Saturday, January 7, 2012

Folfirinox > Gemcitabene?

With apologies to my friends and coworkers at Shaw Media who have already read this, here's a copy/paste of my chemotherapy information:

I have chosen a course of chemo called Folfirinox. It's not yet approved in Canada, but there's reason to believe it may be more effective than the standard pancreatic cancer treatment: Gemcitabene. With Gemcitabene, cancer can reoccur elsewhere in the body 80 to 90 percent of the time.

I didn't like those lousy odds so I chose the Folfirinox. The trouble with Folfirinox is that it's much more toxic; besides some very serious side effects, I will certainly experience hair loss, nausea, and my favourite, diarrhoea with constipation.

Since this is a new treatment nobody really knows how I'll react; it will likely cause me grievous harm.

What I do know:

  • A port-a-cath (a tap into my vein) will be inserted on Monday, January 9th
  • My first day of chemo is Tuesday, January 10th - it's a 46 hour procedure, meaning I will go home with a pump.
  • My second day of chemo is Thursday, January 12th.

I don't have my full schedule, but I believe that I will have two sessions of chemo every other week for six months. Unless my body can't handle the toxicity, in which case the plans will change.


The idea here is obviously to go after this thing as aggressively as my incoming health allows. I am sure over the next six months there will be times when I greatly regret the decision to take the harder and more uncertain route.

But hey, isn't rising to the challenge supposed to put hair on one's chest?


  1. Happy Birthday Kev! I support you in whatever decision you and Christi have chosen and have a good feeling that this will work. On a positive note, losing ALL your hair will be a good thing - right!?*@/! You know you can call on me for anything I can do to help you through your next journey in fighting this cancer.

  2. Sending good vibes your way! Good luck with everything this week and HBD2U.

  3. so many comments about hair loss could be posted here so I will not go there.

    based on your schedule how do you decipher the first day from the second day? Jan 10 + 46 hours?

  4. Good Luck to you! My mom went to the states to have the fulfirinox treatment! We have just returned home today after the fulfirinox treatments and 5 1/2 weeks of radition! She will return on May 6th for an MRI to find out the final results after her long drawn out treatments, At that time it will also be determined whether or not her pancreatic tumour can be surgically removed.