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Old 07-22-2009, 06:34 PM   #121
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I agree. There's nothing like a serious illness to bring perspective to life. No matter how long we live, life is short in comparison with what we'd each like to accomplish. And a serious illness, even if we are hopeful that we will over come it, brings life into perspective. In the end, it's not about money, retirement, things... it's about relationships, love, leaving this place just a little bit better than it was when we came into it.

To ratface, hang in there, bro, and every time you face a challenge like this one, think of a better day in the future that you will enjoy because you suffered this in your path to healing. And live each day as if it's your last, which is something we should all do. God bless you.
This tread is so powerful and special. Your words brought tears to my eyes FinallyRetired.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:27 PM   #122
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I think many hit the nail on the head. They really would have a difficult job if they told you all the details. I would like to have closed my eyes though.The first few seconds are frightening because of the heat of the mask and the feeling of immobility. It's like pulling a bandage off a hairy wound, you don't want to do it but it has to come off and its going to hurt. It cools rather quickly. You can breath fine through the mesh once you remember to breath. They had a problem calibrating the machine. **** happens. Vincente the Silence of the lambs thing was funny. In retrospect the whole mask fitting was comical, me freaking out and the technical problems arising. I realize this will help in the radiation and cause me less harm by directing the beams where they need be. Dentist today for several hours. Need to be sure no pressing dental work will arise during the radiation. Dentist wants to pull two wisdom teeth. I hope the oncologist will disagree and I can sign a waiver or something to get the treatment started. I'm scheduled for next Thursday, 39 treatments.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:05 AM   #123
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Ratface: You can´t imagine how many of us are expectant for your news. 39 treatments? Sounds like a lot of them. I hope none like the last one.
Glad you weren´t put off by my silly joke.
I would cheer you up if I was a brave dude. But I told you that I am not.

Maybe I´m being too personal. In that case I apologize: Just a minor operation like having my meato expanded -I know, gross- has me trembling! I would postpone it, but my wife wouldn´t hear of it. It seems that surgery would relieve the stress of the bladder, which is in risk of collapsing any day.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:38 AM   #124
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Your going to do fine my friend. Just hang in there.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:50 AM   #125
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Your going to do fine my friend. Just hang in there.
Who is going to be fine, sissy me or Ratface "the Lionheart"?
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:21 AM   #126
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I'm the type that does not like to be "surprised". I want to know as much as possible about a procedure that will be done to me.
That's how I feel too. I can deal with something better if I understand the bounds. Not knowing freaks me out 10x worse.

But not everyone feels as we do. DW does not want to know anything, it just makes her worry the whole time leading up to it.

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They really would have a difficult job if they told you all the details.
ratface, maybe you can learn from this to make the future visits a bit more comfortable. Maybe talk with the docs and staff and try to communicate to them just how much you want to know beforehand. Like I said above, people are different in this regard and the staff is probably a little numb to it all. But if you inquire, that might trigger them to respond in a helpful way.

I don't quite accept the "ask and you shall receive" proverb, but I've found that if you don't ask, you usually don't get anything!

Good luck with the upcoming treatments, sounds like you have lots of good reasons to be optimistic.

-ERD50
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:09 PM   #127
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Ratface,

I was frightened just by reading your description of the mask procedure. It sounded downright brutal. I imagined your pain and terror, on top of all you have been going through and still have to look forward to.

Although we all know medical folks are very rushed these days--given what you/your insurance company are paying, you deserve a technical explanation of every procedure, if only to show respect for you as a smart, thinking, feeling patient. Can you speak privately to your oncologist about how you feel you are being treated - he/she needs to ensure your emotional health is being looked after, because it's important to your recovery!
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:23 AM   #128
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Ratface,

I am so sorry about your diagnosis, but so glad you have some answers, a path to follow, and people to go with you on the journey. Hang in there, take care of you and yours, and have faith.

Keep us posted so we can send more encouragement!

Also, my favorite Yiddish proverb (cause it's the only Yiddish one I know!): "God gives burdens, also shoulders." This is akin to the one Vicente posted "God squeezes but does not strangle." May your shoulders be broad and your breathing easy!

Oh, and two more ideas that might help (or might not, I haven't been where you are):

One, ask for what you need to be comfortable during your treatments. When I give blood (as often as possible), I ask for a warm water bottle, a cozy blanket and a magazine. When I'm sitting next to the 85-year-old WWII vet who's barreling through his donation with nothing I look like a sissy, but my blood is just as useful as his to the person who receives it. The coddling during the donation helps me donate, and that helps someone else. So don't be afraid to ask for warm blankets, a favorite movie, a book, music you like, a preferred doc or nurse, whatever, if it makes it easier to get through the process.

Two, ask if there are other things you can do to support your treatment. These may include things like yoga, meditation, or prayer; diet; exercise; acupuncture, etc. Some might be useful for you; some might not. Your care providers can probably help you decide if any of this would be helpful.

