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Mar 11, 2011 10:08pm echo-on-the-lake wrote:
lilyrose---Just wanted to add to what the other ladies have posted. I was told that I had a 30% chance of a recurrence if I did not do the chemo. With chemo, I could cut that down by half. It was a no-brainer for me---I had the chemo.
I'd also like to point out that your % of a recurrence would probably be a little higher as you had 2 neg. nodes----I didn't have any. I would guess that you would be closer to dawn31337's %. But only your oncologist would be able to give you a more accurate estimate for you. I'm surprised that he/she hasn't already done so. Perhaps you haven't talked to an oncologist yet?
With node involvement, though, it would be wise to have the chemo just in case a piece might have broken off and is traveling in your blood system. The bad thing about trip neg is that it is a very aggressive and fast growing cancer and the chemo is the only thing we have to fight it.
The chemo for early stage bc is quite doable. It's certainly not as intensive as Stage 3 or 4. You're only 'pumped up with poisons' for a very short time---a few months (maybe 6 w/node involvement) and you don't get it everyday for that entire length of time. I had 4 rounds of chemo during a 3-month period and I'd have to say that I was 'under the weather' a total of less than a couple weeks spread out over that 3-month period. I don't feel that I lost any quality of life. Not anymore so than if you had the flu or a bad cold for a few weeks. It did give me a bit of relief knowing that I've done everything I can right now to prevent a recurrence.
I'm assuming that the 'mets' you refer to in your bio are the node involvement? Because you couldn't be a Stage IIb if you had mets.
To be honest with you, if I had a positive receptor, being that I was early stage, I highly doubt that I would have had the chemo. But with trip neg, there's just no choice---not for me anyway.
You might want to check out the National Cancer Institute SEER stats. Here's a link to it: seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html... Perhaps you'll find what you're looking for here. But remember that these stats are based on old data from a few years back. There have been advances made in chemo drugs which may affect these stats.
Good luck in your decision. Please let us know what you decide. There are lots of women on this board that will help you get thru the chemo if you chose that route.
dx 3/2009, IDC, Stage I, Gr 3, 2 cm, neg nodes, Er-Pr-Her2-, TCx4, 33 rads