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Sheri

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  1. I've been around for a while and I don't know how I missed this post. I would ask the Lord why bad things happen to good people. Death may not necessarily be a bad event for the person experiencing it however, survivor grief is horrific. Why must death remain a mystery? I choose to believe that life is seasonal. All that is old becomes new again, like leaves on a tree. One hundred years from now we will all be long gone and forgotten. Hopefully this board will be to as cancer will cease to exist.
  2. Thank you all for your words of encouragement. Fortunately I don't have a felony on my record and there is an opportunity for me to join the American Lung Cancer Association of California. That would be my dream job, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Again thank you for your support, I still cry over my Dad but I'm hoping that too will pass. I know I'll never get over his loss, I just hope someday it lessens. My depression is not as bad, I'm in recovery and I'm ready to fight Lung Cancer. I'd spend 5 years in jail to get my Dad back but as we know that isn't possible. I wish you all good health and thank you for your kind responses.
  3. My Dad died in August of 2007, a little over 5 years ago. I still visit this site a few times a month, offer nothing, just like to check and silently rejoice in the survivors who were here when I was around. For other caregivers who have lost your loved ones I would not recommend clicking on the "view your posts" link. A flood of memories came back that I didn't need to read, followed by a flood of tears. I was laid off from a great job in November 2010. I got three drunk drivings in one year, spent a year in jail, lost my house, my clean background and my stepfather to lung cancer. My stepfather died in January of 2011, while I was in jail and as much as I tried, I just couldn't comfort my Mom in California by phone in her time of need. My sister, who broke her ankle had the time off work to help my Mom but I guess she was too "busy" to give a shi_. One of my darkest moments was when my daughter who was 19 at the time told me she received nothing for Christmas. As an only child she was used to being completely spoiled on her birthdays and Christmas. I remember being on the phone with her and sliding to the floor as she tried to stifle her tears. The foreclosure process took a year to complete so my daughter had a place to live. She dropped out of college on medical, the stress of maintaining the household and herself was too much. Fortunately I did have unemployment for her for awhile but she did have to get two jobs just to keep the lights on. My Dad's house in Michigan sold way below market value and my sister took the bulk of his estate. Fortunately, I did receive five thousand dollars, enough to move us out here to CA to take care of my Mom. She cannot live alone, about 20 years ago she was robbed and hit 3 times over her head with an ax. She has a serious seizure disorder amongst other disabilities. I got out of jail July 22, 2011 and had three weeks to pack up my house of 20 years and move out here to CA. My daugher couldn't help with the house, she was in an ATV accident and broke her collar bone. In recovery and without insurance for anti-anxiety meds I stressed to no end. If there is such a thing as a nervous breakdown, I'm sure I was having one. My Mom had three grand mal seizures after her husband of 33 years died and I had to put her in a nursing home until I could get out here. We've been out here for a year and I can't find a job because I don't have a drivers license and my criminal background prevents me from working in social work. I've never done anything else, I've always been an executive director, director or served in middle management for non-profits. McDonalds won't even hire me, thinking they'll train me only to see me leave when I do find a job in my field. My daughter is now 21, she was 20 when she left her life long friends and the small town she lived in her whole life to come out with me and take care of her Gram. She is my lifeline. I've had several breakdowns since I've been here and though my baby lives across town she will come when I call. My Mom and I have been living on her social security which doesn't go very far. Thankfully her house is paid off. I really do love living with my Mom, she spoils me when I should be spoiling her and fortunately she hasn't had a seizure since I've been here. She was hospitalized for 5 days with pneumonia and now she has her good days and bad days. She's only 68 and has early onset dementia, so sometimes I have to remind her of things many times. She wants to move, too many memories in this house but until I can get a job and a full time caretaker I'm unable to do this for her. I dream of my Dad often, there's not a day I don't miss him and wonder what life would be like now if he were still here. I still have those moments when I think, oh I have to remember to tell Dad this, he'd crackup. I've been doing volunteer work to get out there and network, but again I can't leave Mom home alone for long. Well that's about it. For those of you who are thinking "wth", I just needed to vent and also let you guys know I often think of you and wish everyone good health. Sheri
  4. Makes sense to me T. My Dad's house is on wooded acreage. I would hear strange sounds and he would tell me it was the Banshees. Scared the crap out of me, maybe that's why I'm still neurotic.
  5. Thanks for sharing your stories also. T, I'm sorry you recently lost a friend. And Judy you've endured so much. That picture of my Dad was part of a video. My daughter took it and pressed video by accident. I've been listening and watching the video and am almost haunted by the audio. I asked my daughter what that sound was and she suggested a bird. It's different and creepy to me, you guys listen and let me know what you think.
  6. More than any other holiday or significant day, I think the 4th bothers me the most. Maybe because that is the holiday upon us or maybe it's something else. My Dad was somewhat of a fire bug. Oh, who am I trying to fool, give him a match and something to burn and he was like a kid in a candy store. As I sit at home and listen to fireworks all around me, my mind wanders to the many independence days my Dad and I shared. It started around ten years ago. I would go to the fireworks store (I couldn't believe the illegal stuff you could get there) and load up on all sorts of pyrotechnics. The family sat on the deck while he winged his way through a fantastic light show. He always made me nervous. I worried he wouldn't run the hell away fast enough. Let's just say he's had to stop, drop and roll more than once. The last two years of his life, I was able to return the anxiety as I became the technician. I miss him so... Our last bonfire: I've been trying to make this smaller...Oh well
  7. Sheri

