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Everything posted by SharKats

  1. I'm so sorry about the news. I remember how I felt when I went from 4 being gone after new chemo regime to the re-scan and 15 to 20 being found in less than 6-7 weeks. I took a downward spiral. But I got so much encouragement, support and empathy from this Board that I was able to pull myself up and get ready for the WBR. (BTW, only 5 more to go). I too hope that if you are not already, you can begin anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications - they have done wonders for me, my mental state and outlook. Wishing you the best and remembering you in my prayers that you will have strength to fight and not let this awful disease get the best of you.
  2. BRAVO! Great response to the judgemental, guilt-tripping PM'er. (I should say "attempted guilt tripper). It's most certainly a personal decision and not up for debate or ridicule or put-downs - it's your choice - your life. I know that if/when my disease runs out of options and it has spread to the point of no return, I will probably smoke again until it's "time". Altho I do have COPD and asthma - that may make it a little more difficult - but only time will tell. Again, great post!!!
  3. Hi! He scheduled the upper GI at the same time of my WBR so I couldn't go. I've been to all the other appointments with him. He says "I'm on his back incessantly" and "making him crazy". Oh well................he's already half crazy - may as well go all the way. Thank you all again for the support and encouragement. This is THE most stressful time of my life and it's wonderful to be able to express these feelings to people who either have "been there" "are there" or understand what it would be like to "be there". God bless us one and all. The next time I post here I hope to be able to say all is normal and he's back to work and they haven't hired someone to take his place.
  4. Remembering you in my prayers Betty. May God watch over you and keep you in His care. Warm & Gentle Hugs, dear lady.
  5. Just a quick update: After weeks of Hal being in an almost canatonic state, I managed to get him to a doctor who prescribed Welbutrin. Hal refused to take them - so, finally got his daughters to come down and see him. (they didn't believe me because he "sounded just fine on the phone.") My sister had spoken with a psychologist who said as a last resort, there were steps that could be taken should he prove to be a danger to himself, yada, yada. Well, when a 68 yr old man goes for days without eating and some days without drinking, I'm thinking he could very well be a danger to himself and I was heading down the involuntarily commitment lane. The girls'2-day visit, along with all of us seeing the cancer counseler/social worker in addition to a long talk at home, got him to agree to take his anti-depressants. Since he had been having severe stomach problems, I scheduled an appt w/a different doctor who took him off the Welbutrin (she said it was ridiculous to have him on an anti-depressant that would take 4 to 6 wks to work when he so obviously needed help sooner.) He has been taking them so there has been some improvement; his concentration and focus has surfaced - to an extent, but we're still not there yet. I have just about decided I have done all I can and the rest is up to him. My worry bag is over-flowing and as it turns out, all the worrying in the world isn't going to help anyone who does not choose to help themself. (or is it selves?) So, still hoping and praying we're going forward and not backward and that his job is still there waiting for him. PS. He was scheduled for an upper GI this AM at this medical campus near THE medical center. He was back home in 3 hours and it turns out he never "found the place." Now he has a cell, paperwork with the phone number, and there are a lot of places to stop and ask directions. I understand it is a HUGE facility. Hummmmmmmmmm.......... did I say I hoped we were on a forward roll here?
  6. SharKats


    I think it's time for this particular oncologist to hang up his shingle and retire. To have such a defeatest attitude with a patient is just wrong! I mean how discouraging to hear those statements from an oncologist. Run don't walk to another doctor sounds like EXCELLENT advice to me. Gosh, it makes me so angry to hear about incidents like this........ Wishing your Dad all the best - I will remember him in my prayers.
  7. I second everyone's posts - good wishes and I will be hoping they will find the optimal way to treat this stubborn thing. God bless you and your family!
