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Living and Coping with a Diagnosis of Cancer

Discussion in 'GatorTail Pub' started by lacuna, May 2, 2019.

  1. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    This warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. There are a lot of amazingly generous people in the world and your wife was blessed to encounter one.

    Don't be surprised if Tamra decides to go ahead and shave any remaining hair off when - and if - it begins to fall out. I know of several women who have done that. @defensewinschampionships - who posts on the thread about his mother, told us she decided to do it. It's an empowering move.

    There are some good sites on the 'Net selling scarves, hats, and other attractive and helpful items. Youtube has clips that have great tips on tying scarves in a number of imaginative ways. If you need links I could send you a few.

    Hang in...
     
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  2. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    This wig lady's kindness is remarkably generous. We cannot all afford to be equally generous but it inspires us to do what we can, when we are able. There is great benefit in 'paying it forward' as a group of woodturners in the neighboring town of Montrose well know. Members of the group regularly make and donate wig stands for cancer patients who have lost their hair from chemo treatments and are now wearing wigs. The completed stands are then painted by members of the Montrose Art Guild and high school art students. View the video clip about them at the link:

    KKCO - Montrose Woodturners Donate Wig Stands to Cancer Patients (Embedded Video - 506942542)

    The donated wig stands at the Western Valley Oncology Center resemble colorfully decorated long stemmed mushrooms and are displayed on the hearth in the Center's waiting room. The Montrose wood turners also make and donate canes to veterans.

    Beautiful Gifts - San Juan Silver Stage

    Members of the Montrose Area Woodturners (MAW), the Woodworkers Guild of Western Colorado, the Montrose Visual Arts Guild (MVAG), Montrose Center for the Arts (MCA), and art students at Centennial Middle School and Montrose High have joined talents to create wig stands for cancer patients who lost their hair due to treatments.

    Dave Kaufmann, MAW Special Project Director, heard about the wig stands from the Central Illinois Woodturners organization. His daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, 2018. By November 1, he had made three wig stands. Bosom Buddies, an organization which supports breast cancer patients, heard about the project and, according to Kaufmann, “they were excited about it.” So were the woodworkers. Twelve people are currently turning wig stands on their shop lathes.

    “As of March, 2019, we made 74 wig stands,” Kaufmann said.

    There are three parts to the stands – base, spindle, and cap. The turners shape each piece. Kaufmann glues the pieces. The artists paint them. Kaufmann sprays them with polyurethane to seal the paint. The artists create their own visions of hope. Some are flowers, some bold-color swirls, and others messages of love and compassion.

    [​IMG]

    _______________________________________________

    Also in the waiting room is a bookcase containing no less than 100 books of various types for patients and family to take, trade, or borrow. A nearby table is continuously set up with moderately difficult 500 to 1000 piece puzzles that are changed out each time one is completed. Patients and family spend collective hours assembling the donated puzzles while waiting for treatments or to see medical staff.

    When I lived in Florida I learned of and worked with an organization called 'Brighter Lipstick, Bigger Earrings.' It was started by a breast cancer patient who was depressed by the loss of her breasts and her hair. An oncology nurse told her she would be fine, to wear 'brighter lipstick and bigger earrings.' Her hobby was making jewelry so when she finished her treatment she organized a group of friends to donate their time to make earrings with donated components. The finished earrings are then donated to women being treated for breast cancer.

    Jewelry making is one of my hobbies so I am working with the psychologist / social worker at the oncology center where I am treated to set up a similar program for women in this area. Seeing a smile brighten a sad face is the best motivation. To all who read this, please consider ways you too, might put a smile on the face of someone with a need.
     
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  3. creekgator

    creekgator GC Legend

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    Thanks Lacuna

    I had my first CT scan since beginning treatment 2 months ago. Results were generally positive..no spread to other sites and the tumor was slightly smaller. Going forward,4 more months of the same protocol with another scan in 2 months. Goal is to shrink the tumor to a dormant state and prevent spreading.
    The unusually warm weather has been a blessing as my chemo makes me more sensitive to cold.
    Overall I feel pretty good and have returned to work. Am going to Gator BBall game today vs Auburn so life is good for now
     
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  4. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    I was uplifted being at the game, hope you were as well
     
  5. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    Encouraging news, @creekgator . May it continue to get better and better until you are cured. Are you having any pain or level of discomfort? How's your sleep? I know what you mean about feeling cold. I turn on the heated seats in the car every time I get in it to go somewhere. Even in the summer.
     
