Gem / carbo 4th line

Hi to everyone - just a follow up on my post a couple of days ago. I saw the oncologist today - major organs clear but enlarged lymph nodes around abdomen. He's suggested Gem / carbo for the next step - and seriously has made it sound horrifying!

Talk of sepsis / crashing bloods ( my bloods can never stand the strain of chemo anyway ) ! I know several of you have had or are having this regime - is it honestly as horrendous a picture as has been painted? ??

Thank you ladies in anticipation xxx

26 Replies

  • hiya batman as you know i cant be much help/ advice on the chemo front

    but smiles and swearing i can do xxxxx

  • Lol yep I'm a pro at both of those things too! !!!

    Plenty of profanities flying round the consulting room this morning! !!! Xxx

  • i hope you used my favourite of the moment motherf.....!!!!!!

  • Oh jeez not quite but weren't far off! I found it wondrous and liberating - not sure onc would agree! !!!

  • Hi there, I was on Gem & Carbo for my first line. It was hard but I got through it. I think any chemo has its side effects & could be dangerous but we are not talking about a cold we are talking about cancer.

    My onc has never gone into such details or I would of thought twice before starting any of my chemos. I was told about hair lose, feeling sick, constipation & feeling tried.

    Unless your onc is looking at your pass history & feels you are at a higher risk of these things happening to you. Take care Cindyxx

  • Hi Cindy and yes he was looking at how I've been through chemo before - doable but my bloods have always taken a bad hit - neuts of 0.6 despite Neulasta jabs etc.

    Just didn't really want to hear that it's a given I'd need blood and platelets etc etc - let's try and put SOME kind of positive spin on it for God's sake! !!

    Anyway will give it a crack and see how things go xxx

  • Hi Maz, , yes give it a go because they know you have problems with your treatments & helpfully they will keep a good eye on you.

    I normally get a help line number if I am takien ill while on chemo. So if you have a number & don't feel well call them. Good luck take care Cindyxx

  • I had Gem Carbo in 2010 and I am still here. It is not a bad regime, you have the usual constipation and a few off days but nothing major. However, I had Gem again in 2013 with Avastin and my white cells did a runner at times. However they came back and I didnt have to play catch up in the end. I think they added alcohol to the Gem since first time so I would get the shakes after a few hours but that would pass. They did reduce the dose of Gem but it didnt affect my overall result. You get a huge sheet with all the side effects on it but that doesnt mean your will get them all. Its just a possibility.

  • Thanks Joan and yes I guess we'll see - will be upping the intake of broccoli and spinach so I'm not starting on the back foot! !

    Hope you're keeping well xxx

  • Hi Maz I don't know why OC talk that why, they do have to tell you the side effect but also we are all so different that the treatments can effect as in such a different ways, I was on Caelyx and this was to be a very hard treatment, yes it was not easy but i managed the 6 months, some ladies in this site had no side effect to speak of and some did not finish the treatment.

    So I hope you breeze through it and keep up the good wishes Lorraine xx

  • Hi Lorraine and yes sometimes the medics are a bit like the clanging bell of doom aren't they! ?!

    I did say to him and I quote - mmm you're not really selling this to me - don't think he appreciated the comment! !

    I had Caelyx as 2nd line and found it very tough but like you say - I got through it on a dose reduction.

    Fight the fight for all of us! ! Xxx

  • Hi there, had Gemox (Gemzar + Oxaliplatin) in September or October last year (as 6th line chemo maybe, cannot really remember, chemo non-stop, except around a large surgery, since February 2014...). My main symptoms were with Oxaliplatin, which I had to stop. I then had Gemzar alone. They had to reduce the dose, and even with that reduced dose, never managed to get the 3rd week (3 weeks + 1 off) due to very low platelets. But had it for 5 cycles nevertheless.

    Take care, Véronique

  • Hi Veronique and yes I guess I'll have to be vigilant and see how it goes. 6th line - wow good on you girl! !!!!


  • Hi Max- had carbo/gem third line and finished in February. It was fine for four doses and then as it is accumulative your bloods can get zapped. White blood cells and red too low therefore I didn't have the the last dose of gem, just carbo on it's own. The good news is my CA 125 went down by 100 at the end of the course. Unfortunately the beast is back and having CT on 18th. All will be revealed - will let you know.


  • Hi Lynne and I seem to get the impression that the main side effects apart from the usual is the blood impact! Will give it a go - have only been given a 30% chance of it working but have to try it - onc says there's other things to try if this doesn't achieve a remission of some sort! We'll see.

    No matter how much we prepare ourselves for the news that this beast is awake and marching again it's torture to hear - yes please let us know.

    Keep the faith! ! 💕💕

  • Will do


  • Hi Maz, I hope this reassures you a little. I have actually ASKED for Gem/Carbo as I start Chemo again on Friday. I found it quite easy to cope with when I had it, including Avastin, last time. Unfortunately I can't have that Combo again. It was my second series and appears it's a "once off " combination. Sometimes I wish we didn't have to be told or read all the side affects - they're all so terrifying. Good Luck, love, Solange x😊x

  • Just thought, Gemcitabine isn't the same as Gemzar, is it? Bit confusing as they both appear to be called Gem. 🤔

  • Lol Solange can't answer that one! !!

    But thank you anyway - will update how I'm doing. Good good luck for Fri 💪💪💪 xxx

  • Hello Solange

    Gemzar and gemcitabine are the same drug - Gemzar is the brand name and gemcitabine is the generic pharmaceutical name.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes


    Support Service Manager

  • Thank you very much for the clarification, Anna. It's much appreciated. Solange 😊

  • Morning Maz hope you are up and enjoying the sunshine with your fighting pants and gloves on!! I had this regime for my second line, it did play havoc with my bloods and I had a reaction to the Carbo, I think it was to soon after my first lot to be honest and I should have watched and waited for as long as I could but my CA125 always goes through the roof so wanted to be on the chemo! They switched me to Cisplatin and I finished the course and to be honest didn't find it to bad at all I still worked went out etc. If it does effect your bloods they can give you little injections that boost your white blood count they are ok not painful, my husband did them for me so ask about them.

    Good luck with it and keep us posted xxx

  • Thank you Alison and yes am pretty much back in the arena prepared to battle again! !

    In the middle of having a new kitchen so surrounded by mess and chaos so most certainly will be out in the sunshine and try to forget all this for a while!

    Have always had to have those injections to boost my WBC after previous chemos so let's jump in and see! !

    Good luck with your treatment - keeping the fight always! ! Xxx

  • Drinking lots of water during these treatments made all the difference in the world for me... Your organs will thank you for the extra water. I would take a 32-ounce mug of water to drink during the treatment its self. Wishing you an easy time of it.

  • Found it pretty tolerable, but tough on the bloods. Like you I've tended to struggle with neutrophils and have to have injections. I did 2-3 days before day 8 and another couple before the next cycle. Much better than a long run of days. I also had several transfusions (2 or 3). Watch your magnesium levels. Mine got v low and I can only assume it was down to the chemo.

    Good luck! X

  • Thank you Mac - yes my magnesium has been low in the past too. The only part of my blood picture that's held its own is my HB and platelets but I guess that may change!

    Anyway I'm trying to put it all on the back burner until my 1st dose on the 22nd - then it'll be all fingers crossed xxx

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