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KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently was notified that a close friend has Stage 4 lung, spread to spleen...he just started a harsh regime of chemo,to try and slow it down...the chemo is killing him quicker than the C..jmo of course...I (along with a number of friends)have always said 'No Chemo' but then Ive never had to make that choice....I have another friend,colon stage 4 last Feb..he did that whole extreme chemo and is in a [last] coma now..he got another year..My friend now is going thru total hell with this stuff,,cant get out of the bed..hair is gone..lost maybe 40 lbs and he didnt have it to lose..Thoughts anyone?..
 

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Being a friend you are limited. Cancer "treatment" is a very personal choice. You know that though and no good choices lead us on the outside to dismay. Cancer is vile and so are most of the treatments.

My observations with cancer is most people go along with whatever the doc recommends. Maybe because I have dealt with animals so much but, my approach is to research. Different cancers, possibly different outcomes. Support, nutrition, care and outlook are all important.

I am sorry your friend, and you, are going thru this. I hate cancer.
 

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Crazy Cat Lady
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Some people are so terrified of death they will do anything to slow it.

I am not one of those people, especially now.

I am in a group for caregivers I hear a lot of horror stories about the immunotherapies and the chemo. I am glad my husband dropped dead and did not have to deal with any of that.
 

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My wife and I wished her father would not have started treatment. It would have been nice to visit with him a few more times under better circumstances. I don't judge him or anyone for wanting to live longer but there is a point where the quality of what you have left out weighs the time you MAY get by doing treatment. Of course I haven't had to make that decision. I pray whatever I do will be best for my wife and kids. Let face it, it is not an easy decision or situation to be in for anyone!
 

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KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im at an age (65+) where Im losing friends at an alarming pace..having said that Ive never dealt with anyone close who had chemo..parents and other close friends have been healthy until lately...Im watching a reasonably healthy male deteriorate before my eyes..wasting away is a better description..I advise no one unless I have 'been there'..in most anything..Ive always been a "not me-chemo" but until i have to face it firsthand,I wont criticize...but that stuff is MEAN..jmo
 

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KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Look into prolonged fasting..... Lots of stories about lessening the bad effects of chemo, while promoting the good.
Thats mainly reducing sugar and its bad side effects...that works for cancer and most everything else..jmo
 

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I've been on chemo for almost 4 years now for Stage IV breast cancer. {That's why I disappear from the board sometimes). I have a rare and extremely aggressive sub-type. Have done 5 different chemo drugs, one of them twice. When the cancer starts spreading fast we go with a nasty chemo until it's under control again.

Stage IV BC isn't curable, the most we can do is try to extend my life, so Quality of Life (QOL) is my only priority. Who wants to live longer if you wish you were dead because the treatment is so horrible? I discontinued two chemos because the of side effects (AE - Adverse Events) were too bad. One caused my brain to bleed - multiple hemorrhagic strokes because it took them 5 months to figure out what was going on. This new drug I started in January is the first one to stop the cancer from spreading...for now.

I do a lot of research on toxicity levels and OS (Overall Survival) before agreeing to try a new drug. Some chemo drugs only improve PFS (progression free survival) but do nothing for OS. If a drug doesn't improve OS I don't see any point in trying it, especially if it has a high toxicity level.

It's important to have a good care team to help address any side effects and manage them. My new care team is outstanding in that regard. In the mean time I try to keep my body strong with lots of protein, fruits and veggies (and ice cream every day!), and staying physically active so my body is in the best shape possible to deal with the side effects of the cancer and chemo. It would be real easy for me to stay in bed all day, Lord knows there are many days when I want to, but I manage a homestead in the mountains of Wyoming so there is always work to be done, and it keeps me motivated.

I was one of those people who swore I would never do chemo, but when my oncologist gave me 60 days if we couldn't stop the cancer from spreading so fast I agreed to give it a try. I'm still fairly young. Too young to go down that easy.

I don't have the energy level I used to have, which is really tough to deal with because I was always a high energy kick-ass kind of person, and I do have some really bad days, but overall my life is still productive and worth living. For now.
 

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From what I understand about stage 4 is the survival rate is very slim.
Knowing what 3 is like personally I would never do treatment for 4.
I had stage 3 +...so yeah (they said)I had the maximum chemo I could have for 1 year along with radiation.

It was rough at times and it seemed like that every thing that could go wrong did (I could write a book) but I always bounced back strong. Surprised doctors and a couple of nurses have called me a warrior.
I dunno about that I just figure God doesn't want me quite yet.

Depends on the type of chemo I think as far as hair loss..mine just thinned a little.
At one time I was 40# lighter...collar bone sticking out Jeez.
Found out I was allergic to a couple of drugs and one just about took me out.
The drugs that don't bother you much can still make your mind foggy.

I'm cancer free for about a year now but not without some complications along the way.
Chemo and radiation tends to tear up your insides.
I'm doing pretty well though ...plan on hiking the Grand Canyon next year ...it will be a challenge.

