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my oncologist appt & his thoughts on my decision

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I saw my oncologist today- the first follow up with any doctor since being released from the hospital 2-1/2 weeks ago with the pneumonia (although I did have nurses coming to the house to check on me a few times until mid last week).
He wants me to have my next CT scan in about two weeks from now- still giving a bit more time for the lungs to completely clear out from the infection. He said my lungs sounded pretty good. I have had a very mild fever a few times over the past week, including last night (it's always at night & always is normal during the day). It seemed like I was getting a sinus infection- fighting seasonal fall allergies and the congestion that goes with it at the same time trying to clear out all the infection and congestion from my lungs. Onc wants a sputum sample from me to see if I'm still growing the bacteria that caused the pneumonia or not. I asked if I should go on zithromycin or something like that for the sinuses. He replied that if I developed that while I was still on the heavy duty antibiotics (forgot what their names were), that zithromycin (often referred to as a "z-pack") wouldn't even touch it. Hmmm... I'll keep taking the echinacea, vitamin C, and acai as well as the medicine nightly to try to dry this stuff up.

I'm getting stronger & started driving again yesterday- I'm doing ok. I do still get really tired, though. After driving my daughter to school this morning (an 18 mile drive to her charter school) then going shopping at Trader Joe's and driving home again, I was so tired I was ready to fall over, so I had a good hour and a half nap so that I'd be alert enough to drive this afternoon to the onc appt.

Well... how did my onc react when I told him I decided not to do anymore chemo? I then asked him if he were in my position would he do more chemo... he hesitated, then said "Hypothetically speaking, if I were in your situation, I don't think I'd do anymore chemo either. I might even do some of the alternative things you're doing." WOW- that made me feel better about my decision. Onc is worried that more chemo will further erode my immune system and that I'd be more likely to end up w/ another infection or pneumonia again if I took it. I'm glad that I at least have another plan with the vegan diet, juicing, and supplements, because I don't think he'd have anything to offer me otherwise.
I told him that, so far as reactions from others about my decision, that I mostly got support but that a few people around me were upset that I was "giving up". He replied that he didn't think I was giving up, just moving on to something different.

I am now feeling even more confident. Plus the fact that I still believe in an "11th hour God"- He can still step in and save the day & a healing at this point would be even more dramatic and impacting on others. I also know that may not happen, but I will do what I can on my end and never, ever give up my faith no matter what happens.

Blessings to all-
Lisa

z's picture
z
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

I'm glad your oncologist is supportive of your decision and I know I would have a hard time making the decision you have made. For your oncologist to agree with you must make you feel like you have made the right decision. In no way are you giving up, you are going to fight with a different weapon, nutrition. I wish you only the best. Lori

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

it may help your lungs, just an area to research, if your interested.
the onc's reply is encouraging, build your health as fast and peacefully as possible.
hugs,
pete

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

Lisa I am so happy your onc agreed with you.....if that is your decision I am so glad he has respected it

I think about you all the time....

wishing only the best for you

mags

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

I am so glad that your onc is so supportive of your decisions!!

FWIW, I don't see this as you giving up. You're just trying something different.

Thinking of you all the time...

Love and Hugs to you, girl!

Holly

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

You are definitely not giving up and do not ever let anyone think you are. I think when people think that or say that, it is because they are afraid of losing you. I remember when my mom was fighting this, I always think that she stuck it out with the chemo as long as she did, because I could not accept losing her. I needed her to fight, but for me, that is not always fair or the correct choice for her. But I was afraid. Someone once posted that when cancer kills someone, that cancer did not win. That it is really more of a draw because your cancer can not live without you, when you die, it dies too. I always liked this idea, that cancer does not win.

I hope the alternate choices prove to continue to kick cancer's *** and this is just another way to fight it.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1296
Joined: Oct 2010

I'm glad, and it's impressive, that he supported your thinking. Such a relief.

You know, if chemo is out of the regular tx picture, where "best supportive care" might overlap "alternative" might be an interesting insurance question. e.g. toward infusion support costs like IV C. We do blood testing for tx guidance and emergencies with, or without, conventional chemo, too.

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

I'm all for your decision! Love you Lisa!!

Gail

steveandnat's picture
steveandnat
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

Enjoy everyday even more now. I will be thinking of you and praying that all of your alternatives do even better that chemo ever did!!!
Jeff

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Lisa,
It sounds like a good appointment with your onc. It is good to hear that he was supportive. I am keeping you in my prayers.

Aloha,
Kathleen

mom_2_3
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

Lisa,

I have been thinking of you so much lately. You are always in my prayers. I am so glad that you are going in the direction that your heart leads you and that you have support for your decision. We are always here for you and we love you.

Amy

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

It's good to hear your onc. supported your decision. Wishing you much strength as you go down this new path.

