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Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

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Unread 06-23-2003, 05:35 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

I sure am looking for input and advice. I had a radical hys on May 9 and diagnosed with Stage 1A Grade 2---tumor on my right ovary (mucinous circonoma)contained in tumor. All other areas checked came back negative. My gyno-onc. in Portland, Me. recommendation---no chemo at early stage recheck in 3 mo. I went to Dana Farber in Boston last week to hopefully get that opinion validated once again.....wrong. The dr. called me tonight and they are recommending 3 rounds of chemo. Even though it is an early stage the grade 2 is of higher concern and would treat it aggressively.(No data to support this theory and Dana Farber states that first opinion is not necessarily wrong) adding to my indecisiveness. My first day back to work full time today and I am so tired I can't even think straight....maybe tomorrow it will be easier to deal with decision making. What are the long term/short terms effects of chemo? Hair loss? Nausea? Would certainly appreciate any and all input or experiences. I so appreciate this website.

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Unread 06-23-2003, 05:54 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

s Julie

I have found since being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, that many of the decisions I make regarding my care are centered around what I would regret the least in the future.
If I were you I would approach it from this angle:
If I don't have chemo and the cancer returns, would I regret not having chemo? Certainly!!!
Dana Farber is an excellent place. Clearly you went there because you have great respect for them. Please follow their advice.
Taxol and carboplatin for three treatments would be so doable.
Yes, you would lose your hair. Nausea can be managed very well these days. It would take six weeks out of your life.
Look at it as an insurance policy for the rest of your life.
Stay in touch.

Unread 06-23-2003, 07:41 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

Hi Julie
As unhappy as i would have been about having chemo, I think I would have gone with Dana farber's recommendation. I agree with Karen Ann-it is an insurance policy. Maybe you would be fine without it, but you'd probably always be anxious. i would go for it, get it over with and move on. I know that's easier said than done. I was so fortunate to have all involved say no chemo, but I was prepared to go for it if they did. I wish you the best.
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Unread 06-23-2003, 07:57 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

I'm going to "third" Karenann. I'd rather be more agressive than not when it comes to dealing with cancer. Three chemo treatments is certainly doable and will be over before you know it.

Good luck and God bless.
Unread 06-23-2003, 08:16 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

It's a tough decision. Losing your hair is traumatic, but so is late-stage cancer.

I briefly considered not doing chemo. But my mom said something that made a lot of sense to me, and that was, "You have to give yourself the best possible chance. And that means chemo and whatever alternative stuff you want to also do." Karenann also sent me a "don't you dare!" message that I appreciated.

Ultimately, this is a choice that only you can make. A woman who shared my chemo room with me twice had Stage 1 ovca, and she was doing three rounds of chemo AND 12 additional months of Taxol as part of a clinical trial. She is a nurse and wanted to participate in trial. She will be bald for more than a year, but she thought it was most important for her health and to help others.

I agree with everything Karenann said. You need to be at peace with whatever decisions you make now, and you need to make decisions that you will not regret in the future. It's totally up to you. I wish you the best in trying to work through all the possibilities.
Unread 06-24-2003, 04:57 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

Hi Julie..

What more can I say???? Really not much!!
I totally agree with all of the other responses.
I had stage 3 ovarian cancer and know of people that have had stage 1... According to my onconogist, who specializes in basically ovarian cancer, the course of treatment is the same.
Was I panicky?? yes

Did I want to live?? yes

Did I want to give myself, my family, my husband, the best possible me?? yes

Did I lose my hair? yes and it is all back already(finished chemo in September)

Was I nauseous?? NO, and do not watch any of those yucky cancer movies on TV... they totally exaggerate the truth!!

The whole ordeal is totally doable. Was it a party?? No but we are all here to talk about it..

Keep in touch.

