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From dead to NED.

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

I just left the Cancer Center. My oncologist shook his head, laughed and said I had no evidence of disease. I asked really. He said he couldn't believe it either. What a year! It's been 1 year and 1 week since my first chemo treatment, 9 months since my first colon/liver resection, 3 months since my second liver resection. If I can make it to July without a recurrence in my colon or lymphatic system the doctor seems to think a have a really good chance of dying from something other than colon cancer.

So there you have it. I was told by my first 3 doctors there was no hope and by my current doctors that it would take a miracle. I've needed 4 major surgeries, 7 minor ones, 75 days in ICU, 31 days in monitored hospital, 21 CT scans, 6 PET scans, 6 bouts of septic shock, 12 rounds of chemo, an iliostomy bag, 2 stints in my liver, a J-P drain for 3 months, and $2,000,000+ in medical bills.

Hey, you can do it too.

VickiCO's picture
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

What a trip you have taken! We are so glad you are here to tell us about it.

Many blessings for you and your family!


Sonia32's picture
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Well done!

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

I am so very happy for you.


kimby's picture
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

What a RIDE! You have had such a rough year, but are truely my inspiration. Umm....I'll have what he's having....LOL

Congrats to you and your family. You should be very proud of your unending persistance. What a true testamony you are!


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I bet you feel like a million bucks, maybe even 2 million...
You're a great example of why one should never give up.
Keep it up Bud

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Wow, that is just the thing so many have needed to hear! Praying that God grants you a long, long and healthy future to watch your GRANDCHILDREN grow up!

God is good!


msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Like Phil said, you are why we should never give up!

Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2007

There's a miracle! God bless you and your many years of life ahead!

Posts: 166
Joined: Jul 2005

I love to read stories like this to know miracles still exist. Thanks for sharing your story. You just gave me a burst of hope for my Dad.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

That's just fantastic! I'm so happy for you! You are a living miracle.


ADKer's picture
Posts: 150
Joined: Aug 2008

Congratulations! That is great news! May it continue without interruption!

ldot123's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

You brought a big smile to my face. I am continued to be amazed at all the great stories here. It is a beautiful thing!!! Time to celebrate.

Cheers, Lance

angelsbaby's picture
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

That is great news

dixchi's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

Such encouraging news to all of us who have no idea where this road is going to
take us next; you are testimony to hanging in there.

What concerns me is the cost of treatments and how people really manage....some
people just don't. Guess I could say that I am lucky in that it didn't hit me
until my 60s and by then I was on Medicare but there are over 1 million people
on Medicare being treated for cancer alone......no wonder Medicare is running
out of money. And my supplemental insurance from retirement from my state
government job has a cap of $3 million. And have you ever noticed the cost
of chemo treatments on your bill or your insurance statement?.....my god,
I know some of it goes to research and development but even at that, you
wonder if we are not being scammed. Something has got to give here.....if
it ain't broke, don't fix it but our health care system is way past being
broke to now rust and decay. Wow!

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

I was self employed. I made decent money. When my step father had a heart attack my wife forced me to get insurance. I got the absolute best insurance money could buy. Everything was covered 100%, no copay, low deductible. I had the option of choosing $1 million or $2 million in coverage. The premium was about 25% higher for the $2 million plan. I did the math and somehow came to the conclusion that 1 million would be enough coverage. I figured I could get a heart, lung, liver and kidney transplant for 1 million. I never contemplated cancer. Who knew I would be diagnosed. Because I had incredible insurance, I never looked at my hospital statements. Then, about 7 months into treatment the hospital told me I had maxed out my insurance. WHAT? So insurance wasn't going to pay for my last 3 rounds of chemo. Well I kept all my bills and found many things the hospital had charged my insurance for that they shouldn't have. Including a charge for two port placement surgeries. I did in fact have 2 ports placed, but only because they put they 1st one in backward. I found enough to get my last 3 rounds covered. After that, no insurance. Well, I told them to put the rest on tab and I would get to it when they fixed me. My treatment didn't change, noone has said anything to me. They keep treating me and billing me.

If anyone ever asks, tell them to pick the $2 million option.

Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2008

It is always wonderful to hear someone's good news. I feel a renewed sense of hope everytime I read that someone has reached a positive milestone. My initial diagnosis put me in bankruptcy. Group health insurance but no savings and my deductibles had to be met in order for insurance to pick up. I quickly found myself behind on everything, trying to get the prescribed meds. My part of the Xeloda was almost $1,000!!! Ouch!! I'm founding out now that even though they are receiving 100% payment through my bankruptcy plan, they can and will refuse to continue to treat you unless you make payments personally as well. My GYN Oncologist demanded 100% payment of her outstanding bill of $315 before my next exam. She was included in the plan and would have received all monies owed but....if I wanted to continue my treatments with her I had to pay.....I'm doing the best I can these days, pay what I can, when I can....I don't know how people without insurance make it through. By the way, do you really think the $2 million option is enough?

