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WHY SOME OF US HAVE CHEMO WHEN WE KNOW IT WON'T ELIMINATE ALL CANCER CELLS.......

maggie_wilson's picture
maggie_wilson
Posts: 616
Joined: Nov 2009

hi sisters,

i had my port flushed today and nancy, the charge nurse, and my personal favorite, volunteered to do it. easy and quick. i asked her what the rationale was to give women with upsc (for example), chemo when it was known that not all cancer cells would be eradicated by the chemo. her answer seemed self-evident to me, yet i'd never thought of it in quite this way. she said that chemo kills most of the cancer cells, not all, and that the hope is that once we've recovered from chemo and enough cancer cells have been eradicated, that our bodies' immune system will eliminate the rest. i never thought of it in those terms, especially since our immune systems are suppressed during chemo. still, it made me think about it a little differently, instead of "well, what's the point, if it doesn't get rid of all the cancer?"

i wonder what others of you have been thinking about your chemo, and what it is/was supposed to accomplish, etc.? i know that so many of us are spending a lot of time, energy and money now building up our immune system, so that this time around it can successfully fight the cancer in a way it was unable to before.

sisterhood,
maggie

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 997
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Maggie:

I elected to have chemo. I took it as a preventative method. They had found the cancer after doing a total hysterectomy due to severe endometriosis. I had to have surgery again to do a "staging". During the staging, they had tested everything and did washings, all of which came back negative.

So I could have waited, but elected to have chemo just to get rid of any rouge cells that they might have missed. A year later, I had three brachy rads.

Although 5 years later, I still wonder why I still have my port in or why I needed it in the first place if my chemo was for preventative treatment.

Anyway, I am glad I did because I know I would have worried that every single ping or pain that it was cancer. It gave me peace of mind and it was my choice.

in sisterhood,

Kathy

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I've heard this same thinking from another RN friend of mine in San Diego. That's why it's so important to build up our immune systems and keep it built up to continue to fight the cells to stay on the non-cancerous side. Not easy when the environment is loaded with toxins and our foods are laced with pesticides. Plus stress...it's another area of concern.

I had chemo and radiation...no option. Figure after that was loaded in my body, I can now treat it with respect and get the good quality foods and non-toxins from my environment. Not easy feat, but I'm giving it my best shot.

Great information to post...
Jan

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I've heard this same thinking from another RN friend of mine in San Diego. That's why it's so important to build up our immune systems and keep it built up to continue to fight the cells to stay on the non-cancerous side. Not easy when the environment is loaded with toxins and our foods are laced with pesticides. Plus stress...it's another area of concern.

I had chemo and radiation...no option. Figure after that was loaded in my body, I can now treat it with respect and get the good quality foods and non-toxins from my environment. Not easy feat, but I'm giving it my best shot.

Great information to post...
Jan

hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010

I did not know that this is said, that chemo does not eliminate all cancer cells.
I guess there can always be a straggler or two. This is good to know that the thought is our immune systems can hopefully fend off those stragglers. I will be sure to try to eliminate all non quality foods after treatment.

Right now I have to eat not quite as ideally as I would like because of counts etc-no fresh fruits and veggies-so I do frozen.

Hopefully thru eating right, reducing stress, meditation, prayer, and our friendships here we can eradicate this villan.

Hugs,
Cindy

hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010

I did not know that this is said, that chemo does not eliminate all cancer cells.
I guess there can always be a straggler or two. This is good to know that the thought is our immune systems can hopefully fend off those stragglers. I will be sure to try to eliminate all non quality foods after treatment.

Right now I have to eat not quite as ideally as I would like because of counts etc-no fresh fruits and veggies-so I do frozen.

Hopefully thru eating right, reducing stress, meditation, prayer, and our friendships here we can eradicate this villan.

Hugs,
Cindy

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

I always believed that chemo was to eradicate as much as possible - the fewer bad cells remaining the better our immune system could manage and as well the less damage cancer cells would be able to do.

The only area of concern that I have is the reasoning behind the development of cancer vaccines -- that our body's immune system does not recognize cancerous cells as an invader to be killed. The vaccines are created from a patient's own cells, then modified to recognize the 'enemy'. So I do worry a bit that no matter how strong my immune system it will not fight cancer. I'll be healthier in general however and that's a good thing.
Annie

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