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Interview 03- Ovarian cancer

Age at interview: 48
Age at diagnosis: 41
Brief Outline: Ovarian cancer diagnosed in 1996 following abdominal swelling and pain, and depression. Treated by surgical removal of ovaries and womb followed by chemotherapy.
Background: Nurse; married, 2 adult children.

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She felt guilty about not taking part in a clinical trial but her son was very upset about the...

She felt guilty about not taking part in a clinical trial but her son was very upset about the...

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And I did feel uncomfortable about turning down the offer of going on a trial. And maybe it was very selfish because a lot of people have said to me 'Well people have got to go on these trials because otherwise, you know, there's no benefit to others.' And I know that's true but at the time I had to think about myself and my family, and one of the things my son had said at the time was 'Whatever you do mum don't lose your hair,' and I just felt it, I don't think it's always taken on board that there are a lot of issues about how you're perceived that might be affected by the treatment. And for me that was just one of the issues really.

 
So were you able to discuss with your consultants about which drugs to have so that you wouldn't lose your hair?
 
With the carboplatin I didn't lose my hair, but if I'd gone on the trial and I'd chosen, I'd been chosen to go on the particular arm with the combination, I would have lost my hair. But they just felt it was because of that reason, but I just felt that first of all I'd been diagnosed very early and I didn't feel it was appropriate in my particular situation to, to be having both drugs. And also I felt that if it did come back I needed to have something in reserve if it returned, so. But I had three weeks to think about it.
 
 

She decided to take a food supplement instead of HRT, which her doctor had recommended, because...

She decided to take a food supplement instead of HRT, which her doctor had recommended, because...

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 And I think I drove the doctors mad, I must have asked about five different doctors' 'Is it going to be all right, me having HRT?' 'Is it going to bring the cancer back?' 'Is it going to be safe?' All sorts of things and they all said 'You must have it because of your bones' and at the time 'because of your heart.' But, and I took HRT for two years and then I got a very uneasy feeling, I just felt I'd been through cancer once and I didn't want to put myself in the firing line for having another form of cancer. 

And so having met a rep at a [nursing] study day I went on, and he was telling me about another alternative, I went down that line rather than carrying on with the HRT. And that, that suited me fine, and I still take, it's just a food supplement, but I feel much happier taking that rather than running the risk of being on HRT, however small that is.

 
 

She decided to take a food supplement instead of HRT, which her doctor had recommended, because...

She decided to take a food supplement instead of HRT, which her doctor had recommended, because...

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 And I think I drove the doctors mad, I must have asked about five different doctors' 'Is it going to be all right, me having HRT?' 'Is it going to bring the cancer back?' 'Is it going to be safe?' All sorts of things and they all said 'You must have it because of your bones' and at the time 'because of your heart.' But, and I took HRT for two years and then I got a very uneasy feeling, I just felt I'd been through cancer once and I didn't want to put myself in the firing line for having another form of cancer.

 
And so having met a rep at a [nursing] study day I went on, and he was telling me about another alternative, I went down that line rather than carrying on with the HRT. And that, that suited me fine, and I still take, it's just a food supplement, but I feel much happier taking that rather than running the risk of being on HRT, however small that is. 
 
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