Why I’m Choosing to Stop Chemo

As many of you know, I’ve been given the option of continuing with my treatments as is (every 3 weeks), starting to space them out, or stop them completely.  I’ve come to the decision to stop them completely for the time being.  It’s a little crazy to think that I’ve been receiving chemo treatments every three weeks since Febraury 2014.  That is a long time!  I’m ready to close this chapter in my life and on June 30th, I will be heading to Penn for what I hope is my last treatment ever.  

To stop treatments is not my first choice and it’s not something I’m 100% comfortable with yet, but I know without a doubt that this is the right decision.

What made me choose this?  There are a lot of factors but it boils down to wanting to be obedient to God’s will.  I must note here that this DOES NOT go against any medical recommendations from my oncologist.  I’m not deciding this out of the blue and I’m certainly not against treatments or doctors or medicine or any of that.  In fact, I very much see the importance of and advocate for good medical care.  This is not a choice everyone in my shoes must face and I certainly wouldn’t look down on someone who chooses to continue.  In my mind, that makes the most sense anyway!  But I’ve had two clear PET scans recently and so this was brought up as an option.  This was a choice I didn’t want to make, you may recall.  I tried to make my oncologist choose for me and then I tried to make my husband choose for me.  Neither one took the bait so I was left to the task.  I’m very glad I blogged about it (I almost didn’t) but once people were praying for me, it was literally the next morning that God gave me the overwhelming and indisputable answer.  I was to stop chemo.

I realized as I read Matthew 16:21-23 on Friday morning that I was Peter. Peter was trying to protect Jesus from His demise, but Jesus was not having any of that!  Jesus says, “Get behind me Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men.”  How rude, right?!  I’ve been perpetually offended by this verse, literally for a few weeks now.  How could Jesus say that?  Then I realized that I was offended because I was doing the very thing that Jesus was condemning Peter for, I just hadn’t realized it yet.  I was focusing on the world from a human perspective and so I was unable to discern the will of God.  I was solely concerned about self-preservations and was leaving God out of the equation.  I was trying to cling to the chemo as a safety net in case God didn’t come through.  I’m not proud of that, but once I realized that that was what I was doing, I knew which choice I was going to make.  There were  other things He used to get through to me, but I don’t want to bore you!

I don’t think it would be dishonoring to God had I chosen to continue.  But once I let Him in on the decision making, He made my choice clear and suddenly the one option I had confidently crossed off my list became my top choice.  This is the riskiest option and I’m not a risk taker.  But I am convinced beyond any doubt that God is behind me in this decision and will sustain us and provide for us just as He has since day 1. 

This is not to prove a point.  

This is not to look like I have this amazing faith and I’m so awesome.

This is not to test God or to force His hand into my complete physical healing.

This is not to look brave or courageous (trust me, I am anything but!)

This isn’t for attention.

This is not anything but obedience.  It’s me looking up to God and saying, “I trust you, Father, in where you’re leading me.”  His will be done.  Not mine.  Do I believe that?  Is that what I really want?  Then I need to show Him by doing this.  I have already experienced His miraculous healing in the fact that I’m still here.  So why would I need a safety net now?  Now’s the time to walk on the water: eyes fixed on Jesus, not the storm.

I will continue to follow the advice of my medical team, should the cancer come back and they want me to restart the Keytruda, I will.  I will continue getting scans as necessary and seeing my oncologist when needed.  I have a lot of very complex thoughts and feelings about this and I’m not sure it all came out adequately in this post so I want to be very clear: medicine, doctors, scans, tests, all of it is good.  I would not be making this choice if it hadn’t been presented to me.  I trust that God has put me into great medical hands in my oncologist.  

But I also trust that at this point in my personal journey, His grace really, truly is sufficient for me.

And now life can be a little less this:

 

And a whole lot more of this: 

   

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41 thoughts on “Why I’m Choosing to Stop Chemo

  1. Praying that your decision has given you peace, your explanation in your blog is reasonable and inspiring . From a practical worst case scenario …… Copied .from Keytruda melanoma page………….”.responder and you decide to stop taking mk3475 on the trial, you can request Merck to put on on the “observation” status with the trial. You would then just have to have blood work & scans every 12 weeks so Merck can follow your progress.
    If you were to then recur, then Merck will consider putting you back on trial & taking MK3475 again. However, no guarantees, but more than likely Merck would put you back on trial & then you would resume the same dosage 10 mg every 3 wks.”

