[MOL] FW: Your father-in-law [01748] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] FW: Your father-in-law

Title: Your father-in-law
-----Original Message-----
From: Kathy Corrigan
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 1999 3:46 PM
To: 'dlpooleparty@mindspring.com'
Subject: RE: Your father-in-law

Dear Laurie:  So glad I could help!  It's such a small world.  I was so surprised to hear that Pop worked at the Home Depot in Boise.  Of course, I've been there many times, and I know quite a few people in the new Meridian Home Depot -- a couple are clients.  (I'm a probate paralegal).  It's a great place! 
I'd be happy to share my experiences with him -- and you, too, of course.  I was given six months of chemo -- starting in late December of 1997, and ending in May of 1998.  By March, the tumor was almost invisible, and, of course, by the end of May, it couldn't be detected.  I was in error about the Taxol.  I was given Taxotere instead, which is a rather controversial form of chemo, but is proving to be quite effective.  The side effects I had were ringing ears, severe agitation, nausea, extreme fatique, impaired eyesight, difficulty sleeping, and, of course, depression at first.  Not everyone has these side effects.  Some people experience worse, and some very few.  Our receptionist here went through chemo for breast cancer a couple of years ago.  I think she missed a week of work.  I missed six months!  Of course, her regimen was much gentler than mine.  I didn't experience these severe side effects for long, because my doctor wouldn't allow it.  She made me as comfortable as she possibly could, and it was bearable -- trust me.  What they call a brochonge was inserted into my chest.  It had two "faucets" with screw-off caps.  They could draw blood through these faucets, as well as administer the chemo, making both procedures completely painless.  I sincerely hope "Pop" can get on a clinical trial.  He'll receive excellent care, and he'll be so glad he did.  I'll be signing back up on MOL in about a week.  Right now, I'm not online at home (or at work), but I'll be connected at home soon, and will be able to rejoin all my buddies.  You'll love this forum.  It's changed my life.  Welcome aboard.  Your friend -- Kathy Corrigan
-----Original Message-----
From: dlpooleparty@mindspring.com [mailto:dlpooleparty@mindspring.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 1999 5:42 PM
To: Kathy Corrigan
Subject: Re: Your father-in-law

Thank you, Kathy, so much for your letter!  It really lifted my spirits about what we as a family will soon face.  I am forwarding it to him and have suggested he join this group as well.  You're all GREAT!!  The responses I have received have been WONDERFUL!!  And I only signed up today! 
Praise God you're in remission!!  From everything I've read & researched, you're a walking miracle!  SCLC seems to be the hardest of all to completely beat...Congratulations!!  You go girl!
This morning's meeting with his oncologist revealed better than we had previously been told...He said there was a great deal of scar tissue in the area- too much to tell that the tumor had not responded.  We'll take that for now.  He referred us to a great Dr. at Emory Univ. Hospital here in Atlanta, and seemed to help change Pop's mind re. Chemo.  We're all fighters so we won't go easily - that's for sure!  We hope to get him into a Clinical Trial as soon as he gets up here (the next 3-4wks.) 
If you ever frequented the Home Depot in Boise, you probably ran into him...I believe he worked there until the Fall of 1997.  I don't think he worries too much about loosing his hair - I, too work at Home Depot & told him I'd be happy to go over to the carpet dept. & get him a nice scrap of Berber to wear...  It's the nausea, and weak, rung-out feeling I believe he dreads.  He's been a very hard worker at Depot for a very long time -averaging 60hr. weeks without missing a beat.  Can you tell me how long you had to be on the treatments?  Was it IV or pill, or both, and how long it took you to shake the side effects? 
I thank you again for your "chin-up" and sharing your experiences and success.  It means a great deal.
Your new friend in Atlanta, GA
Laurie Poole
-----Original Message-----
From: kcorrigan@chgw.com <kcorrigan@chgw.com>
To: dlpooleparty@mindspring.com <dlpooleparty@mindspring.com>
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 1999 10:02 AM
Subject: Your father-in-law

Dear Laurie:

My dear friend, Martha Cerreto, sent me your message regarding your father-in-law.  First of all, I know all too well how he feels. This is a scary time.  I hope I can help in some way. 

I was diagnosed in December of 1997 with sclc which, as you know, is a particularly aggressive, fast-moving form of lung cancer.  My prognosis was fairly grim.  The cancer was located in my right lung and was apparently pushing on some pulmonary arteries.  It, too, was inoperable.  I was immediately put on a very aggressive chemo program -- Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Taxol, and VP-16, to name only a few.  There were several combinations, and the chemo was awful -- I was very, very, sick.  But, because I was on a clinical trial, the oncologist gave me whatever I needed to help me tolerate the treatment.  I was given Ativan for stress and Xanax for anxiety, Paxil for depression (I still take it), Zofran for the nausea, and Ambien to help me sleep.  I was given Morphine if I experienced pain, or Darcovet if the pain was milder.  I also went through 6 weeks of radiation to the area -- five days a week, just like your father-in-law.  The radiation burned my esophagus so badly I had to be hospitalized for nearly two weeks, unable to swallow or eat.  It healed.  The burned skin healed.  I lost all my hair because of the chemo.  It grew back and I like it better now than it was before!  Today, I am cancer free.  I feel better now than I've felt in several years.  If I can go another year without a recurrence, the doctors will consider me totally cured, and they see no reason to expect a recurrence.  Please, PLEASE, do NOT waste time searching for an alternative to chemo!!!  There isn't time for that.  Chemo isn't fun, but it isn't unbearable.  I lived through it, and I'm a big baby.  Your father-in-law can do this, too.  Get him some good reading material -- Bernie Siegel's books are invaluable.  I can't tell you how much they helped me.  Again, please don't wait.  There are ways to make chemo easier.  Alternative methods are too risky when time is not on your side, and it's not.  I hope I've helped.

Your friend, Kathy Corrigan in Boise, Idaho