"The Chemo Wars" - What's the Real Story? *Updated*

Sundanceh
Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
edited March 2011 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I did some “old school” arithmetic and by my account, by the time I finish with this treatment schedule, I will have completed (51) rounds of chemo in my journey, not including Avastin.

That number shocked even me - guess I had just lost account as the years have passed…

I liken chemo to NAPALM and am often reminded during treatment, of all the war movies where the jets come swoopin’ in and drop the napalm out of the sky while the other team runs for cover inside their man-made tunnels.

The fury of the napalm (like chemo) is evident as it lays waste to everything in its path, while the enemy just waits it out. And when it’s all over, they come scurrying out of their tunnels and are ready to do battle once more.

And that’s how Cancer really works, isn’t it? It hides and waits, gathers its forces and launches another attack – in our world we call this a RECURRENCE.

And Recurrence, is always where the real battle of Cancer is ultimately won or lost. These are just the facts and if you ‘ve been on the board long, well, we know too many of our friend who we have seen this happen to.

Myself, I’m on the downward slope of Recurrence #3. I can tell you that the battle gets harder not easier. As I close in towards 7-years of hand-to-hand combat, I find it much more difficult both physically and mentally to keep “steppin’ up” and hitting it out of the park.

Perhaps, my body has just grown weary of all the abuse that Cancer has put me through. Mind and body wise, I am a weary traveler on the Long Road of Cancer – I’ve found that there are not too many rest stops along the way. And when you eyeball one, then you better pull over – that’s what they are there for.

I’ve got much more experience than when I started - that’s an Advantage, but I also think it can be a Disadvantage at times, as well. The problem with multiple recurrences, is you are fully aware of what you are going to have to go up against. You could sit down and write the script out yourself for all that you are going to have to go through again. And that pain weighs heavily on both you and your caregiver.

It’s a very long road you are both facing again – this 3rd Tour of Duty for me will be 10-months of hard fighting. That’s a lot of good time gone by the wayside, but with no other choice than to lay down, I went for it yet again. Still in the hopes, that I might get cured, I try and fight on.

But, am I really kidding myself all of these years…now a Stage IV with all of these years of “front-line action?” Could I still really be this naïve? That chapter is still a few more months away, after we wrap up treatment and do the scans, and get the “results” that myself and those that have followed me are waiting for.

Of course, I’m a little more realistic about things now than I was before I started – one would expect to change and grow between Years 1 and Years 7. I certainly see things a lot more clearly now and I have no misgivings as to what still waits before me. All I can do is get up everyday and take a step forward and see where the days go. The meter is running anyway, no matter which way it goes.

I think as the “wear & tear” on my mind and body continues over the years, I constantly am looking for that fine line that defines Curative to Palliative to End of Life.

Where is that line for me?

Where is that line for any of us?

Not even the greatest minds of our times can answer this question for any of us – of course, I find that the most challenging aspect of the disease. When to know WHEN?

As always, TIME will tell us all what we need to know. I just find it aggravating that I was given 7 more years of life and had to give 80% of that time to fighting “just to live.” The numbers really don’t add up for me, but as a stubborn and tenacious Texan, I just don’t know why I keep going sometimes.

Perhaps, it’s because I still have a shot at Cure that acts as the “carrot on the string” and keeps me forever advancing to that goal. And if I don’t make it, then maybe I will be granted at least one period of 6-months or even a year, where I could rest my mind and body and prepare for another fight if Recurrence #4 decided to announce itself. That would be nice – I need a Cyotoxin break so I can see again what’s it like to try and feel good and somewhat human again.

Chemo – it’s the chemical sensation that’s sweeping the nation – every hospital and chemo ward I’ve seen is jammed full – literally standing room only just to get in.

And what a novel approach – we’ll give you “medicine” whose mission is to kill and destroy any living cell that it comes in conact with. Now, that’s real space age technology there – talk about a targeted approach.

