Which regimen - how does an onc decide?

Thanks everyone for the reassurance re. tax. Today I’m feeling much better about facing the prospect. It was just such an awful shock.

Swissmiss - I’m really interested to read your story (and hopeful to read you found the tax ok!). How long ago were you diagnosed? How did you cope with the chemotherapy and a newborn?

I will only have 3 and a half weeks between surgery and chemo. I definitely have macroscopic node involvement, although I don’t know how much because since that awful appointment on Monday, I’ve decided I’m likely to top myself with anymore bad news and I cancelled my histology appt today. It’s so unusual for me, but I just don’t want to know. They have said the treatment plan will be the same whether there is one node involved (we know it’s 5mm-ish from biopsy and ultrasound) or all of them. Perhaps because it’s a recurrence they’re erring on the side of caution with the vicious treatment plan, as there’s probably a greater chance of micrometastates elsewhere in my body.

I’m glad they’re looking after me, although they have admitted they are probably ‘over-treating’. That has to be a good thing.

xxx Jane

hi jane,

just wanted to send you my support. Hows your pregnancy coming along, other than the bc stuff? How many weeks are you now?

I too am normally an information fiend, but have shut down on knowing things now for the same reason as you. I figure that the information is always there for me should i decide the time is right to read it, but once i have actually read it, it will be stuck in my mind and i can’t then “unread” it, if that makes sense.

I have had 3 fec and the first of 3 tax. They were both very different for me, but both very doable. I am glad there has been no sickness with tax, but i have been a bit more tired, but my onc says that is also down to the cumulative effect of the cycles. However, even having experienced the side effects, i would personally still have the tax even if it was a week after having my baby. It will be very hard for you, but it is only a handful of weeks in the grand scheme of things and is likely to be so very very worth it.

Good luck, say hello to your baby bump for me,


Hi Jane

I was told the same as you, I was being overtreated too but I am so glad I was. I was dx in May 2006 and my little one turned 4 last week.

If I remember rightly, the treatment is the same for 1 - 3 nodes involved. I think it changes if you have 4 - 6 nodes involved and so on.

My onc was a bit concerned about giving me tax because he said it would probably ‘floor me’ especially after just having a baby and he knew we didn’t have any family around to help. Well it didn’t but I did get really tired towards the end, just like batteries running low in a toy I suppose, I really began to slow down (probably also the culmulative effect of chemo too). The worst part of the tax for me was the steroids keeping me awake.

Its difficult for me to explain how I got through chemo with a newborn because I was also grieving for my 4 year old daughter who had died of cancer just 3 months before I was dx. I also had a toddler who had just turned 2 to look after as well. I went from utter despair, black holes, not wanting to go on at times to being dx and thinking I have to get through this treatment, I have to be here for my family and my children. You do what you have to do.

I don’t know whether you have family around you Jane who can help out. I am sure you will have friends who have offered to help you too. How many weeks pregnant are you?

I find it interesting that you have been given 3 and a half weeks between surgery and chemo but maybe that has more to do with the macroscopic node involvement and the fact that it is a recurrence. Tax is definitely the gold standard treatment for node involvement. When dx in 2006 I actually didn’t think I would be around now but that is also down to herceptin plus an onc who I would walk over hot coals for. I think tax is definitely something you can get through even with the demands of a newborn baby so I would go for that without any hesitation.

Love xxxx

Oh god Swissmiss, I’m so sorry to hear you lost your daughter to cancer. It’s only since having my own daughter two years ago that I realise what my own mother must have gone through/being going through when I was diagnosed. But with a child… well, beyond comprehension. It’s wonderful news that you’ve been cancer-free for four years now and have a healthy family. Thanks for coming and sharing your story, it really does give me strength to know others have been through this, or worse, and come out the other side with much hope for the future.

Vickie - pregnancy seems good thanks, lots of movement, although we’re very cautious and are both avoiding conversations about names or practicalities. We have the 20-week scan tomorrow and in a way, I’m dreading seeing the baby again. So different from last time but I’m scared to get my hopes up. I’ve read some of your posts about chemotherapy and the awful fog after the tax, but looking on the bright side, it’s good you didn’t get so sick! I’m also really glad to read you’ve had an info-shut down too!! I absolutely understand about not being able to ‘unread’ information and it’s nice not to be alone in this. I made the mistake of logging onto adjuvantonline and checking out every stat going and got into a lot of trouble with OH when I freaked out. You’re right - it’s a handful of weeks out of a lifetime and the bigger the handful, the longer my life might be. One step at a time, and I’m sure we’ll get there. When’s your next tax? I shall be following your story. xx

next tax is a week today, Yuk yuk yuk! I hate the predictability of getting better so they can make me feel ill again! I have felt much much better today, and even ventured out to a local shopping centre with my two year old. He was bemused as usually he walks now, but i couldn’t cope with him running off or struggling or swinging off my arm, so i brought his buggy and strapped him in! He was not impressed and i resorted to bribing him with marks and spencer shortbread biscuits whilst i did some shopping! I was mostly getting him and his brother stuff to occupy them over summer holidays as my eldest breaks up next wednesday and i have tax the day after!Glad to hear your preganacy seems on course, i found 20 week scans scary even without added problems, so can understand! I also get told off by my husband for scaring myself to death. I logged on to adjuvant on line but then decided not to proceed as would dwell on it too much.