Chemotherapy thoughts

When I begin to look at all my stressors (and we all have them) I go back to my father’s terminal illness.

It’s not so much the illness I’m struggling with. I tend to resign myself to circumstances if there’s nothing I can do to change the outcome, but looking at the outcome of the chemotherapy treatment, it just isn’t sitting comfortably with me.

Some of the side effects have been:

  • A blood clot;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Heart failure;
  • Incontinence;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Weight loss

Personally, I would rather lose someone early than go through the trauma of seeing that person and their family struggle. If chemotherapy wasn’t so aggressive with all of it’s side effects, it would not only be easier to accept it as a choice, but it would also be easier in supporting that person’s choice.

It’s important that Consultants are more open about the effects of chemotherapy, so that patients are more informed about their choices. It’s always the patients choice, but I often wonder whether patients feel that chemotherapy literally is their only choice.

Chemotherapy doesn’t always give us that and although this is my belief, seeing my father struggle in this way, has been my most painful experience.


10 Nov, 2012

6 thoughts on “Chemotherapy thoughts

  1. Chemotherapy is very taxing on the body and I think most people are given false hope when it comes into conversation or as a choice. They think it will heal them.

    My father had a type of chemo that wasn’t so bad on the body but there was no other choice. They did offer to send him to another state for investigative medicine, but he declined the offer and refused any other treatment.

    My mom is still hanging in there trying all the chemo that is available to her right now. She is a strong woman and the chemo hasn’t been very harsh on her system yet. But they are running out of options and she realises that and has accepted that if there is nothing else she can accept that.

    It also gives family false hope. Most family want their family member to keep on living no matter what, but really don’t realize what the person is going through with the meds. The person feels like they have to go on for the family members sake not their own so they continue suffering needlessly.

    Doctors should be upfront and honest with the patient and their family members from the start. There are some that are but most aren’t.

    1. I agree with you Lisa. It’s a vicious circle for all concerned. I actually agree with what your father decided to do in the end. Having had one parent who also refused treatment and another parent now who’s going through his own hell now, I think my mother was the brave one to decline treatment.

      She knew she wouldn’t live out the duration of her life, but wanted her time left to be of quality. She felt she wouldn’t have had the quality had she opted for treatment.

      I have to say I agreed with my mother’s decision then to refuse treatment, but not that of my father’s decision now to opt for treatment. He has no quality of life AT ALL.

  2. I’m sorry to hear that your dad is struggling with the chemo. It’s a grueling treatment no matter what. When I went through it, I experienced several of the same symptoms. It’s tough because everyone’s body is different and responds to the chemo in unique ways and various degrees.

    I agree that physicians should be more open in regards to medical treatment options and their plans. I’ve run into similar problems with my hand and the endless battle to get it dealt with. It’s been 4 months and counting, with lots of being kept in the dark.

    1. Sorry LeAnna you seem to have had your own struggles. I really hope things are better for you now.

      If you speak to my father he would tell you, he’s not struggling, but the list of symptoms he now has as a consequence of his chemotherapy treatment tells me the opposite!

      I think you’re right individually we’ll all respond differently to chemotherapy treatment (depending on the cancer), but generally these are the kind of symptoms we’d all be looking at.

      I think it also depends on the Consultant. Some Consultants are more open and honest about the treatment they offer and some aren’t. Bed-side manner plays an important part. I believe that part of any treatment is vital.

  3. I agree with what you have said here.

    Once the quality of life is gone it is very hard not only on the person who has cancer, but the family as well.

    All I wish for you and your family is for you to finally find peace soon. This situation will end; it will not last forever. Take it from someone who has been there.

    I feel your pain.

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