Matt, I understand your questions, as you and I are going through some of the same issues at the same time. As a post surgical curative intent CC patient, we're told that there is a chemo we can do that might or might not kill microscopic cancer cells that can't be seen and may or may not be in our bodies still lingering after having the visible cancer removed. It's an awful decision to make, to subject yourself to the chemo for which may make no difference in our outcome and survival. I made the decision to move forward with the post surgery chemo, in hopes that it really isn't necessary, but on the off shoot chance there is a cell or two, the chemo might kill them. Today, I had a port installed in my chest....one hour procedure in the hospital by an interventional radiologist. Though I was awake the entire time (even with conscious sedation, I got through it okay (except for when the Int . Rad. doing the procedure used my abdomen for a table for his instruments...and let them drop directly on the still healing incisions). But, right now, I can't turn my neck, can't raise my right arm, can't swallow without some pain, and in general, I hurt and just am sick of this whole cancer crap. What's new? We all are tired of it. There ARE bad days...and this was one of them for me. So, for the next three to 5 months I will go through 4-6 rounds of chemo of three week intervals with Gem and Cis and hope and pray it will be the last big treatment for this. I have a pretty good idea of the odds of this returning, even after doing chemo, but I don't gamble.....I get nervous putting a quarter in a slot machine, so that is why I'm doing the chemo now. AFter I wake up in the morning, for a few moments, I contemplate getting out of bed, getting a shower...and then, it hits me...oh yeah...the cancer, "I have cancer." Will that ever go away? I doubt that it will ever go away, but am sure that, in time, it will not be the first thing on my mind once I"m through with the chemo. I firmly expect that I am not going to have a recurrence, even without the chemo. But, I'm married to an electrical engineer and they typically "overbuild" things....deal with redundancies to avoid problems. I view this chemo as a redundancy....for that "just in case," failure of surgery. However, if the chemo was a sure thing...that they knew it worked after surgery for microscopic cancer cells, it would make the decision a no-brainer.
"Just for today, I can get through anything." I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor. The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences. As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.