Gemzar

I’ve had a few days to ruminate, and now I’m ready to share.

My doctor called after noon on Monday.  He went straight into the results – not a good sign.  The PET scan showed two new areas of cancer in my right lung.  Not only are they new since my last PET scan; they are new since my CT scan only one month ago.  This means my cancer is worsening despite three months of chemo.

So starting Monday I will receive a weekly infusion of Gemzar (pronounced jem-zar).  It’s given every week for three weeks followed by one week off.  Three weeks on, one week off.  I’ll do this for 3 months, and then I will have another PET scan to measure my progress.  Nausea and hair loss are uncommon with Gemzar, so my main concern is flu-like symptoms.  Hopefully it won’t take more than a couple of days to bounce back from each treatment.

There was some ‘okay’ news, too.  The spot on my spine hasn’t grown, and there is no sign of cancer anywhere in my abdomen.  Since we know there isn’t cancer in my collarbone, the pain must be from the shot of Aranesp.  My doctor advised me to try some different anti-inflammatories to see if they will relieve the pain.

It’s extremely frustrating and disappointing that two treatment plans have failed; several doctors were hopeful for both.

But I try not to dwell on the failures and instead focus on what’s next.  Onward and upward.  Hopefully Gemzar will treat me nicely and control my cancer, too.

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7 responses to “Gemzar

  • Sjoukje

    Oh no! Keeping fingers (and paws) crossed for you that the Gemzar will do what it is supposed to do!!! Onward and upward indeed Jessica!!

    much love!

  • Craig

    The first words that come to mind aren’t fit for print. We fight and hope. It can be hard, especially when there isn’t much to show for the precious time we’ve spent trying things.

    I hope Gem’s a gem for you, and in the meanwhile I hope you’ll start talking with a UPenn doc who can offer the LDK378 and AP26113 trials. (For LDK378, a contact phone # for the trial nurse and the trial coordinator are listed in the locations list of that trial’s description here:
    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01449461 but it probably means the M.D. would be either Corey Langer or Tracey Evans. Stevenson has moved on to the Cleveland Clinic.)

    Best hopes,

    Craig

  • Pat poling

    I, too, hope the Gemzar is the ONE that gets things under control. You’re lucky to have Craig pulling in your corner, too! I love your onward and upward attitude! You go girl!

  • hearthangingout

    Very sorry to hear your bad news. I do hope that the Gemzar helps. Warm wishes.

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