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Message started by NightOwl on Dec 8th, 2014 at 1:32am

Title: Rad's dealing with Cancer
Post by NightOwl on Dec 8th, 2014 at 1:32am
To all

Rad has reveled on his main homepage that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

He is scheduled to begin treatment probably within the next week or two.  It will probably involve chemo and radiation therapies.

I have been keeping him in my thoughts and prayers, and I would ask that you do the same. 

I don't pray in the organized religion sense of the word any longer.  I appeal to the life forces that surround us in the universe (can you tell I'm a product of the Star Wars era?--"may the force be with you"!).  I know it's entirely possible that no one is listening, but I still find comfort in trying (probably a function of my youthful Catholic upbringing).

Rad, be strong--good luck with your upcoming treatments.  I'm rooting for you--be healthy--get healthy!

Title: Re: Rad's dealing with Cancer
Post by Rad on Dec 11th, 2014 at 12:15am
Thanks bro.

Good to hear from you.

Had my first chemo "infusion" on Monday.

Had my first radiation treatment on Tuesday (yesterday) .

Had my first immunothearapy treatment today (Wednesday).

The "vaccine" (geneticlly engineered smallpox-based) came in a big white styrofoam container labeled "Bio Hazard" with the nasty orange symbol that looks something like a spider. The nurse donned a plastic apron and gloves and mask to hook it up. Wow. Right into my vein (17-ml's over 10 minutes.)  They kept my there for 6 hours to watch me. I mostly slept.

The tumor (lymph node, neck) has already shrunk from the size of a date to the size of a marble. Less than half its previous size. Maybe 1/3rd.

The doctor (Radiation Oncologist) came by to visit me today. Very encouraged to see "melting" so quickly. Said that was rare to see a tumor shrink so much so quickly.

Feelings reasonably well, considering. The slight nausea is passing.

Thanks for the positive thoughts. Much appreciated.

Love you, bro.

Nothing but positive energy heading your way, too.


Title: Re: Rad's dealing with Cancer
Post by NightOwl on Dec 11th, 2014 at 1:07am
@ Rad

Thanks for your report--sounds like great news--headed in the right direction!

Keep us informed.

Title: Re: Rad's dealing with Cancer
Post by Dan Goodell on Dec 20th, 2014 at 6:10am
I can empathize with Rad, and many of the terms and procedures he describes have become quite familiar to me.

My wife was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer 9 months ago.  It's been a grueling journey, but earlier this afternoon she successfully completed her last and final treatment.  They even gave her a "Congratulations!" certificate--you know, like the kind you get in 2nd grade for good behavior.  We went out to dinner tonight to celebrate.  May not sound like that much of a celebration, but it is when you consider that for the past half year she hasn't had any appetite and everything she eats has had a metallic taste to her.

The good news is that for many people the diagnosis isn't the death sentence it was 20 years ago.  The bad news is that's contingent on you going through the ringer to make it so.  It ain't fun, but you just have to grit your teeth and go through it, knowing that each treatment gets you one step closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm amazed at how well the oncologists can really dial in a customized treatment plan for each person.  Everybody's treatment plan is different.  Surgery, chemo, radiation--some people get only one, some get two or all three; some get them in a different order; some get them concurrently, some consecutively; dosages and drugs vary.  Sounds like Rad is on a shorter term, high dosage schedule.  My wife had all three procedures consecutively on a longer, medium dosage schedule.

Rad's right that it helps to be in good shape when you start treatment.  My wife was quite healthy, playing volleyball regularly and riding her bicycle everywhere--to the grocery store, commuting to work (15 miles), or to the pet store to carry home a 16-lb bag of kibble slung across her bicycle rack.  Over the course of treatment she's lost 30 lbs and can no longer do even one pushup, but she's come through it relatively well, nevertheless.  She's come out bruised, burned from the radiation, and with numb toes from the chemo, but she never stopped riding her bike (though she's slower and doesn't ride as far anymore).  Some of the other patients we'd see at the infusion center looked like death warmed over, but I suspect maybe they weren't in such great shape to begin with.

Because of the number of chemo treatments my wife had an "infusion port" put in.  This is a round disc surgically implanted under the skin so the nurses can more easily inject the stuff directly into your blood stream without having to fiddle with an IV line for each treatment.  Think: that port thingy in the back of Neo's head in "The Matrix", except it's bulging out of your chest instead of the back of your neck.  Really weird.  I'd never seen that before, but I guess it's actually quite common for cancer patients.

Hang in there, Rad.  Keep your eye on the end of the tunnel.  And let the nurses know everything you're feeling.  Yes, many of the symptoms are what they expect you to go through, but the better the communication the better they can assess how far or how fast they're pushing you--or when to bring you extra goodies like ice water or a pre-warmed blanket.

Title: Re: Rad's dealing with Cancer
Post by Rad on Dec 21st, 2014 at 12:35am
Thanks for sharing, Dan.


Congrats to your wife. A neighbor here has a similar story.

The wringer .. yeah. You can say that again.

Title: Re: Rad's dealing with Cancer
Post by U Look Like U Saw A Ghost on Mar 16th, 2015 at 2:25pm
Nightowl & Dan have already said it better than I can articulate so we're all behind you 100%.
Good luck Rad.

Title: Re: Rad's dealing with Cancer
Post by NightOwl on Apr 16th, 2015 at 2:07pm
@ Dan Goodell

Rad probably said it best:

Rad wrote on Dec 21st, 2014 at 12:35am:

But, I thought I would add my comment--*Powerful*!

With an economy of words (something you are good at) and straight forward statements, you honored and paid respect to your wife for her strength and perseverance in dealing with the treatment of her cancer.

You honored and paid respect to healthcare providers who are on the front line with treating and helping patients manage their course through the treatment of their disease.

And, you honored and paid respect to yourself by sharing the above here.  Family members are also a part of this disease in dealing with the unknowns of the outcome, and enduring with their family member the treatments which can include pain and suffering in the hopes of a lasting *cure* or remission of the disease.

Your posting was *powerful*--it brought emotional tears to my eyes when I read it.  Probably most of us have had family members or friends who have dealt with cancer, or even have had cancer ourselves.  I empathized with your comments.

I wish your wife, you, and your family the very best of outcomes going forward. 

Thank you for sharing.

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