  8. Hi! I think the worst part was the initial meeting with my radiation onc and getting all the details, then the simulation and making of the mask. It had been such an ordeal having the body cast made for the chest radiation, that this went by really fast. It was certainly a weird sensation having that wet, rubbery stuff dry on your face. I asked her to please make the nose "hole" really large. I took an Antivan Monday about an hour prior and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I just had an image of everything being literally scrambled - like eggs - and I would have a forever head tilt. I don't know quite where I get these visualizations. This was day #3 and I can tell the level of anxiety will be maintained through-out but it's certainly do-able. I want to thank you and everyone on this board who encouraged me and gave me strength to not obsess over this WBR. Half the battle was won by your calming influences and previous experiences. THANK YOU!!!!
  9. Jen, I am so sorry to hear about this and I can truly say I know exactly how you feel. I was given a resounding NED - looks like long term survivor and then a month later it was oh, you've got mets to your brain. I remember feeling like I was just spiraling down to the bottom of a deep well and wasn't sure I wanted to come up again. It just throws you into dispair for a while. But with my friends and family's encouragement and prayers, I decided I had nothing to lose by getting back up out of that bottomless hole and not letting the beast win - not win yet anyway. And he's not going to win by my not fighting - he'll have to play fair. I don't know if these analogies make much sense right now but I really did have to work hard emotionally and mentally to get back in a "good" place and push away the fear, anger and disappointment. I'll be praying for you and I am sending you a big cyber hug of encouragement. God bless you!
  10. Raising hand - today was my 3rd WBR. I have a total of 15 so it will be good to get week one marked off the calendar. I don't feel any differently now altho tired because I still haven't totally recovered from the chemo I was on just prior to starting this. I hope I don't get hit really hard at the end of the WBR as some of you did. Let's those of us who are currently having this lovely treatment post right here if we have anything unusual or just share our experiences. I don't like the mask but I had prepared myself for it as best I could and my onc gave me Antivan - maybe that's helping keep me calm. The decadron is making me grow extra chins so I think that mask is gonna be pretty darn tight by the 15th day. I just pray it's doing it's thing!
  11. Wow! You're all done and recovering - that's great! I was going to welcome you and wish you the best before but sending out those same wishes anyway.
  12. Oh my, I loved the Stuart Little movies but the husband was so, so...... um, not hot shall we say? I can't believe it's the same man! Now I have to watch Stuart Little again. Thanks for the info and wait until I tell my sister Karen.
  13. I think I read somewhere that sclc is 99% due to smoking. With the patient on the show having had a sick child previously, I just couldn't see her as a former smoker. And I do wish they had revealed just a little bit more about the disease. I've been trying to reassure my husband that there's always hope, no matter the statistics and they are talking about how aggressive, immediate decision - which is all medically correct in her case I'm sure. I just didn't expect her to have SCLC and it was also hubby's first time to see the show. And I agree - kick off that nasty administrator and I also agree, House is hot, scruffy beard and all. (He's from England and I think he does a great job on the non-accent). My sister and I both are hooked on the show and the star - even tho he could be our son. I think they have some very interesting "diseases" and diagnostic procedures. It's not the same oh.........................
  14. SharKats

    To Betplace

    I will never forget the informative and comforting PM's you took the time to send me when I was so frightened and had just decided my mind could handle knowing more about this disease. Your dx was almost identical to mine and I sought you out for some info. I'm sure you had answered the same questions for many other people but you never made me feel as if I were bothering you - you were just so kind and comforting. I will always, always be grateful - you are indeed a hero to many, many people on this Board. May God keep you in His care - always!
  15. Sending prayers your way for both you and your Mom. As someone else said - it's such a difficult journey for both patient and caregiver. God bless!
  16. Your courage, compassion and concern for others has been a source of inspiration and admiration for and from me. I am devastated to hear this news and I don't know what to say. I want to say God, don't let her die, let this wonderful lady stay with us, we need her here. But we don't have all our prayers answered and we just have to believe that God needs another angel. I know I post sparodically but I always loved your posts and looked for your smiling face in the photo. God keep you in His care - you touched so many lives in such a positive way.
