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Gemzar, any familiarity with this chemotherapy

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Ronnie View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 07 2012 at 12:16am
Is anyone familiar with taking Gemzar for chemotherapy treatment.  If so, any particular side effects noted?  Also, has anyone had gammaknife radiation to the brain and what post symptoms, if any, were noted.  Thanks for the input. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mudpuppy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2012 at 12:15am
Ronnie,
I had Gemzar and Cisplatin together.  The side effect that I experienced mainly was lower blood counts.  Mine did not get too low, thank God.  I had to stop the Cisplatin half way through because of issues with my left ear.  I had some insomnia and fatigue but not too bad.
 
My mother was on the same two chemo drugs at the same time as me, go figure Wacko She did not have TNBC, she had bladder cancer.  We did chemo togehter.  Her blood count did get really low.  By the end of it she had to have a blood transfusion.  She was tired but probably from being anemic due to low blood levels.  We both had problems sleeping but could be caused by anxiety, the steroids we got pumped up with, or one of the drugs.
 
Neither one of us lost our hair.  My mom was going to cut her hair short but our oncologist told her not to because her hair may not fall out.  My hair was already short from previous chemo I had 9 months before.
 
I was very lucky not to experience the typical side effects.  And I pray that others that have to go through chemo could have a better experience like I did.  I wish you luck and will definitely say a prayer for you.
 
As for gammaknife, I am not sure.  I work in a doctor's office and we had a patient who had it done.  She lost hair in spots it was done.  Not sure of any other side effects though.  She looked great when she came in to our office.
 
Take care,
 
Christine
 
DX 9/21/2009, age 37, Tumor 3 cm (4.3 with tentacles), Grade 3, DD Neoadj chemo,4X AC, 12X Taxotere,Stage 2A, BRCA 1/2 neg, Bilat mast/reconst 5/18/10, 0/10 nodes, Gemzar & Cisplatin 4 cycles
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Ronnie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ronnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2012 at 12:46am
Hi Christine, thanks for sharing your experience with me.  My stepdaughter is in treatment and fatigue is definitely something that she's most challenged by lately.  She's also had to deal with quite a bit of insomnia, and for her it was definitely related to the steroids.  Treatment is such a crazy making world.  I'm so sorry to hear that you've had to start dealing with this at such a young age.  My stepdaughter is also quite young, she was diagnosed last year age 40.  It  was interesting to read about the patient who had gamma knife whose hair fell out in spots.  While my stepdaughter already lost her hair from a previous chemo, most recently she's noticed a bald spot in one area and given what you've said,  I'm wondering whether this may be the result of the gamma knife procedures.
 
Thanks again for your response.
 
My best wishes for you and your mom.      Warm regards, Ronnie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TriplePositiveGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2012 at 4:35pm
Hi Ronnie,

I had a Gemzar/Carbo "cocktail". I was given 4 rounds (8 infusions) before my surgery (surgery was on 6/10), then 2 rounds post surgery. I did find that the main side effect was fatigue. I never had any nausea and did not loose hair. I sometimes wonder how you can really tell which of the chemo agents causes these side effects when you get both together. I did notice that I had restless sleep, but that seemed to come much later for me, when I was undergoing radiation. On the whole, the Gemzar/Carbo chemo was not that bad (not that I every want to do it again :)

Best,

Lisa
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Ronnie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ronnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2012 at 1:01am
Thanks Lisa, I know, it's bizarre to think, to say that any particular chemo is not that bad......  but it is all relative.  Warm regards, Ronnie
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