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-   -   Chemo - I need to make a decision (https://her2support.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=69311)

Jeet 05-06-2021 05:13 PM

Chemo - I need to make a decision
I really am struggling. Has anyone here ever been 'cured' of HER2+ cancer? Has anyone ever had chemo and felt like themselves after it was over? I'm just not sure I can do it. I've never known anyone who didn't die of the cancer they were diagnosed with and I'm struggling to figure out if any of the treatment is worth it.

imani 05-07-2021 01:58 PM

Re: Chemo - I need to make a decision
I had chemo and other than my hair falling off I would say I felt like myself . I worked throughout and was able to take care of my babies .
If you look through old posts you will find people who are 20 years past diagnosis and doing great

donocco 05-07-2021 04:42 PM

Re: Chemo - I need to make a decision

With some cancers it isnt worth it. I think it is very much so with breast cancer. I dont post this lightly. Age is a factor too. If yoiu are in your 70s or late 60s to me the positives are iffy. Also the type of cancer. The decrease in the breast cancer deaths is far more due to better treatment than the mammograms. Long term studies have shown that overall they have not accomplished all that much.


jaykay 05-14-2021 04:14 AM

Re: Chemo - I need to make a decision
Hi, sorry you have this decision to make but as Imani says, there are many women on this board who are still alive and living their lives with no restrictions after many years. As far as Her2+ bc, you’re better off with that then triple negative bc where there are no post chemo effective meds.

Of course, it depends on staging of the cancer. I did chemo, worked all through it but admittedly did not travel for work until chemo was finished. And yes, I absolutely felt like myself during and after.

Chemo is no walk in the park but you can handle it. Many drugs are available to deal with side effects.

And Paul - with much respect as to your knowledge, late 60’s and 70’s?? Sorry, I disagree big time, speaking as a 70 year old woman.

Jeet, please private message me if you want. I have a dear friend who just finished chemo for triple negative who is 73 and has other health issues. She is just fine

JessicaV 05-18-2021 06:10 AM

Re: Chemo - I need to make a decision
Jeet, in 2014, when I was diagnosed at 62 with a 2.2cm HER2+ invasive carcinoma Grade 3 Stage 2, very aggressive and invasive in a 6cm field of DCIS, my oncologist told me that that 10 years earlier she would have told me this was a bad diagnosis and even with surgery and chemo, I would only have a 50% chance of surviving another 5 years.
Then Herceptin and other targetted treatments specially for HER2+ cancers were developed.
"Now," she told me, "It is a pretty good diagnosis if you have to have breast cancer at all."
She said that with Herceptin and chemo combined, I had over a 99% chance of surviving 5years and if I survived 5 years, I had a chance in the high nineties of a decade or more. She said they were for the first time even starting to think of it as a curable disease.
I did find chemo a sore trial, and it made me very fatigued, so fatigued I could not think in the reflective poetic way I like my mind to function. But I got that back within a couple of years, and for me that was the biggest part of feeling like myself again. Walking daily helps. And knowing it is only for a few months and then your treatment is over and recovery is the name of the game.
I have a friend who first got HER2+ cancer about 27years ago. She had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy. Then about 12 years ago, she found a regrowth down the side of the same breast, so they removed the regrowth and possibly the whole breast, and gave her chemo and radiotherapy and tamoxifen. Five years after that, she was told she could go off her tamoxifen and within a few months she had big tumors in her liver and lungs.
The thing is that she had never until then had herceptin or related treatments. I met her in the chemo lounge when we both had our chemo and herceptin. The big tumors completely vanished. Because she is stage 4 her oncologist has had her on monthly treatments of herceptin-related drugs, but she is doing really well, creating lovely works of art and spending good time with friends and family.
It is a very hard road to walk, but for me it has been worth it, and I believe I am now cured, which is amazing and I have much of my life back, and all of me back. I have two granddaughters aged 2 and 5 I love dearly and would never have known if I had not had this treatment. I wish you all the best in making a difficult choice.

donocco 05-21-2021 11:37 PM

Re: Chemo - I need to make a decision

I didnt get a chance to answer you.
You are correct about my age as Im 72. In fact in Octomber of this year Ill be 73. With breast cancer Im not negative about chemo treatment as it can be effective in many cases. I worked as a pharmacist at Sloan Kettering Memorial in 1978 when I was only 30. It was an experience. I figured at that time the horrors of cancer would be in the past more or less in 10 or 12 years. It has been 43 years and the prognosis for some of the cancers has improved with treatment but others Ex pancreatic cancer have not changed a bit really since the 1950s. Seeing what a business cancer has become has probably made me too cynical. Now that Im retired sometimes I watch TV with my wife. The cancer advertisements do not stop. Verzenio (Breast cancer is relentless etc)
Kiskali (Its our time for more time ) the Cologard box ( Im here for a very important reason-colon cancer I test the DNA in your stool etc etc


jaykay 05-27-2021 03:04 PM

Re: Chemo - I need to make a decision
Paul - The "70" I was referring to is my age. And I definitely get what you are saying. Like most people our age (and unfortunately younger), I've seen more than a few people I consider close friends pass away from all different types of cancer (like pancreatic, multiple myeloma and yes, breast as well) and who fought like hell to survive.

I feel fortunate that my breast cancer pathology has multiple weapons for me to use. Others are not so lucky.

Yes, cancer is big business.

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