Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Chemo or Not to Chemo

'Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade. Yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumours…Women with breast cancer are likely to die faster with chemo than without it.' -
Alan Levin, M.D

Arrived in time for my appointment with Dr Amazing determined to listen; I simply wanted to hear what he had to say in response to my own research.

Firstly, he went through the information regarding HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY and I was disappointed to be told that I am not a potential candidate due to active cancer cells in what is now being called a fungating tumour. Dr Andre did make it clear that if it was purely Radiation Necrosis the Oxygen Therapy would be useful. He handed me the information and explained that the physicians at the hospital would be more than happy to discuss my case with me personally. So, NO Nanoknife Surgery, NO Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

We then went to the use of chemotherapy. Dr Andre asked me why it is that when I am in his rooms I say 'Yes, Yes, Yes,' only to ring two days later and say 'No, No, No.' I laughingly said that is what happens when I am away from his influence. When Dr Andre asked the nurse to take a photograph of my lesion, Haydn asked her to take one of Dr Andre for me to take home. That way, I could look at it when I felt myself waivering..haha.

We asked if chemotherapy would work on my type of cancer. The answer was 'I don't know.' When I suggested to Doctor that this was 'my' body growing this 'monster' so it had to be my underlying body chemistry that needed to be changed, he agree. Just how we do that he does not know. Seems to me that chemotherapy could be nothing more than a 'Band Aid' fix in my case!

I explained my thoughts on being 'locked in' to waiting rooms and hospital visits at this stage of my life. Immediately, and I mean immediately, he suggested oral as a way of avoiding that situation. Once again, I left the hospital agreeing to let him know as quickly as possible of my decision.
'To be complete, a healing system must be able to cover the entire field of human experiences-physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Any system which denies any part of this trinity fails in its attempt to heal to the same extent to which it denies any part or parts.'

-Stanley  Burroughs

20 comments:

fire.hawksmom said...

Decisions, decisions...Cheryl I so hope you know soon as to what you need to do. I am wondering if you all discussed way more than just this post, as there seems to be so many questions needing answers!
I know this is a mind bogging matter to address in recognition of needing to know that the course you take is the beneficial route. Just not an easy decision by a long run. I have battled and sought the same before with Amanda and Jason in their gruesome conditions! I feel as if I've seen more than I should have when it comes to Ca.
I can only pray for you to get the peace of a decision in your heart and know that the road is yours to take as you feel the comfort of the answers that you get. I wish it could be easier for you.
Thoughts, prayers and hugs for you my dear sweet friend. ♥xx♥ Martha

Alli said...

There has to be a way of finding out your body chemistry in order to make the needed changes. Cheryl did you get the silver yet?? Please do so ASAP ..
we shall speak later....

Love Alli XXoo

Cheryl said...

Hey Martha, you are too smart my friend! There was more, however, that's my story at this stage.. lol.
There is much sadness when I think of your journey with, first Amanda, and then Jason. Then of course, your own Breast Ca. You, like me, have lived with this dreadful disease for far too many years dear friend.
You know Martha, I am really fine with all of this. Just a few little matters I am working on, but getting there.
Haydn says I have been anti chemo since he met me in 1996 so why change ...haha.
Think my major concern is distance from my children and that will be sorted. Even planning another post on the subject.
Life is Love xo♥xo

Kaz said...

Chez as Martha said hope you know the answer soon.Did you take a picture of Dr.Amazing?Saying my special prayer and always holding you in my arms dear friend.

Love always,Kaz.xo

Cheryl said...

Alli, working on those things with the help of the silver. Know it is early days, however, I have made a start.
These are certainly interesting times!
So sorry we missed each other my morning. Will try again in the morning.
Life is love my friend xo

Kaz said...

ps-Chez can't seem to figure out what we talked about last night with comments,will try more after i after coffee starts to work.xo♥♥

Cheryl said...

Kaz, my heart knows the answer dear friend. The problem is nothing works in isolation and my decisions have an effect on others. Easier to make no decision until I am completely sure of all options.
Life is love my dear friend xo♥♥xo

Cheryl said...

