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Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

21 REPLIES 21
jbug
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Hiya,

I have just finished FEC about 4 weeks ago and it was a horrible time throughout but its just something that has to be done and hopefully you will never be subjected to it again.

Keep going, it is hard I know, I felt like packing it in after no.4, even the thought of the IV clinic or having chemo made me feel sick.

Feeling much better now, all the SE's have pretty much gone. I would have a talk about how you are feeling with your consultant though.

Paula xx

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Like you my tumor disappeared after the first treatment they struggled to find the thing to put the marker in.
also like you my tumor was 5mm - the interesting bit is they recommend surgery for any tumor over 4mm so the hope that i would not need a mastectomy was not a reality. but even now 4 days after the surgery (and very sore) I am glad i have done everything i can to get to where i am. also I am very glad I did not have to chose between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy.
Keep fighting the chemo is working, you will get there.
x

Flora29
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Think about those of us who have surgery before we have chemo: our cancer is gone after surgery, so why do we bother with chemo and rads at all, eh?

Because it might be lurking elsewhere and the stats show that our chances of survival are higher, chances of recurrence are lower.

I think some people do avoid surgery after chemo, or at least reduce from a mastectomy to a lumpectomy, but you should not stop the chemo part way through as it is a whole body treatment and not just targetted at your breast.

I know it probably feels like chemo is going to go on forever at the moment, but it isn't. It'll feel such a short time in your life once you are out the other side.

tors
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

ps i know you had a bad day when you typed your post, bloody hell, look at some of my posts for evidence that i do too!! I'm like a walking mood swing! You have probably already put all this in perspective and are sick of people going on at you, and if you have my job is done! If you haven't then i will continue to beat you into submission and you will have the rests of your treatment if only to stop a daily stalkerish tirade of abuse from me!

good luck with your run ( can't run to the loo even at the moment!)

tors
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Fighter, i think you need to discuss what you are feeling urgently with your team. I am going to be blunt now. YOU HAVE TO CARRY ON WITH YOUR TREATMENT.

You have two little children who need you. They can do without hands on mummy for a few months, but they need you long term.This treatment is what gives you the best chance at that. How can you turn round to your children if things don't go according to your survivial plan and face them, knowing you chose to stop your treatment against advice?

The treatment plan you have been given is not standard and one everyone gets. We all get a different plan according to our results. A team of very experienced professionals take time out to discuss you and your case. They have done this and decided on the best treatment. Their plan is working, your tumour is reducing. Why doubt what they are saying if they have already proved to you that they know what they are talking about? If they were going to change their plan, it would be because it wasn't working and they were searching for something alse to give YOU the best chance possible.

The taxotere is horrible but i would have fought tooth and nail to have it again if they said i couldn't because all the research shows me that this is the best chance i have. My reaction was a warm heavy feeling spreading through my chest up to my throat, Scary, but not as scary as typing that i have developed secondary cancer.

Cancer spreads in ways they cannot predict. There was no evidence of spread to my lymph nodes or my vascular system. If that meant it was cured, how come some people in my exact position will die from it? Because it is a little shit that can escape and hide in your body, even if it doesn't look like it has spread. You get one chance to fight it with everything they have whilst it is at its more vulnerable stage, so do that! It is too big a decision to take when you are in the middle of feeling ill from chemo, your mind will be foggy and too much in the moment. Step back and look at the bigger picture.

I really don't want to upset you as this is all so very hard to deal with, but i have a feeling you are burying your head in the sand. Please carry on, and don't forget to take the anti sickness tablets this time!!!!!!!!!

Vickie

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

I imagine in your heart, that you must surely accept that someone saying to you that, "it doesn't look like cancer", is not really good enough. You need a whole lot more evidence than this.

