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considering chemo please help!

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi, I need help, I feel so alone in this decition making. I'm 32 , 20 days ago I had mastectomy, DCIS, .6 cm. tumor, no Lymph node, estrogen and progesteron negative. Doctor said that chemo is given for tumor 1 cm or <, but that I should consider chemo. To be honest I'm terrified I don't know anyone with a similar situation. Plese help me I have to make this decition soon ... very soon. is there anyone that would like to give me and advice. By the way I havea wonderful husband a 7 year old dauther and a 4 year old son no family members. Thanks

Posts: 321
Joined: May 2002

Hi lauralena, welcome to this board. I had a similar situation. I am 59 yrs old,DX adenocarcinoma, 1.7 cm tumor, had a mastectomy followed by 6 month of chemo, adryamicin, cytoxin and 5FU drug combination called CAF in 1998,NO nodes involved, tram flap reconstruction in 1999, New cancer 2002, mostly DCIS last year found during reg. Mammogram, .5 mm tumor, no nodes, ER NEG., 34 radiation treatments and 6 month of chemo, CMF protocol ( Cytoxin, Methodrexate and 5FU) both cancers stage 1 and ER negative. I know you are scared and it is a tough decision to make, usually when estrogen and progesteron is negative, chemo is recomended, we do not benefit from the tomaxifen drug, I hope this helps, if you like to e-mail me you can do it here or at
glad to answer any questions you might have. I work all day so I would answer you in the evening. Best wishes and ((hugs)) emmi

Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

This is a tough decision you're having to make. I'm assuming that your oncologist is suggesting chemo for two reasons - your age, and the fact that you're ER negative. You need to be totally comfortable with your decision. I had a positive node so chemo was recommended, but I had a choice of two kinds. What I did was go to a large cancer center (about 3 hours away) to get a 2nd opinion from a breast cancer specialist. They're used to doing these 2nd opinions and set you up for everything you need in one day -reviewing everything - pathology, scans, etc. The insurance covered everything and I felt so much more at peace with my decision. Depending on where you live, it might be even easier for you to get a 2nd opinion. It's definitely worth it. Diane

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Thank you all so much for your time I feel much better knowing that I'm not alone. Diane that is what my oncologyst is telling me, she wants to take my case to the University of Michigan or to Henry Ford and for sure I will. What was your decition? That is exactly what I want to feel... peace with my decition but I have all this people (friends and family)talling me "you have cancer you need chemo, it's ok to loose your hair it will grow back" they don't understand that loosing your hair is the less important side effect. Can your tell me what was your decition? Thanks, Laura

Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Laura,

My choices were AC or CMF. After having a mugascan to check my heart and talking with both oncologists, I chose AC. It was a more aggressive approach, but a shorter duration. It was what the larger cancer center (University of Nebraska Health Systems) recommended and my onc here was willing to go with either. Neither thought I needed Taxol afterwards - just radiation. Hope that helps - Diane

bunnie's picture
Posts: 233
Joined: Mar 2003

hi iam 35 years old and just had a mastecomyin Jan.I chose to go with chemo becase the doc said it would give me a better chance of getting all the cancer.iam not going to lie the chemo it no fun i just got done with my last one apirl 25th.I had no noedes involved.but like i said it increased my chance of getting all the cancer and i want to be around for a very long time.each of us have too make our own disicion thought i wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide.bunnie

Anonymous user (not verified)

I am so close to your case! 34 yrs. old. Extensice DCIS, masectomy. .8cm tumor. Estorgen/Proget. negative. No lymph nodes either, no family history. Finished chemo Feb 7! I did a type of chemo that had only 4 rounds, 2 drugs. NOT the major hair loss one. Forgive me for not remembering but I could look it up if you want to e-mail me at jaciecarla@hotmail.com. Hair loss was 50% chance. I had thinning, but not very noticable. Even if I had lost hair completely, is would have been worth it for me personally. 2 children, ages 7 and 5! Doc. said it cut my recurrence chance from 20% to 5%. I grabbed at that decrease! Chemo is managable and youare young enough to fight it well!!!! And listen to all the women here in their 50's and 60s. So many champions fighting!!!!! Good luck. Check on all drug types for chemo Question your Dr. Mine said I had the effects of 6 months of Adriamyocin in only 4 months. It was tested in Europe extensively. Good Luck, any decision is yours to own!!!! And remember it is yours, not the Dr. and not your friends - God Bless!!!!!

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Lauraelena,
i cannot tell you how it's going to feel, nor what's going to happen. all cases are different. but from what I've seen, people get very tired and sometimes even sick from it, but it helps them very much. I'm not telling you want you want to hear because it wouldn't be honest. If you're willing to go through things to get better, then do it. do what your heart tells you to, not your mind.. I hope everything goes okay, for you, your kids and your husband


Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

I am letting as many people on this website know about this alternative therapy called Consegrity. It is an energy medicine that deals with clearing your DNA of "debris" so that your body can heal itself. They have had a lot of success with many health issues including cancer.
Please look at the website www.consegrity.com
Also I would love to talk with you. My phone number is 773-394-9681 or you can e-mail me at everandlubi@yahoo.com
I am very familiar with cancer and know the how hard chemo can be.

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

I just looked at your site - too bad you posted this worthless junk on a reputable site.

