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chemo (or not)

bdysmth
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2001

After unilateral mastecomy and reconstruction I decided to take only Tamoxifen and forego chemo. Anyone else? I had one positve node.

debw
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2000

What does your oncologist say?

cat1switzerland
Posts: 119
Joined: May 2001

Hi,

My own oncologist told me he advised chemo more strongly in the case of younger women (I was 37 when I was diagnosed). He said all cells, including cancer cells, develop faster the younger you are. But no matter what your age is, I would follow your doctor's advice. He knows best. Take no chance, you run the risk of regretting it afterwards ! Did you make that decision because you're afraid of chemo ? If so, it is not as bad as we fear, I promise you. And medicines such as Zofren prevent any feeling of nausea. Try to see if your reasons for avoiding chemo are good reasons...Or if there is something else really bothering you.

Good luck,
Cathy

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

It isn't easy wading through all you have been told this past little while. I think one has to look at the survival rates to truly understand what is good therapy. I think having my son made it simple, I wanted the best chance at survival no matter what that was. My son needed me. We do things for all sorts of reasons. We often don't do things like Cathy said because we are afraid, we all were. Good luck with making the choice that is best for you. There are so many things to consider, my heart is with you.
I was stage 3 with plenty of lymphnode involvement. I had a 50% chance with all the treatments I did, mastectomy, chemo and radiation. I have been in survival mode now for 4 years and it was all worth it.
Your close to our hearts and on our minds.
Be good to yourself, talk openly about all you feel.
24242Tara

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi,

I am curious since your response did not answer whether it was your decision or your doctor's to not have chemo. Sometimes different parts of the country a couple of yeqrs ago did treatments a little differently. May I ask where you live?

I read your web page and am very worry about the loss of your child in '92. As you say, and all of us would agree, to lose a child is the absolute worst. Brenda talked of that a couple of days ago.

My very best wishes to you for continued good health.

Jean

gayj
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2001

I had a very tough time making this decision too (I also had one node involved and lumpectomy). I think the decision would have been even tougher if I had been through the rigors of mastectomy and reconstruction. Ultimately I decided on chemo for the following reasons: Once a cancer has formed it can develop elaborate defenses to keep from being detected by the immune system; I wanted to give my immune system the best possible chance in the future to keep my body cancer free by ridding my body now of as many stray cancer cells as possible. I didn't want to turn up later with a recurrence and regret that I had not done chemo. All of my health care team thought I should do chemo whereas they were ambivalent about other choices I had to make. And I figured that the side effects of chemo, which certainly are unpleasant, are mostly temporary and can be lived through. But somewhere in all the research I've done, someone compared chemo to "getting rid of a wart with a blow torch!" So I can certainly understand your reluctance to put your body through that, especially if you're still pretty close to your surgery. You might want to give yourself more time to heal before you close that door finally. I never realized how many tough and lonely decisions cancer victims have to make. In every decision we make we have to weigh the risk/benefit ratio and sometimes the benefits don't stack up that favorably against the risks. I applaud you for making your own decisions about your body and for getting as much info as you can to help you in making those decisions. Good luck to you! - Gay

pippi
Posts: 53
Joined: Aug 2000

Trouble is that you don't know how many "bad little bits" are floating around in your blood just waiting for a place to settle---like your bones. Ask someone who did not have chemo and has now got bone cancer if they would advise chemo!!! Your one hell of a brave lady.

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