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Ask Caroline, a Macmillan Nurse working with people who have Leukaemia, Myelodysplasia and Myeloproliferative diseases. She'll aim to respond within 2 working days.

I dont want any treatment for my aml.

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Hi I have been diagnosed with aml. I am a 47 year old male who has suffered mental health problems all my life and am looking forward to not having to carry on in my awful existence. I have been offered the first stage induction chemo but am really reluctanct to have any treatment other than palliative care. Problem is my mum would be appalled at my decision and as I live with her it would make my living condition untenable. So I would have to find somewhere else to live or have treatment I don't WANT? I have only known a week, and can't work out if I am in some sort of shock depression or is it the anemia making me feel so exhausted and fed up with my life that I don't want to carry on. Also i have this massive guilt complex as i have tried to committ suicide so many times that i feel disingenuious now trying to fight to live.   Please i am distraught and caught between a rock and a hard place. If you can suggest something I gave no idea what....i could really use some professional insight, so far it's been lacking as the Drs are waiting for call results before saying anything other than your anemuc and gave AML???

Caroline- Macmillan

Hi Paul278mc,

I am so sorry that you are feeling like this. This is a very difficult time for you and your mum. It is common to react this way because of the shock of the diagnosis. You have had a lot of information to take in all at once. you are also feeling weak because of illness and this makes decision making hard.

It is your decision whether you take treatment or not, it is you that will be experiencing side effects. However, it is very difficult to make that decision when your family have a different opinion.

You quite rightly point out all the reasons why you might be reacting the way you are. You don't say whether or not you are on treatment at present for your mental health problems, but if you are, it may be worth contacting your mental health team or your GP for extra help and support. Please don't feel guilty about taking treatment. What has gone on before is in the past and this is a different battle.

I think you should speak to your mum and explain how you feel. She is your mum and will want you to have treatment, but if you really do not want to take it, she will support you as you are still her baby ( no matter how big you are!). It may just take her some time to accept your decision.

The other thing worth mentioning is that you are still a young man. After a course of treatment you may find that you feel better physically than you have for a while. You may feel differently than you do now. You may not. Is there any harm in taking one course of treatment to see??

As professionals, 99% of patients that we see, want to get better but there is always that 1% that don't. Your medical team will support your decision either way, but you will need to be properly informed. Wait for all the results, discuss it openly with them and then make your decision.

In the meantime, if you need to speak to someone in person, please call the Macmillan support line. Call us free on  0808 808 00 00 Monday - Friday 9am - 8pm. Good luck and please come back to me if you need to discuss this further.

Caroline - Macmillan  Information Nurse Specialist

Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.