Two years already?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Northland, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Northland

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    Getting incredibly serious for a moment-Glancing at another thread I realized today is HUGE-it's July 3,2008!

    Two years ago today a slice happy surgeon cut out parts of my stomach in what would prove to be the continuation of a fright filled journey.

    From November of 2005 to the surgery of July 3,2006 to the months and treatments after, I ran up a nice medical tab (although the one doctor has never charged me for the office visits). The bright side was the 67 pound weight loss. Finally, I had that slim body I'd long since forgotten-of course I also had dark circles under the eyes making me look like a raccoon. I also shrank a half inch in height.

    Soon I was glowing in the dark and sleeping 10 hours a day and 2 hours at night, all the while discovering which foods were good for a reduced stomach when chemicals are pumped into the body twice a week. (There are approximately 357,685 ways to prepare mashed potatoes). Diet Dr.Pepper also helped. Ice cream, not so much-I grew to hate it. An allegry to both tea bags and Dove soap made the radiation burns more sensitive-but it was temporary.

    Conversations would end abruptly as I hazed out from treatment and meds. It was however nice to see all the friendly faces of the visitors each day. People who didn't back away. (then again, maybe they thought I'd sign them onto my rent stablized apartment if they were extra nice). Speaking of which...


    Slowly I came back to the living-which infuriated my landlady. She'd been hoping to get my apartment up to market rate. As I improved, the weight crept back and now I'm only 30 pounds lighter than I was before-and it seems to be holding.

    Then the bills came in-who knew they'd charge? The free concerts that used to play when combining the 4 pills have also ceased:mad: but, all things considered, maybe that's not so bad.

    Today, I seem to be clean, the bloodwork has stayed nice for just over a year and other than the occasionally returning nausea I feel great. I've even learned to sleep with the lights off again.




    It's been an interesting jaunt so far-Cancer, ya gotta love it!


    Happy July 3rd everyone!




    (and my apologies to anyone who gets depressed by reality, I just wanted to take a moment to give thanks for these past two years. Have to go now, I've a few other boards to infest with this macabre cheer. Let my journey remind each of you that yeah, today might suck, but there could well be a tomorrow which might not suck-or at least not as badly.)
     
  2. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    I am so happy for you. Does this mean in 3 more years you're officially cured? The strength it takes to battle cancer and its treatments is truly admirable.

    Go out and celebrate. Oh, and hang on to that rent controlled apartment!
     
  3. Mr. Snakey

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    This is such great news. Im so happy for you. It takes a person of character and strength to go through what you have. Thank you for sharing this. A reminder that we should all be thankful for each day we are given.
     
  4. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    Congrats!

    You have my hopes for a continued, happy and healthy journey.


    All the best!


    (WOB is right. Hang on to that rent controlled apartment!) :tongue:
     
  5. Drifterwood

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    Most excellent. I am a quiet fan of yours. I am very happy to celebrate your continuing existence.
     
  6. ManlyBanisters

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    Huzzah for slicing chunks out of Northland!!

    (nice to have you with us, sir)
     
  7. B_dumbcow

    B_dumbcow New Member

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    Cancers a bitch, so congratulations Northland!!

    It takes a lot of balls to beat it, and I admire you for that :smile:

    :kiss: :hug: Thanks for sharing, and this is lovely news :smile:

    :kiss:
     
  8. camper joe

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    Congruaulations on your continued good health.
     
  9. SpeedoGuy

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    You are what's called a survivor, Northland. Keep on survivin'.
     
  10. Northland

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    I have to last another 3 years and 2 months according to the doctors-something to do with when my blood first cleared and that being where they start the timetable. After the surgery it took a few months of chemo and radiation before the damned stuff finally exited the bloodstream (and even then they kept zapping me with treatments). As to cure, that's open to debate-some argue that at 5 years it is cured, others stay with the idea of still being in remission. Get back to me on September 19, 2011 for my deciscion-that is the official date for the 5 years (seems a zillion years away still).

    What strength? I got taken around from one place to the next, I got an insurance approved hospital type bed (which takes up half of a New York apartment), people did my grocery shopping, did my laundry, took me for treatment, got and paid for the cabs to the bank and other places (I always offered to pay, they always refused, in return I have bought a lot of dinners and movie tickets in the last couple of years), I even had people cleaning my kitchen floor! Oh I gotta tell ya, cancer has some interesting perks (if the treatment doesn't kill you).

    (and I have not intention of giving up the apartment)

    Thank you. And yes, I definitely see it as a reminder for daily gratitude. The day I went under (for the surgery), I honestly did not expect to awaken again.

    A quiet fan-who knew I had one?
    Thanks-and um, er, next time do you think Clyde would be willing to take my place on the surgery table? Tell him I'll even name a goat after him. (yes, I've renamed Hick as Clyde-the other choice was Qarbix)

    Thank you. No need for admiration-I had a choice, live or die. Living seemed like the better option (although, they didn't tell me about how bumpy the road was).

    Thank you.

    Just as long as I don't have to go on the television show Survivor, all should be good.
    Thank you, and as indicated to WoB, I expect to keep the apartment for a while.

    So another day dawns and I'm still here-how could I ask for more? (well I wouldn't mind getting back that lost piece of height)
     
  11. Principessa

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    You have a rent stabilized apartment in NYC?!? :confused: Have I ever told you just how sexy you are Northland? I have always thought your natural good looks were surpassed only by your charm and intelligence. :flirt: :wink:

    Seriously though, as a fellow survivor I am glad you're alive and I wish you continued good health. :heart:


    Sometimes reality aka life sucks . . . but it sure as hell beats the alternative. :biggrin1:
     
  12. earllogjam

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    I'm glad you're still with us Northland. Health be with you buddy.
     
