Chemo - do I choose it or not - Help!

Hi there is there anyone out there who has had to make this decision, I am really struggling.

I had a mastectomy on 14 November which turned out to be the right decision because the 1.7cm cancer was also accompanied by seven other areas of cancer, but had not spread to lymph nodes etc. My dilema now is whether to have chemo as my oncologist has confirmed that I am ‘borderline’ as to whether it will be of benefit. I will definately have to have Tamoxifen for five years, but do I take the risk that this will be sufficient protection against reoccurance or do I put myself and my family through the chemo experience.

I would be really interested to hear if you have had to make the decision, how you came to the decision and how you feel with hindsight. Help!

I too was borderline. Although i had two lumps/areas that totalled 5.5cm with no lymph node or vascular invasion there was never any doubt for me that I wanted chemo. I was 43 years old and knew that I had to throw everything at it.

It was difficult and when I look back I can’t believe that I actually got through it, but through it and to the other side we do get to. I wouldn’t forgive myself if in the future if I get a recurrence and I hadn’t had chemo. I too am also on Tamoxifen for 5 years.

Its a very personal decision and it has to be right for you.


Hi there browneyes43 thanks for your honesty, I am coming around to that way of thinking, but I am struggling, and I know that I am just so scared about the short-term impacts, but should really think about the long-term benefits…

You are so right that it is a very personal decision, but I cant help feeling bewildered about the prospect and would really like the ‘professionals’ to give me advice…but as a sign I just read in a friends kitchen says, ‘Just put your big girl knickers on and make the decision’…thanks for your

Hi Elliepup

It is a very personal decision and everyone is different, but I am having 6 sessions of chemo (known as FEC-T) before I have a mastectomy at the end of that. Just thought I’d let you know that personally I have found the chemo to be far far better than I had heard. I have just had my second session and didn’t even suffer any sickness - just a bit of nausea. I was a bit sick after the first session and I have suffered a lot of minor, mostly annoying, side effects, like sciatica in hips, sleeplessness, tiredness and of course the hair-loss which started happening 14 days after the first treatment. I have now shaved all my hair off and am wearing a most beautiful wig that was supplied to me free of charge by the NHS. It is honestly gorgeous, much nicer than my own hair! I personally did not find shaving all my hair off all that upsetting, although I thought I would have. When it boils down to it, I would rather not take the chance of any cancerous cells returning. If you are at all scared of the chemo or the procedure, please don’t be. You are told all about all the worst case scenarios but the majority of people don’t have much problems with it, and many people even continue to work through it, although I have been signed off work.
Whatever you decide, good luck and God bless and may 2012 be a wonderful year for you.