I saw my Oncologist yesterday (Monday). An appointment which took 35 minutes, sometimes emotional, sometimes quite clinical in nature. I spent a good bit of the time describing to her what happened following my third chemo treatment. She admitted the problem I had with gas and acid was due to the chemo treatment being too strong for me. Her recommendation was to decrease the strength of the chemo.
When I told her how weak I had been and how no one I talked to tried to help me get my body back on track, she mumbled something about next time they would bring me in and give me fluids. I couldn’t help but hear ‘next time’ like she was planning on this happening again. I asked her if she could guarantee me that this wouldn’t happen again and she told me no of course she couldn’t. I told her I COULD NOT have this happen again. I was unable to take care of myself and unable to care for my daughter and we were alone. She asked where my friend was and I told her she had been off on a trip to see family for the holidays.
When she mentioned it was good I was on a stronger antacid, she was shocked when I told her I had taken myself off of it. I told her it wasn’t helping and that the only thing that helped was the probiotic I started taking on my own. She didn’t believe the probiotic is what helped but had no answers other than to say the chemo was now out of my system so my stomach was healing from it. She asked me several times if I really was eating and drinking okay and no more problems. I told her I was being cautious with what I was eating and drinking but yes my system was getting back on track with the help of the probiotic. I also told her my mouth had been completely white the whole time until about Friday or Saturday when it started to clear up. To be honest, I saw how little she had to say about my situation. She asked if I called the chemo nurse line and I said I did on Monday but when I saw how little help they were, then I treated myself, including when I developed a fever of 38.9 Thursday evening. She mumbled “that was dangerous” even though I told her I pushed water and by 3 or 4 am it was down to 37.6. At no time did she approve of what I had done, nor admit that what I had done was anything good. But then she didn’t have to say it, the proof was standing (or rather sitting) right beside her.
She didn’t like it that I told her I wanted to cancel any more chemo treatments. But here were the options she recommended:
1. lower the strength of the current chemo I was taking
2. move on to the next phase of chemo treatments
3. cancel the chemo treatments and go straight into hormone therapy
On 1 and 2 I asked her if she could guarantee it wouldn’t put me flat on my back again unable to function and she could not. I also told her I was scared to death of the next phase of chemo treatments since it has a high probability of an allergic reaction. I told her I know my system has always been sensitive to medications and knowing this scares me in regards to the next chemo. Her response was that they didn’t like patients going into chemo being afraid. And in response to that I told her, after what happened to me, I would be afraid of any chemo treatment I would go into now.
She finally agreed at this point maybe it would be better for my chemo treatments to be canceled, especially if it was something I didn’t believe in. So we canceled the chemo treatments and discussed the hormone therapy.
Hormone therapy is actually an anti-hormone therapy. In my case it would be tamoxifen which is supposed to look like estrogen and the cancer cells take it in and get clogged. I assume this is to keep them from growing but I need to research it. I told the doctor that I would do research and let her know, so an appointment was set up for two weeks out for me to come in and see her. In the meantime she would also let radiology know my chemo has been cut short and they will want to set up an appointment to discuss radiation treatment. I told her I would talk with them but it didn’t mean I would do the treatments.
There was one other thing we discussed, that being whether she had any proof that they did not get all the cancer when they performed the two surgeries I had. She told me that no she did not have any proof and the reason the chemo and radiation was being done was just insurance to improve my chances of it never coming back. INSURANCE. This to me is a very COSTLY insurance where there is no proof whatsoever that I am still at risk. To poison a body, take it to the brink of death on the chance that maybe it might come back? What are the chances that the treatment alone compromises my body so much that it opens it up to a higher chance of developing cancer again or even worse instead of being strong enough to fight off any cancer cells still floating around in my body, it has made it much more vulnerable for the cancer to gain another foothold?
In truth, I have had enough signs to tell me I am through with all these treatments and to just live my life as healthy as I can as I rebuild my body, making it stronger and healthier. This is now the direction of my new life.