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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One or Two?

The 2nd leg of my first round of new chemo has gone very smoothly. Other than a headache and chilling through the weekend, I really have had no other symptoms. I have energy and although my appetite has not returned completely, it is on its way. I am very thankful for this, but it has me thinking. Do I want to continue my current chemo cocktail?

My new drug regimen for the 1st leg of each round of chemo is Avastin - an anti-angiogenesis targeted therapy, Gemzar - a 2nd round NSCLC chemo agent, and Carboplatin - a platinum-based drug that causes all sorts of, excuse me, shitty, shitty side effects. Lethargy, relentless nausea, vomiting, neuropathy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pains, and chemo brain, among others. The Gemzar/Carbo combo is popular in Europe and it seems to be used more in the US recently. I had the Carboplatin at the very beginning of my chemo treatment in 2011 and it was difficult. The effects from it this 2nd go around have been worse, so I'm beginning to wonder if the benefits of the Carboplatin are worth the week-long feeling that I could puke up my shoes at any minute.

I looked up some statistics and it seems that, although there is little data regarding Gemzar alone, Gemzar with Carboplatin makes little difference in survival times when compared to other chemo agents. However, it DOES make a difference in how people feel while they are surviving. Because it is so harsh, people feel better without the Carboplatin (surprise, surprise).

So I'm taking this and next week to consider the real possibility that I'm done with the Gemzar/Carbo mix or whether I'm willing to sacrifice one week of every three for an extra 1.6 months.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I just got reading through a few of your posts and I had a quick question about your blog. I am involved in the cancer community and was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance. Thanks! - emilywalsh688(at)