I won’t live to see it, but I do hope that there become better ways to attack this problem as the decades roll by – one thing for certain, Cancer is not going away. Someone will always be dealing with it – and let’s hope in the future, it is in a more humane way.

I really don’t fault the medical community – it’s simply all we know to fight with in 2011. It’s just upsetting that we are not further along and we could end all of this needless suffering that so many millions are going through each day of their lives.

Unfortunately, the Cancer Battle, is fought with the premise of ADDITION by SUBTRACTION. Which means we are adding time to our lives, by “subtracting” our organs in surgery, and our cells through brutal radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Which brings me to another theory I’ve been mulling over. Are we really adding years to our live with treatment? Well, of course we are, but is what we invest in the fight, what we are getting out of it?

Case in point…I will have “invested” 10-months of my time into this latest cancer battle. Let’s say that I live for 10 more months…..what does that represent to me? To me, that’s a DRAW – I gave 10 to get 10, so we’re even. But are we really?

I left behind 5 wedge resections of my right lung – they cut out 2 ribs – they destroyed another 10% of my right lung with radiation treatments that had me on my knees, literally begging for death.

Draw? Well, we can call it that, ‘cause that’s probably the best case scenario for me this time. But as I’m trying to illustrate, we always lose more when we go up against Cancer – we can win some victories, but the costs of those victories are steep and come at a very high price.

And if I’ve invested 10-months and were to only get 6-months before my next recurrence, then my old school math, tells me that I’ve lost. And if it’s anything less than that……

And lastly, I wanted to tackle one of the biggest questions that we are asked advice for everyday up here – and it’s one of the most difficult to answer.

The Question: “Should I do chemo following my surgery?”

Our Answer: Has always been to do what you feel best and what your oncologist and medical team feels is right.

That disclaimer takes away the guilt in case we were to advice someone one way or the other and it was not the right path to take – that would be hard to live with for any of us.

Of course, the answer is never definitive. But, I did get to the root of this answer with my oncologist recently and I asked him this question. This is from his medical point of view and not just my opinion.

What he feels is right, is if there are NO cancer cells “detectable” then he is against doing chemo for all the obvious reasons, that you are throwing a “big gun” at this problem with no guaranteed resolution and that you are risking “Densensitation” to the chemo’s effectiveness and that over time, cells will change to make the adjustment , and then the chemo will fail.

He feels it is better to have the “Big Gun” chemo in your holster for when it’s really needed.

To further illustrate this point, I want to use my old Friend “Buzzard” as Test Case #1 and “Sundance” as Test Case #2. (Hope you don’t mind, buddy)

“Buzzard” – Test Case #1
Buzz had a lung tumor met that was successfully removed with surgery – he had clear margins all the way around – no “detectable” cancer cells present, so he and his team elected not to do the chemo.

“Sundance” – Test Case #2
I had a 6cm lung met tumor that was embedded into my rib cage and lay very closely to my spine. Surgery removed most of the tumor, including my ribs and the scraping of my chest cavity, but we did not achieve clear margins . Biopsy further revealed that there were cancer cells visibly present and thus we had to go radiation and systemic chemotherapy.

This might help some of you who might be looking down this road in the up and coming future. Any of us would be supportive with whichever route was taken, but this is a medical opinion from a well thought of surgical oncologist and does make for some interesting thinking on this subject.

The other topic we talked about was does Chemo Cure Cancer by Itself?

My onc and I sat down and spoke on this sobering topic – chemo and it’s role in our fights. He explained to me that Chemo in and of itself, will not cure cancer. This is not really news, it has been told to me by several oncologists and medical professionals that I’ve spoken to.

We know that it shrinks tumors, we know that it holds the line for awhile and prevents growth and metastasis, until its effectiveness in our bodies stops.

