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Thread: constipation and pancreatic cancer

  1. #1
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    constipation and pancreatic cancer

    hi, my family member is having problems with bowel movements. The oncologist gave him laxatives but still has problems. Any suggestions? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    qqq-sorry to hear that-but if the oncologist has tried something and it didnt work-you should really be asking him/her for another solution since we have no clue the medication thats being taken and what is compatible to those meds..besides that you didnt give us any info regaurding the extent/ the details of the condition nor what treatments have been given- kindof impossible to just suggest things on that.
    I do hope you call the doctor and say- hey-this doesnt work we need something stronger.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
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    I know that there isn't enough info to recommend any kind of medication, however, I do have one suggestion. And I know this sounds overly simple, but I suggest it because it is the one and only thing that worked for my dad....prune juice! He tried laxatives and all that, but prune juice gets him going every time. Like I said, simple, but it worked for my dad.

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Ha Debbie! I was just coming in to post the same thing. Prune juice. Works for most!

    qqq -- make sure your Dad is staying super hydrated. Not only does it help with the side effects from the chemo, but it keeps the digestive tract moving along too.

    Best of luck!

    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
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    Great minds think alike, PBJ!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    I was thinking- on the line of prunes-If he doesnt like the taste of prune juice itself and is eating maybe he would prefer the plums in syrup Which are actually prunes but alot tastier.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  7. #7
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    thanks for all your replies. He doesn't have any pain or anything, just a normal life I guess except the weight loss. He does have nasal conjestion and blames everything on that. All he does is lay down. After he eats, lays down. Doesn't really exercise and doesn't drink enough. Hes afraid that if he drinks, he'll have to get up to use the bathroom. I believe thats one of the main reasons that hes constipated. He won't listen to anybody. He's diabetic also and thinks he can eat anything he wants, sweets, meats. He just won't listen. We are all trying our hardest to care for him and try to beat this cancer.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    qqq-talk to his doctor before the next visit without him around...explain to the doctor about him not drinking enough water and tell the doctor youd like him to stres at his next appointment how important hydration is . trll him to say he wants a certain amoubt consumed daily.
    sometimes a doctor can persuade them a bit more seems more serious. (but it is serious dehydration is really life threatening)
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  9. #9
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    Our oncologist told him that there are no restrictions in what he eats except spicey foods. I believe that they tell their patients that because the have no faith that they will survive. So my father believes him and eats anything, mostly unheathy. But I've been doing all the cooking now and its all healthy.

    I don't know how many people have told him that he needs exercise and drink plenty of water. Let me see, the Oncologist, physicians, nurses, alternative nat doctor, his kids, friends, family. He doesn't listen. Hes more concerned about his nose then the cancer. I know water is very important especially during chemotherapy.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    well then if hes not getting enough, the doctor would suggest Iv rehydration.
    since they are saying that -then theres a good chance hes getting enough.
    They want mom to eat really high cal foods because of inevitable weight loss,
    The concern is more about getting it down and getting it to be absorbed.
    I would let him eat whatever he wants, If the doctors arent worried about balance etc- its the aintaining weight issues.depends on what you consider healthy -he doesnt want to lose weight and he can be getting the constipation by something as simple as too much bread. Id try to keep it balanced more than anything- like the good ole days- a veddie or two meat and a carb and a salad.
    providing he can eat those things.
    mom cant eat really healthy because her body can no longer tolorate veggies / grains /fruit and especially greens veggies-(everything she loves to eat was wiped out of her life -only to be eaten in Tblsp size quantities-like once a day.
    so please let him eat whatever he can tolorate.If you can incorporate healthy thats good too.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  11. #11
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Tell him his congestion is worse when he's dehydrated. It's true! All mucus membranes are impacted by not having enough fluids. I've been miserable with sinus headaches lately and it dawned on me that I haven't been taking in enough non-caffeinated fluids. Everything flows easier when you are adequately hydrated and the nasal membranes/sinuses are a good gauge of hydration.

    Hopefully that will be the ticket, if he hears that this could help resolve his congestion.

    God bless,
    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
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    I am sort of in the same boat with my dad...although he TRIES to get away with not eating what my mother basically TELLS him to eat or cooks for him. Just wondering...is your dad depressed? My dad is extremely depressed and has the attitude at times that he doesn't think that anything will make him feel better, therefore, why do it? He had a great attitude, then after chemo/radiation he got sick with pneumonia and was in the hospital for quite some time. He pretty much woke up a different guy. Just depressed and is resigned to give up and die...just because he wants to feel better. But..we aren't having it. I agree that dehydration is a big deal, as well as eating good. My dad tries to get away with it, but we force him. He is meeting with his surgeon on Tuesday to discuss the Whipple procedure, and we are just trying to get him past this point to the next point...getting better. I feel for you....I do. But, even though they are grown men, we have to just put our feet down like they did for us our whole lives and keep pushing becuase it's the pushing that will save them.

    I don't know if depression is the case for you dad as it is for mine, but it just seems like they have a little bit of the same attitude towards this whole thing. Sorry you have to go through this...thinking of you and your dad.

