Really good friend with breast cancer, but something is not right....advice, thoughts?

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4myinfo
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/23/2007 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I all, I am new to the board. Might be a little long, so thanks in advance for reading and sharing any feedback.  I have a very good friend that told me she has breast cancer.  She lives in another state, and told me about the treatment she was going thru, she would sound so bad after having these treatments.  But something does seem right to me.  She had treatments for about 4 months, IV treatments, then she quit them for about 6 months. She is now in the same town I'm in Houston, TX, and said she is now getting treatment at MD Anderson, even though she really hasn't any test done there before hand.  The other day , her first time there, she called and told me they were giving her a "cocktail" since it had been a while since she any treatment.  She sounded really sick when she called again.  But she showed up to work hours later after she had it.  I hate to sound like i don't believe her, but I just confused on how you can go without treatment and then start up again at a new hospital that hasn't even checked you out.  Are you active after you have one of these cocktails?  Thru all this treatment, i have seen her, she hasn't lost any hair, and doesn't look like your "stereotypical" cancer patient, no weight loss or sickly looking.  Do I listen to my little voice to tell me that something else is going on, or is that i just don't come to the reality that she really has breast cancer?  Any input would be greatly appriciated.

gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 2/23/2007 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
For some reason there are people who pretend to have cancer when they do not. We have suspected some who have come to this board, even, but everyone here now is genuine. That said, I can argue the other side. She could have had treatment and stopped, carried or had all her medical records sent to MD Anderson where they gave her the cocktail quickly without scheduling tests yet. I am sure tests should be forthcoming. As for loss of hair, not everyone loses hair, believe it or not. It depends on the type of Chemo they have. Some hair thins a good bit. Some does not. I met one of the board members here after her chemo and she had a beautiful head of long hair. I could hardly believe it. Being ill after the cocktail???? There are good drugs to counteract the nausea which is usually given before the treatment and then again after, so it is possible to not be sick. And sometimes the next day is worse than right after. Many people on chemo gain weight. Usually the very sick pallor does not show up in the beginning of treatment, either. Now I am sure some others will have some input, maybe even disagree with me, because we do not all think alike and certainly others have had more experience with chemo than I have. I didn't have it but my daughter did. She looked fine all through it but she did lose her hair. When it came back it was beautiful altho very short for a good while. So my advice is to believe in your friend, that is what friends are for. If it turns out she was not really truthful, she may have another problem you can help her with. Who would ever want to pretend cancer????? Hugs MK


debbiR
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 2/24/2007 7:18 AM (GMT -7)   

I agree w/ everything that MK said. When I was first diagnoised, I thought that I would lose weight when I began chemo but just the opposite happened. It depends on the type of chemo that an individual is given plus the type of premeds. For example, I was given steriods as premeds before the chemo and this is one cause of weight gain.

If you doubt your friend, ask for some facts. Did she have a mastectomy? Reconstruction? What stage was it? Who is her oncologist at MD Anderson? Ask for some info about MD Anderson...where does she receive chemo? Does she see her onco before her treatment? Offer to take her to one of her appts. You could also use the excuse that you have a friend or acquaintance that is facing breast cancer and wanted the info to give to her.

Good luck.

Deb


 


Brnadebt
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 2/24/2007 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi
 
I agree with what MK and Deb said, give her the benefit of the doubt but do ask her more questions. I can speak for most of the ladies here and breast cancer is not as debilitating as you would think, unless it is the later stages. I remember my Oncologist saying to me that it was not fair when a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer because they don't look sick. I worked during my 6 months of chemo and my regular customers did not have a clue unless I told them. I got numerous compliments on my new hairdoo.....my wig. I told the people that I wanted to and let it go with the ones I didn't.
 
Get some knowledge and then ask her some questions. Good luck.
 
L&H
Bernadette

debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 2/24/2007 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
"
 I remember my Oncologist saying to me that it was not fair when a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer because they don't look sick..."
 
Oh this is so true. I use to get so mad when someone would say that I didn't look sick so how could I be taking chemo? grrrrrrrrr I hd several people tell me this in a matter of a short time and I had my fill. So the next person that said that to me really got it! I pulled my wig off and pulled my bra off w/ the prothesis in it and said, "Ok, does this prove to you that I am on chemo?"
 
