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Sorry Kris, I’m a Florida boy, too cold up there for me to handle… 😎
Just got home from bloodwork. Slightly lower across the board, but should be fine by next Friday for Gem/Cis:
WBC 2.5 (4.4 last Friday)
Hgb 13.2 (14.0)
HCT 40.2 (42.7)
Plat 108 (142)
ANC 0.9 (2.1)
I am pretty sure I got Dr. Javle’s email off of his web site at MD Anderson but in any event it is firstname.lastname@example.org. I was very precise in my synopsis of my situation and to the point, which I believe he appreciated. The more to the point I think the better your chances of getting a response. Good luck!
Was your tumor(s) located in the liver itself? Mine was not, it was in the bile duct only, didn’t spread or metastasize anywhere and I believe I had at least 7mm of clean margins everywhere. What does ‘questionable recurrence’ mean, that they can’t tell if something is coming back because of the radiation changes? I’m with you, 40 (41 in April) and doing everything possible so bring on the chemo. I’m also able to work from home now, one trip to Houston Monday and I will probably also be travelling my ‘off’ week (the week after my Friday blood test with no chemo). I return Thursday to hit chemo Friday.
My bloodwork showed the following after 1 dose of chemo:
WBC 4.4 (6.3 the previous Friday)
Hgb 14.0 (14.6)
HCT 42.7 (44.9)
Plat 201 (142)
ANC 2.1 (3.6)
I’m curious to see how much lower everything is tomorrow. And I’m still not changing anything so far exercise wise at this point. 1-1.5 hrs at the gym Mon, Tue, Wed with weights, cardio each day, and then cardio Thurs prior to chemo and so far so good. Maybe it helps, who knows!
So far so good. With the Gemzar only, there doesn’t appear to be many side effects at all except for the ones you don’t really notice (lower red/white blood counts and platelets). I did the same thing as the previous weekend (fished, but only washed one car) and didn’t get as tired. This week has been fine also. Bloodwork only this Friday, then next Friday is the combo Gemzar/Cisplatin. I’m thinking that this combo will have more of an effect, so planning an easy weekend. Work trip to Houston next week, then long day Friday for the chemo!
Good luck with all of your future treatment. Dr. Javle seems to be top notch, I sent him an email outlining my situation out of the blue and within an hour he responded to me with his recommendations! Not a normal response from a doctor! Keep up your positive attitude and fight the good fight!
Well…. Same as last week. Wired and can’t sleep after the Chemo session. Gonna try to go to bed soon, but have no tiredness in my body at this point! Didn’t have any issues at all today, no pain, no side effects, just can’t sleep!
OK, 2nd dose of Chemo today at 2:15. Gemzar has not given me any side effects whatsoever after the first dose. Did the gym M-Wed, ran last night (2 miles, 24 minutes, best cardio effort so far after the surgery) and will take it easy this weekend hoping to get back to the gym on Monday. That doesn’t mean we won’t get some shrimp and fish a bit though…
Well, it’s Wednesday and no ill effects from the Chemo at all so far. Hit the gym Monday and Tuesday evenings also. Did some fishing on Sunday and when we got home I decided to wash 2 cars. I was a bit tired after that and took a nap, but other than that, no other issues! Friday is Gemzar again, then off one week, then we do combo Gemzar and Cisplatin. I hear that one is harder to tolerate, we shall see…
Got your email, planned on calling towards the end of the week since I didn’t know when you would officially be ‘out’ of the hospital. Sorry to hear about the spread. To answer your questions, I had the first dose of Gemzar Friday and have not taken anything since for nausea or anything. No real side effects to speak of yet. I have been to the gym on Monday and yesterday so I’m still doing my typical routine. I have treatment at Florida Cancer Specialists, on Cattlemen north of Fruitville right behind Sam’s Club. Dr. Richard Buck is my oncologist, and he is fantastic. Never rushes you, answers all of your questions and is overall just a nice guy too! You can tell he cares and is very serious about what he does. He is in contact with Sloan Kettering about my plan and has no problem consulting with other Oncologists either (I would expect that he would have no issues with talking to Moffitt either).
