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Cancer Sucks!

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Early this week it was discovered that I have another recurrence of cancer. This time in the bone of my lower back. (*&%$@... enter favorite expletive here!!) This was confirmed by way of bone and CT scans after I complained of some pain in the tailbone area. I have met with my oncologist and he has referred me to the BC Cancer Agency where I will be assessed for some combination of radiation and chemo.

A little history...
Aug 2004 Dx Colon Cancer Stg.4 with liver mets
Aug 2004 Colon Rx
Oct 2004 Liver Rx (right lobe removed)
Nov 2004 3mos. FOLFOX 3 mos. FOLFIR
May 2005 NED
Oct 2006 Recurrence... single liver Met
Mar 2007 Liver RFA
May 2007 4mos. Xeloda, Irinotecan, Avastin
Oct 2007 NED
Sep 2009 Recurrence.. Sacrum/Rectum

Naturally this comes as a great disappointment at a time when Pam and I were beginning to hope that this was finally behind us. What can I say... "Cancer Sucks"!

I haven't been too active here over the last couple of years. I was taking a break from "all things cancer". I'd drop in and catch up by reading but have not been a regular poster.

Oldtimers here will remember that in 2007 I posted regularly to a Blog on the cancer journey. I will begin posting again to "A Cancer Journal" and invite you to join me there to receive regular updates, resources, and reflections. http://rob-pollock.blogspot.com/

TTFN... Rob;in Vancouver

"I wake each morning with the thrill of expectation and the joy of being alive. And I'm thankful for this day.” Angela L. Wozniak

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

It's great to see you back, I know I've read some of your posts, and so sorry the cancer has come back, yes it sure does suck, but you beat it before, and you'll beat it again, don't let it get you down, keep thinking those positive thoughts, I wish the very best for you! and keep on posting too, it's a very encouraging site, made me feel alot better too :)

Hope to see you more, and beat that cancers a$$!!!

Hugsss!!
~Donna

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

The people on this site are so inspiring. It's a special community. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Rob: in Vancouver

betina61's picture
betina61
Posts: 644
Joined: Aug 2006

So sorry to hear about the recurrence,especially after 2 years Ned, but is another bump on the road, but you know that you will beat this again just have faith and try to keep your spirit up, and practice those beatiful words taht you wrote from Angela Wozniak.

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

And it was an awesome two years!! It is nice to have such long periods of good health. I'm starting to get back into active treatment mode...

Be well... Rob; in Vancouver

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Robin,

I'm so sorry. There are no words to make it ok. It's ok that you haven't been as active here; we all need breaks. You are still a wonderful contributer and I am honored to have your input. Your words have been inspirational and helpful. It is sometimes more difficult to give when things are going well and yet, here you have been. Thank you for what you give.

Kimby

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Thank for your words of encouragement. You know the drill. Keep on keep'n on!! I look forward to walking with you along this road for piece. And yes... we need to keep having some fun!!!

Rob: in Vancouver

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Oh, dear. I'm so sorry. I've seen some of your posts before, and I hate to read this one. Please keep us posted on how you're doing. I'll be praying for you.

*hugs*
Gail

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Nice to meet you. All prayers are appreciated!!

Rob

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 531
Joined: Aug 2006

I am so sorry. It just sucks...I read these daily and do not always comment but your knowledge, longivity and strength helps all of us. I've been stage 4 since 9/06 with NED and 2 recurrances and I feel for you. Just a reach out a hug here from me.
Chip

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Thanks Chip,
All "cyber hugs" are gratefully received!!

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Although, I must agree, cancer does indeed suck!

My friend's mother just passed yesterday from ovarian cancer. "We are thankful that she is no longer in pain". It amazes me when such a horrible disease can have people being thankful for death...sigh...

Please keep us posted, I figured that you were out there living life large...we never know what happens tomorrow...

Hugs, Kathi

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Kathi,
So good to see you here. Yes, I was "out there living life large". It's been good!
As I look back through this forum I see many that "are no longer in pain". Alas!

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

I'm so sorry the cancer is back, though...and in your sacrum of all places. Are they not considering this metastases? They thought that was a possibility with me too because the radiation had damaged my bones so badly, i now get regular fractures there.

