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cancer47 posted:
Hi All, This is my first post but I have been reading posts for the past several months. I was dx 12/22/09 with stage 2b in left breast had lumpectomy 2.7 cm and 1 node positive. I had my first chemo 2 weeks ago. So now my hair is coming out but I do have a great wig that my own husband thought was my own hair.
My question is-- did anyone else feel pressured by doctors and family to have treatment that was against their own beliefs? I have had this gut feeling my whole life that I would never do chemo and explained that to them but the doctors and nurses made me feel very pressured. And now I feel like I'm not doing what I feel is best for my body. I have wonderful and supportive friends and family but I'm afraid they just don't understand.
Is their anybody out there that has ever felt this way?
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sadblossom responded:
Hello 47, Welcome !

Yes, I have felt that way and I still do right now. My doctors want me to start taking Arimidex for the next 5 years. After doing my homework and a lot of research I feel that this pill may do more harm than good to my body. My family do not agree/understand my hesitation. I too have felt pressured by the medical team and by my family. I had a lumpectomy 6 months ago to remove a 2cm tumor and then on to have two more surgeries to remove even more tissue to get to clear margins. I had 8 nodes removed and 2 of them had cancer. I just finished 30 radiation treatments. Next step according my oncologist is to take the pill. BUT...............these pills are still sitting on my shelf as I am not comfortable about taking them. I read the reviews and was not pleased with what I read. So much of my entire ordeal from day one has gone wrong.........I had to have 3 surgeries..........I had to deal with 2 seromas from the node removal.........I had several misc.reactions from radiation and a seroma rupture during radiation and had to be radiated over an open incision. I am still healing from all that as I type. No wonder I am unsure about taking this very serious pill. So, yes again, I am in a limbo concerning this medication.
I don't know what to do even yet. So...........yes I know how you feel. I would bet, there are many on here with the same delimna. But.........this is our decision to make and not our family or actually not even our doctors. This is about OUR bodies and we have to do what we feel/believe is the right thing for us.
Please let me/us know how it goes for you. I keep hoping that I will read something on here some day that will answer my questions.
God Bless, Pat~sadblossom
 
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bc090109 responded:
cancer47,

I feel some pressure myself regarding radiation treatments because it is considered routine treatment for my breast cancer. In fact, I almost decided to not do radiation for fear of damage to healthy tissue and other complications. The thing that made me finally decide to go ahead with radiation is that I want to make sure any cancer cells possibly hiding in chest muscle not reached by chemo are also eliminated. I don't want even one cancer cell left behind if at all possible because I get the impression those little buggers multiply like fleas. I know I can't get a guarantee that all cancer cells will be eliminated, but if heaven forbid I get a recurrence later in life, I don't want to have any doubts about my selection of treatments now.

The best advice I can give you is do your research (with confirmed legitimate sources) so you make informed decisions for yourself. Do some soul-searching and think about how, in the future, you will feel about your decisions today.
 
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rachael67 responded:
When I first began my journey and began to do research and learn all I could given the time limits, I made a remark which I still stand by:

How fortunate we are to have so many choices in treatments...and how cursed we are to have so many choices in treatments!!

With advances and new discoveries and clinical trails, etc. there is an amazing number of approaches open to us. Some physicians believe only in the gold-standard treatments...Ones which have been done for so long, that no one would question their efficacy.

Other doctors like to combine standard treatments with complimentary medicine...They see this to be offering their patients the best of both worlds.

And there are physicians who rush to embrace any and all new discoveries which might benefit their patients.

Lastly there is the medical personnel who support a more natural approach, one which in many cases has been handed down by the ancients in tribes. (Where at one time we might have dismissed these as "witch doctors," more recent research scientists find benefits in much of what we set aside when Western modes of treatments were more regularly adopted.)

Now, combine these varied appoaches with our own "gut" reactions that we have formed from birth or which we have assumed as we've done research, and you have quite an array of directions!

Personally, since my case dealt with the least threatening type of breast cancer (DCIS), I had tremendous misgivings regarding over-treatment. (Some of those misgivings I have since learned might have been addressed more conservatively, but that is one of the things you cannot dwell on after the fact!!)

One of the txs suggested to me, I refused. I felt I had uncovered enough information to support my refusing Tamoxifen. Time will tell if that was a good call or not.

So...what is one to do with so much input? Well, you do your homework, ask tons of questions, weigh the benefits vs the risks, make good choices in choosing a medical team you can trust, and, eventually, you reach a point where you make the best decision you can make at the time!!! Beyond that, you HOPE!! The angels can't do more!!

I will hold you in my thoughts as I know making these choices is very difficult! May you reach a point where you can comfortably make the leap of faith, knowing you've done all you could.

Blessings.
Rachael
 
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freefeather responded:
Hi Cancer47...I was sitting in on this sight approx 5 years ago and was asking myself after the fact was the journey I walked really the best approach or was I only allowing myself the satisfaction/comfort..of letting a doctor think for me and actually placing my life in what they deemed best for me and not what I felt was best.

PLEASE...I'm not being disrespectful or anti-doctor here...at the time I was scared,I was frightened and shocked of what was going on in my body (again) and not at all sure of what I should do ...I went with what the doctors thought best for me I pretty much just let them take my hand and I followed! Now this was my 2nd battle with BC and with #2 staring me in the face I began to understand that my first cancer had come back with a different agenda from 6 years prior and just maybe this time I needed to be more aggressive since it was determined to be aggressive as well...

My hubby wanted me to go through with the chemo treatment and we both agreed the doctors knew a hell of a lot more about this beast than we 2 did combined. So we did it and it was nothing like the first journey never is.But I got through it and I am tougher because of it, I have well oiled boot straps and I'm not afraid to use them!

My lasting question though is and has been was it the best approach for me? Do any of us really truly know if it ever is the best for us? What I believe is If we can be at peace with ourselves and trust in our creator and ourselves and have faith with all three of those and we can live with it without a regret than what more can we say or do or give to our well being?

I will however sit here this night and tell you if cancer were to make a curve and come back at me it would have to face a much different opponent because I would NOT do chemo again or radiation or any other drug therapy...I have since done a lot of research a lot of reading a lot of inward thinking/healing to know that a more natural approach would heal me spiritually, physically and mentally and in turn prepare me for the journey ahead because those very 3 things are what get you through the toughest moments.

So, if what God and His glorious natural kingdom have supplied us through the decades can bring me a peace and more health than all the toxins that have filled and flowed through my veins over the past 10 years...than I have gained...if they do not than I still have gained... in my heart I would be at peace.

Don't spend time trying to second guess your self not at this point just concentrate on getting better...listen to your doctors as you walk this journey, think positive goals and strengths. Closer to the end of your journey you will have learned more.

God will keep watch over your fears and tend to your tears.
 
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cancer47 replied to freefeather's response:
Thank you so much for your replies. I think "freefeather" really struck a nerve with me. The docotors all give numbers of survival and chances of cancer returning, I really don't care about that. I'd rather be as well as I was before treatment than as sick as I am since it started. My feeling is that if I stop all treatments I will be in control of my body again. Cancer really sucks! It's hard not to look back at the decisions that have been made and to start to look forward to getting thru treatment.

Cancer47
 
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trinety3 replied to freefeather's response:
Thank you freefeather. Your post is very inspirational to me as I walk this journey with decisions to make!!!


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