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Old 12-23-2017, 11:42 AM   #1
Easttxhunterr
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Default Chemo is it worth it?

Folks I need some help. My wife recently had a double mastectomy. They were able to remove all of the cancer in her left breast and the right breast was removed as a preventive plus cosmetic. The lymph nods they removed , one on the left and three on the right, were all negative. The her test was negative. Her oncologist wants her to do 15rnds of chemo as a preventive and also take a pill that slows her hormones and eventually puts her into menopause. She is only 39. I cant wrap my head around putting her body through that nightmare as a preventive. Whats worse is she could go through it all and the cancer could still come back. My thought process is take the pill and be proactive about monitoring her situation and skip the chemo. Am I wrong? I am really worried she will never be the same after the chemo. I would feel different if there was something there that they could not remove but thats not the case


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Old 12-23-2017, 11:47 AM   #2
JimGates
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I'm no help but prayers for your wife and family
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:49 AM   #3
ttaxidermy
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My wife and I have agreed that neither of us will ever take Chemo.. To many family members and friends have suffered while taking that expensive junk only to die.. IMO, from what Ive witnessed, it does not work.

Prayers for you and you wife.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:02 PM   #4
DaveC
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Dang tough question, but with the circumstances you listed Iíd be be seeking a professional second opinion.
And general advice such as you are asking for here.


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Old 12-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #5
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Prayers
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ttaxidermy View Post
My wife and I have agreed that neither of us will ever take Chemo.. To many family members and friends have suffered while taking that expensive junk only to die.. IMO, from what Ive witnessed, it does not work.

Prayers for you and you wife.
Worked for 2 people I know and 1 who it didn't work for but I don't think he really did treatment. Get a second or third opinion.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:09 PM   #7
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My neighbor got cancer and had to live in a hospital in San Antonio for months while getting chemo treatments, he moved back home after it was done and he passed away within two months I believe it was. Iíd say itís not worth it but thatís just my opinion.


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Old 12-23-2017, 12:13 PM   #8
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I know 3 lady’s that had breast cancer went through chemo was on the the 5 yr pill and cancer showed back up somewhere else in their body.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:14 PM   #9
tex4k
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I refuse to directly say what I would do or for sure what you and your wife should do, that is a very personal decision. I will say there are alternatives and you and the wife need to take the time to research the alternatives so that you can make an educated decision that you both will feel good about. Integrated medicine, alternative medicines, or homeopathic the wormhole goes deep with good and bad information everywhere, but not any worse than conventional medicine. I will suggest that you look into a treatment plan that uses the food you eat as the primary treatment. Prayers for you both and hoping you find the treatment that works for you.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:18 PM   #10
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I've taken care of patients for a few years now. IV chemo is tough on everyone. The advantage that she has is that she is very young. It does take their energy. She may have some side effects and even need to take blood. It's a tough road to travel.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Praying for you. My grandma did chemo and it is some bad bad stuff.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:21 PM   #12
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I can tell you this.

My sister got cervical cancer and they did surgery to remove what they could; basically removed all of her reproductive organs and a lot of cancer.

She didn't want to do chemo and radiation but I sort of shamed her into doing it so she did.

During that the cancer spread to her liver, kidneys and lungs and she died a short time later.

I've always felt guilty that I caused her to be in misery the last days of her life.

One of my friend's dad got pancreatic cancer. The doctors wanted him to do chemo and radiation and my buddy remembered what I had told him about my sister.

His dad asked the doctor if the chemo and radiation was going to save him and he was told no, that it would not. He asked the doctor if the final days of his life would be easier if he didn't do chemo and radiation and he was told that yes it would so he chose not to do it.

Different scenarios for you since they want your wife to do this to prevent cancer from returning but chemo and radiation is to get rid of cancer. So do they not think it's gone?

It's a personal choice and I think it's up to her and no one else really.

But after what I watched my sister go through I wouldn't do it.

Prayers for your wife and you.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:23 PM   #13
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pm sent
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:25 PM   #14
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I think it's like any medication, some people will have great results and some will just have terrible side effects. My father-in-law got cancer in 2009, and we thought he only had a few months left. He started treatment and lived another 3 years. He didn't have any problems with the chemo. He actually would drive himself just over an hour to Amarillo, have the treatment, then drive himself back home.

