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I am always shocked when people refuse treatment. I guess denial can be very powerful and override everything else. I am sorry that your friend refused treatment. I'm sure that is difficult for you and her family.
It would be very difficult to get any survival rates, that are anything close to accurate, for people who did not get any treatment for their cancer. Typical survival rate for stage 2B or 3, is around 60%, but that's with treatment. I don't know how you would find survival rates for cancer patients who do not get medical treatment. There are so very few people who refuse treatment for their cancer. I doubt there have been studies on such cancer patients. I suspect that very, very, few survive for 5 years.
My cervical cancer was on the backside of my cervix. One symptom was spotting with bowel movements. It's not uncommon for cervical cancer to spread to the bowel. I suspect that has happened to your friend. Since she knows that she has cervical cancer, and now has a problem in that area of her body, why wouldn't she suspect it's cancer? Sounds like her coping method is to deny everything that is happening to her. That makes it very difficult for those who care about her. I am sorry that you are in this tough spot. All you can do is be there for her if her coping method fails and she realizes the consequences of her choices to refuse medical treatment. It's likely that it will be very difficult for her if that happens. She'll need her friends and family. Perhaps this will happen before it's too late for her to have successful treatment of her cancer. I pray this will happen soon.
Hang in there, you sound like a good friend, one who is concerned about her friend, with good reason.
But I have a question, again about my friend, who refuses to get on the internet and look anything up for herself, tho she is pleased when I pass on info to her.
She was diagnosed with cerv. ca; Stage 2b or 3; and has been having terrible pain in her "seat" (rectum area); she was sure it was an "abcess" but the hospital would not operate in case it was cancerous (not a specialist cancer hospital)
Instead, she's gotten a doctor to drain it, and just lots and lots of fluid has come out. LIke just lots of it. It's been draining for days.
The doc sprayed her with some freezing spray (lignocaine??) and then sliced into her buttock/wher ever; and this fluid came out.
She thinks that means it could not have been cancerous. Is that right? Could it have been ascites (?spelling) that some sisters have had drained?
I don't know what to do, or how to help her, except with info; she refuses all conventional or normal treatment, she has got a friend to pay for "alternative" treatment - vitamin C injections etc. None of the normal treatments for cervical ca. No radiation, no chemo.
Thanks. I think she does listen to me; and I try to offer the best support I can.
i sure don't understand what's going on here...how does your friend think without treatments that she'll be able to beat this?
you never know how someone is going to react to a diagnosis of cancer...but i don't know why someone wouldn't want to fight it with all their strength...the will to live normally kicks in sometime...
i was diagnosed with stage 2b cervical cancer over 4 years ago...i had surgery, chemo and radiation and continued close followup by my awesome dr...i have done everything i could have and i have not had a recurrence...i have been very blessed but i would do whatever i could to stay alive...quality of life is important too and maybe your friend thinks she couldn't bear the treatments and she's afraid...i don't know, maybe she's given up before she's even started...attitude and frame of mind is everything in battling this disease...
i hope your friend will reconsider her decision
Did the doctors who drained her cyst know that your friend has cancer? If so, it is very likely that they would have sent the fluid to be checked for cancer cells. A stage 2B or 3 is rather serious. It means that the cancer had already spread to nearby organs. Since she has done nothing to stop the growth, it's likely that it has spread further.
It appears that your friend is going to remain firmly in denial. It also seems that there is not much you can do to change that. You have to try to accept that she's doing what she thinks is best for her. She might be able to keep that denial going right up until her death. She wouldn't be the first person to do that. I knew someone with pancreatic cancer who had all the treatment but each time the news was not good. Nothing stopped the cancer. Even when he went into hospice, he denied the seriousness of his illness. He never faced the fact that he was dying. It worked for him, but was very hard on his family. You need to prepare yourself for that. It must be so frustrating to know that your friend might be saved, but is refusing to try. Does she have a husband? or parents? or someone who might talk to her about what she's doing? And what the consequences will be within the next year?
You are a good friend. You need to think about yourself too. You need to prepare yourself for her death. Please excuse me for being so blunt, but without treatment, her death is inevitable. I am so sorry. This must be so difficult for you. Think about what will work best for you in the coming year. You can't control her actions, but maybe you can help yourself to deal with them.
My friend is too scared to have internal radiation. SHe was not offered the option of surgery, because of the size of the tumor, which was clearly visible to her GP when doing a pap smear test.
She was offered internal radiation and I think external, to be followed by chemo. She thinks it will be too painful/disfiguring. She also seems to have bought into this alternative therapy idea - there are websites where they tell you that any kind of cancer can be cured or prevented by things like apricot kernels, etc.
I'm not knocking all nutritional info; but my friend and her husband (esp her dh) want to believe that they can defeat the cancer this way.
Should I tell her straight out I think she is crazy and is going to die? I''ve wondered about this, but she does't want to hear it. I'm sure the doctors have told her. She doesn't believe it. She believes in prayer (so do I - but I believe in medicine too!) and in herbal remedies.
Sorry to go on about it; I just suppose I was hoping someone would tell me she's probably going to be ok. But I realise that is not realistic.
Thanks for your help and to those have gone thru this treatment, or are going thru treatment right now
I think firstly that she should at least get a second opinion about treatment. My tumour was visible when I had my colonoscopy and I had surgery.
Miracles can happen, but if nutrition and prayer healed everyone none of us would die. I've said this before, but a really good book in the UK is "what can I do to help?" by Lauren Hutton - you can get it on Amazon or the Royal Marsden website. It's very realistic and practical advice for friends and family - and also I read it. It was good to read someone else's perspective about having cancer. There's also a lot of humour there. I'd get two copies - one for you and one for them.