    A survivor...

    Here in Beerfield MI (population 540), we are having our annual town garage sale. Coming back from the store I felt compelled to stop at a house when I saw an elderly lady wearing a purple relay for life tshirt labeled as a survivor. I tapped her on the back and congratulated her on her survivorship and explained I lost my Dad almost three years ago to cancer. She has been battling NSCLC for five years and lost her husband and son to cancer. My eyes teared up. I asked "how can someone live through the tremendous loss?" She shrugged her shoulders and said, "you have to do it one day at a time." As simple as this message was, she demonstrated courage. It would be great if we could designate a day each year for all cancer survivors. You guys deserve it!
  8. Judy, whatever day it is I just wanted to mention I love reading the "Airs". I mostly lurk now. I thought I would have to leave this site after my Dad died but never could. Judy, I love your energy! Even on your "not feeling so well" days and you only make five batches of Christmas cookies, have lunch with the neighbors, clean out the refrigerator, go to group and stock the RV, I'm in awe. I'm also impressed by so many other members that ride a bike 30 miles to work, keep up the forum and offer kindness to others. My Dad's Birthday is today. My days are easier knowing others are still in the fight and there are those who are advocating. Everyone on this board represents courage, strength and faith. I'll keep reading as long as you guys keep writing. Thank you!
  9. We share this with our parents Nick. My Dad always reminded me of this being the darkest day also...
  10. She had a stroke, it was sudden. I'm grateful that we were on good terms when she left but I am feeling an enormous guilt. My Dad wanted me to financially take care of her when and if he died. She lost his pension and his SS income. As some of you remember, I didn't have that opportunity. My Uncle stepped right in and claimed he right to survivorship to my Dad's house from an old deed. He claimed the second mortgage my Dad and Stepmom took out was illegal because he didn't sign. Therefore, I didn't make half the mortgage payments as I promised my Dad. I didn't want pay for a property that I had no legal interest in. Her last two years were a struggle, the house was in foreclosure because she couldn't pay the second mortgage or the taxes. We're having a family meeting with the Uncle tomorrow at 10:00 AM at my Dad's house. I'm still in shock, but I do wonder if I failed my Dad by not making her last two years better. It's overwhelming, almost like I lost my Dad all over again.
  11. Sheri

    I am Shameless

    Kasey, How low can you go? I mean when you're limbo dancing. I hope your post can stay at this current residence. I'm so sorry about Tracy and I know this year will be tough for you without her. I wish I could of gave more, but well, with a kid in college my funds have become somewhat limited. Thanks Kasey for all that you do!
  12. Dana, I've been watching your journey and find you to be very fortunate. Normally people with small cell, limited or ext. do not have the option of surgery. It is assumed by the medical profession or the insurance companies that once small cell presents itself it is systemic and chemo and radiation are the only options available. Because your tumor could not be reached for a biopsy, you had the option of surgery. If a biopsy would have indicated small cell prior to a treatment plan, more than likely you would not have had the option for the surgical removal of your mass. I wish my Dad had the option for surgery, he may still be here. There are a few small cell survivors here who have had surgery and have been in remission for a long time. My Dad had the Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation (PCI, probably what your onc is referring to.) and he was tired for a while but it didn't adversely affect his cognitive function. It is a standard treatment for small cell. Seeking research and advice makes you a great self-advocate. I'm pulling for you girl, and am confident you will be around for a long time. Here's a good link to start with: http://www.oncolink.org/library/article ... =45&id=577
  13. Sheri

