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therapy question

looking000182
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

My wife is in her mid 40's and was diagnosed with uterine cancer (3a) last year. She was in relatively good health (except for the cancer). She had an emergency hysterectomy due to complications from the cancer. That is when we discovered the cancer.

We went to two clinical hospitals for treatment opinions and both came up with the same thing. 16 weeks of radiation followed by sessions of Cisplatin and doxorubicin. The chemo occurs every 3 weeks for a total of six sessions. This appears to be the "standard" for her age group and staging.

She has been through 4 chemo sessions and side effects have become severe.

Here comes the question (finally):
Has anyone been through similar treatment and elected to due less than the 6 chemo sessions? Has anyone similar to her done a different treatment? We are trying to deterimine if we have other options we can weigh. We are not pleased with our current doctor for a variety of reasons and I feel that is playing into looking at a decision to stop. We will almost definitely switch doctors.

Any comments would be appreciated.

pshnyc's picture
pshnyc
Posts: 45
Joined: Feb 2003

Dear Looking,

I was dx with Stage 1C ovarian cancer in April 01 when I was 40. I underwent 6 rounds of chemo. I had read a lot about pros/cons of doing only 3 rounds for early stage ovca, but my gyne onc, my longtime obgyn and my internal med doctor (who is a childhood friend) all said NO WAY. Do the full course. A year later in July 02, I had a complete hysterectomy. I will celebrate 3 years cancer free next week.

My dx is different than that of your wife, however I would advise throwing all guns at the cancer now. Don't hold back or skimp on anything. Most symptoms of chemo are quite manageable. If your wife's doctor isn't helping her through it then you should go to a new doctor. But don't stop the chemo. I always thought of the chemo as my friend for it was killing all the bad cancer inside me. I would have done it for 30 rounds if that is what it took. And, there is a lot of evidence that points to the importance of first line chemo. If you can get it all the first time around, it can make a big difference down the road.

You didn't mention what your wife's symptoms are, but there is help. If you post some of them, I am sure that I -- and others who visit this site -- would have suggestions.

You and your wife will get through this -- you will. It doesn't seem like it while you are in the midst of it, but it's true. I look back now and cannot believe it's been three years. My husband was with me every step of the way just like you are for your wife and it made a HUGE difference.

Best of luck to both you and your wife.

Pamela

pmcmd1
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2004

If you are uncomfortable with your doc look for another opinion, but don't skimp on the chemo. If you have spread of disease outside the uterus (like in the nodes) it could be anywhere. I am also mid 40s and was diagnosed with stage III in January and completed six doses. My pelvic nodes are gone, periaortic nodes have shrunk in half, bones, liver and lungs are all clean. Unfortunately, last week I developed neuro symptoms and it has spread to the brain so now I am doing radiation and will then be back in chemo. I don't care how long this takes, I am sticking at it. The side effects of the chemo and the radiation are not that bad. Just tell her to listen to her body and take it one day at a time. Get this thing!

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