Best wishes & Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:29 PM   #129
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Hey Ratface...I just read through the posts on this thread that I missed while I was away.
I have never experienced what you are facing, so I can't say anything about that.
What I can do is wish you strength and compliment you on your courage (yes, it's in there between the lines) in dealing with the diagnosis and the procedures.
I'm rootin' for ya!
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:48 PM   #130
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A little late seeing this Post as I have not visited site for a while. I have lymphoma, but my diognoses was not nearly as good as yours. I was diognosed with two lymphoma cancers, the agrressive B Cell (possibly transformed) and regular folicular, which is not curable. Mine had spread throughout my entire body, and my classifications the worst on every front. It will be two years the end of November since I finished my treatment. I get another scan in about a month. But so far, so good.

Your diognoses believe it or not is a good one, and you should be fine after treatment, so don't lose a lot of sleep over it. Another good site is the Lymphoma Survival. It requires a membership of $35 a year, but well worth it. The guy that started it has folicular, and has lasted a very long time through what they refer as life strategy. This envolves doing everything possible for your self in addition to modern treatment to slow the reaccurance.

If you have any questions that I can answer, please don't hesitate to ask. I know what your going through. I had just purchased a house and renovated it in Mexico, and was getting ready to retire to Mexico when I got my diognoses. I then had to sell my house, after I finished treatment and got well enough to deal with it. It's quite a shock and an adjustment that will take you a while to get through. But again, yours is more localized and treatable than mine, so you should be able to resume your lifestyle in due time.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:37 PM   #131
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What a nice post, modhatter. Downright tragic that you got your diagnosis just as you were getting ready to retire and live your dream. There are lessons in your post for everyone, not only Ratface. Bravo for taking care of yourself and beating your disease for this long.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:34 PM   #132
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Wow what a thread - i haven't been around much - but glad i got through this one -

Ratface, you have my sympathies for the challenges you face ahead of you - but I have to say you have handled it all remarkably well and your courage, humor and honesty will serve you well!

One thing I've learned in my short life is that worrying is not that useful an emotion - so while it is natural and you shouldn't suppress it - try not to dwell on it! Each step is just more information for you to make choices about how you want to handle that bit of information. Some people don't have the diagnosis or the resources to have those choices, so even as the news is daunting, you are in a good place (and well loved! even better!).

best wishes to you on this journey and keep us posted!
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:27 AM   #133
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Just got back home last night from an overnight in the hospital for three surgical procedures: The G-tube-feeding tube,inserted in the stomach. The IV power port for meds and a biopsy of the base of the tongue. The first two were done together and by far the worst is the G-tube. I literary was unable to move but tiny bits while lying in bed. You just acceapt the position your in,because it's too painful to stretch anything. Had me on codeine which was doing nothing. Asked for something stronger and was put on morphine. About twelve hours later I was off the meds and could get out of bed and walk around. No meds now and no real pain as I sit at the computer now. Home health nurse was here this am and changed the dressings and taught DW and I how to operate the feeding tube. I'm begining to feel robotic with all these ports and tubes. Didn't know I can't pass through electronic screening at airports, something with the power port. Someday we will be plugging ourselves into our home computers. I start chemo tomorrow through my brand new power port and radiation on Monday. What a joy to have a bowel of chicken broth last night. Today I advance to pudding, or rice, and jello. Tomorrow who knows? Thanks all again for keeping my spirits up.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:36 AM   #134
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Ratface, you're becoming the bionic man!

Keep your spirits up and have faith that things will get better.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:00 AM   #135
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Most impressive handling of tough deal. Keep the good attitude, I know in my DW's case it was of immense help. She is doing very well now. You will too.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:59 PM   #136
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Someday we will be plugging ourselves into our home computers.
That's a great image - as well as USB ports we'll need IV ports.

Keep up the high spirits, your posts are inspirational
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:10 PM   #137
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Most impressive handling of tough deal. Keep the good attitude, I know in my DW's case it was of immense help. She is doing very well now. You will too.

Yeah, looks like you are doing great. Keep up the good attitude and you will be fine. Hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, but it is just a few months down the road. 2010 will be a better year.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:32 PM   #138
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Congrats for getting through the next phase. I can tell from your tone it wasn't quite as bad as the mask, or maybe you're able to take more. In either case, that's progress, so here's hoping a beer will not be too far in the future.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:17 PM   #139
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Ratface,

I'm very late coming to this thread but you are in my thoughts and prayers. During times this these your faith, family and friends are what keeps you going.

I am 2 1/2 year pancreatic cancer survivor and endured surgery, radiation and chemo to kill the beast. They say tough times don't last but tough people do so keep fighting the good fight.

2soon2tell
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:24 PM   #140
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I am 2 1/2 year pancreatic cancer survivor and endured surgery, radiation and chemo to kill the beast. They say tough times don't last but tough people do so keep fighting the good fight.

2soon2tell
Hence the name.Wow what a fight you've been fighting. I can begin to understand. I start round 1 in the morning. Thanks for letting that side of you out, truely means a lot to me.
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