In two days I will have completed four weeks on my low iodine diet (no chocolate, no salt, no dairy, no bread) with four days remaining until my one-night hospital admission and subsequent seven-day medical quarantine at home. If I remember correctly, the substance of the hour-long phone conversation we had with a doctor from the Nuclear Medicine department previous to my beginning this thyroid cancer treatment process, on Friday--the day after my "radioiodine therapy"--my eating can return to i
Nearly three weeks into my low iodine diet, in preparation for my hospital overnight on May 28 when I will get my radioactive iodine therapy to be followed immediately by a medical quarantine at home for a week, I wouldn't say I'm thriving. More like persevering. I can't really satiate eating "rabbit" food and what culinary pleasures I can enjoy, I can only have them in small quantities and infrequently at that. I won't give you a list, but just consider what any 10-year-old likes to eat.
After six weeks or so of isolating at home and working hardly at all, I believe it's time to invoke Violet Crawley (aka Maggie Smith), "the Dowager Countess of Grantham," and wonder aloud: "What's a weekend?" Every day feels like some other day or no day at all because the days in and of themselves are meaningless/indistinguishable. I mean, you can't go anywhere, you can't do anything; thankfully, you can use your phone and access your computer, but at the end of the same-old-day, you're basical
AI can categorize lung nodules' cancer risk, study suggests
A new artificial intelligence algorithm can accurately assess the risk of cancer associated with indeterminate pulmonary nodules in patients' lungs, according to a study published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Traditionally, physicians use CT scans to assess lung nodules, which can lead to earlier cancer diagnoses. However, this approach can also lead to overtreatment if nodule
Sheltering in place while isolating at home, like so many others are, in Maryland, where non-essential businesses remain closed, means life has mostly come to a screeching halt. And unlike Georgia and nearly 30 other common-sense offenders, salons - among many other trying-to-get-going concerns, are not open. Moreover, given the social-distancing guidelines and the stay-at-home mandate, it's unlikely I'll be receiving any service providers in my home either. And considering that I'm not running
By Kim Polacek, APR, CPRC - April 27, 2020
An immunotherapy that has demonstrated durable responses in patients with melanoma is now showing promise for those with non-small cell lung cancer. Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or “TIL,” uses a patient’s own live immune cells to fight cancer. Surgeons remove a patient’s tumor and, in the lab, dissect and culture the T cells inside. These cells, which were able to detect and invade the tumor, are then multiplied by the billions — a
The six-week schedule/treatment for my stage II papillary thyroid cancer began on Thursday, April 23 with an hour-long telephone appointment with one of the doctors from the Nuclear Medicine department. He was confirming, clarifying, and preparing yours truly for the arduous task at hand: a commitment to a month-long, low iodine diet beginning April 27 (no salt, no sugar, no dairy, no normal-type bread and a bunch of other less impactful nos) and 15 on-site hospital-related visits (in lab, in do
Liquid biopsies are easier on patients, yield faster results and cost less than tissue biopsies, but these blood draws don’t yet replace traditional tests.
BY MEERI KIM, PH.D.
PUBLISHED APRIL 20, 2020
During winter 2013, Larry Gershon had a bad cold that he couldn’t shake. The then 65-year-old print broker took cold medicine and steroids to fight off the symptom
Since I'm not doing the food and pharmacy out-of-the-house shopping anymore, as I have for the last 40 years (as I may have mentioned in last week's column: "Money For What":), I am no longer in control of what we buy and how much we spend. The pandemic and my upcoming thyroid cancer treatment have combined to empower my wife, Dina, to set fairly strict guidelines. Primarily that I am to stay put in the house ALL THE TIME and that during my isolation, she will fill the purchasing vacuum. The ef
I don't know, really. Money comes in. Money goes out. But since I stay in and don't go out, cash is no longer king. Credit reigns supreme and since the accounting/budget system for the Lourie family business is rarely written down/planned for, I don't know from one expenditure to the next, where the money goes, unlike John Prine knew when he sang about "Sam Stone" when he came home.
As the spouse responsible for the business side of the marriage, it has been my job to financially plan wha
Given recent findings that cancer patients may be at higher risk of contracting the new coronavirus if they visit medical centers, the Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) has issued a work-in-progress advisory for lung cancer patients and their doctors on how to navigate cancer treatment during the pandemic.
The guidance is specific to people with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accou
Having recently received in the mail the three-ring binder/manual on the dos, don'ts and what-fors concerning the upcoming treatment for my stage II papillary thyroid cancer, and information as well (including a cookbook) about the low iodine diet I am instructed to start two weeks before my actual treatment begins, my takeaway is that it is going to be long and hard six weeks from start to post-quarantine finish.
