Initially when I had gone for my follow-up, with my surgeon, she had mentioned, you know, the fact that I would likely have to do chemotherapy based on the histology of the sample. My mom had not done chemotherapy for her first round when she had breast cancer. So it was very... and she was very healthy at the time and had no concerns about any recurrence. So it was a very difficult decision for me to decide whether or not to go that route despite all the recommendations that the physicians were giving to me.
And you know, they kind of give you, they kind of give you the statistic and you can kind of understand what it means but there’s always these caveats that underlie everything. So after speaking with... I did a lot of research on it, and after speaking with a naturopath, some other friends and other women through a peer network, I was able to come to the conclusion that probably the best option for me was to pursue the recommended course of action by the physicians. So I began chemotherapy in April of last year.
Interviewer: So and did you feel you had a clear idea of your treatment plan when you first started or how did you follow?
No, I didn’t because I wasn’t really sure exactly how everything was going to move forward. At my first oncology appointment it was almost like the decision was made for me. Like the oncologist came in and was talking with me and explaining that this is the regime, this is how it’s done and moving forward. She was happy to answer my questions but when I had a bit of reluctance about talking about doing chemo, she was kind of like "Oh! Well what are you worried about?" And it wasn’t a very supportive approach. I explained to her that I was worried that I had these other family members who did this and it didn’t work for them. I was concerned that I was going to be doing this kind of for nothing. I was going to be putting my body through this crazy toxic environment for months and then burning my skin for months to end up with a similar result and that was what I was concerned about. When I explained it to her in that way, she was a bit more understanding as to where I was coming from. But yeah as physicians do, they kind of revert back to numbers sometimes, and so she explained to me what the percent chance of recurrence with chemo was and what the percent chance of recurrence without chemo was.
So from that appointment I took away that information and did a bit more research and chatted with a few more people. I was able to come to the conclusion on my own. But I’d have to say I wasn’t afraid to, I wasn’t afraid to tell somebody, to tell a physician that that wasn’t my decision. So I think that it was really important that I just kept up the fact that it was my treatment and I just stayed with that approach. Like yes, I’m their patient, but it’s my treatment and it’s my body. So I just kind of kept that in my back pocket and they had... I went to the appointment and they already had me scheduled for my first chemo treatment. They had me scheduled for all of these different things and I was just... I need some breathing, I need to breathe for a minute. In the course of that period of time I was able to do the research that came to, that helped me come to my conclusion. I just kind of said " I need some time to think about it this is a bit, it’s coming in a bit fast and I want to, I need to feel comfortable with my decision because it’s just going to make it harder to endure I think if I'm not comfortable."