Chemotherapy, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 The chemotherapy treatments Mother had from January through March apparently worked.  Her breast cancer went into remission and never became active again.  We believe that her dementia began in slow, small ways when the chemo began.  Daddy tried to tell us that Mother wasn’t ‘thinking right’.  We did see small signs.  She have me the wrong directions to the post office, for example.  It was the broken ribs, and the medications that brought her dementia into full bloom, however.

Daddy’s first round of chemo did some good.  It actually shrank the cancer.  We were thrilled.  We told everyone.  When you are in the midst of this type of crisis, you take any good news, no matter how small, and share it with everyone.  It is cause for celebration.  Of course it was 2 days after the completion of his first chemo treatment that he had the first stroke.

The second round of chemotherapy was devastating.  He quickly developed blisters in his mouth and down his esophagus making eating, drinking, and even talking painful.  There was medication which kept his mouth and throat somewhat soothed.  His white count fell to almost nothing.  The doctors think he must have had another stroke because he was almost comatose for 3 or 4 days.  The day he came out of this coma is a story that I will tell in another post.

The tests after this chemo showed that this treatment did not shrink the cancer at all.  Daddy went to the gates of h.e.l.l. and back and it accomplished nothing.  We were all disappointed.  Reality began to set in.  Daddy was going to die and nothing was going to stop it.

Chemotherapy is a necessary treatment if a person want to battle their cancer.  However, chemotherapy comes with its own battles.  Sometimes it is worth it,  Sometimes it isn’t.  Each person has to make their own decision.  At the time it crossed my mind that “Not me, I would never have chemo.  I was not going through that. No way.”  Those were just fleeting thoughts, however.  You see, I could not truly make that decision.  I wasn’t at that bridge.  If I ever come to that bridge, that cancer bridge for myself, I believe I will know then what kind of decision to make.


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