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I asked my oncologist about the $30.00 co pay for my early blood tests and disconnect from the pump. He waived those permanently and only charges me my co-pay on office visit/ chemo days (same day at this time). That cut my bi-weekly from $90 to $30~

Our local hospital has an 'Uncompensated Patient' grant which we qualified for. They picked up all but my first $400.00 payment after insurance. I had to ask if there was any 'help' available. Every hospital co-pay on CT scans, surgical procedures, etc. has been covered. I have to reapply every 90 days but it is a great help! At this point, I have a stack of doctor bills, lab bills, anesthesia bills, etc. that I cannot pay. I've written letters to each of them asking for 'help' with those after insurance payment balances and expect some to be dropped. It's God's bills at this point because there is nothing I can do to come up with this money.

I'm 58 and in Georgia, there is no medicaid for adults unless you've had an abortion, miscarriage or are pregnant (or illegal alien). Go figure.

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

That is something I think about all the time. A lot of the statistics that we all try NOT to read, are taken from studies/data gathered from the States. I haven't found too much information on "universal" or "global" statistics and I think they will probably really differ from country to country.

BUT, I forget how many people in the US do NOT have medical insurance of any kind and out of those, how many of them have cancer? Obviously, if they are not able to afford the doctors, the treatments, the meds... or have to get a watered down version of them... then it only stands to reason that is going to skewer the survival statistics. You can be a 35 year old male/female with Stage IV colon cancer and your odds of surviving are not going to be as good if you don't have medical insurance... vs someone of any age who does have insurance.

So again, another reason why the stats are just that... stats. They don't take into consideration why people die from cancer... and I strongly believe a big reason is that some people just can't afford the care it takes to beat this monster... and that really upsets me. I think everyone should be given the same fighting chance and that is just not so.



CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

That is the most phenomenal news and I wish there were some way on this forum that this post of yours could be posted at the top of all posts! THIS is the news that everyone... newbies as well as those who are still fighting years later... that this result can happen and DOES happen so there is never any reason to give up!!

I'm so happy for you snommintj!!



Posts: 144
Joined: Jan 2009

for posting this. I'm stage 3c and worry more about reoccurance than anything. You have gone through so much, surgeries, sepsis, etc. and are alive and NED. Please, keep us up to date...it makes me feel good to know there is a chance of non-reoccurance.

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

It's only money. Yeah, I know; blah, blah, blah, but YOU'RE HERE!!!! Gotta be grateful. I'm going to say a special prayer of thanksgiving for your NED!!!!!!!!


Posts: 278
Joined: Jan 2009

That is great news looks like you and your family will be having a great summer enjoy

lmliess's picture
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

That is great news. I feel like there is no hope sometimes (very rarely but I have my low points!)because I get tired and think about what still lies ahead, but your story gave me the kick in the butt I needed!

Posts: 529
Joined: Nov 2007

I am sort of speechless about what you have done and the outcome. Congratulations.

Great advice about the insurance.


I hope you will give advice, hope and encouragement to people on this board now, next year, and for the very long future you will have.

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Good stuff!!! You are an inspiration!

Just goes to show that no one can really know how long each of us are supposed to be here. It's not up to us and we are not to know - we are to live life joyfully with peace and faith. It allows us to be grateful for everyday.

You are well in spite of all the odds and grim prognoses - I guess that means you're not done yet. The world is ready for you to make a difference! And you will....


Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks for sharing your story. It has been long, hard, expensive but ohhhhhh so worth it!! We are so happy for you and your family! Enjoy each day. Thank you for showing us all how to fight!

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

Having once been a man of reasonable means, I used to enjoy some of the finer things in life. You know, fishing, golf, boating and more fishing. Well, I'm currently on vacation for the first time since diagnosis. What a relief. I'm accepting some charity from one of my friends with the means to put me up for a few days.

Thanks to all for your replies, I know you guys will have all the success I've had. It just takes time, fortitude, and the will to suspend fear and anxiety. My journey is far from over. I'll have routine checkups and followups for years to come. I'm have complete faith that I will have another recurrence that I'll have to beat down. But for now I'm enjoying a few well earned days of fishing and relaxing.

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2009

Thank you - that is so encouraging and just what I need to hear right now.
It's fabulous news - am so pleased for you.

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2009

I am very glad to hear the good news. You have surely been blessed. I am going to print your posting out and show it to my dad. He has stage IV and they give him a few years at best. He hasn't given up but he has pretty much accepted it and says he is taking one day at a time and doing what the Doc says. He needs to get that aggressive spirit back and this just might do it and help him keep the fight up and prove all the Docs wrong. He is doing well with all the Chemo so far and his next scan is the 31st of March. Take care.


Posts: 75
Joined: Sep 2008

hey, you are an inspiration to all of us battling this dreaded disease. you've got the right attitude and God does the rest. thank you for your story, stay strong and God Bless you.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Congratulations! Your news is a definite inspiration to me!
You've sure been through a LOT- more than many here, but are hanging tough and coming through strong. Enjoy your vacation!
So glad you shared it with us all-


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