Hi I've had a recurrence and will be going for a treatment of Carboplatin and Gemcitabine on Monday.  When I was first diagnosed with stage 3, I had 6 rounds of carboplatin and taxol. Does anyone have any experience with Gemcitabine?  I am wondering what I can expect and if you have any advice for me.  


  • Hi @cmmacneil.  I see that you haven't received any responses yet about Gemcitabine. I believe that @meganG may have been on that drug.  I have tagged her here so she can see the post.  How was your first treatment?
  • Hi,I'm Kathy and I'm new to ovdialogue,creating an account early September 2017 but not creating a story or participating in discussions. I have had 6 treatments of Gemzar or Gem as the nurses call it. I go once a week for three weeks then a week break. I found the day after my first treatment I had body aches and feeling like I had the flu lasting 3-4 days. I had my dosage reduced after the first three which has helped to diminish the severity for the last three.I have achy joints,mostly my knees and muscle weakness,mostly my upper legs. I do experience periods of tiredness,resting when my body tells me and when i have energy,using it as my body allows. I have had to come to terms with being idle,satisfied with doing what I can and not what I used to be able to do. Hope this has helped and I hope to post my story soon.
  • Hi @_kathallen - thank you as well for posting about the treatment other than Paclitaxel and Carboplatin... that seems to be a theme on any of the medications - achy joints... I hope you are doing well today and we look forward to hearing about your story. If you are available - try joining our chat on Teal Tuesdays @ 7:00 PM CST 
  • Hi @_kathallen.  Welcome to your first discussion on OVdialogue.  I hope that you will continue to contribute to the conversations.  I am "@mentioning" @cmmacneil who first posted this discussion and was looking for some information.  When you @mention someone they will be notified of the comment.  Hopefully it may be helpful for the two of you to connect.  You can also send a private message to someone.  Beside your name in the top right corner you will see four icons.  The second one - an envelope - is where you can send and receive private messages.  Click on that and click new message and go from there.  

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Gemcitabane.
  • Hi @Marilyn thank you for welcoming me and the info on communicating with others here. I will work on navigating this site and my story.
  • Hi @Flowergirl. Your welcome and thank you for the invite to Teal Tuesday. I will work on my story, navigating this site and joining in on Teal Tuesday. 
  • Hi @_kathallen
    Thanks for sharing.  I will be starting gem in the next couple of weeks.  It is good to have an idea of what to expect.  If you have the capacity for an update, it would be appreciated.

  • I started on Gemcitabine in February 2021 after 10 months of Avastin as a maintenance. My cancer became more active so this was the next step.  I find that the burning veins are my biggest problem and if I am going to continue on with it then I may get a valve (not sure if that is the right term) put in so the medication doesn't have to go through all my tiny veins.  I also have sleeplessness, bloating and heartburn.  There is a medication for everything and I sometimes feel like I need to detox from all of that.
  • @Donnybrook I'm so sorry for the discomfort you're feeling with the Gem.  I assume they've tried to slow down the infusion and/or increased the amount of saline to Gem to help alleviate the burning? 

    I"m on my second round of Gem right now. Back in 2017 when I was first diagnosed I had a massive reaction to Paclitaxel so they switched me to Gem in combination with the Carboplatin I was also getting.  Gentle Gem they called it....ha ha. Only because I didn't lose my hair and other side effects, if any, are generally milder than what you get with Paclitaxel. But no one warned me about the burning in the veins....sheesh!  By the end, even the slowest drip and the most saline in the mix didn't keep me totally burn free and I've ended up with veins that are not only very tiny, like yours, but also deep and squiggly and now, thanks to Gem, quite scarred.  So trying to just find a vein for an IV let alone not have it collapse is an ordeal. So when I recurred this past December and put back on the same drug combination we went with the chest port and I can't tell you what a  relief it's been.  Totally painless.  The port is used for both the chemo as well as all my blood work too. The only thing they can't use the port for are the CT scans.....the port is not strong enough to manage the pressure of the dye when it's infused apparently.  And unlike a PIK line that has to be flushed every week, you don't need to flush a chest port at all while you're in chemo and after, if you leave it in, it only has to be flushed once a month.    

    I admit I was nervous about having the port installed when they first suggested it and told me it's done with no anesthesia. But it was literally pain and hassle free.  It's done by a radiologist. You're given mild sedation..actually loved that part LOL....and  then they freeze around the area.  You're draped like normal surgery so you can't see anything and you literally feel nothing...just a little pressure on your chest. And it's over in a flash. More surprisingly, while it takes a few weeks to heal, they did my next chemo the next day using the port.  And the poke when they insert the needle into the port is painless for me I don't use anything. Some do use a numbing cream though. I'm so glad I didn't just try to grin and bear it which is my normal.  So, if that's what they're recommending I highly suggest you go with it.  And side benefit...the chemo even goes faster.

    Good luck gal.. 

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