Gem/Cis – Weighing Options

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    I have been on Gemzar and CIsplatin since January 2016. The side affects are mild nausea, tiredness and my hair has thinned out a bit. I am now on Gemzar alone as the lesions have shrunk. I am not taking any pain meds as not needed at this time. I do however have heartburn and my appetite is not as good as it used to be.
    Wishing your mom all the very best.


    My husband is having his fourth gem/cis infusion right now and has had almost no side effects, and in fact has felt better each week, compared to how poorly he felt before chemo started. He takes anti nausea meds three times a day, steroids for the first few days after each infusion, and oxycontin extended release twice a day. He’s back to walking every day, even going to a tennis clinic, and has gained back the weight he lost.

    Everyone is different, and we are always prepared for the side effects to increase, but so far the chemo and the right meds with it has actually brought back his quality of life.


    My wife had 4 infusions of gem/cis over a 6 week period. She had no nausea, hair loss and only minor fatigue. She did take nausea meds with the infusions and for a couple days following infusion as a preventative.

    There was a small amount of shrinkage in her Hilar tumor.

    She has since done radiation along with 5FU. This only side effect was some serious fatigue that started during the 4th week.

    She is 2 weeks post her 1st infusion of Keytruda. She has only had minor side effects so far. She will get an infusion every 3 weeks and imagining in 2 months to see its impact on her tumor. She has no known metastases.

    Wishing you and your mom well.



    My Mother went through 3 rounds of Gem/Cis after an unsuccessful surgery in 2013. The side effects during the first cycle were very bad – she ended up in bed (when not nauseous), dehydrated, and thinking that she might not do the second cycle. We had been told it would give her an average of 3 months more and she was ready to quit. We took her to the ER for fluids, and that helped turn her around, so she did continue the chemo (but was a day late for second infusion). Lesson learned was although she didn’t have sever dehydration symptoms , we should have taken her sooner for fluids.

    For second cycle, they increased fluids, gave higher dose of Emend in her IV, and gave her dexamethasone to take in hospital and after getting home. I think it also helped that she had recovered more from the surgery, but it was so completely different- although tired, she felt so much better that she did not even need to take the nausea meds (had been on 2 first cycle).

    So, with how bad the first cycle was, I definitely understand quality of life. Also, I have a father with lung cancer who will not be doing more chemo when it starts growing again. However, for Mom it shrunk her tumor about 20%. This gave her time and then we moved on to SIRT, We are almost at 3 years since diagnosis and she at this point has no evidence of disease. So we are very glad Mom gave it a try. Her thought was she can always stop if she can’t tolerate, but why not try.

    Best wishes,


    Thank you for that link. That is along the lines of what I was wanting to see (but pained me to read it)
    Its one thing to KNOW certain things, its another to physically see it as a reminder.

    She is so easily nauseated by medication I worry for her.
    She’s already so tired most of the time, but we are going to try.

    We see her ONC on Friday for anything mom may want to talk about with him.

    1st chemo treatment is next Wed. (12 weeks after 4cm mass showed on CT Scan)
    It is scheduled for every other Wed. (2 week cycle it looks like)
    I suppose its more often than other cycles due to the mets. (Question #1 for Friday)
    …his nurse scheduled all the chemo appts prior to our “chemo consult” appt since we called and told her we wanted to get started ASAP after talking with the radiology onc.

    (mom if you end up reading my posts while searching for info on this site…… i love you)


    Your Mom has valid concerns.
    This link will lead you to the outcome of the ABC-3 study: Cisplatin plus Gemcitabine
    Ultimately it comes down to making a decision of unknown outcome and although no one can predict how your Mom will fair with treatment, she does however have the opportunity to withdraw at any time. Buying time is important, we don’t know what other available options await us. There is the risk of reducing quality of life, but how do we know unless we try?
    I know that your Mom will make the right decision.



    Hi Meg,

    Can’t help you with any personal experiences as my dad never had chemo, but have you checked out the Chemo board that we have here on the site? I know over there that you will find a load of posts from the members of either theirs or their loved ones experiences of Gem/Cis.

    The decision as to chemo or not is a very tough one and I would argue that there is no right or wrong answer for anyone. Each person should I would argue make the decision that they feel comfortable with. I always said to my dad that I would support him in whatever decision he made about his treatment and that he should do what he wanted to do and not what he felt others may or may not want him to do. But in essence I would say there is no right or wrong decsion here.

    Hopefully the others will be able to chime in with their thoughts as well on this one. Please let us know how things go with your mum Meg and what she decides to do.

    My best to you and your mum,



    Hi All!

    I am looking for information on gem/cis chemo and its effectiveness.
    Not only for CC but when it has mets.

    Mom is weighing her options. She is apprehensive and unsure. I cannot help her make her decision only offer as much information as I can find. I support any choice she makes and have told her there is no WRONG choice.

    Her concerns are- why bother with chemo – if it wont actually help me.
    ** How can answer that- where can I find data?**
    ((I know no one can really tell us))

    No one wants to trade good days for bad days when we know they are not limited.
    From what I can tell the side effects dont seem to be to debilitating. So maybe its worth a try.

    And other than the tumor on her liver and the small mets on spine/skull base (no spinal cord worries at this time) she is in overall okay health. Recent blood work shows NOTHING is out of the standard range.

    So maybe she will tolerate the chemo well.
    Maybe she will do better doing nothing at all and enjoy her ability to be as normal as possible?

    Any links, links to stories, experiences, data on chemo outcomes will be most appreciated.
    <3 Meg

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