Having been a smoker myself I can understand why he continues to smoke and it is difficult to comprehend when we know how much damage it causes.
I did give up within a couple of weeks after being diagnosed but then I was told by my doctor that my chances of survival increased if I gave up and also that they would have serious concerns about surgery if I didn't and that was my hope to get rid of this disease.
I had esophageal cancer and I had reached the stage where I could no longer keep food or very little drink down and felt like I had lost control of my body and continuing to smoke was like the only thing I could continue to control but did make a conscious effort to cut right down and after a week or so I stopped.
In a way I was lucky as they say that the hardest bit about giving up is the routine stuff like having a coffee and cigarette, having dinner then a smoke afterwards but I had lost all the routine stuff due to my cancer so it made it easier.
But once I started eating again then the routines re-established themselves and it was amazing that although I had not smoked for around 6 weeks at this point I still automatically thought about having a smoke after food, I would get in the car reverse off the drive and then remember I no longer smoked. Luckily I knew that my addiction was now purely psychological and not a physical addiction so it was easier not to give into temptation.
The more people nag and try to tell you to give up the more you feel you want to continue. Maybe suggest that he just cuts down rather than give up but most smokers enjoy their smoke and when in stressful situations it is your way to take a back seat for 5 minutes. It is hard to understand and I had tried to give up numerous times with the help of patches, gum etc. over many years and when it came to the crunch I knew what I had to do and gave up cold turkey.
I do feel that if I had been told may cancer was terminal I would probably have continued to smoke but being told that stopping would make all the difference to my treatment and its outcome is what pushed me to give up.
Hope he gets his appointment and maybe what you find out there will make all the difference to his attitude towards the smokes and enjoy your poker night.
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I would ask the oncologist but I only had 3 rounds of chemo for my esophageal cancer and was supposed to have a further 3 after my surgery but I did not undergo this as when they operated there was no evidence of cancer. I know my case is different but I was on the same chemo and I do know of a woman who had no choice but to delay her chemo.
I would personally think of myself in this situation and the statistics of this cancer are very bad so if I was feeling up to it I would go away and have some happy memories to get me through the tough times. I am sure a couple of days delaying round 8 would not hurt but maybe the concern would be the infusion pump running out instead of being changed on time.
Whatever decision you make it has to be right for you with guidance from your oncologist.
Good luck with your travels.
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Well I am 47 and female and was 45 when diagnosed and that is why it took so long to diagnose as we don't fit the statistics as we are supposed to be male and late 60's. I had been going to the doctors for 3 months before being diagnosed and even then I had to go to another GP in desperation as the first wasn't listening to me despite me losing 16 kgs in weight in a short space of time. I just think that once diagnosed everything went very fast and now 16 months form the operation all is good. I hope it is all good for you too and stays that way.
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Glad to read that your cancer was stopped in its tracks as you did not have the option of surgery like I had. I did not find out that my chemo had worked until after the surgery and the tests they did on the lymph nodes and tissues they removed. I too had esophageal cancer but mine was close to the joint of my stomach but this had paralysed my stomachs function and made it impossible before the chemo to keep even my saliva down.
I was lucky and did not have to have radiotherapy as well but I am really pleased that your outcome is positive as well as mine and hope we both have many more years ahead of us after enduring this cancer.
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I have to say you come across as a very caring person and although you have mental health issues yourself you seem to be coping with this very difficult situation as best as you can.
I was the patient in my relationship and even though I had moments of 'why has this happened to me' and 'how am I going to get through this' my husband was a great support and this also made me realize as we as the patient are the ones with all the support and the carer just has to try and get on as best as they can. So far I have been lucky and I no longer have cancer after treatment and surgery but I reached the realisation that I had the easy bit really as I attended appointments, slept when I needed to, when I felt too tired food was bought to me and people went out of their way to assist but my husband had to try and continue working, fit in helping me out with hospital appointments and all the household stuff for a while.
Although your fiancés wishes need to be respected she also needs to look at how are her family going to feel when she has gone and then find out she had known for a while and they were not given the chance to help support you both through this difficult time. This is not only emotionally but also with some of the daily aspects of life. I bet her mother is stronger than she thinks and it is just an excuse saying it will give her a heart attack and it comes across as a form of denial of her situation, if she doesn't tell anyone else then it isn't really happening. I read one of the articles that you posted the links to and that gives the reasons for declining treatment not for refusing to tell people.
