Thinking about refusing chemo...anyone else?
I recently had a lumpectomy on June 25 for my IDC. The tumor that was removed for 2.8cm, grade 1 and they were able to get clean margins. They also removed 4 lymph nodes. One of those 4 came back with 4mm of cancer. My original plan was the surgery, then radiation (reconstructive surgery after radiation) and then hormone therapy because my tumor was ER+. This was my base plan because they had already biopsied my lymph node and it came back negative prior to surgery. Now, since there was some lymph node involvement, my oncologist wants me to start with 18 weeks of chemo (1 treatment every 3 weeks for a total of 6 treatments) before starting radiation. That was basically the treatment plan once he input all of my specific criteria. He did not state it, but he seemed to be on the fence about the chemo because of the fact that my tumor was grade 1, slow growing. I told him that I thought I wanted to refuse the chemo and just stick with the radiation and the hormone therapy. He said that I could do a test that would tell me how beneficial chemo would be for my particular case to prevent recurrence and asked me if I would do it first before I made my decision. He was super nice about it and said that it is ultimately my decision and he just wants me to have all of the info available before I make my decision. I said that I would, so I am waiting on those results. Now, I am wishing that I had just stuck with my original statement and got started with the radiation part of this party. Honestly, even if that test comes back with a high score that chemo would be beneficial, I am not sure I am going to do it. I have seen so many women on here that with the same kind of BC as I have that did the surgery, chemo, radiation and hormone therapy and then years later they have a recurrence. I have also seen many with the opposite. But I have also seen many that did not do chemo and they are years down the road cancer free. I just feel like if it is going to come back later, it is going to come back later. I do not feel like chemo will be a deciding factor in that. And if it does come back, I will tackle it all again. I would feel different if I had a current cancer that the only chance to get rid of it was chemo. Then I would do it. I would not like it, but I would do it. But I feel like they got all of the cancer with the surgery and the radiation will hopefully take care of any local cancer cells that could be floating around and the hormone therapy will help against recurrence. I know the chemo could possibly(not guaranteed) help with any cancer cells that may have broke away and are in other areas of my body, but for my current situation, the pros do not seem to way out the cons (all of the possible side effects) to me.
I am sure there are some people here that will not agree with my decision but I feel like it is right for me right now, however, I may feel differently when I get the results of the genomic test he is doing. I guess we will see. My question for everyone is-Is there anyone here that has refused chemo and how do you feel about that decision?
Also, just wanted to say that this forum has really been a blessing to me and I include you all in my prayers everyday! This has been the most mentally exhausting, depressing thing I have ever been through and I know you all must feel the same. Thank you all for being here and helping!