• Not sure what to do

    Asked by Lov736 on Friday, January 3, 2014

    Not sure what to do

    My husband refuses surgery. He wants to get it to go away on his own and I am wanting to get the cancer out. Has anyone out there tried anything BUT surgery to get rid of their cancer? Good results or bad, please share because I am feeling frustrated.

    22 Answers from the Community

    22 answers
    • ld_105's Avatar
      ld_105

      I had thyroid removed because of precancerous cells. Very doable. Have you seen a very good head/neck surgeon? I also have a friend who took nuclear pills for his thyroid cancer, no surgery. Maybe get a second or third opinion. Find a doctor you and your husband have confidence in.

      about 7 years ago
    • Lov736's Avatar
      Lov736

      He has seen two doctors already, and both recommend surgery. He refused to let me see any doctors with him. I was allowed to research them, get phone numbers, etc. I was wiling to let him see multiple doctors to find the right one, but we have different ideas as to what it the right one. I would be looking for a surgeon, and he wants to look for a doctor who tells him he doesn't need surgery. But he has kept me at arms length since the cancer diagnosis. I have tried to be supportive and give him the space to deal with it (not take things personal). It is just hard because he wants to live with this cancer indefinitely, and he wants me to be okay with it.

      about 7 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      Steve Jobs thought the same thing at first. One of the most gifted human being of our life time. With unlimited resources.
      Remind you husband of that.

      about 7 years ago
    • Lov736's Avatar
      Lov736

      That is exactly why I am so scared. And angry...and frustrated. Nothing I have tried to do or say seem to have any affect on him. We used to be such a strong couple/unit. But this cancer has us on opposite sides. My heart is breaking and he doesn't seem to care. He tells me what I want to hear, only to admit that it was a lie to spare my feelings or avoid a fight. He doesn't want surgery, and he is getting what he wants. What I want doesn't matter.

      about 7 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Hi, I don't know what to say. I can only feel for you. I'm sure that you've tried every tactic in the world. One cruel thought---get him a final directive and have him fill it out. Tell him that you love and respect you, so I want you to fill this out so we know exactly what type of care do you want when the time comes, because you have about a 90% chance of facing this in a few years. When he can't swallow or talk-he will be tube fed through a stent. Tell him that you want to know, while he can talk. While you're at it, fill out your own. I don't think that you want him to be making decisions for you, if you are hit by an 18 wheeler or something. Also if he wants a DNR-Ask him about the DNR. If he says that he doesn't want a DNR-ask him why- then ask him why he's refusing treatment. Has he had any bad experiences with surgeons? Ditto for his family and friends. He might be scared of surgeons. I wish that I had something that's curable. I wish you all of the luck in the world-you need it. I wish that I could give you a hug.

      about 7 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar
      Tracy

      Hi,
      I have known people who would not have medical treatment for religious reasons. We are the image of god so we have to pray rather than have medical treatment. In a way I admire that much faith, I personally cannot follow it. It sounds like this is not the case with your husband. You need a good Endocrinologist who is willing to talk to you BOTH about the options. I still have part of my thyroid as a dead organ - killed by radiation. If he wants to avoid surgery he needs to go into treatment early. Please take care - Tracy

      about 7 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      I too have a great distrust of doctors but if something is offending your person, you remove it.

      I do know a woman who managed to escape thyroid woes but I don't exactly know what her problem was or what she did to help herself.

      If your hubby doesn't wish to proceed with a surgeon, fine. What does he want to do because cancer requires action against it. Ignoring it will not make it go away ... Do the research. Look online and off line for assistance away from the western medical community. Look to Europe because they are far ahead of the USA when it comes to holistic/biological medicine..

      Good luck.

      about 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      I am so sorry that you are going through this, I've been a caregiver and a patient and I believe that it is worse being a caregiver especially with a difficult patient and your husband sounds awfully difficult right now and not rational at all. He just isn't thinking, and he will lose his life if he doesn't get his act together soon. I don't know what to tell you besides to pray and keep your fingers crossed that he comes to his senses quickly. No cancer does not go away on his own, and the other answer is completely correct, Steve Jobs is a great example of a 'smart' person doing something extremely stupid and he lost his life because of it. But to answer your question, some cancers are treated with chemo or radiation only and others with surgery depending on the type of cancer, where it is and how advanced it is. I have had 3 primary cancers and 2 were operable but the worse one is not operable, which is very upsetting to me because if you can operate to get the cancer out of your body surgery is usually your best bet- they have treated that cancer with chemo and numerous other drugs and thank god the cancer is in control but it certainly has not gone away! He is very lucky that his cancer is operable, I want to shake some sense into him! And of course cancer never goes away on it's own it just grows and grows and grows until it eats you up and kills you. Please take care of yourself if you can't take care of your husband, my heart goes out to you because I can only imagine how upset and frustrated that you are!

