View Full Version : Chemo and Quality of Life

Cow Poke
03-02-2018, 08:55 AM
Some of you know my wife is a breast cancer survivor. She's doing great.

I have learned far more about cancer than I ever wanted to know.

Cancer is a [insert the vilest word you can think of].

This particular cancer is "hormone fed", so my wife is on a pill that supposedly reduces the chances of cancer 'coming back' by some small factor - like 5%. Meanwhile, it (this pill) makes her joints ache, depletes her bone mass, her gums recede (barely noticeable at this point) and other unpleasant side effects.

She's struggling with "do I really want this 'quality of life' for a supposed 5% reduction in the possibility....."

Meanwhile, we have several other church members who are going through chemo for their cancer - one of them hates the chemo so much they'd just about prefer death.

Cancer is a !$!^!^@%&

03-02-2018, 09:13 AM
My sister had one chemo treatment, not group of sessions, but one treatment. The next day she suffered a major stroke and was dead in a week.

Apparently the risk of stroke can be higher with certain chemo treatments.

I would rather take the pill and deal with those side effects, but I am not sure I would choose chemo anyway, if that was the only option.

03-02-2018, 09:49 AM
I have one facebook friend who went through chemo and it saved his life. My mom had chemo when she had lung cancer and I think that is what killed her, not the cancer. When she started it, she got weaker, lost a ton of weight and felt horrible. She finally just went on palliative care because she couldn't take it any more. She died not long after.

I think it all depends on the type of chemo they do.

03-02-2018, 01:30 PM
When you're drafted into the battle against cancer, you have no good choices except to be brave and trust God. I'm sorry to hear about your wife, CP. Prayers...

03-03-2018, 12:26 AM
My mother-in-law has just hit her 10 year mark of being cancer free and can stop the drugs.

Cow Poke
03-03-2018, 08:20 AM
My mother-in-law has just hit her 10 year mark of being cancer free and can stop the drugs.

Amen - my wife is debating whether she can go that long.

03-03-2018, 09:36 PM
Amen - my wife is debating whether she can go that long.
Praying. :pray:

She needs to discuss this in depth with her doctor. I'd strongly urge that she keep a symptom journal - date, time of onset, duration, severity, every thing she can tell about the problem right then. Use that to draft an overview sheet - chart it if necessary - but provide as much concrete information as possible. Take both to the visit (email the data if that's an option) so the doctor understands what's going on. It may be - or may not - that the dosage can be adjusted or something else prescribed. But the doctor really needs a good idea of the severity and frequency of symptoms to help him decide if that's a good option. Also, even if he can't adjust the medicine, talking it over with him should happen before deciding to discontinue.

When you're feeling crappy, you don't need to make the bigger decisions without a good talk with the doctor.