Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Resisting Chemo

I just happened upon this article on Yahoo News today. I think before I would have dismissed it, but I'm not sure I could do any such thing given the past year. I know there are all kinds of arguments for and against treatment, but I sit and read this article and am beyond flabbergasted. The oncologist says this kid has a 90% chance of survival if he undergoes the chemotherapy! Granted, chemo is no small thing. I watched my brother struggle through it. I was not the one being injected with those drugs, and I have no place to say how bad it is. But I watched him and it sucked. Big time. There's no way around that. But a 90% survival rate is pretty amazing. I can't believe the parents are just going to walk away from the medical treatment when doctors agree with the original prognosis and the kid's in pain. Somehow the child agrees with the parents though (not a far stretch, considering how defensive kids can be of their parents) but another question comes to mind: why can't this kid read? He's 13. The article does not mention significant learning disabilities, although they may be there, but he doesn't seem to understand what the chemo is meant to do.

This would be an interesting article to talk about in CPE. I had a few Jehovah's Witness patients during my time in CPE, and it was always interesting to see their reactions. One person in particular, when I introduced myself as the chaplain, said "I'm a Jehovah's Witness," clearly expecting me to understand that she had her own beliefs and I wasn't going to change them. I said, "That's fine. I can still talk to you. I just came here to see how you were." And then she was able to express her fear at what was going on. It's amazing what you find out when you just talk to people.

Anyway I'm rambling, mostly because I have nothing to do and am rather bored. Hopefully Rick and I will go for a bike ride tonight when he gets home. The weather is perfect for one...

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