It's Emily here from Breast Cancer Care.
Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a challenging decision to take, especially when you're presented with the statistics which may not have been what you expected.
Do feel free to email one our Breast Cancer Care volunteers if you'd like to 'talk' it through over email. Tamsin had EC chemotherapy and would be happy to tell you her experience:
If you'd like to chat to someone over the phone who took a similar decision, feel free to call uson 0345 077 1893 and we can put you in touch with a volunteer.
Emily at Breast Cancer Care
Just finished my chemo and I was a very reluctant starter. If I could have dodged the chemo bullet I definitely would have. I wasn't doing it right up until the first day.
The thing that changed my mind was my oncologist. On my first meeting with him he said to me that we had met before. 18 years ago I had kidney cancer which was treated surgically by the urologists and I lost my kidney. I had one onco appointment, which to be honest I'd forgotten about. I was told off for coming in by myself and then he told me I didn't need chemo or radio and he left me under the urologists. He'd remembered that (and put a sticker on my star chart for bringing someone with me to this appointment) and he reminded me of our conversation. Then he said to me that I knew he wasn't the kind of consultant that put people through chemo if they didn't need it and that this time I did.
So for what it's worth and I realise this is just one experience, if they have said you don't need it then that's good enough for me. They definitely tell you if you do. It's a pretty **bleep**ty experience and takes a lot of getting over. I'm just glad mine is behind me now and I'm not sure I'd do it again under any circumstances.
I cold capped succesfully btw, and I'd always say to someone to give it a go. Keeping your hair definitely helps you to put it behind you and move on xxxxxx
I've just completed 3 out of 4 ECs. Agree it's doable. First day I'm useless, one week of sicky and nausea and bit tired but not stopping me doing anything. Weeks 2 and 3 OK as long as you don't pick up any additional infections. Your choice but it's short-term and everyone is different, but I'm not finding it impossible. Hair loss is a given though I think!
That sounds reassuring, thank you so much for that !
Wishing you all the very best that you will continue the same throughout... I do appreciate you taking the time to respond to this...
Was diagnosed with Grade 2 ER + HER neg with lymph node involvement, had a TM and full ANC. After being told by two surgeons that Chemo was inevitable, I has first appointment with Oncologist yesterday..and was astonished to learn that Chemo is not (apparently) going to be of much benefit to me overall, according to NHS Predict site (I’m not sure whether to trust this though, surely it’s a bit generalised?) It will only add 3.6 % to my survival chances over next ten years ... 😞 - so do I go for it, or chance my arm on the OPTIMA trial (very likely to get selected for chemo on that) or just go straight to rads and Letrozole....
Absolutely agonising about this!
But anyway, the Chemo regime will be 6 x EC, and I’d really welcome any advice and info on coping with EC.
All the best to everyone