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi, lauraelena. I am 42 and had a lumpectomy a month ago. I had my first chemo treatment last Thursday and was scared to death. I had heard so much from others about pain and nausea that I became very stressed. However, my experience has been, for the most part, good. The actual chemo was painless! The next day, my husband and I were running errands because I felt good. Saturday, however, was another story. The fatigue hit and so did the nausea but the medications I was given really helped. Sunday was a mixed bag, still fatigued but less nausea. Monday, I went back to work, didn't feel 100% but, by today (Wednesday) I feel really good again. I am anxiously waiting for my hair to fall out - of course it has to happen as soon as I get a good haircut and a color I like! Who knows, it may grow back naturally curly and blonde! I also have a wonderful husband but no children. I decided when I was diagnosed that I was going to do everything I had to do to beat this thing. Listen to your body, your doctor, your family, and your heart and GOOD LUCK!

sandytrif525's picture
Posts: 107
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi I did not have the choice about the chemo. I had 6 mos. before mastectomy (AC 4x's and taxotere 4X's, surgery with tram flap and 6 mos of 5FU. Then radiation. I did all I was told to do. It was not great, but if you read about us, we made it through and got on. My tumor was stage3 invasive lobular with no nodes involved.I was 41 at diagnosis, now almost 43. God Bless. Sandy

Posts: 243
Joined: Jun 2001

Hi Laura,
I did not have to have chemo either when I was diagnosed. I had a lumpectomy and radiation, but my tumor was considered borderline. I chose the chemo because I wanted to do everything I could to decrease my changes of a recurrence. I had a stage I tumor. My mom had DCIS, and a mastectomy and negative nodes. She did not have radiation or chemo and now, 2 1/2 years later she has a recurrence. She is now taking chemo and radiation. But she wishes she would have had the chemo initially. It was hard to endure the chemo...but it's over now and I'm very glad I did it. If cancer recurs, I will know that, for me, I did what I felt was necessary at the time. I hope this helps. Praying for you...
Love, Jayne

Posts: 5
Joined: May 2003

Lauraelena, I was diagnosed in Aug '2000 stage IIIa invasive lobular carcinoma, 5 x 7 cm, no lymph nodes, estrogen/Progesteron negative, but I did have overexpression of HER 2. Because of the size of my tumor, I had to have chemo 1st,(Adriamycin/Cytoxin)before surgery (mastectomy/lymph node dissection). I must tell you the results...it was an absolute miracle! My tumor had shrunk to .01 cm of ductal in situ...the huge lobular , (this was 4 months later!) tumor was gone!!! My surgeon couldn't find it...(just scar tissue) so it works...Chemotherapy is not a bit of fun, but...you are so young (I was 46) and your young children need you. You don't want to look back later if it does come back without having tried. I didn't have a choice,(they had to do chemo 1st because they could not get clean margins surgically initially) but I just wanted you to know what a great response I recieved from my treatment. The second opinion is definitely a good idea, I went to Mayo Clinic for mine, had surgery there, and their oncologists sent the "recipe" to my local doctors in my area to actually take the chemo. Good luck...hope this helps..and if you need me, just let me know.

Course of treatment:Sept.'2000-Nov '2000, 4 rounds chemo, Adriamycin/Cytoxin 21 days apart Dec'2001 Simple mastectomy with lymph node dissection, Jan'2001-March '2001, 4 rounds chemo Taxol 21 days apart: April '2001- June'2001 , 6 1/2 weeks radiation: Good luck! Carol

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

Hi! I know you've probably heard it a million times already, but please don't be afraid. I went through chemo myself. I'll be honest, it's not fun, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined, and it helped me to live. I had a tumor 5 centimeters. 24 lymph nodes removed. All negative. I'm also hormone receptor negative. Believe it or not, when I still had a job, I was working while undergoing chemo treatments. All of this I have been doing Alone! It's wonderful that you have family to help you theough this! Youll will also be amazed to find that you will make friends that you never knew you had. Please don't let fear keep you from doing something that could make your options a lot better!

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Lauraelena- First of all, 7 years ago I was terrified also, first of my cancer diagnosis(my mother died from metastatic breast cancer 17 yrs ago), then of the advice to get chemo and radiation. I was 48, you are 32, and I was receptor negative-tamoxifin is not effective. I had a larger tumor(uner 2 centimeters) with clean margins and clean nodes. I was told CMF(which is 6 mos of chemo) was proper for me, and that the aggresive treatment is a better "insurance policy".. I had kids in college, and a loving family also, and of course, we all want to be there for our family also. I cried and agonized, but in the end, I was soo glad I took the chemo. I did better than I ever thought(no picnic, but manageable and I worked also through it). I wanted to do EVERYTHING I could to stay right there with my family. The decision is the hard part-once you make it, your mind becomes more peaceful, and you will become a warrior. I will never know the other road of course, but it's 71/2 years, and here I am. I've had 2 kids graduate from college, my first grand child, many wonderful memories, and I volunteer now my American Cancer Society. Good luck, and let us know what you will do.

Posts: 6
Joined: May 2003

Althought my cancer was different from yours (estrogen positive) I wanted to share with you my experience with AC. It was a bit like "Gila Monster"...not as bad as I expected! The first 5 minutes of my drip was anti-nausea, which I KNOW helped. The next day I was fine. The 2nd day after treatment I was on the couch; not sick at all, just really tired. Every day after that I felt a little better....until it was time for the next treatment (3 weeks). Each day I got out and walked in the fresh air. One day, I hiked, washed my truck and vacuumed, so, many days, I felt just fine. My doctor said my hair would fall out between 19 - 21 days after 1st treatment...it did, all at once on day 20. My hair was long and very blonde; it has grown back much darker. But, it was all worth it. I also take a vitamin called "SeaSilver" everyday....I don't know if I can attribute my great energy to it, but......I DID have a lot of enery through all of my AC treatments. By the way, I am 47 years old. Best of luck to you; my prayers are with you.

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