[MOL] rich [12404] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] rich



Dear Vicci,

I'm sorry to hear about how things are going with Rich.  I wish I could
give some helpful advice; it's so hard in any case, giving advice long
distance, when you don't know all the particulars.  

It sounds like you're saying he's been an overgrown adolescent for a long
time.  If there's a positive side, I do admire his confidence.  It took me
years to develop whatever confidence I have now.  When I started my battle
with cancer, I was so scared all the time that I couldn't do anything but
be grateful for the care and concern I got from my family.

I'm a little concerned or confused about how he's getting sick, i.e.,
throwing up, but going out and partying with friends.   Also, I hope he is
taking care of his colostomy by himself and doing a good job.  

The facts are that you guys certainly aren't going to be around forever,
and he is going to have to learn to take care of himself.  The facts are
that many people have colostomies, go to work with them, do important jobs
with them, but in general, this is still a society where most people don't
want to hear about such things or illness period, and it won't be easy for
him.  I do like to emphasize the positive, but the world can be a cold,
cold place.

The pot smoking, at least in published reports, is said to be helpful to
reduce the nausea of chemotherapy, but he isn't getting any yet.  Let me
tell you about my experience with chemotherapy.  I only got one dose. 
After that, I changed doctors, because the first told me I wouldn't get
sick from the chemo and I got real sick.  I was not at all prepared, so
that made it worse.  I lived in the bathroom for at least three days.  My
husband moved up the cushion from our old sofa, and brought in some
pillows.  Otherwise, there was just me and my walkman and a big bottle of
spring water.  I kept throwing up and throwing up.  Everytime I got done
with one episode, I felt better for about 5 seconds and then felt sick
again.  Besides throwing up I tried to listen to the radio and slept a lot.
 For the next three days, I still pretty much lived in the bathroom but was
able to migrate out to my bedroom a little and watch TV.  During this
period of time, there was extreme nausea where I felt like I wanted to
throw up.  I don't know what was worse, the throwing up or the nausea.   
Then, as I started to be able to eat, there was a good ten days or so of
extreme physical weakness where it felt like it took a herculean effort to
do something like stand up from a sitting position.

I don't say this is what things will be like for Rich; I don't know.  I
certainly hope not.  I have certainly learned of late, that even among
women who've had chemo for breast cancer, many tolerate it much better than
I did.  But Rich is in a war, and he doesn't seem to know it or that he's
being shot at or where his weapons are.

Oh, I almost forgot.  After the first six days, I had an asthma attack. 
There was so much going out; I don't know, all of a sudden I couldn't get
anything in.
The first time my husband took me to the hospital.  They gave me some IV
steroids and I started to feel better so I said could I go home.  I never
had an asthma attack before; I didn't know. Of course, they said fine. 
Once I got home, it started back up again.  By this time, it was late in
the evening, so I called 911.  They were not too happy to see me back in
the hospital, as neither was I to be there!  They put me back on the
medicine which finished up about 2:30 in the morning.  I didn't want to
call my husband at that hour, so I said, PLEASE let me stay until morning
to make sure everything's allright.  Luckily they did.

When I found a real doctor, and he got all my papers from the quack I had
gone to, he told me you never needed any chemo; I think we could stabilize
you on hormonal meds, which indeed has happened.

I don't know if this is helpful to you; only you know how you might use it
somehow to help Rich.  I guess the gist of what I'm trying to say is that
this is reality and it isn't always very pleasant and he may have things
waiting in the wings for him that aren't very pleasant either.  And the
sooner he comes to grips with that, and bears down to get ready for it, the
better off he'll be and the better chance he'll have to get through it
successfully.  

Oh, I think it's pretty well established that pot smoking leads to cancer,
just like cigarettes only it takes less time.

One other thing Vicci, for you.  I had a good seven years of good health
from my mastectomy to my reoccurrence last December.  I am firmly convinced
that a lot of work-related stress I was undergoing for several years had a
lot to do with the reoccurrence.  You must find a way, even with all you're
dealing with to take care of yourself.  Stress is really the pits.

Big hug, Vicci, and a lot of pats on the head,

Martha Cerreto

P.S:  I'll get back to you about colostomy org.      
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