Mom is scheduled to have her 4th of 12 chemo treatments tomorrow, and I've had to be on the phone with her multiple times each day since Saturday. She's feeling very low, and is questioning whether she should finish the treatments. I don't know what to say.
I know she's sick and tired of being sick and tired. I can get that. I'm still dealing with stupid surgery crap of my own and that was 7 frelling months ago. I remember my naive illusion that doing the surgery was going to actually fix my problems.
But her stopping the treatments isn't going to fix her nausea and other symptoms, and I don't think she really understands the odds here and that they apply to her. The medical staff she talks with keep low-balling and minimizing things so she doesn't give up, but they've done such a good job of it she doesn't think it's important enough to face the side-effects of the treatment.
She's convinced herself the chemo is the doctor being over-cautious, not a necessary part of the treatment. I've tried to talk to her, but she's not getting it. The odds are very very bad with un-metastasized pancreatic cancer, and even worse for her case; the stuff had already spread to several organs in her system. It doesn't just jump the road like a wildfire - there are cancer cells floating around in her lymbic system for certain, and possibly her circulatory system. And those can't be taken out by surgery no matter how clean those margins were. That is what the chemo is designed to go kill. With it, she actually has a decent chance. Without it, recurrence is not a matter of if but when and where, and that when is a short-term proposition.