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My wife, Joyce, is 59. Between us we have 5 kids and 7 grandchildren (one of whom we raised and is now off to college). She was dx in Nov. 98 with nonresectable PC, evidence of mets to the lymph nodes. She started on Gemzar almost immediately, but was unable to keep on weekly treatments, so was put on an every other week schedule. She also started a complementary treatment of aggressive diet and supplements recommended by the Block clinic near Chicago. A Ct scan in April showed no change in the tumor and no evidence of further mets. The side effects of the Gemzar increased over time, affecting her quality of life to the point that she decided to quit chemo. Her last chemo was 5 weeks ago (today being 8-1-99). Right now, the pain level has been increasing, and that is scary. Joyce is more afraid of the pain than she is of dying. Her first husband died at the age of 42 to brain cancer, and those images haunt her. And, of course, she worries about the effect of this on the children and grandchildren, especially if she declines. Otherwise, she is upbeat and optimistic, hopeful of beating the odds (in some ways even 9 months is beating the odds), and relying a lot on prayer and scripture -- as well as diet and supplements. Her energy level has been very low, but she has been able to do a lot of the things that she loves to do. And I have become the cook in a big way. Thankfully, I have a lot of flexibility with my job (my boss is very understanding) so I am able to spend a lot of time with her and taking care of things at home.

Posted 08/01/1999 01:02 pm by james
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