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Feeling Anxious tonight as the Surgery date gets closer

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

Really glad I found this site..starting to look forward to checking in. I wish they had more info to input like at least the state or country we are from etc. I am feeling a little out of sorts tonight. The past two years have been really hard on me..On Jan 5, 2011 my brother Sam, 56, died of sudden cardiac arrest. Then Jan 2012 my Dad, (he was my stepdad for 40+ yrs and he legally adopted my sister, Mare and I on July15, 2011. I was 60 and she was 52) was diagnosed with stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. That was so devastating. He never had any medical problems, not High Cholesterol or Blood Pressure. Didn't take any meds or anything. Worked Construction all his life..just the healthiest person I knew really. He was 72 and he had just been retired a few years mainly because he was my Mom's caretaker. She was 81 and had Macular Degeneration and End Stage COPD. My sister, Mare was in Nursing School and working full time plus she lives 2 hours. I was retired so I took him to all his appointments and treatments. I was so honored to do this for him because he did so much for all of us. I was glad to be by his side when he peacefully passed away in his sleep on May 8. Then I also had the priviledge of caring for my Mom who had worked so hard to take care of us as a single Mom until Dad came into our lives. She passed away 7 weeks after Dad on July 1. Obviously she was in poor health but she died of a broken heart for sure. I was happy for her when she passed away because she was where she wanted to be, with her son and her beloved husband. I was so blessed to also have an incredible woman as my mother in law and when she died on Sept 3 it was like losing another mother. Now there is just Mare and I..we are the official older generation in the family. We joked that we were going to together in a fatal car accident while we were on one of crazy, outrageous road trips because there is no way either one of us could handle losing the other. Then I get diagnosed with this round of Kidney cancer. I feel so guilty because I know how hard this is for her, especially on top of everything else. We are so close to each and have been through so many hard times over the years with just each other to lean on.I just have to beat this cancer again because I don't want her to have to go through the pain of losing me too. We are both survivors and extremely strong women but that is because we know the other is always there no matter how bad things got. She and I both have wonderful families too but our bond is something so special and strong there really aren't words to describe it. There were some good things in all this awful stuff too...in August my amazing daughter Meghan gave birth to twin boys, Colton and Ashton. They arrived fat, happy and healthy but she is going to need me more than ever because she also has a 3 1/2 yo son, Brayden and a 1 1/2 yo son Braxton. Four boys under four..I am so blessed. On Jan 22 Mare's, daughter Marana gave birth to a son, Eugene. He is awesome too. Now she has two girls and a boy.Last Sunday I met my son Josh' girlfriend Cara and her adorable little 2 yo Ella..I really like Cara and it honestly feels she has always been a part of our family and I would love it that happens down the road. I still have such a tight bond with so many of my Fire Department Family too. In that job you truly do become family to each other. I cannot believe how many wonderful people I have been blessed to have in my life. But sometimes like tonight I still feel alone because this cancer is in me and the bottom line is I have to dig down somehow and find my strength to fight this fight and win and it can be a lonely place to be sometimes. So many people are praying for and pulling for me and I just have to win this fight for myself and so I don't let them down. And also so that in the future when they need me to do the same for them I can be there. I am also a realist and I know this is not going to be easy and I also believe whatever happens either way is what was meant to be in my life's journey and I totally embrace that too.

Ok, I feel better now...like I said Mare and I have not had an easy life journey but we both feel we are better people because of the things we have endured and gotten through. But we are both positively certain that we must have done something really,really, really bad in our past life and obviously must have done it together, LOL...

I am so glad to be on here and have you all become a part of my life too...Fox you crack me up and everyone is so supportive of each other and it is so good to have so many people to bounce things off of and discuss things with during a time like this.

So I guess I better cut you all some slack and get off here...but Thanks for being here it really means a lot..

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

You're very much together and well-adjusted - you're going to do fine.

When you're twiddling your thumbs, taking your time recovering from the surgery, you might enjoy chasing down some of the postings of one of our heroes here - flatlander - another member of your Family of fire-fighters.  You could start here:

http://csn.cancer.org/node/231512

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Roady,

You just joined and already have become a valued member here with posts all over the place helping others and sharing your positive attitude.  Perhaps its because you've been through it all before and can rely on that experience to carry you through, regardless, most would be concerned more with self until well after their surgery, you are amazing.  With your attitude you are going to breeze through this, and I expect as you continue to relay this experience in the future many more people will be grateful to you.  I am happy and sad that you are here, but I love that you are making the best of it.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