    Have you investigated this with both Dr A and your health insurance ?

  2. Glad you have peace with your decision. God will continue to guide you and your medical team. Praying for you and your family.

  3. Kim – Thank you. You were inspirational on Friday at our Relay event, and I now see that you were really at peace. We will continue our prayers for your miracle and know you will do the same. S

  4. God bless you Kim. It is not cancer that fills you but instead the holy spirit. May God continue to bless your beautiful journey. You are an inspiration and a gorgeous vessel of His will

  5. Kim, Keep staying strong, positive, and faithful. This Proverbs verse has come up my life Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Take care and God bless you, Eric and the kids, -Deanna Mellott

  6. Wow, Kim. I know this must have been such a hard decision. Obedience to God is not always easy and can sometimes be counter-intuitive. But i know He will bless your obedience in faith. Thank you for another encouraging post! Keep sharingyour heart! You are inspiring so many people!

  7. Thank you for your words, we are always near and praying for you. Now it is time for you to start enjoying your family again, without all the post chemo stuff!
    Busy here with Ruby (granddaughter from GA) and Jim (brother-in-law from Laos) – but still trying to setup a cook out date for you and family!

  8. Dear Kim, i am so glad that you found Peace within you to hear Gods word. You are right, you can always change your mind, treatment and which way your path goes, but looking at your beautiful family and wanting to spend with them is NOW, and the Peace you find will carry you through. I pray you continue finding the Peace and God helps you lead you to the right answers. God Bless you all julie Ehrgood

  9. “This is not to look like I have this amazing faith and I’m so awesome.”

    Whelp, your faith has grown in amazing bounds and THAT IS awesome. And for the record, you are an awesome example to hundreds of people. Most importantly, your children. Love you girl. ❤️❤️

  10. For the past year or two, my mantra/motto has been “I trust You God.” Yet, for every little bump in the road, I find myself start to question Him, pleading, hoping, etc. that things will be safer, easier, whatever – until I am gently reminded to praise Him in all things – especially the things that aren’t any fun. Then I go back to living like I believe/trust Him – continually stumbling along on my path of “trust.” I love that your trust has become a tangible thing – a truth that you live and not merely words you pass along to others. God continually uses you to minister to others. I am always thankful for these beautiful lessons He shows us through the lives of others that touch our own. Praises for you this morning, and thanks for sharing your incredible journey.

  11. For the past year or two, my mantra/motto has been “I trust You God.” Yet, for every little bump in the road, I find myself start to question Him, pleading, hoping, etc. that things will be safer, easier, whatever – until I am gently reminded to praise Him in all things – especially the things that aren’t any fun. Then I go back to living like I believe/trust Him – continually stumbling along on my path of “trust.” I love that your trust has become a tangible thing – a truth that you live and not merely words you pass along to others. God continually uses you to minister to others. I am always thankful for these beautiful lessons He shows us through the lives of others that touch our own. Praises for you this morning, and thanks for sharing your incredible journey.

    1. You have touched on a lot here! I so agree, I’m the same way! Like yes I trust! Wait, what’s going on? Lol and I love how you talk about how God uses people to minister to us right when we need it that is SO true!

  12. Praising God for His grace and faithfulness. I know how hard this is as I’ve said before my husband and I are in a very similar place. You don’t feel strong or heroic but the world has seen God through you and your sharing. Praise be to Him who can do all things. Continued prayers and blessings Kim.