  13. #13
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    Thank you all for your replies and thoughts. Maybe this is a good thing or maybe not. He more concerned about his nose and we've been to a lot of doctors. Hes had surgery on it numerous times, everything they can think of. He's just not concerned about the cancer. I just don't believe that he blames everything on the nose. He can't drink, exercise, do this, do that because of his nose. He doesn't even drink enough after chemo. My dad isn't depressed or at least he won't admit it. When we heard the news about the cancer, we all started to cry and he just sat there and asked if its related to his nose. He's been always a meat eater and never ate any green vegetables. Always potatoes. And never any fruits except a bananna a day. We've been trying to get him to eat less meat or healthier meats and alots of green veggies. I don't know how to get him to listen about drinking.

  14. #14
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    Folfirinox for pancan

    My husband just finished his 6th cycle of Folfirinox. This time the side effects
    have really wiped him out. FOr the first time he has nausea as well as constant
    bloating, etc. Very little appetite etc. I think this is not a good
    quality of life. He really has not felt like going anywhere. My question is does anyone know how many treatments people have had on this drug combo and if most
    people stop because of the side effects or because it is not working any longer.
    I am strongly thinking we may either have to weaken the dosage or switch to
    something else. I would appreciate anyone's experience with this. My husband
    is 59 and before this diagnosis was in excellent health never taking a pill in his life.

  15. #15
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Hi Jane,

    I don't know about this particular regimen, but overall there is a cumulative effect for chemo. The more they have, the harder it is to rebound and they may start getting worse side effects. Often people have to come off a regimen that is still working or, as you suggested, cut down on the dosage.

    Although this wasn't the chemo's that my husband took, there were a couple that he had to come off, due to long term use of them. Some types of chemo can show up with bizarre side effects when you're on them too long --- beyond the usual drops in blood counts, etc. It was a bitter pill to swallow, as the cancer was responding well to the treatment.

    Hopefully someone will be along that will have more specific information on Folfirinox. Is there a specific number of cycles that is standard protocol with this drug or do they just keep giving it until it stops working?

    God bless,
    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  16. #16
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    qqq- telling you if hes on chemo unless the doctor says make him eat differently- dont. momaltho a diff cancer was told to eat complete opposite as what you would think is "healthy"
    she was told to eat alot of mest and fish-proteins and because of caloric content dont substitute meat more startches like pastas and potatoes and less salads and less veggies -alot of condiments for weight gain or to maintain-anything with high calories also plenty of nuts.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  17. #17
    Hi there,
    My husband has pancreatic and liver cancer as well. He's been constipated literally, for months now. He's tried EVERYTHING. The only thing that helps is a product called Purg Odan. This is normally used to clear out the bowel before a colonoscopy. All I can say is that it worked for him. He takes it once a week now. Hope this helps.

  18. #18
    Experienced User
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    qqq = the doc immediately put hubby on a daily dosage of Miralax so he would not have problems with constipation and it seems to be doing its job. The more meds one takes, the more constipation becomes an issue.

    Jane, I couldn't sleep and came to the forum looking for some answers to almost the same question you asked - how many cycles of chemo do people have to go through? and what, other than a few months longer does one get with more chemo treatments when the quality of life is consumed by the side effects of chemo? Hubby had his week off last week and felt so good. He is not looking forward to Thursday when he starts in again. He asked the question tonight about 'quality of life' being more important to him than taking chemo with it's side effect - when does chemo end or do PC patients just continue with chemo until the end????

    pbj I believe you may be able to help with an answer to his question.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    bethel park pa
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    marykins- The answer to your question is not a definate answer because of ones body health, stage of cancer, they type of cancer the location.
    some cancers can be killed off if they havent spread and with one round of radiation/ chemo.
    most are just unfortunately buying time and like mom will have to do some form of chemo untill she just says enough is enough,
    its only killing off some and it usually gives another 4-6 months untill the 2nd scan and some is detected again.
    not that it cant be won but there are sooo many factors involved. this really applies to all types of cancer.
    what we pray for is a new release of treatment and with innovation a constant, that yours and our families may be the lucky ones. Most peopl even 15 years ago would have died alot sooner from their cancers . Where today already those same people may have lived a few more years.
    I dont believe in statistic time lines-because mom would have been gone over 5 years now.
    but shes not thanks to her putting up with operations radiation and chemos and their side effects.quality of life certainly depletes yet its hope that pushes them on. because the longer they stay around the chances are closer to finding a cure.
    thats what makes this all so darn difficult and stressfull.not knowing if any particular person can in fact survive,
    The truth of it is- there are survivors in many ways- survivors of diagnosis and survivors as llong as they continue to live with treatment, and those that avtually are in remission for x amount of time sometimes years without it. and those that live out the rest of their lives at last cancer free.
    We all have the cancer in us -its just that something triggers the growth. They havent figured that out yet .They state alot of "could be'" but nothing definate enough to claim it as fact.
    kind of like shingles -we can all develop them yet we all dont .
    so survival depends on many factors support the will to go on the willingness to put up with the side effects ,the knoweledge of the doctors the specific treatment for the specific cancer, the stregth of ones body and general physical health despite the cancer.
    thats why day to day works best and taking one hurdle and conqering it small steps a bit at a time actually can take one pretty far. cancer is not and I doubt for quite awhile will ever have a quick fix that is permanant. (my opinion only)
    not saying it cant be in the future and some % of the people are very fortunate. others have to struggle.
    But any one can be that % that wins the battle which is why one shouldnt give up hope.


