Thursday, February 3, 2011

CONFUSION OVER CONTINUED CHEMO

There have been alot of questions about why I must continue to take chemo, although my scans are clear. I was hoping that it would be like my last fight with cancer eleven years ago and after clear scans, I would stop treatment. I can remember Dr. Sternberg telling me eleven years ago, that if the cancer ever came back, that meant that we didn't get it all. Dr. Sneed explained that this cancer is metastatic from the original cancer. When I was diagnosed in July of 1999, I had Stage IIIB Inflammatory Breast Cancer...not a very good diagnosis to receive, but by the love and grace of God and the care of good doctors, I am still here. I found out that I had this recurrence in my bone in December 2009. I have been taking chemo since that time and am doing well, being cancer free at this time. Dr. Sneed says that I am triple negative, meaning negative for taking a hormone pill or other oral treatment. He said that he wants to keep the cancer away and that is why I have to continue the chemo....while receiving my chemo, I have met another lady that had a recurrence a year and a half after her diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, as well as a couple of other patients who have had breast or other cancers and they will continue to take the chemo like me. Yes, there are side effects, and yes I have days of not feeling so well...but I get up everyday thanking God that I have another day. He has the plan for me and He is in control. I always pray for God to guide the doctors in my care and others who are facing medical issues. I will continue to trust my doctors and follow their advice. I am so very grateful for my family and wonderful friends who give me so much love, encouragement and support. This means the world to me...I get by with a little help from my friends and the love and grace of God...I will keep my pink gloves on and will "Keep Fighting Like a Girl!"

I just want everyone to know that I really am doing well and am so grateful for all of you...I cherish your friendship.

2 comments:

Katie Renz said...

Hi Debbie,

Thank you for coming to visit me and I will come back and visit you. I enjoy writing about my own experience, but I also enjoy reading other peoples struggles and thoughts as well. We have different cancers and that still makes perspectives different and unique, plus you have banked lots of experiences that I can now learn upon. 24 seems like such a big number to me... thank you for sharing!

pondering said...

do not relinquish control to your docs 100%. Ask plenty of questions and continue thinking and reading and researching. And trust your gut. re chemo, if your cancer is gone or in remission, why continue chemo [when there are no cancer cells present}? Chemo DAMAGES your immune system, which is what you need to get rid of cancer. Why have chemo and dangerous and fatiguing side effects if there is nothing there, or if you know that chemo loses its effectiveness over time. I'd rather save it in my arsenal. I had TNBC and was cancer free after 2 rounds of Taxol and Avastin (thank's God), and have been cancer free for 6 months.
They wanted me to have 2-3 more rounds of chemo and radiation -- but I said "on what"? If there is indeed nothing there. It also takes 90 days for cancer cells to multiply. And I am told that CT and PET scans cannot detect cancer when it is microscopic or until it has actually formed into a recognizable mass. Thermograms which strangely are not normally offered, detect heat / inflammation of pre-cancer blood vessel formation months --- and in fact many years -- sooner than a CT/PET would. That sounds more reasonable to me. It is hard to believe that cancer is so fast growing that women seem to get grade 3 or 4 or mestateses out of nowhere, with no prior indicators. Too weird to believe.