Like has been said, it is very much a personal decision. Prayers for you and your wife.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:27 PM   #15
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Man I don’t know the answer. It’s a tough call but we will keep your family in our prayers.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:32 PM   #16
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My wife has been fighting thyroid cancer for the last 7 years. I have learned to ask doctors 2 questions that really help me every step of the way.

1 - What is the prognosis is if you DON'T follow their suggested treatment plan.

2 - How does their suggested treatment plan impact the patients life once the treatment is over (aka, what new struggles typically get added by the treatment).

Keep asking until they give you an answer that feels complete. Then get a second opinion and ask the same questions. Get a 3rd opinion if the 1st and 2nd feel really different and specifically ask the 3rd opinions thoughts on the first 2 plans. This has really helped me, and I wish it didn't take 3 rounds of treatment for me to learn it.

Cancer is terrible. Surgery, Radiation, Chemo and hormone therapy are also extremely difficult and the odds are they will change her in some way. They all carry significant side effects. Ultimately it's a very personal decision between you and her on how you want to face the future.

I'm sorry you (and anyone really) have to deal with this. Praying that some guidance comes your way.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:33 PM   #17
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M D Anderson . . They'll know . .
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:33 PM   #18
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Sister did chemotherapy and it almost killed her.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tex4k View Post
I refuse to directly say what I would do or for sure what you and your wife should do, that is a very personal decision. I will say there are alternatives and you and the wife need to take the time to research the alternatives so that you can make an educated decision that you both will feel good about. Integrated medicine, alternative medicines, or homeopathic the wormhole goes deep with good and bad information everywhere, but not any worse than conventional medicine. I will suggest that you look into a treatment plan that uses the food you eat as the primary treatment. Prayers for you both and hoping you find the treatment that works for you.
Look into Kenesiologist, they have very high success rates using foid we eat! Whole, raw foods in pill form.
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:20 PM   #20
Mike
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All I can offer is our personal experience at MD Anderson. If the oncologist is recommending Chemo, then do it.

Can you provide more details here, PM or via email? What type of tumor did she have ER+/-, PR+/-, Triple Negative? Did she have the BRCA testing done? Was that negative?

My wife's tumor was only slightly positive, like not even barely a stain but they treated it as ER equivocal and she did 16 sessions of chemo, surgery and then 35 radiation treatments. To say it didn't change her would be wrong, but to us, it was only a speedbump in life. Positive attitude is key. We agreed that whatever the team's plan was, that is what we were doing and she is better than before. She was 42 in 2010 when diagnosed. She has been taking Tamoxifen since September 2011. The Tamoxifen has not caused any really negative side effects other than hot flashes at night and she did have some leg cramps but drinking more water eliminated that problem. Her libido is the same, no female issues at all. Since the cancer, she has lost a little over 100# and doing great.

She has helped a few ladies in their breast cancer journey and she is an open book, we both are. Oncologists that are treating breast cancer are pretty good at setting up a plan as there is a lot of history on the methods and plans. You need to find out the probabilities on the treatment and make a decision. As mentioned, Chemo is different for everyone. My wife handled it great, she took it every Friday in Houston after school. She was a teacher in Bridge City, left every Friday at 12:30, did labs, saw the Dr and then took chemo from 5-8ish and came home. She never missed a day of work until they used the FAC and she came home early on the following Monday after the first treatment as she was tired. She never missed a baseball game for our 2 boys (ages 8 & 10 that year) and they played 108 between the two of them. She took 96 choir students to Disney for Christmas for a week for a performance during her chemo as well. She missed a 2 weeks for her surgery and that was it. She is a fighter and wants to see her boys grow up and start a family.

Feel free to PM or email for more info, mjbernard@totalsafety.com
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:24 PM   #21
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My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34. Double mastectomy and removed several lymph nodes. Her cancer was stage 3B. We had to make a decision quickly. Did chemo and radiation. Also on meds for the next 9 years. I can tell you that chemo and medicine has changed her. But she is still here with me and that’s what matters. I’m in no way endorsing chemo but encourage you to do your research before making a decision
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:28 PM   #22
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Prayers for her and all involved. I appreciate the challenges you are dealing with having lived with it thru my sister.