We lose so many people every year to this disease, that once diagnosed, you have to do everything in your power to get it under control, and hopefully stop it from recurring. If it does recurr, then there is then nothing which can be done, other that endless treatment in an attempt to keep the patient alive, with as good a qol as possible, for as long as possible. Cancer is not the type of illness that you can afford to be casual about, and simply hope that all will be well. It's a sneaky, horrendous disease, which will do all it can to outwit the medical profession-and all it takes is for one cell to escape now, for it to return one day and wreak havoc. I was twelve years between my primary diagnosis and recurrence, and I thought I was "safe". When it recurred, that one/few rogue cells had became tumours in my liver, pleura and bones. So, if you feel that your treatment at the moment is a bit OTT, keep in mind that it is far better to be over treated, than under treated.(I had mastectomy, lymph node removal, and chemo, followed several years later by a prophylactic mastectomy on my remaining breast, so I certainly wasn't "under treated", and still a few cells thrived.)

Plus-I see that you are triple negative. This makes completing the chemo all the more important for you, as triple neg tumours respond well to chemo-but not to rads.

I make no apologies for being forceful on this. This is your best chance to knock this disease on the head. Don't be swayed by thinking there may be a slightly easier route to take-stick with it, and then you will know in the future that you tried your best. Should you have a recurrence and not have completed your treatment, then you will find your earlier actions could come back to haunt you. You have chosen the interesting user name of "fighter"-live up to that name, and do everything you can to get as good a result as possible. It may be using the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut-but the alternative doesn't really bear thinking about.

fighter34
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

ElaineD, I'm sorry about your DX and for being on chemo for so long...it does make me look like a idiot moaning after 4 rounds of chemo! I wish you all the best in your treatment and lots of courage too.
The doc told me at the scan that the lump did not look cancerous anymore, that's where I reached my conclusion,which I know only suits my desire to stop the treatment....I know that chemo is meant to kill rogue cells but don't we all (even those who don't have a cancer DX) have cancerous cells in our bodies anyway and our immune system is supposed to keep them away from developing to malign tumours?...

Dawnhc, thanks for sharing your experience and no I'm not Her2+, I am triple negative.
I'm sure my surgeon said that if the tumour disappears completely, I might not need surgery and could end up having rads after....I have no idea what is better, rads or surgery?

Tors, you said you had less SE from Taxotere but I'm sure I read somewhere that you had an allergic reaction to it...what was it like?

Thanks again to everyone who responded to my thread and apology if I have offended anyone who has a much worth DX than mine (check my profile for more info).
I had one bad day when I started this thread and simply needed to shout about it...I'm better now and will certainly discuss my option with the specialists.

Love to all

dawnhc
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Hi fighter,

you say in your posts:

"I am hoping that with such good results on chemo, I may be able to avoid surgery or rads....who knows....
Has anyone escaped surgery after chemo? or rads?"

I notice no one has answered with that experience. I was first diagnosed in 1990 with a 5cm tumour like you and also had a very good response to the chemo. It wsa so good that the tumour completely shrunk with the first chemo session! By the end there was nothing to be seen. I went on to have 35 sessions of radiotherapy but no surgery to follow. Back at the beginning of the 90s I think it wasn't unusual. I don't think they went in for marking the tumour with a wire or whatever they do now. I was left with a breast that was rock hard from the rads and when I had a recurrence 5 years later I had a lot of trouble convincing my onc and others that the tumour was back and growing rapidly. In fact it was 14 weeks from when I first told them about it to them actually doing a mastectomy. Then 6mths later I had a further recurrence in the skin of the mastectomy site and needed further major surgery. If I had my time over again would I have wanted a mastectomy YOU BET I would. You don't say what your histology was - are you hormone positive or HER2 positive. Unfortunately for me her2 wasn't known about much back then but a few years later they checked my tissue and found I was her2 positive and since then I have been on herceptin as I now have secondaries.

Good luck with your Race for Life 🙂 and with decisions you need to make re finishing chemo.

Dawn
xx

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

".....but now that I now my lump is not cancerous anymore I feel frustrated that I have to continue destroying the good stuff in my body to make sure the cancer won't come back."

