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chemo

cindi
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2001

I am obsessing about chemo. Things I've read on the internet are so scary. Like Ralph Moss said that even doctors wouldn't take chemo because it's so toxic. Does anyone know of someone who has died from chemo. How do you face things from day to day. Losing hair, etc. Can you go anywhere or are you too tired. I'm just so lost right now. If you find your on lump hasn't it been there for several years already and then isn't it too late.

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi Cindi,

Whoever Ralph Moss is, he's a liar. There are many doctors who have been on chemotherapy. A GASTROENTEROLOGIST who is a partner with the one I see had kidney cancer. People thought he's never practice but he's practicing again and looks great. He had treatment at the same cancer center I go to.

You should contact the nearest American Cancer society and ask for a volunteer who will talk to you. This would be a woman who has already gone through what you are facing and will have information to help you. Tell them just what you've said here about obsessing over your fears and that you'd like some help by talking to someone.

I don't know where you are going for your treatment but most cancer centers have social workers and therapists to talk over your fears. The fear is usually worse than the treatment, I've found. Have you read all the messages here to get some ENCOURAGEMENT and INFORMATION??

Good wishes to you,
Jean

gayj
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2001

Cindy - I agree with Jean that chemo isn't as bad as you fear (although there are definitely things all of us would rather do!). There are a lot of alternative medicine people out there who are peddling products and information, some of which is good and some isn't good. Like you I've read a ton of it (including Ralph Moss) and got thoroughly confused for awhile. But then after awhile I detected a definite anti-traditional-medicine bias in some of it (including Ralph Moss) which made me begin to wonder how objective some of them are. Plus Moss isn't giving info away for free; he puts a hefty price on his information, which also raises my suspicions. In addition many of the studies cited by the alternative folks fall in the category of shoddy research (anecdotal, no control group, too small a sample) whereas the medical establishment's research is very thorough and has been refined over the last 50 years! Don't get me wrong; I think the alternative people may be leading us into new treatments that eventually will be researched, like the Pritikin Diet back in the 70's. But my advice is take everything you hear that isn't backed up with a lot of research with a grain of salt.
After all my research I decided to go with chemo because, unfortunately, today it is the best we have to offer for preventing and treating metastasis. Except for the grandmother I read about here online who died of septic shock, I've never heard of anyone dying of chemotherapy. I also have known doctors and cancer researchers who have done chemo or whose family members have done chemo.
Incidentally I do everything I normally did before chemo including work. The only thing I'm not doing as much of is exercize, partly because I don't want to get out in our heat and sunshine. I do chemo on Fri. and I'm not working on the following Monday and Tuesday. And then between days 10-14 after chemo (when the immune system is at its lowest ebb) I stay away from crowds where I could be exposed to disease. But there is life during chemo! I laugh, go to dinner parties with my friends, garden, have friends over. And I've had more time to read for fun which I haven't done for years! And yes I've also had hair loss (it grows back), gastrointestinal pain and diahhrea and infection, but I haven't had that much tiredness. You get through it by focussing on today and making the best of each day, and by reminding yourself this will be over in 3 mos., 6 mos. or whatever. Incidentally take someone with you during your first chemo treatment who you trust and who can help to calm you. I was very scared like you until after my first chemo treatment, when I decided "I can do this!" Lots of luck - Gay

barbara49
Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Cindi. I can understand your fear as I was also very afraid when I went for my first chemo treatment. But I found out it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I didn't get very sick or tired from it at all. They treated me with two different anti-nausea drugs and they worked very well. I think the fear comes from not knowing what to expect. Of course everyone reacts differently. I just went for my second treatment last Thursday and still feel pretty good. Of course I have to deal with the hair loss like most everyone else, but I know it will grow back eventually. Just remember to let your oncologists know if you have any problems and you will get through this. Good luck with your treatments. Huggs to you. Barb

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gottod
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2001

cindy, slow down ,, one step at a time...
chemo is like any drug -- if you look hard enough yes someone has died fromchemo, abut they have also died from many other drugs also -- like penicillen, TB drugs, OTC drugs and of course street drugs...

congratulations that you DID find the lump, you were looking and it paid off. SAometimes we forget that medicine is NOT an exact science (like math where 2+2=4 all the time)
and people react differnetly to differnet trials of medications.
facing things day to day means facing ONE day, maybe even only PART OF ONE DAY at a time and then you can get thru it... yes, you can get thru it...
you can go where you want , i found it helpful to know the consequences of my actions.. like is it OK to go shopping -- yes, but stay out of crowds WHEN YOUR White count is LOW and at other times it's fine. even in crowds that generally means about 3 feet from people -- most people who sneeze and those droplets only go about 3 feet.

your hair --are you sure you will lose it?? well then, plan for it when it happens, but remember you can change your plans, want a wig? want scarves? how about hats?? it's summer time, just about anything is in fashion.

I've been thru chemo on 4 differnet occasions over the last 3 years not including the hormone meds -- tamaifen, arimedex and aromasin (i failed them all)
roll with the punches, keep at today, talk and find friends -- if you don't like what they're saying maybe it's not right for you!!
and pray to your creator if you believe in a higher power, it really does help.
keep in touch
my personal email is gottod@galenalink.com you are always welcome to email there directly and i'll be glad to talk on the phone also if you're interested. Yes it's overwhelming if you look ahead -- but take things in slowly and things are manageable.
been there, done that, (and got thru)
love dg

gelc
Posts: 29
Joined: May 2001

The week of chemo I took it easy and pampered myself. Did exactly what I felt like doing. The next week (for me) was like getting over the flu, and then the third week was like nothing had happened. As much as you prepare yourself for yoour hair falling out, it is never a good time. I cut my hair short prior to the "fall out date". I also took Ativan from the doctor to get me over those down times.

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