Greg, a YCS board member, submitted the following experience about his wife Stephanie:
5-FU is an old cancer drug used to treat many different cancers. In most patients, the side effects are generally mild with limited hair loss, and maybe some nausea or intestinal distress. For Stephanie, it was much worse than that. She would get the combination of 5-FU and leucovorin (a vitamin that makes the 5-FU more effective). After the first round of chemotherapy, she began to experience extreme nausea and vomiting. That would last for about two weeks, and then she would recover for two weeks until she started the next round. Her doctors tried many different drug combinations, including steroids, to counteract the nausea, but nothing seemed to manage it completely.
During that time, Emend was introduced onto the market. After finding out about it, we suggested to her doctor that Stephanie try the new drug. By now, it was Stephanie's last round of chemo, but they did try it, and it was a miracle drug. For that round, she had minimal nausea and no vomiting! This experience shows that you are your spouse's best advocate, and it's impossible for the doctors to know about everything.