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Challenging chemo in treatment plan

11 REPLIES 11
Steph03
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hi Dotty,

That is fantastic to hear that you've kept so well health wise! I am hoping for the same, my oncologist was very encouraging in saying that he generally thinks I'll handle it well due to my age and no health issues ever - I only had my first bloods and xray in my adult life 4 weeks ago as part of all this. Never been unwell in my life - starting with a bang eh?!

Meeting the oncology team and having my heart scan on Monday and if that is fine I'm scheduled for 1st cycle on Wednesday.

Keep in touch xx
Dotty79
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hi Steph 

 

im also 37 her2 negative Er + 40mm lump  again no family history fit and healthy !

 

i was told chemo radiotherapy and tamoxafillan I wanted chemo as I knew I had thrown everything at it I had FEC T chemo .

 

i was never sick nor did I feel sick I carried on working part time I had my bad week and I stayed in rested but it felt like I'd been to a rave all weekend the body ached but the mind was still dancing lol I'm as bald as a baboons bum but the fuzz is growing back it really isn't to bad I finished my treatment 1st September I to was scared but wanted to crack on with it , if I'd not been offered chemo I would have demanded it lol I'm the same as the other lady with extreme anxiety and panic attacks if we can do it anyone can good luck if you want to pm please do I've not met many people the same age as me going through this xx

Flopsy
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

It's great to hear that your Oncologist had all the figures worked out and an easy decison for you in the end.

 

Fingers crossed for next week.

 

If you find that chemo knocks you about too much then the drugs and the dosages can be changed.

 

Hope it goes well!

 

 

Steph03
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Thanks everyone for coming back to me. I met the oncologist tonight and I'm going ahead with chemo. He had the % difference already worked out for me and it's 14% - so a no brainer.

I'm still terrified but now feel a sense of confidence in it all. It's time to be brave and jump on for the ride. I'll get a call tomorrow with my date next week for cycle 1. Time to get stocked up on everything I can think of - wish me luck!
blueash
Community Champion

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hello,

 

I have HER2 positive and my cancer was tiny - 3mm or as big as a peppercorn. I had clear margins and no lymph node involvement. They recommended chemo and Herceptin for me and in the beginning I was horrified and scared stiff. I have had 2 cycles already and am using the cold cap which so far is working and it is not as bad as I had feared.

 

You don't HAVE to have chemo - they cannot force you but if they recommend it then I would take them seriously. It will take about 4 months 6 cycles at 3 weeks aprt for most of us. Then the Herceptin every 3 weeks for a year.

 

If you don't have it then you will always be afraid that it will come back and because the HER2 is so aggresive it can come back and if it does it may spread quickly. That is why they want to treat it with chemo.

 

Don't be afraid of chemo - lots of us are going through it and most of us felt the way you do now xxx.

Flopsy
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hi Steph, there are tests that could help determine if chemo is best for you. Ask your oncologist if you are suitable for any of these.

 

Here's one and there are others

 

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/oncotype_dx

 

Also bear in mind that there are different doses available for the same drugs you are having.

haz25a
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hi Steph,

 

I was very reluctant to have chemo but after my lumpectomy my pathology results showed that I was HER positive, Grade 3 18mm tumour, clear margins and no spread to lymph nodes. The Oncologist went through the stats and the chance of a recurrence was reduced by 18% if I had chemo and herceptin so I went for it. Had the percentage only been around 4-5% I probably wouldn't have had it. My oncology team keep pointing out that it my case it is the herceptin that is my "main weapon" against recurrence but as others have pointed out herceptin is not licensed to be given without chemo. Studies have shown that herceptin works better alongside chemo in the beginning apparently. Obviously you continue to have it on it's own after chemo.

 

I have a long term mental health condition. Severe anxiety and depression and have been under the care of a psychiatrist for over 20 years. I also have an extreme phobia of being sick. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can.

I totally understand the concept of having a treatment that you know is going to make you feel unwell when you feel healthy and have recently recovered from surgery.

 

Best Wishes

 

Hazel.x

 

P.S. I wasn't sick during chemo although TC has less sickness than FEC. Some nausea but plenty of anti sickness meds available. I fully expected to be bed bound the entire time. This was not the case and I also felt fine on my third week and got my taste buds back in third week also.

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

I totally understand Steph. It's a bizarre feeling when you feel totally well and can't believe that you have to put yourself through it all. 

Yes, chemo is utterly draining at times and you lose your hair and your taste buds. But it's not always like that. After the first week, I feel fine and just get on with things as normal.

Chin up 

Sue x

 

Steph03
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Thanks Sue. Having read a lot of threads on the forum, I've taken some reassurance that a lot of people seem to imagine chemo to be worse than it is. So if that's the road I need to go down, then I'm more aware of things than I was. I do think I'll be going down the chemo route as I can imagine my oncologist will show the stats that prove it needs to be done.

But I just get so upset thinking that I feel physically fine now, no problems since surgery and now I'm going to be one someone who's sick, tired, bald and not myself. 😞

Hope all is going well with you and your treatment x
FluffyMittens26
Member

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hi Steph03.

I'm 37 Her2+, Er+ and have a 4 cm grade 2 idc and ILC. Herceptin is only licenced to be given with chemo for us. Hence why it's been suggested. I have had three chemo of Ec and start my first taxotere and Herceptin on Wednesday. I can feel the chemo assaulting my tumour, as I am having surgery afterwards. As Her2 cells tend to divide and spread more quickly, the chemo and Herceptin will zap any stray ones in your body. On my view, we have years to live a healthy and happy life and I want to have as much chance as possible. Hope this helps.xx
Sue C
Community Champion

Re: Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hi Steph

Also have grade 3, and was advised that chemo is very effective for that. I am currently half way through chemo and never questioned what my consultant told me as I am of the belief that they know what they're doing. My ex partner has unfortunately quite a few family members who have been through treatment and those who had chemo have had much better results, so I was of the opinion that that was the right approach.

Chemo isn't much fun, but it's probably not as bad as you think. And really it's such a short time of your life....surely the positives outway the negatives? 

This is just my opinion and we, and our cancers, are all different. You must make the right decision for you.

Take care

Sue x

Steph03
Member

Challenging chemo in treatment plan

Hi everyone,

I wondered if any of you have ever challenged chemo being suggested as part of your treatment plan?

I was diagnosed mid August and have had a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy. Tumour was 3cm and grade 3. The surgery went great and all positive news, no spread and tumour removed with clear margins. I'm 37 with no family history.

At that time, my consultant said we would most likely be looking at radio + tamox as our treatment plan, we only needed the results to come back for the HER2 test.

Last week the result for the HER2 test came back as positive. Now under the care of an oncologist, he said we would be starting chemo next week for 18 weeks and then will do radio + tamox. This news has just shattered me and I have been distraught for a week now.

I'm going back to see my oncologist tomorrow evening and have questions to ask - why chemo, what is the % difference of it not coming back of chemo + radio versus radio + tamox.

Has anyone been in a similar situation where they have challenged the chemo decision?

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