Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Part 1 not so good news - Yes, I will have to have chemo, but only 4 sessions over a 12 week period.
Part 2 not so good news - I am also HER+. The oncologist said that 80% of the cancer cells found in my tumor had way too much estrogen in them which is why it grew so fast. This can be treated but it is a 5 year regimen of an estrogen blocker. Bad news about that is that I get to go through menopause again (oh joy joy!!). It wasn't so bad the first time around with the forced one from the hysterectomy but I am sure based on what you guys have said, it aint gonna be as easy this time.
Part 3 - not so good news. Given the family history, without chemo, the oncologist said I'm between 25-50% chance of it returning somewhere. Since my tumor was over 2 cm, there is a possibility that despite a bilateral mastectomy, clean edges and no lymph involvement found, a couple cells could be lurking around elsewhere. 2 cm is the cutoff for determining if chemo would or would not be recommended. While ultimately this is my choice, after discussing it with the onco dr and my kids, I have decided I don't want to be down the road and find out I didn't do everything possible to be cancer free. The chemo is a just in case and will lower my chances (along with the estrogen blocker) to 5-10% - much better odds!
Here is the decision part that I still need to make -
I'm right now debating between the two types of cancer "cocktails" that the oncologist indicated would work for me both with their unique risks and side effects. Of course, low white cell counts, hair loss and nausea to with both.
First "cocktail" is called A/C - anthracycline cardiotoxicity.
Second "cocktail is called T/C - taxotere and cytoxin. One of the SE that worries me the most is neuropathy in hands, feet or both. Before I make a decision on which one to go with, which the oncologist indicated that either would work well for me, I need to find out how dibilitating this can be and if it will affect me working.
I do have a referral for P/T to regain strength in my left arm where a couple nodes were taken. Anything special I should know in talking to my PT? Also, have any ideas on TX for neuropathy that could reduce it? I've finally been OK'd for massage!! Yeh! cuz my back and shoulders have been killing me from sleeping on my back for over a week (the drains).
Any help from the BC sisterhood would be greatly appreciated. I know neither choice is a walk in the park but want to be as informed as possible from "them's in the know" - you.
Thanks so much. It has been so great knowing you gals/guy are out there. Have a great week. Lola
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