Monday, February 9, 2015

What about no treatment?

I read this article a few weeks ago on the other option in a medical diagnosis, what if you didn't treat? I mean seriously just skip the treatment options? With a cancer diagnosis, they give you a list of treatment recommendations, but never say just don't treat.

But if you read the article, you will learn most doctors have DNRs and do not want to live if given an incurable diagnosis. I am leaning more to this side than ever.

I am on medications to treat the side effects of my medications. I am still coping with long term side effects of numerous surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation.What if I skipped the treatments? I ponder this one and need to remind myself at doctor appointments to ask 'what if I chose not to treat?'. A doctor 'recommends' and 'suggests' but never 'requires'.

I mean if I am in extreme pain or coping with an infection, I am sure I will opt to treat. But sometimes I need to ask, what if I didn't treat? I am not one to run to the doctor for a sniffle and am concerned with adding more drugs to my daily intake. Every time I add one, I need to check for allergies and interactions.

If I had another cancer diagnosis, I think I would have a very serious discussion about treatment side effects, adverse effects, and long term effects. Quality of life vs longevity is a very important discussion.

1 comment:

Sharon Greene said...

I had an aunt who did nothing for at least 5 years after finding a breast lump. When the Cancer became visible, she became a hermit, only staying home with her husband. Shortly before her death, she stopped breathing and my uncle called an ambulance. She was a skeleton from the waist up but with the belly of a 9 month pregnant woman. She either had severe liver Mets or also acquired ovarian cancer along the way. The end result was that she was unrecognizable and was in constant excruciating pain for the little time she had left. Her brother, the doctor, couldn't even recognize her in the open casket(??) and didn't believe it was her. She was 48 when she died but looked 98. I wouldn't recommend this course of action to anyone. I still have nightmares 30 years later. Please don't do this to yourself.