My onc gave me a good analogy that I wanted to share with you. It went something like if you have a million cancer cells in your body, then chemo has a better chance at catching so many of those during various stages of their growth cycle….but when we multiply that by hundreds of millions or billions of cancer cells, then the task is just too overwhelming for chemo to do by itself. Too many cancer cells at too many different stages of growth and therefore, impossible to eradicate all or most of them.

“The Chemo Wars.” I wish we could get this as more of a TREATMENT option, instead of a LIFESTYLE.

Because, honestly, I don’t know how many more rounds I want to do. I guess we’ll just see how this battle shapes up and then I can think long and hard on the future, depending on what we find out.

I want to thank everyone in advance for taking their time to read this. Many of you are in your first year or first few years of fighting, so it may be hard for you to understand my perspectives at times.

But, I’m speaking from a 7-year perspective and from time to time, I need to talk about the subjects and topics that weigh so heavily on my mind.

Who else can I turn to in my time of need? Who else would really understand where I’m coming from? What’s the point of my journey if I cannot have the free will to express my feelings in an open public forum and to tell you what I’ve felt and learned over that length of time?

I’ve put myself on the other side of my posts and if it were Me reading Me, I would want to know a little about what this guy has found out during his time in the battle. Why has he survived so long? What keeps him going? I’ve tried to show you many sides of myself from strong to fallible and I always like to tackle some of the biggest topics out there and I try and stay as real as I can, while still being very supportive.

I am one of a handful of people in our community who has been fighting this long, which puts me on a pretty short list of folks.

We always pay attention to the NED club and they are given high praise for their accomplishments – and rightfully so. But, I think the Long Term Actively Fighting segment of our community needs recognition as well, because what we are doing, is every bit as important and relevant in this community – I just wanted to stand up for this group and say that.

I certainly don’t want you to fight as long as I did – but if you find yourselves in my shoes, you will know that were those who came before you – that defied the odds – that thumbed their noses to cancer – and lived many years longer than they were given by their “trusted medical staff.”

For those of us about to fight – I SALUTE YOU!!!

-Craig
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Comments

  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    Craig
    What an amazing post. You really bring up some important points + are making me think. All of us in this battle make tough choices -daily/monthly/weekly. I totally admire you + how you have conducted yourself throughout this battle. I know you are a huge inspirational voice on this board. I am glad you are standing up for the Long Term Actively Fighting Segment; this is a group I hold near + dear to my heart + is why I started my thread asking for input from non-NED people. We are all survivors, whether we are wearing the NED tag or not. I respect + envy people who can say they are NED but let's not discount the other "survivors" + what they bring to the party. Be well, Craig.
  • Buckwirth
    Buckwirth Member Posts: 1,258
    Timely post
    Craig,

    Thanks for posting this.  I was dx'd a little less than a year ago as stage IV due to "distant" lymph node involvement.  12 rounds of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation and one bright red colostomy later and I have no idea of how I am.  I do know that my secondary oncologist at USC Norris has been upfront with me from the start that my treatment was palliative not curative.

    Surgery was in January, and I finally got around to seeing my oncologist yesterday.  He wants to start me on Erbitux, and I want to wait.  For some strange reason I would like to have six months or so of normal, or something like it.

    If I have no active tumors, what does continuing treatment buy me?  6 months on the back end?  More?  Less?  What do I trade for that?  Do I give up trying to work (and all that brings with it)?  An all expense paid trip to Europe? Most of the things I thought of as my "life" a scant year ago?

    And what will the back end look like?  Will I be healthy enough to make the most of it?  Or will it just be one last brutal round of treatments?

    Would I be better off waiting for the cancer to metastasize somewhere and treating it then, rather than burning out this treatment option where there would be no visible results?

    I see these as tough choices, and they require a frank conversation with my oncologist, as well as more testing to see where I, and my alien guest, actually are.
  • This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • Jaylo969
    Jaylo969 Member Posts: 824
    A Salute to You Craig!
    Once again Craig I want to say I appreciate your honest and heartfelt thoughts. Craig, I wish I could have read this about 15 months ago.You and your Onc discussed this:

    <<<The Question: “Should I do chemo following my surgery?”

