Topic: oxaliplatin and gemcitabine--yikes

Hello there... I find hope on this site, in all these caring voices fighting this disease. I wonder if anyone has ideas for me ?

After a whipple surgery in Seattle on Dec. 11 2008 for a tumor on my bile duct, confirmed to be cc, I went thru radiation plus xeloda, then gemzar plus xeloda, until a cat scan July 13 showed tumors in my liver. My husband and I then left our home in Fairbanks, Alaska, for a visit to Mayo. Dr. Steve Alberts there confirmed progression in just one month--more tumors--and recommended gemzar plus oxalyplatin. We came back home to the Cancer Treatment Center in Fairbanks to receive the treatment.

So that's what I'm doing now--had the second infusion of oxalyplatin this week.  And man oh man, these side effects. Because of low platelets they are not giving me all 3 infusions of gemzar each month. Instead, I'll get gemzar every other Tuesday followed by oxaliplatin every other Wednesday. I am getting the shot for low white blood cell counts.  They also give me some side-effect-ameliorating drugs that hold the side effects at bay for a few days. But then--whammo! The stomach distress kicks in about the third day.

I am having trouble keeping in mind that these are side effects of chemo. The stomach distress, mainly nausea; fatigue; and aching bones in my feet are the worst. Although I am walking, playing my banjo, trying to eat, praying, talking to people, those kinds of things,  I keep seeing in my mind's eye the doctors' grim, sad faces. I need hope!! You good people on this discussion board have been a big help. Thank you.

Re: oxaliplatin and gemcitabine--yikes

I love oxaliplatin...NOT. It is a toughy. I personally did not respond well to the treatment regime that included it, BUT my doctors started me off on that regime because they considered it a regime that could kick the cancers butt. I confess it kicked mine instead, but I do trust that my doctor choose that regime because it had a good chance at working. Many people respond to it...lets hope you fall into that category so you can go back and look your dr in the eye and say "Fooled you. Still around, so now what else can we do to beat this beast"

I am a hopefull realist. I know the facts...they arent that good, BUT we dont know what side of the statistics we will fall on. So what if only a small percent are hanging around in 5 years? Are you sure it wont be you? Would you bet your childs life on it? I think not. We dont know the future and that means that there could be wonderful, healthy, exciting, unbelievable things around the corner. You can either sit around dying or you can sit around living. This cancer challenges you, but I firmly believe we all can handle what life throws us and we can all rise to the challenge. We all will not survive or beat this beast, but we can all fight while we are laughing and enjoying life. We can all gather strength from each other and hold each other up when one gets tired and needs support. We are like a military unit, offering help, support and making sure no one gets left behind.


Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: oxaliplatin and gemcitabine--yikes

Dear Kris, thanks for your encouragement and pep-talk. yes: who knows what exciting things are in store. Two weeks between treatments gives me some days of feeling close-to-normal. Those days come as a delightful surprise!

I havefound, in keeping a daily journal, that almost every single day has some good times in it.  Meanwhile I so appreciate all the fighters on this discussion board, and the information that people are willing to share so frankly and hopefully.

I read about all of the alternative supplements people use to boost their body's vitality, but find it too hard to sort out. A multivitamin and some extra Vitamin D 3 have been recommended and I'm taking those but other herbs, including papaya enzyme, I just don't know. I'll just keep reading, this site and others. Thank you.