The recurrence also meant that the CA-125 is sensitive to the cancer. My mum felt that something was 'not right' with her body in November although she could not pinpoint what was wrong with her. That time, her CA-125 crept up to 18 from her normal 12-13 CA-125 score. The creep, with the benefit of hindsight, meant that the remnants of her cancer cell probably are acting up although the CT-scan showed nothing. With the 3 tumors, her CA-125 has now jumped to 28.
After discussing with the doctor on the possible chemo drugs, we have agreed to use new drugs to combat the cancer. Carboplatin/Taxol, while useful the first time round, probably isn't as effective as we want since the cancer recurred 9 months later. There are 8 drugs for us to choose from. In the end, the doctor recommended using the gemzar/navelbine combination. My mum would be starting the chemo next week if her surgery wound has healed by then. I am really glad that my mum's insurance policy would pay out for any chemo drugs used as long as they are prescribed by an oncologist.
This oncologist is a new oncologist as my mum's original oncologist had left the hospital. I am really glad that he has taken his time to explain the battle plan and I certainly learnt quite a lot from him. He had explained to use not only why he picked these drugs but how they should be administered to minimize the side-effects. He had also explained to us the differences 'conventional' treatment vs the 'new' treatment and how he would be tweaking the administration of the drugs according to his timetable, something he pioneered. I am not sure whether this is true, he told us that any single chemo drug has only 20% chance of them working. So by combining the 2 drugs, you have a 40% chance of them working. He had initially wanted to try 3 drug combination (60% chance) but decided to 'keep' the option later if the current drug combination did not work
My mum is quite depressed over the recurrence but we are optimistic we would have a fighting chance to control if not exterminate the cancer. I am really apprehensive about the side-effects since I have read so many bad experiences with this combination. My mum has been really 'lucky' since she hardly had any side-effects (other than depression) the last time she had chemo.