    Of course, the answer is never definitive. But, I did get to the root of this answer with my oncologist recently and I asked him this question. This is from his medical point of view and not just my opinion.

    What he feels is right, is if there are NO cancer cells “detectable” then he is against doing chemo for all the obvious reasons, that you are throwing a “big gun” at this problem with no guaranteed resolution and that you are risking “Densensitation” to the chemo’s effectiveness and that over time, cells will change to make the adjustment , and then the chemo will fail. ">>>


    I was dx'd as stage II a/b...large tumor but no apparent spread. I was given the option of chemo as 'preventive' and it was left entirely up to me to make the decision. Had an 80% chance of NO recurrance w/out chemo and went for another 7-8% at the advice of healthcare professional friends who stated that they had seen stage II come back with a vengence.My onc. felt that as young as I am ( not 80 yet) it might be a good idea to try chemo. So, I did chemo ....and I wrote more but I didn't want to discourage anyone else's decisions so I deleted most of my comment.


    I think of you often Craig and I do salute you and all the fighters and survivors of this terrible disease. You are all so very gracious.

    Thank you Craig! I am pulling for you my friend.

    -Pat
  • wolfen
    wolfen Member Posts: 1,324
    Jaylo969 said:

    A Salute to You Craig!
    Once again Craig I want to say I appreciate your honest and heartfelt thoughts. Craig, I wish I could have read this about 15 months ago.You and your Onc discussed this:

    <<<The Question: “Should I do chemo following my surgery?”

    Of course, the answer is never definitive. But, I did get to the root of this answer with my oncologist recently and I asked him this question. This is from his medical point of view and not just my opinion.

    What he feels is right, is if there are NO cancer cells “detectable” then he is against doing chemo for all the obvious reasons, that you are throwing a “big gun” at this problem with no guaranteed resolution and that you are risking “Densensitation” to the chemo’s effectiveness and that over time, cells will change to make the adjustment , and then the chemo will fail. ">>>


    I was dx'd as stage II a/b...large tumor but no apparent spread. I was given the option of chemo as 'preventive' and it was left entirely up to me to make the decision. Had an 80% chance of NO recurrance w/out chemo and went for another 7-8% at the advice of healthcare professional friends who stated that they had seen stage II come back with a vengence.My onc. felt that as young as I am ( not 80 yet) it might be a good idea to try chemo. So, I did chemo ....and I wrote more but I didn't want to discourage anyone else's decisions so I deleted most of my comment.


    I think of you often Craig and I do salute you and all the fighters and survivors of this terrible disease. You are all so very gracious.

    Thank you Craig! I am pulling for you my friend.

    -Pat

    Beautifully Written Craig
    I write this on behalf of my daughter, Johnnybegood. I'm sure she will post when she is feeling better. Today she is getting her port put back in to start the fight again. Next week she will start the dreaded chemo infusions with the chemo bead treatment on alternate weeks preceding a surgery for the liver and lung mets recently discovered. She had done the mop up chemo after the first surgery, but to no avail. I was not with her during this chemo, but she became deathly ill and yet continued on. As her mother, I must simply tell her "You can not give up". But, when she asks "Is this what the rest of my life will be like?", I have no answer. The only hope is that maybe this time it will work or that in the near future some major breakthrough will take place.

    I praise each and every one of you for being strong and withstanding all the torment you have been put through and yet continuing to fight.

    Please keep Johnnybegood in your thoughts as she starts this journey again.

    Thank You,

    Wolfen
  • OGammy01
    OGammy01 Member Posts: 67
    Oh my, what great posts
    Oh my, what great posts these were! I really needed all of them.