  13. Kim, I am overflowing with joy for you!! i will continue to pray that God continues to bless your faithful & God-seeking ways & FOING heart💜 i had a great scan too a few wks ago. NO cancer seen anywhere-both tumors in my liver not showing up at all on scans! This us especially encouraging as i had jyst vompleted 3 cycles of 2wks on, 1 wk off of new Chemo bc Marchs scan showed last chemo i was on for 13 months stopped working effectively enough bc my 1st tumor in liver barely discernable, but i had a brand spankin-new tumor just 2 cms above old one (id much rather have a brand spankin-new car that works bc ours wont last much longer-lol!), so we wernt certain this new chemo wld work at all-was very scary to my family not knieing all that time, but i felt certain in my heart it WAS working, & i guess it did, OR, maybe God has given me that complete healing so manybpray for us both😊 being that ive had scans come back clear two scans in a row, 3 times, yet third time cancer popped up, & that my sister Charleen died of same cancer after her 10 months of treatment & her scan was clear, yet she wasnt rebounding & 7 wks later we found out cancer went to her bones/bone marrow & she went to heaven slmost exactly 4 months after her clear scan, my oncologist saic he wont even consider taking me off of chrmo till a minimum of 4 clear scans in a row (i get scans every 2.5-3months). Being that my spirit is ok w this, and, this September will be FIVE YEARS Ive been in almost constant treatments but im still here, im so thankful for my sweet, caring, knowledgeable Oncologist God led me to (hes a believer too😊) & will be continueing chemo 2wks on, 1 wk off. this is my 6th time through cancer treatments in 4 1-2 yrs for the cancer moving around to various parts of my body. Sonetimes the chemo was 3 wks in a row, one wk off, others 2 on, 1 off, but when i think of all the treatments/procedures/tests/scans/surgeries ive gone through in almost 5 yrs, its only by the Grace of God, & HIS strength, courage, peace, comfiort, guidance, secure knowledge of my salvation thru Jesus & comfort of knowing no matter what, im houng to heaven, but most of all the HOPE He gives me each day…i woyldnt be here if it wernt for the Love & Healing God has given me each day for slmost 5 years & counting-thank you Lord!! my earthly “survival rate” (i hate that term) is 15-21% ill live till THIS September. but thats MEDICALLY speaking. SPIRITUALLY dpeaking my earthly life id in GODS hands, NOT cancer, & you know God has already determined when our last breath will be BEFORE we were even born, so i say “statistics-smatistics!”… we have a 100 PERCENT ETERNAL SURVIVAL RATE THROUGH JESUS-Amen! If God allowed me to turn back time to 5 years ago & give me choice of gaving cancer or not, id still choose cancer bc for whatever reasons He chose this journey for you & I, & Ive seen so much good come from these past 5 years in cancer treatments!!! Id say to God as it commands us to pray in the bible whrn Jesys teaches us his to pray… “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” THY will..not mine. never fully understood/acted on that part until my cancer journey began. Through acceptance & obedience in many different ways, though difficult/confusing/scary/uncertain at times, now im closer to the Lord than Ive ever been, & i wouldn’t give up that opportunity to know/live/trust God more deeply than I ever have befor for snything…even a cancer life. I know you understand😊 I rejoice with you today my Sister in Christ, for when we KNOW in our spirit that s direction/guidance is DEFINITIVELY from God, its such an AWESOME experience! Rest assyred/confident/peacefully My Friend that your decision is what God wants bc your spirit told you what to do. I have FULL FAITH God will take care of you through EVERYTHING in life😊 i hope you, Stacy & I can get together soon to hang out together😊 praying for you & praising God with you too 💜🙏🙌

    1. Thanks so much Andrea, I always love to hear what you have to say, it’s like your love and enthusiasm for God just shines through!! I hate that you’ve been through so much and of course what happened to your sister breaks my heart but your joy is an inspiration!!

  14. You have such a beautiful family! that’s the best cure now, you can have it all day long 7/24, no side effect or a little overwhelming happiness sometimes 🙂

  15. We will keep praying for you and your family and asking God for His will to be done.ay His blessings continue for you and yours!

  16. I found your blog just a few days prior to going for my consultation with a surgeon/oncologist. I was only 3 days past hearing the words, malignant melanoma along with aggressive, rare, invasive, and Clarks level 4. Of course that led to a panic search of internet that left me more terrified and fearful. You were the ONLY Christian site pertaining to this that came up. I am a believer, but facing this the fear was crippling. You brought me peace and calm as I turned myself more over my Father’s arms. You’ve no idea what a difference you made as I walked into that surgeon’s office. I really don’t know that much more yet, as I have a Node biopsy scheduled for July 8, but there is more of a peace. I don’t trust in the words of an oncologist saying cautiously optimistic, I am trusting the Father that says I am always in HIS HANDS. Thank you for shining a light in my fear and getting me to turn my eyes off of this diagnosis and back onto my Father!

    1. Wow Kerri thanks for sharing this with me, I am praying for you!! I know it’s so scary and there are just some bad days ahead I’m sorry to say, but I know God will work for your good. Please keep me updated, either here or you can email me at morelikecantcer@gmail.com if you think of it. Hang in there and God bless!

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