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Pancreas Cancer

New problems was posted 12/30/2010 06:23 pm by Dakota
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My husband was doing fairly well as far as the blood work was concerned, and the last scan did not even show anything in the pancreas. His CA19-9 is still high, but much lower than it was originally.

Today he went for GTX, the second treatment in two weeks. Treatment has been rather spotty lately, with three weeks off, instead of the usual two, during the Thanksgiving time period, and then another infusion missed due to low hemoglobin for which he had a transfusion. All in all, in the past couple of months, he probably did not have more than a few infusions.

Today, when they did the blood test, they found his hemoglobin a little lower than last time (8.9), but his platelet count was at 26. They felt he was dehydrated, his blood pressure was fairly low, and they gave him fluids for about three hours. Again, no infusion. The blood work also shows the bilirubin, which had gone down to 1.2, is not up to 1.7. The AST and ALT are within normal limits. The doctor simply told him to come back on Tuesday for another blood workup, and feels all this is due to the treatment. My husband has had most of the potential symptoms, other than nausea and diarrhea. He has lost his nails, he has neuropathy of one foot, his tear ducts are being affected, so his eyes tear all the time, and most of the time he feels tired and 'wiped'. The doctor now feels perhaps he should come once two weeks, instead of two weeks on, and one week off. He insists he can not lower the dose of Taxotere, since they have found that if it is reduced by even 20%, it will not shrink the tumor.

We are supposed to see Dr. Von Hoff at the end of January, a visit was rescheduled from last month because of the transfusion, and his weakened state. We do have a choice of going to Arizona much earlier, if we see a doctor other than Von Hoff. Meanwhile, one of my sons is insisting that my husband is not being treated well, and that now is the time to go to another doctor, and that we should do it immediately.

I am really concerned about what to do right now, and whether to push him to go elsewhere. I'm just not sure that this doctor is doing the right thing, and whereas everything looked so promising a couple of weeks ago, I get the feeling that things are starting to slide.

Should we go elsewhere? We did have a consult with Dr. Ruggiero at Cornell, but chose not to switch at the time. He said that he has as much success with Gemzar and Xelota, without the addition of Taxotere. Not sure whether this is valid or not. Should we go to Arizona earlier, and see someone else, or wait for Dr. Von Hoff? His nurse says they all work together, and there would be no difference based on whom we see,/

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