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Denied Chemo Opinions?

Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, has anyone out there been denied chemo because they where to weak mentally and physically. My dads dr sent him home again for 3 weeks to see if he will get stronger to receive chemo. I dont think he is going to get stronger so maybe the dr is just sugercoating it and not telling us he is sending him home to die. But im glad if he is sugercoating it because I dont think my father could hear those words to just go home and get your stuff in order. If your to weak will the chemo kill you. So if anyone could give me their opinions I would appreciate it.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004


I am sorry for what you and your family are going thru. I hate this disease. BUT, absolutely people get denied chemo treatments all the time. That is why they take your blood first. It really has nothing to do with mentally weak, it is all about low blood levels. There must be some sort of correlation to giving chemo to people with low blood levels or they wouldn't deny it in the first place. I had to skip a week once.

Have you called hospice yet? They are the ones that could really analyze your Dad's situation and tell you and your Mom what to expect almost on a daily basis. You will be amazed at how helpful they are.

Please take care of yourself and your Mom while you do as much for your Dad as you can.

Lisa P.

Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

hi mindy,
many people who were in chemo at the same time as me had to take breaks from the chemo to give their body time to recover. i think it is pretty common.

Posts: 166
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Mindy,

My friend wih colon cancer has missed many treatments because of blood levels not being where the doctors want them. My Dad also couldn't get his chemo last month once because his sinus infection was bad and I think the bloods white cell count was too high or low, can't remember...he was also weak from the infection.
I hope the chemo break will give your dad the strength to resume treatments soon.
I would think and hope that if the doctor had given up on him that they would't even try to give the chemo and they would tell the family they think it is a good idea to stop treatment for his quality of his life. I think that the doctors still have treatment options and hope for him........maybe others have experience on how long they would try chemo and when they would suggest stopping or even if they would suggest stopping versus giving it to someone with little time left.
I'll be praying for your dad and family.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Mindy -

The thing you have to realize about chemo is that the whole purpose of chemo is to kill fast-growing cells like cancer. Unfortunately chemo can't tell the difference between good and bad fast-growing cells. So it just goes in and kills all fast-growing cells, including hair, red blood cells, plateletts, stomach lining cells, etc. In essence, we try to kill ourselves with chemo so that we kill the cancer cells and hope that we don't push so hard that we actually kill ourselves. Some people are stronger or more resilliant and it takes less of a toll on thier bodies. Others get hit hard and the doctors need to back off on the chemo to give their body a chance to heal some before they start kicking it again with the killer drugs.

I hope this helps you understand the mechanism and maybe the cause of why your dad is getting breaks. Not necessarily sugarcoating, just trying to make sure they kill the canmcer and not your dad. Sometimes the cure really can be worse than the affliction.

- SB

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I was 'rested' many times during my chemo ride...my tummy/white cells are soooo sensitive that I was close to a transfusion often, either that or my weight was so low they had to stop so I could gain some back..
For me, this was very normal....and now I am NED....(yeyeyeyeyeyeyeyey!!!!)
Hugs, kathi

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Mindy,

I agree with the others. I would call the doctor and find out what blood level was low. My white blood count was low once and I had to skip one week. I would say have your dad rest and try to eat some real good food. Maybe lots of protein to build his strenght up? Is his weight low too? Sometimes that is an issue if he has lost a lot of weight. Chemo reactions do drain a person. Tell him that it is a break to feel better before the next treatment. I know that I have about 3 good days before I start my treatments and the roller coaster of symptoms. HUGS for you and your family. Sending good vibes too that the break helps him get his strength back.


Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi everyone, thanks for your replies. They didnt even take blood from him. he has not had chemo in 4 months. The problem is when he had his lung fill up with fluid and he needed surgery to drain it he never recovered from that so thats why he is so weak. I myself think he is weak from the disease not the lung filling or the surgery. Well its all in gods hands now.

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