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Should i or should i not have chemo.

30 REPLIES 30
catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi Fuffs,

 

Your husband seemed to react just like my friend, i guess its their way of dealing and they care about you, ive no partner or kids,and my friends have been great cant thank them enough for showing they care when on own that is so appreciated.  I feel sad when i hear people, some on here say on own and no friends, seems a lonely existance and very sad people feel that way, we must indeed count our blessings.

 

I hope you get good results too, my fellow norfolk person on here Sarah has same oncologist as me, she says there is a rads group on here, must check it out,  

June

13gerbera
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Good luck for tomorrow Fuffs, thoughts are with you

xx

Sharon

Fuffs123
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Thank you all for your good wishes for my results tomorrow. Felling calm but husband is not! Treating myself to the hairdressers today, going to get those grey hairs covered! Will be nice to have a 'normal' conversation with them, which doesn't involve talking about BC, if you know what I mean. Need to go to the dentist too but can't quite steel myself to that at the moment! Stupid really, after going thro all this it's nothing is it. Sending hugs to all x
lexilou3
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Wow - So chuffwd for you June. X
Thinking of you Fuffs for friday x
Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Good luck for Friday Fuffs.
Hope you have good results.
M x
Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Thanks for posting your good news, June.
I am pleased everything worked out for you and especially that your friend is feeling happier and calmer about your treatment plan. She really cares about you and wants you in her life for a long time.
Peace and Positivity,
M x
Fuffs123
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi Catchpole

Been reading your posts and the replies and really felt for you. So pleased your friend has taken on board what your onc said. Clearly she is very fond of you and values you very much. I expect she was very fearful at the thought of losing you, so went a bit over the top. I was diagnosed and had an op on 10 Feb (my birthday!) and will get my results on Friday. I was quite amazed at people's reactions, especially my husband. We've been married nearly 40 yrs and I've never seen him so upset and scared. I mentioned to him that If I was told I had to have chemo I would have to think carefully about it before agreeing. He went nuts, clearly a fear of losing me reaction but not what I needed. Anyway, just to say that people who care about you do often behave quite badly! Take care x
catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Saw oncologist today, nice man very helpful, said not worth me having chemo, as it would give me so little more chance, its not worth it as the strong dose id have to have to make any difference at all would possibly affect me badly as im so petite and slim, and he feels as im such a healthy person anyway apart from the cancer he thinks caused by my .long term HRT, it could make me a not so healthy person,  he said if your other nodes affected i wouldnt have a choice but to say have it and if would help a lot,but as they were not, just not worth it, rads and pills will give you nearly as much protecion. My friend who has been so insistent i have it was there and shes happy too with his suggestions, she said afterwards, i care bout you a lot, i wanted you to have whatever,  Thats nice when on own without a partner and kids, it makes a difference. to realise friends care, and i am lucky there.  june

lexilou3
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi June,
You sound amazingly balanced at this tricky time. I have to admire you taking this lass who is so vocal. She obviously thinks a lot of you and cares deeply, but as you said chemo in the veins brings own risks with for some minimal possible gains. Will be thinking of you tomorrow and hope all goes as smoothly as it can.
Lexilou x x
Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

All the very best tomorrow, June.
Hope everything goes the way you want it to.
Peace and Positivity,
M x
catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi lexilou,

 

Yes im seeing oncologist tomorrow, amazed you havent seen me on here, im always commenting people must start saying that bloody woman with her opinions againlol.  Im still thinking i dont want chemo, if its my choice,with the small margins ad unless oncologist says anything different  i wnt change my mind My friend got upset other day and said i dont want anything to happen to you i want you to have everything to stop it coming back,i pointed out no guarantee that chemo will stop it,.and sometimes can make your health worse.  Ihave to make decision.im having rads and drugs  she insists she wants to come tomorrow, and i dont want to upset her and say no, ive another mutual friend coming to and she will be a calming influence.Rang breast cancer care they very helpful.june ,

lexilou3
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi June,

Hope you dont mind me asking,,,, Just wondering how you doing? Any more news yet ? Friend safely secured to protect her and you from criminal charges for daft things said to someone in a stressy position like you ?

