Carboplatin and gemcitabine

Hello All......

I believe I posted a week or so ago about my recurrence after a 27 month remission from Stage4 OC. My doctors thought I'd be eligible to enter a study, but as it turns out, I am not. I will start on Carboplatin and gemcitabine on Wednesday. My previous treatment was the Carboplatin and Taxol, so the gem will be new to me. They may even throw in Avastin for good measure. Has anyone been on the carbo and gemcitabine? What kind of side effects did you have particularly on the gemcitabine? The nasty beast is in my liver now.....and, maybe my colon and in my abdominal cavity. I'm hoping this treatment can knock it back again. Fingers crossed!

I am sending good thoughts and hugs to all of you. You are a wonderful and caring group........JudyV

23 Replies

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  • Hi Judy. Sorry to hear of your recurrence. I had carbo/gem for my first recurrence though I had to swop to cisplatin/gem as I became allergic to the carbo. I found the fatigue and nausea slightly worse than wen I was on carbo/taxol but that could well have been the cisplatin though the nausea was soon controlled once I got the right meds. I again had cisplatin/gem for my second recurrence. Each time I have to say it knocked the beast back. I hope it works well for you . Kathy xx

  • Hi Kathy.....thank you for your information. I'm encouraged by your reply. I hope I have good results as you have, although I wonder if it's unusual for one to become allergic to the carbo after having had it the first time around without a problem. I guess our body chemistries change, too. So that could account for it.

    I was also wondering, did you lose your hair with the gem? I've had mine cut very short in the hopes that I can preserve what little I have!

    Here's hoping you continue to do well. Good thoughts and prayers to you.....JudyV

  • Hi Judy. From what I was told it's not uncommon to have the reaction to the carbo although in most cases it can be resolved by the use of antihistamines. My reaction was quite extreme so I can't have it again. I didn't lose my hair but it did thin and during a visit to the USA I found a wonderful thing called hair fibres. OMG amazing. I had them applied and actually cried when I saw the results, I had a thick head of hair. So easy to do yourself, and I mean easy! Try googling them, they are sold on ebay etc and there is probably a you -tube video somewhere!. Best wishes. Kathy

  • Thank you so much, Kathy. I'm so glad you had such good results with the hair fibers. I'll have to look it up! Best wishes......JudyV

  • Hi Judy, my first treatment was the same as you, then my second was carbo, gem and avastin, however I became alergic to carbo on my third infusion and and it had to be stopped, my forth was the same, and so my last one was only gem and avastin, the side effects were mostly shortage of breath (found it hard to climb stairs and even do short walks) and most of the usual ones like constipation and not wanting to eat much (although chocolate always went down well). when I finished my then depleted course, I was put on 3 weekly avastin, which I am still on, I have now had 10. this I have no problems with. Hope you stay well on your course and get the best result. take care,

    xxx

    Jeanette

  • Hi Jeanette......thank you so much. You're the second reply I'm reading where the allergic reaction to Carbo has come up! Hmmmm! At least there are other meds for us if that happens. I hope you continue to do well on the Avastin. I'll find out on Wednesday if my doctor will use the Avastin along with the Carbo and Gem, or if he'll keep it for later.

    I wish you a continuous good outcome with the Avastin.........Hugs, JudyV

  • Hi Judy

    I don't want to hijack your thread so just commenting here as was about to come on and ask the same question - or almost the same question - am being put on cistoplatin and Gem for 2nd line treatment. I'm not sure why cistoplatin only I'm back after five months (was never NED, just stable after my original carbo/taxol) as they couldn't operate because of where it was in my liver. At any rate I'm here asking the same question roughly - only with Cistoplatin.

    Will certainly be able to compare with you should you want as I'm starting today. I'm nervous but at least having been through chemo once before I have some idea what to expect rather than the complete terror of your first chemo.

    I'm really sorry your cancer is back and especially in the liver. I too have it there plus two large tumours on ovaries. Am hoping this chemo works quickly for us and with minimum side effects. My oncologist warned that the biggest symptom was low blood counts and transfusions were likely.

    Best of luck to you

    Love Mary xxx

  • Hi Mary I have to say I found cisplatin harsher to cope with than carbo. It's side effects are harsher (low blood count, fatigue and nausea), though I didn't have to have a blood transfusion. If you can get the correct meds sorted (don't suffer because you really don't have to) then it's doable just harsher, if that makes sense! I did have to spend a week in hospital whilst they sorted my nausea meds until I threatened to discharge myself and found cyclizine the best. Hope your chemo goes ok. Kathy xxx

  • Hi Katmal - Thanks for the heads up on that. I'm not sure why he's given me Cistoplatin instead of Carboplatin as got on fine with Carbo first time...Hmmm, I'll try and find out and if possible maybe can switch to carbo but am sure there must be a good reason.

