I am on monotherapy Gemzar (gemcitabine) as first line treatment. I have been on it 18 months and completed my 60th infusion this last Friday. I may now have surpassed even the legendary D, Catdancer’s husband and my inspiration.
I reported here the dream Jan 10, 2013 PET/CT results I obtained.
As I approached the end of another round of Gemzar, my onc told me he didn’t “trust” my last PET/CT because the radiologist compared to my last PET/CT a year earlier and not to the Sept. 2012 CT which found growth in mediastinals of “at least 20%" (CT findings), and “sutle luciencies” in my pelvis and sacrum. “Where did the progression go” my onc asked, meaning the “20%” growth in mediastinals.
Still don't understand why he considered that bogus.
So my onc said he wanted a separate CT w/contrast and a separate PET/CT by two separate radiologists as I approached completion of my 7th Gemzar round. I took them on 3/21 and 3/26. The results are in and confirm no further shrinkage of primary, but both confirm no hypermetabolic activity in measurable nodules or any lymph nodes, and the mediastinals are “normal size”.
So all’s well that ends well and I continue on my gentle Gemzar on which I feel absolutely normal. If they didn’t tell me I had Stage IV lung cancer I wouldn’t know it. My only disappointment is no further shrinkage in the primary, but it happened once and maybe it can happen again.
One thing I need to mention is that I use a ton of supplements. I have refrained from mentioning supplements here in deference to Dr. West and his colleagues who are conventional oncologists. But it is part of my story and I think play a role in potentiating Gemzar and protecting me from the toxicity. Gemzar, an Antimetabolite, does not depend on provoking an oxidative reaction to work, and therefore anti-oxidants can assist rather than block. At least my experience indicates they don't block it.