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Thread: Gem vs. GemAbraxine Mix

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Gem vs. GemAbraxine Mix

    Hi. Well my husband finished his first round of chemo (Gem/Abraxine) end of Aug. He was very, very sick from the chemo loosing 10lbs per week, N/V, Diarrhea and Hiccups...not just little annoying ones but "take your breath away", 72hr straight hiccups. He finally received a rx for Reglan and dissolvable Zofran - what a blessing.

    With a 2 week hiatus, he almost decided to quite and let nature take its course. However, after speaking to the MD yesterday we have decided to do one more round of Gemcitabine ONLY! in hopes of less side effects. The MD told us that the Abraxine was responsible for 90% of the crappy side effects and we should experience next to nothing from Gem only. Can anyone agree with this opinion? Online I'm finding that the side effects are not reduced and that we should expect the same reaction to the this treatment.

    I'd appreciate anyone with experience with Gem only treatment to comment on the side effects/quality of life.

  2. #2
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    My dad had gemcitabine only treatments and the side effects were not terrible. He experienced a lot of fatigue and some slight nausea. The oncologist told us that people seem to tolerate this drug pretty well. He got his treatments on Tuesdays. By Friday the fatigue really hit hard. By Monday it started to let up. Then back the next day for another treatment. He did need blood transfusion a few times because the chemo lowered his counts so much, and that helped. I hope your husband tolerates it as well as my dad did.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    My dad also had mild side effects from Gemcitabine until the end of his 6 weeks course of treatment. But, it's one of those things that you never know what's going to happen until you try since it effects everyone so differently. Common sense would say that it can't be worse than with the Abraxane, right?

    I hope that it works well for him and he gets some relief from feeling so lousy.

    March 21, 2011 - Dad diagnosed. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma on head of pancreas.
    April 2011 - Gemcitabine and radiation for a total of 12 weeks.
    October 14, 2011 - Successful Whipple procedure. Cancer free! Best 5 months of my life!!!
    March 2, 2012 - CT scan and discovery of possible mets to both lungs.
    March 23, 2012 - Biopsy confirmed recurrence.
    May 2, 2012 - Folfiri regimen started. Stopped after 2 treatments due to infection.
    June 2, 2012 - Switched to Xeloda
    Sept. 21, 2012 - No more chemo...treatment not working anymore. Now we wait and pray.
    October 6, 2012 - My dad is now at peace in Heaven, watching over us until we meet again.

    ♥ Forever in my heart! Miss you every day more than words can say! ♥

  4. #4
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    I did six months of Gem and while the side effects were not fun, they were not awful either. Generally fatigue and flu like symptoms would come on a day or two after treatment and then gradually get better until it was time for the next dose. I started 3 weeks on and one off and got changed to two on and one off which made the side effects easier to deal with. Also had to put up of chemo mouth and loss of my taste buds but that cleared up after I finished the treatments.
    Diagnosed June 20, 2012 with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
    Surgery on July 19, 2012, distal pancreatectomy with removal of a portion of the stomach and colon adhering to the pancreas, splenectomy.
    Pathology report July 26, 2012, clear margins all around
    Stage 2 (T3N0) in July, changed to Stage 3 Oct. 10.
    Started Gemzar Sept. 17, 2012
    6 month scan clean, NED
    Completed chemo end of March.
    July 5, scan shows pseudocyst between what is left of my stomach and pancreas.
    July 12, two stents put in to drain pseudocyst, pain on left side reduced.
    Dec. 6, results of last scan, 10 mm and 6mm mets to liver, 3 small mets to lungs.
    March 25, folfirinox is working but bad reaction to oxaliplatin. Giving it one more try.
    Switched to folfiri, minor reaction.
    5 rounds of Xeloda.
    Done with Xeloda, starting gem/abrax in 3 weeks.
    Started hospice Feb. 11


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