Welcome to the chemotherapy branch. Chemotherapy (kee-moh-THER-a-pee) is a treatment for cancer using chemicals or drugs to poison the cancer cells. Sometimes this treatment is called chemo rather than using the whole word. This branch includes a brief background of chemo, the different ways chemo is used in cancer care today, describes what chemo does, how it works and how it may affect you (body, mind, emotions, and spirit). Chemo cocktail refers to the combination of drugs that are used together in your treatment.
Jennie R. Joe (Navajo) Dx 1988 Breast Cancer
"The chemotherapy consisted of probably three different types of drugs. Uhm, my treatment took almost a year uhm, because with chemotherapy, they always give you time for your body to re-build your blood cells, uhm, so I think you know the treatment isn't something that you can go in and have it done within two or three days.
My particular cancer had spread through my lymph nodes at least one of them was positive, so I didn't have a choice, I had to have the chemotherapy."
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Vivian Mini (Devils Lake Sioux) Dx 1969 Breast Cancer Dx 1988 Ovarian Cancer
"I was kind of scared to go through that. I heard about how sick it makes a person. I didn't want to go and he called me. He said AYou better start those right away or you might have to have surgery again. You better start your treatment.
I started them in October, I took chemotherapy for six months. My last treatment, they done blood work at the lab. He said I have to take two more months of it. I go periodically now, it used to be three months for a check-up, but now it's six months. Now it's every six months I go for a check-up."
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Jeannie Harris Morris (Yupik) Dx 1994 Lung Cancer
"And then when I was in it, it was just rush, rush, rush. Right away, she's got to have the chemo, she can't have time to think. One doctor told me if I had any plans to do it now. The oncologist turned around and said you've got no time to waste. I want to start you immediately on the chemo, so it was just 1, 2, 3, wham! Everything was thrown at you."