Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Senior Health
Old 04-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
Senior Health

A few of you are aware of this saga and I am willing to share more than many want to hear. As you read this keep in mind that my 71st birthday is only a couple weeks away.

After many years of boring mammograms I developed a rather cavalier attitude but it was a change from my previous mammogram that really caused concern. Lesson 1: tolerate pressed breasts, but whining is ok. Lesson 2: if you change health care providers ask for your records to be provided to the new team.

Biopsy results were early stage but invasive, very small site (not palpable).

Managed to snag a highly regarded surgeon. I asked my gynecologist for recommendations as he is in his 50s and would have seen a lot of this in his practice.

Lumpectomy + radiation = mastectomy results. Lumpectomy very appropriate for my diagnosis.

Pathology results from surgery couldn't have been better, even the receptor results were optimal. I was a candidate for brachytherapy with twice a day, 5 days of treatment.

Along the way I agreed to participate in a diagnosis study and a brachytherapy study. I am otherwise healthy and, God willing, will live long enough to provide meaningful data. On the other hand they don't have to manage treatment for a long lifespan. In this case being an older patient is an advantage. Tomorrow I see the oncologist and will see what she recommends.

Based on stories I have heard from other breast cancer patients treatment options have increased even in the last 10 years. Living in a city with a highly regarded medical school whose graduates stay in the community is a big plus. I have been blessed in so many ways.

Breast cancer is serious but that doesn't mean that we can't have a laugh or two along the way. If nothing else a positive attitude helps worried family members.
__________________

__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-16-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
Breast cancer is serious but that doesn't mean that we can't have a laugh or two along the way. If nothing else a positive attitude helps worried family members.
Brat, With an attitude like this, I'm sure things will turn out well for you. Wishing you all the best!
__________________

__________________
DFW_M5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
justplainbll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Easten Long Island
Posts: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
Me too. Had breast cancer surgery Tuesday.
If they put you on tamoxifen, I suggest you become familiar with some of the potential side effects of this drug (e.g. blood clotting & pulmonary embolism).
__________________
justplainbll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 06:41 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Brat, I really admire you for sharing this. So helpful. And your participation in two studies? You're amazing.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 06:43 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,038
Brat , I hope when I am faced with something I have as good an attitude as you have ! Best wishes for a speedy recovery !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
Most of the forum members trying to figure out how to retire early are a lot younger than I. My cohorts have been there, doing that.

What is missing is that (I hope) all of you will at some time confront health issues as a senior, but many of you will be dealing with this for your parents.

There are generational issues that many do not realize such as that until the mid/late 60s condoms were used to prevent pregnancy... the God Awful of my era. STDs were an issue for the poor or 'others'. There hasn't really been a sex education program for sexually active seniors. For that I have no good suggestions (reversal of roles that wasn't well addressed back in the day) unless and until health care providers initiate some education program. Don't think it doesn't happen as I saw it in my Mother's retirement residence where ladies would pick up a key.

Along that line there are gynecological issues unique to elderly mothers that I am just now learning about. No one told me about this back in the day.

One of my classmates suffered a stroke after a dermatologist took him off coumadin for a biopsy. After that another classmate (an MD) checked his coagulation rate closely before surgery. We depend on our health care providers to consider those details but perhaps we should check before one physician changes medications prescribed by another. The lack of ready access to health care records generated by others may contribute to these events.

Maintaining health care screening is critical (it was in my case) and making an effort to maintain health (ok, I need to loose at least 10 pounds). I don't know about you but I grew up when a physical was a process of poking and prodding, now much seems to focus on tests. Some of the intimacy with a physician is missing, IMHO. Times change, I can manage, but not without missing the good old days.

I appreciate medical research, if today's physicians can learn something from my body it is my gift to the next generation. A facility conducting scientific studies is where I want to receive treatment. I want to be among active learners.

None of us will leave this earth alive. In my case I want to maximize the quality of my life, not its length.

Now, if I could only figure out how to combine a boob job with a face lift.. after all the surgery suite and anesthesiologist are already paid for. Dream on Brat!
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
In case anyone is wondering here is my update to family:

I am receiving the 5-day/twice a day brachytherapy, even better than the 10-day I was expecting. My treatment will be part of a study on the part of the radiation oncologist, implicitly there aren't a lot of longitudinal studies of this approach but what the heck - I have maybe 25 years max lifespan so there is little practical impact on my long term health if it is less effective than whole breast radiation. I will definitely comply with their mammogram protocol in the future.

A few days later:

I am feeling like a celebrity.. When I met the oncologist she was delighted that I volunteered to be in her study when this siege started. She had discussed my case earlier that morning with staff not knowing that she would meet her test subject within the hour.

She said that the surgery pathology results found a very tiny cancerous site, she demonstrated with a dot from her pen. .1 (or was it .01) millimeter in size, barely a Grade 1. [The diagnosis biopsy may have grabbed most of it.]

She prescribed Tamoxifen daily for 5 years and follow-up consult in 6 months.

My last radiation treatment was Friday afternoon the removal of the balloon catheter wasn't at all fun but sleep is much easier without that contraption on my chest.

I am on the mend and by all accounts doing very well - the surgery site is occasionally itchy, nerves fire off now and again as they test new circuits, lymph node removal site still sore, and that catheter hole in my chest needs to heal. Oh for a long hot shower!
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Whew! I hope that is the worst of it.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
I am so blessed!!
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #10
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
Thanks for the update. Hopefully it only gets better from here.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 11:12 AM   #11
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Thanks for the update. Hopefully it only gets better from here.
+1 Your update sounds very good! Glad to hear it.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2012, 11:15 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
Great. Keep up the good work! I have two relatives - one greater Portland area and one in Reno. 5+ yrs after surgery and the other 1+ - following doctors orders, exercising and going strong. Ages 88 and 61 give or take them being women.

heh heh heh -
__________________

__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:23 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.