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  6. creekgator

    creekgator GC Legend

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    Yes I was..great game and a great atmosphere!
     
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  7. creekgator

    creekgator GC Legend

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    Thanks
    I have no pain but have trouble swallowing food as the tumor is obstructing passage. I have learned to slow down ,chew thoroughly, and to avoid certain foods.Sleep is not a problem. The cold is caused by one of the chemo drugs which makes me hyper sensitive to cold. It is a form of neuropathy which makes my hands and toes tingle.Have to drink everything at room temperature.
    Having gone to High School in North Dakota and Wyoming I don’t know how patients in places like that tolerate the treatments.
    Have a great day
     
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  8. g8orbill

    g8orbill Old Gator VIP Member

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    you are in my prayers creek
     
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  9. thekentuckygator

    thekentuckygator GC Hall of Fame

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    Thoughts and prayers to anyone stricken by cancer. It’s taken many from my family.
     
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  10. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    Agreeing on where to set the thermostat can be a problem for Trucker and me at times. He likes it on the cool side so I compensate by wearing warmer clothes. Occasionally I will experience a period of warming similar to a hot flash, but not quite that warm. More like what I remember as normal.
     
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  11. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    @g8orbill ~ How is Tamra doing? Is she having a rough time with side effects?
     
  12. g8orbill

    g8orbill Old Gator VIP Member

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    she went to work yesterday for half a day and then all day to today. Her next treatment is Thursday the 30th. Saturday was her rough day
     
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  13. defensewinschampionships

    defensewinschampionships GC Hall of Fame

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    My mom experienced the same thing - she got her treatment on a Thursday, Friday was ok, Saturday and Sunday sucked, and by Monday was just fine again
     
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  14. creekgator

    creekgator GC Legend

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    Same here.It’s because when you are infused they also give you an steroid and nausea drug through your IV..when these wear off the side effects appear.
     
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  15. GatorPrincess8

    GatorPrincess8 Princess of Gators Premium Member

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    My dad is having extreme pain and irritability.
     
  16. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    This is the the ugly inescapable reality. Cancer causes pain as it eats away at vital living tissue. His irritability derives from his frustration from having to deal with this harsh reality. He has limited options so stay strong and be patient with him, as he processes all that's being thrown at him now. You can do this for him - and yourself.
     
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  17. GatorPrincess8

    GatorPrincess8 Princess of Gators Premium Member

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    It's just hard, he was begging to die last night.
     
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  18. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    I know, it's heartbreaking, and you are likely feeling helpless in your inability to relieve his suffering.

    I have to ask you this. You posted earlier on the other thread it had spread and he was now stage 4, but there was optimism the chemo would help. Do the doctors think chemo will cure him, or give him more time before the end. Have they given him a terminal diagnosis?

    I don't know where your father is treated, but many oncology treatment centers have a psychologist / social worker on staff to help patients and family. Or, you could consult a local hospice for advice and assistance. I don't know where you and your father live, but most places have a hospice, or hospice care, with staff that can help your father and you through the difficult days. They are trained, skilled and experienced in guiding families through this unfamiliar territory. They can provide spiritual guidance if he desires, and help your father find peace.

    Aromatherapy can help, too. Altering and improving the smell of the air around us by adding pleasant scents can improve his disposition. I love the smell of lilacs and can have it any time by placing a few drops of essential oil into a diffuser. A small pleasure, but it helps.
     
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  19. GatorPrincess8

    GatorPrincess8 Princess of Gators Premium Member

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    They think the chemo can help, but we really won't know anything until April or may.

    I live in Alabama and my dad lives in Tampa area, but I am down here while he does chemo. I will look into what you said. Ty so much.
     
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  20. g8orbill

    g8orbill Old Gator VIP Member

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    princess-you need to look into getting him some medical marijuana if possible- I have a friend who had stage 3 cancer and he was able to get the medical weed and it helped tremendously with the pain he was enduring- it also helped him tolerate the chemo and gave him somewhat of an appetite- currently he is still hanging in- the chemo has helped
     
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