After several days of nothing, no real news but no catastrophes, I was getting more anxious for the “big talk”. Nothing really concrete has been communicated to my brother and I expected they would want me to be there when the whole plan is discussed…but nothing.
I finally pushed the envelope and asked to speak to the oncologist. She was very nice and told me the schedule for the chemo and radiation. She talked about how the chemo was lower dose and the radiation may be shorter than the usual regime.
I was at my desk when my voice started quivering and getting weak as I asked the big question~
Is all of this treatment curative or palliative?
She immediately and emphatically replied…This is just palliative.
I went on to question her about whether this has been discussed with him. She said “Well, I just consented him and I told him the common side effects”. and then she asked me if I thought he didn’t understand.
By now I am in tears just trying to hold it together at work. I tell her I think he hears you and probably he understands the words but I don’t think he gets it. He is still talking about fighting this and getting back to scuba diving…
I want him to be optimistic, I don’t want him to give up but I also want him to know that if this all gets to be too much~~the chemo, the radiation, the increasing pain… that it’s okay to stop.
Our conversation ended with her offering to talk to him again but I said I would like to be there. We agreed we would wait till he has an outpatient appointment and I will come with him to speak to the original oncologist.
No reason to shove it in his face, he’s relatively comfortable and almost downright chipper. I’m the one who is losing sleep.