Sunday, December 9, 2007

Decision To Go Chemo

I wanted to finally explain, as promised - and since many keep asking, the difficult decision to do chemotherapy. I was very borderline as to the need for this and in fact had differing opinions from doctors. One held that the cancer had all been removed, the markers were all very favorable - slow growing, early, etc. and no reason to blast myself with such a harsh sentence. The other held that the characteristics of mine were still unusual - presenting in many locations despite the good markers and therefore unknowable. The idea that the smallest seeds of cancerous cells could be lurking, unfindable was daunting, but plausible since the original "suspect areas" had been tracked for a while before they were deemed malignant. The regimen this doctor recommended seemed slightly less harsh than most and very short and after careful consideration, I decided that I would not live comfortably without trying everything I could to eradicate even the smallest risk. I did not want to make this decision further down the road and did not believe the choice itself would've been very much different.

The oncologist recommending it was the one who had originally halted my initial planned surgery - a simple lumpectomy - in favor of doing more tests, including an MRI, which I had been insisting upon, unheeded by the surgeon. Without that MRI, I might gone forward with continued cancerous growth, more surgeries, more danger, etc. I found that oncologist to be thorough, dedicated, willing to answer my questions and totally on board that the decision was ultimately mine. Having birthed both of my children at home, this major medical intervention did not come easy to me, yet from that experience, I know there are risks involved in every approach. Eventually, I had to place my trust somewhere and decided to do it. And, in the process of coming to this decision, I realized that I am very lucky to even have a decision to make, lucky indeed to even be able to have chemo at a time when there are women in the world who are untreatable, or worse - untreated. I take this risk with an eye and a will to do everything else I can naturally and nutritionally to build back up.
- amp


Anonymous said...

I love your chutzpah. Did I even spell that right... or use it correctly? You know what I mean!

Ophelia Chong said...

i spell it "cheeeesetpah".
they should call Chemo: