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Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

hi everybody

new to this forum..my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer about 6 months ago. she underwent 6 rounds of chemo therapy and a surgery to remove the tumor. things were looking good till a month or so back, when her ca 125 levels were slightly elevated. after a CT scan they found some nodules in the lung, and pleural effusion. the presence of fluid was highly uncomfortable for her, we got it drained and performed chemo therapy with caelyx. however, even though in the past she has responded well to this drug, it did not stop the pleural effusion. so they drained all the fluid and injected her with bleomycin. one of the consultants is suggesting use of gemzar with caelyx, and the other says use of avastin is better, for the next round of chemo therapy. both are giving conflicting opinions.
my question is:

has anybody had previous experience with any of these drugs, gemzar or avastin? and how was your experience? my understanding is that avastin has several side effects, does anybody have any experience with it?

any and all answers will be appreciated..really confused and need some help making an informed decision..

thank you so much

Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom! This is a tough journey for the survivor and the family memebers. And you are a wonderful daughter for coming here to try and find information for your mom!

I have experience with all the chemo's you have mentioned and am currently on avastin. There are several other gals, on this board, also doing avastin. It is working well for me with no side effects. High blood pressure is the main challenge, but treatable with meds. As long as there is not a large tumor on the bowel, then it is a relatively safe drug to use, from what I can understand and have read.

Hugs and prayers,

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Thank you so much for the feedback..It has been a tough time and it was a difficult decision, but we decided to go forth with Gemzar for now.. The doctor has suggested 3 weeks of therapy (1 cycle per week of Gemzar) as well as Caelyx (1 cycle only).
Its been one day since she got the Gemzar+Caelyx therapy..she has experienced some mild nausea and a bit of discomfort (she says it feels like she has difficulty eating/swallowing), but overall, it looks doable..we are hoping that this works out well..

Thanks again for all the support and feedback, it has been really helpful :)


Mwee's picture
Posts: 1341
Joined: Nov 2009

Welcome and I agree with Kathleen that you are a thoughtful and caring daughter to be searching for info to help your Mom make the right decisions. I've had lots of experience with gemzar which has been given to me along with carboplatin or cisplatin. Gemzar has worked well for me and has side effects that although not pleasant, are very doable. We can't answer which drugs would be better for your Mom, but we can help with what works for us as to managing side effects and dealing with this beast of a disease.

It's even more difficult when you get conflicting opinions. Please let us know how your Mom is doing and what course of action she chooses. We're here to help in any way we can.
(((HUGS))) Maria

lovesanimals's picture
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sep 2011

I don't have any personal experience with either drug but wanted to wish you and your mom well. It's so tough being in this situation but I'm hoping for the best possible outcome for your mom. Please keep us posted!

Take care,

kikz's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: Jun 2010

Good luck to your mom. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.


Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Thank you..


AnneBehymer's picture
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

I was on the avastin for around 8 months I was just taken off it. It did not work for me and the side effects were really bad for me. The joint pain was almost to much too handle now that I am off it I can lift my arms again and turn my neck without pain for the most part. Sometimes I still have the pain in the neck most of the time whem I am sleeping and it wakes me up but most of the time I do dnot have it anymore. I do know there are others it works for and who don't have any problems with it so just giving you what happen to me.

Love, Hugs,and Prayers

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