Discussion Board Forums Chemotherapy & More My chemo experience Gezmar/Cisplatin

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  • #38217
    linda-z
    Participant

    Kathy,

    I remember I did ask a couple chemo nurses if it mattered what the liquid was, or what was in the water! Meaning, I would add Crystal Light to the water (or another powder additive like that) to add some flavor. The nurses I asked said crystal light was fine, and that really most liquids were good since the point of it was to flush the drugs through the kidneys so the chemo didn’t sit there and have any possible damage to the kidneys.

    I think they stressed water because there was less that could affect anything else. You would still have to watch the caffeine too by the way. Such as if you have high blood pressure (I do), watch so you don’t have too much. Or if caffeine can make you “gittery”, be wary of that too because the chemo can do it’s number on you too, so you don’t need the caffeine to add more problems. Just be aware of how things affect you.

    I had cravings when I was on chemo and sometimes would eat anything in sight because food just didn’t taste the same, so I looked to anything to satisfy me. Drinking more water filled me up more, so I didn’t eat as much. This was food I could do without anyway. I actually gained weight during chemo. Something I’m not thrilled about.

    Before CC, I was the person who always popped Tylenol or ibuprofen often to help any aches or pains. Now I rarely need them or (even if I need them, I try to do without). What was odd though, after surgery the surgeon (and nurse) prescribed Tylenol over ibuprofen. Even though they told me Tylenol was hard on your liver and ibuprofen was hard on your stomach. Sometimes things just don’t seem to make any sense. Especially when it comes to this cancer!

    Best of luck to you, and if I can help with anything else, you know where I’ll be!!

    Linda Z.

    (Oh, by the way….the nausea after chemo. Did they give you any anti-nausea meds? I had a number of them that really helped. Let me know and I’ll add a list of stuff. I remember getting some meds WITH the Gem/Cis infusion too – Emend was one of them, that I also took as a pill for 2 days after, and 2 other pills with a back-up in case those didn’t work.)

    #38216
    kathyb
    Member

    Linda,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I sort of thought I only had to drink lots of water on the day before and after. That’s not easy for me to do, but I try. Does it really have to be clear liquids? I’d like everything to count. I drink at least three glasses of milk a day and would like that to count. What do other chemo nurses say?

    Day 5 after chemo was yesterday and again I was sick. I got nauseated in the night and threw up. (Could be because I overate and had salsa – love that salsa, but probably have to give it up for awhile). Mostly all day yesterday I had an in bed type headache. Before chemo I have never had to deal with headaches. Today I feel fine. I’ll try some caffeine next time. Not suppose to take ibuprofen and only 2000 mg of Tylenol a day – which I don’t take until absolutely necessary because it’s hard on my liver. Some people think I’m silly about that especially when I’m on chemo, but it’s my liver. It’s only half there but still doing a good job for me. I think my liver is amazing.

    Kathy

    #38215
    marions
    Moderator

    Kathy….I believe that the spelling is here to stay when placed in the title. Of course, your posting you may change anytime you chose by “editing” or “deleting”. Please, do not worry. We don’t care and neither should anyone else. It does not matter. What is important is that you share with us.
    Hang in there.
    Best wishes,
    Marion

    #38214
    linda-z
    Participant

    Kathy,

    Good luck on your Gem/Cis treatments. I was also on the Gem/Cis chemo combo, but never heard of the heating pad. I remember a slight burning when the IV was started, but not very much at all. Water, Water, Water is very, very important. I was told to try to drink 64 oz. of water daily (DAILY) and to not stop while I was on chemo. We should all drink lots of water anyway, but the chemo is hard on your kidneys (didn’t remember which chemo though).

    Also, remember to rest when you feel tired. That was the most that I experienced from the Gem/Cis, although my white blood count dropped low for a couple weeks and I had to delay the treatments. After that, I was given a shot of something (can’t remember what it was right now), but I was given it at the end of the infusion in the muscle to help make sure the blood count didn’t drop again. It caused your bone marrow to over produce more white blood cells.

    Oh, I forgot….the headaches. I remember I would get headaches that I thought were caused from the chemo. I didn’t know if it was the actual chemo, or the fact that I had to sit in the infusion center for so long. Anyway, I wasn’t a coffee drinker before chemo, but found that coffee (or actually a frappuccino! – calorie laden I know) helped with the headaches.

    Best wishes in your continued good acceptance of the chemo treatments.

    Linda Z.

    #38213
    kathyb
    Member

    Had my second chemo yesterday. The week in between went pretty good. I take EMEND on the day of chemo and for two days after. Also get steroids on the day of chemo and three days after. No nausea to speak of. Noticed that I ate very frequently while on steroids. Not sure if it was because of the steroids of just an excuse because I have the mindset that food will heal me. Also noticed that when I stopped taking steroids I felt tired, no ambition to get anything done, and just sort of blah.

    Five days after chemo I stayed in bed all day with a very bad headache and temp of around 100.5. Called my oncologist and he said if temp goes to 101 for an hour I needed to go to ER. It didn’t. Next day I felt a whole lot better and the next day which was chemo day I was back to normal. I can deal with this.

