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I have not been given a stage of my cancer, which my after visit sheet has listed as 'malignant neoplasm of head of pancreas'.
The size was initailly about 6 x 2 x 2 cm and has dropped after 4 treatments to about 5 x 2 x 2. And, if I understand it correctly, the present tumor might have dead cells within it which will remain there until or unless surgically removed.
My CA 19-9 has dropped from about 34,500 to 5,800. I think that even this new number is very high compared to most people.
The CT scan of last Friday (my second) continues to show that there is no detectable spread anywhere.
The chemicals I get are:
dexamethasone, which is an anti-nausea medication. fosaprepitant 150 mg irinotecan injection oxaliplatin 100mg/20 ml palonesetron (ALOXI)
I get the first in the form of three tablets. The next 4 I get with an Intravenous (IV) through a port at the clinic. I LOVE my port.
If I am reading the cartridge correctly, I then get Fluorouracil with a sodium chloride mixture delivered with a portable pump over a 46 hour period. As I am typing this, I am just over the halfway point of those 46 hours.
The day after I leave the clinic, I take a dexamethasone table as a prophylactic against nausea. I was taking two, but have had no nausea symptoms in any of my cycles, so I received permission to go to one. This is especially helpful to me as the drug has a side effect of increasing glucose levels and, thus, higher levels of insulin shots.
I have two backup anti-nausea medications, and for diarreha type symptoms, I take over the counter loperamide (also known as imodium). There has been little need for this.
After the pump is removed, I then take a shot a day of TBO-filrastim (GRANIX) for 5 days to help my bone marrow restore blood cells.
As I noted before, I am on an aggressive regiment -- not a clinical trial.
The dosage of perhaps just the last chemical is based on the Mosteller body surface area formula. It is by far the simplest of the 8 formulae that I am aware of.
I have only had one postponement in chemo treatments, and that was due to low platelet counts. Other lows -- but not enough to create delays -- have been the hemoglobin/red blood cell counts and the albumin/total protein levels. You have, no doubt, seen my notes related to some of these issues.
My high blood count readings have been just over the normal range and not of concern.
So, I don't know if this is really helpful at all. From your previous notes, it sounds like you are at a much different stage of your cancer and my data might be completely irrelevant.
But, you might want to copy and print and give it to your doctors. And, if they want, I would give you the name of my oncologist so that your doctors can talk with her.
My best wishes to you!
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