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Old 02-13-2010, 01:58 PM   #481
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Not hearing from you worried me some. But I see everything is going fine.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:11 PM   #482
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Sounds good to me RF.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:23 PM   #483
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I was wondering what was going on with ya...

Recent results are sure looking good.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:35 PM   #484
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So glad to hear that things are looking up. I really hope that 3 months from now they will be completely clear. Thanks for keeping us updated.
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scheduled that colonoscopy
Old 02-15-2010, 07:58 AM   #485
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scheduled that colonoscopy

Hey Freebird

You will be glad to know that finally after all this I finally have an initial appointment to get the colonoscopy started for the 23rd of this month. For those of you that don't know I was trying to get a colonoscopy scheduled last June on Freebirds 's recommendation when the cancer was diagnosed. I have never had such trouble getting to a Dr's appointment, almost nine months!!
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:28 PM   #486
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BTW Ratface, my lymph nodes also did not look completely normal on my first CT scan after 6 months of chemo and 3 weeks of radiation. But then the oncologists decided that I had the Nodular Sclerosing form of Hodgkins lymphoma, and it leaves the nodules with like scar tissue so they stay a litlle enlarged.

It's been 23 years and no problems so I guess they were right!

Anyway you can look forward to checkups every 3 months, then every 6 months, eventually only annually! At some point they tell you your disease will not come back and they are just looking for other bad stuff that can happen from the chemo and radiation. For instance, my thyroid died about 6 years after the radiation. But my oncologists were expecting that, watching my T3/T4/TSH levels in my bloodwork, and now I just take a Synthroid pill every morning. No biggie.
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returned to work on Monday
Old 03-05-2010, 08:44 AM   #487
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returned to work on Monday

Returned to work after being off all last summer and this year. I am considered a dept. head for my small area of expertise and manage a small specialized office. I have years of tacid knowlodge stored in my head. This is is what I learned. The office functioned just fine without me. Didn't miss a beat. I'm really very proud of them!

Many many friends stopped by for hugs and kisses and just rejoicing about life. No great surprises there. The ones I always thought of as friends were the ones to show up. Flowers, cards, and just joy to my heart. Most uplifting day I've had in decades. Learned some dark secrets of close friends I had never known. They continue to stream in as they learn I'm back.

Stopped by the office of my superior to say hello, let her know I'm back. Thats all I was able to get out before she stated how busy she was. Promised she would stop by later that day. I've yet to see her. Really learned something here!

Learned I'm glad to have shared some great moments with long time friends. Learned getting out of the house and not constantly dwelling on cancer is very helpful. Learned this is not enough and made an appt to see a psychologist next week. Learned I'm still very angry and need to be taught how to progress. Learned how fortunate I was to be employed by such a great employer in regards to benefits. Realized it's time to retire and that I can't handle ten hour days anymore and plan on leaving in May and retire.

learned that at almost 52 I have a lot to learn!
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:59 AM   #488
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It sounds like you have had an overwhelming time returning to work, but one full of clarity. I hope the time between now and May goes smoothly and quickly. It will be good to spend time focusing on the things you want to focus on.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:59 AM   #489
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Hey, THERE you are.
Sounds like it was a wonderful return to w*rk day for you.

Don't expect a lot out of upper management...need I elaborate?

BTW, I just saw your post about scheduling the colonoscopy. Way to go!
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Freebird really need your help
Old 03-05-2010, 11:35 AM   #490
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Freebird really need your help

pineapple, orange,cherry,lemon lime, or citrus berry
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:44 AM   #491
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pineapple, orange,cherry,lemon lime, or citrus berry
So pleased to read your post Hopefully you will settle in quickly to work and get yourself ready for ER in a few months time.

My recommendation on the colonoscopy drink is to choose a flavor that is not your favorite, because after drinking a gallon of the stuff, the flavor you've chosen will NEVER taste as good again (I've had 2 colonoscopies and chose cherry each time).
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:50 PM   #492
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Glad to hear you are back at work temporarily ! I also went to a therapist after a bad time and it really helped me get the anger out . Good luck !
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:17 PM   #493
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pineapple, orange,cherry,lemon lime, or citrus berry
I'd go for the cherry myself. The citric ones might be too acidic on an empty stomach and especially if your tongue is still tender.
2nd choice would be pineapple.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:10 PM   #494
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Sounds like your illness has clarified for you what is really important in life. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:20 PM   #495
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It must have made you feel wonderful that so many people welcomed you back with warm embraces and well wishes. As far as your supervisor goes, she may be the type of person that when she's not sure of exactly what to say...she says nothing.

btw, May sounds like the perfect month to retire.....
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:36 AM   #496
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she may be the type of person that when she's not sure of exactly what to say...she says nothing.
Not an entirely bad trait.
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colonoscopy completed
Old 03-14-2010, 09:52 AM   #497
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colonoscopy completed

Started preparing tuesday evening by just having a bowl of soup. wednesday I suffered through the dreaded prep ritual. I chose lemon lime and it was tolerable and clear although by the end of the gallon I was dreading drinking the stuff. All in all quite doable. Procedure went smooth exceapt that for some reason I remained quite awake for the entire procedure but felt no discomfort. They did find and remove nine polyps which I'm not entirely happy about. Fellow in the bed next to me had three. I had nine lymph nodes removed from my neck and now nine polyps from my colon...begininning to see a pattern. Although awake I was quite groggy. Doctor told my wife they appeared not to be a problem and not to worry. I hate when doctors tell you not to worry. Pathology is 7-10 days. Anyway they are gone. Having some pain around the bottom kidney areas I assume is where most of them were snared out. Been taking it easy but will get back on the treadmill today. Small amount of blood first day after procedure and nothing now. In the last nine months i have been a regular customer at three major hospitals in my area, really getting bothersom.