    My Mom

    Tina I'm so sorry you have to suffer another loss. You and your family are in my prayers.
  14. Thanks Katie, for making the letter truly confidential for Dr. B. I don't know what I was thinking but I'm glad you were quick on the uptake. Duh, on my part! Update: I woke up this morning with second thoughts. I was going to soften the letter or not send it at all. However, Dr. B does have a website with a "contact us" form. Yesterday, before I posted the letter to this site, I did try to send the letter via their web form but when I clicked submit I would go to a "page cannot be displayed" site. Sooooo, I get an email today from the doctor asking that I give him my cell number. I guess he got it after all. So I don't know what I'm going to do now.
  15. This is long guys, but I woke up this morning feeling the time was now to express my feelings. I'll print this out and mail it Monday, but please give me honest feedback first. Thank you in advance for all your support. Additionally, I hope this letter serves to help other people if you find your loved ones in a similar situation: This communication is meant to be confidential for Dr. B: Ronald S. Ott January 8, 1939-August 13, 2007 This letter is almost two years late; however as part of my grief process, the time has come to submit it. On November 16, 2004 my father was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. As part of his treatment he underwent many chemotherapy cycles of Carboplatin and later Cisplatin. A common side effect of both of these medications is renal failure. In June of 2007, my father was hospitalized before we had plans to take him to Indiana for cyber knife treatment for his skull metastasis. While hospitalized you injected him with insulin as you knew his kidneys were compromised and his blood sugar was elevated. In essence, he was diagnosed with Diabetes type II. When I asked you in the waiting room if we should take insulin on the trip you responded “no”, let him eat and enjoy himself. You mentioned his condition was terminal, as I was very well aware. In hindsight, you sent him off to die. When my father first found out he was in renal failure, I asked him if we should tell Dr. M, his medical oncologist. His response was no, this is Dr. B’s “bailiwick”. In America, bailiwick is slang for a person’s specific area of interest, skill or authority. I question if his belief in your “skill” led to his demise. Our first mistake was the failure to refer him to a nephrologist as renal failure is not your specialty. My dad often mentioned how he felt sorry for you as you often displayed sympathy to him for his condition. When I expressed his thoughts on your sympathy to you, you responded: “He is the first patient I have had with lung cancer.”. My dad didn’t need your sympathy; he needed your medical expertise. On Friday, August 4th of 2007, I brought him an apple pie with vanilla ice cream, his last meal. Saturday August 5th of the same year, we brought him to the emergency room where he presented pulmonary embolisms and progression of his lung tumor. You became involved in his care, told me intravenous Heparin attempts would be futile, he was going to die. As he progressed into his coma, according to your recommendation a feeding tube was also not a viable solution. I was desperate to save him, if only for a while longer. Perhaps it was a higher intervention but as he lay in his coma for ten days, it never occurred to me to have his blood sugar checked. However, as his general practitioner, it should have occurred to you. I’ve often wondered if your father or loved one was in a coma, knowing he had compromised kidneys, if you would have taken this simple measure. During the two and a half years he lived with lung cancer, I spent many hours researching for a cure. What I had learned in my studies is that people do not lapse in a coma with pulmonary embolisms or lung tumors. Two hours after his death, I asked my sister “why didn’t we have his sugar checked?” After his death this was a moot point. I have lived with the guilt of the apple pie, my failure to properly advocate for him and your purported incompetence. My only comfort is he died peacefully in my arms. This communication is not to place blame. The perfect goal of this letter would be that you write back, tell me his blood was checked regularly during his hospitalization and his sugar count was within the normal range. This would assure me, I did not kill him with apple pie and you did everything possible to emerge him from his coma. If the aforementioned goal is not feasible, it is my hope, you have learned from this experience. Please educate yourself on the treatment of cancer and renal conditions so no other family or loved ones have to live with tremendous guilt. Lung cancer is not always a death sentence. With adequate medical care, people can live with cancer for many years as a chronic disease. It is unreasonable to believe that dialysis or insulin during his coma would ultimately cure him but we could have had more time. Every second I spent with my Dad was a gift. As I mentioned to you in the waiting room, we are all terminal. Sincerely, Sher
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