How do you reach that conclusion? You have a 8mm lump-how has this suddenly become non-cancerous? The tumour has shrunk, not disappeared. Nor can you tell if there are any further stray cells circulating in your body, which will take the remaining cycles of chemo to deal with, and hopefully place you in a stronger situation. I'm absolultely amazed that anyone could consider stopping treatment because they have had a good response to chemo. It's only a few months out of your life-take the medicine and you'll soon be at the end of a course of treatmnet which your onc (the expert), has tailored to your specific needs.

(And before you wonder if I know what chemo is like, I should say that I'm stage 1V and on chemo for life. So far I have had over 2 and a half years of chemo without a break.)

fighter34
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

thanks for all your messages of support, it is so helpful to read other's stories.
I have not talked to my onc nor my surgeon yet but I will chase them to see if they have decided to change anything to my treatment as the results of the scan came through.

I don't know why but I've always been up beat and very laid back about the whole thing since the treatment started. I don't mind going to have chemo as I always get a girlfriend to come with me and we have a laugh with the nurses.....but now that I now my lump is not cancerous anymore I feel frustrated that I have to continue destroying the good stuff in my body to make sure the cancer won't come back.
Having BC is such a personal experience and as individuals, we all have different type of BC and different health histories....so it drive me mad that the treatment is standard and not fully tailored to the individual.

I am hoping that with such good results on chemo, I may be able to avoid surgery or rads....who knows....
Has anyone escaped surgery after chemo? or rads?

My guts are still all over the place since my 4th FEC last week and I have been eating rice for a week now! any tips?

I'm doing the Race for life tomorrow in Hammersmith, anyone doing it?

Love to all.

tors
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Don't dare give up fighter! I know you feel like it now but just give it that extra push. Think of when you have finished your treatment and the additional peace of mind you will have having done all the treatment. From a practical point, I felt terribly terribly sick on fec but have just had my first tax and have only once felt slightly sick. There are different side effects but it feels so different from the fec to me that psychologically itc
somehow feels like a different stage of treatment and so I feel further on. I have struggled but been telling myself that there are now only two Mondays I willfeel like this or two Tuesdays etc so bycutting it into small chunks I feel it is doable. You have hit a wall like marathon runners do. Get support and work thru it. Manymany ladies struggle at the midpoint. You are far from being alone. XXXXXXXX

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Hiya,

My situation is different but I've had similar feelings. I had a WLE and SNB and had tumour removed and cancer hadn't spread to nodes. Before the op I was feeling terrible, I was very sore and extremely fatigued. I had the op and within three weeks was feeling on top of the world, better than I had for month. I felt ready to get on with living, only problem being my appt with my oncologist!! They wanted me to have chemo and rads, I spoke to the onc and was really unconvinced I couldn't square needing to have months of treatment if they got it all out. The onc I saw was completely unhelpful and really didn't understand my concerns at all. I spoke to my BCN and said "Is there a different onc".

I explained how I felt and she arranged for me to see someone else. The new Onc, said ok what's the problem and answered every question. She used the adjuvant programme to show me the numbers and percentages for survival and reoccurence, with or without all of the various treatments.

Basically by having my chemo and rads I increase my chance of surviving 10 years from 30% without chemo to 90% with chemo and rads.

She totally won me over and left me with no doubt that I wanted to go ahead. It really gave me something to fight for and a reason to do it.

I know your situation is different but your onc may be able to do the same type of thing for you.

All the best,

Joxx

elaine_r
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

dont give up yr half way there ive not had my opp yet having 2nd tax 2moz i dont no what changed me i cried everytime i went 4 chemo them when i went 4 1st tax i stopped crying i also went communial always did a room on my own y i dont no perhaps i just stopped being scared my lump was 8cm my last screening was 3.5 hav another 1 next wk there is light cuming towards the end of the tunnel keep going with yr chin up xx

elaine_r
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

dont give up yr half way there ive not had my opp yet having 2nd tax 2moz i dont no what changed me i cried everytime i went 4 chemo them when i went 4 1st tax i stopped crying i also went communial always did a room on my own y i dont no perhaps i just stopped being scared my lump was 8cm my last screening was 3.5 hav another 1 next wk there is light cuming towards the end of the tunnel keep going with yr chin up xx

marial
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Hey, you are a fighter, you can do it. Hugs Maria

Lulu34
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

fighter you could maybe ask them if you could have your surgery now that its small enough to remove and continue with the tax after you have recovered.... they often do this and it gives your immune system and your physical strength some time to build up again.

but ideally you should complete the whole treatment either as two halves or in one go....

if you are not managing with things why not speak to your oncologist about your concerns.

