Memorial Day Reflections

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rush1958
rush1958 Member Posts: 223 Member
Greetings everyone! I haven't been on the site in a while and thought I'd drop by.

Two years ago on Memorial Day weekend I was checking in to the University of Kansas Medical Center. I was getting ready to be hooked up to an IV for the next four days because of the severe nausea induced by the chemo. I couldn't hold anything down and was dehydrated.

I was in the midst of my second round of Cisplatin, just over half-way through 33 rads and just about healed up from the surgery that removed 41 lymph nodes. Time sure seemed to slow to a standstill. I was just plodding along trying to reach the light at the end of the tunnel and hoping the light wasn't an oncoming freight train.

Fast forward two years - this Memorial Day I'm happy to report my Radiologist and Chemotherapist are extremely pleased with the results of my ordeal. No apparent scarring in the throat and my blood counts that have moved back into the normal parameters. The doctor visits are starting to really space out....

I'll see my ENT in a couple of weeks for what I'm hoping will be last visit before Thanksgiving.

My taste has pretty much returned to normal. I don't suffer from dry mouth. In a couple of weeks I'll get to walk my daughter down the aisle when she gets married.

Two years ago it was hard to focus on anything other than making it until the end of the day. Today I focus more on the future possibilites and opportunities.

For those who are just beginning the battle, stay focused. The treatment is tough, but it is doable.

For those in the midst of the struggle, the treatment is worth it. It may not seem like it now, but it is going to get better.

For those who have completed the journey, rejoice in the new opportunities and sieze the day!

Rush

Comments

  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
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    I'm with you on this one.....
    Funny, but KUMC is actually closer to me than where I get treated. I have a lot to be thankful for this weekend. The last two years have been pretty rough. Radical surgery and long recovery. Reoccurance. Chemoradiation. Sheesh, sometimes it seemed like this wouldn't end. I finished radiation on February 23rd. Funny how you remember those dates. My first radiation completed September 30, 1998, lol.

    It has taken awhile to heal my mouth from the rads this time. I went off pain pills for good only two weeks ago. Stopped using magic mouthwash only one week ago. Started jogging again, now that my mouth doesn't hurt when I do. I'm getting over half my calories from real food now! And I can taste things already. Rapid improvement in the last couple of weeks. I'm reminded of Rarph when I say this. He sounded so bad six months ago. Then suddenly he showed back up a few weeks back and things were vastly improved.

    Don't know what the future has in store, but today is pretty darned good. Thanks for posting this.


    Pat
  • Laralyn
    Laralyn Member Posts: 532
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    Thanks for posting!
    Personally, your words of encouragement couldn't have come at a better time! :-)
  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103
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    Thank you
    I am nearing the time of year that I dx both times. Anxiety and fatigue (a lot from work, end of the year activities). I am so looking forward to the one year mark (never reached it the first time) and hopefully more energy. I am not ready to retire but my body has not been cooperating with me. Plan on working on some recipes that will nourish and an exercise program (Rats yoga and walking).
  • Irishgypsie
    Irishgypsie Member Posts: 333
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    KTeacher said:

    Thank you
    I am nearing the time of year that I dx both times. Anxiety and fatigue (a lot from work, end of the year activities). I am so looking forward to the one year mark (never reached it the first time) and hopefully more energy. I am not ready to retire but my body has not been cooperating with me. Plan on working on some recipes that will nourish and an exercise program (Rats yoga and walking).

    Right behind you!!
    Good to here from you! Glad youa re doing well! Seems we are on the same time line! My 2 year anniversary is Juy 4th; treatments actually ended June 28th; but I figured July 4th is a good time; since that was when I was at my lowest after my 3rd round of chemo! best of luck! God Bless!!

    Cheers!!

