CSN Login
Members Online: 9

You are here

To break or not to break

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I called my onc's nurse today to talk about a few things. One of the things I asked was about when my next chemo would be - it wasn't scheduled as it ususally is. I had chemo Dec 2, so should be scheduled for the 16th. The nurse checked with the doctor, who said she thought maybe I would like a break for Christmas. I am worried about having the break + the cancer growing, yet a break sounds so lovely, especially around Christmas. The nurse said it is up to me + she will book the chemo for next week but it can always be cancelled. I will see the onc next Tues, so I can discuss it then. I have had 26 rounds of folfiri + avastin, + 5 weeks of radiation + chemo. In the last little while I had a plugged ear which the doctor needed to fix, a UTI, dehydration + on the weekend another UTI. I am finding the antibiotics tough on my stomach. I am not sure what to do.

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

well, can you bounce back 9 days after treatment for christmas? Only you can make the decision. If I were faced with this, i thnk I would try and just trudge forward and do it. But that is just me, I had my sights set on the end of the treatments and did whatever i could to get it over with as soon as possible.
You will make the right choice for you!!

Hugs!
Kathy

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for your response. I usually bounce back after ~4 days but lately it has been tough, as I have had 2 infections, dehydration, etc. I am inclined to push on, but I will see after I see my onc. I hope surgery is going well!

bruins1971's picture
bruins1971
Posts: 227
Joined: Nov 2010

If it where me I'd tell them to give me the chemo on the 16th but that's because I usually bounce back in 3 days from chemo. If you bounce back quick then sure take it but if not then I say enjoy Christmas without the chance of being sick. I am in the same boat kind of my next treatment is on the 14th which happens to be the day before my 39th birthday. I am then due to have my next chemo a few days before New Years Eve. It will be my last chemo of this treatment plan and so he said let's skip a week and do it the week after New Years. We did the same thing for Thanksgiving to allow me to enjoy the holiday.

Bobby in Dallas

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Hugs!

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

The nurse said for the holidays, so I am not sure if she means right into the New Year (which worries me) or over Christmas. I will talk to my onc about this next Tues.

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

after last infusion , so I think not problem for a couple of weeks!But.....you have to decide it!
Hugs!

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for your input. Right now I am leaning towards having the treatment, but we'll see next week. Good luck with your last few chemos!

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Do what your “gut feel” tells you to do.

Kerry (The old coot that loves you)

damama24
Posts: 175
Joined: Nov 2009

Anne
I too struggled with this decision. Just before Thanksgiving my onc suggested that I consider taking a break from chemo. I have been on chemo since Sept.02,2009 and just had round 30 on Dec.1st. My first thought was "no,I just want to get this over." She told me it was completely my decision and would support whatever I decided.
But, as I thought about it more I decided that I needed the break. I'm still considered inoperable and will probably be on chemo for some time to come. So I decided to have chemo on Dec. 15th and then take a 4 week break and resume chemo in Jan. I am still worried a little bit as my CEA continues to drop each month and I'm afraid the break will see it going back up.
It is a hard decision to make but, you do what you feel is best for you.
Praying you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and healthier New Year.

Deb

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I can't believe how similar our situations are. I too started this chemo (folfiri + avastin) on Sept.2/09, after 5 weeks of radiation + chemo. I am considered inoperable also. Thanks for sharing your story.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I love you too! And you are not an old coot!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

It depends on how you usually feel after chemo and if your cumulative chemo is acting faster and lasting longer. The 16th would still give you time to bounce back. When my daughter came in from the Army we decided to wait an extra week because being sick while she was here just wouldn't be good. Christmas comes but once a year, so missing a week might even put a little more bounce in your step. Good luck with your decision.

Kim

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

This was helpful. I think if I am feeling good next week, I can bounce back in time for the big day.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

"Whatever your decision is, it's the right one". (When I asked her to explain, she said...no second guessing!!!)

I 'had' to take a 2-week break because of low white count...that was for the rectal cancer...

With the breast cancer chemo, I skipped the last Adriamycin/Cytoxin (my choice) because my heart was giving out...this was back in the day when ACT was the gold standard, before they realized how much damage actually occurred...

No one can make your choice but you...and then you should own it, whatever it is...

Hugs, Kathi

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

This is excellent advice. I have skipped before, for dehydration + low neutrophil situations (no choice). This time it looks like I will get to choose. And I need to own my choice.

