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Restarting treatment trying to find he strength

Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2013

Hi all,


I am looking for some advice from you guys. I have been two weeks without chemo due to illness and after I recovered fully from the illness I finally felt like myself. I mean like my old pre-cancer self. For the first time since I started this journey I had three days of being who I was. The feelings of happiness and well being energy and strength all returned. Im sure some are thinking what a blessing to have three days like that, but sadly it lit the fire of internal debate within myself of quality vs quantity of life. I have a family and I want to live as long as I can for them, so my question is this????

how do you rummage up the strength to take another treatment when you know it will make you sick and you won't be able to feel the freedom of "normalcy" again till god knows when?

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

We all struggle with decisions like that. In my opinion chemo is not an exact science and can be used with some flexibility. Talk to your oncologist and use your best judgement. No one can guarantee that if you do everything according to the books you will be helped or cured. The challenge in this process is to find that balance between the quantity and quality of life. You are still young, may you have many years to strive for that balance, but don't be fooled, it is not always gonna be ideal.

Good luck,


devotion10's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

stage your cancer stage is.  If one is stage four and chemotherapy has been defined as palliative only as it was for my husband ... then the quality vs quantity issue came into play with each treatment session as time went on.  He questioned it a great deal and finally voluntarily removed himself from that type of medicalization of his life and oddly enough did feel better in the last months of his life until the very end when his health declined rapidly. 

But, if you are still at the point that you have potential therapies, surgeries, or procedures that can prolong your life and potentially eradicate your cancer ... well, even with some really bad days when you feel sickly ... as you said, you have family and you want to live as long as you can.

The sad fact is the concept of 'normalcy' does change after cancer.  Are you early in your cancer journey? It is quite a burden and my heart goes out to you.  

Hopefully others will post with their encouragement.

Peace. ~ Cynthia

Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2013

Well I am stage 4 and was diagnosed Dec. 1st 2013 when I had an emergency bowel resection due to a obstruction. So I am very new to this and it also very young. 

Lisa2012's picture
Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2014

I started my journey in much the same way as you, emergency surgery.  I understand your debate and I must say that being there for my family is one of the driving factors for carrying on.  I am two years along this journey and on my third progression.   i have discovered that on chemo days, I give myself a break, I take a nap if I need to.  On non-chemo days, I live a "normal" life even if I don't feel like it.  Luckily, I have done well on chemo.  I hope you have a good support team, I do believe they will be the key.  Additionally, keeping a positive attitude is important for you.   Every day that I wake up, I am thankful for the new day and for the ability to get out of bed and take care of myself.  Stay strong, ask for help if you need it, and keep a positive attitude.  

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

It's a tough call. My brother was doing some aggressive chemo and was hospitalized 3 times in one month. He started thinking about "quality of life," but then realized that he wanted to be around as long as he can. He had a chat with his oncologist and they decided to use only two of the chemo meds for now. If he feels better and doesn't have a lot of issues, they will try adding more meds. Right now he's having issues with fungal infections, but that seems to be getting better. He's taking it one day at a time.



annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

deliberately making yourself sick in an effort to regain your health is a pretty weird thing to do.  Goes against all of our instincts, really.

But I was willing to do it (to do anything for that matter) to gain more time with my family.

That was really all that kept me going.  If I was just doing it for myself, I'm not sure that I could have kept it up for as long as I did.

On a more practical note, I did take an additional week off from time to time, and we would go out to the beach or someplace else that was a treat for me.  I found having a little something special to look forward to in the short term helped keep my spirits up.

But it's hard.  Esp if there's no real end date.  Is there a particular goal or end date for your chemo?  Is surgery in the future for you?

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I think it is your choice,but after my first surgery I was visiting my son in childrens hospital.As we were eating in the cafeteria a young boy was sitting next to us with his family.He was about 9 years old,and was going to die of cancer.He was happy just to be with his family.When I start to feel bad I think of that boy,then I don't feel so bad.I have already lived longer then he ever will.I think I owe it to myself,and my family to put up with what ever I have to,to be around as long as I can.I have slept during chemo,and as sick as I got.I have been alot sicker when I was in the military.So it depends on how much you can handle.Just remember to never,ever give up.Good luck. 

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I think you answered your own question. You rummage up the strength because of you family. I understand what you are feeling. I am ready to start chemo for the fourth time and the first time in nearly 2 years. It was and still will be so hard to walk through those doors of the oncologist office especially when I am feeling well knowing that I am going to walk out of those same doors in a few hours feeling sicker than I ever could have imagined before cancer. But I will do anything to stick around for my wife.

Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2013

Thank you all for your input. I truly appreciate it. 

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