LL

Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Boa
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

June

Just to support Magical Moon's post. Your friend isnt coping but you are. Please make your own decisions in due course on what is best for you.

Boa

Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Dear June,
I am very sorry that your friend is saying such upsetting things to you. You have enough to deal with at the moment without her calling you 'selfish' or telling you that your friendship with her is ending.
You are the person with breast cancer and your needs are paramount over anyone else's at this difficult time.
People react so differently when they hear the word 'cancer' and it seems that your friend is one of those who finds the reality of cancer frightening. She is frightened what will happen to you if you do not have chemo but also worried how your BC may impact on her. She obviously cares about you as she would not have sent her partner round to your house to check on you when she could not reach you by phone.
However, she does seem to be spinning out of control. When people are out of control with their emotions they can say and do things they do not mean. She is not coping with your BC diagnosis whereas you appear very much in control and managing to calmly assess your situation and the decisions you will have to make about chemo.
You are going to do what feels right for you. Decide on the treatment that you believe will give you the life you wish to have in the years to come. It is best to concentrate on your decisions and ask your friend to give you the space you need without having to listen to her emotional outbursts.
There is a thread on this Forum where ladies have posted the "Things People Say" when you tell them you have BC. It is worth a look as it is both funny and shocking. I'll try and find the link.
Take care and please don't be pressurised into anything that doesn't feel right for YOU.
Peace and Positivity,
M x
PS. You are NOT being selfish!
catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Thanks Ladies,

 

O my goodness,. my friend has really gone overboard now, shes telling me we cant be friends amymore i sometimes dog sit her lovely dog, whom i adore she rang tonight am i doing it anymore as i seem to be someone she doesent know!. Today another friend rang and asked did i want to go to see Selma with her special deal for us "silvers!" tuesdays said yes but turned my phone off in cinema,great film by way, see if if you can.  When got home my friends partner was round, as she couldnt get me on phone and hadsent him round to check i hadnt done anything silly! She knows the friend i went with we all used to work together, i told her what had happened, but went over head,.  I cannot believe shes behaving this way.  I said ive not really made final decision but shes convinced i have and am being "selfish". What the hell do you do or say.her partner said hes told her to back off too.june

lexilou3
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Gah - curse of the **fat fingers, small keypad, and wee hours typing** - am sure you got the gist,,,!!

LL

lexilou3
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Gah - curse of the ** fat fingers, small keypad, and wee hours typing ** - am sure you got the gist,,,!!

LL

Boa
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Catchpole, very wise words from lexilou, I think. You might like to look at a book called Living with Dying by Margaret McCartney. She is a GP in Glasgow. She writes about situations where relatives and friends put others under pressure to take treatments by telling them they are selfish. I found it a very interesting read on the many topics she addresses. We all feel we have to 'fight cancer'. She suggests a lot of this narrative is around charities fighting for donations so the more emotive the more money.

I have kept relatively well throughout my life and like doing things. The last time I had a day I'll in bed was about 30 years ago. Whilst I know I could cope with chemo I didn't want the effect it would have in the short term treatment or the longer effects.

Many people want us to try everything but I think we are entitled to make our own decisions.

I'll be interested to hear what the oncologist says.

