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Joanne???

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi...just checking to see how you are doing Joanne??

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks for thinking of me. I took a little hiatus and spent four days at Amelia Island over the Memorial Holiday. It was nice and relaxing which was surprising considering there were nineteen of us, including seven children under the age of 7. Even Lilli got to tag along.

On a very sad note, my half-sister Betty, lost her five-year battle with rectal cancer last week. We attended her memorial service in Jacksonville. That was tough; really difficult was seeing the pain it caused my mother and father (her step-dad). Parents should never have to bury their children. She would have been 66 this month.

I got an email from my radiation oncologist last night and she has suggested that I go to MD Anderson in Houston and meet with Dr. Cathy Eng, face to face. I am waiting for the contact information to get that in motion. I had intially asked that Dr. Eng be contacted to see if she had anything to contribute regarding my treatment as I know that they see a lot more anal cancer there and that she has focused a lot of attention on it personally. Dr. Hoffe did contact her and thinks that an in-person consult will be more thorough than by email or phone. So I will be going to Houston. My hope is that she has something more substantiated than the Med/Onc here had to offer. We'll see. I feel I owe it to myself to cover all the bases. I think my best friend, Teresa, will accompany me. My husband hates to fly. Teresa has been on this journey with us since the recurrence. She is an attorney and is not intimidated and certainly not hesitant to ask questions. She will be the right person to have in my corner. I have heard that MD Anderson can be quite overwhelming.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see the continuing support of each other on this board. I despise this damn disease and wish no one had need to seek out this forum, but with that said, I am glad that it is available. I will send a general welcome to all the new members that I have not formally posted to yet. I apologize for being so remiss, but there are many here who have a wealth of knowledge to contribute. You are in good "hands".

Thanks again, Sue for checking up on me. You are a sweetie. Hope all is well with you.

Blessings to all,
Joanne

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2944
Joined: Jan 2010

I was glad to see your post on here, and please don't apologize for taking a little time off from this place. You are certainly entitled to some rest and relaxation and escape from this subject for awhile. I'm glad you had a nice vacation. I'm also happy to hear that you will be seeing Dr. Eng. I have heard so many good things about her and I hope she will be able to give you much more information than your current doc. It's great that your friend, Teresa, will be accompanying you. She sounds like a good advocate who will help you cover all bases. Please let us know when your appt. will be.

I am so sorry to hear about your half-sister. You and your entire family have my deepest sympathy. It is so hard to lose those we love.

Please keep us updated as you can.

Martha

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi, Joanne,
It is great that you are getting the MD Anderson consult! And after a few days R&R at Amelia Island. You have been on our minds and I dare say some of us have been holding our breaths waiting to hear from you. You are living what many of us fear.

My deepest sympathy on losing your sister. My siblings and I are under strict orders from my mother not to predecease her but life doesn't always grant that. It is undoubtedly hard for your parents since you also are not cancer free yet. I am glad you are there for them.

Wow, seven children under seven! I have six grandchildren from 1 to seven. Getting everyone together is certainly just a bit chaotic so I am glad you could enjoy! Kids can be so good for getting one's spirits up...

Take care and keep us posted.
Priscilla

z's picture
z
Posts: 1257
Joined: May 2009

Hi Joanne,

I'm sorry for your loss of your sister. I'm glad that you had a nice vacation, that sounded like fun. I'm so glad your getting a 2nd opinon from Dr. Eng and that your best friend is going with you. Please let us know how it goes. I will be praying for good options for you.
Lori

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4298
Joined: Jun 2009

Well, Joanne

We'll be that close when you hit the big state of Texas - I'll be 260 miles north of you up the interstate, but will send you a warm breeze and a big Howdy upon your arrival.

I'm sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. Gotta' really hit home with what you're going through now - rectal or anal makes no difference, cancer is cancer and it took her from you and your family. 5-years is a long time in the cancer world and it sounds like she gave it all she had. My condolences to you and your family.

Best of luck at MDA - wish I could see you there and say hi - I hope it all goes well. Enjoy our Texas hospitality while you are here, if you can.

Have a safe trip coming and going:)

-Craig

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Morning Joanne and everyone :)!!

I'm rarely on the computer over the weekend.....that's my break, so I'm cathing up today!
Did have a nice chat with some survivors last night. It was National Survivors Day, and one of the gals from here posted a thread on Facebook that several of us participated in. Always so nice to connect with fellow survivors and hear success stories!
I also spent the day yesterday with my team from Relay for Life....continuing to raise $$ to stop the beast!!! My goal is always, that there would be a cure if my daughters were ever diagnosed with this terrible disease.
I am very sorry as well Joanne to hear about your sister, we have lost so many too young. Another reason I Relay!
So glad you are able to go to MD Anderson, and that you have such a special person in your life that has and will be there for you! I'm like your husband....HATE to fly. I always think, what would I do if I needed to seek treatment somewhere other than here! I can't wait to hear the results!
I have my first scan since my liver resection next week. Am very anxious to get this one over with. Just want to hear that I am CANCER FREE! I will WOOHOO loud enough for all to hear! I'll at least feel like I have a "fresh" start. i know with stage IV we always have this looming over us.....but I do feel like it will ease my mental strain for awhile!!!
I think of you often.....we all owe our support here to YOU!!!!!
Hugs and Kisses!!!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2944
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Sue--

I just want to wish you the best with your upcoming scan. May the results be clear and may you have peace of mind that all is well.

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

I do wish you the very best of news when you have your scan... and my thoughts are with you as you approach this event... I KNOW it ain't easy!!!!
Priscilla

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

THANK YOU so much and MP too!!! Appreciate it!!
I'll be sure to post!

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

on your upcoming scan. Try not to let the waiting mess with your head too much. I know that is easier said than done. Hope it is clear as a bell!!!
Smiles,
Joanne

cbs6931's picture
cbs6931
Posts: 63
Joined: Mar 2010

Thankful that you got to take a nice break with your family. My sympathy on the death of your half-sister - so sorry to hear of that.

The consult with Dr Eng will be a good thing, and so thankful that you'll have your best friend with you. Keep us posted.

Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!

Cathy

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 521
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Joanne,
I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your sister. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I just got back from a relaxing vacation and I'm catching up on the posts.

I'm happy that you are going to try MD Anderson. There is a Best Western near there that has decent rates (usually $89 or $99 if you are there for medical reasons). They have a shuttle on the hour to and from. It's also not a long walk. It's called the Houston Medical Center Best Western.

MD Anderson can be quite overwhelming. It's huge. Chances are that Dr. Eng may want a few tests done there. A heads up....bring a good book. If you are scheduled to meet iwth Dr.Eng at 9:00 you could be seen around 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. She is always really busy and there is usually a wait. I got used to it. She is straight forward and factual. She knows her stuff and she's in high demand...thus the waiting.

I wish you well. Please let me know if I can help. Not only was I treated at MDA, but I lived in Houston for over 20 year.

Please keep us posted.

Liz

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