It's nice to see you looking on the bright side; this has to be a terrible disappointment. Your 'remissions' seem to be getting further spaced apart. Maybe that means this is the cancer's one last feeble attempt to try and take hold, and you will beat it into the ground.

I will be sending as many positive vibes your way as i can! Please continue to post here and let us know how you're doing.

Many hugs,
Krista

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I think it is. The onc said it has spread back into my rectum as well. I'm not sue if it is a met or a new primary? I'll find out a bit more when the cancer agency folks get at it.

Positive vibes are all appreciated!

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

In Soft Places.
Sorry to hear it's back. Get rid of it again. You've done it before Rob, now do it again.
-phil

angelsbaby's picture
angelsbaby
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

like you said cancer sucks big time, I hope they can get rid of this bone cancer, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

michelle

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Nice guitar!!

In appreciation of your support... Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

it's a 1964 Guild JetStar. One of my favorites out of the 8 guitars I have.

Good quote you have there. Very true.
Also, sometimes you have to go through things and not around them...

grammadebbie's picture
grammadebbie
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Robin,

I'm fairly new here but wanted to let you know how sorry I am about your recurrence. Sounds like you've really been going thru it. I've been dealing with the beast since Oct 2007 - wish I would have known about this forum then. Sorry you have to come back under these circumstances but sounds like you have alot to contribute here.

I'll be praying for you and your family.

God Bless You,

Debbie (gramma - there is another Debbie here so I added gramma)

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Oct 2007... I was doing the Naked Happy Dance then! I got my "all clear" scan on my 50th birthday, October 4, 2007. Sometimes up, sometimes down...

All prayers thankfully received.

Peace and blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey Rob

You posted to an RFA reply I had one time right when I first joined the site...you told me "RFA ROCKS!"

I'm sorry to hear about the reoccurence too...luckily you were able to walk away a couple of times in your journey...that's always a blessing to get some time off.

I join everybody by saying Welcome Back. Will be closely following your story.

I hope everything goes really well...now we've got a Canadian brother...eh?

Take care
-Craig in TX

ldot123's picture
ldot123
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

Really sorry to hear about your recurrence. We are all here to help. Let us know how you are doing. I know you can put this into the boards once and for all.

Cheers, Lance

ldot123's picture
ldot123
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

Really sorry to hear about your recurrence. We are all here to help. Let us know how you are doing. I know you can put this into the boards once and for all.

Cheers, Lance

steven12
Posts: 52
Joined: Dec 2008

Hello Rob,
Sorry to hear about your recurrence after two years. I am pretty sure you will make it third time. It's great to be NED twice for so long. My dx/surg/chemo was 5 yrs ago and was NED more then 3 years when I've got a recurrence. I have a question: how did you get the Avastin with the Xeliri since, as far as I know, Canadian gov. is subsidizing the Avastin only with Folfiri? I am now on Xeliri and desperately trying to get the Avastin but with no success so far.
Best wishes to everybody
Steven

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

In BC we get coverage for Avastin only for "first line" treatment. It is not covered in the case of a recurrence. I had to pay the shot for 5 treatments. Fortunately I work for an incredibly generous community and they picked up the tab!

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Where in Canukistan are you?
Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

RFA does rock! My liver is still clear and looking good!
Yes, the long breaks are a blessing and I have enjoyed two of them on this journey.

Be well...Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Duplicate post... can I delete this?

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

...spoken in my best Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore on the Dick Van **** Show) voice....ohhhhhh, Rob!

Gosh Rob, I'm so sorry to hear of your news. I'm struggling to find words to express my thoughts... It's very hard sometimes to fill the space with words when all you want to...or can say is...I'm here - we're here. We truly know how much cancer does indeed suck.

I hope it goes without saying that you and yours will be in my thoughts and prayers.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson

Sending you many blessings for stamina in the new fight, purpose in the sake of it all (which I know you know), and mostly a clear and unencumbered path to healing and good health.

Hugs,
Katie

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I love the Emily Dickinson quote on Hope. We need hope, our spirit feeds on it!
Hi to Bob...