I do Gemzar this Friday, off next, and then we do the double with Gemzar and Cisplatin which I’m told takes a LOT longer… Talk to you soon.
heheheh, even if they misfire and aim badly, I already took care of that. No more kids on the horizon for us!!
Eli, thanks for the info. I expect a 5-6 hour ordeal on the first day of Gem/Cis. Not sure if you’ve read my posts on my situation, but lucky for me, clean margins and no metastasis. Tumor was 1cm x 0.5cm x 0.7cm and contained only in the bile duct right at the bifurcation just as it enters the liver (from what I’ve read on this site, a very small tumor compared to others). No CC was present in the 7 lymph nodes they took out, nor was it present in the gall bladder or liver at all. My liver is about back to the size it was pre-surgery but grew on the left side of me, not over to the right. That’s the reason for Gemzar only initially. I technically have no ‘tumor’ to go after, only possible free floating cancer cells in blood or wherever they may be lurking. My oncologist consult from Sloan Kettering suggested Gemzar only followed by radiation. Local Sarasota doctor was a bit more aggressive and suggested Gemzar/Cisplatin and Dr. Javle from MD Anderson was also a proponent of Gemzar/Cisplatin followed by Radiation and oral Xeloda. My oncologist compromised with a cycle of Gem only, and then the Gem/Cis. We started with one cycle of 3 weeks for Gemzar only and then Gem/Cis combo for probably 6 – 3 week cycles, maybe 7 followed by the radiation and Xeloda.
I’m a bit confused on the ‘radiation’ part as from what I understand it is typically targeted at a ‘tumor’ to shrink it. What will they aim my radiation at? I have no original bile duct, it is my reconstructed small intestine. Just curious, and as usual, thanks for the comments everyone!!
Gemzar went in with no problems. Finished around 3:30 today. They gave me Decadron 10 mg and Aloxi 250 mcg with 2000mg of Gemzar by IV. All of my bloodwork was normal and the CA19-9 marker was 34.7 which according to the ranges is normal and in the ‘normal’ range… So far, feeling fine, but we will see over the next couple of days. I have Zofran if nausea hits. 1 more session next Friday with Gemzar only, one week off, and the following they add Cisplatin with the Gemzar and I’m told this is a 5-6 hour process because of the hydration required with the Cisplatin. Thanks for the comments everyone!
Just had my chest CT for a baseline to compare to if anything else happens. Chemo at 1:30 today… We’ll see how it goes!
I live in Florida and ended up at Memorial Sloan Kettering. I had CC and it was contained to the bile ducts. I had a resection of my liver (3/4 of it removed), the gall bladder, several lymph nodes, and all of the bile duct and after surgery they said that they ‘got it all’. They used my small intestines to construct a new bile duct. Dr. William Jarnagin at MSKCC did my surgery, he was fantastic. I would recommend him if you are in the area or can get to the area to get a second/third opinion. We faxed all procedure results and actually had the initial biopsy samples sent to them for analysis as well. I’m starting chemo on Friday this week as a preventative measure. All the best wishes, hope you continue with positive news….
What part of Lauderdale do you live in? I was born/raised, lived in Wilton Manors (Oakland Park Blvd and 16th ave), went to Wilton Manors Elementary, Sunrise Middle, and (wait for it….) Ft. Lauderdale High class of ’89. Lettered in football, soccer, and co-captain of the baseball team!! I loved the boat parade, we have one over here in Sarasota as well as the Venice Boat Parade too! Glad to hear Ben is doing better, all the best wishes for you guys. I’m starting my chemo Friday, I’m optomistic, but not sure how I’ll handle it. Thanks for your posts, it keeps us all connected with this disease and is much appreciated by all…