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

I agree with the others. I don't have too much experience with the chemo yet,as I am on day 3 of #1. But...from what I get from all of you is there are times your Dr will delay your treatment due to health issues. Now, for some reason they are giving you the choice. What is your intuition? If you don't feel comfortable with the delay, then get your treatment. I think you will bounce back after knowing you're sticking with it. Then relax and enjoy your Holiday, you deserve that. You can only do what you can do, so don't push yourself. .....Remember...your family is happy and grateful you are with them, not how much you can prove you can do.:)

Gail

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks so much for your thoughts. The family thing is hard; I want to do much more than I am currently doing.

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

I know, I feel the same. I am used to being a busy body, baking everyone's favorites, shopping, playing, decorating. My little one's are 9 and 10 and go up to 25. My 25 year old is the one who really looks after me. Calls me everyday from work and then stops by too. My little one's now know that instead of the normal active activities, we will more than likely comfy up to a movie, play a board game, or sometimes I will lay on my son's bed and watch them play video games. I think these activities are all things they have come to appreciate because it is a different kind of closeness. My oldest looks closely for a sign of a "good" day and will have me out of the house for whatever I'm up for, Target,grocery store, eating out.....I have 2 others in between also that live out of state, 18 and 23 that check in with me regularly.

So, I started going on about myself and my family, but this is about you. I just wanted you to know that I know how you feel and that change is hard for us, but I think our families are very adaptable and accepting. They will be grateful andf proud of you for doing your best.

Take care, Gail

snommintj's picture
snommintj
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

It sounds as though you have a good bit of accumulation in your system. Skip it. Your chemo will still be there after christmas.

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

How is your current situations after Guatemala,s expedition ?.
Hope everything have improved !
Hugs amigo mio!

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am starting to do a 180 here - I may take the break + then have my next chemo on the 30th. I can wait till next week to make the final decision. Thanks for the input!

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I was teary when I read this. I too used to be so busy, with our business, home, two kids, renovations etc. Now I do a very small fraction of what I used to do. I still work, mostly from home, but don't do much around the house at all. My kids are 17 + 22, so don't need a lot of physical care, but I still want to be there for them. I cannot believe you have a 25 year old.you don't look much older than that yourself. It sounds like you are doing a great job connecting to all of your children.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Do yourself a favor and take a week off and that way you can feel as good as you can for the holidays. No one wants to feel crummy on Christmas day - I don't either and had my chemo pushed back a week 'cause I want to see if I can feel human, even just briefly.

The way I see it if one weeks make a difference in my life and death - then I'm dead anyway and why are we doing chemo and radiaton on me, you know.

John eluded it as well - cancer and chemo will still be there for you and me as the calendar rolls on - sometimes we have to take back from cancer a little bit of ourselves - and the recharge and refocus will help keep you going.

I just finished another infusion - told my onc to start me back up on the 29th, so New Year's won't be good, but I decided to play for Christmas...gives me about a 10-day break. And all I want for the holidays is just to "feel" what it's going to be like to "feel good" again.

No worries here - which ever way you go will be right, just food for thought.

So glad you got your card and knick-knack with it - hope that brightens your spirits some this holiday season - and for all of your future holidays:)

-Santa Craig

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for giving me your thoughts. I think what was throwing me off was I really won't be able to take 1 week; it will be at least two b/c of Christmas. My husband came home for a late lunch + we discussed it, I am leaning now towards taking a break. I am pretty whipped + apparently my kids are asking "why do they keep giving Mom chemo?" I do want to have a good Christmas + it is more important to me than New Year's, which I like on the quiet side anyway.

Anonymous user (not verified)

This comment has been removed by the Moderator

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

It is so good to hear from you! Thanks for your thoughts. Your perpective is really valuable. I have not had a good appetite since the antibiotics. My onc has ordered hydration starting tomorrow for the next 4 days.

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Anne,

You are smart to ask for opinions but ultimately listen to your gut as Kerry says. Mine had been telling me to take a break for a month or so cuz my body was giving out before I finally decided to. I planned a 2 month break but decided to fight with all sorts of alternatives during that time to see how they worked. Testing 2 months later showed no changes in my tumors (I was inoperable too with mets to my liver and left lung) and my CEA actually dropped from 5.1 to 3.5! I never had another chemo treatment and kept up my alternatives and my results just kept getting better and better. I just celebrated my 6th year since my last chemo anniversary!

