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Just Finished Radiation and very confused?


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I just completed 14 treatment sessions and am scheduled to start chemo the end of this month. My radiation Dr told me I have the choice to get chemo now or when I become sicker? I ave no idea what lies ahead for me and my family other than I have been given a year to live. What is the quality of my life going to be? Am I going to be too sick to enjoy it or what. Very confused and very scared..... Thanks and God Bless!!!

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I would opt for the chemo, but I am neither an MD nor you. No one knows how much time they have, with or without the chemo, and the chemo could attack cancer where the radiation didn't go. Radiation is to a specific area and chemo is more general. It is a gamble, no assurances either way -- you have to make up your own mind and go with it. Best to you in your decision. Don

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First off a big WELCOME to the board. Sorry you had to seek us out, but very glad you found us.

Now about your decision. I wish I could hand you a formula where you fill in the blanks and the decision comes out the other side. Unfortunately I can not. There simply isn't one. Each person has to make his/her own choice based on their own situation.

I think about 99.9% of the folks here have decided to go "all out" on treating their cancer. Chemo, radiation, alternative and experimental therapies, the works. And then there's me :). I made the "other" choice. For me qaulity has it all over quanity. I chose to not aggressively treat my cancer and to concentrate on living my life the best I could for whatever time I have left.

But a couple of things to consider. Notice I said "for me". I made my choice after doing a TON of research on my disease. I talked to a lot of doctors. I spent hours on the web researching. I talked for hours and hours with my wife and my friends. After gathering all the information I could and getting all the opinions I could I spent almost a full week simply being still as much as I could and digging deeper and deeper into myself. I went down past the fear, past the hopes, past everything 'till I found that place where the "real" Dean Shaffer lives. And I found my answer. One that I am completely at peace with.

The nice thing about all this was that even though my decision was completely opposit from what most here would have chosen, all I got from these folks was complete and unequivical support.

If I have any "advice" for you it would be to learn, learn, learn about this disease. The National Cancer Institute at http://www.cancer.gov has a lot of good information to get you started.

What ever decision you make here's hoping the best for you!


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Well I think if you read this site you will see that chemo is not as bad as many expected, some chemo is worse than others. If I were you I think I would start the chemo and see how you do. Don't listen to the doctor about having a year. They told my husband he had about 4 months and he's still here and doing well 18 months later.

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another thing to consider is to look at the nutritional componet of your life. Some studies have indicated that when the body is fueled properly , and de-toxified of all the chemicals and improper nutritional byproducts that we consume in our lifetime... survival timeframes jump dramatically.

Consider eating only "whole foods"- high amounts of fruits, veggies, whole grain, "good oils (flax, fish, olive) and LEAN meats (turkey, chicken)... add green tea X3 a day

NO FATTY Foods, no fried foods. and NO SUGAR at ALL . Cancer feeds on SUGAR and a body that lacks oxygen. (#1 cut out all sugars & coffee) (other than those innatures whole foods).

There have been cases where people have made major diet changes and have taken vitamn (good multi), mineral (Seleniun), & antiodixidant supplements (E , C) with and with out conventional treatments...

Many of these people have see ther cancer stop to grow, slow down, and even ocurrences of spotaneous remission (unexplained by doctors)

Bottom line, is none us us know whether we have 1 day or 50 years....the important thing is to make the most of that time while here, and to not allow fear to overtake us. Improve the quality, time in regard to relationships with your family... pray, medititate on positive thoughts.....

make amend with others taht will bring you peace....

Accept the gift of everlasting life offered by our creator -Christ Jesus...its free, all it takes is admitting that you need Him and believing in your heart that He died for your sins (the sins of all men)........and put you faith in him as your Creator .....and finally, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up !

my .02 cents.... :)


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Hi WinsorCat,

Sorry to hear about your diagnoses. Forget about what the doctor says about a time frame. No one can say for sure except God. It’s understandable to be scared and confused. We all are. It takes time to gather your thoughts when first told. Gather as much (knowledge is power) information as you can about your diagnoses. Be pro-active. Take one step at a time and one day at a time. Never give up. Stay focused and positive. I was on chemo from Dec 2002 until Nov 2003. I had little side effects. Although I was fatigued and tired I take medication to off set the fatigue. I’ve had great success from the chemo. See my signature. Like Ry says try it and see how it goes. Everybody is different and we do not know until we try. There are many chemo (and drugs to help with chemo) drugs to try and options. Of course the ultimate decision only you can make and regardless of your decision everyone here will support you. Stay with us. This is the best message board on the Internet with great people and lots on info and support to offer. Hope this helps. Peace, take care and God Bless.


PS: Also join a support group for lung cancer. It helps to talk with people who have been there, done that.


