Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Big Choice

In my last post, I raised the possibility of foregoing a last planned treatment of chemotherapy. Here are some some of the considerations floating around in my decision process.

  1. I don't have to make this decision this week, but the ability to entertain the possibility is very encouraging to me.
  2. I won't make any choice without full buy-in from Judy.
  3. I won't make any choice without full consultation with my oncologist.
  4. In the art of "beating me within an inch of my life" the key is knowing when to stop.
  5. My cancer is gone already. The pre-surgical chemo and radiation killed it, and the surgery took it out. My post surgical chemo is insurance, and I've done one round.
  6. I don't think the doctors can quantify any measurable positive effect of additional chemo.
  7. I do think there is some measureable risk to my of additional chemo.
  8. In the phrase "That which does not kill me makes me stronger," the most important word is "not."
  9. None of my family seems strongly opposed to the possibility of foregoing the last round of chemo.
  10. My oncologist does not seem opposed to, and indeed has identified some basis for foregoing the last round of chemo.
  11. If, God forbid, I have more cancer in the future and HAVE to do more chemo, I can't imagine facing that prospect if my last experience has been WORSE than this one.
  12. I just want to be finished.

8 Comments:

Blogger UisceBaGirl said...

One of my favorite fictional heroes is Jean-Luc Picard, with his command catch-phrase "Make it so". I have read that the word "Amen" could be translated as "So be it". Another ancient tradition ends their prayers with "So mote it be" where 'mote' is an aulde English form of 'might' or 'may'.

I keep thinking these various affirmations at the end of each of Jim's points in his last post, as my prayer to the Divine: "Make it so... So be it... So may it be.... Amen."

9:24 PM  
Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, We know the decision before you is one of the hardest you will have to make, but you are the only one who can make it, no one(except Judy)really knows the suffering you have endured and you know when enough is enough. Whatever your decision is we will continue our prayers for you & Judy that God will continue to bless you all and heal you completely. Keep fighting the good fight(which means knowing when you've had enough)!
V

8:44 AM  
Blogger marian said...

*hugs*

5:54 PM  
Blogger Kita28 said...

Dear Jim,

Not only does this decision not have to be made this week, but I don't think it CAN be made this week. Right now you need to absorb all of the good IV nutrition you're getting and get some of your strength back. Only then can you, Judy, and your doctors honestly assess the choices before you.

In the meantime, we love you and are praying for you as always,

Kita et. al.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I'm confident that whatever decision you all come to will undoubtedly be the right one. You're always in my thoughts and prayers, and I light a candle for you every week. Peace to you, Jim.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

We love you so much!

Love,
Jenn, John and FiFi.

11:19 PM  
Blogger fidelma said...

OK, Jim here goes. I know this is probably NOT what you want to hear, but I need to say it. As you probably know, esophageal cancer is so scary because the esophagus does not have as strong/thick/well defined epitheleal tissue lining it as many of our organs. Those nasty cancer cells can just kind of hide out and invade later. I would hate to have one last shot at them and not take it. Is chemo miserable? YES! Are there times when you feel miserable? YES! Are your worries about the last round of chemo side effects justified? YES! But IF you can somehow find the strength within you to take it and your doctor AT ALL feels there would be some possible benefit, I would strongly ecourage gathering your last bit of effort. I know, I am NOT there and I can't think of going through chemo without narcotics to help- I know its a difficult decision and you will make what's best for you. God Bless you and good luck!

5:41 PM  
Blogger fidelma said...

Ok, Jim, here I go. I know this is probably NOT what you want to hear, but I'd like to have you around for quite a while, so I need to say it. As you probably know, esophageal cancer is so scary because the esophagus does not have as strong/thick/well defined epitheleal tissue lining as many of our organs. Those nasty cancer cells can just kind of hide out and invade later. I would hate of have one last shot at it and not take it. Has the chemo made you misrable? You bet. Are your fears about side effects from the last treatment justified? Yes. Is going through chemo without the benefit of narcotics miserable? Yes. I know it is a awful thing to consider. I am not the one sufferering through it. I just wanted to add a (probably unwelcome) note of encouragement to try and gather up your last bit of strength to tough it out one more round if your doctor feels it is of ANY benefit. I know you and Judy will weigh everyhing and decide what's best for you. I wish you godspeed and good luck. God Bless you. Fidelma

5:49 PM  

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