    Anyway, I'll try and get right meds if needed for anti sickness - was lucky last time I didn't actually need any anti sickness meds - just pain relief meds which I took in abundance! Anyway, I'll keep asking lots of questions as I don't believe you have to suffer either...just have to find right thing! Cheers for your advice. xx

  • Hi Im confused as to why you are to be given cisplatin rather than carbo if you haven't had a problem with the carbo. I had to swop from carbo as I am highly allergic to it now, definitely worth asking why, unless it's to do with you not being NED? I had been in remission for quite a while previously. Good luck. Kathy xxx

  • It's a good question and I will find out! Perhaps something to do with not being NED in first place. Thanks again for your advice xx

  • HI Mary.....so sorry you're going through this again, too! I've heard from many women on this and another forum who have had liver mets and are doing very well, so we should be encouraged!

    I'll be interested to hear how you do with your new course of chemo. Just curious.....I was under the impression that like me and everyone else that I know of with this disease, have had total hysterectomy at some point......some after a few rounds of chemo, and some at the beginning before chemo starts. Looks like you still have your ovaries??? Of course, I've learned that for each individual, there's a unique story/surgery/treatment.

    Please keep me posted on your progress, and I will do the same. Hugs to you....JudyV

  • Hi Judy - That's good to hear you are hearing good news! We need all the encouragement we can get and I'm keeping hopeful. Had the first dose yesterday and got home at 9pm - had an ok night, just noticed legs feeling strangely heavy and leaden but that feels alright this morning. Other than that, other than some constipation I feel alright (so far!) but obviously it's early days.

    Wishing you all the best! Keep me posted.

    Hugs

    Mary xxx

  • HI Mary.....So glad the heavy feeling in your legs subsided. I think we all have to keep ahead of the constipation! I have every product known to man in my cabinet! I finally had to get a prescription for lactulose when I was having chemo first time around. That did the trick!

    I hope you continue to feel well. I'll let you know how I do tomorrow. Fingers crossed! Hugs to you......JudyV

  • Oh best of luck, Judy. Yes, please let me know how you go. Constipation still a problem here but just have to be patient! Other than that still doing ok! xx

  • Your white cells take a hit too, so enquire about G-CSF injections to keep them up. I tolerated this combo pretty well, but it only partially did the job.

  • Just want to wish you Good Luck, Judy. Like you, I had Carbo/Taxol for my first Course and then Carbo/Gem/Avastin when I recurred. I am now on Carbo alone and may start Caelyx with it after the third cycle scan. I was first diagnosed ten and a half years ago so have done very well - as I'm hoping you will. I have too many tumours to list but the aim is just to "dampen " them 😊 Strangely enough, I've just had a really rotten week following the second Carbo on it's own but tolerated the other joint chemos pretty well. Love, Solange

  • Thank you,Solange.......It's very encouraging knowing you've reached over 10 years! God bless you! I'm so sorry you've had a bad week on the carbo. I guess we never know how we're going to react to the treatment at any given time. I'm more apprehensive this time because I'm thinking that this round of chemo will be in a body that's already been through a round, and not starting off in an otherwise unblemished body.......if that makes any sense! I'm staying positive and telling myself I'll do fine!

    I hope this week and all the weeks to come are better and better for you.

    Sending positive thoughts.........JudyV

  • Thank you, Judy. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you, 😊 Xx

  • Yes, and it gave me 20 months clear. You should have good results from that as you responded to treatment before. I had to miss or delay two due to low platelets. Good luck.

  • Thank you, Lesley.......That's very encouraging! I wish you continued good health! JudyV

  • I started on Carboplatin and Gemcitabine a couple of months ago, 16 months after finishing previous chemo of Carboplatin and Taxol. My main side effects have been fatigue, and some nausea in the first few days after each treatment but this is controlled by the anti-sickness tablets. My hair has thinned, but not too noticeably. I found it a bit difficult emotionally at first having a second chemo, even though it is shorter, in week 2, but have felt much better in the 3rd week each time. Of course I'm sure everyone has their own particular response to the chemo, and I really hope yours goes as well as it possibly can.

  • Hi Alison.....I had the carbo/gem/avastin on Wednesday. Thursday wasn't bad, but today I feel like I'm 100 years old! I'm so tired and achy, but I did do a few things in the morning......laundry, vacuuming, etc. Maybe I did too much and I paid for it in the afternoon! I'll have to learn to pace myself. Next Wednesday will be the gem only, then the third Wednesday nothing. I'm sure I'll feel better the third week as you have described above. Thank you so much for responding, and I'll be hoping your treatments go well and bring you to better health. Hugs, JudyV

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