Today is a new day. Woke up feeling much better just getting it out and talking about it. I definitely will be and continue to be a part of this group after my surgery. I already feel at home here. Obviously we are all from different parts of the country and other countries as well  which is so good too. I live in Southern Maryland which is basically considered the DC and Baltimore Metro area. I am a person who believes strongly there are no coincidences in life so I would like to share two amazing things that have happened in the last week that I consider signs that I am going to have a positive result with this surgery. I am so lucky to live in this area because we have some of the best hospitals and Drs. available anywhere. When I went to WHC to meet with the Surgeon who will be doing my surgery I was in the waiting room and an elderly couple came in. The man sort of looked familiar to me but my mush brain couldn't figure out why. The room was pretty full so his wife sat next to me and he sat across the room near the reception desk. Then I heard the receptionist ask him " You are Dr. Collela right" and he replied " Yes, I am" Bam, the light bulb in my brain came on and I turned to his wife and said " Excuse me but is your husband Dr. Collela that worked at Prince Georges Hospital?" and she said, with a huge adoring smile on her face, " Yes, he certainly is" To make a long story short...this man was the person who allowed me to have a long and wonderful career as a Paramedic. You see, you can pass all the written and practical exams out there but you cannot practice as a Medic unless there is a Dr willing to put his license on the line and his trust in you to allow you to practice under his Medical License. Dr. C was the Medical Director for the Medics in Prince Georges County. So after I passed my National Registry Exams, My Maryland State Protocol Exams my final exam was a face to face oral exam with Dr. C and he threw everything at you...EKG strips, drugs dosages and uses, medical scenarios and you had to answer quickly and correctly just like you would on the street when someone's life was in your hands...Getting through your trip to see Dr C was not easy and it shouldn't have been. But I did it and passed. That day before I left I thanked him for putting his trust in me and I made him a promise that he would never see me face to face again in his office unless it was to say Hi. I promised him that I would go out and be the best medic I could possibly be and that I would never do anything to jeopardize his license of his trust in me. I kept that promise too. Dr C is an amazing man and wonderful, kind Physician. I have not seen him since 1998 when I retired. The fact that we were both in that office, on that day at that time was no coincidence. For me it was a sign that things were going to be fine. This man allowed me to save lives, comfort patients and families for many, many years and seeing him there made me feel like he was a messenger...you took care of others now it is time for you to be taken care of and I felt like a 100 lb weight was lifted off me just like that. I talke to him for few minutes and again thanked him for allowing me to do a job that I truly loved.

Then two days ago I got a message from a guy that was a volunteer EMT back in 1975 and a good friend and we worked together in several jobs over the years and he eventually became a TV Reporter at Channel 9 in DC. I was on Facebook and he sent me a message and asked if I had gotten a friend request from Johnny Holiday. Johnny Holiday is a very well known and loved Sportscaster in the DC/Balt area and was known as the Voice of the Maryland Terps..I told Dave I had gotten one but wasn't sure if it was real or someone trying to spam me..Dave said, it's real, accept it he wants to talk to you. So I did and a few minutes later I got a message from Johnny Holliday asking if he could call me..so I said Yes and sent him phone # and he called. He said "Do you realize that it was 38 years ago today when you took care of me and my 11 year old daughter when we were in that plane crash..I was just a new volunteer EMT back then but I do remember the call very well. They were in one of those little planes that usually disingrate and people rarely survive. That plane did disingrate but everyone on it survived. He said he didn't remember much except that he kept asking me it felt like his nose was in his ear and I just kept telling him he had a pretty good cut on it because I didn't want to scare him and tell him basically his nose was by his ear. He said after that he didn't remember anything until he woke after surgery and Joe Theisman and a bunch of other Redskins were standing around his bed. Obviously, God had more plans for him, his daughter and the pilot because it really was a miracle they survived. He has gone on to become one of the most charitable guys around. He does so much for so many people. He is an incredible person. He wanted to call and say Thank you to me for taking care of them back then...Now it had been 38 years since the crash...he could have called on year 16 or 20 but he called this year..I took that as a sign thatthey survived because there were so many things left for them to do in their lives and I will survive because there are still many things for me to do in mine..I did weasel a favor out of him though,,,I asked him if he knew Art Monk the former Redskin and he said he knew him very well. So I told him I had a photo of Art Monk giving me an award..I think it was my Bronze Medal of Honor and I had come across a couple months and thought I would be so cool if I could somehow get it autographed but at the time I didn't think I could..he said to send it to him and he would take care of that for me.

