Although most people wouldn[ch8217]t hesitate to take chemo to extent their life (often at all cost), we are interested in talking to people who decided not to take chemo or who opted for chemo and later felt that it wasn[ch8217]t the right choice for them.
My husband was operated Apr.3, 2006 and received a new bladder (Studer pouch). After 12 days he was discharged. After a week home and doing well he went back to the surgeon who removed the stents from his kidney. Eight hours later we were back at ER with terrible pains. After 2 separate ER visits he finally was admitted because of a major kidney infection. This was followed with 3 separate bowel obstructions and finally after 31/2 weeks he was released from hospital. My husband is home now, on a low residue diet and trying to recuperate. The last 31/2 weeks in hospital did him in. He lost an additional 10 lbs. and all his muscle mass.( In total he lost about 30 lbs.) He is trying to build up his strength by walking and biking, but struggles often with his energy level and motivation. He also has problems with memory and concentration. He is concerned about this and feels a bit down.
We went a few days ago to an oncologist, who advised us that chemo was advisable, because the cancer had spread to part of the lymphnodes (L:1 out of 6 R: 4 out of10). The oncologist told us that he would be an additional 5[ch61489] months out of the running. For my husband work is very important and he is not coping well being at home. He is already bored after 1 month.
Chemotherapy would probably prolong his life but the question is at what cost. Sometimes there are other factors that play a roll in the decision making process. My husband suffers from distymia, a kind of mood disorder, and has just (about 1[ch61489] year ago) come out of a deep depression that lasted 15 years. During that time he has had problems with depression medication and seems to react differently than the average person. Reason why he has to be extremely careful with medication especially the ones that effect the neuro psychological functions of the brain There is some evidence that chemotherapy has an effect on the brain ( [ch8220]chemo brain[ch8221]). However, it is not certain if the drugs or the stress causes this condition.
He is, therefore, very concerned how the chemotherapy in one way or another will effect the neuro psychological functions of his brain, which he believes are his most important asset. Already he is struggling with the mental after-effects of the anastethics and he is afraid that chemotherapy will put him in another depression. And this will then ofcourse infringe on his quality of life.
It is an extremely difficult decision we have to make and we hope to connect with people who were in similar situations where chemotherapy was maybe not seen as the right choice.