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A Warning to the young.......and the old too.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by olie0923, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. olie0923

    olie0923 IncGamers Member

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    A Warning to the young.......and the old too.

    I thought I would tell you guys about my battle with cancer last summer. The reason I made the title about the young thing is because I know how most young people are when it comes to thoughts of cancer (because I'm only 26).

    It actually started in about January or Febuary of last year. I had a lump form on my shoulder that hurt like hell. I thought it was because we had been out in the yard playing. I didn't know if I had torn something and it was fluid building up or what. I guess it was just wishfull thinking.

    I finally went to the doctor in Aprl. She checked me out, asked some questions and ran some tests and told me she would call me back later with the results. She called a couple of days later but didn't really tell me anything. That was my first hint about the cancer. She basically told me my counts were screwed up and that I would need to have some more tests done. They basically took more blood and did some x-rays. The x-rays showed that my lymph nodes in my chest were enlarged and my blood still showed that my counts were off. So I had to have a biopsy done on the lump on my shoulder which confirmed the suspicion of cancer.

    So she referred me to an oncologist that took over from there and told me that I had Hodgkins Lymphoma. One of the first things I had to do was a bone marrow biopsy. Let me tell you what, that SUCKED. She basically took a big cork screw and pushed as hard as she could into the back of my hip to get the bone marrow. The bone marrow biopsy showed that the cancer had not made it to my bone marrow. I also had to have a CT scan done which showed that I had the cancer in about 4 different areas of my body and that put at stage 3 of the cancer. I also had to do an EKG and breathing test so that they could check me after all of the treatments for any side effects.

    Then it was time for her to figure out what to give me and at what dose. I was going to have a treatment every other week until I had gone through 12 treatments. I can't even remember what they put into me but it took a toll on my body.

    The first treament I went through was given in my arm. First off, my veins suck. I have never had good veins and it was even more evident when it came treatment time. They finely got the IV in me and it was time for the drugs. The first three were ok, they didn't hurt, but the last one sucked. It felt like they were shooting fire into my arm it burned so bad. It took around 3 hours just to do the last one. So it was time for me to get a port.

    I went and got the port put in, which was nice once I had it done. It made the treatments go a lot smoother. I'll explain a little if you have never heard of someone having a port. They basically make an incision on the left or right side of your chest (I have mine on the left since I am prodominantly right handed). They insert a disc and a small tube. They basically stitch the disc into your muscle and then connect the tube to the disc and insert the tube into one of your main veins. Having this makes it easier to get the medicine and it generally isn't as painfull.

    My treatments went pretty well once I had this done. The only thing that held me back any was when my white bllod cell count dropped. I had to have a couple of treatments put off and I had to start getting shots. Sassy gave me the shoots in the stomach and I think she kind of enjoyed it ;) .

    In fact, my cancer was gone on the scans after 8 treatments but I went ahead and had 3 more. I know I said I was suppose to have 12 but the Sunday before I was suppose to have my 12th treatment I came down with appendisitis and had to have my appendix removed. So that kind of put a stop to my treatment for that week. We ended up deciding that my cancer was gone after 8 treatments and there was no gaurantee either way that the cancer wouldn't come back and the fact that I was tired of going through the treatments didn't help.

    I had a scan last month and the cancer has not come back. I still have to go through some other stuff but none of it is that bad. I also have to go get my port flushed out.

    Anyway. I may have left out some details but that is basically what I went through. You have to remember I was going through this while working, trying to help Sassy with the house and kids and we were expecting our 3rd child (who is driving me up the freaking wall at the moment).

    I guess I just wanted to tell you guys about my experience b/c I can imagine some of you thinking, "I'm young, I don't have to worry about cancer.". I can tell you from experience, it isn't true. Cancer knows no age, race, gender, etc., it can happen to you. It happened to me. I was lucky, I have a very supportive wife, family, and friends, I have a good doctor, and I am VERY hardheaded (I wasn't going to let some little thing like cancer get in my way ;) ).

    So if you have a little lump that doesn't make sense, go to the doctor. If something just makes you feel a little off, go to the doctor. It could be nothing but it could turn into something. I would have been done way before Christmas time had I gone to the doctor when I first noticed the pain and lump.

    Hopefully none of you will have to go through something like this because it sucks. If you do happen to have it happen to you or someone close to you, feel free to PM me or whatever. I will tell you whatever I can about it, one of the biggest things that helped me was all of the support I received from all over the place.
     
