• Starting new treatment. Had Xeldoa (pill form) and radiation the first time around, next week will be starting Gemzar (intravenously).

    Asked by magdem on Friday, January 11, 2013

    Starting new treatment. Had Xeldoa (pill form) and radiation the first time around, next week will be starting Gemzar (intravenously).

    Did pretty well with Xeloda, but am now concerned about the side effects of Gemzar. My last CT Scan showed 3 very small places in my lungs and I was told this week that they couldn't be sure if it's cancer or a lung infection or scarring. The surgery they had taken off the table last week is now back on. If all goes well, it could take place in about 2 to 3 months if they can get the cancer markers down. My goodness, what a rollercoaster ride. I have told this cancer to pack its bags and just go, but so far it's still hanging around. I've thought about giving it a name and telling it we'll just have to find a way to get along. If I have to I'll share some space, but it can't have it all. Has anyone else ever "talked" to their cancer?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • carm's Avatar

      Hello, for pancreatic cancer, gemcitibine (Gemzar) is considered the first line treatment. The side effects are minimal. You can go to chemotherapyadvisor.com to learn more about it and how it is dosed. Its free to join and you can print out easy to ubderstand patient handout sheets. Good luck, Carm.

      over 7 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      magdem, I know the rollercoaster feeling well my journey has had many dramatic ups and downs. I am glad to hear that they recognize that the lung spots may not be cancer and they may do the surgery anyway. That is good news. Sometines the cancer seems like the relative that overstays thier welcome and it is hard to get then (it) to leave. If you do mname it name it after something you hate so when you do get rid of it you will not have to mourn its passing. If I named mine I would not be able to repeat the names here the censor would XXX then out! Continued goog luck!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • Onoi11's Avatar

      Yes, I too placed my hand over the area of my tumor and politely told it to take a hike. A friend said she wouldn't be so polite about it. I started to look at the tumor as being a pregnancy of sorts: the birth of experiences yet unknown and perhaps an accelerated delivery into the unknown.

      over 7 years ago
    • Onoi11's Avatar

      Magdem, you and I are on similar paths. To prevent mestases and to also shrink the tumor, I too took the Xeloda and Gemzar to make it operable...also took Folfirinox which can cause side effects like neuropathy, but I managed it O.K. Will have a scan soon to determine if the tumor has shrunk enough for surgical removal.

      over 7 years ago
    • JMS's Avatar

      Frankly, my conversations with my cancer have been limited to rather pointed curses - something along the lines of "...hitting the road and not coming back". On your question about side effects of Gemzar, especially after the Xeloda and radiation, in part, the effects will depend on how well you fared during the radiation (i.e., did you experience radiation burns along your digestive track?). I did have the internal burns, so my experience has been is that the Gemzar tended to make the burns somewhat worse (they had partially healed, then the chemo "riled" them up again). What this means is that I have pain in my digestive track for a couple of days after the IV infusions. But also, the doctors indicate that my system hadn't fully recovered from the Whipple, so I guess I may have more complications at this point.

      over 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Yes I've talked to my cancers - I've told them they have over stayed their unwelcome and to leave. I've been on Gemzar since since mid July - My cocktail until today was carboplatin, gemzar and avastin week 1, carboplatin and gemzar week two, off week 3. Started have major issues with my platelets, so I got cisplatin and Avistan today, if the platelets get better, gemzar will be added back in 3 weeks. Do you have a port? the Gemzar burns like crazy when it goes through your vein - so they slow down the drip. Also depending on how many infusions you get, your veins become fragile and roll, which means inserting an IV lines is painful and you arms are all black and blue.

      over 7 years ago
    • janabel681's Avatar

      I chuckled to myself when you mentioned that you were thinking about naming the cancer. I had two tumors that had metastacized in my adomin from the pancreas. I affectionly named them "The Twins"! I really think it made them "real". I have been on Gemzar twice. The fist time I was on it from Feb until JulyI was doing once a week every other week. I have also taken Tarceva orally since Feb along with the Infusion drugs. After my surgery in Sept, I was put on Cisplatin and Gemszar once a month. I still take Tarceva orally every night. As for side effects, I haven't really had any. I have lost most of my eyebrows and the hair on my legs grows very slow. My hair has gone from straight as a board to wavy to curly! (I have had perms most of my life... This is a joy!)
      This really exiting news about the surgery being back on the table! I was not a candidate for the whipple because my pancreatic turmor "was" on the OUTSIDE of the pancreas. They can't find it.
      I donot know how religious you are, but I am a firm believer that prayers said on my behalf have gotten me to where I am today. There is a "healing" priest here in Orange Park at the local Catholic Church. I am not Catholic, but I know that after each "healing" service I went to and then when to MDA, my cancer markers had gone down. Just saying. I am not Catholic, but I do believe that Father Jose has a gift and I am a benificary of that gift!

      over 7 years ago

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