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Feelings of Panic

KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
edited July 2019 in Newly diagnosed
Well, the next scan, blood test and education program at the Greenslopes hospital done today. I am starting to feel this is real and my heart is pounding. I have been gradually telling those who need to know. A friend rang and told me the story of a young friend with cervical cancer who at 32 lost the battle. She asked why I was having chemo first and then the op. The surgeon said I had two options and in my mind I felt this could be the better option for me, no real reasoning. I am seeing my local GP tomorrow to talk the final decision over with him. I realise my friend was talking from the point of shock but she has sent me into a  bit of panic and dread which is not where I want my mind and h
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Comments

  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,985
    I had chemo first. The beauty of that was that I could actually see it working. If also meant I could have opted for a lumpectomy if I had chosen to as the BC had shrunk so much.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,392
    They give optiona depended on diagnosis and stage . They wouldn't give options if ine path is better choice. So keep going. ..either way you are on the right path. The other beauty is it gives you some breathing space on type of surgery to have. 
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    Many thanks. I see my GP this morning and we'll discuss this in detail. I have woken up second guessing myself which is really not like me but then this is the biggest decision I have ever faced. I have always been a bit anti technology (which is strange for a teacher) but it is wonderful to be able to talk with others like this without the 'personal' bit linked in. . 
  • FlaneuseFlaneuse BrisbaneMember Posts: 893
    @KayB55 As @primek has said, whether chemo first is advisable depends on the type of cancer and the stage. Your oncologist is the best one to advise about how useful it is. My surgeon ordered chemo first; that was a shock, because the diagnosing doctor at the breast clinic had said I should have a mastectomy straight away. But a week later the oncologist then said there was no strong medical benefit in doing chemo first. She said because mine was Invasive Lobular Carcinoma and was very large (they thought it was about 8-9 cm but it turned out to be 12 cm): basically a huge spiderweb of tiny subtle cells that are very difficult to detect. She explained it to me as: lumps shrink better in response to chemo because the chemo hits the target more easily. In the face of that information, I chose to have surgery first. I was also influenced by my gut feeling: I didn't want to go into surgery weakened by chemo physically and psychologically. But that was me. Everyone is different. You just need to gather as much information as possible and follow your gut instinct. All the best.  <3
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    Thank you. It was the surgeon who suggested to the two options and made an appointment for me with the oncologist. I see her again on Tuesday and will ask her that same question. She did mention that often women start with chemo and then op for surgery mid way so that was helpful information. 
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    AllyJay, thank you so very much, this was actually what I was thinking, I want to catch any cells that have escaped first. I appreciate your comments.
  • youngdogmumyoungdogmum Member Posts: 250
    What type of BC have you got? It's very common now for triple negative to have neoadjuvant chemo (before surgery) as that type gets hit hard by the chemo and can often result in lumpectomy over mastectomy. 
    Type/size/grade (how fast the cancer is growing) all effects reasoning to do chemo first versus surgery. 
    Even if you have chemo after surgery, this in theory is going to mop up any remaining cells floating about and is why most of us early BC patients score chemo. 

    Your friend meant well but sometimes what those around us say can come across really harsh. Comparing cervical cancer treatment to breast cancer is silly. Every different type of cancer has different treatment pathways and unless your friend works in healthcare or has personally dealt with breast cancer they just don't understand unfortunately. 

    It can get really frustrating trying to explain this to people who keep asking. Until you've made your mind up you can always say you are still evaluating options. 
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    youngdogmum, thank you for your words of clarity. I went to see my GP this morning and discussed my plan and he felt it was well thought out and agreed with my logic - they cannot really say more than that, however, I know if he thought I should have surgery first he would have said it ever so carefully. I am sure this will be the first of many panic moments I experience over the next part of the journey but I am feeling much better today, still cleaning up my house, shopping etc. because life is good. Regards
  • suburbangirlsuburbangirl Perth, Western AustraliaMember Posts: 123
    Hello @KayB55,
    After being diagnosed in February this year and having a different treatment path to yours, I am unable to comment on your query.
    As @youngdogmum said, people do 'mean well', but goodness at times I don't know if they have thought through what they are saying. I am a registered nurse and even other RN's have said some gobsmacking things, thinking they are being 'helpful'.
    If you can, try and surround yourself with supportive and helpful people, and know that all of us on this site, even though we do not 'know' each other, have your best interests at heart and there is always someone to 'talk' to.
    All the very best to you!
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    suburbangirl, many thanks. I had not realised how important being part of this community would be and I have not even started. I went shopping today and bought all the things on the list to prepare me for chemo which I think will start this coming week (after I see the specialist). I know that no hurt was intended and in actual fact it helped me galvinise my thinking behind this decision so it turned into a positive. Regards
  • jintiejintie MelbourneMember Posts: 114
    I had chemo, radio then surgery.  I could see that the chemo was working within 2 months of having started it - the boob was shrinking (mine was multi-focal).  I am currently NED 3 months post surgery. 
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello @KayB55
    Great that you are getting support from our online community, I have attached a link below with information regarding neo adjuvant chemotherapy that you may find helpful, all the best with your decision making.
    https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/treatment/neoadjuvant-chemotherapy/
  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,260
    @KayB55, there are lots here now who are having, or have had neoadjuvant chemo.  When I was starting mine 4years ago and posted a question about neoadjuvant chemo, I think I got a grand total of 3 responses.  I felt so isolated  and alone.  I was "lucky". A couple of weeks later, as I was waiting for chemo, a former colleague got out of the lift, there for her education session for neoadjuvant chemo. She was 2 cycles behind me, so we were able to support each other through it all. 
    With the increase in numbers having chemo first now, there will be no shortage of support. 
    Happy to answer questions any time

    Take care
  • KayB55KayB55 Member Posts: 75
    Irb_03 Thank you most sincerely, the support from others is so important. Chemo (or strawberries) as I am now calling it, starts next Monday, so game on!!!! Regards
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