  2. MixedVariety

    MixedVariety Banned

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    Dude, if this isn't an April Fool's joke, I commend you for your post. It's good advice; I have an in-depth physical every year, as everyone should.
     
  3. Technetium

    Technetium IncGamers Member

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    Indeed, the average age for getting Hodgkin's Lymphoma is 27.7 years old. I worry about it every time I get a lymph node in my neck or arm (which is really not uncommon in itself and only rarely indicates lymphoma).

    Fortunately, lymphoma is a fairly treatable form of cancer (as opposed to cancer that originates in a major organ of the body).
     
  4. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    I have two friends that had lymphoma, one with Hodgkins and one with Non-Hodgkins. They are both fine and were able to fully recover (aside from the occasional icky checkup.)
     
  5. olie0923

    olie0923 IncGamers Member

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    It is no April Fool's. I definetly learned a lot about Lymphoma last year. It helped that I'm the type of person to research stuff, especially if it is happening to me. My doctor was quite impressed with what Sassy and I learned about it in such a short time.

    The funny thing about Lymphoma is they don't know what causes it. I mean, they know what it affects, how to cure it, they can tell the difference in Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins but they don't know what causes it. That kind of amazes me. I guess it is a reminder that they need to continue with the research and continue to learn.

    Hey Technetium, talking about lymph nodes. This isn't my first run in with a disease that affects them. I always worry about mine. I also had Cat Scratch Fever (yes, it is a real disease and not just a song) when I was like a year old or something and had to have one of my lymph nodes in my neck drained.
     
  6. Riegn

    Riegn IncGamers Member

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    I can back you up 100% on that statement. My family had no cancer history at all. My dad died at 49 from colon Cancer, didnt smoke or drink, lived well but hes still gone at under 50

    I also have one of my goodfriends. he has Hodgkins Lymphoma and has been fighting it for years. He will be dead in 6 months. He is 25.
     
  7. Necrolestes

    Necrolestes IncGamers Member

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    Hippocratically speaking

    This really should serve as a warning to all: get an annual physical and if it doesn't feel right, it isn't right until proven otherwise.
     
  8. neophase

    neophase Banned

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    you should try mentioning the cause of the lump before you go all out on the big story. Some people like to hear the cause so they can prevent in happening it to themselves.
    I've always learnt that whatever happens, you must not put your trust in a single doctor, but expirement around and get all the advice you can get from different PERSPECTIVES.

    Be careful, be patience, be prudent. Exercise and nutrition will save you all from cancer, death, darkness. Virtues, esp forgiveness, prudence, patience, love, service will amount to living forever. Your ambitions aren't remembered, only your deeds.
     
  9. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    It is also important for young men to conduct regular testicle exams--after or during a warm shower.
     
  10. HAMC8112

    HAMC8112 IncGamers Member

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    This is about my wife, she has had 5 different cancers in the last 4 years. It started with some small lumps in different places, chemo, radio therapy, injections, more radiation and stuff. Each time she has overcome the cancer, only to get another one a couple month's later.

    The 5th one, the one we(she) are battling now is Hodkins non lymhoma (if i spell that correct), and again it is going good, if all goes as planned she needs a couple weeks more treatments and it will be over again.

    So if you ever find some lumps go to the doctor the same day, do not tell yourself it will be ok and you will see to it later, there are cancers outthere that will kill you in a couple weeks.

    Cancer brings alot of stress with it, not only for the patient but also for the people that are close to the patient. Always try to keep your cool, it is hard but there is no other way.

    I remember the third cancer my wife got, it was extremely poisonous, the doctors said we will take a scan every week. This scan was kinda expensive, 250€ per scan, so it was aproximatly a 1000 € a month only for the scan. Now the system here is the state takes 50/60 % of your income and in turn the pay some of your medical expenses back, only they decided that a scan every week was luxury, so they wanted to pay for a scan every 3 month's.

    The doctor said as the cancer is an extremely bad one we need to follow up close so if we do that every 3 month's she'll be dead. So that left me with the option of commiting serious crime to get the money. Am i a bad guy now? I dont think so, i'll do it again if needed. If i had not done it my wife would be dead now.
     
