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flacrakr

Out of the shadows

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I've been lurking around here for a couple of months; gathering the strength, courage, hope, faith, perseverance, and unselfish concern of all who contribute to this board. I thank you all and I thank God that this site exists.

My name is Oliver and I'm a 54 yr old male. I ended up in the Emergency Room on 8/26/04 with excruciating pain in my right side. I was admitted and a bronchoscopy was done. The pictures were excellent. They showed the violent red of infection interspersed with white 'specks'. The pulmologist informed me that I had pneumonia and pleural efflusion. When I asked what the white specks were, he informed me that I also had lung cancer. Needless to say, I was stunned. My first thought was, " not yet, I'm waaay too young. This is supposed to happen in about 10 more years."

I'm a carpenter by trade, and have been in construction for over 30 years. In that time I'v inhaled plenty of toxic and harmful items. Compounded by the fact that I've smoked all my life, I knew my lungs were taking a beating.

The hospital I was in was affiliated with MD Anderson. The first option was to remove the right lung. A biopsy was done on my lympth nodes before surgery and it came back indicating cancer there too. Stage IIIB. They installed a port instead. Before I was released 2 weeks later, I'd had my first chemo session. Taxol/Carboplatin. I ended up getting 6 chemo sessions; the last two requiring neuprogin as my WBC were way low. I received radiation at the same time, 37 times.

My 1st CT scan, 12/07, showed "significant improvement in aeration". My latest CT scan, 04/12, showed improvement in the lympth nodes but either fluid or mass in the right upper lobe and left upper lobe. I've learned to hate the phrase "interval change".

I'm in the process of switching oncologists; I found out about the interval change by getting a copy of the radiologist's report myself. I see the new onc. 5/13. It seemed to me that my first doc didn't even read my CT scan report before he came in and pointed to the word 'improvement' and then left.

I live alone, although my 26 yr old son and I are close, so it gets kind of scary when I start trying to visualize what the future holds. That's where this site is a Godsend. I read the signatures, looking for the people that have approximately the same stage as I, and I gather the hope that comes with seeing you all having active, complete lives. I'm still working full-time (I'm in a supervisory position, so it's not hard work). I definitely don't have much endurance for strenuous activity. I run out of breath very quickly.

I've tried to find out everything about my disease that I can; but mostly I wanted to find other people who were living with LC. I finally googled 'LC survivor' and that's how I came to find this site. I can't describe to you the relief I felt that 'I'm not alone'. So that's me. I'm on my way to take my son and his mother out for brunch and golf. Again, I thank all of you for being here. God Bless you all. And a wonderful Mother's Day to all you mothers.

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Oliver,

Nice to meet you. Glad your are "out of the shadows".....welcome aboard. Sounds like you are doing all the right things. I have a 23 year old son - he is taking me to lunch and a movie today. Thanks for the Mother's Day wish and looking forward to getting to know you.

Nancy B

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Welcome Olover,

I, too, lurked for quite a while mustering up the courage to finally put fingers to keys to actually type! This websiste has been a Godsend to me, as well. You may be interested in the My Story section. My story is simply called "Kasey's Story".

The folks here are the best. You lurked long enough to figure that out already, I bet. They are compassionate, knowledgeable, humorous, sympathetic, courageous, eloquent, etc., etc. Whatever you need to know, you can bet you will find the answer here. Check the Ask the Experts section too.

It is just wonderful to have you join us. You will never be alone now! There is someone here at all hours of the niight too! So maybe you can relax a little bit knowing we are here for you. Visit often.

Kasey

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Welcome Oliver,

Thank you for coming out of the shadows and sharing with us your unfortunate news. You know you came to a great site for support and knowledge. We are family here and we welcome you.

I am so glad you have a son who can help you if need be. Don't keep him in the dark, share with him what is going on. I know he will be there for you. He will want to.

Keep us posted on your progress. Prayers sent to you.

Thank you for the Mothers Day senitmment. :wink:

Maryanne

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Geez, Oliver, wish you did not have to google the same things that we did...............

We found this place that way, also, and thank God for it everyday.

Welcome and "comonin" and sit a spell.

