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Choosing NOT to treat

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2010

I decided decades ago, after watching several generations of women die of cancer, that I would not be treated when (not if) I developed cancer. That decision has never wavered; what I've seen since has made me more determined and content with my choice.

So here I am. But it turns out that doctors don't particularly appreciate that decision; when I explained that I wouldn't be opting for surgery or chemo, or volunteering as a lab rat (I didn't put it that way!) I got yelled at and tossed aside. Not more than I expected, to be honest, but less than I might have hoped for, as the only reason I even bothered getting diagnosed was because the pain and exhaustion are beginning to eat away at my life balance. And when I didn't fall in line, the doctor told me he wasn't going to bother writing me a pain scrip. I love the medical profession, it always lives down to the standards I've come to know and loathe. Although I realize that this isn't the way most people see or experience health care -- try it without having insurance. You're less than dirt beneath most of their feet.

All I need to do is get through until I'm declared a lost cause -- Oregon rocks, in that it provides the goodnight pill! But it turns out doctors prefer patients that bring up their income... so how am I going to make it until then? I don't want to to be penalized for choosing a quicker outcome or spend months fighting for pain medication; I'd rather fit in a last trip overseas. So many of the social and healthcare nets have been quietly dismantled and closed over the last year -- there's really nothing left. I do NOT want to spend precious hours in an ER, not to mention I'd end up on the street, paying ER costs just to obtain basic med needs, which I *can* pay for, day to day.

I can explain my decision, but I can't *create* a doctor that will treat me pallatively, outside the surgical/chemo system, and this major metropolitan city has become a wasteland of shuttered care options. Which is what has really made the situation so difficult.

What I need is a broad plan. And a starting point. And a pony. I don't have any of those things.

nancy591's picture
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2009

Hospice may be an option. They will give you all the pain meds you need. I don't know wht insurances they may take. If you are disabled at this point you should be able to get social security disability which can include medicaid and medicare.

Do you pay privately for your healthcare now? Do you do to a clinic that works on a sliding scale?

Being a 'lab rat' may not help 'us' at this point may help our children, our children's children and future generations to come.

Good luck!

msfanciful's picture
Posts: 581
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi there,

I just saw your post and I understand your reason for your choice not to treat.

I can't help but wince a bit, however; because if I had've taken that stance, I think of the last 3 years I wouldn't have had (particularly being stage IV). If for no other reason, this extra time has given me opportunities to tie loose ends and to squeeze as much enjoyment out of life as humanly possible, to let those we have a tendency to take for granted know how much I love them.

I do respect your decision greatly. May I ask, do you even know what stage you are? Do you have ovarian cancer? When were you diagnosed?

It's awful how far our healthcare system has declined; and it certainly doesn't help those who really need medical help. It's no wonder we have so many unnecessary death as a results.

As long as you are at peace with your decision, I do think your resolve to stick with it is beautiful.

Bless you,


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