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CEMunger
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2013

In my "about me" I wrote that my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer one week prior to my being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. 

Dad did very well, was on hospice the whole time. I made it through surgery, he was doing well, still at home. 

When I began radiation and the effects started to hit, I could see him start losing weight. I was very glad that his sister had taken over his day to day care, as I was barely up to doing the minimum for myself.

By December I was about as good as I was probably going to get, minus the stupid stuff that pops up. Who knew what bizarre things happen when you get cancer? The more active I was, the less active Dad was. 

Dad died December 20th.

I was so relieved.

Maybe in a way envious. That's my faith speaking. Oh, to be in the presense of my Savior!!!

Never, though, have I felt one smidge of survivor guilt. 

Dad chose to have no treatment and toughed it out. I chose to fight this evil invader. I hated it so much I refused to let it win, no matter what I had to go through.

Now I'm on the other side. Prosthetic is in the making and reconstructive surgery is planned for the end of summer. 

I'm stronger mentally and emotionally now. There is nothing that can stop me from doing anything I want to do.

So, to that four letter word, LIFE....bring it! Cuz I fight like a girl and I'll show you who's boss! 

Dad was a month shy of his 81st birthday......I'm gonna beat that! LOL

 

KTeacher
Posts: 935
Joined: Jan 2011

Thank you for sharing.  I just returned from a funeral.  Lung cancer.  I have been fighting longer than my friend.  She was a widow.  She was able to care for her husband at home to his end.  She opened up her home to a friend from church at the end of her life and was able to care for her until the end.  Others were there to help care for Pat to the end.

We watched my mom go through cancer without any treatment.  Her cancer was found late and we knew that she did not want any treatment.  She had been a widow for 17 years and had proved herself much stronger than we ever thought she would be.  She had Burkitt's lymphoma.  It is usually associated with young children in Africa.  Luckily it is not a painful disease, fatigue was her big side effect.  Mom slept 20 hours a day for the last 6 weeks that we had her.  We didn't think that it would be so fast, but we had very good visits with her when she was awake.  She was brutally honest, dictated her obituary and let us know her plans for funeral arrangements.  Including the ashes of her beloved cat (he had to be put down when Mom went into the hospital--19 yrs, old, had gone from 20 lbs. to maybe 4).

Like the rest of us, I choose to Fight this beast.

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8084
Joined: Sep 2009

Sorry you lost your father, but he didn't lose either... He went out on his terms, that makes him a winner in my book...

John

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2422
Joined: Jan 2010

cemunger, you have an awesome attitude!!  you are definitly gonna kick some butt and come out the winner, i can hear it in your post!!  us girls can fight pretty good when we have to.  i look forward to wishing you a very happy 99th birthday here so i'll be expecting you to post on that day...lol.  having the prosthetic should be great and summer will be here before we know it so the surgery will be behind you quickly as well.  maybe you will post some pics once everything is done and you are feeling well.  i hope you will stick around because your positive attitude is contagious and those taking this journey really need that.  i'm sorry you loss your dad but your are right, he is with our Savior and singing with the angels.  i'm sure he is with you also.

God bless you,

dj

CEMunger
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2013

Debbie, 

I was trying to work with my account yesterday to post pics...and put one (like you have) with your posts.

I lost!  lol

I'll try again later!

Thank you for your kind words! I plan to stick around a while. Other fighters/survivors energize me so much.

Carol

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8084
Joined: Sep 2009

You have to find a photo editor and make sure your photo of choice is exactly 150 x 150 pixels, or less or it won't work... Then you might have to refresh your browser a few times...

CEMunger
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2013

Skiff,

Yeah, think I'll stay generic!  LOL

Thank you for the info though!

Carol

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8084
Joined: Sep 2009

Let me know if I can help..., would be glad to for you..

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5778
Joined: Apr 2009

 

I lost my dad at 85 and my mother at 59, it is hard to see them old and sick when all I can remember is when they were young and full of life. There are things in our life that make us what we are, when we see their strength and their faith in the God they love. The only thing in this life that is sure is that all who put God first and their faith in Jesus will live again in a place with no sickness, no cancer, no pain and no death.

 

God Bless and keep you

Hondo

CEMunger
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2013

I need to thank the folks on the site...the understanding and support that is given in abundance. No matter what, all I've ever seen is love and acceptance. So, THANK YOU ALL!!! 

Now...I joined a support group on Facebook...and after a couple of days of idle chit-chat, I got in to a great discussion with half a dozen folks, started posting pictures, opened up emotionally. Only to be told that I had to have my pre-surgery pictures removed because people complained that it grossed them out seeing the tumor on my nose. One lady even said "I don't want to be reminded of what I went through"........well, ya know know what cupcake?! I don't want to look in the mirror every damn day and see a hole in my face and be able to look half way inside my head, but I have to deal with it every second of my life. Must be nice to be a perfect SHELL........OK, I talked to the priest I work with today about this. My anger is well placed because I was hurt by being told I repulsed people, but I should pray very hard for these people. My anger disappated and I do pray for these other survivors that have no empathy for others that have also survived. I don't get how they can be like that. Other survivors amaze me and humble me and make me feel like I had it easy. 

