I'm currently undoing chemotherapy (round 2 with intrathecal chemo is Dec 26). I'm fortunate to be under the care of arguably the best oncologist at UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham - a major medical research center) and am going with his recommendations. If I had a child undergoing treatments and a trusted oncologist recommended radiation and explained the ins and outs and possibilities for the future, I'd go with it.
As a side note, several friends have recommended I try the 'natural herbal cure' but it's illegal in my state.
Thanks for the replies folks, it's always interesting to read other peoples perspectives. Good luck to all who are being affected by cancer, whether personally or via friends/family being diagnosed and treated.
Cancer is cruel, I've had family members die from it, and have a cousin who seems to be constantly battling it these last few years. She has the right attitude and now sees herself as lucky because she has had treatment, is still surviving and has the scars to prove it. The scars are in highly visible places and she should be proud of them because they show she's a fighter. Without invasive/aggressive treatment she wouldn't be here. Unwanted side effects or death? There's no contest in my eyes.
Just a little update...the mother still refuses to give consent for treatment, despite knowing there is a tumour present in her son's brain and doctors have warned he could die soon. Thankfully the judge has sided with the doctors in this case, and Neon will have surgery tomorrow. I've been willing to give this woman the benefit of the doubt in this case...up until now! There is irrefutable evidence a brain tumour is still present, he will die without this treatment, yet she still wants to refuse it because he may no longer be the perfect child she has now! Disgusting.
Earlier I had said that I didn't know what I would do. I would like to add that the reason I don't know what I would do in this case is because I can't imagine being presented with this dilemma, as a mother I hope I would have a clear enough mind to weigh the pros and cons and make the right decision for my child even though the right decision may not always be the best decision.
Stories like this are always hard to read. I tend to believe 2 things in these cases:
1. The media isn't always known for making the news perfectly unbiased, especially when they can sell a bunch of advertising by making someone seem like a lunatic or a villain.
2. Most parents (not all, but most) when given a choice, will walk through fire, glass and dragons to do the best thing for their children.
Having a couple of kids who've have desperate medical needs at different times (thankfully they're both OK) and going through a pretty wretched situation with a friend's daughter right now, I know that doing everything the medical establishment offers isn't always a good thing for the patient. There are questions of quantity vs. quality that can only be answered by the individual, and if that individual is too young, by his or her family (bless them.) And it doesn't always look from the outside like what someone else might choose in the same situation.
So, I don't know if what this mom is doing is right. She might be a selfish old witch, or a whack-a-doodle and a half. I hope she isn't. I hope, for her son's sake, that she's well-balanced and well-informed and looking out for his best interests.
That all sounds kind of preachy, I don't mean for it too. It just hits kind of close to home right now.