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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 1/9/2005 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys
Went to doc on Friday, got good news. They got all the affected nodes and a good margin around the tumor.  It's all gone according to my surgeon.  I go to the onc doc tomorrow. I'll know more then.  But I do have a question.  He still wants to do the chemo.  If they got all the cancer why do I still have to have chemo?  The doc told my family that the chemo will push me into menopause. Has anybody ever heard of that?  I'm 45, so I am premenopausal.  Also he told me that being my age and being premenopausal will help kill cancer cells?  I'm going to ask the onc doc all this tomorrow.  Anyway, all the prayers worked.  But I still have a long way to go. 
I have a pretty long scar where the tumor was.  He said it was bigger than they thought it was.  And I have an even longer scar under my arm where they took out the nodes.  Must have been a lot of them.  And I have the scar where the port is.  It looks like I've been in a knife fight and lost! tongue   But that's ok.  They'll be my battle scars, right? 
Thanks for all the encouraging words and support.  I'll let you know more tomorrow

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 1/9/2005 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
The age old chemo or not to chemo? The thing is that they removed all of the cancer that they can see. The problem is that there is a chance, especially if there are positive nodes (but also if nodes are negative) that microscopic cells have made their way out of the breast area and into the rest of the body. I once heard that 1/3 of all node negative women really are cured from surgery alone, but the problem is that no one knows who fits into that 1/3 or the 2/ most of us get chemo.

I recently heard they are looking at genetic tests that can help determine who is likely to fall into which group, but for now, we follow doctors' recommendations.

It is common for chemo and or tamoxifen to put us into menopause, especaially when you are closer to menopause. I was 31 when I did chemo and I never missed a period, but others will tell you that they went into chemical menopause (chemopause). Others go into temporary menopause. No way to tell for sure what will happen to you...but the onc is telling you based on his experiences, menopause is a good possibility.

Battle scars indeed! We never asked for them, but sure tend to be proud little warriors!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 1/10/2005 12:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, Lori did a great job in her explanation. I was 50. and had 9
positive nodes. I didnt have a choice..chemo & radiation was necessary. BUT, If I had no positive nodes I had decided to go ahead with chemo anyways. I wanted to be extremely aggressive with
treatment. It is such a scary time making all these decisions..
decisions that only you with the help of your Dr. can make.

Keep us posted and good luck on Monday..

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....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 1/10/2005 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Not much I can add. Hope after you see the onc today you will report back and let us know what has been decided. I was 58 at dx and had no positive nodes, very early type cancer so a mastectomy was it. My daughter at 39 had a mastectomy and chemo because of her age the dr advised. She had no positive nodes, either. We were both very fortunate. She is six years out and I am eight years out. Hugs MK

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 700
   Posted 1/10/2005 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I was dx at 43, I had a mast and no node involvement. I did have chemo. My doc said at my age and even though they got the tumor out and thought they got it all he strongly advised chemo. I didn't like it but I lived through it, and I kept telling myself it was the most aggressive thing I could do to beat this. It did put me into menapause, but I have found that missing those monthly visits isn't all bad. Hot flashes have subsided and I am fine. Four years now and I have many battle scars but they tend to fade a bit over the years and are just a gentle reminder of all I've been through. Good luck to you! We are all here for you.

Sara Dearing
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 854
   Posted 1/10/2005 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I also had no node involvement, but I had chemo, too. I figured it was a small price to pay to make sure they got EVERYTHING! It sounds like your doctor is on the right track offering chemo. Not everyone gets sick from it; everyone handles it differently. But I want you to be able to look back and know that you did everything possible to kill the disease in your body. I have no regrets.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 1/10/2005 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   

I've had breast cancer twice and did chemo both times.  The first time I had 3 lymph nodes infected and second time only 1.  I hated the chemo but I agree that it's a small price.  It's not going to be easy or fun by any means but I looked at it as my way of "kicking cancer's butt".

It's your call - Do what you feel most comfortable with.  It's Your Life!!!

Good luck and will be praying!

Teresa King

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


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