Susan Neder


In Chemo/Radiation on December 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Some of you have asked me why I agreed to chemo and radiation instead of some type of alternative treatment, so I will share my thoughts on that.

Before cancer “BC” I was one of those people who, in the comfort of their home, in front of a blazing fire, with a really good glass of wine, would engage in a thoughtful discussion with friends about the horrors of chemo and radiation to treat cancer, and what I would and would not do if I were ever faced with cancer (which, of course, I never would be). It is amazing how quickly that goes out the window when you receive a stage 3 or 4 diagnosis! I don’t think anyone really knows what they will decide when they are really faced with such a decision. In my particular case, the cure rate with chemo and radiations is high, but without them it is not, and requires surgery that seriously affects quality of life. So the decision about treatment was very clear if I wanted to live, which I do, but that does not mean the decision was not tough.

I have a whole shelf of books on alternative treatments and I have so much information that either I have found or others have sent me on natural products that treat cancer or lessen side effects that I now have a looseleaf notebook with dividers (sorry, but I used to teach school). I believe many of these things will help me heal, but right now I can’t do anything that either lessens the effectiveness of the primary treatment, or causes the side effects to be worse, which many of these products do. This is frustrating to me, but I am determined to make these weeks of treatment count; I will have a lifetime to incorporate these other things into my daily practices, once the immediate crisis is behind me. I know I am not the only person who has faced this conundrum, so I welcome the thoughts that any of you who have been faced with this want to share.

Love and gratitude,


  1. Yep! We know all about things that we haven’t faced personally. For example: I was the perfect parent .. before I had children! You’re doing exactly what you need to be doing and you need to know that EVERYONE is gritting their teeth for you while you do the heavy lifting! Love you! Jessie

  2. It’s a very personal decision on your part as to what you are willing to go through. Standing at the edge of a cliff looks a lot diffent than reading about it. There are so many alternatives out there that don’t work…how do you select the one that will. I don’t question the methods you choose or the reasons why. I figure you’re an old fart like me and not ignorant about researching alternatives. And if that is drinking snake oil and eating spider webs – then so be it – it’s your body. Unless some alien snuck in and took your body over. In that case better grab the alien antimatter malt liquor. Guaranteed to upchuck the little bastard.

  3. Hey Susan- I only have friends that also professed [prior to a Ca diagnosis]that they would “never do chemo”. However, when faced with options and alternatives…went straight for the chemo. That in itself has changed my own statements from “never” to “whatever it takes”. Every one only has themselves to rely on for those answers. And the shelf of books, you become a consultant authority on the subject in no time flat.
    Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. And it sounds like you have tons of that!
    Hang in there and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Much Love-Lisa

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