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I'm at a Crossroads and Need Help


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Although I was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in April 2007, I have opted to defer treatment in order to spend some vacation time with my family.

I am feeling good with no symptoms other than sligh nausea and lightheadedness in the mornings. This subsides after I eat some dry crackers. A radiation oncologist told me that I would never feel as good as I do now.

I hesitate to put my family through such a horrible ordeal with the chemotherapy and whole brain radiation.

Am I wrong to prefer quality over quantity of life?

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Welcome to you, Peachy. I am sorry to hear of your dx. Receiving such news certainly puts our lives into a tailspin, doesn't it??? Hopefully you can receive the support you need at this time here.

As far as not informing family, well, that has to be your call. I was not strong enough to face my dx on my own. I needed family and friends to help me through some very difficult and dark days. We all need to travel this road in our own way, though. I support you in that.

As far as quality over quantity.....well.....that needs to be your call as well. I opted for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING offered ~ but that is the way I chose. I offer you whatever it is you need right now. There is a forum here called 'The Path Less Traveled'. You might want to do a search for one of our former members ~ DeanCarl ~ (I will have to look to be sure that is his screen name) who chose that path. He was quite an inspiration to us all.

I hope that you continue to feel as good as you do at present for a VERY long time. Let us know how else we can help.


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Hi Kasey,

Thank you for your good wishes. You have certainly been through a lot. I'm glad that you are disease free at this time and hope you remain so for a long long time.

I've not heard of an esophagus stretch. I will have to look this up. I will also take your advice and visit the Path Less Traveled postings and seek out Dean Carl.

Thank you again for responding.

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Can't blame you for visiting family

and friends before you make your choice.

All I can say is my husband went through

chemo and radiation without any bad

effect.......none at all.

It started going down hill with the

next winter 2002/2003 and for us in

Canada it was a mild one, but all went

well till a heat wave in July 2003 and

that was the start downhill.

Just wrote this to make you realize

that some people go through treatments

without bad effects are they better or

worst, don't know, is it because the

treatments don't work or works don't


mike made his choice and still he is gone

but without thinking that perhaps if he


So enjoy the time you give yourself

to make your decision but also think

of your family and your friends......

but first think of yourself and what you


Best for you.


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Dear Peachy

Welcome and although I am glad you found these boards, I am sorry that you have to be here....

I just wanted to offer a bit of my own story with you so it would help you make a decision on whether to seek treatment. My Dad was diagnosed at 76 years of age and had Chemo with NO SIDE EFFECTS.... he lived 3 more VERY FULL and active years.... There are many people here on these boards who have had Chemo and whole brain radiation and are still going strong and are enjoying quality life.

We are here for you... Love, Sharon

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Hello Peachy,

I am so sorry you are going through this. But it sounds like you are active and able to travel and visit friends and family which is great!

From a caregiver/daughters point of view I wish my mom would have sought or allowed help sooner or treatment. I miss her. At same time I respected her and also understood how independent and stubborn she was - I loved her for it. She was a spitfire even if her body was not. And she did not suffer. I never pressured her into treatment or anything. I did everything I could to help her feel strong and independent as possible even in a wheelchair. :) Whereas I think she would have possibly suffered if she had treatment after letting the disease progress as far along as it did.

But you are much physically stronger than my mom and have so much energy and hope. If your oncologist thinks treatment would be good for you, you could talk with them about stopping if it starts to effect the quality of your life (although there may be some rough days with treatment).

My mom's friend was a very active woman who ended up having treatment and a lung transplant and feels great now! Point is everyone is different, in mind, body and soul. Trust your instincts.

Sorry not sure if this helps or not. It sounds like you are on the right path, seeking help, having fun, being active, etc. I wish you all the best!!!


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It is such a personal choice.

I probably can't add much more than what is written below in my mom's story, but I will say, I understood every one of my mom's choices and no matter what she did I was ready to understand.

I would understand any option you chose.

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Hi Kate,

Wow, you and your mom went through a lot. It is wonderful that she had you to love her and see her through to the end. I cried when I read her medical timeline. It was unfortunate that she discovered her condition so late and didn't have the time or the energy to enjoy the last of her life and prepare for what was to come.

I am fortunate that I became aware of my illness before I had any symptoms. This gave me the chance to arrange for my family's future and enjoy life with them before I become sick.

Thank you so much for sharing you mom's story with me.

God bless you.

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Hi Nick,

Thank you for sharing you mom's situation with me. It is so nice that she had you and your wife to share her last months and have some good times.

I only hope that I will have the energy to make eggplant parmigiano for my sons during my last weeks on earth.

I know that you made her final days loving for her. I hope that my sons can provide the same love and support.

I still have not decided about treatment, but I think your mom was right to choose the mind first, and the body second.

I have had some lightheadedness and dizziness recently and am considering the whole brain radiation before anything more serious happens to my thought processes or coordination.

I will consider chemotherapy later when I am not feeling as good as I am now.

I am glad that you had some quality time with your mom before she passed.

God bless you.

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First off, welcome to the boards (even if all of us would prefer not to need them :( ).

As others have said, this really comes down to your personal choice -- there is no right or wrong answer to your question except for what your heart and soul wants to do -- it's your life.

Maybe I misunderstood what I read, but I noticed how you said that you hesitate to put your FAMILY through this ordeal. Others have mentioned how many go through treatment with relatively few side effects....

As someone who has been on the caregiver side of this experience: yes, it was hard in our particular situation, but I wouldn't have wanted to do it any other way than to support my mom through it. Even at the point when my mom decided not to pursue further treatment, I had researched options available for her that the docs agreed were worth a try if she ever changed her mind back....it was a priveledge to let her make her decisions and support her journey.


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Hi Peachy,

What a beautiful picture! (avitar).

It's nice to "meet" you.

My husband has small cell lung cancer. He's been thru chemo and radiation.

After seeing his tumor shrink 60+ % with radiation, it kind of sold me on it! He didn't have many side effects from it either.. little bit of nausea and sore throat, but that's about it.(He had his chest area radiated though, not WBR, thus the sore throat).

The chemo, for him, was a different story, but there are lot's and lot's of people here that sail right thru it!

The good thing about it, is that YOU get to choose! You can pick any plan they offer, or none at all.

I'm adding you to my pray list. (Nagging the Lord is one of my most favorite past times!). :)

Again, it's nice to meet you. Let us know what you decide to do, so we can help in whatever ways possible.


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Hi Peachy, I am like Kasey, do everything the times that you have to do it but please keep me in shape. I want to live to see my children and grand children grow. Stage IV is not a deth sentence anymore. I had a recurrence after 4 years. (bammer). I had chemo & radiation at the same time, chemo was a pice of cake & radiation too until radiatin neumonaitis. Then they found out 4 little brain mets. WBR, we were soupouse to go to Spain for a month.Change all the tickets & left after my treatment.Had a great time and some days I forgot about the C. But no way I was going to travel without the treatment. I could not be able cope all this with out my family and friends. Life is wonderfull, sometimes we have things in the road that make it a little bumppy. I wish you all the best.Treatments are not that bad. & I don't know but the DC. dosen't know how are you going to feel

Hugs bucky


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Hi Peachy -

I'm a caregiver for my Mom recently diagnosed.

I echo much of what others have said above but must add that as big of a "burden" as it may be for us kids, I think it would be more difficult to find out that I was "sheltered" from the truth. Absolutely your choice to treat or not to treat.


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