When is enough enough?

Vickilg
Vickilg Member Posts: 281

I never thought I would reach this point but with no end to chemo insight and no chance of remission I am wondering if I should stop fighting.   I fought so hard for my husband and daughter but I'm always just so tired.   Our lives revolve around me being sick scattered with a few good times.   When do you just say enough is enough?

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Comments

  • Momof2plusteentwins
    Momof2plusteentwins Member Posts: 509 Member
    Vicki
    I have thought about that, but I am in remission now. I don't know how long I could do chemo for life. I see both ways, I don't want to leave my husband and children but quantity vs quality. I see a lot of people on the board that tolerate chemo fine and have more good days than bad. I think you need to try new chemo and see how well you tolerate it before you make that decision. You may tolerate it fine and it could shrink those buggers. Don't give up yet. Big big HUGS!
    Sandy :)
  • Dyanclark
    Dyanclark Member Posts: 296
    How long Chemo

    No one wants to tell you to quit.  We are all different My husband is the one with cancer.  He has gone thru more then I could for sure.   I know you guys all get depressed so make your decision on a good day.

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    I don't know how you make this decision, I really don't.

    I only did chemo for a total of 9 months, and it was so dreadful that there is no way I could have kept it up forever.  But I see people who are able to live a reasonable life on some types of chemo, fo a very long time, so I think some of the decision probably depends on how hard the chemo is hitting you.  I watched my sister do chemo up to the last two weeks of her life, and when I got sick I swore I wouldn't do that, but I've come to the realization that it's just not that simple.  When you're fighting for your life, and for time with your family, things get pretty damn complicated.  I think if I was still having some good days mixed in with the bad I'd probably keep chugging along, but it might also depend on just how bad the "bad days" were, but that's just me.  It's such a personal choice and so hard to make.  A user on the Colon Club forum stated that she didn't want to die with "chemo in her veins", and that really resonated with me, but I can easily see how others, like my sister, might follow a different path.  Whatever path you follow, Vicki, the board will support you as you walk it.  Ann Alexandria

  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866
    Good Question

    I've been at this non-stop for 9 years next month. If the past 6 years were like the first 3, I would have probably stopped a while ago. Thankfully (and luckily) they haven't been. I get yearly RFA's done and do Erbitux and Irinotecan every two weeks. I'm tired for a few days but it's become more of a chronic PITA (pain-in-the-****) type thing than anything else.

    If things were to go south I'd revisit the subject but I'm not there now. 
    We all have our breaking points. I think it's important to differentiate when you're doing it for YOU and when you're doing it just for others.

  • smokeyjoe
    smokeyjoe Member Posts: 1,425

    I don't know how you make this decision, I really don't.

    I only did chemo for a total of 9 months, and it was so dreadful that there is no way I could have kept it up forever.  But I see people who are able to live a reasonable life on some types of chemo, fo a very long time, so I think some of the decision probably depends on how hard the chemo is hitting you.  I watched my sister do chemo up to the last two weeks of her life, and when I got sick I swore I wouldn't do that, but I've come to the realization that it's just not that simple.  When you're fighting for your life, and for time with your family, things get pretty damn complicated.  I think if I was still having some good days mixed in with the bad I'd probably keep chugging along, but it might also depend on just how bad the "bad days" were, but that's just me.  It's such a personal choice and so hard to make.  A user on the Colon Club forum stated that she didn't want to die with "chemo in her veins", and that really resonated with me, but I can easily see how others, like my sister, might follow a different path.  Whatever path you follow, Vicki, the board will support you as you walk it.  Ann Alexandria

    I really don't have an answer

    I really don't have an answer for you .... have thought about it myself, would I know when enough was enough???   Hate what this disease is doing to us and our families......

  • tachilders
    tachilders Member Posts: 313
    Personally, probably as long

    Personally, probably as long as possible, or at least until I can assure that the financial future is reasonably set for my wife and kids.  I am the sole income earner in our family, so I have to maintain the income and benefits (health and life insurance) through my work for as long as possible.  I may get to a point where I have to take LTD, but I will want to make sure that I can keep my benefits until my death.  I am VERY sorry to read about your situation, as I know that someday (maybe soon, who knows) that I will be in the same position.  Whatever you decide, we will be here to support you through everything.  I REALLY hate this disease!!!

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Are there alternatives?

    Have you talked with your onc about alternatives?  I don't know what type of schedule you are on, but it may be possible to reduce the dose and up the frequency.  This might give you more good days than bad.  Or it might be possible to even lower the dose just a tad and that would make a difference.

    Might you be able to do some physical therapy?  Some times the structured activity can make a difference in how your body reacts to medications.

    I know that "chemo for life" seems a daunting statement.  Are you physically ill because of the chemo, or just too tired to feel like participating in life?  It sounds like you are at an emotional low at the moment, and that is not a good time to be making that decision.

    Some times we need a gentle reminder that while what life has become with cancer is not as we would wish it could be, it still offers us and those who love us the time to build happy memories and have a positive impact by being in this world.

