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He's not sure he wants chemo

LLLady's picture
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 2006

Some have told us to not do chemo others tell us do chemo for sure
all of the Doctors want Duey to have chemo, I agree with the Doctors. I think evey extra prevention we can get is good. but Duey's thinking is if his PET scan is clear and his tumor is cut out
then why does he need chemo. He say's it's only gonna give him 15% more of a chance of it not recurring then it may not be worth it.....

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Is it possible for Duey to have a second or third opinion -- ouside of his regular Medical Group? It might be helpful for him to listen to a fresh perspective - event ake his scans and surgical data...That way, he can review his particular situation, weigh the facts and understand his options...
Allt he best to both of you - Maura

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

One thing to know about imaging is that they won't see things that are small. Tumors would have to get around 1cm for them to show up on CT/PET scans. So just because there's nothing on scans does not conclude that there's not the odd cell left behind. The colon cancer chemo is not that bad, and 15% to me is huge! So, guess which camp I am in. Stage 2b diagnosed Dec 2005. Had 6 months of Folfox, now happily NED and resumed all pre-cancer activities and living much better.


Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


I am sorry to disappoint you but I agree with Duey. Majority of people on this board are in support of chemo. But there are few of us, including me, that do not support it.

Here is my story. I am a caregiver for my mother 68 years old who was diagnosed with II stage colon cancer in February of this year. She has the alzheimers type dimentia and so I, as her conservator, am making all medical decisions for her. Tumor was resected, lymph nodes were not affected, tumor spread to the bladder because of the proximity to it, the bladder was resected and restructured.

She recovered quite nicely from the surgery. The oncologist told us that there is only 10% more chance of not recurring if she does chemo.

I decided to give her a chance. She took chemo in the form of the oral pill Xeloda. Her liver functions were immediately very highly elevated. So, from the very beginning the threat of liver failure came up. She waited for some time before continiung chemo. After 2nd round, liver functions were up again, her whole health was in the terrible condition, it affected her brain, she was getting increasingly weak. And then she has got very severe pneumonia as the result of chemo. She almost died from this pneumonia. She also had acute renal failure which was put under control.

After all this, I have stopped chemo for my mother. In my mind, it is not worth it especially for the II stage. It can cure cancer but it can create secondary cancer, it can create side effects that can kill, and it causes a lot of unnecessary suffering.

My mother has recovered and feels fine again. Her brain functions are back to the level they were before chemo, meaning that she is lucid again. We are now in the "wait and see" mode.

When cancer happens, it means that something is really wrong in the body and one needs to look at the root of the problem and not just try to fix by making patches. Diet is in the root of the problem.

I urge both of you to look into alternative methods of treating cancer, of looking into changing the diet. There are couple of people on this board who cured themselves with alternative methods after having III and even IV stage.

Please look into finding a good naturopathic doctor.

I urge you to look into these 2 books: "Beating cancer with nutrition" by Patrick Quillan and "Outsmart your cancer" by Tanya Harter Pierce.

I hope it helps. You can e-mail me any time if you want to talk more about it.

Best wishes,

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

15% is a big number, if you are in it. That said, there are no guarantees. Even with chemo, the beast can come 'aknockin.
BUT the BIGGEST difference between success and failure in anything is that you must believe in what you are doing. If it turns out differently in the long run, no regrets. I, myself, opted to forgo the last of 4 Adriamycin/Cytoxin treatment for my breast cancer (dx'ed 3 months AFTER my rectal cancer was done). I just had a scare that it had returned. BUT, I will NEVER regret my decision when I made it...I was just too beat to continue....

hugs to you for having to agonize over this. It is much harder to watch us fight, than it is to fight....

Hugs to you both for the right decision, whatever it is....

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 2003

I have mixed feelings about chemo. My mom was diagnosed at 46 with colon cancer and when it was found (she blacked out due to brain tumors) the docs said it was soooo widespread that it probably had been there 20 years! She has it in her colon, liver, lungs and brain and some in her bones. She had the surgery for the brain tumors and for the colon cancer. After suggery she was doing great! then a month later they started chemo. Everything went downhill. She tolerated the chemo well but it brought her immune system down and that is when all the symptoms started coming out. Coughing and congestion and pain(due to lung mets) bone pain,ect. She had none of those symptoms until she started the chemo. the docs gave her 2 months , she lived 9 months. i honestly think she would had lved longer if she had not had the chemo. Now, with that being said she was a totally different case from your husband. There was no cure for her. If i were in his position I would probably do the chemo for my own peice of mind along with diet changes ect. My best to both of you! Danielle

Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2006

Good Morning..
Two months ago I was in the same situation as Duey.. To have chemo or not have chemo...I decided to have chemo because I couldn't live with the fact that sometime down the road I would be faced with this again. I didn't want to live with knowing that I may have been able to stop those damn cells in their tracks..15% is quite high, I was given 5% more of a chance of it not coming back, to me 5% is better than 0%. The decision is certainly a personal one and only Duey and family can make that decision, but just to let you know I started chemo on the 15th and so far so good..I know in my heart I made the right decision and I know Duey will make the right one for him... I hope this helps..

Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2006

My tumor was cut out. I did Chemo and it was no big deal. A little discomfort for a day or two, but worth it. Halfway through the Chemo I developed lung cancer, had the lung removed and did radiation for the lung problem, finished Chemo for the colon and then did Chemo for the lung cancer. The lung stuff was a real challenge, but it is doable. My point--why turn now anything that has the potential to prolong your life?

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Lady,

I'm in the same spot: Stage 2, no lymph nodes involved and no known metasteses. Initially told that doing the standard Folfox6 chemo regimen would not greatly increase my chances of having no recurrence.

Then, they looked at my tumor as part of a study and said that instead of a 10% chance of my cancer recurring, it was actually more like 40%.

This test is not available to the general public, but only to those in the study. However, I was told that two-thirds of stage II cancer patients with no lymph nodes involved would actually fall into the high-risk category.

The fact that I was under 50 also greatly played into the decision as tumors that are found in older patients (in their 70s and 80s are generally thought to be less aggressive and older patients sometimes don't do well under chemo while younger patients do).

So I decided to do the chemo cuz when Clint Eastwood appeared in my head saying, "Do ya feel lucky, punk?" I had to answer, "no."

That having been said, chemo is a risk. It's no fun. And here's another complicating factor that is rare but has to be considered: I have only done one round of chemo and have been put off for another until my white blood cell counts recover. I may be one in a million people are deficient in an enzyme that processes the chemo. They don't test for this enzyme ahead of time to see if you have it or not. Some people have died after one round of chemo because they lack this enzyme.

It is rare, like I said, so I guess I happen to be one of the unlucky ones.

I know it is a gut-wrenching decision, but Duey needs to be asking his doctors about HIS situation, HIS tumor, HIS likelihood of being DPD Enzyme defiicient, HIS age factor, etc....

And then, after that, he needs to ask himself, "Well, do ya feel lucky?"

Hang in there.....

Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

im glad you posted because i came here bumming out about how i feel. one round of chemo and im feeling like crap. i dont feel better the 2nd week, im tired feel like i have the flu and now my lower back is killing me. after enduring such a horrific surgery( rectum removed, hind sewn shut, permanant colostomy)i wonder is it worth it. i was just starting to feel human again. my onc. told me 30 percent chance difference of it not recurring. mine was a stage 2 after surgery but they think that because the original surgeon removed so much during biopsy it was probably stage 3. not to keep going on about myself but i can totally understand where duey is coming from. some days i want to quit so i can get on with my life but other days i think if it comes back i will always wonder if i could have stopped it with chemo. so for now i will continue with chemo just remind him he can stop at any time its his body and he knows what he can take.
take care, cherri

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


Except that in that perid of time when one is "trying" and then stopping the come, one can die from it. My mother almost died after 2nd round.

Which "evil" is worth: die from cancer or die from side effects of chemo?

I hope you feel better soon.

God Bless, Eleonora

Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

thanks elenora,
i hope i do too.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I was Stage 2 ( and told I could have been Stage 3) and elected to have chemo. I didn't have chemo after my first surgery (had chemoradiation prior to that surgery) and was told that I was likelly cured. Eight months later it recurred and I had further surgery and now doing Folfox/Avastin. I have talked to a number of oncologists who all agreed I should do chemo. I was told the chance of being cured without the chemo of about 70-75% and with chemo it is 85-90%. Thus I wanted to do the most to prevent the beast from coming back. The chemo is not fun but tolerable and I am halfway through it.

But the final decision is Duey's. Good luck in the decision.


LLLady's picture
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 2006

As always I will start with the Thank You?s !!!!
Thank you-Thank you-Thank you--
each and every one of you. It just amazes Duey that
you guy's actually take the time to post and share your experiences, advice, input , caring and well wishing ...
He has never seen anything like that .
(I tell him, that's just the way "we" are :)

I have just gone through and read to Duey all the updated posts from you guys. Please always know your posts are read, even if they are not responded to. They are all read and greatly appreciated.

Duey says...
He is going to go ahead with the chemo. He feels this is the period of his life that he is dealing with cancer. Thus, this is the period of his life that he will deal with chemo.
He will NOT accept the ill's of chemo into his life. The same as he has NOT accepted cancer into his life. This is just something he is going through. Cancer has all-together been unacceptable to him. That (positive thinking) is just the way he gets through it.

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