Chemo alternatives

Chemo alternatives

Hi, I just got a call from my surgeon with oncotype score of 28. My oncologist had told me if it came back 25 or higher she would recommend chemotherapy. I know chemo saves lives, but I am terrified of it because I know it does a lot of damage in the meantime. I'm not saying I will refuse chemo, but just wondering if there is anyone out there who has heard of or used an alternative method to chemo. I have a double mastectomy coming up as well, another challenge that I am not looking forward… read more

A MyBCTeam Member said:

I had a moderately high score , was at stage 1, now lymph node involvement, and they really scared me and pushed me into the chemo. I hate to say this but chemo almost literally killed me after the first infusion . 4 were scheduled. After a few visits to the ER and a fear I'd never be strong enough to walk again, both my oncologist and I decided I better opt out of it. I'm not saying this to scare you, but it was a nightmare for me and I had a feeling it would be. I felt pushed into chemo when my tumor was caught so early, was so so small and had no other spreading. Please do what you think is right. I was in my late 40's and chemo put me into early menopause, so children are out if the picture due to that "choice" and 1 infusion knocked out 90% of my hair. I can't describe how sick I was. Again, ask lots of questions, pray, if you pray, and do what you think is right. Key word you. Don't let them scare you, either way. That's just my advice based on my experience. God bless you on your treatment.

posted over 3 years ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

I had an ONC score of 30 and my oncologist recommended 4 rounds of chemo called TC. You can look it up on the Internet. You will lose your hair. It falls out on day 10-14. The first chemo I was so afraid. I followed the instructions they gave me. They give you steroid and anti nausea meds before you get chemo. I did not have a port. I had 4 treatments spaced out every 3 weeks. I did not get sick at any time with the chemo. All the chemo gave me constipation and you do need to take senokot. Also if you end up with the TC chemo you will come back the next day for a Nulesta shot. That gives you bone pain. Luckily the nurse mentioned my sternum may hurt. Not to be alarmed as the Nulesta shot triggers the bone marrow to produce white blood cells. I took Benadryl pill 2 days before the nulesta shot. I was also prescribed Percocet. I had breast extenders placed right after masectomy. Another story. The TC chemo is cumalitve. It builds up in your body. On day 3 or 4 it's almost as if you crash from the steroids and other meds prescribed that you take. One is a nausea med. I wouldn't never miss a dose. As to the steroid pills I would take it in the am. I didn't take it in the pm. Itcwould keep me up all night. The first day of chemo and additional once I was so hungry. It's from the steroids. On day 3-4 I was extremely tired - very tired. No energy. I'm 55. The 2 & 3 chemo I was the most tired. Do not fight it. Lay down. Walk the driveway or as far as you like. I would gauge my day on that. Drink lots of water. I would mix half Gatorade and water. And before you have chemo and they do a pic line drink a bunch of water. They find your veins very easy. Constipation is a pain. You may have done cramps. You may get really tired. I did on day 3-4 after chemo. I loved my Popsicles!!!! Sugar free. My oncologist told me that my reoccurence without chemo would be 30 -35 percent. I had infiltrative ductal carcinoma Stage 2A and grade 3 (agressive). I also had 36 rounds of radiation. My cancer was 6cm but no cancer in lymphnodes. Best to you. It's a decision you need to make. Since I had a grade 3 and large carcinoma butting chest muscle it was a no brainer. Best to you. Let me know. Take care, Lidia

posted over 3 years ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

Yes, I to had TNBC. After 8 rounds of chemo cancer free. Will be 3 years this October! During chemo, my oncologist prescribed a pill form of marijuana. I had no appetite, and this helped me have an appetite again. Insurance covered it like any prescription. I would higjly recommend it during chemo.

posted over 3 years ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

I makes my heart feel so heavy to know that another woman has been told that she will need chemotherapy. I know what a blow that is, because I just went through it a week ago. Just as I thought that I'd dodged a bullet, I was given the devastating news that my sentinel nodes tested positive. Mellyboo, it sounds like you and I are kind of in the same place right now. I was thinking, "Well, what if I do nothing?" Maybe I could gamble and not go through 6 months of chemotherapy. It's a lot to go through as a precautionary, just in case some cancer cells made their way into my body. I was trying to figure out a viable alternative to chemo. I think that it's natural for us to do that, because chemo is a tough battle that no one wants to face. However, when I look at things objectively, as scary as it will be, I think that chemotherapy will benefit me far more than it'll harm me. I look at it like this; 6 months of chemo for a possible 50 years of life! I can't pass that up! That could allow me the chance to see all of my children grow up to be adults. That's the gamble that I'll take. I know that chemo is scary. I've languished over the fact that I'll lose my mid-back length hair, and thick eyebrows, I'll be nauseous sometimes, weak, and so on, but in the end I'll be victorious! I'll be alive! I'll still be here to mother my children. I hope that you too can find peace in whatever it is that you decide to do to fight for you life. May God see us all through this journey. Amen.

edited, originally posted almost 4 years ago
A MyBCTeam Member said:

Chemo sounds scary....we have all been there.....but our abject FEAR of it does not reduce the value it brings if you have the kind of breast cancer where it is recommended.
Have you told us your type?
Your type gets matched up with specific chemo drugs best for your type, backed by decades of clinical research surrounding chemo and breast cancer. . So you might get something completely different than the woman with breast cancer sitting beside you. And by now the industry does know where chemo has no benefit. And now that is truly scary. What that means. There are fewer options for some women than there are for others. Get your head around that one day when you can. It is mind blowing to me.

Look into the evidence if you are still not persuaded to accept chemo. And look at the job of chemo.
Look at your cancer, where it is sitting, where it might spread...and how. and why. What is it doing...how is it growing....and what is the strategy. It must be eradicated if manageable, or shrunk for now at least, or the spread contained....chemo is the first weapon they use to attack the most number of cells at once. They are trying to save your life.

As much as we have all been there...and chemo had its bummer moments...for some of us...it was no big deal turns out for some (me)...and for the rest...they were determined to handle it and they did. Of course we all wish...that any day now there is an advancement in breast cancer treatment that puts an end to chemo in favour of newer developments. But it AIN"T happening right now. To learn what there is to learn about your very own cancer is to know it is a formidable enemy....and no amount of lush organic blueberries or green tea,tho heartily recommended normal,....is going to kill the deadly cells that have gone rogue in your body and are now multiplying!!!

Stop them, remove them....or do nothing because it all makes you so uncomfortable.
I would argue it is more serious an argument than that.
I swear you will surprise yourself. For only you can fight the hardest for yourself.
Please fight. We need you.

posted almost 4 years ago
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