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Does anyone ever throw in the towel?

Posts: 5
Joined: May 2011

Seems that everyone here is like the Energizer Bunny. You just keep going and going and going. Times are bad, your lives are changed dramatically & sometimes horribly, yet you deal with it all: crappy and sometimes permanent side effects from rad, chemo & surgeries, fear, depression, elation, depression, fear, - HOW? I read some of the stories and I do not want to go through it. I suppose my will to live isn't as strong or I'm just a sissy :) Lately, it's occurred to me that it'd be easier to just bow out gracefully - I'm stage 4, and yes, I know there are LOTS (lots being a relative term) of stage 4 survivors & it's possible I could be one of them. My quality of life is more important to me than struggling to stay alive thru surgery, after surgery, recurrence after recurrence, permanent chemo brain, neuropathy, etc. Someone set me straight, if you can.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3360
Joined: Jan 2010

There are many things which 'help' all those here to keep going and going. For some it is their age...so very young with lots they want to do yet. For some it is their children who are young or still need their support. For some it is their spouse or significant other who gives them the desire for as many days, weeks, months, years as possible.

Each of us has to determine our own life situation and what is important to us when considering how to proceed. Some do just surgery. Some do surgery with alternative medicine. Some do the whole package with surgery, chemo and rads.

If you are struggling with depression, perhaps before you make any decision, you might want to see a counselor who treats the emotional distress of this diagnosis. That way you can identify your fears, your desires and your needs and hopefully make the best choice for you.

Best wishes and keep in touch,

Marie who loves kitties

daBeachBum's picture
Posts: 164
Joined: Apr 2011

I am newer to the board, but my thinking is that there is a strong element of self selection here for people who are resolved to fight this disease as hard as they can. Also, since this an internet forum, the cohort is naturally going to skew younger (and healthier) than the median for the disease. For many people such as myself, this is the only (or primary) health issue they face. All that being said, I would guess that most of us have an "exit plan" if things get really bad.

Everyone has the right and responsibility to make the best decisions for their own lives. The majority of the people here have resolved to fight this tooth and nail. That doesn't mean that this is the best decision for everyone.

All the best!


Posts: 217
Joined: Apr 2010

and have to decide soon if chemo is my choice for liver mets. You do not give much info on your situation, but at 68 my feelings could be influenced by age. I just went thru a failed liver resection, they were not able to proceed. Cat scan tomorrow, just don't know what I feel. My body is at 1/2 the place it was when I started on this journey in 12/08.
I don't feel depressed, just weary and I do not like pain, make me a sissy. Husband understands, children don't. It is a humbling experience to listen to all, but all our cases are different. I think of all on here as being brave warriors. I just think all of us are at different stages in life and I might change my mind 20 times before I decide what to do..............thanks for letting me vent my emotions......Pat

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

NEVER EVER GIVE UP.......and I intend on doing exactly what he states.......I owe my family that much.......Love, Hope, and Longevity to you my friend..............


pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Love and hope to both of you!

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"My quality of life is more important to me than struggling to
stay alive thru surgery, after surgery, recurrence after
recurrence, permanent chemo brain, neuropathy, etc. Someone set
me straight, if you can."

A friend of mine once said that he could not understand why anyone
would consider suicide. He felt that when life got that bad, instead
of "ending it", they should try going in a totally different direction.

At the time, he was speaking of the suicide of a homosexual that
decided that death was better than trying to hide the truth.

Why end life, when you can just step out into the open and live?

You're concerned about cancer. You are concerned about having
to suffer the consequences of the mainstream treatments.

So you're going to give up instead of trying something else?
That's a bit radical, isn't it?

Read my profile, and read the "blog" section of my profile.
Decide for yourself if taking another route might be better
than tossing in the proverbial towel.

Operations and surgery may be required to give yourself
the best scenario; to have the most level playing field, but
you may find that there are other ways to deal with cancer,
other than making yourself sick and weak.

It will require you to do some reading and some investigating,
and to open your mind to other possibilities.......

But if your present "other choice" is death....? Then what could
possibly be worse than that?

It's time to explore, my friend; it's time to come alive.

My best wishes are for you,


ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

I may miss the fish of a lifetime, it's my lifeline. If things get so bad that I can't do the things that get me thru I may seriously consider the options.Ron.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

just curious,


ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Let alone fish Pete. It's a three sit down venture just to do my shopping. Not much better at work,can barely hold a screw driver and dropped a cup of hot coffee all over myself last week. Arthritis and neuropathy is the worst it has ever been.Ron.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I'm sure that they do. I also am pretty sure that they would not come on to the forum to announce it either. I have found in my years here that the people who ARE here are those who want to fight and to live. Is it easy? Hell no. Is it worth it? Hell yes.

There are some who use Winston Churchill's quote "A joke is a very serious thing" No, it's "I may be drunk... but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly". Wait, it's "Never, never, never give up." Yes, that's the one I was thinking of. I've always felt that either you've got it, or you don't. If you're very indifferent you may do OK for a while but in the long run I'm not sure how well one would do. On the flip-side, you can have all of the optimism in the world but if you had poor doctors and/or poor choices in treatment then all of the positive attitude may not be enough. What is CAN do for you however, is to let you live your life to the fullest and to enjoy the time you have. It's a win-win in my book.

