Topic: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Please let me know your experiences with Gemcitabine + Xeloda.

Cholangciocarcinoma patient was having success with Gemcitabine + Cisplatin (tumor shrinkage and ca 19-9 down dramatically), however, now has recent mets to lungs.
Doctor is now wanting to try Gem + Xeloda.

Thanks so much for your advice/experiences.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

This sounds like a logical plan. I am now on gemcitabine + cisplatin (and tarceva pill every day). My onco said that when/if this combination ceases to be effective, his next line of defense would be to change to gemcitabine + Xeloda. However, I have not gotten to that point, so don't have first-hand experience to relate. Anyone else out there want to weigh in on this one? Jeff?

Violarob in Texas

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Thanks so much for the feedback!

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

You might also want to try the "search forum" on top of bar.  If you enter "Xeloda" or "Gemcitabine" you will be able to peruse other postings in re: to these to therapies.  There is a wealth of information hidden in the previous postings getting to it might be time consuming however, it is well worth it.  Good luck.

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Violarob-----It sounds logical to me as well, as long as whatever regimen is working and /or maintianing staus quo.  Also ,the most important is keeping a self inventory on your blood work and weight.  If those platelets,WBC's and RBC', neutrophilss are dropping in to unchartered territory, I personally would call a time out.  As once they get sucked down to a certain level you may not be able to recover fully.  My next round of blood work without chemo for appeoximately 4 months, will be the 20th of this month.  It will be interesting to see what my kevels are.  Listen to your body not you muscles. Your muscle tissue will carry you quite a distance in my opinion.  I' ve been reviewing my past treatments and coming up with a few what if's.  Which I'll share as I keep trucking on.
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

I am currently on gemcitabine injection once a week and 3 Xeloda pills 2 times a day for 14 days then a week off.  This was the first course of treatment for me.  Unfortunately after 2 rounds my scans showed that the tumors were not decreasing in size.  My doctor decided to have me go another two rounds and my scans are coming up next week hopefully the tumors will be smaller. My blood work has been fine however the side effects were very difficult for me but I am now getting into a schedule were I can get things done around the side effects.  I am not sure if the side effects are any different from other treatments as this was the first type that I have had.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

I am also on Gemzar/Xeloda with a two week on, one week off schedule.  My tumor shrunk 50% in the first few months, but now things have stablized over the past year.  It's hard to say what the most effective treatment is, as people vary in their response to the chemo.  There is a lot of trial and error involved, which is hard to accept when you're fighting for your life.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Hello, this is my first time here. My mom was Dx with CC in late Oct. She has a 10cm tumor in the middle of the two lobes of the liver, so we were told surgery is not an option. The first onc we saw told us that she had 3-6 months, and needed to "get her affairs in order." He said he would do chemo, but is probably wouldn't do any good.  We were absolutley devastated for a couple of days, but she is 56 and in perfect health otherwise, so I just couldn't accept that answer. We went to MD Anderson in Houston, Tx. She was started on Gem/Xeloda two weeks on and one week off. After three rounds we will go back to Houston to check scans. This is new territory for us. We live in a small town and don't know anyone else with cancer, let alone this one. We have only heard negative things so we're still really scared, but hoping for the best. My Mom is my best friend and I want to help her in any way I can, I just don't really know what to do.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Dear Robyn...you are already doing and you are doing well. So glad that you have found us.  You have come to the right place for support, help, advice, a laughter and lots of hugs and more then anything expect "hope" floating your way.  Again, hello and my best wishes to you and your Mom.
Hugs
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Robyn,
Welcome.  You are in very good company here with wonderful support and advice.  I suggest reading some of the posts and posting any questions you may have.  Check the search box first when you have a question.  I've found most of my questions had already been asked and got wonderful advice and answers.  These are some of the most compassionate caring people I've ever met.

Know that you and your mom will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs to you both.........

