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Thanksgiving wishes from Paella – sorry to have been missing for a while but…

paella's picture
paella
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2012

 

…my husband was, out of nowhere, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on approximately my 4 month SCT birthday.  We were freaked out (that’s capital  F-R-E-A-K-E-D.)   In mid-September we thought he had a hernia, our Urology Nurse Practitioner at City of Hope (where he had a prostatectomy in ’10) thought he had a hernia but a CT showed lymph nodes swollen with metastasized cancer from somewhere in the upper GI.  For a couple weeks it was considered Cancer of Unknown Primary.  Meanwhile, various procedures and a smart doctor found it to be a rare form of pancreatic carcinoma called “acinar cell”; a slightly better kind to have than general pancreatic cancer or even pancreatic ductile cancer.  Apparently a bit slower and a bit more responsive to chemo.  It’s a toxic treat, that chemo, but his first 50 hours went just great.  It was not caught early (as one might assume from the hernia that wasn’t a hernia).  This is one of those several cancers that is very rarely caught early.  SO surreal, so hard to believe and so very devastating.  Mac’s a fighter, has a great attitude and is in excellent shape (and works hard to be that way)…no symptoms and no side effects so far (Folfirinox).  Thus our new normal has evolved and we are now both patients and care-givers.   

 

Anyway, thrilled for Lindary’s NED, for Sal’s 57 days (as of today) and for Po’s steadfastness.  Hope Kaniksue and Rocquie and 007 have much to be thankful for…Ilead and GKH, too.  As for Max, I’m thankful for your constancy and good words but no Pontiacs or 2x4’s for you – not for any future thanksgiving or Christmas, for that matter.  As for Mac and I, we are thankful for more than could fit on 5 of these pages – we’ve been so lucky and happy for our 49 years together and fully expect another 20!!! 

 

Paella

 

OO7's picture
OO7
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2014

It's wonderful to hear from you yet your news is less than desirable due to your husbands diagnosis, wow I'm so sorry.  Fighter you are and no doubt he is too.  Interesting and difficult dynamics, you have gained an understanding that perhaps will catapult you to an elite and special group.  This said from a women who's husband hasn't and can't accept her cancer.  I can't help but think, it must be so much harder too.  Dang it.

I was diagnosed three week before my father, today is his second heavenly birthday.  How I wished I could helped and supported him in the cancer world.  I still never told my family.   This discussion group knows more about me than they do.  

He thought I was a special outsider but I wasn't.  

No doubt this intersting, unique understanding will easily give you 20 plus more blissful years together.  Happiness and goodness will kill all the evil cells that toxic meds miss.  You got this!

Blessings, happiness and thankfulness coming your way.

You're an  inspiration, a like warrior, positive mind of intelligence and goodness.

Thankful you posted!

 

paella's picture
paella
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2012

Right?

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2015

Paella, that is such sad news about your husband. I pray the chemo sucker punches that cancer and knocks it out. At least you will understand what he is going through. I often think that is the hardest part of our treatments and recovery phases. Our friends and family members support us but don't really understand unless they too had gone through it too. 

The great news is that we are all here in our various stages of health. I hope everyone is able to have a Happy Thanksgiving. 

paella's picture
paella
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2012

What I really want to see is a picture of you with the hair band!  Can you send multiple pictures?  And where do you get those things?  My hair is still sooooo short.  Lots of thin areas.  This didn't happen before.  Mac and I are, almost naturally, doing good and since he went through Prostate Cancer (all taken care of via robotic surgery with a surgeon who had done nearly 1000 robotics) he sorta' understands, even though he never needed chemo.   I am officially the boss of chemo at our house...he occasionallly listens.  The difference, as you know,is that most lymphomas are so so very much better to have than any kind of pancan. . 

Paella 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2015

In your picture your hair looks very full. My main thin area is in front. When I got the hair trimmed I found out I also have a thin area near the back. Not sure if I am ready to go to work capless yet. As to the hair bands, I got them at Walgreens by the hair brushes.