Research information collated by Ty Bollinger in a series called " The truth About Cancer" . It will provide much information that may be helpful as you decide how to move forward.
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:31 PM   #23
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Best advice I can give you is goto MD Anderson and follow the direction of the team. I would also say start eating healthy if not already and stat walking and being active and have strong faith.
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tex4k View Post
I refuse to directly say what I would do or for sure what you and your wife should do, that is a very personal decision. I will say there are alternatives and you and the wife need to take the time to research the alternatives so that you can make an educated decision that you both will feel good about. Integrated medicine, alternative medicines, or homeopathic the wormhole goes deep with good and bad information everywhere, but not any worse than conventional medicine. I will suggest that you look into a

treatment plan that uses the food you eat as the primary treatment. Prayers for you both and hoping you find the treatment that works for you.
I agree with this. Prayers up for your wife and family.
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:47 PM   #25
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Praying for strength, comfort, peace, and God supernatural guidance and
Healing through this process for your wife and for you. Praying all this through our mighty Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
All I can offer is our personal experience at MD Anderson. If the oncologist is recommending Chemo, then do it.

Can you provide more details here, PM or via email? What type of tumor did she have ER+/-, PR+/-, Triple Negative? Did she have the BRCA testing done? Was that negative?

My wife's tumor was only slightly positive, like not even barely a stain but they treated it as ER equivocal and she did 16 sessions of chemo, surgery and then 35 radiation treatments. To say it didn't change her would be wrong, but to us, it was only a speedbump in life. Positive attitude is key. We agreed that whatever the team's plan was, that is what we were doing and she is better than before. She was 42 in 2010 when diagnosed. She has been taking Tamoxifen since September 2011. The Tamoxifen has not caused any really negative side effects other than hot flashes at night and she did have some leg cramps but drinking more water eliminated that problem. Her libido is the same, no female issues at all. Since the cancer, she has lost a little over 100# and doing great.

She has helped a few ladies in their breast cancer journey and she is an open book, we both are. Oncologists that are treating breast cancer are pretty good at setting up a plan as there is a lot of history on the methods and plans. You need to find out the probabilities on the treatment and make a decision. As mentioned, Chemo is different for everyone. My wife handled it great, she took it every Friday in Houston after school. She was a teacher in Bridge City, left every Friday at 12:30, did labs, saw the Dr and then took chemo from 5-8ish and came home. She never missed a day of work until they used the FAC and she came home early on the following Monday after the first treatment as she was tired. She never missed a baseball game for our 2 boys (ages 8 & 10 that year) and they played 108 between the two of them. She took 96 choir students to Disney for Christmas for a week for a performance during her chemo as well. She missed a 2 weeks for her surgery and that was it. She is a fighter and wants to see her boys grow up and start a family.

Feel free to PM or email for more info, mjbernard@totalsafety.com
See this^^^!

First off, prayers for you all! There are very difficult decisions to be made in your future. Yes, have a second and even third opinion. Cancer cells can travel through the lymph node system and be anywhere in the body. It's great news that all nodes tested were negative! Whatever path you two choose, fight like hell! Some of the treatments I have been through (though not breast cancer) have tested my endurance, but has not, and will not beat me. Y'all can do this!

Todd

Last edited by rtarcher; 12-23-2017 at 05:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:38 PM   #27
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My wife quit the tamoxefin after 9 months. She could not handle what it was doing to her. After discussing it with her doctor, she decided to stop taking it. I was against here stopping, but in the end it's her body, her decision.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:47 PM   #28
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14 year survivor here. Did chemo then radiation.......Was it horrible? YES, worse than I could describe but it was over in 6 months. I had a lot of living left in me and it sounds like your bride does too. I can't tell you what is right for you, but glad I did it. Feel free to PM with anything you need, questions or otherwise.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:00 PM   #29
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My dad did chemo in 88. He is still here hunting with me today.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:02 PM   #30
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Mom had double mastectomy 5 yrs ago and didn’t do chemo. She was given the all clear. She was just recently diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. I would follow doctors advice. The chemo treatments are not the nightmare people perceive. Lots of YouTube videos on cancer survivors who went through chemo.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:22 PM   #31
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It’s definitely case by case and results vary and it will be difficult, but it’s worth a try.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:56 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glen View Post
Best advice I can give you is goto MD Anderson and follow the direction of the team. I would also say start eating healthy if not already and stat walking and being active and have strong faith.
X 1000
I canít add any additional advice better than this.