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http://www.acor.org (Association of Cancer Online Resources / Free Online Lifeline For Everyone Affected By Cancer & Related Disorders)

http://www.meds.com/lung/lunginfo.html (Lung Cancer Information Library)

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http://www.medicinenet.com/Lung_Cancer/article.htm (Medicine Net)

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http://www.nfcr.org/site/PageServer?pag ... ncers_lung (National Foundation For Cancer Research)

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http://www.lungcanceronline.org/effects ... fects.html (Lung Cancer Online / Hematologic (Blood) Effects)

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http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/C ... ung_cancer (Health Insite)

http://www.lungcancerclaims.com (Lung Cancer / Lung Cancer Information Page)

http://www.cancerlifecenter.com/engine. ... =dictionar (Cancer Life Center/ Cancer Dictionary)http://www.canceryellowpages.com/Resources/TypesOfCancerSearched.cfm?SearchText=LUNG%20CANCER (Cancer yellow Pages)

http://icare.org (ICARE / The International Cancer Alliance)

http://www.vh.org/index.html (Virtual Hospital)

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Welcome Windor,

Well, what can I add that hasn't already been said here? I guess not much. I just wanted to welcome you and let you know that we are here for you whenever you need support, have questions, have fears, have celebrations. You've just met one of the best group of people I've been blessed to know. They are like family, and truly care about all who are touched by this terrible disease. I wish we could all have met under better circumstances, but if we are meant to travel this bumpy road I couldn't wish for better company.

My advice, like those before me is to research this disease, and make an informed decision. That may include trying chemo for at least one cycle or two. You are a young man, and chances are you will be able to handle an aggressive treatment plan well.

My husband is young too, and he was terrified before we started. With his first chemo cocktail, he realized that with modern medicine, a lot of the side effect could be controlled, and the quality of our lives has not changed. He used to say it was no worse than a few hangovers he's had. It made him nauseous for about 2 days and then he was back to his old feisty self. We've had three different chemo combos now and radiation, and some are harder than others, and have different side effects. Does it make him feel bad?... Yes, but briefly, only a few days to a week. Then it is life as usual. He still works full time, and has done so throughout treatment. (but, his job is not too physical, just a lot of walking). We still go out with friends, on bad days we snuggle at home, we still have so much laughter and joy that it is almost painful to bear, especially if I start to think about statistics and possibilities for the future. We have a wonderful quality of life. One that for us, is worth fighting for each additional day. Every morning we both wake up together is a blessing and I thank God for it.

We were told that his prognosis was about 9 months. That date will be Dec. 19th. I say Bu//sh!t. No one can tell us when we are done. My husband is doing so well, no one can tell he's even sick. In fact, since original diagnosis there has been no progression in his cancer thus far (knock on wood). With God's intervention through his awesome healing power and with his inspiration for new medicines, anything is possible.

I believe in miracles, they happen every day, and I pray for one for all of us every day. I will pray for you too.

God Bless,


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Hi Winsor,

What Dean advised is wise -- educate yourself.

Don't get lost in the statistics, but rather, what options you do have.

If I were going to get chemo, I would be as proactive as possible, and hit the darn disease hardest soonest. I am curious why some doctors don't offer their patients that option. Better to be safe than sorry, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, etc etc etc.

And yes, this is an emotional roller coaster. I survived by eating well -- I ate a lot of red meat and green fresh vegetables ( I was anemic, so I guess that's why I craved). You will find a lot of different opinions on what kind of diet "works" best, but I think all would agree you need to eat well and be nutritionally in the best shape you can be.

I watched a lot of movies, many funny funny movies. Laughter is great for the soul, and it's good for the body too in many ways.

This is a great place to vent when you can't keep it under your hat anymore too.

And miracles -- Winsor, Miracles!! -- happen every day. Just look around this group.

When you're winning, we're here for you.

When things don't look so great, we're here for you.

And when you need to get out of your own troubles and pray for someone else, we're here.

God bless us all, and keep us close to His heart.

Welcome aboard.


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Welcome to the board. I agree with the messages already posted but can't emphasize enough the importance of good nutrition. When I started chemo I was almost 69 years old. The doctors referred to me as "the healthy one". I eat a balanced diet nad walk. Chemo never made me nauseated. They gave my a bag of anti nausea medicine before they started the chemo. My legs ached the second and third day after chemo and then were back to normal. I continued delivering meals on wheels, had chemo on Thurs and bowled on Fri and didn't miss a Christmas party!

Give it a try. You can always stop. And certainly don't dwell on their time schedule. May God guide you in your decisions and walk with you every day. God Bless

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All I can add is keep getting copies of all your medical reports and read them carefully. If you see something you don't agree with talk with your drs. Keep these reports in a binder for there will be times that you will need to know when you had a certain scan last and if it is time to have another. You will be your best medical record keeper.

Ditto to what everyone else said. Go far it and hang on tight for it sometimes gets really bumpy but then the road gets straight again and life goes on.

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