    For some of us the time may come to truely evaluate the quality vs quantity question.  It should be considered by what we can turely endure physically.  While our lives are intwined with others, we can only evaluate it based on our own feelings.

    Hugs and prayers for you,

    Marie who loves kitties

  • belindahill
    belindahill Member Posts: 144
    Long term chemo

    Hi Vickilg, I say stick with it, It's my husband who has the cancers, and we have lost count how much chemo he has had, maybe 50 rounds! and it's so hard we live for the good days, we have no choice, one day it will beat us, or maybe it won't!Never say never. Good luck. 

     

  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member
    I thought about this when I was in treatment

    and realized that to me, quality was much more important than quantity.  Personally, with the side effects I suffered, I would never go on chemo for life.  I don't feel that the pain is worth it.

    This is obviously a very personal decision - you have to do what feels right to you, not to anyone else.  I'd ask about options, and then decide.  I know my family would understand if I'd felt the need to call it quits. 

     

    No brilliant advice here, just a reminder to be true to yourself,

     

    Alice

  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    When enough becomes

    When enough becomes enough...

    This is a decision we've all thought about in our darkest hours...

    I think we all will know...but then I don't know.

    I've fought hard because I could see the carrot at the end of the string.

    Regardless of how I felt...chemo would have killed me if I were on it steadily with no breaks...

    If I hear that...might radically influence my decision.

    Folfiri was no life for me...really sick 28 out of 30 days...knowing I was getting off...I held on...barely.

    It is ruff stuff...many handle it better than I could.

    I believe in quality over quantity....specially based from my last fight.

    Still, it's daunting either way...the hardest crossroad we'll ever have to stand at.

     

    Hugs/Craig

     

     

     

  • luvinlife2
    luvinlife2 Member Posts: 172
    Enough....

    We've all been there at some point.  I look at it as staying alive for the next great drug that will keep me alive for the cure. I have too many things to do yet.  It's so hard on our families but I think it's safe for me to make the assumption that your husband and daughter want you around for a very long time.

    Dyanclark gave you great advice....make your decision on a good day.  Smile

  • janie1
    janie1 Member Posts: 753

    Enough....

    We've all been there at some point.  I look at it as staying alive for the next great drug that will keep me alive for the cure. I have too many things to do yet.  It's so hard on our families but I think it's safe for me to make the assumption that your husband and daughter want you around for a very long time.

    Dyanclark gave you great advice....make your decision on a good day.  Smile

    Vicki, I feel what you feel.

    Vicki, I feel what you feel.  I am sooooooo tired of this.  BUT>>>>> when I see what could be down the road as far as advancement for this crapshit of a disease.......and it's coming, I keep playing the game.  Do the chemo, get poked, prodded.  And I really need to come up with a line for those that say......"well you look good".  And it's usually the same dumb***** people, who I have already explained to that "MAKE-UP" does wonders.  They still don't get it.  

    Now, back to the subject.  I don't know how you are physically feeling on irino & erbitux, but I hope that you are able to give it some time.  Is it the combination of "all" things that's got you feeling at your lowest?  The uncertainly is the big killer for me.  I try to break down things that I hate about this disease, and there's a bunch.  Then, deal with each one separately.  When I look at the magnitude of it all, I feel there is no way I can manage this.  When I break it down, somehow it's easier.  I do not try to be a super woman.  The bare minimum gets done around the house these days.  I read, try to calm myself (did accupuncture yesterday....really helped in more ways than one).  Was it placebo-effect?  Don't don't.....don't care.  I felt better.

    What will tomorrow be like?  Well I bought 3 lottery tickets tonight, so tomorrow might be great. Won't win, unless I buy a ticket though (or 3).

    I hope, hope, hope you will see better days, but we will all have really difficult decisions in front of us at some point.  I guess those that make them know when it is right.

    ((hug))

  • steveandnat
    steveandnat Member Posts: 886
    It's the million dollar question

    I think the majority of us ask this question all the time. I've been doing chemo since June '09 and it is getting tougher and tougher.  I'm starting what I think is my last hope some new chemo pills because my body is rejecting all the other chemos. So I may not haveyo make that choice if the pills don't work. Hang in there. I think about all the good events that I was part of over the past 3years. I pray we are guided to makethe right decision.  Jeff

  • barbebarb
    barbebarb Member Posts: 464

    It's the million dollar question

    I think the majority of us ask this question all the time. I've been doing chemo since June '09 and it is getting tougher and tougher.  I'm starting what I think is my last hope some new chemo pills because my body is rejecting all the other chemos. So I may not haveyo make that choice if the pills don't work. Hang in there. I think about all the good events that I was part of over the past 3years. I pray we are guided to makethe right decision.  Jeff

    Hard decision
    Such good advise here from all.
    Give yourself some time to weigh the options and feel a little better decision -making wise. This is a hard decision and we have to allow ourselves to express our emotions.
    I may be starting chemo again and meet with my oncologist Tuesday.
    I hate this disease and what it makes us have to deal with.
    Thinking of you and feel what you are contemplating.
    Barb
  • barbebarb
    barbebarb Member Posts: 464

