I've had my first 1-week round of Xeloda. We are doing it on an an every-other-week basis, since Dr. Bouncy went to a conference wherein a specialist claimed that this resulted in fewer side effects (or less intense ones, I'm not sure) and similar results cancer-wise.
So far, I've found that the joint/muscle/bone pain, weakness, and fatigue are pretty (cripplingly) intense, that the gastro-intestinal upset is moderate, and that I am already getting some hand/foot syndrome symptoms. On the other hand, I don't have the overall feeling of being really sick and miserable that I had with the Gemzar, and I don't have the depression - which of itself is very hard for me to deal with. So on the whole, if the symptoms don't get significantly worse (ha, ha), I think I prefer the Xeloda to the Gemzar.
I am currently at a moderate dosage - 3,000mg. Dr. Bouncy started me at 4,000, but when I asked about the high dosage, given my history with drugs in general and chemo drugs specifically, he lowered the dosage right away. I don't know what the side effect level is at which they decide to try a lower dose. I will be talking to a nurse practitioner next Monday, and will ask her about that.
It will be another couple weeks before we know if the Xeloda is doing anything to shrink the tumors... and even then, we'll just be using the blood markers as a guesstimate. I won't be able to have another scan until the beginning of January - that will be the real test.
So for now, it's mostly hope that is holding things together... not the hope of a cure, but the hope that things will stay stable or get a little bit better, so that I can hold on long enough to meet and enjoy my new granddaughter, who is due in February. Wish me luck!