Chemo worries

Hello all,


Diagnosed early November, had my WLE and ANC about a month ago for IDC grade2 at 2.5cm, all out with good margins,  3/15+ nodes, Er+ HER2-, bone and CTscan clear. i am SO depressed that I know all this jargon.

Had first meeting with Onc last thursday, she def wants to go with FEC-T for six goes,  via PIC line, then RX then hormones. She said ten year % risk advantage of chemo was 10%, which made it cut and dried for her.

I am still so SO worried about chemotherapy. I go over and over the pros and cons in my head, I can’t stop researching and reading medical papers on the risks… i don’t mean transient SEs like hair loss, nausea etc, i mean the BIG risks… life threatening infections, blood clots, heart damage, sepsis and the fact that in very rare cases chemo can actually cause cancer.They just seem huge to me.

I have talked at length with the wonderfully patient and wise help-line people here, my BC nurses, MacMillan etc and i still can not get over my foreboding. On the predict website it shows chemo would reduce my risk by 4% for five years and 6% for ten years (probably not taking into account that i’m a bit of a fatty…a risk that I am DETERMINED to eliminate, with controlled hypertension and under active thyroid) but nowhere can I find the actual serious long term % risks of chemo.

I have delayed my chemo start date by a week until first week in Jan to give me and my husband time to think, but at the moment all we are doing is getting more and more anxious and confused.

Can anyone help me? I know chemo is ‘doable’ but at what cost long term? I would really appreciate advise from anyone who felt the same as me, whether or not they decided on chemo. How do i know if I’m just being a big wussy coward or whether my concerns are valid?


Hi katherine, yes i was so scared about the prospects of having chemo that i really just wanted to run away, but i know if i didnt give everything they offered me ago and cancer came back i would regret it so i had to go ahead for my own piece of mind. Please read the post i put on the 

“Anyone starting chemo in december thread”

I can honestly say the not knowing whats going to happen and how you will react is far far worse than the actual process, and if i was ever in the unfortunate position to ever need chemo again, i would not worry,

its far more doable than people think, and i finished 6 rounds at the beginning of sept, 3 x fec and 3 x tax,  i completed 23 sessions of radiotherapy on friday just gone and feel great.

hope that helps a little

take care deelush x x


Hi Katherine - this certainly is a humdinger of a rollercoaster … none of us choose it and the decisions seem impossible… the Good a News is that the figures are impossible to pin down because they are already out of date - things (research findings of types of breast cancer, treatments, and outcomes to new treatments) have improved SO MUCH over/within the last 10 years. I have met so many ladies who underwent the treatments available 10 to 20 years ago, who are now well, enjoying life and not regretting the difficulties of their treatments (which were much less refined then than now). There really is no choice, given our diagnosis and inevitable result of that without treatment. It is doable.
I was diagnosed in June, had mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction in September, am now half way thru chemo (FEC since mid October, change to docetaxel on Thursday this week), will have 6 radiotherapy treatments thereafter - so expect to finish around Easter - then endocrine tablets… do-able. Hundreds of ladies have been ahead of us and testify that it is more than worth it to take this path. … and realistically - what is our option just now? May be other options in another 20 years - but we need to go forwards now.
All best wishes for your own journey. Hugs x

Hi Jane. It do sympathise - so much to take in a short space of time. The truth is that everyone is different…so you have to weigh up the odds for each person. So for example what are the odds of reoccurrence if you don’t do chemo. Personally iahve just jumped at everything that has been showered on me, Everyone individual case is different. For. me for example I realised that there was really no option if I want to survive as I have a large grade 3 tumour and some little ones lurking in my armpit…