There was an interesting piece in the Business Standard today called The Cancer Column. The heading caught my eye.
The author has beautifully penned her thoughts about her friend Annie who was diagnosed with a malignant inoperable lung tumour which had metastasized to her lymph nodes also. Annie chose not to undergo chemotherapy because of her own reasons. She was allergic to invasive allopathic medicines and she also felt it wrested choice and control from the patient. She chose to opt for naturopathy that would improve her quality of life. Either way there was no cure for her deadly disease. Chemotherapy would have bought her just a little more time, but not much. She was absolutely justified in choosing to say ‘No Chemo’. I am in no way undermining her decision and courage. I salute her.
Chemotherapy by itself is more dreadful than the disease. It ravages your entire system during and after the treatment. It is not a great option for people who do not have much to gain from such treatments either due to the advance stage of the disease or their age.
I lost an aunt to breast cancer because she did not believe in allopathic medicines and preferred to go in for naturopathy and yoga treatments. This was not a great move on her part because the cancer was at an early stage and could have been cured through chemotherapy and surgery. She was afraid of the pain from the therapy, the loss of hair (albeit temporary).
I also know of people who chose to go in for allopathic treatments and find cure. The chemo sessions are just temporary. At the end of it all, there is a bright light beckoning you.
I underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer at the age of 45. It was torturous, I admit. But then I still say it was worth it. Here I am writing this 8 years hence. Chemotherapy ensured I have life aka time. I chose quality of life too.
A few days ago, my mother started bleeding at the age of 80 and a biopsy was performed to rule out malignancy. Luckily, it turned out to be benign. If by any chance, it had turned out to be cancerous, we had decided to just get a surgery done to remove the uterus, but avoid chemotherapy. Reason??? Her age and her physical health… She would not have had the strength to fight the side effects of the medicines and it would in no way have improved her quality of life. We chose the option of ‘no angioplasty’ in February this year due to the same reason.
If chemotherapy is the only option, choose it. Embrace it with a bold smiling front. Take a call after weighing all pros and cons. What is also important is to bring in life style changes. Eat well. Exercise well.
It takes massive courage and clarity to choose quality and time.
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