  11. Ace_wanderer

    Ace_wanderer IncGamers Member

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    Good luck man, my maths teacher has cancer he was fine at first but now although Im not sure its cancer related but his arm has something wrong with it.


    I have this lump I guess below my cheekbone its been there since I was about 10 its quite hard and feels like its connected to something, I guess Ill ask the doctor about it next time I go. Thanks for the story.
     
  12. SassyChickyMomma

    SassyChickyMomma IncGamers Member

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    as he said in his second post, there is no KNOWN cause for the cancer. the lump was a result of it. the lumps were actually swollen lymph nodes and there are are hundreds in your body. so the pain was from the pressure of the swollen nodes. basically, it had the symptoms of "tendonitis" but the dr was thorough enough to check all the angles *(THANKFULLY FOR US!!!) and that is how it was discovered. so neophase, that is as good as you can get to telling the cause of the lump....CANCER caused the lump. maybe research will one day produce a link or a cause of the cancer and they can do a thorough screening of it in the future generations and isolate a risk factor.

    one other thing that this thread brings to mind is the importance of GOOD INSURANCE! we were extremely fortunate to have had great coverage when this happened. between his oncologist and surgeries and nuepogen shots and then my obstetrician appts and then the all the "regular" medications! WOW. we would be totally flat on our keesters. the shots were $500 EACH! and he got one a day for seven days. and then the chemotherapy was like over $2000 every other week. the nodular biopsy, bone marrow biopsy and the 2 surgeries were up there too, but we only paid a percentage for the copay so that was not too bad. anyway, it is just one of those things that makes you think twice when enrollment time comes each year for your insurance, it always goes through your mind ya know? "do we need it? we never get sick" well, we are very fortunate to have really covered our arses and got the insurance. you never know what will happen from one day to the next, "better to be safe than sorry" *(AND BROKE!)*
     
  13. toader

    toader Banned

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    *shudders*

    Thats scary man, but I am super glad you recovered and kicked it so quickly. Thats awesome.

    Cancer is one thing that really scares me, I dunno why. Well, hell, actually I do...the only two people in my family or that were close to me that have ever died, died as a result of cancer. So far, Ive been lucky in my life to lose so few people in my family. But that one summer that both my grandpa and my aunt died to cancer...that sucked.

    I guess what scares me the most is that its so undetectable until somethings like way wrong. And also, its scary that noone knows what the hell causes cancers...so you have no clue what to be doing to prevent or avoid it.
     
  14. SassyChickyMomma

    SassyChickyMomma IncGamers Member

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    to my knowledge, only one person has died of cancer in my immediate family. last week my uncle died. *(on my mom's side) he never went to the dr and basically just sat in his recliner dying all these years and i guess recently he developed a HUGE knot on his face, under his ear. before it showed up, he lost his hearing in that ear, should have been a red flag!! but he refused to get checked out and later his hearing returned, the knot showed up and began bleeding from his ear. a dr came to the house and said it was cancer. a couple of days after they figured that out - he died. later they discovered he had a HUGE tumor in his throat too. but i know good and well, his cancer HAD to be from smoking. that is all he did! sat there day in and day out smoking and smoking more and never getting outside to breathe fresh air or excercise. *(don't hate me, i do not believe that everyone who smokes gets cancer. my mom did, and my dad does smoke like a freight train and neither had/have cancer) i feel that it is dependent on your lifestyle. if you excercise regularly, it keeps your lungs clear and your body can handle it. if you are sedentary then you will be more succeptable to the risks of cancer or other complications. anyway, in addition to my uncle, i know of a few second cousins and such *(also on my mom's side) that have had cancer and kicked it, but in general my family suffers more of the heart/lung issues than anything else.
     
  15. toader

    toader Banned

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    Well, no smoking here. VERY casual drinking also, if you can even call it that.

    About the only thing I do thats not very good for my body is: 1) I dont eat totally healthy, and 2) I dont get as much excercise as Id like since getting a desk job.
     
  16. Necrolestes

    Necrolestes IncGamers Member

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    Don't smoke 'em if you got them

    Good genetics may play a greater role in preventing cancer than simply living well. But, as you said Sassy, a healthy lifestyle can stave off or completely eliminate the development of cancer (however, smoking is not part of a healthy lifestyle so regular exercise and eating right probably won't be enough; a positive genetic profile may be at play with your father and mother's lack of cancer development).
     

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