Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Do I Want Chemo?

Last Wednesday I got a call from the medical oncologist who I refer to as the "Chemo Doctor." I was waiting for the results of the Oncotype DX test which gives a recurrence score for my cancer and determines if one should have chemo therapy or not. If a low score comes back, it's been proven that there is no benefit to having Chemo but if a high score comes back, then one should definitely have Chemo because it lowers the risk of the Cancer returning considerably.

My score was 19 (sounds low to me) which was a 12% chance of recurrence. Although it wasn't in the lowest zone, it was just barely into the intermediate zone. In this area, the doctors don't really know for sure if Chemo helps or not so my doctor gave me the facts and left the decision up to me. My doctor said that with Chemo, it MAY decrease the recurrence percentage by 3-4%. Guess what, I chose not to have Chemo. I didn't think "maybe 3-4%" was worth going through Chemo. With radiation treatments and the 5-year follow-up pill, it cuts the risk of recurrence in half. the doctor was okay with my decision and my blood pressure returned to normal, I'm sure.

I was so relieved because when they called I thought for sure they were going to say I needed Chemo after all because if I didn't, I thought the "Chemo doctor" would just give the go ahead to the radiation oncologist. I am sure glad the hospital is close by though because I have been going just about every day for something or other.

The next day I had to go for a CAT scan. Friday I had to let the surgeon check my incision again because I had some redness which thankfully went away on its own, Yesterday I went for a bone density test that the "Chemo doctor" ordered and then my radiation treatments start TODAY which I have to go for every day Monday through Friday for 33 days. Oh, well, onward! I look forward to getting on with this and putting it behind me before Thanksgiving.

Thanks to all who are praying for me concerning this health issue I am dealing with and to those who have prayed that I wouldn't need Chemo.

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Daisy said...

I am very glad you do not have to go through chemo!

Junk Drawer Kathy said...

For 3-4%, I don't know if I'd do it either. I'm sorry you'll be so tied up the next month with radiation, but it's not chemo, so YEA!

The Author said...

I'm so glad everything seems to be coming along so well for you. I'm glad you don't need chemo.

Donna Bragg said...

Praise the LORD NO CHEMO!!!! I am pleased that the results came back that way they did! I will continue to pray for you my dear sister.

Here is my personal email address...

I have something to send to you, but I need your address, if you feel comfortable enough to give it to me. If you do, please send it via my email address. I promise it will go no further than me. If you do feel weird about it I totally understand. Do not feel weird telling me no. I just found something so cute and thought of you.

Ok, congrats again on the no chemo!!!

Your sister in CHRIST,

carol at A Second Cup said...

I am so glad you don't need chemo. Thank you Lord!

AiringMyLaundry said...

That is good that you didn't need chemo!

Karen said...

I am so glad you don't need chemo. Hugs for all you have gone through.

Lucky Lady said...

I am so glad you did not need chemo it was the worse thing ever to happen to me and I honestly don't think my body will ever be the same just make sure you always get your check ups I want always be around to remind you lol just a little humor never hurts take care

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Daisy, Mountain Woman, Carol, Karen: Me too! Praise the Lord!

Kathy: Only 3-4% maybe--that was a no brainer for me--definitely not worth chemo. Radiation is not bad at all and fortunately for me, it's only a 10-minute drive. I'm literally in and out in 15 minutes--no waiting!

Donna: Thanks, but not necessary. Just grateful for your prayers and support!

Lucky Lady: I will definitely be getting 6 month mammograms now. My husband was thrilled to hear I don't need chemo because he saw how hard it was on his dad who had it. Besides, I like the idea of keeping my hair now that the weather is cool and will soon be cold!

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