Interview with Patient 1
Adjuvant treatment options
DR LOVE: What had you heard about chemotherapy prior to that time or experiences with people who’d received it?
PATIENT 1: I have a few friends who had – they lost their hair. That was always like the crowning blow – excuse the pun – but it really is. But that you’ll get sick, you get nauseous. I didn’t hear good things. But one physician did say “Now that we’ve cured you, we’re going feel like we’re killing you, but we do feel that this is the best way to go.”
And so, I also have a very dear friend who’s an oncologist and he was another advocate. So I’ve been very blessed with support systems and he was very helpful.
DR LOVE: Now, how much detail did they get into with you in terms of the risks of the treatment, but also the potential benefits?
PATIENT 1: Well, the potential benefits – they clearly felt that I was cured and that the chemotherapy was additional preventative, I guess you’d say and the doctor did go through exactly what it would be – 16 weeks of weekly treatments of two different chemicals. One, every other week, the cisplatin, and the navelbine, every week infusions. The doctor felt I would lose my hair. At that point, it wasn’t important until it started falling out and then I realized, “yes, this really does make a difference.”
I was not as prepared for the side effects as I thought I would be. And one thing I’d like to say, Dr Love, is that I think it’s very, very important for a patient to have some control over their lives, and at a time like this, it’s very important to feel like you have some kind of control and I did everything I could for myself, as much as I could. I continued to exercise– even if I didn’t feel well, I always made sure I walked around the block if nothing else. I tried to get rest, which was sometimes very, very difficult and I kept my mind as active as I could.