A close friend who had been on HRT found a lump in her right breast. After the lumpectomy, she was told it was cancerous and, two weeks later, she had a mastectomy. However, the cancer had spread to the axillary lymph nodes (which were removed).
A course of radiotherapy followed, plus radiation of the ovaries and tamoxifen tablets. She continued to have pain in the right side, where she'd had the mastectomy, due to problems with the nerves and also the radiation. The cancer spread to her liver. Now she is undergoing chemotherapy. At 45, with two daughters, 18 and 21, she is preparing to die.Is there anything I can do? I bought her beta carotene and have tried to advise her on diet and keeping as healthy as possible. Can she have a good quality of life during the time she has left? J G, Kingsteignton......
It's very difficult to know how much of your friend's succession of illnesses have been brought on by modern medicine. The HRT may have caused the breast cancer, and the arsenal of cancer treatments, which weaken the body, could have made it worse. We understand your terrible frustration in standing by and watching this happen. However, the important issue here is what your friend wants to do which kind of treatment she most feels will help.
Since the chemotherapy doesn't seem to be doing any good, if and only if she wishes, she might enjoy her time left by stopping those powerful drugs and spending her time with her family.
If she still wants to fight the disease, there are alternative nutritional cancer treatments or oxygen therapy (see WDDTY vols 4 nos 7 and 9) that at least will not make her feel unwell and may give her more time.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is to get her a copy of Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr Bernie Siegel (Aquarian/Thorsons), which will help her to determine what course of action she wants to take and how to go about achieving it.