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Newbie From Miami area

Posts: 27
Joined: Dec 2007

I am a new member of the semi-colon club and look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with other members.

My story is a little different, though, as the day after my surgery (in late October), when I was sitting in a chair in recovery, I had a heart attack and came pretty close to dying (by the way, I am a "young" and "healthy" 47 year old gay man). I had a "remarkable" recovery from the heart attack (after having a stent put in and now being on a daily regimen of approx 8 different pills), and am now actively battling the cancer (and back at work, too).

My cancer is Stage 2A (though it did penetrate the wall, but did not attach to any lymph nodes). As I feel as if I have been given a second lease on life due to the heart attack, I have decided to make the most of it and do chemo. This past Monday, I began my Xeloda treatments (an additional 8 pills per day). I do not know what side effects I will get, but whatever they are, I think I am mentally prepared for them. I have made the decision that even if my chance of recurrence only improves from 80% to 83%, I would rather be in the 3% improvement club. Even if I am not, I will know that I tried everything.

My lover of 17 yrs has been unbelievable! I do not know how he is putting up with my mood swings, but he is. He is truly the one that pushed me to the doctor when I saw the blood in my stool, and he was the one who put together my medical team when I had the heart attack. I may not always show it, but I am so grateful he is in my life.

I am very interested in hearing back from others who are battling cancer the way I am.

Limey's picture
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

What a great attitude. Mark here. I am leaving for holiday in a few hours but wanted to let you know someone is out there. I will return the first week of Jan and will contact you. check out my homepage. at present, cancer is back and metastatic. I aint giving up though. also check out the colorectal borad. that is much more active for general questions. you not alone. I am also 47 and my partner of 20 years has been pretty great. this is going on year 4 for me and at times does get a bit draining.
take care and I hope we can chat in the new year.
Mark (Limey)

Posts: 27
Joined: Dec 2007

Thank you, Mark. Have a wonderful and safe holiday. I look forward to communicating when you return.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2011

Hi my name is Julio I'm 52 yrs old. I've always been an outgoing sporty person. I enjoyed yoga and working out. My story goes likes this. 4 months ago as I was riding my scooter back from work I hit a pothole and my back started aching. Not imagining anything other than a back pain the pain never went away. Finally I had an MRI and it revealed a tumor compressing my Spain and paralyzingly my legs. The tumor turned out to be burketz lymphoma a very rare aggressive cancer. I had 8 days of radiation that burnt my throat making it incapable of eating. In this process I lost 50 lbs. I started chemotherapy that last for 5 to 6 days at a time. After chemotherapy they give me 2 weeks off at home. Although I have a very supportive life partner of 17 yrs and would not be here without him. He has carried me through day after day. However, I still find myself very depressed and can not find the light at the end of the tunnel. Many times I just rather not go through this. All I do is cry. I can not stop crying. Is this normal? If it weren't for my partner I wouldn't be here. Does anyone else feel this way? In a week I go back into hospital for chemotherapy. I am seeking advise of those who are or have been where I am. My life now feels like I am constantly hitting a blocked wall.

Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2011

51 yo partnered HIV pos male in Tampa. Sounds like we both started this merry-go-round about the same time. Though you have something much more than mine it seems the depression and crying is some part of the chemo and alot part of all the **** you (and I) are dealing with. I've only had one 5 day chemo E-POCH (I think it's called) and just starting to feel normal again and I go back in the hospital on Wensday to start it over again. I noticed how depressed the drugs made me as well. I feel better now but with all that **** in our system it's no wonder we want to cry and feel depressed!!! I know I have set up couseling which I'll do at Moffitt when I return. I do go a cancer support group there on my off time too. But frankly I still feel like I'm not "getting" everything I need for support. I too have a very supportive partner and family team. But I'm still looking for the answer to something as well as I want to feel better. I just lost my hair in the last week and thought I would have no problem with that, I love bald men! WOOF! But when I saw hair falling on the sink cabinet it really freaked me out. That was head hair. Then two days later the facial hair. I've had a beard since I was 19 and only shaved it once. When that went I really felt stripped down to nothing and low about it.
But as the AA groups people say "Fake it till you make". Theres something to that. and that can apply to mood too. "how are you today?" Great! because we know part of what is trying to talk out of our pie hole is the drugs and the other part is confusion we'll fake it for right now. So I'm great. Another trick I use is to try to find the positive side in something so bad there isn't a positive (you think). My hair thing positives: I don't have to carry a brush, makes shaving kit lighter to pack, don't even have to shave a few days (I hate shaving, thus the beard), Sure is cooler in this summer heat, I got to buy a new hat (I love western hats and have many but don't fit with no hair now),When the hair come back the texure and color could be different (Ok so this may be positive or negative! LOL) I'm still trying to find more positives. But also for me trying to find the positives is also the process to understanding anmd accepting whatever it is going on with me and how to deal with it. Just what works for me. But do keep in mind the drugs are having a feild day in our bodies and on our nerves. I'm NOT looking forward to going to hospital on Wens. I want to run VERY FAR FAR AWAY! But guess that ain't goin to happen if I care to be around to enjoy other things with my sweetie in the years to come, which I do! I hope you can find something to help you get yourself through all this and feel a little more hopeful. Don't give up on it or give in to it. I'm sure your partner has a little extra strength to share with you when you can't handle it alone, and glad to I'm sure too. Best of luck and feel free to contact me anytime. Also I have a full profile on this site if you want to know more about me. Even did the picture thing. Boy was that all fun being drugs, home fromm hospital fillingm out this site profile!!!! Talk about depressing. I did really feel like a loser but I also know I wanted a profile to be able to use this site so I finally got it done, tears and all.
Best to you,

Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2007

Like Mark said your attitude is great. That seems to make all the difference in how this stuff affects your life. I was diagnosed in May had surgery in August and an ostomy reversal in October. Currently half way through the Folfax. A good sense of humor has also helped. Good luck and keep up the good work. Tom

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Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2009

as mark and tom said you have a good attitude! I,am also 47 and was diagnosed in june just after my birthday with stage 2A lung cancer. Also like you my partner of 27 yrs has been my rock through the surgery and now in the chemo. I can be pretty snippy sometimes especially after a treatment. Don't know how he puts up with me sometimes! I guess you learn just how much they love you. I'am sure your partner understands your going through the toughest time of your life right now, just remember he is too. I'am glad he there for you , as bill is for me. good luck to you and your partner!! Gary

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