My initial meeting with the psychologist from work to deal with increased depression in my opinion did not meet my expectations. Lots of talking on my part and lots of nodding on his. Felt disconnected. Perhaps we need more time together. perhaps its a work program and not really what I need. The reason I post this is that I'm trying to gain insight in choosing a therapist that one can click with. I would also be interested in any past experiences with insurance and if and how much they might pay? Or just generally how much does a therapist charge? I might need someone who specializes in basket case cancer patients like me. Do they specialize?

I'm finding out cancer is a long process in either direction. There are major issues with doom and gloom and also major issues in the possibility of living. Both present challenges. Continuing education has taken on a whole new meaning. Perhaps I can learn welding instead?
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:02 PM   #498
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My initial meeting with the psychologist from work to deal with increased depression in my opinion did not meet my expectations. Lots of talking on my part and lots of nodding on his. Felt disconnected. Perhaps we need more time together. perhaps its a work program and not really what I need. The reason I post this is that I'm trying to gain insight in choosing a therapist that one can click with. I would also be interested in any past experiences with insurance and if and how much they might pay? Or just generally how much does a therapist charge? I might need someone who specializes in basket case cancer patients like me. Do they specialize?

I'm finding out cancer is a long process in either direction. There are major issues with doom and gloom and also major issues in the possibility of living. Both present challenges. Continuing education has taken on a whole new meaning. Perhaps I can learn welding instead?
I'm a 14 year ovarian cancer survivor and have been involved nationally in advocacy & e-health issues for many years.

I'm responding to your concern about finding a psychologist who can help you. Sometimes other patients can help you more than anyone, both with treatment options and with how to deal with the situational depression you have. I volunteer with www.acor.org which runs many mailing lists for specific cancers. I think you will find some help there.

It is normal to be depressed and anxious - how could you not be? I can't really tell you how to find a therapist to help you, but you need someone who works with oncology patients a lot. You also need medication. The amount of stress all this causes is changing your brain chemistry, the meds help balance it back to what it should be.

Being a cancer survivor is not easy. I make decisions (now, after so many years) based on the assumption that I may live to be 100 and may die much younger. It is part of why I plan to retire at 62 this summer - despite having to find health insurance for 18 months after COBRA runs out. Work stress is killing me.

Just remember, what you are feeling is normal and not unusual at all. It's very hard to put it aside and work and think that nothing has changed. It has, and your quality of life just became very important in a way that it wasn't before the cancer diagnosis.

Hang in there and let me know if there's any way I can help.
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Just in passing you nailed it
Old 03-14-2010, 05:03 PM   #499
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Just in passing you nailed it

Quote:
Being a cancer survivor is not easy. I make decisions (now, after so many years) based on the assumption that I may live to be 100 and may die much younger. It is part of why I plan to retire at 62 this summer - despite having to find health insurance for 18 months after COBRA runs out. Work stress is killing me.

You've already helped. Just in passing you make a remark which highlights every decision I make. I'm living as if I'm going to die hence every action is preparation for death. Just doing responsible things in case the worst were to happen. Teaching spouse more about finance, fixing things around the house that before could be put on the honey-do list, anticipating changing family needs etc.. I know its morbid but I really need to relearn how to live.

Very similar work situations or mentality anyway. I can retire now and feel that this would be a step forward wheeras now I feel I'm just stagnent in making progress out of the depression. But again I'm in cancer death thinking mode and then re-anaylyze and calculate how much more my spouse would get pension wise if I work longer. Everything centers on death which does not allow forward thinking. I am just so happy to hear you say it. I was beginning to feel insanity was taking over. I will research oncologist therapist as I did not know they specialized to that degree. It does help to talk to people. I have been to one support group meeting and the next one is comming up but it's a catch 22 because some of them are clearly very sick and it
re-enforces my already out of whack psyche.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:12 PM   #500
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Ratface hang in there buddy. It does get a lot better believe me. Just wait til you pass the 5 year mark you will feel better I assure you!

Sounds like you got one of those old fashioned colonoscopies where they give you the citrate prep and then Versed as anesthesia. Modern gastroenterology practices give you Miralax which you dissolve in your favorite Gatorade (still prep is no fun) but then they knock you out with Propofol (aka Milk of Amnesia and what killed Michael Jackson). I assure you it is much better than Versed. Insist on it next time.

If I can help in any way please let me know. If you just want to talk to a fellow lymphoma survivor I am here for you.
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