Topic: John is starting chemo the 9th

John is starting a chemo mix of Gemzar and cisplatin. I know the side effects now. What I need to know is if anyone has any idea the time it usually takes to see if there is any shrinage on his tumors? Also the amount of chemo he'll have to have!

Is this going to be a life long event or what? I also would like to know from anyone if it doesn't work, will there be a different chemo mix?

Right now John is only comfortable sitting up and kind of hunched over, He's starting to lose weight everywhere but in his stomach area. He's eating but I know how cancer just eats you up as I watched my Mom die of cervical cancer.

I'm so afraid he doesn't have time to try different chemos. He's got 6 tumors some the size of walnuts and the biopsy said his lymph nodes were "filled with dirty necroptic tissue and cancer cells". What does that mean? I try to talk to his oncologist but he is too busy. I know some of you have been fighting this cc for a long time so I am hoping you can give me some wisdom about this.

I am having severe depression and anxiety that I hide from my husband but last night I got in the shower and just fell apart. I had to take some xanax I was freaking out so bad. I pray but have almost no faith anymore. Right now I'm in tears as I write this. I don't want my husband to die. It's like I'm on a slide and can't stop.
My insurance won't pay for mental health so all I have is you all to talk to and I'm so grateful for that. Without you I think i would be dead right now.

Please if anyone can give me any info maybe it will help me stay calm and ease my depression.

Thank you all for being there,
Charlene

Re: John is starting chemo the 9th

Oh charlene, how I feel for you.  I totally understand your anxiety and your fears.  I wish I could be there right now, I would give you a big hug.  We are here for you.  Just come here and vent, we all understand. 

You need to keep strong and armed with information to fight this beast, you will find strength you never knew you had.

My Dad had a couple of courses of Gemcitabine and carboplatin.  Carboplatin is less harsh then cisplatin and just as effective.  These drugs are platinum based chemos, cisplatin is 1st generation, carboplatin 2nd generation and oxylplatin is 3rd generation - 3rd generation being newer, and I think it is correct to say superior.  All these platinum chemos hammer the bone marrow and can effect platelet and heamoglobin levels.  Chemo is cumulative, it is not really possible to predict how many courses your husband may be able to tolerate/need and side effects/responses vary.  It really is an individual thing.  One thing is certain - combination chemo such as this one is more effective then gemcitabine alone (I can refer to data released from the abc 02 trial here in the UK to support this). 

I trust that your husband has been surgically assessed, have you sought more then 2 or 3 surgical opinions? - there are surgeons out there who do take on 'hopeless' cases.  (As in my Dad's case - his resection certainly bought us more time and can be curative if good margins are acheived).  Get your husbands scans on disc and fire them off to some of the best people for an opinion.

It sounds as though your husband has lymph node involvement and this could be why surgery has not been considered an option.  However, I have read articles that state that lymph node involvement should not rule out a resection as a resection can also be carried out for palliative reasons. 

Charlene, hang on in there.  Alot of people have very positive responses to chemo and maintain a good quality of life.  (See Caroline Stoufer's blog on this site - a perfect example).  Please keep in touch and remember that we are here for you.

take care, Jules