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Treatment break


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Theresa Upton

Hi, I have just completed 13 rounds of folfirinox after being diagnosed with stage 4 PC and liver mets in October 2018. I have been accepted onto a immunotherapy trial and will continue with chemo until the trial is complete, this should involve approximately 4 more sessions. My oncologist has been talking to me about having a chemo break which I know I would benefit from but I am also very worried that the tumours will come back if I am left with no treatment. I have had an excellent response to folfirinox, my main tumour is 80% smaller, my liver mets have significantly reduced, I have not lost any weight and I am well in myself. Has anyone any thoughts/experience around this?

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Hi Theresa,


Thanks for your post - this is really great news for you. Well done on all you have gone through to get this far. You are a true inspiration Theresa.


So, is the trial alongside the Folfirinox then? Sounds interesting.


I think its always the same for folk who are about to have a chemo break - you will be followed up every 3 months, maybe even sooner if you are on a trial follow up?

It is hard to go from being on chemo and at the chemo unit regularly, to having lengthier breaks - it feels daunting, and can feel strange.

We have experience of this as nurses - folk always used to find those times when they finished chemo and had a break unnerving - however, once you have a contact number for your specialist nurse, and you are aware that you can ring at any time, it puts your mind at ease.


And you are right, time off chemo and away from hospital will do you the world of good. Its positive news Theresa! I hope that you can enjoy the break!


You can always phone or email us if you have any worries or concerns.


Take Care Theresa,


Kind regards,


Jeni.

Jeni Jones

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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Hi Theresa, great news on your successful chemotherapy and I wish you well on your trial, looking forward to following your progress.

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  • 2 months later...
Theresa Upton

Just a quick update. Just had chemo number 17 and all is going well, all tumours significantly reduced. I am still waiting to start the trail, there have been a few set backs, trial suspended, scans out of date but hopefully I will get my first vaccine on the 12th August and the 2nd 4 weeks later, I will then begin my long awaited chemo break.

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Hello Theresa,


Thanks for your update, and great news about the response to chemo - amazing!


It's great to share some good news which can give people hope.


What is the name of the trial Theresa, do you know? I can imagine that you are really looking forward to a break from chemo.


I hope the vaccine does equal "magic"!


Take care Theresa,


Jeni.


Jeni Jones

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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  • 3 weeks later...
Theresa Upton

Thank you Jeni. First vaccine was administered on Monday and round 18 of folfirinox was yesterday. I will have the second vaccine ACIT-1 on the 09th Sept and my last chemo on the 29th August. After the 29th I will have my PICC out and then I have a few holidays booked. Hopefully I will get a few months or even more before the tumours start to grow and then it will be chemo again. I am looking forward and will be searching for new trials. I hope the vaccine equals magic for me and for everyone else who is suffering from this very tricky cancer.

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Hi Theresa,


This all sounds so positive!


I am so pleased to hear you have some holidays booked - you thoroughly deserve them!


I hope that you have a fantastic time!


Best Wishes from all the nurses here!


Jeni.

Jeni Jones

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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  • 4 months later...
Theresa Upton

Just an update on my chemo break. I had my last chemo at the end of August and the second of the 2 trial vaccines. My last scan was on the 23rd Dec and the results were reported to me by the trial doctors last Tuesday. All remaining lesions are stable, no growth, no reduction and no further spread, CA/19 is at 30. Tomorrow I see my oncologist to discuss the 'what next'. I feel very well, my liver function continues to improve and I am getting physically stronger every day.

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What an upbeat encouraging post for everyone coping with pancreatic cancer. I wish you all the best going forward in 2020, you certainly have done brilliantly and are an inspiration x

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Theresa,


What amazing news!!!!


Huge congrats - so pleased to hear that you are feeling so well still!


Long may it last!


Jeni.


Jeni Jones

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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  • 4 weeks later...

Theresa Upton wrote:

> Just an update on my chemo break. I had my last chemo at the end of August

> and the second of the 2 trial vaccines. My last scan was on the 23rd Dec

> and the results were reported to me by the trial doctors last Tuesday. All

> remaining lesions are stable, no growth, no reduction and no further

> spread, CA/19 is at 30. Tomorrow I see my oncologist to discuss the 'what

> next'. I feel very well, my liver function continues to improve and I am

> getting physically stronger every day.

Theresa are you the lady I’ve been messaging on the PC Facebook page. Just stumbled across this. I am on Gemcitabine 6 cycles after 2 lots of Folforinox in 2017 and 2018. What is really spooky is I’ve just passed info to my consultant to see if I can get on the same trial. Is it the ACIT-1 at Liverpool and Clatterbridge? I don’t see my consultant until mid to end of March but been in touch with trial people at Liverpool and the phase1 recruitment is been extended past March. Fingers crossed. Hope your doing OK. Your amazing and I feel your fighting this with a positive attitude like me.


Nellie xxx :

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  • 2 weeks later...
Theresa Upton

Hi Nellie. I cannot remember getting anything from you on Facebook. I wish you all the best with Liverpool, let me know how you get on. I will look out for you. You sound like you are doing well. Theresa

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