I remember rescheduling one of my chemo treatments from a Thursday to the following Monday so I could attend my nieces out of state wedding and my onc going crazya about it. I just looked at him and asked him if he really thought that my cancer cells knew the difference between a Thursday and a Monday! He rolled his eyes, signed the papperwork and told me to enjoy the wedding. John is right, the chemo will still be there when you go back in early Jan.

If you do decide to take the break, be kind to yourself and your body by building it up as much as you can. I did do some sweets over Christmas but only after eating come complex carbs.
And I'd like to say it was nice of your onc to suggest it and that in itself should tell you something.

Lisa P.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for your comments + perspective. I have thoroughly enjoyed your story + sometimes go to your "about me" page for inspiration. I am now leaning towards the break; I am getting strong messages from my family that they think this would be good. Do you have any suggestions for a high protein drink to help me through the days when it is hard to eat? Thanks again!

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

I use Muscle Milk powder.

In the morning I put it in the blender with my coffee to make a hot mocha.

In the afternoon (once the evil oxali has worn off) I blend it with ice and lots of peanut butter for delicious milk shake.

It also comes as a ready to drink, which is very palatable.

http://www.musclemilk.com/

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks,

I will see if it is available in Canada.

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I never really concentrated on protein because I was much more interested in building up my red and white blood cell counts. Mostly I went on a 90/10% alkaline diet(google chemical pH balance of foods to see which ones are what), juiced and ate foods targeted to help achieve those goals.

And stay away from ensure and boost until you really can't stomach anything else. The reason why they have so many calories is because they have loads of sugar and should not be used unless you are desperate. Not to mention that if you are decently hydrated they usually give people diarrhea. They do help with dehydration and weight gain but I personally think you would do better with a smoothie made with frozen fruit of your choice, frozen vanilla yogurt, lowfat milk, vanilla whey protein powder or like Buckwirth says peanut butter, choc whey protein powder, frozen banana (just peel and freeze in a baggie) and low fat milk in a blender.

With your infection and other side effects, boosting you immune system should help you immensely. You can google boosting your immune system with foods or supplements to see what might tickle your appetite and wallet.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I don't neccessarily need a high protein drink recipe, but one with protein. Yours looks good + does have protein with the milk + whey protein. I am going to try it this weekend -need to order a few of the ingredients. Thanks so much! The Ensure idea was really my husband's - he has been worried about me not getting enough nutritionally.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

Take the break.

In 2003 my mother was dx'd with pancreatic cancer. She had surgery, was to weak for chemo, but went straight into radiation. To this day, I do not know that the radiation bought her any more time, but I do know that it did not buy quality time. She wanted to travel, and I can't help but think that had we skipped the radiation therapy there would have been enough time for her to have enjoyed one last trip.

If we are stage IV the odds are stacked against us. Find the time to enjoy our families and savor life now. A small break from treatment also gives the body some time to heal, making us that much stronger when we return to the fight.

Good luck. Whatever choice you make, it will be the right one.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks so much!

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2122
Joined: Oct 2009

How about getting the next chemo next week and then taking a break. I agree with John, the cancer and chemo will be there and letting your body rest a bit is a good idea. I know when George had a chemo break it did him a world of good.

Take care - Tina

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks very much for commenting. I think I will probably take a break next week + then come back strong for the next one. You take good care! I think about you + George a lot.

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

wow lots of advice.....do you know what kiddo???

I'd be takin a wee break but then I am a Christmas/freakoo lover.....

good luck with decision....it will be correct for you....

hugs and snowy kisses

mags

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I love Christmas too, + have family coming from as far away as Winnipeg -that's my nephew, his wife + three kids (one of whom I've never met). I am now leaning towards taking a break + enjoying Christmas to the max. No snow here!

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

If it were me, I'd be taking that break. It's Christmas, it as Craig alluded, really isn't a life or death decision. Enjoy the Christmas with the family. Give the ol' body a little break. I feel that if we remember how good it feels to feel good, that gives us more incentive for the next rounds.
Wishing you the best, no matter the decision.
Winter Marie

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I think you may be right!

Subscribe to Comments for "To break or not to break"