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A maybe not so good book to read A maybe not so good book to read

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Unread 03-29-2003, 11:14 PM
A maybe not so good book to read

Someone sent me "A Season In Hell" by Marilyn French - she had esophagol cancer. She had terrible lasting side effects from the chemo and radiation..this was back in the early 90's...has anyone had terrible long lasting side effects? Had just gotten used to the whole radiation/chemo thing and was not overly concerned...I guess I shouldn't have read the book...
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Unread 03-30-2003, 10:40 AM

So much can happen and has happened in medicine in ten years. The author's experiences are probably quite outdated by now.

Chemo drugs are probably better. Tamoxifen that I'm taking for (very, very, very) early breast cancer I don't believe existed ten years ago. (Or maybe it was in trials then.) Probably new drugs to add to chemo now for nausea, etc. that didn't exist then.

I had full course of 33 radiation treatments. There have been advances in administering radiation in past ten years.

And there certainly have been improvements in breast biopsy procedures. I had biopsy in '91. Far as I know, surgical was only procedure available then for what I needed. Six years later there was stereotactic core biopsy. Surgery no longer needed. And just this past November, Mammotome biopsy. The procedure is like "nothing".

It's an old book. Better meds and procedures today.

Mary D.
Unread 03-30-2003, 10:50 AM
Mary's Post is Exceptional

Ten years old is way too old in cancer--they are making strides all the time. Some treatments, yes, will leave lingering side effects and each of us is different. Let me give you an example. Prior to my ovarian diagnosis I had peripheral neuropathy, unknown source, in right thigh and part of right foot. Sometimes it would hurt so bad walking was painful. So when I got Taxol, noted for neuropathy, I wrned the Dr. and was prepared as was he. No. neuropathy problems at all. After treatment had a flareup that I went through--no problems on second treatment of carbo only (which can cause some too) and now except for when I rub the area and note it feels funny--nothing. So there I was--a prime candidate for the neuropathy problem--nothing happened. We are all different and facing the start of chemo and what can happen is worse than being in chemo and finding out what does happen and dealing with it. Treatments are better, drugs for side effects are better, techniques are better. The book sounds like a good candidate for your trash can. Ellen
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Unread 03-30-2003, 01:33 PM
Sunshine of Joy

Gee, when I was about to undergo radiation, a good friend sent me "Sunshine of Joy" by Helen Steiner Rice. I still read the uplifting poems and think about how kind my friend has been over the last almost fifty years. I was certainly able to find enough true grit about cancer on my own when I was going through treatment for endometrial cancer and for several years thereafter. I'm still known to research gynecologic oncology journals from time to time at a medical school library near my office. If you look hard enough, you can find someone who has had a bad experience with just about anything. You have already had your surgery, as I recall, and I'll bet if you ran to your local library or book store, you could find a half a dozen books by people that have had a horrible surgical outcome too. I would talk to your oncologists about the likelihood of possible side effects.

Although I have not had chemo, the women before me have spoken to their experiences in that regard. I did have internal and external radiation, and the only long term effect I have from either the radiation (or surgery, not sure which) is intermittent abdominal discomfort. It does not affect my ability to do all the things I love including going to the gym almost daily for aeroboxing, weight work or yoga. I also roller blade and bike ride. Admittedly, I'm no Lance Armstrong on the bike, but speaking of Lance, I'd say he did pretty well after chemo. Maybe your friend will send you his book next time.

Best of luck to you.

Unread 03-30-2003, 03:29 PM
thanks you guys!

Thanks for your reply's. You are all so right! I don't know what I would do without you guys.

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