Anyone refused chemo?

just been diagnosed…it’s not good news I have to have chemo. I’ve been reading your posts but can’t find anyone who has refused it.

I can’t get my head around the diagnosis at the moment and would welcome posts from anyone who has said no to chemo.



No i wasn’t. Were you?

Didn’t even think about it - just wanted to take all the “help” I could get - seems good now 5 yrs later, still here smiling and smelling the roses - which a friend brought today!

Have heard of some stories of people that refused chemo, but its all second hand, so i don’t know if the information is accurate…

Initially, I had the most awful resistance to chemo, which was probably part of the shock of an out-of-the-blue diagnosis. It seemed such a blunt instrument, submitting to being poisoned, affecting the whole body in order to get at a 1.7cm tumour. Couldn’t get my head round it at all, and considered refusing treatment: at least in the moral sense that I should think about ALL options open at the time.

Then a doctor wrote down the path report and I did my own research, and hey, suddenly even I recognised there’s not too much choice with ways to go for a triple neg.

Went into it as strong, mentally and physically, as I could get myself, (which included getting a Japanese kanji tattooed on the back of my neck as a symbol of courage and commitment!) and it’s honestly not been that bad. Having the stuff syringed in is only a minor inconvenience. Being on the ward is actually a calm and cheerful experience, and the side effects have been manageable. So far.

But the important thing is: the demon which has taken up residence in my right breast has been seriously rattled halfway through EC, and hopefully is in retreat. And that is worth being poisoned for. It really hasn’t been so bad, and the only time I’ve had to take off work is for actual appointments. Maybe go along and take a look at where it’ll be administered, and have a chat with one of the nurses? Or even better, someone else who’s going through similar.

Good luck, stay strong.

I agree with Lanterna - also what did it for me was that there was som e doubt as to whether I’d get it - then I realised how much I wanted it … Good luck love FB xxx

Amanda- For goodness sake, don’t even think about refusing chemo -please. The thought of it is greater than the actuality of it - it is “doable” - sorry - a hackneyed phrase but so true-I am sat here almost two years on and feeling that yes - I have my life back - and I threw everything to kill the crap that was hell bent on killing me. Chemotherapy( can’t bear to call it Chemo -sounds too matey) is your greatest friend. It will make you feel under the weather and sometimes sooo tired ,but if it makes you feel that rubbish, then what on earth is it doing to fight the stuff that maybe stopping you from having a happy ever after. I so agree with Lanterna and FisBIx -I think I remember that the Chemo Nurses said give us a year of your life and you will get it back so many fold.You have to run with this Amanda and you will win.

I know, I can’t bring myself to call it “chemo” either. It’s powerful stuff, but if it works…Amanda, bounce around this site and you will find women (and a few men!) cheerfully finding ways of coping with chemicals. I’m continually astounded by the everyday strength, courage, humour and resilience of women dealing with this stuff. There are some dark clouds, but also bright silver linings in unexpected places on the way.

Let us know how you get on.

L x

I had 4xEC and 4xTaxol which is a lot of chemo, but I would say definitely go for it! Doctors would not suggest it if there was any doubt of its success, apart form anything else it costs a lot, so they would think twice if there was any alternative.

Like others above, I also found the exprerience much less unpleasant than I thought. The ward and the nurses were great - practical and cheerful - and although I took some days off I worked throughout. The drugs they can now give you to take care of side effects are much better than they once were. I realised after that a lot of the panicky feelings I had at the beginning of my chemo was because of fear of the unknown.

I think its a good idea to go along to the ward and talk to the nurses.

And remember - if you really hate it nobody would make you carry on, so there is nothing to lose by giving it a shot.


I seriously considered refusing it but in the end when we went through my numbers it improved my chances by 12% if I did 6 doses. So I came to see each 3 week period of misery as another 2%. And then I realised that these are just numbers and if it stops the cancer returning it could buy me another 60 years of life (I’m 30 and assuming I would live to 90) so each dose would be worth a decade. so then it became 3 weeks of misery = 10 years of fun.

Then I read up on the chemo related threads and realised that it’s not even 3 weeks of misery. Most people say it’s a week where things aren’t great and then 2 weeks picking up and getting better.

So I’m going to do it and just take it one day at a time. or as my OH says… “This too will pass”. Which of course it will.

Lots of love and I’d try it and see how you cope.


Hey and if you get the chance go for the cold cap-takes longer but it more or less preserves your hair-I had a wig fitting and got a really nice one but in the end didn’t need it as I managed to preserve my hair.Finished my 6 months of chemo just after Christmas and looking back it was bearable.I have to say the support.friendship and encouragement I got in the unit every 3 weeks was brilliant-everyone became your friend.I worked through my chemo,just having the treatment day off which was friday and then recovery over the weekend-didn’t have 1 day off sick throughout my 6 months of treatment.

Thanx for all your replies. I have got my head around things now and realise that I have to give myself the best chance of surviving breast cancer.

I guess it was the hairloss thing that made me panic - how vain is that? I am back to the hospital on Friday and will know more then.

Thanx again.

thank goodness for that! good luck love FizBix xxx

Hi Victoria,

Hair loss or not is not a vain issue at all. We are mostly women here, and used to preening and having image issues thrust at us most of our lives. It is a huge big thing, losing your hair. I wore a wig for nearly two years but now (a year later), those memories are dim. It takes time to adjust to a cancer diagnosis but once you have done so, it is easier to put the treatment side into perspective, and often it can help you feel more in control, as you start to think that you are doing something positive to fight this disease. From your posts, it sounds as though you are already starting to do this. Good Luck on Friday, and as others have said, chemo is very ‘doable’ and not as bad as it is painted.


Apologies, Victoria, for calling you Amanda. Can’t blame chemo brain, I’ve got a lousy memory for names at the best of times.

You’ll find loads of support and a wealth of experience on here from women going through similar. Hope Friday went well and best of luck.