None of know when our time is up. We may have cancer but there is nothing that says we will die from cancer. We can die from any number of other things. (that last part was my pep-talk!)
I have many people I love in my life and who love me. That alone is enough for me to keep going.

thingy45's picture
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

This is a tough one and most of all a personal one. We all throw in the towel for a day, but then we find that fighting spirit again. It is OK to be down. There are so many people who love us and need us, specially our kids, young or older.
I told my daughter at one time " I don't do suffering well" and she had to laugh, and said" who does MOM".
Personally I feel that we are more afraid of what might lie ahead in treatments then the treatment it self. Try the treatment, you can stop it at any time, it might save your life and give you a few more years with partner,kids and most precious the grand kids and our trusted and loyal animals.
Of course you can also lie down and wait to die, surprising it might take you a few years and look then at all you have missed out on.
My self I make a plan for a little trip in 2 weeks and live towards that and then a movie I like to go and see and invite a grandchild to go with me, so I cannot bow out.
Everyday is special that we are alive and we are making memories also for ourselves.

I am all for quality and not quantity, our whole life we had to make choices. Find the best treatment for you, either chemo/Rad or holistic or herbs, the choice is yours.
I agree, life is about living and NOT being alive. Sometimes we have to walk through a storm to get to the sunny beach.
I wish you strength, stage IV is not a dead sentence many here live with it.
We will always have discomforts even without having cancer. Every day I find something I can laugh about and then it was a good day.
Hugs, Marjan in Canada

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

"Quit of smoking is very easy, I have done it hundreds of times",so.....I have throw the towel dozens of days but still here fighting and happy about it! Cheer up Utoh!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Mark Twain....

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

"Quit of smoking is very easy, I have done it hundreds of times",so.....I have throw the towel dozens of days but still here fighting and happy about it! Cheer up Utoh!

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

"I agree, life is about living and NOT being alive. Sometimes we have to walk through a storm to get to the sunny beach."

crc is a mean biitch of a storm and the beach is long , warm and sunny.


Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

I loved this response. Your humor is refreshing and inspiring.

abrub's picture
Posts: 2156
Joined: Mar 2010

and the suffering it entails isn't worth i. I'm big on quality of life, and I have it now. However, if the suffering that I went through to get here had simply bought me more time to suffer, it would not have been worth it.

Should I ever reach the point of requiring chemo for life, or perhaps further surgeries and HIPEC, I don't know that I would do it.

I don't think it's being a sissy - I think it is understanding human limitations. Yes there are "miracles" - people who get better beyond all odds. However, I have learned as I've traveled my path that there are things worse than death.

For now, I'm doing great, and won't do anything to undermine that. But who knows what the future may bring. I'm comfortable that my kids are grown, responsible adults, and my husband is an independent wonderful man. They all can survive and continue to live without me. I'll never abandon them, but neither will I allow myself to live a life of constant suffering.

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

My mom did. We all have our own end point. I think about what would make me decide and I guess it has always been about the odds for me. If they were to tell me it was back and I had a good chance of beating it (again) I would probably take it. If they told me fighting it again will only gain me a few more months, than no. I got plenty of fight left, but we have all seen people that are warriors get beaten, so do I think cancer is tougher than me? Probably, but I do know my cancer can't survive without me either, so it would be a draw.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

the guys on this board a pretty cool, very supportitive, some can even spell.

a few comments, i am so lucky only stage 3, i have been to hell this last year.
even so had lots of amazing moments i would not trade.

if you want to fight then fight, if you want to die peacefully and quickly then to me that your right.

being pressured to fight is wrong, i think the spirit to fight comes from deep within.

many brave souls here have fought and passed away. its your life, the choices are yours alone.

facing your challenges day by day is all any of us can do. the treatments, surgeries, the pains, complications well they are real, but they pass and often at the end we are alive and well.

that what i did when crc'd. thats what i do each day.

just goodluck and peace whatever you decide, feel free to come here and vent, ask questions, nothing is out of bounds, though on occaision i have come close.

i am only 44, and i may even have another new kid in the pipeline, so failure ain't an option.