    Thank You all

    Diane
  • LivinginNH
    LivinginNH Member Posts: 1,456
    Hey Craig, As usual, you've

    Hey Craig, As usual, you've provided a wonderful thought provoking post. You are quite the soldier against this tenacious disease - and I salute you sir! Luv, Cynthia
  • Lori-S
    Lori-S Member Posts: 1,277
    Craig
    Thank you for sharing this post and your thoughts.

    As you may have read about me, after a very short 9 months from orginal dx and 3 months of heavy, debilitating FOLFOX, I have a recurrence in my colon and have been taken off FOLFOX to never have it again due to my reactions being so severe last time that they brought out the crash cart. It just seems so unfair that I would have a recurrence so soon and after putting myself through such brutal treatment. I guess in my case ... no ... chemo does not cure cancer. And now Ive burned out one of my options since I can't ever have FOLFOX again.

    Now, I am gearing up for another surgery to remove the new tumor and I am just hoping that this recurrence is not setting the stage for me because I don't know that I could be as noble and inspirational for others as you have been for me.
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
    Lori-S said:

    Craig
    Thank you for sharing this post and your thoughts.

    As you may have read about me, after a very short 9 months from orginal dx and 3 months of heavy, debilitating FOLFOX, I have a recurrence in my colon and have been taken off FOLFOX to never have it again due to my reactions being so severe last time that they brought out the crash cart. It just seems so unfair that I would have a recurrence so soon and after putting myself through such brutal treatment. I guess in my case ... no ... chemo does not cure cancer. And now Ive burned out one of my options since I can't ever have FOLFOX again.

    Now, I am gearing up for another surgery to remove the new tumor and I am just hoping that this recurrence is not setting the stage for me because I don't know that I could be as noble and inspirational for others as you have been for me.

    Craig, dammit, write the book, ....we want to read it all.....
    You can use me as a lab rat anytime you want buddy...It was my option after talking with my Onc that I do no chemo...I really didn't see the point, she agreed with me.no node involvement, all clear margins, there simply wasn't any reasoning behind it.....You know my new Onc is 35 years old and I did ask her how old she was when I first started talking with her on my first appt. She got kind of a look in her eyes and I told her in no uncertain terms... and I quote.." I want someone who is young enough to not be afraid to be aggressive when necessary and also not be aggressive when not necessary. I also want someone young and with different opinions on what actions should be taken with different cases and not so damn young that they choke when called upon"....I said now young lady, if you meet my requirements then Im all yours....she looked at me and said" don't let this look of youth discourage you from thinking there is no brain behind it"...I gave her a big hug and my journey lies with her now.........
    Its a matter of how long with me do I want to live like this...I actually don't think much of dying, but I am realistic as well...Actually last night told the wife that there are a lot of things that are out of my control with this, one is when my ticket will be cashed, but if I get to where I think Im getting close, I want for my children to remember me as I am now, healthy (to their eyes anyway) and strong. When I know that its a matter of time ( and I will know) then my wife knows when I say enough, then whatever shape or condition I am in, then that will be all of it. I will not ever put my family through the misery of watching their daddy fade away.....and I will never ever cause my family to lose all they have because of my illness...you just have to take that one with a grain of salt...my soul purpose is to save enough money to assure they will be ok, and after today I know what needs to be done....sorry about rambling on your post buddy, you just bring a lot of feelings to the top with your insights.....Yours in Hope, Buzz
  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    Lori-S said:

    Craig
    Thank you for sharing this post and your thoughts.

    As you may have read about me, after a very short 9 months from orginal dx and 3 months of heavy, debilitating FOLFOX, I have a recurrence in my colon and have been taken off FOLFOX to never have it again due to my reactions being so severe last time that they brought out the crash cart. It just seems so unfair that I would have a recurrence so soon and after putting myself through such brutal treatment. I guess in my case ... no ... chemo does not cure cancer. And now Ive burned out one of my options since I can't ever have FOLFOX again.