Sorry about your friends , but don't be afraid of chemo it can save your life.
 

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Good luck to you Stealthmode I wish you the best your going through quite a struggle.

I have changed my diet and get my sugar cravings satisfied with fruits.
Water with lemons is my liquid nourishment. Pop ect taste like chemicals to me anymore rarely touch it.
I eat far less processed food.
 

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KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've been on chemo for almost 4 years now for Stage IV breast cancer. {That's why I disappear from the board sometimes). I have a rare and extremely aggressive sub-type. Have done 5 different chemo drugs, one of them twice. When the cancer starts spreading fast we go with a nasty chemo until it's under control again.

Stage IV BC isn't curable, the most we can do is try to extend my life, so Quality of Life (QOL) is my only priority. Who wants to live longer if you wish you were dead because the treatment is so horrible? I discontinued two chemos because the of side effects (AE - Adverse Events) were too bad. One caused my brain to bleed - multiple hemorrhagic strokes because it took them 5 months to figure out what was going on. This new drug I started in January is the first one to stop the cancer from spreading...for now.

I do a lot of research on toxicity levels and OS (Overall Survival) before agreeing to try a new drug. Some chemo drugs only improve PFS (progression free survival) but do nothing for OS. If a drug doesn't improve OS I don't see any point in trying it, especially if it has a high toxicity level.

It's important to have a good care team to help address any side effects and manage them. My new care team is outstanding in that regard. In the mean time I try to keep my body strong with lots of protein, fruits and veggies (and ice cream every day!), and staying physically active so my body is in the best shape possible to deal with the side effects of the cancer and chemo. It would be real easy for me to stay in bed all day, Lord knows there are many days when I want to, but I manage a homestead in the mountains of Wyoming so there is always work to be done, and it keeps me motivated.

I was one of those people who swore I would never do chemo, but when my oncologist gave me 60 days if we couldn't stop the cancer from spreading so fast I agreed to give it a try. I'm still fairly young. Too young to go down that easy.

I don't have the energy level I used to have, which is really tough to deal with because I was always a high energy kick-ass kind of person, and I do have some really bad days, but overall my life is still productive and worth living. For now.
Thank You for sharing your story
 

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My wife went through 8 Chemo treatments and then had a double mastectomy because she had breast cancer. She has also had 5 different kinds of skin cancers. Cancer runs in her mothers side of the family. Her mother died from breast cancer. Same as her grandmother. The Mastectomy is a horrible, disfiguring operation I hate to hear of any woman going through. My heart goes out to anyone going through this or any other cancer.

But my wife is well past the 5 year mark and other than a couple of small cancers on her face and ear has done really well. How she or anyone can want to go on after seeing what a chemo course is like baffles me. I am one of the "No I don't want Chemo" crowd. You gotta be tough to do that.

The long term affects are weakened bones and teeth. Way lower energy levels. And the fact that after you have survived cancer no one wants to hire you because now you are a huge liability on their insurance. My wife had worked in doctors offices for at least the last 20 years and she has applied to many of them since her recovery. But as soon as they hear she has had cancer the interviews are canceled. The emails are no longer answered. Phone calls are not returned. You may as well be a leper.

Good luck to your friend and to stelthmode and anyone else with this disease. I have diabetes but not too bad so far. I have made diet and other changes and take my pills. I can deal with what I have. I am 64 and all the men on my dads side of the family die by 69 anyway so I'm doing OK.
 

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Good luck to you Stealthmode I wish you the best your going through quite a struggle.

I have changed my diet and get my sugar cravings satisfied with fruits.
Water with lemons is my liquid nourishment. Pop ect taste like chemicals to me anymore rarely touch it.
I eat far less processed food.
Thanks Hoka-hey, it certainly hasn't been an easy path, that's for sure.

I'm lucky that I like eating healthy foods and have always cooked from scratch, but since I'm Stage IV I eat all the ice cream and cookies I want. (My) life is too short to give them up and I eat whatever my body says it wants. I try to cook in batches so I have meals in the freezer for days when I'm not up to cooking from scratch, but I still rely on some processed foods for tough days. Some days I just don't have the energy to deal with cooking. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Sometimes the most important thing is to just eat whatever appeals. A favorite when I don't feel like eating is Ensure or Boost milkshake - chocolate Ensure with coffee ice cream makes a mean milkshake that is hard to resist. I drink a lot of G2 Gatorade (low sugar) because I need to watch dehydration and keep my electrolytes up. My lab work has been spotless, which is amazing considering how long I've been on chemo.

Correct that not all chemo drugs cause you to lose hair. I've had chemo that made me bald, the one I'm on now caused me to lose 50% of my hair (now growing back) and some that didn't cause any hair loss at all. Lots of other side effects, neuropathy, and the one I'm on now is toxic to heart and lungs so I'm monitored very closely.
 