Kaz, you just need to tick the spot that tells you you can have follow-up comments emailed sweetie. It is below where you leave your comment.
Let me knoiw if there is a problem xo

Kaz said...

Chez looking now and can't see it.Chezzy you need to do what we have talked about long time ago,get headset so you can talk on phone and use pc at the same time.sorry don't see it.xo

stonepost said...

Well, Chez, now you know why I call them "Voodoo Doctors"! I too have seen lots of people die from chemo. It is not discriminatory and kills everything along the way.
I was one of the lucky ones but I was stronger than most when I began. How many "sessions" are they proposing? That might influence my thoughts. I had 12 which is enough to kill most people. My sister-in-law had breast cancer and radiation and a series of six chemos, still enough to lose her hair, a lot of weight and other "collateral damage" but not the damage that 12 will do.
If you do chemo, gain 20 pounds first and all from eating chocolate and lobster and the best steak dinners you can find!
Truthfully, I did it once and am glad I did but don't have it in me to do again. It is a bad train ride.

Cheryl said...

Jerry, thank you so much for reiterating previous comments regarding the 'voodoo' treatment/doctors. Is it both?
They are saying they have absolutely no idea of its possible success or failure. Simply that they will try one and then do more tests. If it is not successful then there will be more. This then becomes my life. Given the degree of my disability, along with other things, it seems there is no choice for me to make.
I am at the fork in the road. Both paths are unknown. Thankfully, I am not afraid of the unknown. I intend to be here for as long as possible; the secret is to avoid sepsis.
I am keeping my weight on now with coffee [from our new machine] cookies and chocolate along with loads of Biscotti. Hmmmmmm....
Great!

Diana Doyle said...

Oh Chez,

What a decision you have...if it were me, I would go with the one that gave the most HOPE.....depending on your definition of hope for what you want out of life. You never know Chez, maybe the chemo will kill off this tumor....it is the unknown I guess.

Mum chose chemo as at the time she was caring for my sisters 4 children, the twins only 6 months old..she despised chemo however did survive it and persevere.

My best friend's sister chose no chemo, she chose to let the bc take its course. She wrote out her bucket list and visited places like Tuscany, took caravan vacations all over Oz and visited family and friends she loved.

So I guess it comes down to which path in life you trust in and are brave enough to believe in. Whatever you choose, I'm guessing will be the right one for you.

Your courage and honesty on your journey are inspiring Chez.

Sending a huge hug to you
Diana x

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I don't agree with the first quote. These people were killed by their cancer, not necessarily by their chemo. Although it is brutal, chemo has saved lives.

But should you do it? This I can't answer. Hopefully your doctor has clearly told you what are the chances that you will benefit and what will be the side effects. I know you've gone through so much and no one would blame you if you said you've had enough. But having this monster spread also does not seem to be the way to go.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
diane b said...

Sorry to hear the treatments that you researched are not suitable. I have no idea what it is like to go through what you have and what you have ahead of you but if it was me I'd try anything that might get rid of it. Good luck with your decision making.

Sara Williams said...

I really hope that you find an answer x

Cheryl said...

Sara, I believe that I will be able to dig deeply enough to do that.
Thanks for visiting. If you check this, I have been unable to leave comments on your blog at times.

Cheryl said...

Sue, I understand that you may not agree with the quote. I do not know what I believe anymore.
It becomes clear in talking to my oncologist that, if this is a soft tissue cancer with excessive use of radiation a contributing factor, then the effectiveness of chemotherapy is an unknown.
I feel that there are so many factors to be considered and I am living close to the edge most days, so I simply don't want anything that is likely to 'push' me over.
Would I be better or worse off? That is the six million dollar question?
Looking forward to following the days leading up to the wedding.

Cheryl said...

To anonomyous - it takes an evil mind to even think to do what you have done. May you be healed and the devil exorcised.....

Wisdom Quotes
Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces. ~Og Mandino

Julie Goodale said...

Wishing you the right decision for you. That's all I've got. I'm sorry that your choices have narrowed. But I wish you all the peace & clarity you need to figure out what's best for you.