    Now, I am gearing up for another surgery to remove the new tumor and I am just hoping that this recurrence is not setting the stage for me because I don't know that I could be as noble and inspirational for others as you have been for me.

    Lori, too late!
    You already are a huge inspiration to me - you are dealing with so much and with such grace and humour.
  • Lori-S
    Lori-S Member Posts: 1,277
    Buzzard said:

    Craig, dammit, write the book, ....we want to read it all.....
    You can use me as a lab rat anytime you want buddy...It was my option after talking with my Onc that I do no chemo...I really didn't see the point, she agreed with me.no node involvement, all clear margins, there simply wasn't any reasoning behind it.....You know my new Onc is 35 years old and I did ask her how old she was when I first started talking with her on my first appt. She got kind of a look in her eyes and I told her in no uncertain terms... and I quote.." I want someone who is young enough to not be afraid to be aggressive when necessary and also not be aggressive when not necessary. I also want someone young and with different opinions on what actions should be taken with different cases and not so damn young that they choke when called upon"....I said now young lady, if you meet my requirements then Im all yours....she looked at me and said" don't let this look of youth discourage you from thinking there is no brain behind it"...I gave her a big hug and my journey lies with her now.........
    Its a matter of how long with me do I want to live like this...I actually don't think much of dying, but I am realistic as well...Actually last night told the wife that there are a lot of things that are out of my control with this, one is when my ticket will be cashed, but if I get to where I think Im getting close, I want for my children to remember me as I am now, healthy (to their eyes anyway) and strong. When I know that its a matter of time ( and I will know) then my wife knows when I say enough, then whatever shape or condition I am in, then that will be all of it. I will not ever put my family through the misery of watching their daddy fade away.....and I will never ever cause my family to lose all they have because of my illness...you just have to take that one with a grain of salt...my soul purpose is to save enough money to assure they will be ok, and after today I know what needs to be done....sorry about rambling on your post buddy, you just bring a lot of feelings to the top with your insights.....Yours in Hope, Buzz

    Buzz
    I feel the same way about having those I love having to watch me wither away. I myself have already taken steps to make sure that doesn't happen.

    Unfortunately, the money going for cancer was something that I couldn't help. It bothers me to this day. See, I was told by the first doctor 9 months ago that I was "just a stage 2 .... no need for chemo ... just go home and live your life". But, Something just didn't seem right to me and so without health insurance, I had to find a way to find out more of what was going on. I am glad that I was able to do that but, now with this damn recurrence, I am questioning whether I'm on that long road that I would have preferrred not to travel and question my decision because I may not be able to make up the money that I've spent that was original destined to go to take care of my children, especially my youngest son who can never work and needs lots of care. I just wanted to do my 12 rounds of FOLFOX and then go on with my life and replenish my bank account. My biggest fear now is that I won't get that chance. Cancer sux
  • Lori-S
    Lori-S Member Posts: 1,277
    AnneCan said:

    Lori, too late!
    You already are a huge inspiration to me - you are dealing with so much and with such grace and humour.

    Thanks Anne
    HUGS
  • TMac52
    TMac52 Member Posts: 352
    I don't usually read long post's
    Dear Craig,
    I don't take the time. I shoot in look around see something interesting maybe a comment or two and i'm out. I see alot of pain on this board and it scares me. People around me think I'm on too often, but they dont see the knowlege and wisdom here. Nor do they understand the connection of talking with someone else who has been where I am, mentally phisically and spiritually.

    I am currently part of the NED club with 5 weeks of post Op chemo to go. I opted for the chemo because I didnt know any better, with no nodes, clear margins, stage one I wouldnt do it again. it's been tough. I didnt want to take any chances. now I see the bills to my insurance company. I know how much the hospital charges for my 4 hours in the chemo lab and the doggy bag I get to take home for two days. It's a business of course they want me to do it. They are not with me through the side effects, the family on the CSN boards are.

