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Posts: 162
Joined: Feb 2002

Hi,I've been reading some of your group's messages, and think this is the right place to be.I will be starting chemo soon, had a simple mastectomy, had infiltrating ductal carcinoma,with 2nodes positive. am 54yrs.old today, a little scared, not of the treatments as much as not knowing if they will be worth it in the long run. a lot of you have had recuring cancer after treatment. do you think it's worth it after all you've been through?

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

>>as much as not knowing if they will be worth it in the long run

Nothing is sure with cancer. None of us got guarantees. IF your cancer is ever to return, it will most surely return faster without chemo - and with chemo maybe never. I looked at it as doing all I could to assure a good result. If the treatments eventually fail,at least I did what I could. I was 63 - from my vantage point 54 looks good!

Good Luck!

Posts: 19
Joined: Jan 2002

Welcome! Yes, I do think it is well worth it in the long run. I finish my last chemo Feb. 22 with Taxol. If chemo can destroy my WBC, brain cells, hair cells, they can for sure kill any cancer cells! And if any cells return in the future, I won't be happy to do it again, but definately will! I praise God for technology and medicine. I wish you well.

Posts: 270
Joined: Jul 2001

I finished chemo last April and now 10 months later I feel fine ... I had a lot of aches and pains for a while and thought I'd never be the same but suddenly I bounced back. I've said this before ... the treatment sneaks up on you and you don't really realize how bad you feel ... when you start feeling better ... WOW you feel better! I'm 44 and did and will do everything possible to fight cancer. I've just made it part of my life as one would with diabeties or high blood pressure. It is important to be positive ... try to look at it as a learning experience ... I asked the doctors and nurses so many questions I feel like I've had a year of medical school. Let us know how you are doing. Good luck. Jamie

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Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

Grandma you have come to the right place. This site is full of love, support and much courage to help us all, along our way. I entered the cancer fight knowing if I did nothing I didn't have a chance. I had a son and the choice evident so I opted for surgery chemo and radiation. I had half of the 21 nodes removed were postive. I look back and all I had done and still know inside I am here because of it and it is as simple as that for me. I found our scared, racing minds are truly what makes the complications exist. As hard as it may seem one must meet it, staring it in the face and arming ourselves with knowledge can help.
Check the chat room, seems women are using it more than they have in the past. Venting is very good for the soul.
BE good to yourself,

Posts: 706
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi grandma:

If I understood you correctly, then Tuesday was your birthday...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

In answer to your question, I DO believe that chemotherapy was worth it, warts and all, so to speak. We all want to live and
we all want to cut the risk of recurrence. While chemo doesn't guarantee that, it's about the only show in town which gives us
our best chance. You will (or probably already have) read that surgery alone is
considered curative in many early breast cancer cases. However, no one can know for certain. Cells can hide out, sleeping, in our bodies for many months or many years and suddenly wake up and launch an attack. Chemo can cut the number of cells which may be in our bodies or eliminate them alltogether. What else has that potential for treating breast cancer?

You appear to have already decided to have chemo. It IS scary and I know that this is a very difficult time. However, once you make your treatment decisions, you MUST try not to look back and second guess yourself. Try to have confidence in the drugs...that they will do exactly what they're designed to do for you and that you will live many more years because of choosing to have it. If you'd like some more information about chemo, go to www.nci.nih.gov There's a lot of solid, reliable info there which may be helpful.

I think we're all afraid of chemo. Anyone in their right mind WOULD be! However, my
experience wasn't nearly the monster I'd
heard that it could be. We're all different
and our bodies respond to things differently.
I firmly believe that the more educated we
can become about treatment, the less fear
we will have and perhaps fewer side effects too. I have several friends who are long
term cancer survivors (19 years, 14 years and 8 years) and they all had chemo. I had chemo and radiation (following lumpectomy)
and am almost 7 months out of chemo and 4 months out of radiation. I have no regrets.

If you trust your oncologist and your healthcare team then you're off to a great
start. If you're not comfortable with them, then you need to talk it out with them or change doctor's. Feeling good about your
doctor's is extremely important.

