To Treat, or Not to Treat


Obviously it's easier to make tough decisions during periods of calm than in the middle of crisis. However, most people avoid the "hard talks" by constantly postponing them.

If you know me, you know I don't believe in coincidences. So, even when I say "coincidentally" I don't really mean "coincidentally."

Carol and I had a series of "coincidences" that helped make my being her caregiver easier. Coincidentally, a few weeks before her diagnosis, we had the discussion: "What if one of us got cancer?"

You may ask why anyone would discuss such a morbid subject, but with cancer so prevalent in our society, we felt it was an important topic to consider. She said, "I would have conventional treatment with surgery and chemo. But ,if it came back, I would consider alternative medicine."

By being willing to have this "hard talk" over a cup of coffee in our kitchen, her response to the surgeon's question, "Are you all in?" was "Yes, I'm all in." She had already accepted the possibility of she might have cancer at some future date and made the decision about how she would respond.

Coy Cross, PhD, spent years questioning the role of faith in his life. But when his beloved wife, Carol, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it was the lessons of Rev. Carol Ruth Knox that helped him accept his role as a male caregiver. Coy has chronicled his caregiving and spiritual paths in the book, “The Dhance: A Caregiver’s Search for Meaning.”

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