Pancreatic cancer

Affected by pancreatic cancer? Join this group to share experiences and ask questions to people who understand what you're going through.

Starting Chemo

Rad14
Posted by

Went to Oncology for the first time yesterday and will be getting GemCap for 6 months, infusion once a week for 3 weeks, then a week off plus tablets twice a day. All this starts 17th January. Can't say I'm looking forward to it, but Onwards and Upwards always!

Coconut1
Posted by

Keep up the positive attitude. Chemo affects people differently and what happens to one person doesn’t necessarily happen to another. Make sure you keep well hydrated...and I mean very well hydrated. Rest when you feel fatigued but try very hard to get some type of exercise in - walking is excellent, but whatever works (consult your physician) 

Eat. Even when you don’t want to. Even if it’s just a cup of broth. 

Pack yourself a chemo lab bag. Earbuds, music, reading material, snacks, beverage, your own blanket, just stuff to have on hand to make you feel more comfortable. I took with me a Wonder Woman blanket my students bought for me. 

You’re going to be fine. You’ve powered through quite a bit already so this is the light at the end of the tunnel stage. Pretty soon it’ll all be behind you! 

Keep up the positive outlook. As you said, onwards and upwards!




KiwiWolf
Posted by

I can’t add anything to what Coconut has said other than good luck! I’ve just finished my six months of GemCap and it was perfectly tolerable. Some ups and downs but nothing I couldn’t deal with. Watch out for hand/foot syndrome and if you have any symptoms let your medical team know immediately and they’ll sort you out. That goes for any side effects really. Luckily the infusion part is quite short so you shouldn’t have to be in the ward all day. Mine took an hour all in.

Rad14
Posted by

Thanks very much KiwiWolf for your reply, it was greatly appreciated. Not looking forward to it, but I know I'll get through it somehow!

I know the side effects are different for everybody. Will let you know how I go.

Rad14
Posted by

Thanks very much Coconut1, it's great to get replies. I know this will probably be an ordeal, but hey, I'm not the first to go though it, and I know unfortunately I won't be the last! Thanks for the info, I'll let you know how I get on.

Rad14
Posted by

Funny, I've just (by accident) come across quite a few "anti-Chemo" videos on YouTube, and they are very disturbing.

I had no idea there was such an anti-chemo bias out there!! The consensus seems to be that Chemo does nothing for you except poison your whole body, and the likelihood is that it will either cause more cancer in your body, and/or will never totally remove any rogue cells you may have anyway.

I never knew there was so much vitriol against chemo treatment, and it is quite alarming as I'm now about to start treatment in 3 days!!

What do others think?

KiwiWolf
Posted by

Step away from YouTube. It’s full of cranks peddling unhelpful and distressing stuff like this. It absolutely infuriates me as they’re playing with people’s lives. There seems to be a rise in this nonsense - at a time when someone is facing what could be life or death, I think it’s actually criminal to post stuff like that up. The trouble is, the people posting these things are not medically trained, at least not in oncology, and often are cherry picking bits and pieces of media hype that suit their agenda. And usually have never had cancer either. Chemo can be unpleasant and harsh on the body but it’s one of the best weapons we have against cancer cells at the moment. I have had five friends with cancer, plus myself, and all had chemo except one who chose to go with alternative treatment. She is the only one of us to have died. Two of my friends are coming up to six and seven years in remission, and one has passed the thirty year mark. Myself and my other friend have just finished our chemo and are cancer free at the moment. Sometimes the cancer can come back, that’s true, and sometimes chemo can cause other health issues but as far as I’m concerned it’s a small price to pay if the alternative is death.

Splodge321
Posted by

Good luck with the chemo rad14 hopefully it will be far more tolerable than you are expecting xx

Coconut1
Posted by

Rad14 - welcome to the world misinformation. Everyone has an opinion on this stuff. Everyone has an angle. Everyone has a cure. There’s a lot of people making a lot of money preying on people’s desperation. 

Here’s my take: check your sources BEFORE you read or watch anything and then read or watch it. That way you can make an informed decision. If we were to believe everything we watched on YouTube we’d be convinced that fish grow fur coats in cold weather. 
Since the introduction of treatments such as chemo and radiation there has been a marked increase in life expectancy worldwide. There’s not one refutation of that evidence that I’ve seen that has been legitimate. 

There are side effects no matter what you do. If you go with herbal supplements and organic foods you’re trusting that those remedies and their “science” are “truthful” as well. It works both ways. 

I did my research and chose chemo and radiation. It gave me the most sound chance of extending my life expectancy. The research I read regarding that treatment plan was from far more reliable sources than the anything I found regarding using only herbal remedies. 

Be careful as well. You can really mess with your head if you spend time dwelling on things. You need to keep your wits about you to focus on what is truly important. 

Remember - Ultimately it’s you that has to be comfortable in your choice. 


Rad14
Posted by

 Thank you to everyone for your replies and comments. Sorry I experienced a bit of a wobbly over this, but I'm back on track now! I realise Chemo is poison, but it is a necessary one and one I wouldn't like to turn down. Probably all my fault for dwelling on videos on Youtube! I know there can be a lot of nonsense on there, but when people who call themselves doctors and medical people, appear and sound very convincing in their talk, I suppose it can be easy to be taken in.

Rad14
Posted by

Hi folks,

had my first cycle of Chemo yesterday, GemCap and so far, so good! Of course I know it's early days, but I can't report any bad reactions yet. Getting the Picc Line inserted took actually the longest, and was a bit "nippy", but getting the Gemcitabine was a doddle, taking about 50 minutes, including the "flushes". The Capecitabine are 4 tablets twice a day. Tummy went a little bit funny last night after dinner, but was gone this morning and hasn't returned today so far. Just took today's second installment. We'll see what happens...

Splodge321
Posted by

That’s good to hear Rad14. I think we all have preconceived idea about chemo I know some people do suffer terribly but it does seem that plenty get through relatively easily. I hope it continues like this for you. 

Rad14
Posted by

Thanks Kate.

Onwards and Upwards!

Steve

Rad14
Posted by

Little update from me. First cycle GemCap finished and waiting to start next one next week, and side effects have now kicked in! Mouth sore with cheeks blistered and lips cracked, plus sole of left foot sore since last night. Not sure wether it's foot/hand syndrome yet, but have been on to helpline and they have suggested creams and gargling with salted water...

Splodge321
Posted by

Hi again so sorry that you’re suffering symptoms I hope they don’t get any worse. I don’t know what creams the helpline suggests but Udderly cream was fabulous for my mum. I get it on amazon for her and it really helps. Good luck with the rest of the chemo x