    most longer term survival rates occur when it can be surgically removed without a spread to another area.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  20. #20
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marykins View Post

    Jane, I couldn't sleep and came to the forum looking for some answers to almost the same question you asked - how many cycles of chemo do people have to go through? and what, other than a few months longer does one get with more chemo treatments when the quality of life is consumed by the side effects of chemo? Hubby had his week off last week and felt so good. He is not looking forward to Thursday when he starts in again. He asked the question tonight about 'quality of life' being more important to him than taking chemo with it's side effect - when does chemo end or do PC patients just continue with chemo until the end????

    pbj I believe you may be able to help with an answer to his question.
    Sheila gave some good perspective on this issue. It really bottoms out to what the patient desires. They're in the drivers seat and we're all just along for the ride. Each person has to emotionally explore what is important to them. Is it just buying time? In my husband's case it was, as we knew he was terminal at diagnosis. We also had hopes that something might come out of the pipeline that would be THE thing to cure him. Hope springs eternal I guess. We also looked at the one to two or three percent that survived Stage IV NSCLC for five years and figured, why can't it be him?

    Certain types of chemo have a recommended number of cycles. At least this is how it goes for lung cancer. I don't know about other types of cancer and how this works. Researchers hold trials where they look for the optimum number of cycles that will kill off as much cancer as possible before it reverses and becomes a liability to a person's body. For instance, the first line of chemo my husband was on, the general recommendation is between 4-6 cycles, 21 days apart. He made it through half of his 8th cycle before having an allergic reaction to long term use of carboplatin. Our doctor didn't hold to the normal number of cycles due to how well it kept working and also how well my husband tolerated the treatment. Now there are treatments, like Alimta, where patients can be on them for as long as they can tolerate the side effects, as long as it keeps working. All cancers are different, just as all people respond differently to the effects of chemo. Where my husband went through 13 cycles of doublets before he needed any blood enhancers, some people have their blood counts crash with one cycle of chemo.

    I suspect that most patients arrive at a point in time where they begin to consider stopping chemo altogether. Some opt never to have it at all. As long as they are well armed with all the options that remain on the table and what the likely response will be vs. living a chemo free life knowing that the cancer will shorten their lives, but give them more quality time, then it's up to them. Even my husband, who was hell bent on doing everything he could, had to seriously consider whether he wanted to do a 7th line of chemo due to some of the side effects he'd experience. He opted to do it, but only got through two cycles and passed away.

    I do know how much it means to them to be feeling good and dread going in for their infusions. Sunday night prior to chemo Mondays were difficult for my husband. He had about 60 chemo infusions, but loved the break he got after 20 doublets in a row. His cancer loved the break too and roared back with a vengeance. The doctor told me on the night he passed that he should never have lived beyond 6 months, but the combination of his ability to tolerate a lot of chemo and plenty of chemo options, extended his life to just beyond 2 1/2 years. It obviously was worth it for him and sure was for me, but I do tell my kids never to expect that type of fight from me.

    I'm using my husband as the example of one who was going to fight to the end. I also know many who are at great peace with the decision to not seek treatment. Sometimes the length of their survival has surprised me -- and they did it with no treatment! Go figure. It really depends on how aggressive the cancer is as to the amount of time you buy doing chemo.

    Your husband may want to sit down with the oncologist and explore his feelings about stopping treatment. I don't know what he's been taking so far. He's obviously talking with you about it, so that's good that you know where he is emotionally. He may also want to talk with a Minister or Priest --- or even seek out a pancan support group. We attended a lung cancer support group when it didn't conflict with my husband's chemo-crashes. The doctor isn't the one who makes this call, it is strictly a very personal decision by the patient. Doctor's will keep giving you chemo til the cows come home, as long as it's not physically harming you beyond the normal side effects.

    Windy, but hope this helps a bit. I hope some pancan folks chime in on this topic, as our experiences were lung cancer and there may be subtle differences in what choices are available.

    Oh, I should add that many times the cancer itself makes the decision for people. The more types of chemo you do, the less likely you have a chance of showing a response to it, unless you're a responder, like my husband was. Treatment tends to fail faster the more types you have. Don't forget, they're giving you the best chemo that fights that particular cancer for the first line treatment. Cancer is smart and outwits the treatment, which leads to faster failure rates as you tick through the options. I didn't say that well, but hope you get the gist of what I'm saying. Then too, there are some real miracles to be had, at least in NSCLC, with targeted therapies like Tarceva. I've seen that hold people stable for over two years with minimal side effects.

    God bless,
    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

 
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