rockniraqvet's Message Board Messages

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6 1/2 survivor of Stage 2 GBC.

I can relate.  That's my story.  Incidental discovery of cancer upon having my gallbladder removed.  Then underwent liver rescection and chemo.  Almost every scan showed shading in the liver adjacent to where the gallbladder had been, they believed the shading was contusions from the surgeries.  I am a 57 year old, 6 1/2 year survivor, of Stage 2 GBC at this point.  

Still going strong!

Still going strong!

On Nov 14, 2014 2:24 AM WillieRay wrote:

I have the identical experience. After resection surgery was totally clean the hard part started.

After talking to 5 Oncoligists I got a total mixed response. Two said to do nothing but observe every 6 months with blood and maybe CT scans for 2 or 3 years. Two recommended chemoradiation adjunct therapy and 1 said it was my choice.

I opted for the chemoradiation as preventived reoccurance.

I have just completed week 3 out of 5 weeks with 3 Xelota (500mg) after breakfast and after dinner with radiation Mon thru Fri. The Xelota acts as a radiation enhanser.

Todate only side effect started yesterday with a small mouth sore. Got Magic Mouthwash to night. Time will tell.

Plan is to observe like listed above for 2 years. GBC has a 50% return probability but only for 2 or 3 years

WillieRay it sounds like you've done your homework.  Good on ya.  I'm now two years out from resection, and about a year and a half out from chemo.  Still under surveillance, get the blood checked every two months and CT Scans every six months, I'll have another scan in March 2015.  All things considered, life's good.

On Jun 08, 2013 10:36 PM Maudsie wrote:

Kept the port for a while.  Like 2-3 months at least I think.  Just to be on the safe side.  How much longer do you have?

I started chemo on January 7th...  So I believe I will be done by the end of June. 

On Monday I have an appt to talk with my Oncologist, so I want to ask him about three things- 1.  The chemo end date?  2.  His thoughts on how long to keep the port?  3.  My hernia, can I get it fixed?

If it makes sense to fix the hernia, I though maybe just leave the port in till then, and get 'em both done at once.

On Jun 08, 2013 9:49 PM Maudsie wrote:

Hi Lucy -- My chemotherapy also was just Gemcitibine ("Gemzar").  I had a port put in my chest for easier delivery of the medicine, and  I recommend the port for sure.   I also was given a kind of steriod through the same IV after the gemzar which helped against nausea.  I tolerated the Gemzar quite well, no major problems.  Usually, a few days later, after each time, I had one or two days of fairly mild flu-like symptoms and some fatigue, and then I was pretty good after that until the next cycle started.   So I took it easy on those down days.  Every time I went in (once every week or every other week) I had blood tests to make sure my white and red cells, and platelets, had not dipped too far.  That is a normal and typical issue to deal with.  So for me, I did pretty well with Gemzar, and in general it is pretty well tolerated.  BUT...everyone is different, I cannot stress this enough.  Side effects vary a lot, how well it works varies, too.  Certainly worth a try and see how you do!!!!

Wishing you the BEST!!!!


Hi Maudsie

After you finished the gemzar treatment, did you have the port removed right away, or did you keep it for a bit longer?

On Jun 08, 2013 9:13 PM lucynz wrote:

Can I ask how you have been feeling on gemcitabine and what side effects you have had?


I've maintained a diary of my blood counts and side effects.  The first thing they do every chemo day is check my blood counts.  The gemcitabine has a strong effect on the blood.  If everything looks good, then they give me an anti-nausea med, zofran & decadron, with the gemcitabine.  The combination really keys me up on chemo day.  Makes it hard for me to sleep for about two days.  Then for the next two days I get tired and sleep a lot.  My voice goes hoarse, my eyes and throat get kind of dry, and I get heartburn for a couple days after chemo day.  At the end of the 8th week, I got real sick, and had to go on antibiotics for week.  Most notably I've had ongoing constipation.  This week (my 22nd week) was a bit different- I've had diarrhea.  I'm going to speak with the Doc about that on Monday because it was sort of a drastic change.  I don't believe I've lost any hair and I haven't thrown up.

Every fourth week (generally, depending on the blood counts) they have me "rest", and get a break from the chemo.  All in all, the side effects have not been horrifying.  More of a constant nuisance really.  While I am glad I got the treatment, I am looking forward to finishing.

On Jun 07, 2013 10:33 PM lucynz wrote:

Well I saw the oncologist yesterday ( 7th June) and he has decided I shouldn't have cisplatin and if I'm going to go ahead with chemotherapy he will only use gemcitabine as it is easier tolerated and has fewer side effects, this is because of my ongoing nausea problem and the gastric bypass surgery I've had. Im taking this weekend to make a decision as to whether to go ahead with chemo or not, I'm only just starting to feel better, and really don't want to feel sick for 6 months, particularly when the chances of the chemotherapy doing the job are so low. I've been looking into alternative therapies and just can't seem to come to a conclusion as to the right thing to do. The oncologist didn't try to persuade me one way or the other, he said this form of cancer is not sensitive to the chemo drugs that are available and often chemo was not successful. He also felt the window of opportunity is fast closing, as its so long after surgery, ( 8.5weeks) but because of my unwellness he hasn't been able to consider it earlier. Any of your thoughts are appreciated. Cheers Lucy

I invested a tremendous amount of thought and energy into the question of adjuvant therapy, after my surgery.  I got wildly varying opinions.  I decided to go for it.

My oncologist perscribed single agent gemcitabine with treatment lasting six months.  The treatment started about eight weeks after my re-setion surgery.  At this time, I have been going thru the treatment for the last five months.  I have one more month to go.

Sorry if I'm in the wrong spot...  I am active on the gallbladder cancer message board.  A friend from there told me about this thread so I wanted to come over here and say Hi.

I am in a similar situation to what y'all are contending with.  I am an Iraq Veteran with gallbladder cancer.  I have a claim in for service connection and have the DAV as an advocate.  My oncologist believes that environmental exposures contributed to me getting this rare form of cancer, which is even rarer in a person my age, according to the Doc.  I served with the National Guard in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2004 during OIF.

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About rockniraqvet

Gallbladder Cancer
Cancer Treatments

My name is Rick. I had my gallbladder removed due to gallstones 9-12-2012, and was given the diagnosis T2 Gallbladder Adenocarcinoma on 9-25-2012. I had liver and node resection surgery at UCLA on 11-9-2012. I am now staged T2N0M0. Did adjuvant chemo six cycles single agent Gencitabine- January to July 2013. Had scans every six months for two years. Am currently (2015) having blood tested every two months.

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