PS i have read everyones posts above and you all are awesome! I mean it.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Throw in the towel??? Sure I've done it plenty, 5 marriages (hey whose keeping count)cars that bit the dust as far as I was concerned, certain relatives, trying to be beautiful, THROWN THE TOWEL IN On all of those at one time or another.
Throw in the Towel on cancer? Not yet, if I had of, I would been gone long ago, but for the moment, I stand healthy, mostly happy (hey, who doesn't send their car to the transmission shop and come home from vacation to find it with 870.00 in fees at a towing company and get very unhappy? I have moments)going to college full time, laughing and watching my grandson grow up, being lectured by my son, all those make it worth not throwing in the towel. Enjoying being, making memories for those that someday you may very well leave behind, but at least they will know I didn't go easy, that I fought to stay with them, to love them as much and as long as possible. The towel will never be thrown in for our sakes, we don't throw it for those that we love and cherish. What is pain when you see your one year old grandson laugh, when you watch his first steps, when you hold him and let him feel the love and comfort that a grandma has to offer? Pain is nothing compared to that. We stay to make those memories for those left behind, so they may smile and laugh as they say, "You know, she said she wasn't going peacefully into the night, she was going kicking and screaming the whole way, repeating yelling, H#ll NO, I'm not ready to go quite yet!!!"
Just my take on it, my perspective is all.
Hang in there.
Winter Marie

Vickilg's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi, there... I am Stage IV with recurrence. I know that the side-effects of the fight can make one wonder if it is worth it but it is worth it. Chemo makes me ill too but I remind myself that chemo is my friend - chemo is fighting for me not against me and that I need to stay calm and let it do its job. Everyone in life has bad days, for us, those days are worse than Hell itself but you have to keep trying because there is so much of life you would miss if you stop trying.

Look at yourself as a role model for others fighting this battle. If everyone gave up where would the rest of us be? The fighters need to be the majority in this battel so that we are strong enough to carry someone like you when you need the support.

We need to show scientist that their efforts to find a cure are not a waste of time. We need to show doctors that we can beat cancer. We need the world to have faith in us and not write us off. We need to show future generations that cancer is not a death sentence. But how can we do that if we give up?

Please find your strength and remember if God wanted you home you would already be there so your time here, your purpose, is not done yet.

Big hug!

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Throwing in my two bits: I reserve the right to make my own decisions and to change my mind. I've had my moments (I won't call them low moments -- just real moments of seriously considering a wide variety of options) -- I'm sure we all have --

But for now (I'm currently on chemo -- for the fifth time!) I'm savouring all the joys in my life -- and at this stage, my joys include listening to my kids squable with each other!, as well as some more 'traditional' joys. I'm currently getting about 8 "good" days (feeling pretty good/normal) out of every 14 -- and that's good enough for me! right now....

It's a different way to live - I used to plan ahead and have difficulty with change! a new way of living now...


tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1299
Joined: Oct 2010

. My quality of life is more important to me than struggling to stay alive thru surgery, after surgery, recurrence after recurrence, permanent chemo brain, neuropathy, etc.

Many people have fears of futility, expense and pain to varied degrees that can strike at anytime, perhaps at critical junctures. These feelings might be better channeled as a problem needing a better solution, "I need a choice", "...a new doctor", "...a new treatment plan". It is amazing how things change once the victim decides to be a victor, engaging all circuits to find another path.

We use these feelings to find, research, discover or demand better options: a better surgeon, a better treatment, and to plan ahead.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Thank you, it just takes a different perspective in words or a slight skew in mindset to get where we need to be...thats diligence in finding new avenues...that will also someday bring the cure to the surface........buzz

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

We all feel vulnerable once we find out we have cancer. To feel that you can't feel scared of the fight is normal. Remember this is a frightening thing to go through. There are days that just getting angry and crying is something that helps me through a "why me" moment, but then I'm usually up and ready to go on. You can be put on antidepressants if you feel you might need it and always come here to the board if you are down. We will always try to raise you up and will always be here for you. Good luck with what you decide.


merrysmom's picture
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

First of all you have my prayers. There are definitely times I might feel like giving up but I know myself. I am a very determined person. I am 55 almost 56 and I still have a million things I want to do. Last Wednesday my onc called me in and told me that they think I have another type of cancer that is very hard to treat and rarely survivable. I think she wanted to shock a reaction out of me. My case has been handed to another cancer center and a doc that specializes in pancreatic and liver cancer. I see the surgeon on the 16th. I think the doc wanted me to fall on the ground and cry and fall apart. My philosophy is I am going to wait until the surgery and see what they really find before I fall apart. I am already dealing with intractable epilepsy and blood clots as well as the crc. I have too many things i want to do. We have mules and my dream is to get back up on them and go for a long trail ride. I am not walking in your shoes or in my case sitting in your shoes, but know that I am praying for you. Look in your life and find one thing that might be worth the fight. You have a lot of people on this post who cares about you and your life. You hang in there if you can. Maybe someday you will see one fat ole gal riding her fat ole mule and you will know who it is. Tons of love to you, barb

SisterSledge's picture
Posts: 342
Joined: Feb 2011

I really, really, really wanna see you ride yer ol'mule! What part of the country are you in?

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Sorry, I didn't read all the posts BUT!!


merrysmom's picture
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

I am in arizona not too far from Tombstone. in fact our mules help pull at christmas time in tucson for winterhaven.

marqimark's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2011

I am lucky, I was only IIIc and I wouldn't even remember that I had had CRC if it weren't for the neuropathy.

That said, I did/do feel that if there were a recurance, and my odds changed from 40% to 10%, I would have a hard time convincing myself to go through chemo again.

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