Like everyone will say only you can make the decision, I am supposed to take Tamoxifen as I was er+. I tried it and it was horrendous, it made me feel worse than the chemo ever did, so I made the decision to stop it. I couldn't live with the side effects for 5 or maybe 10 years. But if I am every unlucky that it comes back I know that I won't blame not taking Tamoxifen, because it could come back anyhow, just like hopefully it won't come back.
Its all about risk and what we are prepared to accept risk wise. I felt happier giving up Tamoxifen partly because I knew I had had the chemo and Herceptin and for me that was more important.
My tumour was huge, it started at 5cm so I had chemo to try and shrink it first so I could have lumpectomy rather than mx, which I did. It was grade 3, er+ and pr+ and HER2+, so I also had a year of Herceptin and radiotherapy. It hadn't gone to my nodes and I have no idea if it was in the blood as I never asked anything like that.
I had my chemo from Nov 2010 to March 2011 - 8 sessions (1 every 2 weeks), I then had surgey and then radio and went back to work full time in August 2011 and just went for Herceptin every 3 weeks then before work.
Just thought I would jump in here - obviously no-one can make your mind up for you, only you know how you feel, but what I would say is don't refuse chemo just because you think it is going to be horrible. I had chemo 4 years ago and it is no-where near as bad as people think it is going to be or was in years gone by. Apart from hair loss and tiredness there are medications to combat every side effect. I didn't even want to try cold cap - the thought of sitting with a freezer on my head was one step too far.
I had very aggressive chemo (every 2 weeks instead of every 3), I never felt sick once because I took all my anti-sickness meds, yes I was tired but it only stopped me doing things for a few days. I even went to Paris for the week-end just before my last chemo.
Its not pleasant, granted but if it were me and it was invasive in my blood vessels I would be having the chemo - I wouldn't want the risk of it staying there and popping up somewhere else at a later date.
It really isn't anything to be frightened off these days.
Thanks for reply - glad Im not only one!! Born pessimist! Dad had skin cancer 20 years ago, watched him go through chemo, our experience was not and it did not help or benefit Dad. I knopw totally diff but still in my head, If decide not to have will still worry about the what ifs. So tired. Good luck with your chemo, its great youve made the decision and if my cancer was grade 3 I would have the chemo. Thinking of you. Alison
My decision was different. I had WLE and SNB and then a re-excision to clear the margins. Up until I saw the Registrar after the second surgery chemo had not been mentioned. Indeed at the follow up to decide on the second surgery which involved another MRI scan the consultant said 'No Chemotherapy'. When the registrar mentioned it I asked why and all she could do was to show me that the consultant had written on the papers 'Chemotherapy - discuss'.
So I saw the oncologist who said that I was HER2 and with chemo they could giver herceptin. It's difficult when the experts talk about % increased chances because its not about you as such but about the population of women in the same situation. Having chemo would increase the population of women by 3% and thus probably me.
I chose not to go ahead. I am 64. The prognosis was reasonable anyway and in my view the possible inconvenience for a year or so was not worth it. But everyone is different and if I had been younger my decision would have been different possibly.
I would think that where chemo is considered to make a real difference the oncologist will steer you towards that decision. But when I declined that was accepted.
I dont think any of us can help you make a decision but our experiences might be useful to hear.
Hi, recently diagnosed breast cancer, 2 ops, grade 2, not in nodes but in blood and lymph vessels so invasive, oestrogen receptor positive but not HER2. saw oncologist yesterday, definitely advised radiotherapy and tamoxifen, suggested chemo to start in 2 weeks. If said def needed or would greatly reduce odds of recurrence then a no brainer, but no guarntees as there aren't in life. How did some of you make that decision one way or the other? frightened of making wrong decision. frightened of losing hair, making self ill for long period time, side effects etc etc. Have two small grandchildren who I help a lot with and making self ill for 6-12 months when they are so young seems wrong - do I have good quality of life with them when young and not have treatment and hope, or similarly go thro treatment to have better quality of life later on? Trouble is no definite answer or outcome - just going round in circles and tears. one minute - go ahead, another dont have it. Will I regret not having it in future years who knows, if have it and cancer still returns put myself thro unnecessary illness. Help!!