Aug 20, 2002 - 11:29 am
My name is Heather, and I was diagnosed in 6/02 with cancer. I have what is called a Merkel Cell carcinoma (a very rare and highly aggressive non-melanoma skin cancer). Because it is such a rare cancer and they don't know much about it, they have a difficult time treating it; however, they have found that the pathology of the tumor is quite similar to a small cell lung cancer, and so frequently they treat it as such. That's why I am posting a message here.
I am usually posting messages in the Head and Neck Cancer area, since the tumor I had was in the neck and I am recieving radiation to the head/neck. However, most of these people are not following the same treatment as was prescribed to me with regards to chemo.
They want to do an adjunctive chemo after the radiation... 4 cycles of cisplatin and VP16. My question (yes, I am actually getting to it!) is to those who had a similar treatment... simply how was it? What were the side effects? Did you get radiation? Which was worse? Did you ever consider not doing the chemo? etc. etc. etc.
I must say, I am thinking about not going through with the chemo. I hear that the VP16 carries with it a chance of secondary leukemias, and can cause infertility. As I am only 26 years old and have no children, I am very hesitant to have to make that choice now... and because my life span is (supposedly) so long, my doctor says that the chances of leukemia are higher. But before I make a concrete decision on this, I really wanted to contact some people who have something at least CLOSE to what I have and get their opinions.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a message through ACSCSN. Thank you for your time.
Good health to all,