As Denise recommends I think you should try and source out some joint counseling, try the cancer council. Your fiancé needs to remember that when her time comes you will be left behind to try an deal with the aftermath of your feelings and trying to get back to some sort of normality and the more people you have to assist you with this the better. Unfortunately this horrible disease does not just affect the person with the tumours.
Take care and my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
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I think you have missed the point in my answer, my mother had breast cancer is is more than happy with her false breast as she feels that it is a small price to pay for life. She has now seen her grandchildren grow up and also is flying from the UK to see her first great grandchild next month. She helps a lot of people through the support groups in her home town but this is all down to her attitude and acceptance of what has happened to her. You are trying to tell me she feels the same as you do but she doesn't. She clung to a desperation throughout her treatment of radio therapy and chemotherapy to get through it and losing her breast was not what she was worried about. She was a nurse so maybe she had a better understanding of how to get through the psychological barriers and was able to utilise the counselling services on offer to her.
I am more than aware of the risks to myself but feel breast cancer is the least of my concerns as the cancer I have had a far higher risk of returning and i am checked regularly for a re occurrence of the stage IV cancer i have already had which is more of a concern to me.
Breast cancer is heavily researched and the survival rates are far higher these days depending on the type you are diagnosed with there are many cancers as I said before that are often diagnosed too late for people to have the luxury of worrying about a lost body part as they cling on to life through all the treatments in an attempt to live that bit longer and the treatments available are still very experimental. This is also partly due to lack of information to diagnose the symptoms of some cancers. I have had scares of ovarian cancer after my initial diagnosis of oesophageal cancer.
I think cancer no matter which type you have affects you and your loved ones and how you deal with it is your way forward. Your responses in regards to people not knowing what you are going through if they have not had breast cancer is very shallow as you make comments regards others lack of understanding you without understanding their stories. I have read your story and you were very lucky not having to endure chemotherapy or radiotherapy which gives you a very limited understanding of the affects of such treatment on peoples bodies and restrictions on their ability to live the lives they would like. I did not have radiotherapy but have read peoples stories and feel that I was very lucky to have been able to avoid it. My chemo experience was unique in the fact that I actually got better and went from having to be fed through a machine to being able to eat again before my surgery.
I am well again now and have many scars all over my body from numerous surgeries to get to where I am now but my cancer experience was easy compared to others and that is something to be grateful for and as I said before if I wear clothes then no one would when i leave the house that I have been through this and the same is for you. I may not have lost a breast but i have a scar that runs from the top of my back to under my armpit, another from my rib cage to my belly button and my lower back and abdomen both look like I have been shot at due to key hole surgeries and numerous drains and feeding tubes.So everyone who has undergone surgery has an understanding as they live with their personal reminders of their cancer experience and I feel the way you express yourself belittles their ability to emphasise when some have to deal with very visible deformities and are unable to hide it as we can whether it be with clothing or false breasts.
I again apologise if I come across as harsh but I do feel that you need to seek professional counselling away from this site as i believe there are more deep seated issues for you to deal with.
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I was very lucky and had no metastasis although there were concerns after the initial PET scan that I may have had one on my left ovary. By the time I was diagnosed I had lost 20 kgs as I had been struggling to get my GP at the time to listen to me and she kept insisting that it must be the helibactori pyloris in my stomach which I had tested positive to and been treated for but still the symptoms continued. I was not diagnosed until I changed GP's and they sen time for a private endoscope the following day where the doctor told me that I had a tumour on the junction of my oesophagus and stomach which was 5 cm long and had more or less closed my oesophagus which was why I could not keep food down. He tried to stretch it for me to allow more food down.I was then referred to a surgeon a the local hospital who saw me the same day.
They then inserted a nasal gastric tube to feed me but I was still vomiting all the time so after the PET scan they operated to remove the ovary(which thankfully was benign)and inserted a J-Peg tube to feed me into my duodenum. I started chemo shortly after this and I was sat on a bed having the chemo administered and throwing up my saliva as I could not even keep that down. They think that it wasn't so much the tumour stopping the food from going down but the tumour stopping the reflex valve form closing giving the signals to the bottom end of my stomach to digest so the food and saliva was just sitting in my stomach and rotting and then the stomach would eject it as in the mornings I would wake up and throw up stagnant saliva. The body can be really amazing.
