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Tom Galli

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Posts posted by Tom Galli


  1. Steve,

    Thank you for your very complete explanations of SCLC treatment and side effects made on this forum. Your devotion to your wife is obvious as is your concern for those who suffer a future SCLC diagnosis.

    Thankfully, few of us suffer from this devastating form of lung cancer. Indeed our presence on the SCLC thread was barely there before you and a stalwart few others joined us recently. I do hope your wife's treatments arrest her lung cancer and her side effects wane.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  2. Teri,

    I guess we think alike. My freezer is filled to the "gills". Additionally we've got US Army Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and freeze dried entries found on Amazon. So we have food on loan from the Lord!

    We were major Lysol wipe users but they are hard to come by these days. We purchased a bottle of commercial bleach and a spay bottle and now use it in place of Lysol wipes. Everything that comes into the house gets the custom dilution-bleach-treatment--even the mail! My Army training suggested bleach as an alternative. It is used to decontaminate soldiers and equipment from the residue of chemical and biological attack!

    Enjoy your kids!

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  3. Susan,

    Welcome here. Bridget's offered cogent advice. We are survivors and you'll join our ranks. In your exploration of our site, you've likely noted more of us are hanging around for longer periods. Lung cancer treatment has dramatically improved in the last 5 years. Here is something I typically share with new folks.

    Questions? Although we are not physicians, we have deep experience on every facet of lung cancer treatment. So ask away as you move through the diagnostics trail into treatment.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  4. Steve,

    After my third cycle of taxol and carboplatin, my magnesium blood level started trending downward. Normal range tends from 1.7 tp 2.2 mg/dL and mine were typically 1.3 to 0.8. I've been taking 1000mg of magnesium supplement a day (500mg AM and 500mg PM) for since 2007. This controls my main symptom muscle cramps but does not restore my levels to the normal range.

    I've never had a MG IV that I know of.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  5. Olivia,

    "I don’t feel like other people have as much hope as I do." The don't and they won't. The only time someone learns about lung cancer is after a diagnosis experience. Fortunately, the treatment experience is been revolutionized in the last several years--your dad's immunotherapy is but one innovation.

    But faith and hope are still very important treatment components. Perhaps this might help you understand their significance to survivors and care givers.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  6. During a Lungevity's survivors zoom meet-up we discussed how best to make personal medical history available if one is incapacitated and family members are not present. One can purchase bracelets that warn of specific medical conditions and allergies, but we lung cancer survivors often have complex medical conditions and side-effects that can complicate diagnosis and treatment by emergency medicine professionals. A survivor mentioned the Health App found on an iPhone, and sure enough, one was hanging out on my phone completely devoid of any information. No longer, now it contains my complete medical history, and I've set it so emergency medical personnel can access this information right from the lock screen without entering my password or using biometrics to unlock my phone. Here is what I put on my phone:

    • My entire lung cancer treatment history, dates of treatments, drugs used, types and areas of radiation administered
    • Other chronic medical conditions: sleep apnea, Sjorgren's Syndrome and the like.
    • My surgical history, types of surgeries, and dates
    • Chronic pain conditions and locations
    • Hard IV stick
    • Intubation requires a small endotracheal tube
    • Medication allergies
    • Prescription Medication taken by type of medication and dose
    • Blood Type
    • Height, weight
    • Two emergency contacts, by name and phone number

    Other models of cell phone have similar capability. Use this technology feature. It may save your life.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  7. Olivia,

    I've not had whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) but know many who have. I even know someone who had three WBRT sessions in three successive years and went on to live for about 5 years after his lung cancer was arrested only to perish from a heart attack.

    I won't try to sugar coat things. SCLC is a tough row to hoe; brain mets up the difficulty, but WBRT can eliminate tumors with minimal side effects. Even tumors that are too small to see on scans.

    There should be no pain and any neurologic symptoms he's having should start to wane shortly after treatment starts.  Some have had hair loss and a redness of the scalp. Hang in there. 

    Stay the course.

    Tom 


  8. Olivia,

    SCLC does frequently occur in the brain and many have surgery, whole brain radiation, or precision radiation to deal with brain mets. So the fight is not yet over. Here is information on radiation therapy that may be helpful at this juncture.