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Hi Robyn (my daughter is Robin) and welcome to the best little club in the world that no one wishes to join. You are already doing all the rights things. All you can do is read, read, read and be very strong with lots of hope. You do not have to take "NO" as an answer. We are here for you and your mom and as far as I am concerned Robins/Robyns make the best daughters!!!!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Hi Robyn,

You are doing all the right things & coming to this site was the best place to come for all the help, support & answers to your questions. Everyone here is willing to share what they have been through & what they have learned.  So search the site, read & ask anything you want & someone will be here to help you. Everyone here is so supportive & willing to share.  You and your family will be in my thoughts & prayers.

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

rjoday and robyn,  warm greetings from cold ohio and welcome. My wife was dx in october. we started gemzar and xeloda a little less than 2 months ago. Her worst symptoms are fatigue. she sleeps sometimes almost all day. Dr. says that the anti nausea drugs contributing to that. She was discovered in stage IV with multiple grape size tumors throughout the entire liver and therefore surgery not an option. The chemo is to just "buy her time" according to the doctor. She is also nauseous alot usually in the AM for some reason. Food also tastes funny and she does not really enjoy eating. Her last Blood counts were off the charts, but they did the chemo anyway. (which I didn't understand) Her wbc was 2 with a granular of 572. they said they wouldn't do it below 1000- 1500 but did it any way! then she felt horrible the rest of the day. Her LY was 72 normal top end is 51. Anyone know what that means? Anyways It sounds like they think that this is the "best chance" or most effective, or last stand chemo I guess. someone correct me if I am wrong. The dr. said she would feel better, but she hasn't. All I can tell you all that are just starting it, is it seems to be very unpredictable from one day to the next and even one hour to the next. So hang in there and God bless you all. I hope this is helpful or at least informational, as I am still trying to figure out what is going to happen with my wife and my life.  Dave

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Dave, I have had six cycles of Gemzar and Xeloda.  My worst symptoms have been dealing with constipation.  I have two weeks on taking the Gemzar with oral Xeloda 1300 mgs. in the morning and 1300 mgs in the evening.  I never sleep.  One scan has shown the cancer is stable but no shrinkage.  I have it on 75% of my liver.  I had a scan yesterday..results due Thursday..and I hope it shows some shrinkage.  On the other hand, my liver enzymes have been normal.  I always wonder how my liver enzymes can be normal, and I have cancer on 75% of my liver.  I'm praying for some shrinkage on this new scan.  Hope this helps.

My prayers for you and your family.
Sophie

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Sophie, How kind. I forgot to mention that about every third or fourth night she can't sleep at all. Thank you for your prayers. We believe it is in Gods hands. My prayers for you as well. This does seem to be one very unpredictable disease. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who read this because there seems to be no rhyme or reason for anything that go's along with this. Most diseases have a logical progression. Not this. God Bless.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Sophie....I am just recalling Jeff's comments about stool softener.  He had left some specific instructions in one of his postings.  You might want to use the search function by entering:  "Stool softener" and by entering JeffG.  Also, remember to drink your liquids as per Jeff for fluid retention. 
Hugs and good wished coming your way,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Dave....just wondering:  have you had a second or third opinion in re: to treatments options?  Has any type of radiation been ruled out, also?  In re: to food is there anything your wife has an appetite for?  Hopefully, there is something she would like to eat which then of course, you could have for her.  Gemzar and Xeloda are some of the standard treatments used for bile duct cancer and you should find out soon about the shrinkage.  Hang in there.  We have seen some great responses on this board.  I think the best you can do is to gain as much knowledge as possible.  Then you will be able to make informed decisions.  The search function is a great place to start as it contains a wealth of wisdom passed on by members on this site.
Sending tons of hugs in your direction.
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Dear Robyn: I hope your mom is doing well on her new chemo regimen. I also am being treated at the MD Anderson GI clinic, by Dr. Javle. (I wonder if you are being treated by Dr. Javle or Dr. Kaseb?)

Anyway, I am about the same age as your mom, and I have been at MD Anderson for about 8 months now. I am doing really, really well! Good luck to you, and keep us posted on your progress. I hope your experience at MD Anderson will be as positive as mine has been.

