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Chemo vs. No Chemo

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1248
Joined: Mar 2003

I posted this in response to the array of responses to LLLady's response to her husband, Duey's, thoughts on discontinuing chemo. I didn't think this should get lost in the shuffle, so I've pasted it here...

Appears there needs to be a little clarification...

In summary, I think the chemo vs. no chemo debate should include the following:

(1) Getting all the facts from PROFESSIONALS. Cancer should not be taken lightly or without full knowledge of what a person is facing.

(2) The stage of the cancer, the side effects of the chemo, the benefits of the chemo are all part of the equation and should all be considered when making a decision.

(3) The internet is a wealth of knowledge, but it's also a wealth of garbage. CHOOSE YOUR SOURCES CAREFULLY.

(4) Regardless of the route you choose, be confident in your decision. DO NOT BASE YOUR SUCCESS OR FAILURE ON THAT OF ANOTHER PERSON. What may work for one will not necessarily work for another.

(5) Voodoo will never work~~although it's fun trying! (little humor required at this point, don't you think?!?!? lol).

(6) There are many success stories on BOTH sides of the debate. Therefore maybe a combination of both methods should also be considered.

(7) There is no "cookie cutter" approach to cancer. Period. Not debatable.

(8) Now sing "Kumbaya" and everyone kiss and make up. Life's too short for conflict!

Alrighty, then.....

Have a great day everyone!


P.S. Some of my personal heroes have done marvelously on chemo (kerry, Lisa Rose, judiths, SpongeBob, Kay) and off chemo (scouty, 2bhealed~~emily), and I respect both sides of the argument.

Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Very nicely put. Great advice!


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hey you awesome Semi-Colons.

I would like to weigh in here if I may.

First off, having never done chemo I cannot presume to know what it feels like so I would NEVER tell someone to "buck up" when they feel like they are being poisoned. Stacy, you know I love you so please do not take this personally. But from what I understand you did not miss a day of work and chemo was a piece of cake for you. I think you are amazing. But I have watched first hand what it CAN do and DOES do to people.

If Duey feels he is being poisoned then I think those around him, especially his loved ones who can advocate for him, need to listen to him and trust he knows what his body is telling him. It may just be telling him and anyone who will listen that he cannot tolerate any more CYTOTOXIC poison!!!

You all who have done chemo, more than anyone, knows the horrors chemo can create to your health......the peripheral neuropathy, the rashes, the heart damage, the potential for kidney damage not to mention the increase risk of secondary cancers FROM THE CHEMO is real.

If anyone here has read Dr. Andrew Weil's book, Spontaneous Healing then you know the angle I come from.....and that's trusting the body to signal to us its needs--we just have to be sure we are LISTENING and TRUSTING! When we disassociate from our bodies we can get into real trouble.

My friend at work lost her grandmother recently. she had lung cancer and truly did NOT want to do any chemo. she voiced it but not loudly enough. Everyone told her what THEY wanted her to do but no one seemed to listen to Grandma. She died after ONE chemo treatment. Heart attack. Maybe in some way she knew and truly feared the treatment more than the cancer itself.

That is my story to some extent. I fear the CYTOTOXIC poison that they call chemo more than the cancer.

Now, I want to address something else. If I read correctly then Duey is Stage 2. At the world-renowned Mayo Clinic they do NOT advise chemo for stage 2 and lower. I know this for a fact. So technically Duey could get a second opinion from Mayo and be told he doesn't need it. End of discussion.

I am ALL for Duey stopping because HE KNOWS BEST.

I haven't yet met the person who told him to "buck up", but I hope you're not in any kind of counseling career. ;-) Whoa.

Anyway, I hope Duey feels empowered enough to take a courageous stand in the face of adversity and make his decision based on what's right FOR HIM.

I know I did and I do not regret one day of it. I cannot tell you how many people thought they knew what was best for me and tried to manipulate me into taking chemo FOR THEIR benefit--not mine. For THEIR comfort--not mine. for THEIR fear--not mine.

Not doing chemo does NOT mean you don't do anything. But that's another post for another day.

And remember--there are professionals and skalywags on BOTH sides of the issues.

Questioning Chemotherapy by Dr. Ralph Moss
Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quillin
Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil
A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm

peace, emily who is surely glad no one ever told her to buck up and take the chemo!!