  17. Thanks Karen. The 11:00 AM appt turned into 2:15 because he refused to get dressed. I had to call and beg them to still see him. He rec'd RX for anti-depressants and when I asked tonight if he'd be sure and take them he said "he'd see". I quit - I give up. I am so weak from the last dose of chemo that I just don't have any reserves left to help someone who is only fighting me and making things more difficult. If he loses his job and we lose our home - so be it. I will find somewhere to go for whatever time I have left. I am just weak, worn out, more depressed than ever and feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I have brain scan set for Sunday and radiation ong appt Tuesday. I have to conserve what strength I have and prepare to face this. You can't help someone who doesn't want your help or wants to help themself. Thanks for listening.
  18. Hi Everyone, Just wanted you all to know that hubby is still deep in the depression mode and a "shrink" referral turned out to be a very expensive mistake since I didn't cancel chemo and accompany him. He left w/RX for sleeping pills; that's about all he does now is sleep or stare at the TV with the sound muted. So, I am communicating with his work and thank God they are being very kind and supportive. We saw a cancer counselor/therapist Friday and she said he needs to be on anti-depressants ASAP. It's a good thing I was there because I was able to relate his actual behavior and she was not just presented with this "facade" that he's somehow able to manage to convey to strangers. So we have 11:00 AM apt tomorrow with family practionier, of his choosing, and I am not leaving until we have RX in hand for anti-depressants. He seems to be very sound sensitive and I remember experiencing that many years ago when I had a "chemical imbalance". I also think anti-anxiety meds would be good but I don't know if he'll take anything other than the anti-depressants. The cancer counselor works within a cancer care group and you get six free visits. I only wish I had thought of and pursued this sooner. I do so want him to be getting back to normal before my WBR begins at end of month. Not sure I can handle both things at once. Wish us luck - and I'll let you know what happens. (Daughter's visit postponed 2 weeks, sigh.....)
  19. I just wanted to say I am sending my very best to you and your new husband as you fight this cancer beast - together. God bless you both.
  20. I am so sorry Karen - I can't keep names straight. I mean I had a problem doing that beginning 10 years ago and it is rapidly going downhill. Both his daughters called him yesterday - I didn't want to question him too much about the conversations but he said Kari was going to come for a short visit in about 2 weeks. That will do him a world of good. My sister Linda drove over - stopped and talked with him while I was in the chiro's office for over an hour. I think he feels he has been overlooked - that everything has been about me, me, me, me. I need to attach much more importance to his role in this and his fears and disappointments. I know people think you can drag someone kicking and screaming to a doctor but you can't. I would need about 5 other people to help me tie him up and then with the privacy issues and his refusal to cooperate, I don't think it would accomplish anything. I can't tell you how his refusal to seek help colors my feelings about him. I have no patience or tolerance for people who live in a time where help of all types is available and they put their head in the sand and would rather be miserable, frightened, depressed, feel out of control, etc. I hope no one thinks I am a bad person for feeling like this but I do and I am trying very, very hard not to let it show. I just hope when morning comes he'll be headed to work. Nothing I'd like better than for him to be able to retire. BUT, when he moved here in '92, he was not able to find work for 2 years, ergo, savings, retirement all gone. I knew long ago we'd both die at our desks except the SCLC sort of changed the plan of me dying at my desk. Hopefully, it will be here at home surrounded by my loved ones. Oh me, I just wanna wake up and find out these last 16 months were a very bad dream and I know most of us here want the same thing. I will definitely be in touch with a Crisis Center if things worsen but I am praying and hoping against hope that given more attention and empathy toward his being a primary care-giver will work at least for now. Thanks again for all of your support, suggestions and concern. You are all so great.
