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Decided to stop chemo

Christine135's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: May 2012

The last few days have been hectic to say the least both physically and mentally. Mike's breathing has not improved since going on the Prednisone so we started morphine. The side effects of the Prednisone were horrible to the point Mike's entire peronality changed, he was having horrible dreams, kept repeating himself and major insomnia. So far the morphine is helping Mike relax enough to ease the breathing so this is the most positive thing to happen in over 4 months. Tomorrow we get hospice into place so we all can focus on Mike's quality of life instead of quantity. Though is is a difficult choice to make to say no more chemo, the truth is that the treatment is worse than the cancer and the emphysema combined and Mike just does not have the strength at 111 pounds to fight the horrible side effects of the chemo. We now turn our attention to Mike and making the time we have left as comfortable as possible without being poked, proded and filled with chemicals that are killing him. We are so thankful for our Oncologist who has supported us every step of the way and our decision to stop chemo. We truly have been blessed with an AMAZING medical team who gave us their all and then some, but it is also time to be realistic and realize this beast is too big for us but it while it may be too big, it will not rob the man I love of his dignity to live the rest of his days with us his way!! My husband is truly my hero!

Posts: 68
Joined: Jul 2013

I hope you are able to find peace in this phase of the disease.  EC is an awful SOB, and I hope that you are able to enjoy quality time together.

birdiequeen's picture
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

Such hard decisions to make.  There is a lot to be said for Quality.  You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posts: 509
Joined: Apr 2012

My thoughts and prayers go out to you both.  This was a hard decision to make, I know that.  That's why when my husband said he didn't want any further treatment, after reading on this forum and the H&N forum, I knew it was the right decision.  It is a hard decision but for us, it has been the right decision.  Take care of yourself too and enjoy each day as it comes.


Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

Christine, our hearts and prayers go out to you and Mike.  Joe and I are having to make a similar decision.  He has been in and out of the hospital for the last 2 months due to the side effects of the chemo and Herceptin. I had to take him to the ER again yesterday and he has been admitted for a few days because of severe dehydration from diarrhea.  They also found a small amount of fluid in 1 lobe of his lungs, his heart has been compromised by the Herceptin and he probably has some nasty viral or bacterial infection in his intestines.  He was T3NOMO and had his surgery early January.  The surgeon was confident he removed all the cancer.  Joe too is HER2 positive. Chance of a recurrence without treatment was given as 70%.  His chemo and Herceptin are considered preventive treatment but it is ravaging his body so much I feel we are at the point of deciding whether to stop treatment and wait for a recurrence.  We don't even know if the treatment will make a difference really but I know it is damaging his otherwise good health and he has no quality of life.   Blessings to you and Mike.  I so admire you both.

Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2012

I applaud your decision to focus on the quality of life instead of the quantity. Say "I love you" as many times as you can, hug him as often as you can, laugh as often as you can, even through the tears and above all, remember the good times when he was strong and healthy. My husband was and will always be my hero. He fought the EC beast with all he had but the battle was not for him to win. We buried him one year ago on this day but we're at peace with the time we did have before he passed away.

paul61's picture
Posts: 1121
Joined: Apr 2010

I know this must have been a difficult decision for both of you. As a survivor, my hope is that if I have a recurrence, and the treatment begins to destroy my health and the ability to do the things that bring joy to my life, that the people around me who I love will have the compassion to say “enough is enough” it is time to focus on making the time we have left comfortable and a blessing. It takes courage and compassion to make that decision. Hospice can provide resources that standard medical care cannot. May your time together be blessed.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009 - Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009

Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Three Year Survivor



Posts: 99
Joined: Dec 2012


Arriving at the decision to stop treatment must have been difficult but one I hope you are at peace with.  You have demonstrated an incredible amount of compassion and courage both as a caretaker and as a contributor to others in this discussion group. Your openess is truly inspiring! Know that others are here for you and Mike, whatever it is you need.

Keeping both of you in thought and prayer.

Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2013

Goodness, Christine.   With tears in my eyes for you and all our brave loved ones, all the best to you and Mike in this next step of the journey.

Peg Rideout's picture
Peg Rideout
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2013


You have been helpful to me, supportive and encouraging, and I pray that I can be of support to you. I purchased a magnet for my van from the Esophageal Cancer Network that says, "My husband is my hero." It sums up the respect and admiration we have for watching our husbands valiantly fight a courageous battle. 

Our faith in Jesus Christ has been the main reason we have been able to perservere through the highs and lows of this experience. He truly is enough. 

Thank you for taking the time to update us on Mike's status. 


Christine135's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: May 2012

Thank you for your kind words as yes, you have been supportive as well to not only me but to others that you respond to. It is amazing that just taking a few seconds to reply back to someone can be the best emotional support ever.

There are shirts at our hospital that have numerous sayings on it but I did get one that says I wear this ribbon for my husband, my hero. It is truly a shirt that says it all. 

Please keep in touch with us all and let us know how things are going.


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