    I try to be supportive of everyone on this site because I could be in your shoes tomorrow none of us have any guarantee. I dont feel that I know enough about recovery to offer anything other than hope and prayer. Sometimes I need a break from seeing all the pain and loss that is here so I take a few days away from the boards, then something brings me back. The people here are a big family. I have allowed myself to get close to a few but it again scares me. Your story Craig as well as many others cares the **** out of me. I don't want to go through it, I have had enough pain and torchure in one year with my story that the thought of enduring more turns my stomach.

    I am glad I took the time to read your post and all the one below yours, you are truly an inspiration to so many here as Im sure you are in your family life as well. My hope for you and everyone suffering with the disease or side effects from treatment is that we find peace of mind. Whether that means acceptance of our fate or fight is an individual thing. The fight goes on in each of us NED or not. The fight to remain sane through it all is sometimes tougher than the physical aspect.

    And writing a long post without spell check is damn near impossible for me.

    Peace,
    Tom
  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Dear Craig
    I certainly can't speak with any experience regarding chemo or radiation, as I opted out of both after surgery. For me it was the right choice, but not necessarily the right one for others.

    I think that with each decision we must make we weigh the options and possibilities of the day and do our best with feeling good about our choice.

    For those like yourself and others here who have had to make those decisions over and over, the cumulative effect can be overwhelming.

    Life is an uncertainty for all on the planet, but for those like yourself who fight so hard it seems that there should be some light at the end of the tunnel, not an oncoming train but a life with health and happiness.

    Praying that you find both soon.

    Hugs,

    Marie who loves kitties
  • Dharma girl
    Dharma girl Member Posts: 40
    Craig, thank you for the post and for sharing your experiences with us.

    My mother had surgery. PET scan and blood work came back ‘clean, NED however, her oncologist wants her to do both chemo and radiation. It seems a little redundant.

    You make a good point about only using chemo when you need to bring out the big guns.
    I wonder if the body builds a resistance to chemo ? I will defiantly be doing some research to try to find a answer.

    Again thanks.
  • Craig, thank you for the post and for sharing your experiences with us.

    My mother had surgery. PET scan and blood work came back ‘clean, NED however, her oncologist wants her to do both chemo and radiation. It seems a little redundant.

    You make a good point about only using chemo when you need to bring out the big guns.
    I wonder if the body builds a resistance to chemo ? I will defiantly be doing some research to try to find a answer.

    Again thanks.

    This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    Right to the heart
    As usual, you go right to the heart, Craig. I honestly don't know what I'd do in your shoes, my friend. I realize once again how fortunate I have been in my journey with cancer. There are so many variables, and I think each person has to decide that one for him/herself. I don't believe even family can help with a decision like that but so much, because they're bound to be emotional about the whole deal.

    I just pray that you will find a treatment that will keep the BEAST at bay and allow you to have some real quality of life. You've been through too much for so long.

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Thank You Everyone!
    Well, I know this was not one of my popular posts, but I felt it had merit to discuss this most delicate topic. With all of the treatments I've done, I'm been ruminating over this subject for many years, but has brought more to light as I've done more treatments and witnessed what has happened to others since I joined the board.

    I use to hesitate in posting such material, but found that when I did, there were always some folks who were glad that the topic was brought up - we just had to turn the light on and then it was ok to discuss it.

    I always feel like it's best for us to wrap our minds around the heavy issues and deal with our cancers head on - in that way, we take back some of the control of our lives and are better able to deal with subjects such as this one.

    Thank you everyone for your input and support and I'd like to add the following:

    ANNIE:
    Thanks for your compliment last night - I liked this post and thought I did a pretty good job on it - it read well and flowed and contained many good aspects of the topic. It's in the book for sure:) And I do look forward to the day when we can meet if that's ever possible.

