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Rejecting treatment

NormaJoy's picture
NormaJoy
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2013

Hello. I am a 79 years old woman whose CT scan showed abnormal nodules, most likely malignent. I have put off Pet Scan until after a cruise the end of August. Will see my doctor again in mid September, but no matter what the outcome, I will not have any treatment, prefering to rely on pain control when necessary and palliative care. I have Diabetes, COPD, High Blood Pressure, an enlarged heart and an very overweight. I live alone and have no family except one older cousin who supports my decision. I am wondering if anyone on this board has chosen the same road I have. I would like to hear from you. Much love to all.... Joy

Ladylacy
Posts: 471
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband was first diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 2010 and underwent 35 radiation, 3 chemo and then surgery in March 2011.  He was NED until April of 2012 when it was discovered that he had cancer at the cervical of his esophagus.  He then underwent another 35 radiation and 7 chemo treatments, surgery was ruled out due to previous radiation, surgery, complexity of the surgery and his age.  He was NED for 4 months.  Then we found out it had returned and spread to his right lung.  He declined further treatment other than pain medication.  He is 76 and up until 2010 his health was good. 

This was his decision and his alone and after reading on the boards here, the chemo would have possibly hasten his death and we were even told that.  We were told that surgery was out and only chemo was offered to help prolong.  He chose quality over quantity and today is still doing okay.  He has his good days and bad days.  He still drives occasionally and only when he has not taken pain medication, he still does yard work.  The doctors have not said how long and we feel that only the man upstairs knows that.  No one is promised tomorrow.

Wishing you the best -- Sharon

NormaJoy's picture
NormaJoy
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2013

Thanks ever so much for your reply, Sharon.

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1599
Joined: May 2011

My husband Jim had base of tongue cancer diagnosed May 2011. Went through 35 radiation, 2 chemo and 3 Erbitox. 6 month check up showed nodes in both lungs. Offered trials or more Erbitox. Jim chose no treatment. July 2012 gave him less than a year to live. July 2013 they did another CT showed the cancer had grown some but still small. He is 78 years old.

Debbie

NormaJoy's picture
NormaJoy
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2013

Thanks, Debbie. I hope your hubby lives many more pain-free years. Best wishes to you both. Joy

Rosi's picture
Rosi
Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2009

NormaJoy, You are brave and I agree with you 100% my dear husband was for 2 years in hell with kemo, radiation and all the grap they gave him just to prolong his life. If one day they tell me that i have cancer, i will do the same," just something for pain and a little dope to keep me happy untill God  takes me with him." I will say a prayer for you. 

NormaJoy's picture
NormaJoy
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2013

Thanks, Rosi. Your support and understanding really mean a lot to me. I hope you never have to make this decision. Love, Joy

dennycee
Posts: 658
Joined: Mar 2011

At this time, I have been lucky with the treatment I received. I know a day will come when I will no longer be able to fight this.  When that day comes I hope I have the grace and courage you have expressed here. 

NormaJoy's picture
NormaJoy
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2013

Dear dennycee, You are so very supportive of so many folks on this website, I'm sure you will have all the courage you need. God bless you. Joy

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 268
Joined: Mar 2011

... and like Denny, recognize it as one that many of us will eventually have to make. My mother recently did, in recognition that the treatment would probably not help and would definitely reduce her quality of life, and I think she was right.

I would present only one caveat: you might want to be biopsied for mutations. Some of the newer drugs are in pill form, and are so tolerable for many people that you can barely tell you're on anything. Just a thought.

NormaJoy's picture
NormaJoy
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2013

Hi Ex Rock n Roller. Thanks very much for your support and also your suggestion re mutations. Will discuss this with my doctor. May you live a long, cancer-free and music filled life. Joyful

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