Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
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  • #48156
    gavin
    Moderator

    Hi Rudy,

    This is great news! I hope that it all goes well and I look forward to hearing about it.

    My best wishes to you,

    Gavin

    #48155
    marions
    Moderator

    Hi Rudy….you must be talking about this clinical trial:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21071270
    Convincing the insurance company to pay for a clinical trial is a major achievement in itself. Congratulations.
    Good luck on your first treatment and please, stay in touch.
    All my best wishes,
    Marion

    #48154
    lainy
    Participant

    Rudy, good for you!!! That is just wonderful news. Good luck on the chemo and I am wishing for the Chapter to have a happy ending!

    #48153
    rudyb
    Member

    We were initially planning to enroll in the U Penn trial. But traveling from the midwest to Philly for treatment was presenting major logistic difficulties. Meanwhile we were also looking at the Vienna (Austria) study that uses gemcitabin, oxaliplatin, and cetuximab. In the past week, we have been able to convince our insurance company to cover treatment following the Vienna protocol. The great news is that the company has agreed. I will now be able to get my treatment locally!!! What a relief!

    Meanwhile we did a PET/CT earlier this week and had a port placed on my chest yesterday. The PET/CT confirmed high activity at the site of the main tumor as well as several lymph nodes in the abdomen. My oncologist plans to monitor this activity and two tumor markers during treatment. I begin chemo day after tomorrow. It’s like starting a new chapter!

    #48152
    marions
    Moderator

    Hi Rudy….Have you been tested for KRAS? You may already have this info, but I thought to include it anyway.

    Panitumumab
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602053

    irinotecan
    http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/GuidetoCancerDrugs/irinotecan

    gemcitabine
    http://www.gemzar.com/Pages/index.aspx

    All my best wishes,
    Marion

    #48151
    rudyb
    Member

    Marion, that is the trial. We visited with the PI at U Penn on Tuesday. The challenge is logistics. I stay and work in the midwest but the treatment can be done only at U Penn. We are working with a local oncologist to administer the gemcitabine on day 8 near home so that I travel to Philly once in 3 weeks. The trial has 19 patients enrolled so far between ages 26 and 72+ (?). Some patients have done really well – one has completed thirty 21-day cycles. Others have had severe reactions to one of the drugs and had to be hospitalized.

    My post surgery recovery is going well. I lost about 8 lbs but my appetite is back. Will be getting my base level CT imaging done next week. We are looking at March end to begin chemo.

    #48150
    marions
    Moderator

    Hi Rudy….We have seen this on this board often in that the disease progression excludes further surgery. Although, scans and other tests are invaluable the true extent of the disease only can be assessed during surgery. I am wishing for a quick recovery. Possibly you already know but, pressing a pillow against your abdomen while caughing greatly will decrease your pain.
    Regarding the proposed clinical trial: I am wondering whether it is this one:
    http://www.asco.org/ascov2/Meetings/Abstracts?&vmview=abst_detail_view&confID=74&abstractID=51798
    All my best wishes,
    Marion

    #48149
    lainy
    Participant

    Hi Rudy, I am so sorry about the abandoned Whipple, however very glad you are healing so well and that you have other avenues to walk down.Please keep us posted and I and wishing you good luck and hope you get in to a trial. Please keep us posted.

    #48148
    rudyb
    Member

    My Whipple procedure was abandoned when the surgeon at MSKCC noted that the cancer cells had metastasized to some lymph nodes in the abdomen near the aorta. They took out the gall bladder and created a bypass for the bile to drain directly from the liver to the small intestine. Plan B is to use chemo to control further spread of the cancer cells.

    It has been 10 days since surgery and my recovery is proceeding well. We have learned about a clinical trial at U Penn that uses a monoclonal antibody in addition to the two standard chemo drugs used in recommended treatment. We plan to visit the PI of this study today to learn about pros and cons and my eligibility to participate in the trial. The plan is to start on chemo in the end of March or after 4 weeks after surgery.

    #48147
    marions
    Moderator

    Rudy….. In the last few years we have noticed a substantial increase of Whipple surgeries. Your surgeon will have plenty of experience. Good luck. I can’t wait to get your report first hand.
    All my best wishes are heading your way,
    Marion

    #48146
    lainy
    Participant

    I will have everything I own crossed on Friday for a very successful surgery.

    #48145
    rudyb
    Member

    Thanks Jim and Lainy. Surgery is this Friday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

    #48144
    jim-wilde
    Member

    Rudy, welcome to the site no one wants to find. I too was diagnosed early by a cardiologist based on a high liver enzyme in a routine liver function test. Her suspicion was confirmed by an ERCP at NY Presbyterian, with a left hepatic lobe resection done by Dr. Tomoaki Kato, also at NY Presbyterian. My recovery was almost totally uneventful and pain free. I was off the breathing tube and anesthetic the morning after surgery. That was almost two years ago, and so far, I’m still clean.

    Don’t worry about staples. They come out in a few weeks w/o pain.

    You’ll be thrilled when they give you some Jello, then some real food a few days after surgery. I had no food or digestion issues, other than you want to keep the quantity down for a few months, but I’m sure chocolate is fine.

    The only issue I had was infection that required a month or so of oral antibiotics, which had a price when I began chemo a month after surgery. The combination of antibiotics and chemo killed all the GI good bacteria, which caused dehydration and three days in the hospital getting the blood chemistry back to near normal. Just a bump in the road.

    Where are you having surgery?

    Best of luck with your surgery.

    #48143
    lainy
    Participant

    Rudy, Teddy had staples and they were removed, Mmmm, I think about 3 weeks later . He never complained about them nor did he ever say they were bad when removed. I just surmised that staples were more, well, staple then stitches! Not sure of the real reason. I am wishing you the best ever and will be thinking about you.

    #48142
    rudyb
    Member

    My surgery is scheduled for late next week. We head for the Big Apple midweek. Chocolate is my favorite too … I hope it still tastes as good after surgery!

    I was told that the surgeons now use staples instead of sutures to put everything together at the end of surgery. Can anyone tell the pros and cons of using staples? What are the staples made of? Are they permanently in place?

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