Take comfort in knowing we all care and understand and are rooting for you.

Best wishes,

Pat and Brian

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Oliver,

Big, big welcome to you! If you are stage lllb and I am stage lllb, then we are almost like twins. I had tons of radiation also. I had my limit for my lifetime. No more. You had just about the same # of treatments that I had. oh. you are a tough bugger! Still working. That is just amazing to me. I stopped working and went fishing during chemo and rad. I mean, I probably could have worked many days, but I didn't really know what to expect and when to expect it.

Having your son there with you I hope is incentive for you to get better. I hope that he is a big help to you. If he needs to come here to vent or ask questions he is welcome also.

Good luck on your progress. Remember that the radiation continues to work past the time that it is delivered. I continued to have changes for a long long time after treatment ended. Just to let you know, I am 30 months out from diagnosis with no evidence of recurrence, tumors, or metastases. All that fishin' and prayers from friends and loves, sure must have done it.

Again...welcome, Oliver.

cindi o'h

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Hi Oliver!

Glad you found us! I use to be stage 3A, until February or this year when the sucker spread! I felt like you! I have at least 10-20 more years before I have any problems (I was 36 at dx and will turn 38 this month).

I did the whole surgery, radiation, chemo thing (taxol/carbo), then got a three month break and the cancer returned.....hopefully we will get it under control this time!

Keep coming back, this is the best place for support!

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Oliver,

I am so glad you found us. I was just like you. I searched the boards, just praying for signs of hope to hold on to. Of course, I came out with much more -- I ended up with an entire support network very much like a family who is available at all times.

We are here and are pulling for you. Welcome.

Lisa

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Hello Oliver and Welcome.

Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have been thru the same lot as many others and are doing quite well. We hope you will post often and let us help you and be helped by you!

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Hi, Oliver, and welcome! Glad you are posting. Sounds like you are right on track with your treatments. I, too, found this place through Google. Let us know how we may support you through this and keep us posted. Blessings. Don

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Hi Oliver,

Welcome. I think all of us lurked for a while before getting up the nerve to join in. Sure glad you did, it will be rewarding, guaranteed. I'm also a Stage III/IV guy and doing well. You got the right attitude to ride this thing out. Take a licking and keep on ticking. God Bless.

CharlieD

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Hi Oliver,

Welcome!!!! Thank you for the Happy Mother's Day

wish. I had the same chemo and 38 tx's of radiation.

My dx. was March 2003. No tx's since Oct. 2003. You are young, just keep the spirit up and stay positive.

God Bless and prayers,

Karen

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Hi Oliver and WELCOME!

I have to ditto Lisa O's post for how I found this site. I had been on the internet day and night for months looking for hope - anything that didn't say my husband was going to die in 6 months. I actually was searching a medical term or something and saw the link and that's how I found it.

I was also a lurker for a while. I had never done anything like this before, but I was so impressed that people actually had their pictures online. The pictures really got my attention, and the more I read, I just felt like I could join this group. I joined anonymously and even used fake names to start out. LOL! I still can't use my husband's name online - I promised I wouldn't. My nickname is Peggy, but my real name is Margaret. I always tell everyone that the only ones that call me that are bill collectors. :)

I'm so glad you found us and decided to join. If you have been an internet searcher, you will find your need to do that will lessen each day because you can probably get 99.9% of your answers right here, along with a whole lot of HOPE!

Love,

Peggy

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Hi Oliver,

I just want to welcome you to the family and thank you for the Mother's Day wish. Feel free to post and share your case with us. Hope things work out well with the new oncologist. You did the right thing to look for a new doctor if you are not confident in the first. Let us know how things work out with him and how you are doing.

God Bless,

Sue

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Hello Oliver.....Welcome and hop right in. You'll find dozens upon dozens of open arms here...just waiting to help. You'll also find out that learning on this site is just one adventure after another. It's nice having you around.

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Hi Oliver, glad you joined us. I also live alone. I have two married daughters and grandchildren but they don't live here. I know how you feel. Glad you have a supervisor position that's a god sent.I work in inventory control and it is hard work. I'm to old and sick for this crap, but you do what you have to do.LOL

Take care and visit often.

Mare

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