Take the best care of yourself possible while on chemo. and try to remain relaxed and positive. If you decide not to have it then you must be absolutely sure, in your heart of hearts, of how you feel about your decision.

Wishing you the very best of luck...

Love, light and laughter,

Posts: 162
Joined: Feb 2002

Inkblot, thanks for the b-day greeting, was feeling a bit down when i was on , thanks to all the encouragement, I feel better now. am going to talk to a different Dr. tomorrow, don't really like the one i'm going to now He's pushing clinical trials, and I want to decide that myself, I have already and don't want to do it.

Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Grandma,

Yes it is worth it. I know that I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for chemo. And even though I have to continue on, I will until they find a treatment that cures me.


pamtriggs's picture
Posts: 407
Joined: Sep 2000

Dear Grandma
I am in the same age group (55) and a grandmother too (to a 6 year old). I was DX with BC in 1985 & had radical mastectomy & no further treatment as no nodes seemed to be involved. But they must have been as I was diagnosed with metastatic disease in lungs & bones in August 2000. If I had had chemo at that time (20+ years ago) it probably would never had recurred as the chemo would have mopped up those one or 2 cells that escaped through the nodes. So please take every treatment offered. Really these days chemo is not so bad. They tailor it to your bodies ability to cope & give you so many meds for side effects that they are bearable (not nice but bearable). I have been through 3 different hormone treatments and Adriamycin & now 2/3 way through taxotere which is a hard one. But it is working so far & I am still around. You never know when your time will come but I will be kicking cancer *** to the end like Rosa did & she had at least 6 types of chemo & stood strong through it all. SO go for life & you will be here for your great grandchildren.

Love & hugs

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

>>as no nodes seemed to be involved. But they must have been as I was diagnosed with metastatic disease in lungs & bones in August 2000.

Dear Pam,

In the last few years, the medical specialists have realized that one can have nodes all free and clear and still have cancer cells circulating through the blood stream taking a short cut and skipping the nodes. Those darm buggers can even mutate as bacteria do and become immune to the chemo.

And with tamoxifen, after five years, the danger is that the tamoxifen switches its action and feeds the breast cancer cells.

Those cancer cells are sometimes smarter than people.

When my cousin had a lumpectomy for DCIS in 1997, her nodes were clear and she had no chemo. Most oncologists give chemo now - the four AC treatments just for this reason.

Even with one node as I had, some oncologists do not follow with taxol but most of them do here in Buffalo.

I'm glad Cathy gave you a boost to lift your spirit.

Love and prayers to you and hugs too,

Posts: 162
Joined: Feb 2002

Thank you all for responding to my support call.Have to have the porta-cath put in the 26th. I s that very uncomfortable? probably a piece of cake compared to the chemo .I am not to scared for myself, butjust want to be around for my husband to care for him, he has prostate cancer, in the bone, and maybe starting chemo also. I talk with GOD all the time and have weekly visits with our pastor. I guess I'm ready to get this show on the road and get it over with, and hope you all will be there to keep me going forward. will keep you in my prayers also. When I read all the messages befor I wrote for support. I prayed and cryed for you all. didn't think there was so much illness out there.

Posts: 183
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi and welcome to the site.If I had to do it over again I would do it the same way and have the chemo. It is worth it to extend our life. Some days were better than others but I made it and so will you.I will be praying for you and keep us posted.
God Bless

Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2000

It's worth it. I had invasive lobular with some nodes positive. Had the mastectomy, 8 chemos and radiation. If you have a heart attack would you treat it? YES YOU WOULD. Cancer is a disease not a way of life. If car breaks, you fix it. If the body breaks, you FIX it and enjoy the time remaining. Welcome to the group. Debw

Posts: 162
Joined: Feb 2002

Hi Deb, thanks for the support, How are you getting along with the ivasive beast?
I start my 1st treatment Thurs. so, am going to try to fix me,And God will help us all. all we have to do is ask..... I keep telling myself that!!!........Grandma

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