      about 7 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Try to figure out WHY he doesn't want surgery---is he afraid of being put to sleep---and then the doctor or you can address that reason specifically. The doctor is the expert who could tell you if there are other treatments. As you said, timing is very important when treating cancer. If he wants the cancer to go away on its own, he is being unrealistic and needs to face reality, which might take counseling with a psychologist or a trusted friend or minister. (That's like me saying I "want" my skin to look like it used to---it isn't going to unless I have plastic surgery! It's just part of life.)

      about 7 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      Maybe you can ask the American Cancer Society to put your husband in touch with someone who has had thyroid cancer. My mother was put in touch with someone who had her same type of cancer. It was encouraging to talk to someone who had lived for years with her type of cancer. I am 1 year out from having thyroid cancer, and I am considered 'cured'.

      about 7 years ago
    • kschmitz's Avatar
      kschmitz

      Hey there Lov736! I understand the frustration when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer and you are feeling very helpless. What I think would be good for both of you at this point is a lot of very open communication. He may be in denial and shock (I was for a good long while) but to really open up and talk about your fears, concerns and most of all let him know that it is because you love and care about him that you would really like him to listen to your views too. Ultimately, when you are educated with all the best options you can make the right decision. I know I wanted it out of me the minute I received my diagnoses, but since then have really educated myself on what I can do and there are a lot of stories out there about healing tumors naturally or without surgery. It probably won't go away on it's own (and especially if he's not willing to make changes in his diet and lifestyle if that's needed) but there are miracles that do happen everyday. This is an extremely stressful time for both of you. Remember to keep breathing and talking and know that there are many options out there that you both could be happy with. Best of luck!!!

      about 7 years ago
    • Joyex's Avatar
      Joyex

      Tough stuff you are dealing with. I am so sorry. I am still angry about my husband not getting his "haemorrhoids" seen to for over 2 years. Of course when the pain finally got to him and he saw a doctor it was Stage 4 cancer. Now that he is dealing with it again (recurrent) we are pretty much on sides and work together. But whilst in remission he started smoking again. I was so angry I could barely be with him. And then I decided this was about me. If he wanted to die, I could not change that. I had to accept his health was his issue. I do think your husband needs some counselling to get to the issue of why he refuses surgery. I for one don't believe any of this "lifestyle change" stuff as a solution to dealing with cancer. I have seen far too many people die because they have refused treatment in order to become vegans etc. By the time they realise this is not working its too late for the traditional treatments to work. Sorry getting side-tracked. But in the end you can only do so much for your husband and then you have to deal with your own emotions. If he refuses counselling, then maybe you need to go alone and deal with how all this is affecting you. At one point I did get to the position "well if he dies he dies" with my husband. Sounds terrible and I love my husband to distraction, but I realised I could only do so much for him. The rest he had to do for himself. Once I backed off, he seemed to start taking more responsibility for himself.
      I hope your husband sees sense soon. I wish you lots of love and strength during this tough tough time. Look after yourself.

      about 7 years ago
    • spunky's Avatar
      spunky

      I feel so bad for your frustration. I am an RN who has thyroid cancer, leukemia, and 3 types of skin cancer. Because of my background, I chose to have the cancer "cut out" if it can be. I hope you can come to terms with his decision. I agree with meyati. If he does not have advance directives, a will or estate plan in place, try to steer him to that so you will be taken care of and so you can take care of him if the cancer doesn't "magically" disappear. Do you have someone such as a minister, to talk to?

      about 7 years ago
    • Lov736's Avatar
      Lov736

      Oh this community is a blessing! Thank you everyone! My husband and I talked last night, and he has given me some dim light at the end of this tunnel. He wants to talk to people in his situation and get information from them, and then come talk to me again. He has completely changed his life. Alkalized his diet, is exercising again, just doing amazing things as a lifestyle change (to be continued after surgery). He is not afraid of the surgery, he is afraid of the life after. The RAI, the synthetic thyroid medication...living life without his thyroid. No one thinks about how valuable their thyroid is until they are about to lose it. He wants me to believe that he can make this cancer disappear. I would love to believe that, and I wish him the best in his attempt. I just need him to have a deadline. I date that he agrees, if nothing has changed, then he gave it his best shot and he needs to have surgery. I don't think this will work, but I think he is on the right path to keeping himself cancer free. If he continues this lifestyle change, in combination with surgery, then I see a bright future. Surgery or no surgery, the whole thing is scary. And I love and appreciate the support from everyone here. I cannot say thank you enough.