By the end of the first 3 week cycle I had started to eat small amounts again and this increased so that by the time I went for my last cycle I was taking a packed lunch with me and no longer using the feeding tube.
I had to negotiate when my surgery would be as I finished my chemo at the end of November and the surgeon wanted to wait until after he had been on holiday in January before he operated and for me to have another cycle of chemo. I stuck to my guns and said that I wanted to be cancer free by 2012 so he arranged to operate on the 19th December 2011 and tried to put me off by telling me I could be spending Christmas in intensive care. I had the operation then and was in the main ward 3 days later although it was not all without incidence.
I left hospital on New Years day and I think I was seen as quite remarkable as there was someone else in who had the operation a week before me and had not been doing so well. I think the fact I was able to eat prior to surgery and improve my health helped a great deal in my recovery. I had a roast lamb dinner the day before my operation followed by a banoffee pie for dessert (needed the bananas for my potassium which kept playing up)as I knew i wouldn't be able to eat for 10 days after the op.
At my lowest point I had lost 30kgs and was down to 65kgs and I am 183cms/6ft 1 so I looked really bad but I have recently just gone back over the 80kg mark which is fantastic and I am feeling back to normal again. Not many women who feel great about putting weight back on either.
It is a really good sign that you are eating again and it will get better I am sure and it sounds like the chemo is doing its job so good luck with the rest of your cycles. I used to joke that I was one of the few people who looked better in chemo and the nurses at the ward couldn't believe it either.
I hope your journey progresses as well as mine did and please ask any questions you would like and i will try to answer if I can.
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I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in August 2011 and have now been cancer free since my operation in December 2011. I was 45 years old when i was diagnosed. Such a shock really as it was hard for them to diagnose due to being female and too young. All I can say is ignore a lot of the statistics as they are for older males as it is very rare in females of our age.
I underwent 3 cycles of chemo prior to my operation but due to the results from the pathology after my operation I declined the 3 cycles afterwards as it turns out the chemo had shrunk the tumour and I was cancer free prior to the surgery.
More than happy to answer any questions if I can.
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I am sorry to read how you feel but I do not necessarily think you will get the answers you are looking for on here as it is an internal feeling you need to explore either with a counsellor or other form of therapist in order to come to terms with your situation.
I did not have breast cancer but my mother did nearly 17 years ago and she is still going strong and she too had her right breast removed and wears a false breast. I really believe it comes down to your own attitude towards the situation as she is grateful to be alive and the fact that she can leave her house and no one would ever know she has been through cancer unless she tells them.
Although I to have had cancer I read the stories on this site and it makes me realise how lucky I am to still be alive and also that I can hide my scars from surgery under clothes, there are many with brain tumours and head and neck cancers who do not have that luxury and have to endure others staring at them whilst they go about their daily business.There have been numerous partners who post about losing their loved ones and that just reinforces how lucky I am to still be here today.I have managed to gain weight and my hair has grown back enough now to actually style so no one knows I have been ill these days unless I tell them.
I think in our situation we have to look at what we have got and not focus on what we have lost as if we remain focused on the negatives then we will not be able to enjoy the gift of life we fought for.
I apologise if my response comes across as harsh but we need to accept our individual situations and make the best of what we have as if nothing else this cancer journey is a big enough fight whilst we have it and we should not let it spoil what time we have left as it has already highlighted that life is short and unpredictable.
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I know how tempting it must be to post something in appropriate but you could subtly hint that he could buy dissolving painkillers that is what I had when i had mine out as an adult or to save yourself the distress of reading the comments as a temporary measure you could click on his name and take the cursor down to setting click to remove his posts for the time being that way nobody else would be aware you are tired of his bleating and in a few weeks do the same thing to see his news feeds again. A little more subtle than removing him off your friends list. Just a suggestion but i know how frustrating it is to see these things there are so many people dying of colds at the moment too just feel like telling them to 'suck it up princess' regardless of gender.
Take care Kas
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.