I'm confused, I guess I thought that radiation would the first choice to shrink the tumor because I understood that chemo would knock out all the cells in her body, good and bad, to get rid of all the cancer, so her body would have a hard time getting ready to handle a surgery? Maybe it is different for each type of cancer...? I don't understand why a doctor would choose to leave a lymph node the size of a golf ball under her arm and her not fight to remove it.
I think my friend is comfortable with the only knowing as she goes along approach, and honestly, that no surgery and chemo first was better than surgery. I don't know much about this. I have read so much, and there are so many confliciting opinions out there, so many strides and so many standstills, try to stay focused on the positive and how far we've come (and we have, thank God!) but it just seems odd. I guess what concerns me is that her mammo was clear in October and in January she has a malignant tumor. In my mind, I think aggressive cancer, so I automatically think aggressive treatment...cut it out and treat your body so that it is gone gone gone. I dont' understand this opposite approach and I can't find the thought process anywhere in the research I've done - anybody know where I would find info where chemo would be chosen before surgery or radiation?
Thanks Kathy and Deb for your replies...I am with you about the second opinions and asking questions. When I was dx with lupus it was mind boggling and I had to write it all down and go over it to understand, asked millions of questions here on the lupus board and did tons of research, believing knowledge to be only revenge. It is what I've got, and I follow the doctor's advice, I take my meds, I eat better, try to exercise (I put more effort into it than I ever did before, but it's not enough) and the lupus is quiet. The fibro is another story, that's just a pain, but hopefully if I keep at these changes and learning more, I'll come across better ways to handle this too. Lupus is no longer a death sentence either, and I am blessed to not have it in any of my organs and I pray it stays that way! The only thing that gets me from time to time, and I would imagine that this is applicable to anyone with any type of disease, is the feeling that your body is betraying you...I guess no disease is a respecter of people, and it shouldn't be, none of us deserve the pain that comes with what we deal with...but yet we deal and will continue to deal.
Again, thanks for what you wrote I appreciate your input, now lets see how I can talk to my friend and see how she's getting along. Today was day #1 of chemo and I am not certain how long it is to go or what the real purpose here is yet.
"Even though I'm walking through the valley of the shadow, I will hold tight to the Hand of Him whose love will comfort me, and when all hope is gone and I've been wounded in the battle, He is all the strength that I will ever need, He will carry me."
dx: lupus 2004, sjogrens 2005
RLS, anxiety, IBS, migraines
Meds: Plaquenil, Zelnorm, Seroquel, Klonopin, Ultram, Flexeril, Zomig, Topamax