    BLAKE:
    Your points are exactly the reason I opened this post and contain many of the thoughts that have had me thinking - would it be better to take things up front instead of on the back end. I don't have the answer yet, maybe after this round of fighting I will. I certainly what you are saying and I appreciate you stopping in on this post.

    KATHY:
    My dear Canadian friend and confidant. I was so hoping that you would read this and give me your feedback. I appreciate everything that you had to say. You are doing so well and handling your chemo much better and I applaud you for all that you are doing in your fight. I do hope that when I get to Canada, that I can meet you as well....be a real treat.

    PAT:
    I wish I had known this 15-months ago too and could have relayed it to you, as well. You're so nice and very supportive of me and have always been in corner no matter what. I wonder about you and hope your life is settling down and you are getting some "Pat Time."

    WOLFEN:
    Thank you for your compliment on the writing on my post...I appreciate that so much. I certainly will keep Johnnybegood in my thoughts as she picks up her sword and her shield and marches head-long back into the battle.

    DIANE:
    Glad the post and all the responses were of some benefit and help to you:)

    CYNTHIA:
    Your continued support means so much to me - tell Rick hello for me!

    LORI:
    I worry about you and all that you've got going on with your life. Most of us have lost Folfox as a weapon in our arsenal, but Folfiri is still there. I'm so glad that I can mean somthing to you, as your strength and perseverance mean so much to me...want some good things for you and your son.

    BUZZARD:
    My old compadre:) I will write the book - this morning on the way in, I was thinking about putting you in one of the chapters...the "trash can" theory...look out, Montana might just throw it long, LOL:)

    TOM:
    Know my story is a little scary for many - but it's important that I tell my story so that others can gleam from that what they will. I fight on and do my best and know that you will also. Semper Fi!

    KITTEN MARIE:
    Another wonderful supporter to me and I appreciate your good tidings and well wishes for me. Maybe one day I'll realize the fruition of your wishes and get some of the good things too.

    DHARMA:
    I'm glad that you were able to see some positive in this post - I think about these things and figure someone else might be as well and it's for those that I'm trying to reach. Take care and welcome back to the board.

    GRACI:
    Know my posts are sometimes a little "strong" but they spring from my inner soul and I have a need to explore the mysteries and myths of cancer - not only for myself but for the community as well. You've always been very supportive and I thank you for that.

    GAIL:
    Every day that I think about you, I thank the lucky stars that you were spared most of what you have read about here. I would not want that for you or anyone. I've found that are no Oscar awards, balloons, or ribbons for having to endure all of that. I really feel that Cancer is in your rear view mirror and it could not happen to a nicer person.

    Take care everyone! Margarita #9 is coming up in 5 days for those still keeping count:)
    I'm gearing up for the stretch run.

    -Craig
  • Fight for my love
    Fight for my love Member Posts: 1,522
    Hi my buddy,sorry I am
    Hi my buddy,sorry I am late.I am concentrating a little more on myself right this moment,trying to get a driver's lisence,trying to prepare resume,collecting job hunting information,anyway it's time to do all these things.

    It's nice to see your post.You are one of the most intelligent and wisest people I have ever met,and I think you know everything.Sometimes just because we know too much,we have to make harder decisions.No matter what your future chioces are going to be,I will understand and always wish you the best.

    In my mind,since my husband's cancer,I have not stopped thinking about cancer even just for one day.I have to admit it is haunting me.I always worry about a lot "what if"s in the future.It seems like every step in life is a challenge.I am learning to live with it.I hope my husband stays NED forever for sure,but deep in my heart there is a lot "what if"s.

    Thank you for this heartful post,this post resonates my heart again.Hope you are doing well.Take care.
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342 Member
    Craig
    Craig,
    Thank you for sharing. Every time I read one of your posts I learn so much. Since I am not the one with cancer I don't know how it is. You help me understand.
    I respect you so much Craig. You are one strong man.

    Hugs.

    Aloha,
    Kathleen