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Everything posted by elnodel

  1. elnodel


    Echoing every one else's advise, go to the doctor and get it taken care of. Len hasn't had bronchitis but he HAS had pneumonia which occurred after radiation and chemo. Antibiotics did the trick. He was told to see the onc FAST when he felt like that...and did! Ellen
  2. elnodel

    My Dad :(

    Dear Tina, Add me to the long list of friends who are shaking their fists at fate AND praying for you and your family. As others have said, it's SO unfair, but that's the nature of this particular beast. Know that we're all pulling for you at this awful time. Keep in touch. Ellen
  3. elnodel

    My friend Tina

    You will be missed! Think of us and check back from time to time just to let us know how you are doing! Ellen
  4. elnodel

    Roll Call...

    Len and I are here and doing just fine. Len passed the three year mark in April and will be going for his checkup with the onc a little after the three year anniversary of his FIRST consultation with the onc and shortly before the anniversary of his first chemo treatment (June 14 and June 28, respectively). Boy, do those dates get burned into your memory. I've been lurking from time to time but have been so busy with work, music and life in general that I've truly been AWOL most of the time. Will do better in the future, I promise! Ellen
  5. elnodel

    The Struggle

    Dear, dear Don, Like everyone else, I regret your moving on but know that you're just moving on to a larger venue and that you will be as wonderful as a Stephen minister as you have been a LCSC mentor -- which you were to everyone. We will miss you, your comfort and wisdom, but we have all benefited from and grown stronger because of your presence here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done and been. Ellen
  6. OK, even though I'm the worst at keeping up with the site and letting people know what's going on, I signed up for a page. Do you think we could have a way of finding out what pages people have started so that we can visit each other's pages? I'm hoping that we can get enough people to do this so that we can have some serious donations for our LCSC. Ellen
  7. elnodel

    Welcome back...

    A wee bit late but welcome home, Rich! Ellen
  8. So glad he's home, the mystery solved and he's back on the road to recovery. Will keep thinking of you both! Ellen
  9. We've passed the three year mark -- coughing up blood on April 13, 2004, xray same day, ct scan the next confirming mass on upper right lobe...and the rest is history. Let's hope it STAYS history! So far so good.... Ellen
  10. So glad to hear it! You ARE indispensable, Don, so make sure the heart tests are also perfect! Ellen
  11. So glad to hear it! Ellen
  12. Congratulations! That IS terrific news. You might want to check with someone to make sure that there is no need for chemo -- which might just make the 80% chance 99%. Have an easy recovery and enjoy good health! Ellen
  13. Dear Nova. Those horrible opportunistic infections...the antibiotics will do the job, eventually, so you just have to hang in there. The radiation has probably not helped the swallowing any...I know Len had a tough time at the end of his radiation cycle and suffered a bout with pneumonia at the same time. Eventually things worked their way through, as they will for y our husband, I'm sure. In the meantime, hang in there and know we're all plugging for you both! Ellen
  14. Just add me to the chorus of voices thanking Katie and Rick for all they do and for helping us all through this terrifying journey... Ellen
  15. Thanks, everyone, for your informative replies, thoughts and prayers. Although the a-fib continues (started again after surgery) and the heart rate is still too high, the fluid is gone, thanks to the surgery. Just like Geri's, the pericardial window seems to have done the trick. And, again as in her case, the cause does seem, thank heavens, to have been some viral infection. Nothing nasty was brewing in the fluid when they cultured it. The recovery was relatively minimal (in comparison to the lobectomy, what isn't?), but the virus, the pressure of the fluid and the sob all combined to make Len very weak, so he's still not up to snuff. He got home yesterday and made noticeable improvement immediately. Nothing like leaving the hospital, however good it may be, behind you. His anxiety levels became much more manageable (he cut down on his xanax immediately) and his legs seemed much stronger and steadier. I had been really worried in the hospital when he could barely make it from the bed to the bathroom WITH my help...he's been walking around the house without any support whatsoever. Yes, he gets tired almost immediately, but still, he's a different man from the one two days ago who couldn't do anything. They're hoping that the meds will eventually lower his heart rate (it is happening gradually; we'll know more after the next visiting nurse examination) and perhaps, just maybe, the a-fib will right itself once everything else clicks into place. After all, it did happen after the last hospitalisation. But in the meantime, he's on coumadin, since the a-fib can generate blood clots, and now has to shave with an electric razor, something about which he complains bitterly. I notice that he's NOT complaining about being taken off all the leafy green vegetables (Vitamin K factors) that he loathes -- and I love. So I'll eat the spinach and broccoli and give him petit peas. Not that he's eating much of anything either. But as his strength returns, I hope so will his appetite. Just in case I've stocked the fridge with Ensure...a sad replacement for pinot grigio which is also off limits when on coumadin. So things are progressing. He goes to the cardiologist in 10 days for another echocardiogram and consultation. Then in March meets with the onc for his three month check up...lots to talk about this time! Thanks again for the encouragement and support! Ellen
  16. Hi, everyone, I've been pretty quiet for some time now, with things going pretty much in the right direction. But Len was hospitalized last week with atrial fibrillation, on top of which an echocardiogram indicated that there was a considerable amount of fluid around his heart. This is the first time that this has happened and we're not sure what is causing it. He may have had another virus (which is why he went to the doctor in the first place, because he was feeling so crummy) and the fluid may have caused the a-fib or...well, we just don't know. They couldn't get the heart back into a regular rhythm but did reduce the heart rate and released him on Monday. He's been feeling really rotten, coughing terribly, a unproductive, wheezy cough, and he's as wobbly as he can be. When we went back to the cardiologist for a follow up visit yesterday, we discovered that the heart had somehow gotten back into its regular (sinus) rhythm but the fluid has increased considerably. So he's going in for surgery tomorrow to drain the fluid. As luck would have it, it's mostly in the back of the heart so the surgeon can't go through the front and will have to a pericardial window, inserting a catheter to remove the fluid. Then, I guess, we'll find out what it is. Hoping against hope that it was just the virus that somehow attacked the pericardium, but, of course, the fear of the cancer returning is very much on our minds. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Keeping fingers, toes, eyes and everything else crossed, Ellen
  17. Add me to the list. I copied mine and sent it along to Rick. Ellen
  18. Just read the article. Fantastic. Has anyone from LCSC contacted the author? Ellen
  19. The summer from hell is finally over, and good riddance. The virus that wouldn't go away, and refused to let itself be diagnosed, seems to have ebbed away. It's been ten days since Len woke up with the sweats. And all of a sudden his energy level is up and he's doing things again, not just moping around. The dizzy spells are subsiding as well. And the test results are in. Not a slam dunk but pretty good news all around. No masses to be seen. There is some "new" inflammation in the right lung...not clear if it's a late blooming result of radiation (unlikely, the onc thought) or perhaps the result of the mystery virus Len had this summer. He certainly has lots of respiratory problems, sneezes, sniffles, dripping nose, coughs, etc., etc., some of which are just plain old allergies but some of which, the doctor thought, might have been related to the mystery virus this summer. And the vertigo, since it's centered in the inner ear, may also be a product of that. At any rate, he's been on AVELOX for six days, four more to go, and will have another CT scan in three months, to chart the progress of the inflammation. But he's feeling SO much better, better than he's felt for months. His stamina is returning and he's up and about, doing this and that, painting (he's an artist) and working on a project for me as well (making a pull out shelf for my home office). So I think we're really ok, kunahora... Thanks to everyone for the positive thoughts and messages! Ellen
  20. Many, many congrats...but I can't get over how BIG the big sister has gotten to be...it seems just like yesterday...... Ellen
  21. elnodel