So yesterday, I was coming home from taking me dog to the vet and I had this very strong and overwhelming thought in my head (maybe because it just cost $233 at the vet) but anyway, I thought there are many cancer organizations that raise money for research etc. But what do people with kidney cancer do if they have no health insurance...I am lucky to have good insurance...I pay big bucks for it but I have it..So I decided if all goes well that will look into starting some kind of charity to raise money to help people that have kidney cancer pay for the treatment and care..So I came home and emailed Johnny Holliday and ran it by him because he does so much charitable and I have no idea if or how I would go about starting something like that..He said he'd would call me and we would talk about that...So see, I am going to be fine because I already thought of something I still need to do, LOL...you guys are going to be stuck with me for a longggggggg time!! Now I am going to go check out "Flatlander"

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2011

Hey i myself was a little anxious to get my surgery,i just wanted that cancer out of me.Well good luck you should be fine and by the way WOW!!! you can type,it would take me an hour just to type what you have on your last two posts

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

LOL, I talk fast too!! I wouldn't be quite so anxious if it wasn't my second time at the RCC Rodeo..Last time I had a spare in the trunk but this time it is the only one I have so it has got to come out good...but I am optimistic..just needed my little pity party last night...but it is hard to be down with all the support around here that is for sure....

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1911
Joined: Oct 2011

Nice work, Road Doctor. As Gary said, You are already a valuable member here. Being able to share  knowledge and experiences is so appreciated. You have a big heart and have given many pieces of it. This post would fit right in to a thread I started about Karma a couple months back. Unfortunately, it went over like a lead balloon. I guess a lot of members were too shy to discuss influencing and affecting others. Glad you're here. Well not really. Actually, I'm sorry you're here. But glad you're here. No wait......

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 860
Joined: Mar 2012

Welcome Road Dr. Sounds like there is lots of good karma out there catching up with you. And it's your turn. As I live in Baltimore, you grabbed my attention. One, because you live close by and, two, my brother is getting ready to retire from the Baltimore City Fire Department after 30 years of service there.

You're in the right place. Welcome.

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

It's great to see I have someone close in the area...Wow, 30 years...Tell him congratualtions. When I was still working PG County. WE took several Paramedic Units up to Baltimore when the Pope came and I met so many great Baltimore City Firefighters...it was a wonderful day...I can't tell you how much good karma has come to me...finding this board is way up at the top of the list...I have such amazing friends and family and now you all here supporting me I feel so blessed and so sure that all will go well.

And WOOHOO !!!! THE RAVENS WON THE SUPER BOWL!! BAltimore is going to wild tomorrow...but I swear they always have to put me on the verge of heart attack with these insane close games...But they fought to the end like warriors and that is what I plan to do this Friday....remember that as long as fight hard enough for something no matter how bad it seems you really can win...

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1247
Joined: Jan 2013

Good luck on your surgery..  For me, the fear was way worse than the reality...  Keep a positive attitude... and when you wake up afterwards try to feel like you are on top of the world..!   Have fun with the medical staff... try to be that awesome patient...  it will help you... plus they will want to be with you as well..!!

Ron 

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

Well, the time has come and I can't wait..get this over with and keep on trucking..(Can you tell I am an old hippe?)

Just wanted to stop and thank everyone for the help and support and as Arnold would say "I'LL BE BACK"

Road

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Sure, you'll be back - you're a fighter in every way.  For a little while you'll have a bit of spare time and maybe you can catch up with flatlander? 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1911
Joined: Oct 2011

We will be waiting to hear from you. But don't be in a hurry. Relax, recover, and smell the (like) roses.

roaddr23's picture
roaddr23
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2013

I went in there at noon on Friday and whooped some cancer hiney!!! Dr. said that they were a little bigger than they we thought, one the size of quarter and the other the size of  a nickel..His only concern that is that in the future my kidney seems to like to keep making tumors but we will monitor very diligently.Thank you all for so much support, prayers, good energy!!!

Right now I am nodding off at the computer..a good sign I need to get back in bed before my Yorkies steal all the good sleeping spots, LOL!!

roady

 

BTW...I got out of the hospital on Sat afternoon..amazing!!

 

flatlander's picture
flatlander
Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2011

Sounds like ur doing well and I'm glad to hear it. Stats are showing breathing in methyl ethyl badshit isn't good for us and after a few years we likely grow tumors as a result. Would have been nice to know before taking the job. But we.probably would have done it anyway. Firefighter turned MD for Boston Fire says on any given day his office looks more like cancer ward than anything. But where else can u feel at home but a firehouse. Hope u continue to heal. If I find the piece I wrote about brotherhood during my surgery I will forward.

fluffylove's picture
fluffylove
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2013

Hello Roaddr, I have been reading your conversations with others on this site and have been inspired by your strength and life story. I am wondering how you are now? Sounds like you have had a lot of support around you and thats a reflection of the person you are like a mirror.

I am going for my operation in six weeks, only found out last wednesday. Been really strong about it all, its fate, surgeon knows what hes doing, cycle of life, have only shed few tears when got the letter for cat scan and pre op, suddenly its true I have cancer. Ok now tears only lasted few minutes. Onwards and upwards. Just wanted to say your blog has helped me so much. I live in uk how bigs a quater and whats a dime???

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