    The MRI should provide clarity of the situation.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  9. Welcome and very sorry to learn of your recurrence.

    You may wish to tell us the type of lung cancer you had as a result of your lobectomy. Going forward, those of us with your type of lung cancer may be positioned to help you understand treatments and side effects.

    Take your time and read about us on Forums and Blogs. I had 5 recurrences in my treatment history. I do hope your recurrence is quickly resolved.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  10. Deb,

    I'd freak out also. Most perplexing are the words: "indeterminate and possibility of metastases!"

    I have "phantom nodules" that appear one scan and are gone the next. I've been dealing with these for years and in fact even record them by scan date and location on a spreadsheet. That helps reduce my post scan freak show. But I still suffer scanziety. I've not found a solution for reducing the pre-scan scanziety or the post scan freak "phantom nodule" show. It just seems to be part of the disease.

    Likely you'll have a consultation with a medical oncologist or pulmonologist to discuss the results and path forward. I'd suggest asking your ordering physician to have the scan reinterpreted by another radiologist. Perhaps that might resolve the ambiguity.

    Welcome back by the way. 

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  11. Teri,

    Michelle suggests a good point. From your description of mets (not including coccyx bone), you'll like Stage at IV.  Social Security Disability (SSD) at Stage IV, is an easy determination.

    The only complication is Medicare eligibility. If you are already eligible, fine. If not, SSD requires a 24 month delay before Medicare eligibility is obtained. 

    I was declared disabled by Social Security during my year's worth of surgical mayhem in 2004. My company's long term disability insurance required I apply for SSD as a condition to continue receipt of disability payments, and that application was accepted by the administration. I didn't want to be disabled and sent the check back along with a letter saying I was returning to work. I stayed full time employed for eight years and for three of those I slugged through chemotherapy fighting recurrences. Side effects, mixed with chronic pain and job stress (director of research and development) made my life miserable. Ironically, when I felt I could no longer tolerate work related stress with treatment induced pain, I applied for SSD and was denied! I had to find a law practice that specialized in SSD appeals once denied, and it took about 6 months of paper shuffling and administration physical examinations and legal interventions to gain SSD. Thankfully, you'll be in a position to understand the legal complexity.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  12. Scruboak,

    I have surgical neuropathy. I had a conventional thoracotomy and they needed to re-enter my chest 2 more times to repair a non-cooperative bronchus stump. So I have lots of permanent nerve damage. It is painful all the time and it gets worse when I'm agitated. It also becomes very painful if I get abdominal cramps. I've learned to tolerate the pain but I do get relief if I can submerse myself in a pool up to my neck. The buoyant effect of water neutralizes gravity's pull and that eases the pain somewhat. My wife applies lidocaine patches to the incision scars when things get tough or when the pain makes sleep difficult.

    I've been living with this symptom for nearly 16 years and while not pleasant, it beats the alternative.

    Stay the course.

    Tom


  13. Bridget,

    These were newly fledged about a month ago. The male is in the upper photo and female in the lower. There should be a third hatch anyway now. When fed, cardinals can fledge 4 times in a Texas season. The good thing is the parents rid the place of insects trying to keep the young fed.

     

     

    40E71D4D-00A4-4F8E-A581-A6B805AB3FB7_1_105_c.jpeg


  14. Does COVID have you feeling cooped up? Try attracting humming birds to a window where you can observe them closely. They even sell small feeders with suction cups that you can stick to your window glass. One part sugar to four parts water and you are in business. Here is a Black Chinned Hummingbird lining up for a sugary treat on a rainy Texas afternoon.

    1CEDFB71-F667-4755-9C8D-F29AC53241A5_1_105_c.jpeg


  15. APT,

    Are you referring to the CA19-9 blood marker or a biopsy result. From my reading CA19-9 marker can be an indicator of pancreatic cancer but is not definitive. Here is where I'm reading about CA19-9.

    Do you have a pathologist report from the histology examination biopsy material?

    It is not rare that cancer from another organ would metastasize to the lung. It is rare that a type of cancer be diagnosed as pancreatic cancer and no primary is in or on the pancreas. I do hope the scheduled CT scan provides answers about her pain and finds the primary tumor if in the pancreas.

    Stay the course.

    Tom

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