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saying "no" to treatment

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

This is my first entry. I have been reading through the messages and discussion in regards to lung cancer,and am amazed at how similar the stories sound. My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in September, a large 12cm size tumor which was discovered after he coughed up a little bit of blood. He had a lung resection surgery in October, just prior to his first scheduled follow-up appointment he developed what we thought were flu symptoms, severe headache, nausea, vomiting and balance problems. They discovered the cancer had spread to his brain, a large tumor in his cerebellum. He had surgery and then went for 5 days of intense radiation to his head and then was discovered on pet scan to have further cancer spread in his mediastinum. AT that point his oncologist offered him a 13 week course of chemo and radiation using, Taxotere and Carboplatin, or palliative care. He decided against the treatment and has begun receiving hospice care at home. He spends almost all of his time sitting in front of the tv, he is tired and his balance continues poor, he has becomes forgetful and is really going through so much emotionally it's hard to put into words. Although i respect his deceision about not having further aggressive treatment I also find it leaves us in this really strange place of waiting for bad things to happen. We live in Vermont and have only lived here a year, relocated from philadelphia, pa. Since we have lived here, my husband has not been working and now with his health the way it is, doesn't plan on working. He has little going on his his life that he feels passionate about, and i believe that is really going to feed the cancer. I have to restrain myself from evaluating his every move and making what i think are helpful suggestions. He doesn't want my suggestions right now, and i recognize this is not helpful but it's hard to stop myself. I work full time and find that i am pouring more and more energy into my work, to avoid having time at home to watch his decline. I am exhausted and emotionally drained. I am usually a high energy person, who likes to get things done. This experience has zapped that energy from me in a way I have never ever experieced. Any thoughts or comments would be welcome. I am hoping by just participating in a support network like this, i can gain some perspective.
thanks shellski

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