Worried/frustrated, about to begin Gemzar/taxotere

Hi all,

3 year synovial sarcoma survivor here. I was originally diagnosed in 2012 with a 5cm (ish) sarcoma in my left thigh. I received a ridiculously high dose of ifosfamide/cisplatin/adriamycin, along with radiation and surgeries. I was a year out of treatment and everything was stable until they found several baby tumors in both my lungs. (My oncologist was prepared for this, and remained hopeful the tumors can be resected.) I had the tumors in my left lung resected successfully a few months ago, but they want to hold off on surgery for the right lung so that I can heal. Radiation was not an option at this time. Oncologist now wants me on a low dose of Gemzar and taxotere to ensure the tumors do not spread/grow, and I'm just so frustrated to have to go through chemo again. He assured me the side effects will be much less compared to my first chemo regimen in 2012, but I'm still breaking out in tears thinking about it. 

Also, I feel almost guilty typing this, but I've read online that a low percentage of breast cancer survivors who have been on taxotere lost their hair permanently, so I'm a little worried about this as well. (yes i know, it's a silly thing to worry about, especially since the chemo can save my life.) But I just needed to vent. 

Has anyone had experience with this "low dose" Gemzar and taxotere combo? It will be administered biweekly, and I'm still planning on continuing to work, since I'm relatively new at my job and do not have adequate sick days/vacation days yet. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! 


  • 9 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Hi! I'm a 2-month survivor of spindle cell sarcoma in my left thigh, and I also went through high doses of ifosfamide/adriamycin during inpatient visits! I had the resection and radiation and now I've just started a lower dose of gemzar/taxotere to prevent the sarcoma nodules. I'm glad to hear that your doctors are optimistic. What do your treatment cycles look like? Mine are 3 weeks, the first week I have only gemzar, the second week I have gemzar AND taxotere, and the third week I have off. I have 4 treatments at a total of 11 weeks. The gemzar didn't seem to make a difference in my level of fatigue or appetite or nausea or anything. I just barely had the two together this last Wednesday and so far I'm just a little tired, but it could be because my sleep schedule is so messed up--I'm still right in the middle of everything so I haven't had the chance to get that back to normal. As far as hair loss, I hadn't heard anything about it not coming back, but like you, I'm really frustrated about having to lose my hair again. It's still really short so I'm not going to shave it right away just in case but idk, it's like all this significance has been attached to my hair and it's a symbol of how everyone treats me differently and I feel like everyone stares and everything. And I have to be in a wedding with no hair. It's a humongous bummer. I wouldn't be too worried about it not coming back though, that's always a really rare situation and like you said, you're getting a lower dose! And so am I! But I'm in the same boat and if you wanna talk or have questions just let me know! 
  • marciemarcie Community Member
    edited May 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have to undergo the same routine for chemo. Did your hair grow back?
  • taradybastaradybas Community Member
    Which part of the treatment? All of it or just gemzar/taxotere? My hair definitely grew back, exactly how it was before--curly and thick. I've had it for a year now but I keep it short myself because it grows back so weird. Still working on it lol. Let me know if you have any questions, I'd love to help.
  • KazKaz Community Member
    Anyone active there?
  • KazKaz Community Member
    Hello there, I'm gonna start my 4th line chemo of gemzar/taxotere from next week. I'm having treatment for spindle cell synovial sarcoma since 2006. Had radiotherapy twice and chemotherapy thrice so far. Was on Axitinib clinical trial for 2 years and biological drug Pazopanib for 2+ years as well. Overall in sound health. Would like to know more about gemzar and taxotere treatment as I have to go through it. I'm a patient representative of cancer research UK (mostly inactive,lol). Wish we can help one another.
  • KazKaz Community Member
    Got some info that may help gemzar/taxotere candidate, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322200/
  • KazKaz Community Member
    Gemcitabine induces cell cycle arrest while docetaxel promotes cell death...

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