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Living and Coping with a Diagnosis of Cancer

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

  1. 62gator

    62gator GC Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for sharing this truly heartfelt post and accompanying article. Each time I read it my eyes water even more. I feel both great sadness and relief for this incredible couple. The agony and hopelessness they both felt must’ve been excruciating. Time changes everything and it’s probably time we as a society here have a open discussion about reasonable end of life options. Dignity can’t measured nor should it be questioned, everyone deserves dignity. This is obviously a very touchy subject, but it’s one that should be touched upon, now, imho.

    Cancer is a evil disease! There is probably no one here that hasn’t been directly affected by it or had a family member or friend affected by it. I lost both of my parents and countless other family members and friends to it. Cancer has no boundaries. May your remission hold and you continue to have the strength and will to fight the good fight.
     
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  2. defensewinschampionships

    defensewinschampionships GC Hall of Fame

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    So mom is slated for a double mastectomy early August, with radiation followed by a round of chemo.
    Yuck
     
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  3. gatorjjh

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

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    @lacuna just checking in to see how you are doing, hope things are progressing in the positive direction...
     
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  4. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    J: how are you? Please let us know.
     
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  5. gatorgirl815

    gatorgirl815 Sophomore

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    I hope you're doing well as can be. I had a slight scare with thyroid cancer, but they got it all. It was enough to wake me up. Prayers sent!
     
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  6. danmann65

    danmann65 GC Hall of Fame

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    There is a picture on reddit of Lacuna's profile picture done in stone's. If I wasn't technologically deficient I would have posted it here.
     
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  7. gatorjjh

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

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    haven't heard from her here in a while but she has been on GC
     
  8. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    Thank you all for your thoughts and queries on my health. As I posted a few weeks ago I am in remission - no trace of the original tumor was found on the latest PET scan. My supplemental insurance came through and authorized 12 months of immunotherapy. I had the first infusion of Keytruda 2 weeks ago and suffered no unpleasant side effects. These treatments will be repeated every 3 weeks to eradicate any cancer cells that may be too small to be detected. The chance of cancer recurring without immunotherapy is almost assured, and greatly reduced with it.

    The fatigue still has a grip on me, admittedly discouraging me and keeping me from doing many of the things I had hoped and planned to do. Trucker and I had planned to take day trips around western Colorado and over to Moab, but have only taken one so far. That was the drive through the Grand Mesa National Forest back in June. Since then we have pretty much stayed close to home, but have had lots of company and keep ourselves occupied. Our son and daughter and their families from Austin were here for a week and we had a lot of fun family activities and good cheer. Highlight for the younger kids was a river rafting trip all the family took on the Colorado. Except me. There are things I cannot handle due to the neurological issues I have mentioned in previous posts. It's difficult to have to exclude myself from fun activities, but they all took their phones and sent videos and pictures of their adventure. "A thousand words..."

    Before my diagnosis last winter Trucker had planned a trip to Florida during speed week in February. He wanted to see a few friends, play some golf and bridge, and catch a few races at Volusia and other local tracks. He canceled those plans to stay with me through the seemingly endless tests that were scheduled during those weeks in February. Then we had hoped I would be well enough for him to travel to Gainesville for the Orange and Blue game, golf and bridge, but he again cancelled those plans when he refused to leave me alone for even a few days, even though we have family living less than a mile away, during the early unsettling weeks of chemo and radiation. He has been an unselfish saint and he needs a vacation from the endless stress and his unstinting care for me.

    He planned a trip, told people he was coming and arranged golf, bridge, and Towson State tickets, then tried to back out. I refused to allow it. He needs a break and to assure him I will be 'okay' I arranged for our part time housekeeper to look in on me at least once a day while he is gone. She does elder care in addition to cleaning and is capable and trustworthy. I will be in good hands and he agreed he does indeed need the break and he is going to Florida in September.

    The increased physical difficulties from the worsened polyneuropathy have required adjustments, both physical and attitudinal. I have not been able to resume my life as I had anticipated and hoped. Seemingly moving slower than molasses on a sheet of ice, time accordingly moves faster. I never seem to catch up, to regularly resume doing the things I enjoyed so much when I was stronger and healthier. I've scaled down my self expectations, allowing myself to be content with what I can do, what I want to do, what brings the greatest satisfaction in a world that has pretty much receded to the sanctuary of our home and yard.

    My 16 year old granddaughter is a regular visitor, coming over after school, eating leftovers meant for that night's dinner and aggravating Chef Trucker, she has been a great help in helping organize my paints and other crafting materials. Enough so that I have been able to complete a painting project on a 3' x 4' textured canvas I have had in mind to do for years. It now hangs above our sofa in the family room. Inspired by hand tracery in ancient cave paintings, it has the outlines of hands of each member of our family. My jewelry making tools have been found, unpacked and arranged on a work table that has been cleared and ready for use. When I finish another painting I have in mind to do I will again start to make a few things I've been thinking about. I'm in no hurry. If and when something needs to be done - it will be done.
     
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  9. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    I pray things went well for her. Please let me know how she is doing.
     
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  10. defensewinschampionships

    defensewinschampionships GC Hall of Fame

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    They reversed course and now she will do two rounds of chemo first, then surgery, then radiation. They wanted to shrink the tumors first.
    Mentally, she was geared up for surgery and then stripped those gears getting ready for chemo.
    She has had two treatments so far, and she is coming through well. A little nausea but no illness. Hair is starting to come out, but she told my dad he could choose her wig color...he went with her natural brown, which tickled her pink.
    Moms spirits are up, and weight is going down because she just doesn’t want to eat. I will update periodically, as things progress.
    Her son is hanging in there.

