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My fear.

GreatGF
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2005

I had bladder cancer back in 1994 and went through a round of chemo that really frightened me.

I developed aspiration pnumonia and a temperature of 105 and was in a near comatose state. My doctors had told all my friends to gather around, as I would not be there the next morning.

I was able to wake up and start coughing and obviously survived (but I never completed the chemo cycle).

Now I am faced with a metastesis of that cancer and chemo is again being suggested as the best therapy.

My fear is so strong about what happened in 1994 that it really is effecting my ability to decide to do chemo again.

Can anyone offer me any advice?

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi GreatGF, Sorry you had such a bad experience when you had chemo in 1974 and that you need treatment again. I think your fear is natural and very normal but you cannot let it make decisions for you. Talk to your oncologist so maybe they can prevent bad reactions to chemo. Also, see a therapist to help you conquer your fear. Most oncology depts. have social workers that can help.
All the best,
TereB

GreatGF
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2005

Thanks for the support. I do plan on talking with my oncologist about things like possible alternatives to chemo (if that is even possible) and I am now seeing a therapist and am on an antidepressant (something docs advise for all cancer patients).

Another fear I have is possibly getting addicted to pain control medication. Does anyone have any advice on that???

Gramagain
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2005

I was diagnosed with amelanotic melanoma in Dec of 03. Surgery followed soon after. My second and third toes were amputated as well as part of the ball of my foot and my inguinal lymph nodes (all negative, thank God). But, to get back to it, I did take a lot of pills. Ambien because I couldn't sleep, Atavan because I couldn't cope and Darvocet because it simply hurt significantly. I took those pills like candy at first. I was at the limit of what was acceptable and sometimes beyond but now I rarely take any of them. I'll take an ibuprofen but I did not become addicted. I, too, worried about addiction but needed the relief more that I worried about the other. Honestly, I have no need for them and I took them a good ten months. I do advise the antidepressants. I don't know what I would have done without them - driven my family crazy I guess. Good luck to you. I will keep you in my prayers. I do know it helps.

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: Apr 2003

I think that as long as you do not abuse the pain medicines you will not get addicted. People have different threshholds for pain. I take mine only when I am in pain that doesn't seem to go away. For smaller pain I use Advil.

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: Apr 2003

I think that as long as you do not abuse the pain medicines you will not get addicted. People have different threshholds for pain. I have Oxicotin and take it only when I am in pain that doesn't seem to go away and I can take a nap because it always puts me to sleep. I also use Darvoset for pain when I can't afford to take a nap. For smaller pain I use Advil. It is better to treat the pain than living with it.

Gramagain
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2005

What are the statistics if you do take the chemo? I have melanoma and I, too, was too sick at the time to take the interferon regimen that they wanted me to have. I'm going to the research center next week and I believe I have some reoccurence. I'm stuck with the info that the chemo is a one year deal and I have a 10-15 percent chance to extend my life 2-6 months. For me, this is a no-brainer. My statistics are terrible. If, on the other hand, the statistics were positive I would probably be the first one in line to take it. I used to work in a hospital as a labortory technologist and I saw miracles. Your first reactiion may well have been due to your initial dibilitated state. I'd think long and hard about it and I'd look at the statistics. Also, I saw a guy that was turned over to Hospice beat the entire cancer game. Hard to believe, but I saw it. Positive attitude can do wonders. I had my first cancer 27 years ago - breast cancer. I worked in the chemo lab and swore I'd never take chemo. But, when I was diagnosed I was the first person to say when do we start. This is obviously a very personal decision but I'd leave fear out and approach it with information and a positive attitude. Good luck on whatever you decide. I'll be saying some prayers for you.

GreatGF
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2005

My doc(s) are talking about a 35% survival for 5 years without the chemo.

That is, if the clinical trial fails. I plan on trying that first and then the chemo (God help me) if it fails.

I spent a while today with the docs ARE willing to consider my wishes.

Soon I will need (yet) more surgery and I found out my prostate is enlarged and that "prostate harmone?" is elevated. The next surgery won't address that problem, but I will need an ultrasound (never had one THERE before...) and either microwave or green laser or TURP to help me with that problem.

My cancer "roller coaster ride" is well under way and there are lots of bumps on the way...

callinanangel
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2005

hi GreatGF,
sorry to hear about your cancer...and your bad experience w/chemo... but fear is a natural feeling..as a human being fear is something we all have to face...more so in cancer patients.. and i believe it is the FEAR OF THE UNKOWN!! what lies ahead for you?? hopefully a bright future... i do believe there is a GOD! and i do pray alot... i feel that god has laid out a path for all of us, long before we were born... there is a purpose for you to be here. pray because prayers are answered.......i think you know in your HEART what you MUST do, and i think you know in your HEAD what you HAVE to do! especially if there are loved ones involved....i lost my dad 2 months ago to prostate cancer he was 60 years old......and i miss him, i miss him terribly.... i wish he would have had the option for chemo, but it was far to advanced....tough decision but i know god will help you make the right one... god blesss you and your family.... your in my thoughts and prayers.......

Glennk's picture
Glennk
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2005

I am a cancer recoverer of seven years, who used his cancer to learn a lot about himself. Upon recovery I set up an online support network www.friendswithcancer.com
to tell my story. I have observed that one's degree of faith plays a major part in becoming well, perhaps this is simplistic, but it worked for me. I wish you all the best in whatever you choose.

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