  13. unabear09

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    I'm truly happy that you find yourself cancer free for 2 years now. I pray that it never comes back, and that you live a happy, healthy, successful life from this day forward
     
  14. Northland

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    It's amazing how many people seem to be attracted to me once they hear of my rent-stablized apartment. I can't be too picky though and obviously eat up the attention-just remember the list of people is now extended into volume 8. (You can be moved to volume 1 if you make a suitable offer)

    May we both continue to get clean bills of health!

    Mind if I get inquisitive and ask more about what type of cancer you dealt with?
    You said it. Better to be alive with no hair (those were fun days) and neuropathy than laying on a medical examiners table being researched (or so I figure since I haven't taken that final step-as far as I know).
     
  15. rbkwp

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    So sorry to hear of your affliction Northland.
    Have had a Family member with similar.
    Always enjoyed your posts on askacow/always
    Sincerley Hope all goes very well for the years ahead
    Kind Regards
    enz
     
  16. Principessa

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    I don't mind you asking. I am a vulvar cancer survivor so I know what it's like to hear your name in the same sentence with carcinoma. It was only stage 1 when diagnosed, thank God! But I still felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Or like someone had just pulled the rug out from underneath me. I literally went from wondering what to do for my 40th birthday to wondering if I would live to see my 40th birthday with one brief phone call.

    My blog about all the gory details.
     
    #16 Principessa, Jul 9, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  17. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Very glad you're with us and very happy everything is going well with your health!
     
  18. Northland

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    I have bookmarked that blog page-and I am exceedingly jealous that no Condom Slushies were called for in my treatment (the name of them is almost as sweet as chocolate cake).

    So let's discuss this over a dating game, I like to call Parcheesi...(by the way I loved Parcheesi as a child-maybe that is a clue as to who gets cancer).

    Okay putting the funnies to the side. I was already in stage 2 moving to stage 3 and not in great shape. Extreme weight loss, constant pain, difficulty walking, none had alarmed me enough to get medical help earlier (after all men aren't just tough, many of us are total idiots).

    Unlike you, I had the news given in person. My doctor called after all the test results were in and ordered me to meet him at the hospital. He was sitting there when I arrived at the waiting room and he pointed at the chair next to him. I refused to sit, he stood up and physically pushed me into the chair-I knew then that it was bad. He then informed me of what was going on, I nodded, shrugged, stood up and I walked away, headed towards the exit, intent on getting ice cream (yeah, go figure-'hey you're at deaths door whatta ya wanna do?' "I think I'll go get some ice cream!")

    I reached the revolving door and just kept going around and around for what seemed like hours. Finally I went back to where the doctor still sat and he told me that he had already callled in and had the preliminary paperwork done for my admittance at St. Vincent's and that he had his car parked outside and would bring me down there. Still standing, I nodded grimly and collapsed right there on the damned waiting room floor of Roosevelt Hospital. Due to my behavior, I was then admitted for an overnight before being shipped to my ultimate destination downtown at St.Vincent's Hospital. The doctor did not get to drive me; however, I was brought in by two handsome ambulance attendants.

    The next month and a few days involved radiation and chemo and then after 43 days I was deemed ready for surgery (my tumor had been large and in a space which although operable would have involved a lifetime bag and possibly a tube for nutrition so they opted to shrink it first-with my blessing and approval).

    A specialist had been brought in at the start (I'd met him before for other digestive tract ailments). He was kind and gentle although always honest about what my future might be if I had one. He warned that even with the treatments I could be dead within a year and that the surgery itself could prove fatal. Naturally, I requested a rabbi, a priest and ministers from 2 different faiths before the surgery-I only got the Priest who looked dumbfounded as I rambled on about nonsense about my childhood, my cat, my American Tourister luggage and other silliness-I was on a morphine drip at that point. For some reason the priest never came to visit me after my operation. Which brings me to the next place-

    After surgery-which began at about 11 in the morning-I lay hovering for a little more than a week, an infection developed and I kept bleeding and then the slow return to life began. There was more chemo-just to make sure nothing bad survived or could come back. Pain beyond belief-it made the earlier stuff seem like a picnic at times. The surgery was a success and then-Neuropathy! God that is a true torture and walking still is a bit off-however, I am alive which is what really matters.

    (and here's a helpful hint-never try to rip out a breathing tube on your own)

    One night as I stared at my mush-I was starting back to actual food instead of tube feeding- I saw my grandfather. The man was long dead; but, there he was sitting on the radiator. He smiled and and shook his head, indicating a 'No'. I was heavily chemoed and medicated with a pain killer at that point so I am unsure if it was real or not. A week later, a rather stunned doctor said the bloodwork was clean. They took several more tubes and all were the same. The doctor still tells me that the bloodwork normally takes a few months to reach the point that it did, when it did. Of course, given the gravity of my illness, he has also admitted he didn't expect me to live. Then again he didn't have my grandfather working on most of his patients.

    After a few months I got to leave the hospital and friends took me home and took care of me for a while. Today, I am still touched by their loving kindness and if it were in my nature I might even get teary eyed about it. Oh, what the heck-pass the tissues...


    So njqt466, we survied for some reason and although I am not at all sure what it is, I am glad that it happened.

    As for the ice cream-I ate so much of it, that now I almost hate it (although it did help get my weight back).
     
  19. Northland

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    My thanks to all of you (and any I may have missed) for the continued good wishes-they are gratefully acknowledged and accepted.
     
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