My experience has been 8 cycles of Gem + Cisplatin until the side effects became severe. This is primarily neuropathy. At that point the treatment had been very effective but I was told that was the end for that combo. Each cycle was 2 + 1 off which seems to be the standard thing.
There was a 6 week holiday followed by Gem + Carboplatin ever two weeks. The cancer is now increasing at a fairly slow rate, but obviously not going to be succesful in the end. I am currently looking for alternatives primarily through clinical trials.
After one year I am still working and get to play an occasional round of golf. The psychological effects are sometimes difficult but after the initial shock of diagnosis, not overwhelming. I still hold hope for a magic bullet but the glacial pace of research doesnt holdmuch hope.
My sister has been on chemo Gem Cis for 16 months. About half way through that time period they had to reduce from 2 weeks on one week off, to once every 3 weeks because of low platelets. She did very well but discovered in June that she was resistant to chemo and cancer growing back and some new Tumors. So for my sister it was about 14 months. Now they are going to stop the Cisplatin because so hard on body to Gemzar and Xeloda if she can tolerate to try to slow the growth if possible.
Good luck to you! Hope that was helpful.