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Tom Galli

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Blog Comments posted by Tom Galli


  1. I like your pivot approach. It does a fine job of sorting the wheat from the chaff.  What concerns me most however is how prevalent outlandish miracle cure myths have become in our society.  The result is some believe the fairy tale and invest in the cure and "suffer" both economically and medically.  The time for 1870s miracle elixir is done.  Lung cancer is bad enough but chasing hope in a high priced bottle of nonsense is just plain stupid.  I listened to an intelligent man tell me that intravenous Vitamin C was a sure-fire cancer cure.  When asked for evidence, he related that Linus Pauling, Nobel laureate Chemist, killed cancer cells with high concentrations of Vitamin C in a petri dish. Ok, sure, put high enough concentrations of almost any reagent in a petri dish and it will kill cells.  Pauling did believe that high concentrations of Vitamin C, taken intravenously, cured cancer but many subsequent science based studies have failed to ratify Pauling's belief.  Yet this myth lives on and well intended and not so well intended people propagate it!

    We lung cancer survivors already face the self-induced stigma that tamps down research funds for science based treatment methods.  The solution is not to embrace non-science based methods.  We need to go to war against the miracle cure.  Purveyors of these cures need to be publicly ridiculed. 

     

     

      


  2. Susan,

    SBRT is good stuff. It fried my non-cooperating tumor and resulted in my long tenured NED. I've done a lot of reading on the Abscopal Effect and this is reflective of what I've learned. We both share NSCLC that is resistant to targeted therapy and perhaps even immunotherapy, but my chemo-resistant tumor stopped growing and spreading after but three - 15 minute treatments by CyberKnife in early 2007.  I've had quarterly, then bi-annual scans since and all have been NED.

    Tell super rad-doc to lock and load and blast that son of a b&#*& into scar tissue!

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  3. Hey! Oh by the way, The Philadelphia Eagles WON SUPER BOWL FIFTY TWO!  Might a cancer cure be in the offing?  There are these ground-shaking situational events that precede dramatic course changes in history.  An Eagles WIN that nudges a CANCER CURE might be the next big swing.  It is the Eagles FIRST SUPER BOWL; cancer cure is by comparison a piece of cake.  My hope is always eternal! Always!

    Go big-midnight-green-football-machine!  E...A...G...L...E...S!

    I'm staying the course for Super Bowl 53!  Two in-a-row has to yield the miracle cure!


  4. Susan,

    Unfortunately, I still get hit right between the eyes.  Case in point, I've had a nagging congested chest condition with a "dry patch" in my throat since mid May.  My GP ordered and ENT endoscope consult followed by an MRI.  So alarm bells are ringing in my head!  Recurrence, even after long periods of NED is common.  Living with the threat is partly finding one's new normal, but the threat is always hanging around my mind and effects my day to day life.  For example, I pay close attention to medical expense and medical evacuation benefits on the travel insurance policy I now purchase for every international vacation.  And, I still have that scanziety drill for my two scheduled oncology consultations a year.

    Lung cancer really is part of my life.  It is ever present in my mind.  Sometimes, I am overwhelmed by its reality.  My only solutions is to....

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  5. And, what of hope?  What is the essence of it?

    Words inspire me.  They lift my spirit and excite my soul.

    Especially two simple words: faith and hope.

    These words have a natural order. Indeed one must have faith before hope is possible.

    So the question becomes, what is faith?

    Faith is belief, conviction, an unshakable confidence, that something unseen, untouchable, or unknowable exists.

    I have faith my chemotherapy treatments will arrest my cancer.  I cannot see them working, nor can I touch the chemicals.  I cannot know they are working but my belief is strong, resolute and unshakable. I have faith.

    And because I have faith, hope is possible.  What is the essence of hope?

    Hope is an expectation of a good outcome.  For those with lung cancer, we hope against hope. We cling to slim odds; we rejoice at possibility despite monumental probability. Indeed, we who suffer lung cancer are hopers.  And, "hope is a good thing"; "hope is maybe the best of things."

    Hope gives us purpose. It stiffens resolve. It creates strength to endure.  Hope sustains.  Without doubt, hope lifts my spirit and excites my soul.

    "Out of the night that covers me, 

    Black as the pit from pole to pole,

    I thank whatever gods may be,

    For my unconquerable soul."

    I believe I shall live to enjoy the simple things, the little things, the important things. My faith in life is unshakable. I hope to live each day to find little pieces of joy. When found I shall rejoice. For the magic of life is joy. But the essence of life is faith and hope.

    Stay the course.


  6. Wisdom.  Indeed, uncommon common sense but you've synthesized both the caregiver problem and solution, elegantly. Well done Danielle, again!

    No one will ever understand ground truth till the ground is walked. Then truth becomes apparent, experience is invaluable, and real empathy is possible.  That is why this place is so important.  Survivors and caregivers know what lies ahead and can communicate ground truth.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  7. Danielle,

    Oh my, there is so much to digest in part 1 but that said, I yearn for parts 2 and 3 of your Three Rs.  

    Lung cancer: the surprise that keeps on surprising.  I was the patient.  I had it easy compared to my wife's continuous reset of her life while tending to me.  This is wisdom for the ages.

    Well said, no extremely well said!

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  8. Myra,

    Sorry for the delay in responding. Our WIFI coverage is spotty. 

    Your concern is should you get a second opinion. Of course you should and as Katie says from another surgeon. 

    I don't like the watch and wait strategy. It drove me nuts realizing there was a tumor inside my body that was capable of spreading. 

    Doctors have an important job and we place a lot of trust in them. But medicine is an art (what to do) and a science (how to do it) and figuring out what is vastly more difficult than how. To answer what to do -- to operate or not -- requires experience and each surgeon has a different experience base. So yes, by all means get a second and perhaps third opinion. 

    Don't worry about the right or wrong place to write. Anywhere will do and we'll eventually find you. 

    Stay the course. 

    Tom

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