Unread 06-24-2003, 05:09 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

Thank you for your input......I appreciate it more than I can say...I truly feel blessed to have found this website. I have pretty much decided to proceed with the chemo, your answers confirmed my decision. Just want to get it done and behind me. I just have a few questions......Have you known of any "long term" effects from the chemo? (Of course, I do plan to go over these with my gyno-onc) Also, regarding the hair loss. With 3 rounds of chemo will that still happen...at what point....and how did you handle it ( I do have a sense of humor which I am sure will help!) Does it come out in tufts? Did you just shave your head? All these ?'s running through my head.
I work in Customer Service in a bank and wonder how customers will react to the possibly new me. Thanks.
Unread 06-24-2003, 06:56 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

Taxol & Carboplantin are the gold standard for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Yes you lose your hair with Taxol. My hair started coming out in clumps 14 days after my 1st chemo. I then chose to have the rest shaved off to avoid the mess. I wore turbans & hats because I didn't like wigs. Many women wear wigs so natural that it is hard to tell the difference. The choice is up to you.

I find the public accepts people who show the effects of chemo. I am a nurse and my patients and their families were very kind and protective of me. I don't think you'll have any problem with your banking position. Also, see the thread on the pros of being bald. It really helps to have a sense of humor.

Chemo wiil be over before you know it. Each person reacts differently but keep in mind that there are medications available to handle any side effects.

Good Luck. Feel free to ask any questions. Someone is usually here. Thats one of the great things about this board.

Ruth S
Unread 06-24-2003, 07:58 PM
Ovarian Cancer--2 different opinions chemo

Hi again Julie,

Now lets see......I do not know about any long term effects. I guess that there could always be something but personally, I am totally fine.

I had 6 treatments of taxol and carboplatin (the standard course of treatment for ovarian cancer). My hair started to thin about 14 days after my first chemo and the rest came out about 10 after my second chemo. I have very thick hair to begin with so maybe that is why it took little longer than most. Most of mine came out in the shower as I was washing it. You do not even feel it... It just clumps out. That was the most devestating part for me and the most emotional. However, I had already cut my hair short and had bought wonderful wigs. I am not a hat or scarf person and the wigs looked sooo sooo real. I did not shave my head just let everything go naturally.

And YES, you do need to have a sense of humor. I was hoping to make it thru the school year without a wig but could not. The day that I wore the wig to school one of my students came up to me and said, "Miss Rosalie, you got a haircut and I don't like it!!". We both just laughed. She knew something was different but did not know what.

Julie, you will be fine and everything will work out and fall into place.

Keep in touch.

Unread 06-25-2003, 08:24 AM
three rounds here, too

Hi again, Julie. I just completed round two of three for stageIC gradeI endometrioid adenocarcinoma (epithelial cell). I had written about my doctor recommending three rounds (some countries don't do any for early epithelial). I originally counted on six. I had gotten a second opinion before my surgery and staging. Roswell in Buffalo offered me a clinical trial which included cat scan to see if there were any obivious cancer, lymph node removals, removal of ovary and fallopian tube on side where cancerous cyst was (removed and broken during laparascopy), and three or six rounds of carbo/taxol depending on which arm of the trial was chosen. After intense research and soul searching (I was trying to get pregnant again), I opted for the tah/bso. My doctor said three rounds was sufficient (according to the study I had posted earlier). I don't know if there are any studies similar to this for mucinous. But I would definately go with chemo. You never know about those tiny cells that could be lurking.
I just completed round 2 yesterday. It hasn't been bad. Get on a good anti nausea drug. Zofran worked for me after laparascopy, after surgery, and during first chemo. I had some difficulty sleeping both times late day one from decadron. (steroids can wind you up). I was ok day two, (day two for me is now, and I feel tired and a little woozy.) Day three and four, I was tired for the first round,and a little nauseous. I did eat ok. I was only achey a little day three. As for the hair, mine was long and curly. Day 11 after my first treatment, it started coming out. This was hard. The next day, my sister in law cut it to 1-2 inches. It felll out like crazy all week until my dh shaved it on friday to where it was just a few mm. Saturday, he shaved me bald. My scalp was sore at times from the hair falling out, and I feel better. There are cute hats out there. Try www.headcovers.com as recommended to me by SirenSong. Also, there is a women's center near my that has scarves, hats, and other things for women with cancer. Being bald is not that difficult, and it was a dramatic change for me and my looks. I had very thick hair. But having no cancer and being here for and with everyone is so much more important.
Best of luck to you and your decision, let me know if you have any questions.

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