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Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:38 pm

Scan results and treatment change

Postby washingtonmike » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:32 pm

Greetings All:

Got the final results from the latest ct-scan and met with my oncologist yesterday to discuss and plan.

CA19-9 markers are 6830, 2505, 1382, and 623 respectively. The single met tumor no longer appears on the scan and we consider it taken care of by the Falfurinox chemo. This after 4 treatments of Falfurinox and 1 treatment of Falfurinol.

The primary pancreatic tumor remains unchanged to this point and my oncologist suggests that we change the treatment protocol to Gemcitibine and Erlotinib (Gemzar and Tarceva).

This will make a huge change in therapy going from a 52-53 hour biweekly treatment to a 2-hour weekly treatment.

I readily agreed to the change.

Has anyone any experiences to offer who have been subjected to the same or similar regimens?

Original diagnosis and first chemo treatment was May 25, 2013.

Cheers, Mike

Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:12 pm

Re: Scan results and treatment change

Postby LindaH » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:46 am

Hi Mike,

Good news about your markers and mets; well done.

I started Gemciteabine and Cisplatin on March 1st which was two consecutive Friday's starting at 9am ish to about 1:30 pm ish depending on whether my Chemo had been brought from the Pharmacists, then I would have one week away....well....it was 14 days until my next session.

I've just completed my course of 6 months. Do you have a line inserted? Only on my last session - this Friday just gone - they had to insert the cannula into my inside wrist as the veins in my hand were none existent, so if you're in for the long haul it might be an idea to ask about a line.

Thinking of you and hope all goes well.


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Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:38 pm

Re: Scan results and treatment change

Postby washingtonmike » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:12 pm

Hi Linda and thanks for the reply. Yes, I have a PICC line in my upper left arm, above the elbow, it's been in place for about 6 weeks now and I understand it can stay in place for a year or more. I have to go in once a week just to have it flushed and a fresh dressing placed over the site. The veins on my right hand were just about useless for IV use and as the chemo treatments were to go on for some months the doctor thought it best to insert the line and I believe it was the right choice as well. It does cause a bit of a problem with bathing and the like but nothing that a bit of ingenuity can't handle.

They tell me my first treatment, to be done in the morning, will take about 2 hours. The Tarceva is not yet on hand. It is very expensive here, my first month's cost for just the Tarceva will be around Two Thousand Dollars and that is after our Medicare and my private insurance carriers have paid their portion. I'm told it will decrease after the first month.

Did you have any particularly strong side effects? Thanks, Mike

Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:38 pm

Re: Scan results and treatment change

Postby washingtonmike » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:37 pm

Good Day All:

Monday's treatment went without a hitch, this for the Gemcitabine IV. A much easier treatment to tolerate administration-wise, just a couple of hours and I was done. We still have not started the Tarceva but I expect that will happen next week. I've not experienced any particularly uncomfortable side effect thus far and any pain is usually handled by one or two Vicodin in a day's time. Will post additional info as it comes in and welcome any comments or personal experience on this particular drug mixture.

Cheers, Mike

PCUK Nurse Jeni
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Re: Scan results and treatment change

Postby PCUK Nurse Jeni » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Well Done Mike! Good to hear that the gemcitabine infusion went well. Tarceva is an oral medication - Sorry to hear about the costs! Goodness! And as you said, that is after the insurance has paid. The UK is very lucky to have the NHS, where most cancer treatments are given free, as is all care. The only draw back is that you will only get access to certain drugs, unlike the USA - for example, you would not get Tarceva. (only for lung cancer).

I hope you continue to have a better time on this regime.

Kind regards,