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The Road Not Taken


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Lately, I have read a couple posts about people questioning their decisions to have had chemo or some other treatment or not. I just remembered this poem that I hadn't thought of in quite some time. It always seemed a little corny when I was younger. But it does say several things. One is that we can never know the answer to what would have happened had we taken a different road. And the end of the poems may seem like it is saying that to be different is better or something, but I dont see it that way now. I see it as saying that we all take a road less travelled--and whatever road we take, if we take it by choice, makes all the difference.

None of us would choose to be on the lc road, but once on it, we have choices and I thank all of you for helping us newbies to make wise and considered choices.



The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference. 20

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If my memory serves the poem is by Robert Frost. The fact that he begins the final thought with a sigh suggests that maybe he wishes now that the long hence decision had been other than that taken.

Everyone must admit that they wished they had taken the other choice on some occasion. It is pretty easy when it is a stock sale or a house buy, but with SCLC it will never be really clear. The disease is such that it follows its course. If my tumor comes back will it be because I declined additional chest radiation? The experts say it comes back most of the time even with the radiation. They further say the benefit is greatest for young patients. I gamble a 5% extra chance of 5 year survival against what I fear will be intractable pain to my reflux scarred esophagus. I have already lived longer than three brothers, a sister and my wife, but I had an Uncle who lived to 96. The old saying is “You pays your money and you takes your chance” and I’ll bet on “Quality Of Life” for this path.


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The poem is by Robert Frost. He was my mother's favoritte poet. I once thought his poems were simplistic but now I understand that's part of the charm of his work. To me the peom is about choices and not having regrets.


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As for me. I choose the road with all the chemicals and side effects. In my case I seem to be handling them all well. For me it is worth every extra day I receive. I have 3 kids that still need my guidence at times and so far I have been around to see the youngest get her drivers lis., her first prom, her first date, her first (of many) heart ache and in a few months her HS graduation. My oldest has moved out, gotten married and maybe soon, may make me a grandma :D:D:D My middle one has become more mature and more beautiful, also found the man I think she will marry (soon I hope). I thank God for every day He allows me to have with them. My road has had lots of bumps but I have good shock absorbers. 8)


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