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Friend that refuses treatment

Craig_Griffin's picture
Craig_Griffin
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2009

I would like to know answers to some important topics. I am now a 13 month survivor of stage 4 tongue based squamus cell cancer. A life log friend was recently diagnosed with stage 2-3 of the same thing. I completed the full operation/chemo/radiation treatment. My friend just decided to refuse normal treatment and go to a totally complimentary treatment of strictly diet changes to get rid of his cancer. Does anyone have any knowledge of this type of approach? Please let me know because as of right now my offers to help him with his traditional cancer treatment has made me the bad guy, in light of such wonderful other types of treatments that seem to be avialable- which I have never heard about. Also if anyone (myself included) has a re-occurance of my cancer I would like to be confident in selecting the right treatment. Thank you, Craig.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Well, I guess what you say to your friend on his deathbed is "I told you so."

If that is not an option, alert him that even the prestigious MD Anderson Hospital in Houston (I am not affiliated, have not had treatment there, don't care if they ever make a dollar), renowned both for their successful treatments AND innovative research, have some warnings about completely non-traditional forms of treatment.

It seems that MDA has been working with medical professionals and others in China to look for combinations of holistic treatments (non-traditional) to work in conjuction with traditional western treatments. While they have found some success in some areas, even the Chinese folks shout at the top of their lungs: Do not forsake your traditional treatment for this; this is ADDITIVE, not REPLACEMENT.

So far, anyway.

Anecdotally, I am a head/neck cancer survivor who later discovered I had a node in my right lung as well. When my neighbor, also a lung cancer survivor, discovered this bit of news, she came to me with a gallon of green tea and suggested that this would save me. I went the traditional route, with a lobectomy and subsequent chemotherapy. She did not. I am here. She is not.

The best I can do, Craig. People will go their own ways, and sometimes they can't be swayed.

Best wishes for your friend, and continued success with your own survivorship.

Take care,

Joe

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1233
Joined: Aug 2009

Could you take him to a group meeting for head and neck cancer in your area. I think that would get it done. Have you told him that what he has right now is curable. That this cancer is aggressive and he is wasting time. Explain to him how this cancer travels to the lungs and brain. What was your relationship with your oncologist, could you possibly arrange a meeting? He may just need a few days to get over the initial horror and acceapt it. My doctor had to keep calling me and telling me it was serious, I was on vacation from work and ready to leave for several weeks and had to change all those plans. Keep at it even if it pisses him off, you just may save his currently un-informed butt!

Craig_Griffin's picture
Craig_Griffin
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2009

I agree. Even folks that were not my best of friends cared enough about my cancer to tell me "don't mess around, just a few days can determine whether you live or die!" His chemo and radiation would be a walk in the park compared to what I had.

Thank you,
Craig

Craig_Griffin's picture
Craig_Griffin
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2009

Joe,
I have followed your blogs, and have also read your entire on-line bio of your cancer. I have valued everyone's help on this site a lot. I am enirely into a proper diet, now that my cancer has not shown up, and that is my stance- bite the bullet, get traditional treatment, fight your disease, and then start a new healthy life.

My friend has fallen victim to the 7th Day Adventist church that he attends. I see this as taking the "easy" way out- no chemo or radiation (sounds so nice). But I have told everyone that my faith tells me to believe and do the difficult things, not hope for the easy way out. -That was 15 months ago. I am thankful to be alive after having a deformed throat and paralysis on the right 1/2 of my face. (The ceratid vein was totally encircled with a tumor and was being pinched off) -Also my sister is a survivor of stage 2 non-small cell lung cancer for about 3 months now. She alsoagreed to not waste time, but having an operation and chemo treatment right away.

Thank you for your thoughtful insights,
Craig

SASH's picture
SASH
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2006

Suggest that he sees your docs just to get their opinion on what he is considering as treatment to "cure" his cancer. Maybe they can convince him that a more traditional route be taken.

Craig_Griffin's picture
Craig_Griffin
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2009

Sash,
I have read many of your blogs. My friend lives in SW Michigan. We are both from Midland originally. I was treated at several different hospitals in the Chicago area, about 120 miles away from him. But I will encourage that he listens to his medical staff and join the program. Right now there is a good chance that his treatment will be easier than most. In my book it is the only reasonable thing to do.

-Craig

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 2009

I've been in the news business for 33 years, and you can tell him that if he'll send me the pertinent information, I'll gladly write his obituary, free of charge.
Seriously, that's where he's headed if he pursues this course of "treatment," and I use the term loosely.
You've been through it. You know the score. If your friend won't listen to you, well, you did your best.

--Jim in Delaware

Craig_Griffin's picture
Craig_Griffin
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2009

Jim,
I appreciate your being to the point. Sometimes a one-liner is the best approach. I definately recall the somber look in my doctor's eye when I wanted to know my chances of survival the day I was diagnosed. I demanded it. She said for the next 5 years I was 50/50. My only hope is that not all cancer patients have to go through what I and many others have gone through.

-Craig

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

I concur with the others- the longer your friend refuses treatment, the greater the complications, and severity, will be with surgery. And it will increase the likelihood of a bottom-line your friend will find difficult to deal with. The best option is to find the best place possible, cutting-edge, and go there for the best of chances possible. And then take the route he choses, based on the best diagnosis possible.
Craig- talk to Hondo, of this forum. His words carry weight with where you are. He is one who may be able to really help.

Craig_Griffin's picture
Craig_Griffin
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2009

Kent,
I might attempt to have him get on this site and follow these, and other blogs. I really feel that there is sincerity here, which is a rare occurence in this day and age.

-Craig

DJG1
Posts: 122
Joined: Jun 2010

Craig, I was just curious if you could give any information about your friend that refused treatment for H&NCancer? I was just recently diagnosed with stage 3 tonsil cancer and it has spread to the right lymph node in my neck.

Greg53's picture
Greg53
Posts: 830
Joined: Apr 2010

Craig,
First off, sounds like you're doing good, so congrats on that. As for your buddy and how to approach him, I think no single approach will work on every person, but then again I'm no psychiatrist. But in my opinion you're definitely doing the right thing in trying to get him to see a doc. I've read several books on the alternative solutions that are out there. And I agree with everyone here so far. Get traditonal western medicine to get control of the c and then combat with diet, exercise and positive attitude. Look no further than yourself as a good example and tell him that. I like Rat's idea also of getting him to a support group. If he was a good friend of mine, I'd probably try each of the ideas that people here mentioned and if that doesn't work, I'd slap him around a bit.
Good luck.
Greg

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