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Torn over whether my son should do chemo(6 Posts)
My son is 20 and suffers terribly from an extreme form of discoid eczema. He has been wet bandaging for years, has been on numerous steroid creams and other treatments, including having up to 150 injections per treatment. But it has gotten really bad in the last 2 years. It affects every part of his life. He dropped out of uni after 2 years and has a part time job at a supermarket which he loves but that is now at risk because of constant lack of sleep due to the itch. He is seriously depressed.
Now his specialists say because it is so bad and all treatments have failed he qualifies for chemo. I had chemo myself last year for breast cancer so I now how tough it is. One of the drugs they want to give him has the risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis - or scarring of the lungs - in 30 yrs time. He wants to give it a try even though it can affect his fertility and have these serious side effects.
The thing is I believe he should try a strict diet before trying chemo. There is a lot of research that says in a small number of cases eczema may be helped by the anti inflammatory diet. His diet is appalling - full of junk food- because he is depressed. I prepare all meals for him but he refuses to eat them and will get chips, biscuits and junk food takeaway instead. He has gained 20 kgs in the last year.
I am trying to be supportive, but he is not interested in giving the diet thing a go. I don't want him to suffer unnecessarily. Part of me feels he is an adult and should make his own decisions, but the other part of me is so frustrated that he is quick to do something as radical as chemo before trying a simpler alternative like the diet. Should I just get over it? Afterall, I am not the one suffering - he is.
PS He is the sweetest kid in the world. He shaved his head as a surprise and to support me when I did chemo last year and I will absolutely do the same for him if he does chemo.
Any advice? Should I just get over it?
He is an adult and it is his choice.
It sounds like the current situation is destroying his life now and if I was him I would opt for the chemo.
What has his dr said about the strict diet or it is just something you have researched in the internet.
Its his choice - and the diet only works for a small number of cases and he does not sound like he is in the right headspace to give it a try.
I should add the specialists support the research that a small number of people's eczema can improve. But they also acknowledge that the diet is tough especially for someone of his age. While not all chemo is the same, having gone through it myself I know how tough chemo can be as well. Given the choice of a diet or chemo again I would certainly do the diet.
I think it needs to be his decision and you gently need to prepare him for what chemo has in store
Diet for sure. I'd take that over chemo all day long if it was to try to fix eczema.
If you haven't already I'd be looking for functional medicine practicioners/ naturopathic nutritionists. Brakespeare clinic worth a look.
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