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Mom Newly Diagnosed, Would Love Advice

becsmidd
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2001

My mother was recently diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer (HER2-neu negative, histological grade = 2). She had a T1 tumor removed which was 1.2 cm with negative margins, and had two negative lymph nodes removed. Her estrogen receptors were positive, but her progesterone receptors were negative. Basically, she is in the "Moderate" group for node negative patients, and she has two options - intensive 3 month A/C chemo less intensive 6 month CMF chemo, both with radiation and drugs to follow. I don't know if the technical info means much, but if anyone has any advice or information for her, my family would really appreciate it - she needs to decide which path to take with the chemo, and she is very nervous about side effects, hair loss, etc. Any advice or thoughts would be so wonderful!!

gayj
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2001

I can speak from my personal experience that Adriamycin is a very powerful drug. I have had 2 out of 4 A/C treatments, and I've had a problem with infections in the surgical site flaring up when my blood count bottoms out. My doctor says that Adriamycin is the drug that's most suppressing to the immune system (also, the immune system suppressing effect is cumulative over time). If I knew what I know now, I might have chosen CMF, although the thought of dragging any chemo out for 6 months is definitely not appealing. But you should know many sail through A/C with very few side effects. You and your mom might find out if she could start out on A/C and see how she does and change to CMF if she doesn't do well. Good luck! - Gay

becsmidd
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2001

Thanks to those who have responded! I've read the advice so far, and any one else who has some thoughts, please pass them on... My mom and I appreciate it! :)

relayqueen
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2001

I can't comment on all the technical information - I would suggest speaking with the chemotherapy nurses at the clinic where your mom would receive treatments. My mom is battling for the third time and one would think that I would be really up to speed on the medical lingo-I am, sort of, but only regarding her specific condition and treatment. I've met several oncologists and have found that they are on the top of their medical game and often want a winning record. While we all want that, almost more important is our quality of life. The nurses who actually administer the chemo treatments are extremely knowledgeable and could give you great information about both courses of treatment. That would be my advice! Personally, my mom lost all of her hair during her first chemo cyle. ALL of her hair-eyebrows, everything - and she wasn't really terribly sick all the time. She went every four weeks and in between treatments she would have two good weeks. When her hair came back it was a different color and different texture-that is something the oncologist probably doesn't tell you! My best to you and your family. Nothing will ever be the same again - everything you hold dear becomes even more important!

isaiah4031
Posts: 243
Joined: Jun 2001

I'm new at this myself. I have recently been diagnosed with Stage I BC. My nodes were negative and I am currently undergoing radiation therapy (just finished #8 iof 25 treatments.) I am going to insist upon chemotherapy because so many women on this site support that route. I was nervous about the side effects (maybe I still am) but someone wrote that they would do or go through anything for their family. It may be six months of awful stuff (which I admit I cannot even imagine) but I figure we're all in a war, and we're in it to win. I don't want to win just a battle or two, I want to defeat this awful enemy. So I am opting for the chemo, even though my doctor said it would probably just be "overkill." However, she said she was not against it for me and would support my decision. Also many on this site have said that the side effects are so varied with each individual. I am also supposed to take Tamoxifen after the radiation, but I really don't know much about that, except that it blocks estrogen. I hope this helps you a little. I don't seem to have too much to offer being newly diagnosed, but my prayers will definitely be with your family and your mother.

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