      about 7 years ago
    • jake0900's Avatar
      jake0900

      Hello Lov736, I have had papillary Thyroid cancer twice. I would say check out thyca.org. They have online people that will talk to you and your husband. It sounds like he is starting to come around, but he can survive this. What size is the tumor? Is the tumor for sure cancerous? Has is already metastisized(spelling)? A good Endocrinologist can help you with this. I would see a head/neck surgeon only when recommended by the Endo doc. Like I said, it seems like he is coming around. If the tumor is small, they may not do surgery at all. Papillary Thyroid cancer is slow growing, some of the time. It depends on the age of the person. The Thyca.org site also has a book you can purchase that will help you through the way and you can see if there is a support group in your area that can help you if your husband does not want to go. They can take some of the stigma away from this form of cancer. Good luck to your husband and to you. It's great that he has a spouse like you that is caring and knows when to hold 'em and approach him, but with endurance. He is really a lucky man.

      about 7 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      It's not hard to live without or with a deficient thyroid. I've been on thyroid supplements since the 1980s. It's like taking a vitamin pill every morning. Right now he's living with more diet restrictions than I am. I'm 72 now. Yesterday I took a sponge mop and washed the ceilings and walls of the dining-TV room. One wall is 35 feet long. Today, I'm spackling the damage from nails to hang pictures. I want to add that after I started taking thyroid, I became much better at math (I became a math teacher at valley HS) and more even tempered. Tell him that if he doesn't go with thyroid, he'll lose his hair get fat or fatter. What's wrong with some lab work several times a year? It's better than being tired- fat-and losing your hair. I hope that this personal testimony helps him.

      about 7 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Hey, Lov-thanks for updating us. So many people ask a question and never answer. You don't know how much this means to me personally that you're keeping in touch with us.

      Another spiritual hug---and hang in there. If it were my husband, I'd let him go by himself, as long as he goes and follows through.

      about 7 years ago
    • Tunie10's Avatar
      Tunie10

      My husband refused chemo three years ago after his second bout of testicular cancer. He had the required surgery, just refused the recommended chemo. He now has stage IV testicular cancer on his spine and has completed 4 rounds of chemo. To say I was angry is an understatement. I have had to just let go of so much. You will need to let go too. I have an idea of how you feel; like your not important enough for your husband to fight to live for. That's how I felt and have to just let go of that pain. It's just too draining.

      about 7 years ago
    • Lov736's Avatar
      Lov736

      Tunie10...that is exactly how I was feeling. Like I wasn't important, the kids aren't important. He and I have had a few heart to hearts since I joined this community. And I think we are back on track as a couple, and ready to face this together. I am so sorry to hear about your husband and his decision that affected you so much. It's not easy. :( I hope your husband is doing well today and you as well. The caregiver needs support too.

      about 7 years ago
    • Karen62's Avatar
      Karen62

      I didnt want surgery but did it cause I have kids. Best thing i did, three years now. Ya it came back but the oral chemo meds I take have fairly mild side effects and i am able to be a functioning human being and a busy single mom of four children. Every day its worth waking up and being alive to see the sun shine and watch my 11 year old be a pill and my grand daughter smile. Its worth living for. Glad I had the surgery cause if i didn't i wouldn't be here to say so.

      about 7 years ago
    • donnatu9122's Avatar
      donnatu9122

      Lov736, I hope things are working out for you and your husband. Stay strong!

      almost 7 years ago
    • jake0900's Avatar
      jake0900

      Ultimately, it is his life and his decision. Some make the right choice and others make what they believe is the right choice. He is the one going through it, you are semi-going through it, but he is the one with the cancer in his body. I've had it twice as stated previously. I am not married, I have a cat, I live with my sister who is sick. I didn't have the surgeries for anyone but myself. I'm sorry, but this is a selfish time for people. Unless you are physically going through it, you don't know the person who has it's side. You want that person to have surgery and live for you or the kids or both, but ultimately, you don't have it and it is for selfish reasons that we all want our loved ones to do what we want them to do. The most important thing you can do for that person is educate yourself before trying to talk someone into having a surgery or a chemo treatment or RAI. Unless you are the one going through it or have some knowledge of what that person is going to be undertaking, you cannot help. Education is the key, knowledge is power. Put yourself into that persons shoes. Talk with clergy, psychologists, his doctors, go to support groups, there are online support groups such as this that will give you the knowledge so you can be the educated one. There is a book out sold by Amazon and at the Thyca website that will tell you answers to your questions and more. It is strictly about this type of cancer and all that is involved. It is called: Thyroid Cancer: A guide for Patients. it will give you the knowledge. There are also free materials on the Thyca website www.thyca.org and on the check your neck website. Good luck to you and your husband.

      almost 7 years ago

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