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My own Grandmother passed away at Roswell Park being used as a test subject for experimental chemotherapy treatment, and I often think of her, and my visiting her there in the months leading to her death. My MIL, died at home, mere months after radiation therapy, and shortly before her Oncologist told her that she was 'cured.'

Despite such, when I entered nursing years ago, I chose to focus upon Hospice care, rather than even considering Oncology. Likely because I've seen first hand the decline of the quality of life of all those who were affected, and choosing instead to contribute to lifting the spiritual and emotional, as well as the physical aspects of all involved in the disease process.

As most will recall, there are five stages of grief. Those being:
  • Denial,
  • Anger,
  • Bargaining,
  • Depression and
  • Acceptance
All are part of the framework that make up our coping mechanisms. They aren't just used by us for the disease, but also used when considering our own quality of life, and when making decisions with respect to both starting and stopping therapies. Obviously, those close to the ill person are subject to that same framework.

As such, I suggest to those who watch their loved ones go through such an illness and treatment, is to recognize that they too will go through their own grieving process in ways that they likely won't be aware, and be prepared to do what is necessary to prevent themselves from unnecessarily suffering.

Lastly, put down that bag of bricks that you can't control, and leave it with God. He won't let you down.
 

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I've got a friend who had/has Stage 4 lung cancer. He gave did the whole Chemo treatment thing but then also started a Keto diet. It actually worked for him.

I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1984. It totally destroyed my Pituitary and was the size of an egg when they did surgery. They weren't able to get it all so they wanted to do a type of Chemo. I said no. They said yes. I said no really loud. They said try and then you can always quit. I tried it and it wasn't as bad as it could have been. My advice is to try the Chemo,. You can always quit later.
 

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I wouldn't have done it in his case (Stage IV with metastasis) but would consider with great odds. Had a friend with advanced liver cancer a few years ago who was told it was too late for chemo by one cancer center. She was doing pretty well with symptoms similar to moderate gallbladder pain. Family wanted her to get a second opinion at Cancer Centers of America in Atlanta and they started treatment; she had great insurance. 🙄 Within a couple of weeks of starting chemo, she was bed bound, able to take in very little food and fluids. She only lasted six weeks or so. I'm convinced she would've had a few more quality months with family had she opted against treatment.
 
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I wouldn't have done it in his case (Stage IV with metastasis) but would consider with great odds. Had a friend with advanced liver cancer a few years ago who was told it was too late for chemo by one cancer center. She was doing pretty well with symptoms similar to moderate gallbladder pain. Family wanted her to get a second opinion at Cancer Centers of America in Atlanta and they started treatment; she had great insurance. 🙄 Within a couple of weeks of starting chemo, she was bed bound, able to take in very little food and fluids. She only lasted six weeks or so. I'm convinced she would've had a few more quality months with family had she opted against treatment.
Quality of life, especially in the end stages of life, is just as important as any diagnosis and/or prognosis.

Given it's reputation, it surprises me that Cancer Center of America began said treatment, considering her history. Then again, when one's family is grasping at straws in their beginning stages of grief, physicians and administrators don't want to take away hope. This seems to be greatly intensified when the patient is a child.
 

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Wannabe Mountain Hermit
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Cancer runs badly on both sides of my family. I have seen quite a lot of it. I have seen those who took chemo and have had surgery seems to always pass in a couple of years in severe pain body all broken down and to me chemo isn't worth it. I've had some relatives try to go the holistic route which basically gave them more time and a lot less pain until the very end. My dad refused it all. The dr's told him without surgery or chemo he only had about a year and half to live and he told them wanna bet? The only thing he did was drink his Wild Turkey. He lived 10 years.

His last surviving brother is 84 and is on his 3rd round of it. He's learned a lot over the years. He took chemo the first time and it went into remission. I say remission but the dr's say it was cured. It popped back up and he had his prostate removed. Supposedly he was cured again and I expected it to come back and I wasn't surprised when I heard it had. Instead of more surgery or chemo he went the route my daddy took. He's lived with it this long and as he put it. I've lived my life and raised my children to adults and now have grown grandchildren with babies of their own. When my time comes . it comes. He's outlived his last diagnosis of 2 years by 5 years. I talked to my cousin a week ago and asked how he was. She laughed and told me he's out on a bulldozer helping some friends build a pond.
 

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I watched my wife go through stomach cancer and a pill form of chemo. It was supposed to be 50% effective in 5 yrs. She came out of the treatment on the plus side. It was hell while she was on it. But she is still here to nag about my guns (kidding) - so that treatment worked for her. She was part of the 50% survivors. So that's the good news.

My predilection is to dismiss the option if I am faced with that decision. I know I have an expiration date that I was born with. Maybe I'll change my mind when I face that decision. I smoke too much drink too much and figure that ain't gonna be welcome in a hospice setting. So I may change my mind- but for now I would pass and go out on my own terms. That's how I've lived my life and I'm at peace with that. At least for now. I reserve the right to rethink my options however.
 
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