So, I friended the one gal that was so fantastic and hope she'll accept. I left that group because I think the Admin made a big mistake in removing pictures. I understand it, but I don't agree with it, especially the reasons given. I've been asked to start my own support group and I'll think about it.

Anyway, this is my rant for the day. My love, prayers and support to ALL survivors!! 

Carol

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2012

This saying generally is used when we discuss various treatments, side effects, and recovery experiences, and the new 'normal". It is not so much referenced in regards to our mental state during and after our time on the battlefield. You need to recognize everyone holds a different experience and attitude about their own journey. Some sing and dance, some saunter, some are frozen solid with eyes forced shut. Same with the heart and soul.

So, it is natural some may not want to see graphic images. Maybe you can just post a link and add a spoiler tag line so people can view at their discretion.

Take care,

don

KTeacher
Posts: 935
Joined: Jan 2011

I recently joined the same group.  You were very brave to post your before and after.  For me, nothing noticable in my before but after my first go around I have 1 inch less of my upper lip, kind of a wonky smile and a scar from lip to nose.  Neck dissection just makes my wrinkles more wrinkley!  I don't think that is a word but I know that you will get the idea.  I belong to a group for lost eye..  I have seen the results of many different surgeries and am very thankful that Dr. Divi choose to do a skin graft when my eye was removed.  I look like a prize fighter that lost the fight!  Patch has been a little irritating so I painted my lense on my glasses with fingernail polish.  Hopefully you will be able to connect with Julie.  I hope that that banter doesn't scare her away from seeking support online.  Please stick around here.  Lots of nice people.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5778
Joined: Apr 2009

 

We can’t worry what others think or say, I am what I am and I am going to try and do all I can to live my life with what I have. I am on the PEG tube for life and travel a lot for my job; I eat in restaurants, fast food joints, and sometimes in my truck. I once had a Cop pull up and ask me what I was doing, I told him eating what else, he took one look and drove away. I always see people looking but trying to not let me see what they are doing while I am eating. I find children have no fear; they will come right up to you and ask what you are doing. One little girl was surprised that I could eat and talk at the same time. I lost so much weight that I look like a skeleton with skin, when I wake up in the morning I just say thanks you Lord for another day. I am a survivor and my job is to help others who are going through this, it is a part of live and bad things happen to good people.

 

God Bless

Tim Hondo

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2422
Joined: Jan 2010

carol, i know the group u r talking about as i read the post saying pics were removed.  i also disagree with that.  cancer is not nice and i would think anyone who has faught the fight would understand that.  you may not look like a barbie doll, but you are alive and look good enuf that!  i also get stared at.  i had a laryngectomy and now breathe and talk thru a hole in my neck.  like hondo, i find the adults to be the worst.  i've had kids just plainly ask me what happened.  adults just stare and stare and stare.  i've learned to live with it and no longer let it bother me but it really upsets my caregiver.  i will even look them in the eye sometimes to embarrass them.  i think that's funny.  i pray you will not let simple minded people keep you from living life and going out whenever you want to.  cancer and the tx's rob us of enuf without us letting ignorance rob us of any more.  i'm glad you came here and posted the way you feel.  now dust yourself off, tell yourself you have dealt with much worse and you REFUSE to let that stupid stuff keep you down.  we have all been down enuf fighting to get to this point and now we must LIVE!!  have a wonderful day and know that you are not alone!

God bless you, Carol,

dj

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2953
Joined: May 2012

Carol,

I commend your openness and willingness to move forward.  For me my comfort and ability to speak is my outward greatest weakness.  I work on it constantly.

Another member of the H&N forum (ToBeGolden) told a poignant story of how people would move away from him on the transit line because of his appearance. 

He also said:

“I can communicate with dogs because they are so smart. I can make myself understood to computers because they are so dumb. My own species offer the greatest challenges, because they are so complex”.

Good luck in your fight, I wish you many victories.

Matt

inittogether2
Posts: 18
Joined: Feb 2014

 

Carol

I can relate with losing your father, I lost mine Dec. 21st to esophageal cancer, he chose no treatment and fought a good battle for 1 1/2 years. A month before he passed my husband was diagnosed with SCC of the right tonsil, two days after my dads passing we were back in Houston at MDA with husband. And I know the feeling well of being relieved to see my dad go...it was a bittersweet thing but my dad won and was so ready to go on and be with the Lord. 

I too joined the FB page you posted too, I'm an avid facebooker lol, I was in no way offended by your post, actually it piqued my interest and I thought to myself it's exactly what I am sharing with my family and friends with the journey I am taking with my husband. I didn't sugar coat but I found much humor day to day with his circumstances and shared with my FB friends.

I think knowledge and show n tell is good, it helps with preventive measures and or checkups with folks who think nothing of a little lump or spot that they think will go away. Several of our friends have made appt's with ENT's for checkups, one is questionable.

Now, back to your pictures....it may have offended the weak, apparently they choose to ignore the journey and the battle that they conquered...maybe just maybe they are not certain if their battle is over...but when your pictures showed up my feed I was like OMG, thank you Lord that you have blessed this person with life...and realized my spouse was blessed with not facing what you and others faced. 

Maybe you can do a link to where others could click on it if they so desire...I would support you 100%. We all have scars, some deeper than others, and I applaud each of you....

 

Good luck to you

Jody

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