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

I meant "suck it up" not buck up.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

Thank you for your post, Emily. I could not agree more with you. This is exactly how I feel. God Bless you.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

Since you are the 1st who mentioned "conflict" word, I am going to respond to this. I know who this post is targeted to. I have not created a conflict. I am entitled to my opinions just like everyone else here. There is freedom of thinking and speech in this country. I am not qualified to give a professional advice and so NOBODY here, no matter what the opinion is - to do the chemo or not to do the chemo.

I am disappointed in the way this board is run. It seems to me that 'politics' are very involved here. A month ago I was almost accused of lying for no reason at all.

So, I just want to set the records straight: I have never lied to anyone here. I have expressed my opinions for which I am entitled too. Everybody is an adult and needs to make their decisions independently what people here think. I don't need anybody's anger directed towards me. All I tried to do these last 6 months here is to help people who struggle to fight this disease.

With that said, I want to thank everyone for your support during these my 6 months being here. And, like I said, I don't need anybody's anger (it is a poison), so I will just leave this board in peace.

I wish everybody the best health and all good wishes. And thanks again for all your support.

God Bless.

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1248
Joined: Mar 2003

News Flash, Eleanora....

I wasn't referring to you, but thanks anyway for the attitude....love it!

Stacy, the one who is still nice enough to call people on the phone to help get them through rough times---oh, but maybe we don't remember that, now do we?!?!?

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

Very well remember, Stacy. And that is exactly why I expressed thanks for all support I got. With this, I tell you personally - thank you for the phone call.

I wish all the best for you. Good Bye.

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Eleonora:

Since we are having group hugs - and that's how it should be - I might as well set one more record straight.

I am wondering if you think I accused you of "lying", but let's go back to the thread where I think this misunderstanding happened.

In that thread you recommended a product called Procel and quoted some testimonials from their web site. I questioned the validity of things said within the context of a product promotion, and called the information anecdotal. A few others questioned it too. I think you think "anecdotal" means "bad" and asked if I thought the people who gave the testimonials were lying. Some other posters wrote back and gave a very nice and thoughtful explanation on the value of independent, controlled study. To the best of my knowledge, I or anybody else accused you of lying on that thread.

So if you think I accused you of lying, I didn't. If that hurt your feelings over time, I am really sorry.

Hope that's it. Maybe it's not?! Feel free to contact me if you have other things to get off your chest.

I think I will post some Thursday giggles this week. I am ready for the weekend already :)


Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

Cut the crap Eleonora...you're the one making this dramatic. I am so happy that some people have had such great success with non-chemo treatments. Well...I had great success with chemotherapy AND radiation...and if I had not had radiation AND chemotherapy PRIOR to surgery, then I would not have a rectum today, because the tumor was too large and fixed..but after the treatment I was able to have sphincter-saving surgery...AND after 6 more months of chemoterapy (which stunk but was easier than running a marathon) I have lived disease free for almost 8 years. Now, I know that I might still be alive without chemo...but I would have a colostomy...and the effect that the chemo had on the tumor was a pretty good hint at what it could do to any straggler cells. So...choose your poison, chemo or no chemo, but I'm tired of the preaching. And with that Elenora...I will remain lurking on this board to make sure that we are not taken astray by those with a flair for the dramatic.

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Well stated!


Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

WOW- No drama here. I didn't mean to split the non-chemo with the chemo people. I stated what I had faced and how I dealt with it and the side-effects. I wanted to quit which is probably common to most of the chemo people I guess. Of course chemo is poison/toxic/crap and it isn't for everyone. My point was if you're on it and suffering and stage III and the only reason to quit is the pain and illness and in your heart you know you can "suck it up" buck up whatever then do so. It's hard and unlike zb I have been through the poison, pain, side effects sickness, and long-term recovery. But you know what else that zb missed was that I would have done anything else if anything else were the weapons at hand and I had a strong confidence that it might work. I didn't have confidence in anything else. Yes I did the research. Well Duey is on the stuff he's invested himself. Turn back now to what? I never suggested he was weak or a quitter but I have taken strength from others here who have been down the path that I traveled and it is a far more used path then alternatives right now. You'd think people like us joined by the experiences as varied as they are but with a common goal of being this beast would be less political and dramatic. I gave my experience and what I thought Duey should do. I earned the right to give it. I respect everyone else's right to give their opinion. I directed nothing at anyones experience or opinions. If this sounds like an apology think again. I don't take sides except us against the beast.