  21. I want to thank all of you, with all my heart, who responded - the sharing of your experiences, your suggestions and most of all your comforting words got me through yesterday. I wanted to see how the afternoon and evening proceeded before I posted again. Hal told the big boss he would be in yesterday afternoon. It took 2 hours for him to take a shower, me asking when he was going and if he wasn't to please call his boss. I tried to call his boss and he went ballistic. So I'm calling his boss Monday. I(f he gets fired, no one is going to hire a 68 year old man and then God knows what will happen). Anyway, yesterday was just another non-responsive, sleep in the recliner all afternoon and evening. I did get him to go to Taco Bell last night because I figured he'd eat that. He's in a stupor - a daze, obviously unable to cope with anything at this time. And to add cherries on the top, my niece in Miami (has always been a drug or alcohol abuser) got drunk and called the Houston police to our house. Not once but twice. Got a nice, loud pep talk from the first cop who obviously couldn't see anything wrong. Then a 2nd cop came about 20 min's later. They said they were closing out my niece's complaint. Oh me................... I called his sister Ruth and she spoke to him and I could hear him basically say his mind wasn't coping right now. You can't imagine what an admission that was from him. She suggested I call a crisis center and get some guidance as to how to proceed. She also suggested him talking to a minister but we don't have a church and I can't see him talking about this with a total stranger and I don't think even if I found one that they make house-calls any more. Karen I am so sorry about what you had to go through with your family - to me, it's just beyond my ability to understand those reactions to someone battling a life-threatening disease. I salute you for your courage and strength in moving on and ridding yourself of all the hurt and negativity. I think most of our strength goes into our attempts to understand, receive, sort out, and proceed with our treatment plans and the often abrupt changes that occur with them. For myself, to dig deeper into my shallow well of strength to help with something I don't know how to help is going to deplete any reserves I may have stored up. So, I'm hoping that one of his 2 of his daughters will be able to accomplish something about getting help. Although I guess Dads aren't suppose to experience weakness in any respect - especially mentally, emotionally. So again, my deepest appreciation for your support and concern. No one else can truly understand unless you've been there. I know if I weren't going through this I certainly wouldn't. I probably would think I did - but not really. Love andGod bless all of you!
  22. I am sorry if this has been asked and answered on this Forum but I am very upset and worried and I am hoping someone can give me some advice. I have been battling sclc since last Jan (well, Dec really) and to date, things have been fine with my husband for the most part. A few weeks ago he began saying hateful, hurtful things that were totally uncalled for. He knows how to push my trigger points and I was responding in kind. Now he isn't going to work, he sleeps in his recliner, sits in it all day and stares at TV. He doesn't eat, change clothes, talk, nothing. I am so worried about him losing his job because then we'd lose the house. I'd hate to finish up whatever time God is giving me living under a bridge. He has always kept his deep feelings to himself - a product of his generation and his father. (he's sixty-eight). I told him I felt he was suffering from depression and he should see a doctor and talk about getting an anti-depressant and possibly a anti-anxiety to help him through this time and to pull himself out of this. I have reached out to his 2 adult daughters who live out of state and I hope he's not too terribly angry when/ if they bring up this subject. He has to respond to someone and he's certainly not responding to me. He never lets his daughters think anything is wrong as far as his feelings, emotions. He thinks Dads' do not do that type thing. I also told his sister in the hopes she can get him to open up. This, added on to the cancer tx's and the upcoming WBR is going to put me over the brink if something doesn't change. He has medical insurance so no excuse for not attempting to seek help. Has any one else experienced this with their spouse?
  23. Heather, I'd like to add my condolences for your loss. I don't know what else to say except that I wish you peace and comfort in your time of grief. God bless you and give you strength.
  24. SharKats

    5 for 3/23

    This is really nice! Now to think of 5.............. 1. My home and all the necessities. 2. Long term disability insurance thru my work - I think God daily for that. 3. My husband who tho at times seems depressed and overwhelmed at times, is still here for me. 4. My sisters and all my loving friends who continue to pray for me and continue to ask strangers to include me in their prayer group. 5. My wonderful pets - who, no matter what, bring me laughter, solace, comfort and joy.
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