Even today, being on weekly chemo, I have had idiots telling me and my close friends that they can't believe that I am still on chemo. After all, I don't look or act sick.
 
Deb
 


Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 2/24/2007 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Taking chemo was tough for that reason...I did not look or feel sick, I just had a malignant tumor quietly growing in my breast, not bothering me or anyone....and I had to take chemo to make me better? It was hard to accept that, I felt fine, but the medicine to make me well would make me sick?

I too looked and felt fine during chemo, except for the obvious hair loss. My weight fluctuated all of 1 pound during the 12 weeks, my complexion was never better! I refused to let chemo get in the way of anything, and I too worked throughout.

Many chemo drugs do not impact hair loss.

But years ago, when I worked at a mental health clinic, we had a child who's mother was dying of cancer. Turns out she was a big faker....had church fundraisers and everything, even lost weight and looked like she was dying....I am not sure how her life story ended up, but there are some sick people out there...I think they call it a mental disorder called Malingering.

Your friend could very well be telling the truth, or she could be very sick in another way that you cannot see.
Lori


Anthi
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 2/25/2007 6:16 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello.

I too have people telling me how well I look (I'm one third of the way through my chemo) and they often compliment me on my hairdo (my wig).

Here in the UK I recently watched a TV programme about a woman who ended up in prison for fraud.  She had had relationships with several men who she had defrauded out of quite a large amount of money by telling the most amazing lies over a period of several years.  At one point during this saga she pretended to have an inoperable brain tumour and actually shaved off her hair and eyebrows !  I found this pretty incredible but there are people out there who do this sort of thing.

Let's hope that all turns out well for your friend and for you.

Good luck

Anthi


Cathi
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 2/25/2007 6:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi...I am sure you hate doubting your friend. As MaryK said there are people who have "Cancer Envy"...It doesnt make sense but it is true. For some reason they need what they think is attention. Believe me, I can do without all this "attention"....

I have had so many different types of chemo, I cant remember all the names. This past January I lost my hair for the 4th time. But I have had some chemo that I didnt lose my hair. When that happened, people didnt believe I was on chemo, or assumed it wasnt bad. Some chemo landed me in the hospital a few days after each "cocktail"...with other treatment I was just fine. I have worked full time until recently .... what seemed a little strange is that she called you and sounded so sick and then showed up a little while later at the office seeming ok.

I guess what I would do is ask some questions. Maybe ask her the name of the chemo she is taking and the name of the one she took previously.Write the name down and then look it up on webmd. Most people have someone with them during chemo. so offer to take her to her next treatment.

Well, I hope you are able to figure out what is going on...having cancer is bad but then if she doesnt have Breast Cancer she obviously has another problem. So either way, she is a sick woman.

Cathi


Sometimes it is a slender thread, Sometimes a strong,
stout rope; She clings to one end, I the other;
She calls it friendship; I call it hope....

Post Edited (Cathi) : 2/25/2007 6:40:25 AM (GMT-7)


4myinfo
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/26/2007 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys, thanks so much for your input. I will take up some of your suggestions as far as asking alot more questions. Thinking about it, last year she told me she was in stage three and receiving aggressive chemo, IV type. But just last week, she said it was only stage one? I am going to find out what kind of meds they have her on after she recieve's one of these treatments. I'm just really concerened for her, and wondering what is really going on. She drives herself to these treatments, and drives back afterwards, I have offered to drive, but am told now, she's know how busy I am. I've told her I don't mind taking off to help a friend. I will keep you updated, and thanks again to everyone one of you for the replies and advice!!

4myinfo
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/2/2007 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Here's the update....I started asking questions.....now she doesn't want to talk about it, and she just notified me, that this Friday would be her last treatment for a while, she's only had 3 "cocktails". Does it just end like that?

rottilover
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 3/14/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I am 34 years old and i had chemo for 6 months in June/06 - Dec/06 and i didnt not loose any weight. I did loose my hair and felt sick for the first week and then i was not to bad. I had people say that if i didnt loose my hair that they would have never known i was taking treatments and had such a surgery. I had a modified radical mastectomy done and it was ruff. You can stop treatment and start again they probably transfered the files is all. Go to a appointment with her for support to see for yourself and then you will know for sure. The drs always say to me as well you look so good for what you have been threw. Its how you deal with what you have on how you look. Good luck to you..
Take Care Love: Pam

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