The reason for my apprehension is twofold. First and foremost is that I am an
With everyone on edge during the coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to share this story of a lung cancer survivor who has fully recovered from the virus.
Man who lost lung battling cancer survives coronavirus decade later
BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man who lost a lung to cancer about a decade ago has survived another health battle -- this time, with the coronavirus.
It started as what he assumed was just a cold, but when Richard Botti, 61,
So far as I can tell, I'm being treated as per usual. Meaning, treatment for my recently diagnosed thyroid cancer is on track. On track meaning multiple hospital visits at two health care facilities (some even on the same day) over five consecutive days to include four radioiodine injections, pre-and post-treatment CT scans, lab work, miscellaneous other medical appointments and a low iodine diet to boot spread out over a nearly six-week interval including one over-night at the hospital.
In my 11-plus years as a lung cancer "diagnosee," I've done a pretty good job of facing the facts and acting/planning accordingly. I've accepted my reality and somehow managed to live so long beyond the original "13 month to two year" prognosis I was given by my oncologist that he has introduced me to some of his students as his "third miracle." Unfortunately, this characterization is not the end of the story.
In retrospect, dealing with/being treated for one type of cancer (non-small cell
I am sure I am not alone when I say that the past few weeks have felt like a few years. I cannot imagine the heartbreak of those who have lost someone to this new viral threat, and the fear felt by those who have been diagnosed or who love someone who has been diagnosed.
As we all hunker down as best we can for the greater good, several concerns float through my mind, like stones skipping on water. I am sure this is true for all of us who are caregivers. We may be pushing through the laundr
In a peculiar way, my cancer treatment and all has sort of gotten lost in the coronavirus talk. With so many changes to our regular lifestyle occurring on a daily basis, it feels as if nothing else matters. Granted, one's health is the most important consideration, but now the talk is about everybody's health. Nevertheless, how do I throw caution to the wind and interact with my environment when doing so might endanger the very stability I've worked over 11 years to maintain? I mean, I have to l
It began years ago when technology enabled bathrooms to change to hands-free. Other than the obvious hands-on responsibilities, many of the other elements no longer required any touching. Be it the paper-towel dispenser, the hand dryer, the hot and cold/on and off functions in the sinks, and, of course, the urinal and toilet flushing functions. All providing a convenience never before possible. Other than an automatic entry/exit function for the bathroom door, and one as well on the inside for t
Today marks 4 years of survival! By most standards, my path hasn't been as difficult as others. There have definitely been highs - when my hair grew back, my lashes grew in longer - and lows - two recurrences and a secondary cancer diagnosis. But as I say often - I'M STILL HERE! I tell my story to anyone who will listen. People need to know that lung cancer doesn't have to be an automatic death sentence. Does it suck? Yes. Will it change your life? Definitely. But you move forward, one step at
And so, what happens next? There's calm and then there's an eventual storm. The storm to which I refer is what will happen after the March 2nd meeting with my endocrinologist when she will assess and determine the next step in my post-thyroidectomy treatment. Presumably, in conjunction with my oncologist, a coordinated plan will be implemented for treating my two cancers. I can't imagine however, that being treated for two cancers, simultaneously, will be easier than being treated for one. And I
And somewhere to go, or so I thought. I had checked in at the front desk. I was given a number, and almost immediately, it was called. I said good-bye to Team Lourie and was led back to a staging area (beds, curtains, doctors, nurses) where I was told I would see them both before surgery. There I was given a gown, no-slip socks and a hair net to change into, and instructed to place all my clothes (underwear, too) into two plastic bags and then told to pull back the privacy curtain and lie back o
I continue the tradition of anointing my toes with paint for each year I survive this horrid disease. Till year 14, I applied red paint; now it is Lungevity blue. The tradition of painting a toes was started by Dr. Phil Berman, a never smoker radiologist diagnosed with Stage IV, NSCLC. He started RedToeNail.com, an early online cancer survivor blog and painted 5 toes of life before lung cancer claimed him. My tenure of life is a message of hope. If I can live, so can you.
Stay the course.
From cancer to toilet paper. Is that "off" enough? My reason for writing this column might be because I need a diversion (see last week's column), and because, as is so happened recently, I needed to replenish our toilet paper supply. (It had nothing to do with a winter advisory in the forecast.) As the consumer in the house, I am keen and motivated to spend our money wisely. I look for sales, I use paper coupons, I use digital coupons and of course, I peruse the advertising circulars, in print