Violarob in Texas

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

I had to have my mom admitted to the hospital on Tuesday because she lost all motor skills, couldn't talk, walk no eating, drinking - NOTHING.   I can't stress enough....HYDRATION HYDRATION HYDRATION!!!  I had no idea what was going on...she just took a major turn for the worse...and the family thought it was this evil cancer.  Lo and behold she was dehyrated and her electrolytes were all over the place.  My family really stressed the need for fluids...but I guess she didn't take it seriously.  She has recovered and will most likely come home from the hospital tomorrow....but we will watch her more closely and make sure she gets the necessary fluids.  We dodged a bullet this time...

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Marions, yes we have had several opinions. The problem is that she has multiple tumors, grape size, throughout her entire liver. They are surrounding her hepatic artery and portal vein. Resection is not an option. Also since she was stageIV when discovered, they said the best option is heavy gemzar and xeloda and "hope for shrinkage" to possibly make it resectable, but probably just buying some time. She weighed 117 pounds at dx  in oct.   now 104 and going down, not much left, but actually throwing up less. don't know what that means. all I know is she looks like a holocaust survivor and that cant be good.  sleepy all day again today  2 days ago couldnt sleep at all.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Dave....sorry for the late reply and I am so sorry to hear of the multiple tumors.  Was your wife vomiting before chemotherapy?  Also, can she tolerate liquids better than solid food?  When will be her next scan?  Sleep disturbances have been reported by many undergoing chemotherapy so you might want to discuss this with the physician and hopefully, others will be able to send some advise your way, also.  Please, stay in touch.  You have tons of support coming your way.
My best wishes to your wife and you of course,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

marions   thanks so much.  Yes  throwing up even before chemo. Just came from doctor today. He saz that next  ssscan end of month. he says she will be dead in a year or less unless something beyond human control happens. he does not even consider there to be a chance for survival tooo far too late. he said he would ony in good conscience do chemo for 6 months just to hold off the tumors to buy time and thats it. Again too many tumors  too well developed.  palliative only.  we aplied for social security today and she quit her job. try and enjoy whatever is left.  she is happy to not work.  she thought she wanted to stay busy, so went back, but just too much.  we love to have input from others as it gives us peace. ty all.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Dave,
I was diagnosed in October and put on Zeloda and Gemzar and I have just had my 4th chemo treatment but I don't know yet if it is working since I won't have a new scan until after 6th treatment in mid January.  I have read on this site that some do well on it and it stopped working in another after only 7 months.  I have a big tumor that burst and spread to my abdominal cavity so I can't have surgery either.  I have been feeling pretty good until this 4th treatment.  I find that if I eat little bits often and don't let my stomach empty I do better.  I am also taking compazine which really helps.  The not sleeping part is hard since I wake up more tired than when I went to bed.  My understanding is that the chemo is to increase quality of life for the time we have.  I am going to try and stay as long as I can but I am also realistic.  I know how you feel.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Violarob,
So glad to hear that you're doing well. My Mom is being treated by Dr. Javle also. We really like him so far. We will go back to Houston next week to check her scan to see if there has been any shrinkage. We're praying really hard! She had to stop the Xeloda a week ago because she developed hand/foot syndrome. I hope that stopping that won't disrupt anything.

Re: Gemcitabine + Xeloda

Hi Violarob,
I did email you too, because I am just starting Gemzar on 4/7.   What type of chemo are you taking?    Have you had to take it for 8 mos.?    I am scared to death of chemo because I've seen and heard what it does to most people.    I am so happy to hear you are doing so well, I haven't heard to many say that.   I hope I'm wrong.   I'm most anxious to know what chemo drug is working for you.

Thank you, jane638










violarob wrote:

Dear Robyn: I hope your mom is doing well on her new chemo regimen. I also am being treated at the MD Anderson GI clinic, by Dr. Javle. (I wonder if you are being treated by Dr. Javle or Dr. Kaseb?)

Anyway, I am about the same age as your mom, and I have been at MD Anderson for about 8 months now. I am doing really, really well! Good luck to you, and keep us posted on your progress. I hope your experience at MD Anderson will be as positive as mine has been.

Violarob in Texas

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