    Good news on all fronts. Went to the onc yesterday, and he thought the vertigo was probably related to the virus Len had this summer along with his ongoing (allergic related) respiratory problems that start with sneezing and sniffling, trickle down the throat, result in coughing and endless nose blowing and perhaps developed into the inflammation they noticed in his last CT scan. The vertigo is definitely subsiding and it doesn't seem to be at all related to anything in the brain (touch wood); pure inner ear. I was hoping to hear that, but of course, the imagination tends to go haywire. Will post the test results in the test result section; Twodogs, I'd avoid ladders if I were you. Len's happened almost always at night, in bed, turning to one side. BUt if yours continues, I would see the oncologist. They like to keep tabs on their patients even if it isn't directly related. And they're in the best position to diagnose what is and what isn't related. Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement. Ellen
  22. What a wonderful family you ALL are! Ellen
  23. Add my prayers to the list...we're all in there working for you, Charlie! Ellen
  24. elnodel


    I know, I know...I've been saying that it's just the old vertigo,but....well, you can't help thinking, can you? Thanks for the good thoughts! Ellen
  25. elnodel


    Len has had bouts of vertigo in the past and was diagnosed with Dix-Hall-Pike Syndrome, an inner ear positional vertigo disease/disorder/syndrome/whatever 15 years ago. He would have bouts from time to time, but with lessening frequency. He went without any for over five years, but then had one, slight, bout only a month or so before he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Nothing since then, thank heavens, but suddenly, four days ago, he began to have the old familiar symptoms. It happens mostly at night when he's in bed and turns to one side. He hasn't gotten any real dizzy spells but just the feeling that it's about to start. He turns back and that seems to stop it, but he still fears the onset of a real spell. I haven't said anything, but I worry about symptoms of brain mets. We're seeing the oncologist on Wednesday, thank heavens, but I'd like to know how much I have to worry about things before we go. On the (I think) positive side, Len had his pre-onc CT scan last week and the onc called to let him know that there was absolutely no sign of cancer (no masses) in the CT scan. BUT there was inflammation...from what we don't know. Maybe the virus, still undiagnosed that he had all summer?We'll obviously be talking about that as well. So, on the whole, things look pretty good but there's that little worry thing that keeps going on..... Any input would be greatly appreciated!! Ellen
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