• I had a lumpectomy oct 18 w/ removal of 2 sentinel nodes. dr wants me to do 14 weeks chemo and 6 weeks radiation. dr will use adriamycin &

    Asked by jojosmom on Saturday, November 3, 2012

    I had a lumpectomy oct 18 w/ removal of 2 sentinel nodes. dr wants me to do 14 weeks chemo and 6 weeks radiation. dr will use adriamycin &

    cytoxan and then paclitaxel. the heart side effects, vomitting & leg swelling concern me since i have leg neuropathy now and have had gastric bypass 10 yrs ago and vomitting is not a good thing w/that. If they removed the 1 node that had cancer, cant they tell if its spread so i could do radiation only? I dont want to end up worse, i have always been healthy, dont know if i should do chemo or not.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • Harry's Avatar

      Well, the reason for chemo is because there may be individual cancer cells in your body that they didn't catch. It provides an added level of prevention of a recurrence.

      Probably you should discuss your concerns with your doctor. Ask how he intends to control the side effects. Also, don't be shy about getting a second, or third, opinion.

      almost 6 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The problem is that all of the diagnostic tools for cancer have a limited sensitivity range. None of them can identify a few scattered cells outside of a discrete tumor elsewhere in your body. That they were able to identify it in one of the lymph nodes removed causes some concern that there may be scattered cells elsewhere. It only takes one cell left to cause a recurrence Radiation is a targeted treatment while chemo is systemic, so no amount of radiation is going to kill cancer cells that are not in the pinpoint target area of the radiation. As for the side effects, there are lots of meds that can prevent nausea and vomiting. I was in chemo for 4 months and never vomited.

      almost 6 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      These are excellent questions for your oncologist. Based on your profile, you had hormone positive cancer? So, the question is, what is the risk of recurrence with and without chemotherapy? Are hormone therapies an option?

      I always write down (actually - type up) my questions. Then, at my appointment, I open up my computer (or use my better half's ipad) and go through each question... And my docs have always - ALWAYS - been patient and very willing to answer every question I have. I also had the very good luck of an incredibly attentive better half who went to appointments with me. We ended up with quite a complete set of notes, between the two of us.

      You are asking such important questions - you definitely DON'T want overtreatment... And with your other health issues, you clearly do need to take extra care in making these decisions.

      By the way, vomiting is just not that common with this chemo regimen any more. They give quite a cocktail of anti nausea drugs... I had a total of 16 treatments - 12 taxol with carboplatin every third week and a daily oral drug followed by 4 cycles of AC. I only had one cycle that was like something out of the movies. One. It was rough - no doubt. but I feel like one of sixteen? That's really not so bad. Otherwise, it was manageable.

      In terms of neuropathy - if you do the chemo - consider using glutamine as a supplement. YOu can buy this as a powder. Put about 10 g (tablespoon) into a cup of water - swirl and drink up! Do this three times per day for the first 3-4 days after each paciltaxol. Check with your gastro folks first, of course... and your oncs. But, this supplement has actually been tested in clinical trial and shown to reduce side effects like neuropathy.... I used this through the entire chemo (except for one cycle - I slacked off - paid the price), and I had nearly no neuropathy.

      I'm so sorry for your diagnosis... I hope you are able to get good and clear information so that you can come to a decision... and feel peace around it.

      almost 6 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      if you are unsure, consult an other onc and get a second opinion.....I had bilat mastectomy and did chemo x 6 (TAC), then rads....I was stage 3 with at least 8 positive nodes.....I didn't have heart side effects, but had horrid nausea....I took all the pre-meds that were Rx and several anti-nausea meds....and went for IV hydration for 2 or 3 days after each chemo which helped....I too was healthy before Dx....wishing you an easy time as you go through this journey...

      almost 6 years ago
    • jolobeme's Avatar

      I also had a lumpectomy with the removal of 2 sentinel nodes and the chemo and radiation. NOT EVERYONE gets that sick from the chemo. I never threw up or had any of the side effects except for loss of hair and fatigue. They have medications that they will give you to stop nausea and they really worked for me and I vomit pretty easily. The doctors wanted me to exercise during the chemo and which may seem a contradiction, but it helps relieve fatigue and kept things circulating well.
      I think the fear of chemo is much worse than the reality so don't worry.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Please discuss these concerns with your oncologist. I'm sure they can customize your treatment to give you the best chance of living a long and healthy life. They know your history and what was found... if you need a second opinion ask your doctor how to go about that. Chemo scares so many people.. It shouldn't... I had two years of the 'hard stuff'... Yes two full years...I never threw up... my taste buds took a nap for about 3 months, but then woke up and I could taste my food again. My hair fell out, but I bought lovely Wigs from PaulaYoung.com on line and on sale... and even full price they're not expensive. My fingernails got weak and I had to keep them very short... Big deal, right? My feet and hands went numb. Haven't got all the feeling back, but I danced at my grandson's wedding and I've held his son in my arms... he looks just like his daddy. Have a long talk with your oncologist, share your concerns and please fight cancer with all your being. I know I asked and God took my hand, and has led me to 7 years later... I'm still cancer free... You can do this.l

      almost 6 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      I found the doctors and chemo nurses knew a lot about side effects and pretty much had a remedy for me as soon as I needed it. If you don't feel your questions about your treatment are being fully answered, though, you shouldn't be shy about getting a second opinion. Chemo...yuck...I don't think it can ever be a pleasant experience but remember, it is doing something positive in there, eradicating those stray cancer cells that could take root and start growing someplace else. I certainly don't want you to "end up worse," so you need to follow the directions of a doctor you trust. Hoping and praying you get this plan together and move forward toward completion of your treatment and being well again!

      almost 6 years ago
    • Gena's Avatar

      I agree with 2nd or 3rd opinion. You say you don't want to end up worse, but sometimes skipping part of your treatment, you could end up worse. I had no sentinel node involvement, Stage I breast cancer 7 1/2 years ago. Did chemo, radiation, tamoxifen. Cancer came back after 3 years, Stage IV. I would have hate to thought what if, if I hadn't done all the treatment recommended to me by my oncologist. Too many breast cancers do come back.

      almost 6 years ago
    • Danuta's Avatar

      I visited my cancer surgeon yesterday with regard to the review of my recent MRI. I have lobular cancer in both breasts and am on hormone therapy to shrink them, for they were both quite large. The left breast was 7.0 and right was6.5. The left breast the tumor is gone and the right is 2.3. I have been on this therapy for six months. The surgeon agreed, lumpectomy, and he informed me I can wait until after the holidays. They still have to go in and probe and I asked about the ONCO Type X test to see what type of cancer cells are there, as there is a possibility with the results of this that I may not need chemo or radiation. So I am praying for that. Also, he informed me, the oncologist, the chemo would be mnimal, four infusions in 12 weeks, and radiation therapy. I was a caregiver to my father who had hodgkins lumphoma and he went through three years of chemo on and off and I saw what it did to his body not to mention his spirit and it eventually took his life. So I know how you feel about all the side effects. I think we hold our destiny in our hands. When I was first diagnosed, the doctors stated double mastectomy and I stated, absolutely not, what are my options, and I chose and it worked and I a here to talk about it. I hope this info truly helps. If you wish, email me. Take care.

      almost 6 years ago

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