My mother is 60 years old, diagnosed in April 2002 with stage IIIC Ovarian Cancer - which a complete hysterectomy and 6 months of Taxol/Carboplatin cured. In 2005, she was also diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (stage 0 - no treatment was needed apparently).
A retroperitoneal mass (originally measuring 8cmx5cm) was discovered in June 2009 - and it was confirmed as a recurrance of her Ovarian Cancer, including lymph node involvement. She started on the Taxol/Carboplatin again in July, but was switched to Gemzar in October after the Taxol/Carboplatin proved ineffective. After 8 months of treatment, though the tumor has now shrunk to 4cm x 3cm, her lymph nodes (right axial and left inuinial - not sure of the spelling) continue to go up and down,she is also now suffering from severe lymphedema (gained 15 pounds of fluid weight in her legs in 3 weeks). Her most recent PET Scan showed sclerotic lesions on three vertebrae (T8, T9, S1). Her Oncologist has been with her since the beginning, but is part of a very busy practice, and seems to show little concern for the lesions and is vague about the lymphedema and whether it is connected to the CLL, or is a result of the Chemo. Here are my questions:
Should I push for a more thorough look (or another scan) at the sclerotic lesions?
Is the lymphedema permanent (she was told that she will need to wear compression socks and get drainage massage for the rest of her life)? Is it likely that the lymphedema is a result of the chemo or could there be other factors?
Are there other chemo options that are more effective at treating the cancer with less of a taxing effect on her lymphatic system?
My mom's original stage at diagnosis was IIIC - yet she is considered to be at Stage IV now - is it common for recurrance to be considered stage IV?
Any answers or guidance is greatly appreciated :)
Joanna in NH