Sunday, September 23, 2012

What Are The Odds and Thoughts on Chemo

Was going through my old blog entries just now and I came across one that I wrote years ago, in 2007. I talked about going to Cardinal Santos Hospital with Mama as she underwent a Bone Density test (or atleast that's what I recall). I sat in the reception area of the Cancer Wing while waiting for her to come out and saw a few chemo patients stepping out in bandanas and baseball caps. They probably came from their out-patient chemo sessions.

This piece was written on September 28, 2007 --- almost 5 years ago.

Who would think that I would one day be a chemotherapy patient myself? 


After my surgery, I told so many people about my lymph nodes having been found to be negative of cancer because the cancer didn't spread from my tumor. The tumor has since been taken out and my body is technically cancer-free. 

But when I mentioned chemotherapy sessions as a next step, people asked


I had an answer for all of those who asked, but I wanted to make sure I was also coming from a medical standpoint. In other words, I wanted to make sure I was giving out the CORRECT reply. So yesterday, during my follow-up check-up with Dr Aldine Basa, I requested her for an answer.

Here is the official reply to the million-Peso question: 

If a patient's tumor is more than 1 centimeter in size, the patient is always recommended to undergo chemotherapy after surgery. Why? The bigger the size of the tumor, the bigger the possibility of a recurrence WITHOUT chemotherapy. 

My tumor was 4 centimeters big. Need I say more? 

My initial thoughts on chemotherapy? 

I'm quite nervous about it. First of all, I don't enjoy having a needle stuck through my vein. It hurts, even if my doctors say my tolerance for pain is high. I'm not scared of needles, I just don't like the idea of an IV because the experience is not brief. Another thing I'm not quite sure of is how I'm going to feel when my hair starts to fall. Some have told me, I should consider cutting my hair short now, weeks before chemo starts. That way, when it starts to fall, it could be less painful (emotionally of course) because I'll see a lot less hair than if I were to go into chemo with my hair length now. I think it makes sense. But someone told me, wait until after the first session maybe? Because normally the hair doesn't fall 'til after that. I don't know. I'm confused. I don't really want to think about it so much yet. 

My wounds aren't even completely healed. First things first! 

Enjoy what's left of the weekend and have a blessed Sunday!


  1. Hi Patty. Can you talk a bit about how much the treatment/procedures cost? (If private or if you'd rather not, that's ok.) Stay well.

  2. Hi Teenabee, I'm not sure why your comment isn't showing up here. But anyway, I really don't have any info yet on the costs. Haven't discussed that yet with the Onco :)

  3. Hi Patty. The chemo unit in the hospital where I work here in the UK have someting like a cold cap ( not the official name) which chemo patients wear while they are having the procedure to prevent hair loss. Don't know if available na over there.

  4. Hi Raquel. Anissa researched and told me about the cold caps, too. Unfortunately when I asked my docs, they said they have never heard of it. So I guess that means it hasn't been brought here. Too bad.