    Thanks for asking lacuna, hope all is up for you too.
     
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  11. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    "This post is worthless without pictures." :rolleyes:

    Seriously, this girl likes rocks of any type. She calls her little jewelry making venture Jolies Pierres ~ Pretty Stones. She sold on consignment and request, had a limited presence in a couple of beauty shops and had pretty illustrated cards printed up, with a now defunct Gainesville, Florida landline telephone number. Though no Internet address or presence. Made a special trip from Amsterdam to the Maurithuis at the Hague to see Vermeer's original. She would love to see the Girl with the Pearl Earring illustrated in stones. Can you supply a link to the page with the illustration?

    Vermeer's portrait has been copied many times. From the face of the lovely Scarlet Johansson to the harsher visage of Andrea Merkel. With cats and bulldogs and girls in glasses in between.


    [​IMG]

    Please note ~ there will be no mention or discussion of the couple standing behind the pitchfork in the left panel. Riff on the Merkel copy of Vermeer's famous girl all ya want.
     
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  12. danmann65

    danmann65 GC Hall of Fame

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    Stona Lisa and Girl With Pebble Earring created on beach
     
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  13. gatorjjh

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

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    Thanks so much for the update, you and Trucker sound a lot like me and my so much better half, 2 strong willed people deeply in love, hope Trucker will relax enough to really enjoy his sojourn in Florida, between your 16yr old and parttime housekeeper/assisted care worker I have no doubt you will be well looked after probably more than necessary..... it has been both wet and hot here in Irvine I hope you have avoided at least the humidity out there. Thanks for your newsy missive
    JH
     
  14. diehardgator1

    diehardgator1 Premium Member

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    In 12/56 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. It was removed and 6 months later another small one was found which was removed by lazer. I go every 6 months and have been clean ever since. To say when the doctor said cancer you are floored is a understatement. My wife and I have been marred in Dec 63 years and has always stood by me. You learn to look at life in a different matter My faith in God makes things easier knowing God has never made a mistake.
     
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  15. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    Thanks, diehard. Serious, life threatening illness does indeed shake one out of complacency, substituting it with an insistent urgency after the initial shock of the diagnosis has passed. The necessity of having supportive family and friends to encourage and understand, and strong faith to sustain us cannot be underestimated over estimated.
     
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  16. Nawlens Gator

    Nawlens Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    I think you mean "cannot be overestimated".

    Reading your posts Lacuna has been spiritually rewarding. God bless you and thanks for sharing.
     
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  17. duchen

    duchen VIP Member

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    J: Great to see you posting today and the good news about the treatment. chemo can be very rough on anyone, but really hard on people with auto immune issues. Prayers that the immunotherapy is effective.

    Go gators today!
     
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  18. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

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    Thank you for this post, 62, and your encouragement.

    Your post raises a point that does need to be considered and discussed before any serious, life threatening illness appears and brings the devastating consequences that all too often accompany it. The daughter of the recently deceased bounty hunter, Beth Chapman, gave heartbreaking details about the death of her mother, saying "she quite literally choked on her cancer."

    Witnessing the passing of a loved one is an ordeal none of us look forward to, but most of us will at some point be forced by circumstances to witness or accept. It is the inevitable final consequence of life. The last hoop we all must jump through. Some of us are blessed with an easy transition, others are beset with pain and a diminished capacity for self care, requiring caregivers to provide the sort of assistance that can rob us of our dignity.

    Pain comes in several guises. We all are familiar with physical pain. But there also is the pain of sorrow, the pain of loss, the sorrowful loss that comes with the final separation from our loved ones in this life. Notwithstanding faith, this poignant loss is emotionally painful for those loved one who survive the deceased. Most especially if the death is fraught with pain or distress. It can be eased, and if at all possible it should be eased. If that means expedited, so be it for those who wish to do so.

    I have given this the consideration my own situation presents. With remission it's not a current concern. But before, when I learned where the malignant beast was situated within me, and the difficulty and unfavorable odds to surgically remove it, and not knowing, or failing to anticipate how successful the chemo and radiation treatments would be, I did explore my options and lay the necessary groundwork required by the state of Colorado for exercising the legal right to end my life if the pain were to come more than I could bear. These decisions are not easy to make and my prayer is I will never be in a situation where I am forced to make that irrevocable choice.

    If anyone reading wants to comment or discuss this controversial topic, please post your comments. Thanks.
     
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  19. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

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    While I did not witness the actual moment Mrs. GK passed, I was right next to her when she effectively died. It was a visual I wish I could delete from the hard drive. A blood clot had broken loose and lodged into the main artery that feeds the colon killing it, similar to a stroke. There was the ambulance trip to the hospital, a gory description of the elbows deep surgery performed by the surgeon trying to save her, then the 4 am call that it was over. That gave the concept of "suck" a whole new dimension.

    I would recommend everyone have an advanced care directive in the unlikely and unfortunate even they find their selves in this position. This is what I found about the rules in FL, however, consulting an attorney competent in this field is highly advisable.

    Florida Euthanasia Laws - FindLaw
     
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  20. diehardgator1

    diehardgator1 Premium Member

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    I will put you on our prayer list at church we can go hand in hand and with the strength that God will give us we will overcome
     
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