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Rob,
Sorry to hear it's back. I joined not long ago. Husband stage 4. Sounds like you have been through a lot of crap. I will look forward to reading more of your posts because we are in the learning phase. To bad you have to jump in with both feet and hope and learn and then hope some more. I agree Cancer Sucks!!! Paula

mommyof2kds's picture
mommyof2kds
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

HI Rob, sorry to hear that you are facing this ugly beast again. Yes CANCER SUCKS... Keep on fighting and you will be NED again..

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Thanks for the welcome.
Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

Cancer doesn't just suck. It's just plain evil. It hides out and comes at you when you least expect it. We call it our roller coaster ride. (My husband was diagnosed stage IV 6 yrs. ago.) We finally got to the stage where we expected it to come back. Then when we went awhile without it, we were pleasantly surprised. When it did come back, we were less shocked. We look at treatment as buying time. That may be a pessimistic way to look at it, but it has worked for us. My prayers are with you. The fight continues.

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Nothing pessimistic about buying time. Sometimes that's all we can realisticalyl hope for. It's really all I've ever wanted. And still is, more time...

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Rob,

I definitely remember you when you posted before. Your picture makes me smile. :)
I'm so very sorry to hear your cancer is back again. It definitely sucks big time.
I've now had two recurrences in my two years since my original diagnosis- so I can relate and I just gave a big sigh for you. Now... onward and forward! The sighing time is over and it's on with the fight- you can do this yet once again- you can!!!

I will be thinking of and praying for you-

Blessings through the fight,
Lisa

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Yes, Lisa, the only direction really. Once more into the breach! I'm grateful to have you as a companion along the way.

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

So sorry that you and Pam are going through this again. I know first hand it can be disheartening,( my husband has had 2 reoccurrances ), but I know that you will continue the good fight and beat it again and I look forward to seeing that NED post from you! Keeping you and all in my prayers. God Bless
Diane

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Yes, Disheartening is a word that names it well. Especially while still adjusting.
Thank you for the words of encouragement.

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Rob,

I remember months ago you replied to my post about how to get through down days. I am so sorry that you have to fight this beast yet again. But I can tell as you have gone through so much you are a strong person and you will fight this horrible beast again, really hate it BIG TIME!

Keep us posted on how you are doing etc.

Big hugs
Sonia

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I remember your post about down days. Belonging to this community is the best antidote to the down days. Thanks for being a part of it.

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

fedester
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2004

sorry to hear the beast is back.
step back,focus and hit the beast headon.
you did it before so do it again.
take care
never,ever give up!!
bruce

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Thank you so much Bruce. It is worth coming to this site just to hear you say those words again, and again, and again!

Be well...Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

jenalynet's picture
jenalynet
Posts: 363
Joined: Nov 2005

I feel for you but you can fight again..I too have a new recurrence and am now off of chemo until all my latest scans are reviewed so a new plan can be made..I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as I do all of us fighting the fight.. You are right, cancer sucks big time..Hugs to you, Audrey.

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

All "cyber hugs" are most warmly received!

Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards,
but rather, of playing a bad hand well!"
Robert Louis Stevenson

dmdwins
Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Hey Rob. I've been out of town and just read the news. So sorry to hear. I remember us "chatting" in May as we awaited our scans.

You are strong and can do this AGAIN!! Time between reoccurences is good. It allows for new advances. We can live long good lives even with cancer.

Keep up the fight and keep in touch,

Smiles,
Dawn

fedester
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2004

rob
i just went to your web site.
you have 3 beautiful young ladies to look after!!
you will slay the dragon.
live well my friend.
never,ever give up!!
bruce

AceSFO's picture
AceSFO
Posts: 230
Joined: Sep 2009

Hey Rob

I think I mentioned the "cyber knife" treatments that John just had a few weeks ago. If it's available up there, I'd suggest asking about it - painless, no side effects and a very high success rate. His doctors measured the success in terms of killing the tumor inside the bone with no recurrence at that same site (ever) and also reducing the pain to a manageable level. His was only two weeks ago, and although he's had some other problems that make it a little unclear, he thinks the pain level is going down. What can you lose? Just the tumor I guess...
Anyway - just wanted to jump into the conversation with my two cents. Also Fentanyl patches are working really well for John (in combination with the morphine) to manage the pain. And it doesn't make him really dopey - he's still able to write and get things done.

Sending good thoughts for you, Pam and your daughters...
Adrian

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