Re: [MOL] Introduction 0 albeit a bit longer than I intended [13641] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Introduction 0 albeit a bit longer than I intended



Suzanne,
Welcome to the group. There are many here will will be able to help you. It
is a wonderful, caring group. You sound like you have such a wonderful
outlook and positive attitude. You're doing all the right things. Being
stubborn and a control freak can work to your advantage in this situation.
Welcome and I look forward to getting to know you better.
Christine
At 06:46 AM 01/08/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Hi everyone!
>
>I have been monitoring your list now for over a week (will I ever get
>through it all:) !) and decided it was time for a more or less formal
>introduction.
>
>I am 51 and live near Baltimore, MD.  
>
>About two months ago, I was having some trouble breathing - didn't seem
>serious as we were having many code red days and I do smoke - even people
>who don't smoke often have trouble on code red days.  I had been really
>tired for a few months, but attributed that to some pretty big changes in
>my life in general.  Stress, etc.  Had been having a cough, but between the
>smoking an a good case of bronchitis once or twice a year, didn't give that
>much though either.
>
>Finally went to the doctor and the bottom line after x-rays and CT scans of
>all shapes and types is that I have stage IV non small cell inoperable lung
>cancer.  
>
>First they found a pleural effusion in my left lung between the pleura and
>my lung itself - before all was said and done over a gallon of fluid was
>taken out of there and I had an operation to try to seal off the area so no
>more liquid could seep in - while the oncological surgeon explained that
>this operation had a success rate of 80-85%, naturally there are thoughts
>of the other 15% - won't know for certain which group I am in till next
>week - 4 weeks after the surgery when they will be able to get a clear
>picture of what has happened since.  Surgeon also saw through scope some
>small nodules forming in my lung.
>
>The biggest thing to deal with here is that two different cancer cells were
>found in the fluid, but so far the specialists have been unable to find a
>primary site for the cancer, hence the stage IV.  They know the plerua is
>malignant, but with the liquid (fully metastisized) moving throughout my
>body, where else it may be attaching is a mystery.  I was told that
>sometimes a primary site is never found.
>
>So I am now on chemo every week for as long as I can take it with an
>unknown end.  I take Taxol and Navelbine which is a slightly unusual
>combination, but my oncologist sent the fluid to a lab that tested it with
>all possible chemo combinations for liklihood of effectiveness and this is
>what they come up with.  If it doesn't work as expected, then we will try
>something else.  By the way inbetween drugs, they inject a serious of drugs
>that are designed to keep me from being sick and so far I have been
>fortunate - a little mild queasiness sometimes and generally quite tired,
>but other than that - nothing.  
>
>Even still have my hair, although I understand it can go quite suddenly -
>the chemo has played hell with my perm and my color though - oh well!  :)
>My personal beautician has worked with many cancer patients so he is ready
>for me when it happens.
>
>Apparently the prognosis for this is not good - my doctor who is the head
>of oncology at a good cancer center here (not Johns Hopkins) is very honest
>without being brutal - he explains everything to me and always makes time
>answer all of my questions, even though some of them seem silly to me.  I
>could have from 6 months to several years.  From what he has seen on the
>reports, he wants to buy me at least a year and maybe longer as he knows
>what is "in the works" so to speak and believes the new stuff may help me
>greatly.
>
>The only thing he didn't consider in his prognosis is me.  At first I
>accepted it without question - then I looked around at all the beautiful
>people I love so much and decided there was no way in heaven or hell that I
>am ready to leave right now, so the other side is just going to have to
>wait a bit.  I pray and sometimes visualize (I personally like a rocket
>headed for a black hole - nothing ever comes back from a black hole if what
>the scientists tell us is correct.)
>
>This was such a shock as I am certain many of you know.  One day I am
>reasonably healthy with nothing that seemed super abnormal and almost the
>next I am a terminal cancer patient.  (in my book terminal can mean 10
>years, by the way, or longer).
>
>I am reading Choices with was recommended on Usenet and a friend
>recommended Love, Medicine, and Miracles.  Still can't read too much of
>them at one time - it gets overwhelming.  
>
>Still I am determined to make the hangman wait for my schedule and not his.
> (Nothing like being a control freak, is there! hehehehe)
>
>Right now I am not working - get tired very easily and I also have the
>shoulder pain which some days is unbearable.  I treat it with some
>exercise, heat, and a pillow under the arm which does seem to help.
>
>This may sound strange to you, but my personal doctor recommended about 6
>names to me when I was first diagnosed and told me that one particular
>doctor was the person she would see if she got cancer - she said he was
>caring, thorough, and didn't try to sugarcoat what what happening.  So I
>chose him and he appears to be all she said he is, so I have not sought a
>second opinion at this time.  Naturally that is not to be precluded in the
>future.  Sometimes I feel I am crazy, but I really do think he is doing the
>best for me at this time.
>
>Really didn't intend to ramble on so, so I do thank you for "listening."
>Am very impressed by this group - good information, jokes, and caring
>people - a terrific combination.
>
>Cause you know what?  No matter how determined I am that I will beat all
>the odds for this thing, it is still dammed scary.
>
>Suzanne
>
>I also am trying to make my diet better (am the original junk food junkie),
>taking good vitamin supplements, eating as many fruits as I can force
>especially grapes, and an curious about the essaic (did I spell that right)
>that many of you have talked about.
>
>It is so easy for me just to stay home and sort of retire from the rest of
>my life.  Thank goodness for wonderful loving friends and family.  My
>brother is even coming in from Germany next week. And today I am making
>myself go to Rehobeth - can't stay the night - don't have the funds, but it
>is about a 2.5 hour drive so if my friend and I leave in an hour or two, we
>should have a nice day.  I ahve always loved the beach and decided that I
>wanted to see it NOW!  
>It has always been very good for me.
>
>Some peronal stuff -  adore all the wonderfule people in my life ; also
>have two cats and love to read, shop and enter sweepstakes.  I am still
>shopping a bit which I know I wouldn't be if I truly believed there was no
>hope left.
>
>I love mysteries and suspense and can truly recommend a book called "The
>Alienist" which is wonderful - takes place in New York just before the turn
>of the century and written by an historian which is wonderful because I
>learned all kinds of tidbits about life then that probably would have
>excapted me otherwise.
>
>Oh yes, and two months ago I won two airline tickets anywhere American
>flies.  Am going to use them in the late fall to see a friend I have not
>seen in many years who just happens to live in sunny Ft. Lauderdale.
>
>Hopefully by then my disability will have come through - if not I'll wing
>it (excuse the pun!).
>
>
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