Jul 28, 2001 - 7:25 pm
My mom was just diagnosed with BC today, and I am racing to find out as much information as possible in order to make informed decisions. Any help is greatly appreciated. I know that there are few doctors, if any, on this board, so I am relying on the advice of BC survivors.
Here are my questions:
1. Has anyone gotten a second opinion for their diagnosis? My thought is that once the cancer is diagnosed, it's final. Why then would anyone need a second opinion?
2. The cancer is stage 1 and we have not determined whether it has spread to the lymph node yet. The doctor is recommending a complete removal of the breast and lymph node or removal of lymph and radiation therapy. He said that either scenario would yield the same effect, but a removal of the breast would ensure about a 95% chance that cancer would not sprout up in breast again as opposed to a 79% chance of cancer elimination with radiotherapy. Any thoughts on pros/cons.
3. What's worse: tamox or chemo, in terms of side effects? Or is this avoidable with benign lymphs and mastectomy? I don't want my mom to physically suffer during her cancer treatment.
4.For homornal therapy, would removing your ovaries be an alternative to receiving tamoxi, and would be the desired effect be the same? Are there side effects to ovarian removal?
5. Is it possible to return to work during or after your cancer treatment? My mom works as a room attendent and the work can be strenuous at times. Considering this, if she underwent radiation therapy each day, would she be able to go to work afterwards? That is, would she be physically weaker b/c of the radiation? I am seeking advice from those who have had this dilemma. What about the effects of chemo or tamoxi on body? Has anyone recovered enough after such treatments to go back to work? I know that Lance Armstrong is an inspiration to all of us, seeing how he's able to win the Tour over other healthy males, but is his example an anomaly?
6. Along the same lines as previous question, for those who have undergone a complete mastectomy with removal of lymph nodes, what were the side effects? Was there loss of strength and or permanent damage to the affected arm? My mom wants to return to work after or during her cancer treatment, and this is a consideration in opting for either therapy (mastectomy, or radiotherpy).
7. Regarding insurance coverage, has anyone been diagonsed during their time at work? Did your insurance fully cover the cancer treatment and drug therapy? Were there any out of pocket costs? What did your employer think? How much time did you take off, and did your boss have any problem with it? Has anyone been fired because the company did not want to cover the your coverage anymore?
My desired goal in any decision is for my mom to have the same life/functionality as she did before? Is this possible to return to your former self after chemo/surgery?