One problem I have been running into is my husband seems to think that back in June when I was told there would be no SCT, that I would be back to normal in a few weeks. In about 4 months since I was told that I have been working on building my energy and stamina. My husband keeps insisting I eat more to get better quicker. He doesn't get it that more food is not the answer, just another problem if I start gaining too much weight.  But every so often I have one of those moments where I think "when did I start going up the stairs so easily", or "when did I start going so long without having to sit down to rest". 

OO7's picture
OO7
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2014

It will be three years this June for me, since treatment.  Just recently did I realize, I was back.  Not 100% but darn close.  It was like a flip of a switch.  I did nothing.  I do eat well because I feel well when I do.   I can't work out at the capacity that I did before but I'm no longer lagging behind my family when we go on hikes, they are walking behind me.   Soon as the holidays are over I plan I'm going back to the gym and giving it a whirl.   Healing seemed to be at a snails pace but perhaps I expected more?  I have never been a  patient person  nor did I ever think I would feel like I do now, my old self.  Snails pace or not it's something.  

Be patient let your body heal.  Killing cancer is hell but healing takes a great toll too.  Something not to be underestimated.

 

Here's to getting our mojo back!

po18guy
Posts: 1083
Joined: Nov 2011

In my case, since 2008, anyway. We are given but today to enjoy, and if not to enjoy, only to endure. This US holiday is not about the food, but about the giving of thanks for all that we have. May we reflect on the reasons we have for thankfulness and gratitude!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3499
Joined: May 2012

Po,

Your statement should be read by the President annually as the Official United States Presidential Declaration on Thanksgiving, so perfectly does it summarize the day.

I ran in to Paella briefly at the Prostate Board a month or so ago; the docs thought that his disease might have been prostate initially. Then, the diagnosis shifted to CUP -- worse.    I read her post of today differently than some: his diagnosis with the indolent, treatable pancreatic was a relief, since the doc says that it is indeed usually treatable, while CUP ordinarily is not.   Hope springs eternal....  I knew nothng about City of Hope till she mentioned it, and I read a bit about it. A combined treatement and research complex in southern California.  There website says they are where Rituxan was developed...how impressive is that ?

May he indeed have those 20 years with her.  This older song is not just about looking back, although it is that. It also explicitly says to look ahead, and make new memories, while one can.  As Linda said, "we are a group in various states of wellness." 

May this year's memories be only good for all, with no losses.

Gather moments while you may /  Collect the dreams you dream today

max

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtxanSrNdN8

 

.

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 860
Joined: Aug 2012

My thoughts are with you.  From what Max says, and you, this is not as bad as it could be, but I know it is still scary for you and to have the big C hit you 3 times has to be nerve shattering. You and Mac are fighters and I do believe you will make it together at least 20 more.  You are a great comfort and support to all of us.  Keep holding on to each other, and living each day together with joy.

Thank you for your inspiration,

Becky

DadysGirl
Posts: 346
Joined: Aug 2011

I'm so sorry Paella. Where was the supposedly hernia they though? May your husband, everyone and all of our loved ones fighting be cured and no more diagnosis of cancers :(

Sal0101's picture
Sal0101
Posts: 132
Joined: Sep 2015

I know, it's easy to say "stay strong", but as I said to my brother-in-law yesterday when he quietly said to me, he is sorry for everything I have endured....I basically said "I have no choice, I love people, family, friends, so I will stay strong!" So I say to Paella, and everyone else, Stay Strong!!

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 839
Joined: Mar 2013

I have also been away for a while. I am so sorry to hear of your husband's diagnosis but thankful he has a more treatable form of pancreatic cancer. I am also thankful that you have such a long term and happy relationship! It will be easier for you each to understand the other as you move into the postions of both patient and caregiver. 

I hope things are moving forward well. I hope to hear from you again soon.

Hugs,

Rocquie

 

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