How do you know if chemo is working?

My mother has stage IIIA NSCLC, and will start her third of four rounds of chemo next week, followed by surgery in March. She has tolerated the chemo quiet well - her hair started to fall out right before her 2nd dose, but besides fatigue, she has not lost weight, her blood counts have been normal (she's had the nuelesta chaser each time), and her appetite has been great except for two days after each treatment.

I know these are good signs just for the fact she can continue treatment. But, are these signs that the chemo is working? I know we won't know for sure until the cat scan before her surgery.

Thanks for your advice, and god bless!

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No chemo is different for everyone, those signs do not mean anything.. just because she is not really really sick doesn't mean its not working, I had chemo and tollerated it fairly well.. no weight loss.. but hair loss and did ok.. and it by the grace of god worked 100% so as you see those signes mean nothing.. sending prayers your way for everything to work out..
]hang in there
god bless.

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I think those good signs are very important. They can not only be a positive indicator, but also have positive impact on your mom's mind. Keeping praying for the good signs.


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The feedback from JustLisa hits the nail right on the head - chemo treatments will cause different reactions in everyone. Remember that there are so many different chemo medicines to begin with as well. The reactions your Mom is experiencing certainly should indicate that it's doing something. My Susan had her third (of six) chemo treatments just this past Monday and each one knocks her a little harder than the one before. We were told that this should expected as each dosage will get progessive stronger.

As for how will you know if it's working? I'm not an expert but the only true way I've seen so far is through new CAT scans. In my Susan's case, she had her second CAT scan last Friday (this was the first scan she had done since the very beginning, almost six weeks ago). I'm guessing that your Mom will get several CAT scans during her treatments.

We all wish your Mom (and you) the best. This place has been wonderful for us and you'll always find people that truely care. Not to diminish the importance of Doctors, medicines, and treatment but for me personally, a positive attitude and prayers are making the difference for Susan. We'll be praying for both of you.


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Sounds like it's working to me - you will know after the first scan.....go with the program until then!

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