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006


So well said. This is why you're my shero!


vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

One more opinion to weigh in here. I would hope that everyone feels free to give their opinion and we are aware that there is more than one side. Feel free to express the opinion and don't feel that someone who has an opposite opinion is "against you".
There are success stories on both sides and failure as well. Having done Family Practice for 28 years before my present job I am well aware of the dangers of chemo and advised my patients so. There were times when I felt the patient's lifespan was cut short because of the chemo. That being said, there have been many advances in chemo to lessen the toxicity. However everyone reacts differently and for a few it can be very toxic. The main problem is that most clinical studies are done on the chemo side. That is because it is easier to have valid controls for that then for alternative treatments. However there are more studies and information being presented on alternative treatments and many of the large cancer centers are combining standard chemo and alternative or complementary treatments. I have been trying to gather some the studies that have been published on complementary and alternative treatments but unfortunately it is time consuming so I don't have much to report yet. I still hope to do it before my present chemo is done in December (God willing).

Let's keep peace in our forum.


StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1248
Joined: Mar 2003

Just for the record...
I started this post because everyone was so passionate about their choices, and I THOUGHT I was doing the politically correct thing by acknowledging BOTH sides as having validity. I did not think that I was forcing what worked for me onto others. I was simply stating that we need to be open to what information is given and received through this forum or any other web site for that matter.

My intention was not to rattle cages or offend anybody or their way of fighting their battle. I do not think anyone is qualified to make their preference superior to anybody else's preference. Again, I must state...WHAT WORKS FOR ONE MAY NOT WORK FOR ALL....whether it be chemo or some other method of fighting the battle.

Let's leave the drama at the door, as we're all here for the same reason (or so I thought!) to give or receive support, a laugh or two, a tear or two, or a little inspiration.

I'm not on a high horse, never was. On that same note, I'm not an expert, never was. I think we all need to remember that when we post. We do not need to force feed our ideas down anyone's throat. They're ideas, suggestions, or possibilites....THEY ARE NOT LAWS, and NOTHING IS GUARANTEED.


scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004


I don't even know which post to reply to. I spent the day with my 82 year old Dad having his right foot amputated just below his knee from a very fluke blood clot (no he is not diabetic) It all started while he was on his daily 2 mile walk back in August and the docs can't explain it.

But, as a stage 4 rectal cancer survivor that is not supposed to be alive today, I was thrilled to be with him and learned where I got some of my stubborn resolve from (it is in the genes).

As a survivor that did chemo, but had to stop it once the side effects got so bad that I feared it was going to kill me, I had to change my gameplan. I also knew I had to fight the beast somehow or would die from it and that is when I went an alternative route after loads of scientific research, while fully understanding the consequences. Mostly I was thrilled to know I had the option after being so desperate!!!!!!

Like chemo, alternatives are not for everyone either and I totally understand that but I think Lou said it well when he said the cancer survivor should have a STRONG CONFIDENCE in whatever path they chose. It is not about a friend, family member, or even a caregiver having the confidence, IT HAS TO BE THE PATIENT!!!!!!!! You have got to take control of your treatment plan/plans!!!!!!

My 2 cents, but I have to tell you that I thank God everyday for where I am today as well as where my Dad is. We are both alive, able to laugh, and watch sports together. It doesn't get much better then that!!!!!

Lisa P.

mamado's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2014

I have stage 3 cervical cancer.  The day the oncologist came in the hospital room to tell me, he also said we need to start you on chemo and radiation right away.  It has been a little over a week and I have a PET scan scheduled tomorrow. I told my doctor's office, I need time to think this over.  I have seen both sides with chemo and no chemo.  My father and a friend of mine had chemo and radiation.  Their last few months were not good.  My mother said no to chemo and doctors told her she had less than a year.  She is alive over three years later.  She is now on oxygen and has less than 6 months ( at least that is what doctors say) She has had quality of life for during this time.  In the past week, I have had friends and family members get mad if I even hint that I may choose not to have chemo or radiation.  This is my body, my life, my choice and I really wish whatever treatment I choose, people will respect my decision.  Chemo is poison, radiation kills and damages organs after treatment.  Quality of life is very important to me.  I have not made a decision yet but I am leaning on more natural approaches.  Wish all of you the best, whether you choose treatment with chemo or not. 

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