God Bless you OP and all of you dealing with this stuff. Prayers for healing.
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:26 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Easttxhunterr View Post
Folks I need some help. My wife recently had a double mastectomy. They were able to remove all of the cancer in her left breast and the right breast was removed as a preventive plus cosmetic. The lymph nods they removed , one on the left and three on the right, were all negative. The her test was negative. Her oncologist wants her to do 15rnds of chemo as a preventive and also take a pill that slows her hormones and eventually puts her into menopause. She is only 39. I cant wrap my head around putting her body through that nightmare as a preventive. Whats worse is she could go through it all and the cancer could still come back. My thought process is take the pill and be proactive about monitoring her situation and skip the chemo. Am I wrong? I am really worried she will never be the same after the chemo. I would feel different if there was something there that they could not remove but thats not the case


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First of all, good luck to both of you. Sounds like your wife is definitely on the road to recovery and a long full life.

My personal advice is that I would be VERY hesitant to take advice from uninformed people like myself and 99.9% of the people on this site. Some of the examples used by people suggesting or advising against treatment are extremely flawed examples of why or why not to do something. You need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges when you read many of these replies. There is a huge difference in your wife's situation and a 70yo with terminal cancer who choses to do chemo to extend their lives by months or maybe a couple of years.

If it were me, I would seek out a second or third opinion if I questioned the advice I was being given. As others have suggested, seek out the best, most qualified doctors and treatment centers available. Many have suggested MD Anderson and I would agree if that is an option for you.

I would certainly want to give myself the best fighting chance at staying cancer free for the rest of my life. If a team of doctors that I trusted and respected suggested I follow a specific course of treatment in order to give me the best possible chance at a successful outcome, I'd do it, period.
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:29 PM   #34
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I chose to do chemo. If it wasnít for that I wouldnít be alive today. Itís harsh but it varies on how aggressive the chemo is. Thereís some that are pretty standardized and in low doses and others that require you to be in the hospital for the duration. Iíd get atleast two opinions. Personally Iíd opt to get the chemo if they say itíll help prevent it from reoccurring.


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Old 12-23-2017, 07:45 PM   #35
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I credit chemo, and radiation with my being here today I had surgery and have been in remission for 1& years. Thank You God for the second chance.
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:50 PM   #36
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My wife and I went through the "gauntlet" 10 years ago. She was treated here at Scott & White, Temple. She was diagnosed stage 3 breast, invasive (in lymph nodes), and aggressive. We did exactly as the Oncologist and Surgeon said and recommended. Included lots of adjuvant treatment, chemo prior to surgery. The way I viewed the chemo and adjuvant treatment was that the tumor was still in breast and they knew for sure the type chemo was killing it. Also the chemo went everywhere else in the body that her blood went except the brain therefore killing any other cells that may have already spread but were non-detectable. She was 42, in excellent health and physical condition, and is still with us today, healthy.
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:53 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharecropper View Post
M D Anderson . . They'll know . .
X2 prayers for your wife and family. I personally would not be seeking medical advice on TBH. If you don't like what the doctor said why don't you get a second opinion from another doctor?
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:54 PM   #38
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Prayers sent to all dealing with this nasty stuff!
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Old 12-23-2017, 08:14 PM   #39
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Prayers up for your wife and your family. It is a hard road for all, and yes she likely won't be the same. However it is possibly the only thing that will keep her with you. We consulted with two top oncologist, one Baylor and one with Southwestern and they both recommended the same regimen you guys are looking at. Five years later - cancer free. Pray every day it stays that way.


