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I have recently had a recurrence, treated with bilateral mastectomy and immediate (DIEP) reconstruction. All has gone very well and I am very pleased. But now we're getting into the nitty gritty of treatment.
In the beginning I was told I was unlikely to have chemo because of the size, agressiveness and receptor status of the cancer (same as before). But then it was found that some precancerous cells had migrated into the adjacent muscle tissue. That tissue was excised with wide negative margins so it is officially considered to be gone.
The thinking now is that I may be a candidate for chemo and I will almost definitely be a candidate for hormone therapy. Apparently I'm also a candidate for more radiation therapy even though I've already had it.
I am not interested in having chemo but will do it if I have to. I am not at all interested in having more hormone therapy, mostly because it made me hate myself all through my 40's. I became so fat. I am finally (after a number of setbacks since the therapy stopped) getting my shape back and really feeling good. My new breasts and tummy tuck have helped tremendously and I'm really looking forward to my 50's. But the possibility of doing hormone therapy all over again and becoming big as a house in addition to the other side effects of arimidex (that's the recommended one), especially joint pain is so depressing. I am very physically active and want to remain so. I don't want to do it. I think I would do chemo over that, but then again I can't speak from experience on chemo.
What I would like to learn more about is alternative therapies to hormonal therapy. If there is something natural to do that would achieve the same or similar results without the side effects, that would be great.
The other issue for me to think about is the radiation. I just saw the rad onc today. He said that after 10 years out, it's definitely okay to do rads again. I thought it would be never. But the risk of causing cancer in my new breast flaps is high.
I am rather confused and overwhelmed. I guess I don't really have a question but I would appreciate comments.