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

Am so happy that you are feeling better! Sounds like you and your doctor have a very good relationship and that is so helpful. I am sure that you will feel better and better as you recover from the effects of the chemo. Hoping that you find the "magic bullet" that keeps the beast under control!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6652
Joined: Feb 2009

Glad you are taking a new direction in your life. This will make you more comfortable and knowing that you have tried everything. Glad your onc. agrees with you and your decision. Hoping that the supplements and new diet improve your immune system and you feel better soon.

Hugs! Kim

have2believe
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

I know it's in two weeks but will be thinking of you. I'm glad you have a supportive onc. Thank you for reminding us never never give up.

sasjourney
Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2010

You already know that I completely support your decision as I am one of those people that believes in "natural" methods for fighting cancer. I have been on lots of chemo and realize that it has helped me, but also harmed me. I have been afraid to not do chemo, but have tried to incorporate juicing, supplements, etc..into my treatment plan. I have to admit that I was surprised to hear the response from your onc. I am so glad that he was honest and speaking from his heart. You have not, in any way, given up and this is just another treatment plan that I pray will completely heal you of cancer.

Love and hugs,
Sara

Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Dear Lisa,I am glad that your oncologist was supportive of your decision.You are a super warrior and hero in my eyes,I never thought you "give up".Best wishes and best luck to you with the alternative treatments.Hope your mild fever and all other symptoms go away very soon.

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

No way, you're not giving up. Praying for you every day.

You mentioned you thought you may be getting a sinus infection. Don't know if this helps or not. I know you still have a little ways to go with the remnants of the pneumonia, but I wonder if just a humidifier or vaporizer would help with the congestion, in getting it out, helping it flush out whatever is causing the symptoms. I love California, but I can tell that the air is so much drier (don't laugh). Every time i go there, i take a vaporizer. Both my husband and me would have full-blown sinus issues if we didn't. I use it here as soon as we turn on the furnace in the fall or winter, never had colds or sinus problems since. It has been my single best, easy, cheap, investment. I swear by it and tell everyone. Not sure if this would have any adverse effect with the last of the pneumonia, but thought I would mention it. And, as you know anyway, a vaporizer should be the cold-mist type, i believe, not the warm-mist due to bacteria. I think i said that right, anyway, it can be goggled, like everything else :)
Onward and upward. joan

karen40's picture
karen40
Posts: 211
Joined: Aug 2011

I'm so glad to hear that you have the support of your onc. and are feeling more confident in your decision.
Karen

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Say AYE:)

I'm happy that you're happy and it was nice to get an honest answer to your questions. Wonders never cease:)

Peace and Tranquility be with you in the coming days...

-the Lion

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

Lisa, I am happy your dr. suported you. I will be praying for you as always.
May God Bless you and your family.
Judy

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

Lisa, I do not see your decision as giving up, I see it as going onto the next treatment. Keep up the positive attitude and I am sure you are gonna come out of this smelling like a rose. I will keep you in my prayers. God bless you. :)
Brenda

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Hey, Lisa.

I just love your spirit and spunk, and I pray that you will be completely healed.

*hugs*
Gail

thingy45's picture
thingy45
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Lisa,
You have never given up and tried what the onc advised. It did not do the job completely, maybe this new approached will help.You are going forward, with a new approach, which will make you feel more empowered. You have the right to make any decision on your health.
It is great that your onc agrees.God willing you have many more years ahead. Do not over tire your self,one minute,one hour, one day at the time.
juicing will give you more energy, it does for me.
Marjan

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hello Lisa ~

I know, it's been a long, long, long time since I've posted or replied to anything. I do check in once or twice a week...

Anyway, your post inspired me to say hello to you and to offer you my whole-hearted support. No, you're not giving up - moving on to other options is more like it. The key is to BELIEVE you are doing the right thing and it sounds like you do.

Since you are looking into other healing methods - have you thought about Reiki? It is healing touch. It can be quite powerful, if not simply comforting. Just like any other practitioner, finding the right one might take a little trial and error, if you know what I mean. There are folks out there who practice Reiki with a Christian influence, which might be good for you. Just something to think about....

I will most certainly keep you in my warmest thoughts and prayers.

Steady on....Katie

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I feel honored that your "once in a while post" was to me- thanks for the suggestion and for the support :)

Lisa

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Oooops - this posted twice - twice the blessings to you Lisa :)

lesvanb's picture
lesvanb
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

I am honored to know you. You continue to be a light of wisdom, peace, and strength. I empathize with what it takes to make the decision to not do any more chemo. I am so glad that you already have in place the supportive elements like diet and supplements and faith. You are a seasoned traveler who is just traveling lighter now. I continue to hold you, and your family, close in my heart.

I also applaud the relationship you've built with your oncologist so that he knows you, is on the same page as you, and thus can support you.

love, Leslie

PS Just one of the many things I've learned from you: I take chlorella which my doc wholeheartedly supports :-)

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Leslie,

Glad you're taking the chlorella & glad your doc supports that. Thank you for your comments and support- it does mean a lot to me. :)

Lisa

Erinb
Posts: 295
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Lisa,
I haven't posted or responded in a long time, but I think of you and several others often. I am glad you are making a decision that you feel good about. This will give your body some time to build up.
Erin

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