2/13/2007: Myriad of Decisions

One of the most difficult things about dealing with cancer treatment is sorting through the many options for care and care givers. You learn to trust experience, but then you realize that experience with your particular disease is thin on experience.

We are at such a moment: a crossroad. We are considering the recommendation of a clinical trial with a therapy that few have been given, but one that holds the promise of a new remission of the cancer. No guarantee. Risks, yes.

The possibility of remission.At no other time in history have so many options existed for the cancer patient and, hence, the possibility of confusion, indecision, and the possibility of making a wrong choice (or the right one). Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, herbal medicines, surgery, or doing nothing at all. The mind is awhirl with considerations.

Everything requires consent and disclosure. Not one form, but multiple forms and lengthy disclosures that are full of medical terminology and detail. Because of the liability and legality that surrounds today's practice of medicine, disclosure detail is extensive.

"This probably won't happen, but it could!"Untimately, when life is in the balance, regardless of what you read or hear, you rely more on the advice of those you trust and you hope and pray for the best possible outcome. When no sure cure is available and none is on the horizon, you look for anything that prolongs the course while you wait for the development of a cure that may or may not arrive in time.

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