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My mum wants to stop chemotherapy

Posted by

Hello everyone. 

I'm new to this site, I was hoping to get some advice or knowledge of anyone who has been in a similar situation or just to chat to anyone really. 

Two years, 6 months ago after a long period of being sick and repeated visits to the doctor my mum was diagnosed with Advanced non Hodgkin lymphoma. She was given a double course of chemotherapy and it significantly improved her life. She then was told the cancer was contained in her abdomem area and continued to see her consultant every 3 months. In May this year following investigations she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She's never smoked so another huge shock. She had the tumour (half her lung) removed and recovered well from the operation however does experience breathlessness now. Whilst they operated they took a biopsy from lymph nodes and unfortunately this came back positive. They have offered chemotherapy which she 2/6 into. 

She has been so poorly with this chemotherapy, unlike the last time where her sickness was controlled she is basically sick all the time on this one. She's tired out and has no quality of life. She was told last week she'd have to have a groshong line again (she had this with the non Hodgkin as well) as they are struggling to gain iv access. She's just exhausted with being prodded and pocked and feeling so rough. This has led her to the decision to stop chemotherapy. 

I completely understand her decision, and feel it is her choice. However very scared about what this means. Her new consultant told us the chemotherapy might not make a difference, and cannot say whether it will remove the cancer or not.  My mum has little faith in him or his approach, this is completely different to how she feels about her non Hodgkin consultant. 

My questions are: has anyone been in a similar situation? Has anyone decided to stop their chemotherapy?  What happened? Should She choose quality of life and stop the chemo?

She is meeting with her consultant next week and is telling him then. Will she still recieve support from the team? Will she recieve any support if she chooses to stop the chemo? 

Any feedback would be most welcome. 

Thank you for reading (sorry it's so long)!!!!! 

Posted by

Hi daffodil,

im so sorry that you have found yourself here and for all that your mum has gone through. Two things spring to my mind, they can sometimes lower the chemo dose to make side effects reduce, or give your mum different anti sickness meds. The second is that your mum can ask to be referred to another hospital for a second opinion, I'm suggesting this as you said that she doesn't quite gel with her consultant. 

The helpline will be open tomorrow after 9am on 0808 808 0000 you can ask to speak to a nurse for advice.

There are also lots of groups on the site, you might find it useful to post your questions in the lung group: 

for support for yourself you might want to join join the family and friends group: 

There are lots of other groups too, you can browse them on the groups tab.

Lots of love