    Charles
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    I'm just a little over half way thru......
    and as Laralyn said, your words come at the perfect time!! I have 11 rads and amifostines to go, and 4 more chemo treatments...and I do give myself credit for sticking to this regime (and amifostine is a REAL regime)...it's actually my only whine :), but I keep plugging away at it one day at a time.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    p
  • rush1958
    rush1958 Member Posts: 223 Member
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    I'm just a little over half way thru......
    and as Laralyn said, your words come at the perfect time!! I have 11 rads and amifostines to go, and 4 more chemo treatments...and I do give myself credit for sticking to this regime (and amifostine is a REAL regime)...it's actually my only whine :), but I keep plugging away at it one day at a time.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    p

    Amifostine
    Stick with the Amifostine if you can tolerate it. For me it was like a dose of a 36 hour flu everytime I had an injection, but my saliva function works today. I attribute a part of that to the Amifostine - even though I had to give it up in the last third of radiation.

    Hang tough. It's worth it.

    I wish you well.

    Rush
  • tommyodavey
    tommyodavey Member Posts: 727 Member
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    rush1958 said:

    Amifostine
    Stick with the Amifostine if you can tolerate it. For me it was like a dose of a 36 hour flu everytime I had an injection, but my saliva function works today. I attribute a part of that to the Amifostine - even though I had to give it up in the last third of radiation.

    Hang tough. It's worth it.

    I wish you well.

    Rush

    Awesome
    Thanks Rush for posting such good news. The folks that are still in treatment must surely feel better after reading all your great recovery news. Getting all your saliva back is a big deal. So many of us suffer from dry mouth so thanks again for telling us that.

    Don't be such a stranger.

    Tom
  • Kent Cass
    Kent Cass Member Posts: 1,898 Member
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    Awesome
    Thanks Rush for posting such good news. The folks that are still in treatment must surely feel better after reading all your great recovery news. Getting all your saliva back is a big deal. So many of us suffer from dry mouth so thanks again for telling us that.

    Don't be such a stranger.

    Tom

    Rush-
    Thank you. And, yes, great to read your post. 2025 is just around the corner!

    kcass
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Memorial Day Rush
    Nice read Rush, and good seeing you post.....

    I'm about a year ahead of you and Charles..., I finished mid June 2009.

    Being a Veteran of the Military, and cancer treatment, this week-end is special to me as well.

    X2 on the Amfostine, definitely rough, but I too believe it was worth it.

    Best,
    John
  • Tim6003
    Tim6003 Member Posts: 1,514 Member
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Memorial Day Rush
    Nice read Rush, and good seeing you post.....

    I'm about a year ahead of you and Charles..., I finished mid June 2009.

    Being a Veteran of the Military, and cancer treatment, this week-end is special to me as well.

    X2 on the Amfostine, definitely rough, but I too believe it was worth it.

    Best,
    John

    Thanks Rush ..
    Your post came at a great time ....been feeling blaaah last few weeks but got the all clear May 7th from my post treatment scans ...so just could not figure out why so many aches and pains 4 months after treatments ....your post was a great read and just makes me realize the journey is tough and we just have to keep moving ..

    Thanks again,

    Tim
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Tim6003 said:

    Thanks Rush ..
    Your post came at a great time ....been feeling blaaah last few weeks but got the all clear May 7th from my post treatment scans ...so just could not figure out why so many aches and pains 4 months after treatments ....your post was a great read and just makes me realize the journey is tough and we just have to keep moving ..

    Thanks again,

    Tim

    Radiation ~ The Gift That Keeps on Giving...
    Tim, unfortunately, those mystery aches and pains more than likely will persist occasionally for a year or more....

    Rads, the gift that keeps on giving...

    JG
  • Ingrid K
    Ingrid K Member Posts: 813
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Radiation ~ The Gift That Keeps on Giving...
    Tim, unfortunately, those mystery aches and pains more than likely will persist occasionally for a year or more....

    Rads, the gift that keeps on giving...

    JG

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
    thank you to all who served....little did you know you would be warriors on two fronts.