry

    #41621
    marions
    Moderator

    Ray…..congratulations. You did it. Enjoy. Ray, I am wondering. Why the switch from Xeloda to Gemzar? Is it expected for you to tolerate it better?
    Best wishes,
    Marion

    #41620
    katja
    Member

    Ray, you should be posting in the good news section! Brilliant news on your scan results.
    Of course it’s such a personal decision about starting on Gemzar. If my dad was offered it I’d encourage him to give it a blast (he’s in pretty much exact same situation just a few weeks ahead of you – plus he’s only 59 and was in extraordinary health before all this). Does the oncologist give any reasons why he’s recommending it? If there were suspicious nodes or high markers then you could understand. If you start chemo you could always stop it if it wasn’t worth it for quality of life.
    Good luck with your decision and enjoy your clean reports.

    #41619
    lainy
    Participant

    Gosh, Ray, that is quite a wonderful post. We just went through this in June as far as to chemo or not. It was the toughest decisison yet. Teddy is 78 this month and as you know he is in Home Hospice now. For him the chemo would have only been palliative so he opted to say no after much deliberation.
    But your siutuation is different as you are doing so good. Its a toughy and really a very personal decision. If the Doctor want you to do it, what if you took a break before starting it again? Sorry, I am sure you will be getting more input on this. Good luck on what ever you decide.

    #41618
    raylogu
    Member

    20 wks post op, completed 6 wks radiation and xeloda (with some interruptin due to side effects) and have a clean scan and normal tumor marker reported this week. The onocologist is recommending Gemzar which I have a difficult time deciding. With ampullary cancer being so rare, and other pathological indicators in my case I’m not convinced this is necessary at this time. I’m just starting to feel like my self again, eating better, gaining a bit of weight and more energy. At age 77, not sure I want to be knocked back down. Anyone’s input is appreciated.
    regards, Ray

    #41617
    marions
    Moderator

    I have been told that the CA 19-9 tumor marker had been discovered in patients with pancreatic, colon, bladder and gastric cancers. However, other non-malignant also show increased levels. Those patients who have elevated levels should see their markers drop with positive response to treatments. Some people lack a blood protein therefore, a CA 19-9 marker would not be detectable.
    Best wishes,
    Marion

    #41616
    haiminh
    Member

    Hi all,

    My Mum is quite different. When she was diagnosed, CA199 was increased. After resection, she was clean and CA199 came back to normal (very low). Six months ago, it started to increase and now it is around 200. However, last month PET scan and all remaining blood works showed everything normal (it still seems to be clean so far). The Dr said there could be some cancer cells somewhere and is offering chemo for her. I am quite confused as only CA199 cannot say anything. But to be prudent, maybe I will choose chemo for her. We will see the Dr tomorrow.

    Hi Damamma,

    How is your sister’s status now? Did she get any treatment, surgery, chemo…? Did the cancer markers increase during normal situation or while she stills got tumor inside?

    Minh

    #41615
    minnie305
    Participant

    Hi Charlea, Boy, I agree with you, it is so confusing. It seems everyone has a different experience. We are looking for something to give us an answer but it seems that we never really get them, at least to me. One thing I’ved learned in the last four months is patience, and to take one day at a time. , I am the type who always needs to know what’s next, but that’s not working for me with this disease. Changes have happened for us pretty much on a daily basis. Hang in there with all of us.

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