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Study results: Chemo is bad for you

September 29, 2010

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=chemotherapy&iid=8997497″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”154″ /]You know, cancer has never really made me feel sick. Chemotherapy has, but I’ve never had symptoms from the cancer. Maybe if I let it grow without removing it through surgery or radiation I’d have symptoms, and maybe if it were more advanced…. but then, how more advanced does cancer get than “terminal”? Chemotherapy has, in fact, made me want to give up and die many times. Cancer hasn’t.

I’ve mentioned to my doctor and a few of you more than once that I really don’t see the point in going through 24 months of torturous treatment to buy a statistical five more months of life. What is the point of being completely miserable for 29 months total? Why not have 24 months of relative peace and comfort and go to heaven 5 months sooner?

At last there is a study that shows there is some validity behind my questions. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine, called Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer shows that “patients receiving early palliative care had less aggressive care at the end of life but longer survival.” Palliative care is “any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms, rather than striving to halt, delay, or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure.” Read the first page for yourself. It’s quite interesting.

Lung cancer is a much different cancer than breast cancer, of course, and in many ways it’s not fair to compare the two; however, I think some of results in the study apply across the board. This does not mean that I’m planning on giving up treatment, but I find it encouraging that making the “mild” choice — the choice that gives me good quality of life — might, in the end, be the choice that actually lengthens life.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Babs McNeely permalink
    September 29, 2010 7:27 pm

    I think what you said “the choice that gives me good quality of life — might, in the end, be the choice that actually lengthens life”, can applies to all of us.

    Thank you

  2. Babs McNeely permalink
    September 29, 2010 7:29 pm

    one more thing….I hate my little profile guy – I definitely don’t look like Grouchy Smurf IRL 🙂

    • September 29, 2010 7:46 pm

      I changed it just for you, Babs. The first change was to some monsters, but yours came out to be an eight-armed thing with its brains on the outside. This one is much better, don’t you think?

  3. September 29, 2010 7:55 pm

    Praying for you today. . .

  4. Sarahtee permalink
    September 29, 2010 9:38 pm

    Quality of life really is more appealing – I’m with you there, Jill 🙂

  5. Jennifer permalink
    September 29, 2010 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the most encouraging news! May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. You are, and continue to be…an inspiration. Loving and praying for you, Jennifer

  6. E Lis permalink
    September 30, 2010 2:17 pm

    Goodness hasn’t been my body but I do ‘get’ it on some levels. Where is the tradeoff of treatment versus what else could occur?

    Chemo is something I have seen too often and I wonder the impacts and honestly, I don’t know my choice anymore. I know also at some point I quit treating my son’s Autism as I just wanted us to live (he gets some from school, some from me, but running from specialist to specialist was not a life after 14 years of doing so). Although the physical results may have not been quite so drastic, it seemed all we did was run from appointment to appointment and we had no time to ‘live.’ For him, he is doing great and I made the right choice in that case.

    I wish there were easier answers and solutions for so much of healthcare. You and yours are always in my thoughts and prayers!!!

    With love, Lisa

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