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Update on my Dad...


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Hi all,

Really enjoyed meeting and chatting with those who were online Friday night.

Thought I would do a quick update on my Dad:

His chemo was re-scheduled for this coming Tuesday (Onc was away) They are starting him on Carboplatin (every other session) and Gemcitabine (every session)

He is scheduled for 8 sessions with xrays and blood work in between. They did a preliminary xray and blood work, I assume to gauge shrinkage?

Dad is strong and in relatively good spirits. He gets anxious here and there with some bouts of depression. He remains determined to beat this thing and I like his chances. He's a strong minded man.

I am a little concerned about the chemo side effects making him feel as if he is losing the battle. He feels fine now, but I am certain the chemo will make him feel worse before he gets better.

I read Dads report and had my friend who is a Doctor read it and he came to the same conclusion I did: ambiguous!

The verbiage in the report is terrible. It contains things like "would appear to be" - "seems likely" - Yet they have deemed my Dad stage IV. The liver mets are totally unconfirmed as is the other mass on the left lung.

I was told by my Doctor friend (he actually works in cancer research) When the wash comes back as positive for Squamous Cell Carcinoma it is more than likely any other suspicions in the CT would be mallignant also. He agrees with my Dads treatment plan and feels that, since my Dads reports were sent through our cancer clinic and my Dad likes his Onc, we should proceed.

Sorry to babble on.

Just curious if any of you have knowledge of the drugs in my Dads treatment and do they seem like a pro-active measure, or palliative?

I am thinking since they have done further xrays, etc, it must be a pro-active treatment plan? I have yet to have a chance to speak with the Onclogist peronally as he has been away.

Also: My Dad is diabetic. I am worried sick about this as they have already ruled out some drugs they can use for treatment. If anybody has experience with diabetes and LC please PM me.

I got my Dad some Ensure Plus today for nutrition durring chemo, I am also worried about this spiking his blood sugar. (If he was a horse he would be glue by now :D )

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Wishing you all the very best,


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Hi Rod,

So sorry you and your dad are going through this. I don't think I've talked to you yet, or welcomed you yet, but I'm glad you joined us; sorry you are in the circumstances to join us, but glad you found us for support.

I think you are simply a wonderful advocate for your dad with all the research and information you seem to be gathering for him. He's so lucky to have someone like you in his corner.

The chemos your father is getting I'm familiar only with the Carboplatin. Both Carboplatin and Cisplatin are platinum based drugs and are considered to be 2 of the most aggressive drugs available. I also know that although my husband never had it, Gemcitabine is a standard first line therapy. So I would be confident to say it doesn't sound like they are just going lightly on him for pallative measures. It sounds like they are aiming for shrinkage and life.

The carboplatin is hard, but doable. Make sure that your father gets a good anti-nausea drug and takes it on schedule whether he feels nauseous or not. They work great, but only at keeping nausea from occuring, not as well at getting rid of it once it's there. My husband took Emend while on the platinum drugs and never got sick. In fact he painted our entired first floor right after having chemo while taking emend. He also received Zofran for breakthrough nausea but never needed it. He said with that ant-nausea drug the worse he felt was like he had a hangover. A little tired, a little icky, but bearable. There are so many new and wonderful anti-nausea drugs, so if one isn't working immediately let his doctor know and they can get him one that works better for him.

It was a great idea to get the ensure as nutrition and calories are so important at this time. Also, lots and lots of fluids, as chemo does tend to dehydrate. Get drinks like Gatorade that also might replace electrolites, plus they have flavor that might counter the icky metallic taste that is commonly reported with chemo.

I will keep you in my prayers


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Hi Rod,

The Gemzar and Carbo routine seems to be working for my wife. She has only had what they call 4 cycles. She will get the results of CT and MRI scans next week but she's off O2, she's gaining strength, and her CEA blood test markers have come down from 22 to 5.7 in 3 mos. It would seem to me that main thing is to stay on schedule. Interruptions in treatments can will slow results. My wife had at least 3 interruptions which resulted in about 6 weeks of no treatment because of surguries and chemo reactions to another chemo drug Taxol. RBC and WBC low counts can cause interuptions if they drop too low so there may be injections, iron effusions, and transfusions if counts get too low. They do blood tests before each chemo treatment. I don't know about diabetes but if your dad does the usual routines and medications to keep it in control there should be no ploblems. Achieving glucose control leads to better clinical outcomes mainly by avoiding interuptions in treatment. She also takes a CLA supplement to mop up any excess sugar in the blood.

Good luck with your journey - Chuck C

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Both of those drugs worked well for my husband. He is also a diabetic btw and the only problem he had was when he took steroids with some chemos it boosts the sugar higher. The most important thing is for your dad to get lots of fluids. Get him one of those huge drink containers and have him take it right to chemo with him. The fluids help with the body and aches and will prevent dehydration. Good luck and keep us posted on how he does.


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Hi Rod and welcome. Not much I can add to the good answers you've already received above but I would recommend, since your Dad is diabetic (as my Dad is) that you might want to look into Glucerna as supplemental nutrition, rather than the Ensure, as it is specifically formulated for diabetics. It also helps, in and of itself, to regulate blood sugar. As Ry mentioned, steroids can also raise blood sugar levels.



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Hi, Rod! Good talking with you in Chat Room Friday. Appreciate the update on your dad. Sounds like a good plan for your dad. None of these chemos is a "cure", but they do beat back the beast and give more time. That is our experience. Hang in there. Don

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Hi Rod,

I went through 10 or 11 cycles of gemcitibine and carboplatin. Glad to report that I had almost no side effects. Once or twice I felt a little sick - but just took the meds they gave me for that.

Other than that, my hair thinned out - but I did not lose it.

Where I did have a problem was with my white blood counts and platlets. If the either were below a certain threshhold, they would postpone the infusion. My onc felt that it was better to stay try another chemo. Unfortunately, the second choice, Alimta was not successful. Now I'm on Taxotere - but needed a few weeks off for radiation. I start again Monday.

Anyway, hopefully your father will have few side effects. Wishing him the best!


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Hi all, and thank you again for your wonderful support and advice.

Had a question.

Dad started chemo on Tuesday and was feeling pretty good up until today. Now he is very fatigued and feeling lousy. He is sleeping most all of the time and is achy, etc. It's very hot here in B.C right now, so perhaps that isn't helping.

Is this normal, and, will it get worse each round? He is scheduled again for this coming Tuesday and the "not feeling well" has dampened his spirits a little.

He is drinking plenty of water and eating fairly well, strangley - he keeps craving Fish and chips which we happily get for him. Are cravings also a side effect?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Warmest regards, and good wishes to you all,


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Chemo has it cumulative effects, I've seen my husband do great right after chemo then a day or 2 later, totally wiped out. I think it's great your dad has an appetite, it could be because of the steroids ( I assume they have given him ). So let him have all the fish and chips he wants. Also for the hot weather, I believe it definitely has an effect, so just try to keep him as cool as possible.

Has he taken anything like kytril? I know with the meds. they give after chemo can help alot. But like I said chemo does stay in your system and it does accumulate, so it can and often does wear a person down. But also as I have said before, each person is different, so my husband may have a totally different reaction to the same chemo your dad may have.

But just as long as you keep an eye on him, and don't hesitate to ask the drs. and nurses any concerns you may have, I believe your dad will be fine. All the best for dad and you.


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