It's not you.
I am having great difficulty talking about what is happening to me in any other emotion than anger. But here is where I've got some great support already and I really do want to share. A sampling of one conversation:
Posted on: Sep 7, 2014 09:08PMLoriGirlTexas wrote:
I have Stage 2 Triple Negative Grade 3 Tumor. Docs say chemo before surgery is a must. I was trying to refuse chemo because I have had health battles for two decades in a horrible marriage that I had finally decided to get out of. So, in the last two years, so much has turned around for me and my health. My Fibromyalgia (and all the fun that goes with THAT) has been in remission for almost a year. I'm on a great eating program that has addressed and helped inflammation and arthritis issues (dropped 20 lbs!) I've got a good regimen going for my anxiety and depression, and I started my own business, having some success with it just out of the gate.
Now I am supposed to put massive amounts of poison in my body and feel like crap for the next 6 months before I can even have this stupid tumor removed.
I am TERRIFIED of chemotherapy. I have felt so good for such a short time. I can't see myself willing to do it. All my family, even my sons, who are 18 and 21, want me to follow this "recovery" protocol. I just can't.
Sep 7, 2014 09:15PM alexgram wrote:I'm so sorry Lori that you're a member of this group that no one wants to be part of. As you can see from my bio, I also have triple neg breast cancer. I hate to say 'don't be afraid of chemo'. Can you tell us what specifically terrifies you about doing chemo. That might help.
[Dx 7/1999, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 10/2011, IBC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 07/01/1999 Lumpectomy (Right)Radiation Therapy 07/31/1999 ExternalSurgery 07/01/2000 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both)Targeted Therapy 11/01/2011 AvastinChemotherapy 11/05/2011 AbraxaneSurgery 05/05/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection, Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Radiation Therapy 04/15/2013 ExternalChemotherapy 03/01/2014 Abraxane]
Sep 7, 2014 10:03PM LoriGirlTexas wrote:Here is a pretty accurate list of what runs through my head:
- The quality of my life will become horrible, again
- I think my depression will get worse (it already has)
- I think chemo won't really work
- I think the cancer will come back
- I have no confidence that the doctors see me as an individual
- I think ultimately with my weakened immune system that the chemo will kill me.
And everyone tells me "Oh, MD Anderson is the best!" which is where I am to be treated. The oncologist I saw coerced me into saying yes but I didn't meant it.
Thank you for being there to read this.
Sep 7, 2014 11:09PM alexgram wrote:One fear that I can speak to personally is the fear that chemo won't work. In my case, I had chemo before surgery. I knew within two infusions that my cancer was diminishing because I could see it leaving my skin. After 3 rounds it was nearly all gone per the ultrasounds the surgeon was doing. I hope you have the same experience as I did (assuming you do chemo) because it definitely worked for me.
I did start antidepressants after being diagnosed and I have not been depressed once it reached full effectiveness.
As far as dying from the effects of chemo, from my experience, we triple negatives should be afraid of dying from the cancer. My surgeon told me that if I did not treat my triple negative cancer, he thought I'd last about a year. Right now, it's been 2 years and 11 months and I'm NED (no evidence of disease).
My advice: talk to your cancer team about your fears. You might be surprised at what they'll tell you. And post here, by all means.