Just joined the group ... would love to hear from anyone in similar situation -- or just anyone interested in chatting. In 2005, I was diagnosed with aggressive Peripheral T-cell lymphoma. It displayed in two area, in a lymph gland just above my collar bone and on my shoulder. The shoulder display was removed by a deep surgery. That proved to be the easiest. The primary area was first treated with CHOP, the tumor favorably responded to the 6 session treatment for about two weeks ... then began growing again. The second attack was waged with ICE, (which is given 24 hours a day for three days - every two weeks)this also seemed to work.. It was decieded to try stem cell, I was sent from Lynchburg, Virginia to Nashville Tenn. to VA Hospital/Vanderbilt Univ Medical Center for the proceedure. However, it was aborted before it began, as further bone marrow draws (at last count, I believe I have had five or six) indicated that it was also present in the marrow and it would not be possible to draw cancer free cells. Upon return, I was given a regimen of High Dose Chemo ... given five straight days, every three weeks for four sessions. Then it was on to radiation ... 45 grey given over 15 sessions. What has frustrated the doctors is that it really hasn't responded to any of the above. While they say that it is in sort of a remission/dormancy - they know where it is, it just is chooing to do nothing at this time and they say that as for treatment, we had "run the table" with options. I thought we were going to move into the ... every three months, CT-Scan, and keep the old guy comfortable until he kicks off" part of the program, I was wrong ... About three weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, as well (Tubular Thyroid Cancer) - there seems to be no connection between the two. I was told by doctors that this type of cancer is HIGHLY treatable, with a success rate in the neighborhood of 95% survivability beyond ten years .. Nice ... but rather a moot point. I have deceided to go ahead with treatment of that (which will be surgery to my throat) -- I figure, I have nothing else of any importance going on at the moment anyway.
No particular purpose for writting this .. just venting a bit I suppose.
Strangely I have no problem with the concept of dying .. as I figure, the instant one dies ... no matter when or why .. but when that instant occurs .. do you really care what killed you???
So, why should I let it bother me all that much now? The one thing that HAS bothered me is that docitors (even those I have met and not associated with my case) all keep saying that if they didn't know I had terminal cancer, they'd never know .. I look great. I do realize that it can and I am sure will turn on a dime at some point. But it does raise the question ... "What ARE we supposed to look like?" If I knew, I am sure I would pratice looking that way if it helps them.
But ... in looking back ... I never had a problem adjusting to Chemo .. aside from hair loss ... which, for those about to undergo theraphy .. it DOES return. radiation, The only unusal things for me there ...was the target spot did tan (so perhaps an all body tanning cream might help the more vain ... as I think that they would frown on you using a sun block on the target area)Also .. be prepared to be tattooed .. that's right, so if you never considered one .. well, you will be able to brag about that experience ... sadly, they are only reference dots .. I did suggest that they offer something a bit more elabrate, but that idea was not well recieved.
The last two things for your consideration ... one .. I have read nothing in the many, many medical reports I have encountered that indicates that you can not co-exist with your cancer, meaning conviencing it to mature as you do .. thus creating reverse curves, if you will. ALSO, I know this IS weird .. I have talks with mine (the lymphoma) reminding it .. the reality of the situation is that when I die ... IT dies, it doesn't magically leap into someone else's body .. so, if you (meaning the cancer) are not Suicidal - you might want to keep that in mind." Since my cancer has resisted everything thrown at it ... fiesty little bastards, aren't they ... then it may well be safe to say it isn't.
Look, understand as well .. you will have good days and bad days ... on the good day ... go explore ... have adventures, on the bad day ... it is a sigh to catch up on reading, e-mails, old movies, taking naps .. know full well that you will be depressed from time to time ...it is natural... normal... try never to loos perspective .. for me the luxury has been that I go to Hunter-Holmes VA Hospital in Richmond, Va where they have an excellent spinal chord injury facility .. all one need to do is to see some young man who is confined to a whell chair for the rest of his life... perhaps not being able to move from the neck down and look into their eyes and see the spirit ... it becomes difficult to view a terminal illness with much seriousness.