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Old 12-23-2017, 08:22 PM   #40
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Prayers sent. I can't answer your question because I haven't been diagnosed with cancer. I'm thinking I'd try a few doses of chemo and then decide.
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Old 12-23-2017, 08:25 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-town View Post
Prayers
This - look that doctor in the eye and ask him if this would be the same treatment plan for his wife under the same circumstances.

Tell him you respect his diagnosis but want a second opinion - because your wife is that important.

Based on his answers your gut will lead you the right way.
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Old 12-23-2017, 08:39 PM   #42
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Prayers for your wife and your family. My wife and I agreed to not undergo chemo if we are ever diagnosed. We will seek alternative methods.
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:05 PM   #43
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Please don't compare treatment of one type of cancer with another and from various stages. You are talking about so many different treatments that it's not even worth the comparison. Treatments of some cancers are changing on an rapid basis as well. It would be like comparing a 1998 Chevy impala with a 2017 Chevy duramax diesel. Yes they are both Chevy's but that's the end of the comparison.

If you aren't comfortable with the treatment recommendation get a second or third opinion.

Last edited by Dave; 12-24-2017 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:46 PM   #44
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My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 65. They did a double mastectomy but she refused chemo. The doctor gave her 6 months tops. She lived a
Very productive life until she passed away from Alzheimer’s at 98 years old. ��*♂️
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:53 PM   #45
SneakyPhil
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I will echo what others on here have said and go to MD Anderson if you can. My mother went through chemo there. Initially she was afraid to because being nurse involved in chemo treatment during the 70s and 80s and seeing what it did to people. Her doctors explained how the drugs had changed and she went ahead with it. She lost her hair and had some fatigue but that is about it. Did it prolong her life? We like to think that it did. I will tell you that the doctors at Anderson were very honest and when it was time to stop they said so. Every case is different and Anderson tailors each treatment accordingly.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:14 PM   #46
cmanning
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I do not have any expertise in this field, but I will certainly be praying for guidance from the Good Lord above my friend.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:25 PM   #47
tigerscowboy
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Each individual situation guides the patient in the decision.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:42 PM   #48
W-O
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My wife has been in remission from lymphoma for 2 1/2 years now. She was stage 4 but the doctors at MD Anderson were able to find a chemo treatment that has removed the cancer. As stated before, every cancer is different and every patient reacts differently to the chemo. My wife had trial chemo that usually has good results and little side effects, but these did not work for my wife and she had numerous side effects. They ended up using the old standby chemo, RChop, that they had been holding off on because of side effects. On the RChop she lost her hair and was tired but did not have the same side effects as with the other treatments. Every person is different. After she went into remission they wanted her to have a stem cell transplant to replace her immune system. She asked a lot of questions and decided against it. It would have required her to spend a month in the hospital, followed by 60 days within 20 minutes of MD Anderson and then she wouldn't be able to teach for a year. She decided that was too much.

I agree with others that MD Anderson is the place to go. Ask questions and get as much information as you can so that you can make an educated decision. Prayers for your wife and your family. KCA
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:55 PM   #49
Cultured Hick
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All I can offer is my prayers.
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:22 AM   #50
Mike
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I wanted to add a couple of notes that others have posted and I think those details are important as well. One cancer is not the same as another. There are a lot of what I would call flow charts for breast cancer treatment that categorize treatment protocol by stage, receptors, patient age, etc.

As someone mentioned, a plan for a 39 year old is to prolong life expectancy, a 70 year old is tailored for quality of life. I will say this, the wife and I think it's better to be fighting this at 39 than 59 and Drs feel the same way. Six months of treatment is a small price to pay for 20-30-40 years of life with your family.

You need to get some exact details on her specific cancer and do research. However, make sure you are comparing apples to apples and looking at US data as there is a lot of Euro and Canadian data out there and they do things a bit different. Conversely, paralysis by analysis is an issue too, look at the info and make an informed decision in a timely manner.

My wife and I have been discussing your situation today and she would do chemo again without hesitation if that is what the Drs advise. She had two other teachers that dealt with cancer and both finally confided that they were a bit vain and did not want to proceed due to the thought of losing their hair. They spoke with more survivors and overcame their anxiety and proceeded with chemo.
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