Boa
lexilou3
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi all, as someone slightly younger, diagnosed on first mamogram, i have had surgery x2and rads,and now on hormone therapy (anastrazole). this is a type of chemo, my body is being chemically alterred to reduce the chances of further problems. I was advised in my case the cancer waa not an aggressive fast growing one, and chemo into the veins may alter the statistics by 2-3%. However it comes wuth its own risks, the sepsis being one of them. I have my 2 young people still at home, neither drive. I felt confident not to take chemo when discussed with my oncologist. May the person saying yiu are selfish is too frughtened to hear all you say. Strength and confidence in yoiur choices, i am certain you wiyld have received stronger recommendations from the onc if chemo iv was so crucial to your care.
Love and hugs,
LL
lexilou3
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi all, as simeone slightly younger, diagnosed on first mamogram, i have had surgery x2and rads,and now on hirmone therapy (anastrazole). this is a type of chemo, my body is being cheically alterred to reduce the chances of further problems. I was advised in my case the cancer waa not an aggressive fast growing one, and chemo into the veins may alter the statistics by 2-3%. However it comes wuth its own risks, the sepsis being one of them. I have my 2 young people still at home, neither drive. I felt confident not to take chemo when discussed with my oncologist. May the person saying yiu are selfish is too frughtened to hear all you say. Strength and confidence in yoiur choices, i am certain you wiyld have received stronger recommendations from the onc if chemo iv was so crucial to your care.
Love and hugs,
LL
catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Yes Boa im going that way too, b ut wont finally decide till seem the onocologist.  I am havng serious problems with one of my friends, She says im being selfish not having chemo i should take every chance thrown at me, to live.I said im 67, and i agree pretty fit apart from this.But i dont have kids,i live alone, something i dont particularly like , i lived with my dad till he died at 98  its hard to be single in a coupled up world and most of my friends do have relationships and i often feel lonely on my own as it is, without coping with the trauma of chemo, friends however helpful, cant be there all the time. Im not a joiner, all these social groups for people on their own, given them a go, but not me.found them very clicqy, i miss work,my retirement wasnt planned. So why the hell would i put myself through chemo when it isnt necessary to give myself possible years more of a lonely existance i dont particularly enjoy anyway, Im not saying i want to give up on life im just not sure ive a glowing future to ,look forward to,  If i was 47 id probably say yes i will have it,. But getting older and lonelier on my own, is it really worth it,.

catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Yes Daisy id wondered about the reduced idea  Actually my neigbour was telling be about her sister, it wasnt breast cancer she had but some kind in her arm She has 3 lots of chemo, then couldn nt stand it, so stopped, shes still alive over over 25 years later,june

catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi Daisy, Unlike your mum ive never smoked, but i have heard so many stories of what people have gone through, reading about Carol McGivven who had to be hospitalized in a isolation ward cause of her wrecked immune system, I cant help thinking is it worth it, My immune system always been good, i dont want it wrecked, I was talking today to someone i know who had breast cancer 17 years ago, she had chemo had to,   her lymph nodes were affected, but she says it wasnt so intense then, interesting that ! she didnt even lose her hair,shes fine now but she also says someone she knew who had it same time as her didnt have chemo, and shes still around and fine as well, So there we are,  Like you i tend to think the same re the statistics, its figures not actual people. |Im going to work damm hard at it not coming back, my dad died at 98 of old age, im very like him in many ways, im even havbing wine free days , i only ever drank 1 glass  a day and ive stopped HRT which i was on for many years due to fact my mum suffered very badly from osteoporois and i wanted to avoid it,that should help my chances to,. so im defintely wavering at moment, have over a week to consider it all. june

 

 

 

 

Boa
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Daisy

Sorry to hear your Mum is struggling and I send good wishes to her.
Your description of the percentage calculation is correct. It's not about the individual but about the various factors concerning the cancer. And you are right you don't know which side of things you are on as an individual. It's a difficult situation but I knew how I felt about it.
Boa
Daisy1975
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