    It's the million dollar question

    I think the majority of us ask this question all the time. I've been doing chemo since June '09 and it is getting tougher and tougher.  I'm starting what I think is my last hope some new chemo pills because my body is rejecting all the other chemos. So I may not haveyo make that choice if the pills don't work. Hang in there. I think about all the good events that I was part of over the past 3years. I pray we are guided to makethe right decision.  Jeff

    Hard decision

    Such good advise here from all. Give yourself some time to weigh the options and feel a little better decision -making wise. This is a hard decision and we have to allow ourselves to express our emotions. I may be starting chemo again and meet with my oncologist Tuesday. I hate this disease and what it makes us have to deal with. Thinking of you and feel what you are contemplating. Barb

  • herdizziness
    herdizziness Member Posts: 3,624
    Vicki

    I kind of wish the oncs wouldn't bother to mention that chemo for life.  It's so disheartening to hear.  My sister-in-law was told that this past Monday.  She asked my husband so, what's chemo for life, 6 months, a years, years?  How do I make a decision with so much still unknown.

    I know this morning I didn't want to get up and go to chemo.  My hubby kept coming in and haranguing me about it, until I decided to get up and go.  I thought, so what if I don't go today, so what if I don't do this again?  I didn't like my answers so I got up and went.

    I have no answers Vicki, I like what Marie said, actually I loved what she said.

    My heart goes out to you.

    Winter Marie

  • tanstaafl
    tanstaafl Member Posts: 1,300 Member
    feeling better is important

    Finding a less obnoxious regimen was high on my priority list from the outset.    We used IV vitamin C, PSK and other nutrients to deal with side effects generally, and from folic-5FU toxicity especially.   We used high dose cimetidine early on instead of Avastin, along with COX2 inhibitors (mostly the natural ones in our case, Celebrex sometimes) and other biomodulator supplements like menaquinone-4 (vitamin K2's human form) that made the chemo work better than traditional chemo did on my wife's tumor cells. When my wife gets her IV vitamin C, she feels extra energetic for two days, when she drags and becomes more sensitive to stuff in the air, 5-6 days, it's time for a refill.  Others have used IV vitamin C to eliminate Xeloda side effects where xeloda is a 5FU derivative.  Life Extension has an extensive list of recommendations that is available through discount mail order online.    Chemo doesn't have to be noxious to be beneficial.   

    When "enough is enough"  means that one needs a doctor that can get better answers.  For patients to be advised to do nothing when there are alternatives that can make things feel better from the get go, is unfortunate.

     

     

  • pepebcn
    pepebcn Member Posts: 6,331

    Vicki

    I kind of wish the oncs wouldn't bother to mention that chemo for life.  It's so disheartening to hear.  My sister-in-law was told that this past Monday.  She asked my husband so, what's chemo for life, 6 months, a years, years?  How do I make a decision with so much still unknown.

    I know this morning I didn't want to get up and go to chemo.  My hubby kept coming in and haranguing me about it, until I decided to get up and go.  I thought, so what if I don't go today, so what if I don't do this again?  I didn't like my answers so I got up and went.

    I have no answers Vicki, I like what Marie said, actually I loved what she said.

    My heart goes out to you.

    Winter Marie

    In my opinion never!
    3.5 years on chemo and enjoying life here! Some hollydays every 6 months due to remisions but again reccureces in just a few monist , despite that enjoying life!
  • dmj101
    dmj101 Member Posts: 527
    Hey Vickie, we all have to

    Hey Vickie, we all have to face this question at some point.... Is it really for constent.. from this point or is it a round and break and then see where you stand and then decide the next step or next drug.. that is how it has been explained to me.. I too was told "chemo for life" and presently I am on  a break... I did ok on Folfiri and then usd the Irenotecan.. and Vectibix.. I am not going to lye.. mentall this was really hard to understand for me and I had been thru it with my mom.. but when it was me it was like all the lessons learned disappeared..

    Take some really deep breathes before making a decision... you must be having second thought about giving up... otherwise you would have just done it and never questioned it.. We all make the decision that is best for us...

    However, remember the eternal sleep doesn't come immediately or quietly.. while chemo may seem tough... make sure you understand what the disease will do not treated(my biggest fear of all), this may give you pause to reconsider..

    Also be aware it may not be chemo you have to be on constently.. maybe like me its Vectibix or another bio agent or drug... where the sideeffects are more easily handled..

    I want to say.. Don't give up.... we are all here on earth for a reason.. I really don't believe we are here to die... We are here to exercise our souls and fight.. so please consider alternatives and live either with or without treatment.. just make it a meaningful life.. .. Donna...

  • Rubyrose
    Rubyrose Member Posts: 47

    It's the million dollar question

    I think the majority of us ask this question all the time. I've been doing chemo since June '09 and it is getting tougher and tougher.  I'm starting what I think is my last hope some new chemo pills because my body is rejecting all the other chemos. So I may not haveyo make that choice if the pills don't work. Hang in there. I think about all the good events that I was part of over the past 3years. I pray we are guided to makethe right decision.  Jeff

    What is the name of the pills you are on?

    Steveandnat -is it regorifineb  Rubyrose