    The chemo nurse further explained to me that I need to drink lots of water the day before and after chemo. She said Cisplatin is harder on the kidneys so it is mixed with saline and an diuretic is added to it. She also said it’s important to go to the bathroom when you have to go to get it out of there – do not try to hold your urine longer than necessary.

    I have noticed that I spelt Gemzar wrong on the title. Is there any way to change that?

    Kathy

    #38212
    gavin
    Moderator

    Hi Marie,

    My dad used to get the occasional spasm of pain in the area that you mention and he also had a metal stent. He also used to get what he called a very short sort of shooting pain in that area as well. He used to take paracetamol for his pain and then this was upped to Solpadol. I agree with Marion about speaking with the doctor to see what they think it could be down to.

    Best wishes,

    Gavin

    #38211
    marions
    Moderator

    marie….My husband also experienced spasms which we were able to control with Tylenol. At that time though, he did not have a stent. I would ask the physician about this.
    Best wishes,
    Marion

    #38210
    marie
    Participant

    My husband is having a LOT of what he calls “spasms” just below his sternum on the right side. He has stage 4 Cholangio……….. and has a metal stent in his common bile duct. Anyone else experiencing these spasms? Any ideas on how to get rid of or at least control them? On the pain scale they are anywhere from a 3 to a 10.

    #38209
    kathyb
    Member

    Well, I restarted chemo last Thursday. All went well. Watched another movie. Have not been as tired as last time and not sick, but everyone says that was from the stent clogging. Hoping things stay this way. Next chemo is next Thursday.

    The reason I quite was that I was not going to live like that for 6 months – in bed and very nausiated.

    The reason I’ve restarted is that my oncologyst said he belives there would be “value” in chemo for me, and my GI doctor said, “If you are going to do chemo, why not do it now.” Also, f I restarted this month I would not have to have another MRI; but if I restarted in July, I would need another baseline MRI for chemo.

    #38208
    devoncat
    Participant

    KAthy,
    I am glad they took care of the stent so quickly. Chemo is such a personal decision and we support your decision. Take care of yourself.

    Kris

    #38207
    lainy
    Participant

    Hi Kathy, and what I want to know is, will you do anything for attention? My goodness, enough already! On a more serious note, I have not been in your shoes nor has Teddy, yet, but I would have made exactly the same decision. I
    know it is a very personal decision but T has already said NO chemo until there is no other choice and then at 77 years old he is not sure about it. We will send our best thoughts your way for a good weekend as well. I was going to relax tomorrow, guess what??? 10 coming for dinner! Keep your attitude up and I just know you are going to do well once you change colors again!

    #38206
    kathyb
    Member

    Since my second Friday chemo day has past, I thought I should add an update.

    Sunday after my first chemo I was really exhausted, but no nausea. Monday on I got very sick and was basically in bed all the time. I thought it was the chemo, but my eyes on Wed were yellow. We went to our local doctor that afternoon. He said I was jaundice, did blood work, called Mayo and told me I needed to go to the emergency room up there right away. My total billiruben locally was 7.5, within a few hours at St. Mary’s hospital it was around 9.5. By midnight I was admitted and an ERCP was preformed on Thursday. The doctor cleaned out my stent and it started draining good. Friday around noon I was released from the hospital.

    Although my local doctor and the Mayo doctors I’ve talked to so far think this was a separate issue from chemo, I’ve decided not to continue with chemo for now. I thought maybe I could slow progression down by doing chemo now, but my today’s plan is to wait until progression and then start chemo. I did have chemo and radiation last fall.

    Hope you all have a good time with those you love this weekend.

    Kathy

    #38205
    kathyb
    Member

    Lainy, I know I would love asparagus roasted with garlic and lemon juice (or in butter). It’s just the way I eat it that isn’t so appealing. My own fault, I know. I’ll have to look for marinated asparagus in a jar. Thanks!

    #38204
    lainy
    Participant

    Hi Kathy. Sorry, I love Asparagus roasted with garlic and lemon juice, Mmm!
    I looked up on Snopes about the Asparagus rumor and it is not entirely false so now you can eat something you don’t like and know that it does do some good. You might want to pick up the “Anti Cancer” book as it is wonderful with lots of good suggestions. People on this Board highly recommend it. Everyone has their own ideas on remedies and I guess the best thing is to find one that you believe in. I also just discovered marinated asparagus in a jar and am wondering if that would have the same effects as how you are eating it.

    #38203
    kathyb
    Member

    Hi Andie,

    I’m not taking any supplements, just the same healthy food items I’ve always ate – fiber foods (instant breakfast, raisin bran cereal) plus I’ve added 3-4 prunes a day, and 4 long stem asparagus stalks ate right out of the can 2x a day. The asparagus is a false internet cure for cancer, but I figured it couldn’t hurt and just maybe I’d be the one it worked for. I started out grinding it up, added hot or cold water to make it like a tea and drinking it. Didn’t like it that way and it was too much work. Now I eat it straight out of the can or the refrigerator; still don’t like it but much more tolerable. I figure there shouldn’t be any calories in something I don’t like. I’ve gained back the 10 pounds I lost during my fall treatment, plus 2. I would eat fiber bars, but just can’t bring myself to do it. I loved them before my radiation/chemo regimen last fall.
    I have heard about milk thistle on this board. I should probably look into that. Thanks.

    Kathy

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