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Told no more chemo


LindseyG
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Hi, this is my first post on here and I feel quite nervous doing so as only a close circle of family and friends are aware of my Dads diagnosis. 
 

My Dad was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer in February 2021, after 3 months of feeling unwell. This came as a massive shock to us all. My Dad has had 2 rounds of 6 sessions of chemo and a CT scan at the end of each 6 cycle has shown the disease to be stable (thank goodness). The oncologist however had told Dad there will be no more chemo, and we can’t quite understand this. Before chemo Dad had lost lots of weight, had no appetite, and was struggling with his symptoms. He has reacted so well during and after chemo with limited side effects and has gained weight, got his appetite back and is enjoying food again. It doesn’t make sense. 
 

Dad celebrated his 80th birthday recently but is a young 80 - he plays golf twice a week. Are they writing him off because he had reached this milestone? 
 

They are going to review things in 3 months which will be taking us to 12 months from diagnosis, which coincidentally was the life expectancy timeframe given with chemo. I’m interested in hearing if anyone else has experienced this and also how much chemo you or your loved ones have been offered. What are you thoughts of our scenario? 
 

Thank you. Xx

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I’m Canadian and truly appreciate our Canada Health Act which provides health care for everyone. There is a downfall in that some medical decisions are based on the management of health resources which might mean some decisions are based on other factors. I’m wondering if the management of resources affects medical decisions occurs with NHS as well? 
 

Best wishes. 

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I think it does but we don’t want them to just look at statistics of age etc, they need to consider quality of life too. 

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Hi sorry to hear about your dad. My wife who is only 63 has had 11 sessions of chemo, couldn't have the twelve one. We were told after the first six that the tumour which was locally advanced has shrunk. My wife also gained weight all positive. But when they did her second scan after chemo 11 they found her tumour has grown plus she has a blood clot which is a potential issue with Pancreatic issues(waiting to see someone about this) but due to a lot of pain. So currently on lots of morphine. But in relation to your Dads issues, i understood that they were reluctant to give a third period of chemo straight after the first two and that sometimes they considered radiotherapy. It was suggested by another doctor to our usually consultant, that sometimes quality and quantity of life is sometimes about maintenance of Cancer, rather than trying to cure. he said sometimes its not just a case of a wipple operation to cut out the cancer because if they miss a single cell or it has spread into other areas, the recover time from an operation is approx 6 months and during this period you cant have chemo. The best people to speak to are the doctors but seek a second opinion as we had two total different views. 

I wish him well.

 

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Thank you for your reply. I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. 
 

We are going to wait for dad’s appointment and repeat scan in February but are prepared to ask for a second opinion or go private to seek this.  We need a detailed explanation of their decision, which up to now we have not had. 

wishing your wife and your family all the best. 

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It’s my understanding that the chemo becomes less effective the more you use it so you reach the point where the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. My husband had 12 cycles of Folfirinox with a good result. Then 3 months later 6 weeks of radiotherapy that didn’t do anything. Put on Gemcap but tumour was continuing to grow so treatment was stopped. But he was well until about a month before he died. Sometimes it’s weighing up quality of life vs quantity. 
 

It’s normally only new or very expensive treatments that are rationed in cancer treatment in the UK. With my husband I never felt that the decisions were down to cost. 
 

 

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Thank you for your response. I’m sorry to hear about your husband.

 

It’s our worry that the cancer will grow and spread the longer it is left. We just want to hold onto our loved ones as long as possible. 

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