Lxx

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Dear fighter34,
There are lots of natural things you can do for yourself that are good for your body and to help support your treatment.
Chris woollhams book the rainbow diet is an excellent read and encourages us all to seriously look what what we can eat to build up our immune system. He also has a website canceractive that gives lots of information.
I believe that having a DX of cancer is a big wake up call to re-assess all aspects of our lives- stress, diet,lifestyle, environment, relationships etc etc etc.
One of the things about cancer treatment is the way it takes away so much of our control over life.
I needed to take back some of that control by doing all the things that I've talked about.
If you want to PM me please do
Best wishes
Leadie

fighter34
Member

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Thanks for your replies, I know you are both right but sometimes I just wish there could be a more natural treatment involving things that are good for your body and only target the nasty cancer.
With my last FEC, my guts are all over the place and I had acupuncture recently and my liver hurts so much...by the time the treatment is over, my body will be a wreck...but I guess as long as I am alive...it is such a sad illness, I hate it.

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Hi,
I was diagnosed last march with 3 x 3cms grade 3 aggressive tumours and various areas of dcis, by the time i finished chemo, (had to have it stopped) I had an ultrasound in november before my operation they told me that they chemo had done exactly what it said on the tin - if i was a new patient attending the fastrack they would have sent me away with nothing suspicious found i also found myself asking a similar question...so why was i having a mastectomy was my answer?? I went ahead with it as the medical regime we have is all strategically planned to ensure we have the best possible chances of survival - longterm its best to carry on your treatment.. taxotere 'mops up' so please dont jeopardise all the good work. keep smiling you will get there !! xx

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

Hi i was diagnosed May 2008 with IBC (inflammatory breast cancer...) and my tumour was 5.5cm at diagnosis... I had 4xac and then 4xtaxotare by the time of my mastectomy the tumour was 2.1cm x 2mm so more like a piece of cotton thread... (IBC grows as sheets of almost fibrous material rather than the "lump" with other types of bc...) please don't stop treatment... it is so good it is now 8mm - but try and look at it like this - if you have a weed in your garden it has to be totally removed or else even a small piece can grow back and be just as bad weeks later... it is the same with cancerous tissue that is why you will hear so many people talking about having to go back for clear margins - i know how awful chemo is but it really is a necessary evil in this case.

Theresa x

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

I wouldn't stop unless your doctors advise it. The treatment is to wipe out stray cancer cells that my have spread to other parts of the body, not just to reduce th size of the tumour (it seems to have been very effective in your case). They have found through trial and error that 4+4 is a very effective combination in terms of preventing recurrence of cancer. I should know as I was one of the earlier ones to get this combination and am doing fine 6 years on.
If its any comfort I found the 2nd 4 (taxol) easier in that I did not feel sick at all.
Sarah

fighter34
Member

Tempted to stop the bl****y treatment!

I have not had surgery yet and started chemo at the end of April to reduce the tumour (5cm at the time).
I've had 4xFEC so far and will have 4XTaxotere starting in 3 weeks.
I went for a scan yesterday as I have not felt my tumour for a while and the doc was unable to find the tumour...I gave her some idea as to where it was and she put a marker clip, apparently it’s 8mm now. She said that it did not look cancerous anymore; that there was no blood stream through it and it looked liked healed tissue...
so why do I still need 4xTaxo?
Forgot to take my Emend after last FEC and felt so crap, I’m sick of being sick!
Anyone in the same situation? Anyone escaped surgery at all?