Cancer Covered Blog

Dear Cancer Patient – Mid-Treatment

Dear Cancer Patient,

Treatment’s been underway for a while now. As things have gotten a little more routine, you might have noticed your worries have shifted.

See at first, most people are scared of the treatment itself, worrying about nausea and infection and every possible side effect under the sun. But when those things don’t materialize, the idea of reducing or skipping a dose becomes the scarier prospect.

“But I’m feeling fine,” I’ll hear people say when I tell them their white blood cell count is a hair too low for treatment today. “I don’t feel sick, and I want to keep fighting my cancer. Wouldn’t it be better if we just went ahead? I don’t want to give up.”

The reversal is interesting, isn’t it? And it’s perfectly understandable; humans adapt amazingly well to their circumstances – any circumstances. So fear comes from behind us and in front of us, not from the place we’re at.

This is when you must remember that chemotherapy is delicate, and needs tailoring to you individually – a nip here, a tuck there – so that you can stay safely on track. If we press on when your bone marrow or weight or some other indicator are flashing warnings, it’s more likely you’ll get an infection, or wind up in the hospital, or get so worn down that you won’t be able to complete treatment at all.

Practically speaking, all cancer treatments must first and foremost be tolerable. And a great deal of that tolerability comes from the nuances of how it’s given, and modified according to side effects. Years of experience have taught your doctor and your team when to push, and when to take a breather.

Our goals haven’t changed. We’re still after the same thing we were at the beginning.

Every boxer knows when to jab, when to lunge – and when to take a step back. You’re team isn’t giving up on you. More than likely, they’re setting up a counter-punch.

That’s not giving up.

It’s fighting smart.


Dr. Mitch Winkler signature
J. Mitchell Winkler, MD

Mitch has boundless energy and an unyielding approach to finding the most suitable solutions for each of his patients.

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