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Hi all

I am hoping someone might be able to share their experience of palliative chemo. My Mum (aged 74) has been diagnosed with inoperable PC this week, with spread to the stomach and small intestine. She is unsure of the relative advantages of palluative chemo and I a keen to know how harsh it is, how others cope, and how much it improves quality of life and longevity.


Has anyone with similar diagnosis undergone Folfirinox or Gemcitabine/Abraxane? (Or another combo?) I'd really appreciate anyone who can share their or their loved one's experience of it. My Mum is 74 but relatively fit until the last couple of weeks when she has some weight and energy loss due to sickness/nausea and pain. Trying to get the right pain meds sorted and get ger eating so if she decides to have chemo she is strong enough. One nurse suggested the option of starting on 80% dose to see how Mum gets on. Has anyone tried that?


Any help much appreciated. Wishing all if the people here the best.

Nicola

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Dear Nicola. My father aged 73 was diagnosed with inoperable pc metastatic to the peritoneum in July earlier this summer. He started chemo (Folfirinox) right after the diagnosis. It is a tough regimen. Up to the sixth round he was feeling pretty good. Now very exhausted. He has two more rounds to go. It is harsh but manageable. As for prolonging life I can say nothing. There is partial remission but for how much longer I cannot say. Maybe other caregivers could give their opinion as well. Best regards, Vasil, Plovdiv Bulgaria.

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Thank you for sharing Vasil. Was your father fairly fit and active on diagnosis, when he began the treatment?

Wishing you and your father all the best.

Nicola

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Hello Nicola

My dad 63 was diagnosed early sept and has now hAd 3 rounds of folfirinox. First 2 didn’t go well but 3rd and some adjustment he managed. My dad is quite a big strong bloke but he really struggles with nausea issues having had emergency bypass surgery due to the cancer blocking his intestines.

It’s hard to say what his quality of life would be like without the chemo but he really wants to fight this and give himself as long as possible so we are 100% behind him x

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Dear Nicola. My father was in very good overall condition on diagnosis the only symptoms being weight loss and diffuse lower back pain. Up to the seventh round of chemo he had nausea and fatigue but still went for walks or car driving. After the seventh round due to higher toxicity he stays in bed all day long. But side effects are not unbearable although I believe it depends from person to person. You must know that Folfirinox has better prognosis compared to Gemcitabine or other drug combinations. I wish you and your Mum all the best.

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Thank you. My Mum has lost some weight and strength in the last couple of weeks so I am not sure she will be strong enough for Folfirinox, and the clinical nurse says she is 'borderline'. I understand gemcitabine can also be given with abraxane, which the clinical nurse described as a 'half way house' between gemcitabine alone, and Folfirinox. One of the nurses on this site also suggested starting my Mum on 80% of the Folfirinox to see how it is tolerated first. I'm not sure if anyone else has tried this?


I'm so worried about putting her through any awful pain and side effects without knowing the benefits, and it's hard to know how each person will respond. I know this is a dilemma many of us on the forum face.


Thank you

Nicola

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My husband, diagnosed at 66 and very fit had 12 rounds of Folfirinox. They had to reduce it towards the end as he got peripheral neuropathy, but didn’t have any nausea, just some slight changes in appetite. 10 years ago he had CHOP chemo for blood cancer and that just wiped him out for a week every time. I’d say give it a go and see how she copes. You can always stop after one cycle if it affects her badly. Otherwise you’ll be left thinking “what if”. Good luck with whatever you decide - none of this is easy.

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