I've been reading the stories on this site every day since my mum (64) was diagnosed stage 3a in early October 2010.
A bit about my mums treatment:
She was that the plan would be 6 rounds of taxol/carbo followed by (hopefully) surgery then 2 more rounds of carbo. Before she was diagnosed she had complained of pain in her right lower side (stomach) for over a year. After 2 rounds of chemo the pain went away, and although she has been breathless, with muscular aching and sickness whilst having treatment; in the 5/6 days before her next round of chemo, she says she feels better than she has in ages.
With that in mind, her oncologist said that hopefully that would mean that the treatment was working well and she might have her operation brought forward before her final 3 rounds of chemo.
However, after the CT results yesterday, we were deeply worried and disappointed. The scan shows no shrinking in her tumour. The oncologist tried (I think) to put a positive spin on it by saying that in the original scan in was hard to define the exact size of the mass and so in comparison it is hard to see if there is any change.
On the positive side, he said that "not many, 3/4" aortic lymph nodes, which were "affected", (one was originally 3.5 cm) havenow come right down in size. He said he would expect them to return to normal after the next 3 treatments. He went on to say that the response of these affected lymph nodes was "as good an indication as any that the chemo is having a good effect".
I asked about the CA125 but was told that this is a poor marker for my mum because it was only 45 at the time of diagnosis.
We shuffled out of the consultation being told that my mum is still on track for the original plan to have surgery after 6 rounds, so we should still be encouraged. Everything else on the scan was clear.
I have so many questionsand concerns I don't know where to start. The first would be; how quickly should we expect the tumour to shrink, if at all? How much will they need it to shrink before they agree to operate? Should my mum ask about having a port fitted? If so, will that help get chemo closer to the tumour (which is stuck to her bowel)?
I've asked my mums oncologist some of these questions before, but he has a way of answering where I feel momentarily reassured but still don't really have an answer to my question.
Thanks for reading this long ramble! Any thoughts, concerns or advice would be greatly appreciated.