Hi

I do not have cancer but my mum does and is currently half way through chemo. She is struggling badly - had neutropenic sepsis wth chest infection (although due to being previous smoker) and has had stomach cramps and been generally v weak throughout. She is 63. Her chemo wasn't as optional though as its in a number of lymph nodes already. She does want to throw everything at it that she can, but her prognosis isn't as good being in more nodes. However she didn't expect it to be this tough.
The only thing that I wonder about regarding the % increase in survival is that isn't it for a group of people in general and not an individual? What I mean is - 5% more of that group will have a chance of living 10 years, not an individual with have 5% more chance? That always makes me wonder if there are 5% of women who could go either way depending upon whether they take the chemo or not, and you just don't know which side of the % your on? I'm guessing it's all dependant upon whether some cells went astray? I could be wrong but that's what I thought the % referred too.
It must be such a hard decision. Is reduced chemo an option you could consider? My mum having 80% chemo as the initial 100% is what resulted in the neutropenic sepsis.
Xx
catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

I know Boa, thats a but how i feel, i was dreading yesterdays meet as although ive healed up well from lump removal, you can hardly see where it was, and have n ever once felt ill i honestly thought my lymph nodes would be afffected i was so relieved when they were clear, guess the first one was doing its job, I know im lucky compared with many on here, ive still got my boobs with only a little scar, ive got to have rads and pills, and can decide on chemo myself, But i still feel in a quandry, will talk to someone the help line here next week, as have found them extremely helpful,  Then see what oncologist has to say, my friend coming with me as has the gene in family, so knows a lot about it  will be good support and will then finally decide, But im a pretty fit person for 67 with a good immune system, do i really want to wreck it for that small chance.,

Boa
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

In the end, of course, only you can decide what to do. However, I'll just give my experience. I was borderline for chemotherapy. For my peer group the improvement in percentage terms was 3%. It was a short conversation as I declined. Even if the prognosis was better I would probably not have agreed. I'm a couple of years younger than you but I was more interested in the here and now and not a future which might or might not happen. But everyone is different. I just wanted you to know but some women say, thanks but no thanks.

My follow up at the clinic is a year too. I think that's normal.

I hope you're able to decide what is best in your situation.
catchpole
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

I think it very hard to say what to do Sue, its a small margain isnt it and having chemo is no proof it wont come back, i know people who have been alive for years who didnt have it, and those who have and it did, sadly some of them no longer here,  Hopefully talking to oncologist will help me make a more informed position,.  Im taking a friend with me whos family has the gene, her mum sadly died of it and she had her own breasts removed at 25 to prevent it, as did her cousin, her sister is a survivor so she will hopefully be able to ask questions i might not think of. I was also a bit suprised my follow up appointment at clinic was a year, is that normal thought would be sooner.june

Nenya
Member

Re: Should i or should i not have chemo.

I will do whatever the professionals think is best. I am one of the cleanest living people I know and am 58. A few months of debilitation is better than risking secondaries later. I am awaiting my stage two op in two weeks. I know I have 3 weeks of radio to look forward to, but if they say chemo as well after my results, then that's what I will have. I have already lost two paternal aunts to this horrible disease and my mum is ten years clear. Just found out last week that my cousin, ten years my junior has also had it. I have three fabulous daughters and six gorgeous grandchildren. I have too much to lose to risk not doing it . Sue x
catchpole
Member

Should i or should i not have chemo.

Saw surgeon today.all find with operation. but have the dillema do i or do i not have chemo.  My earlystage cancer was grade 2, only showing M3 because of mitoric activity but in every other way grade 2 he said, obviously radio therapy and pills as HER2 neg, and only the first lymph node pos, rest removed and all clear anyway but glad gone.  But chemo is up to me, only 5 % more margain of it not reoccurring in  the 10 year period,  In a way though pleased lymth nodes all clear was dreading this senario when i have to decide. Im 67 but a young 67, very healthy in every other way,never smoked, eat healhily, stopped HRT, and cut back on alcohol but was only a social drinker, come from a long living family, with no cancers, take plenty of exercise.  Interested to hear others views and any who have been in same position as me.  Chemo can be so debilitating, i .live alone. and as you get older can it affect you permanently. but what if june