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Returning From Absence


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Hello All,

Thanks to Rick's help in sorting out a few computer problems for me I'm back among the fold.

My daughter was diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer about a year ago and we've been focused on her treatment since then. She has had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment and is currently trying to heal up while working full time. My situation goes on as well as can be hoped for with good scan results and tolerable blood counts. I'm still doing 60K units of Epogen every three weeks and feel great but have pretty low energy.

After I was first diagnosed in 2003 it took me a long time to find a site where the folks were generally upbeat and supportive of each other and this is that site.

You can see below what my course of treatment has been and I'd be more than happy to respond to any questions anyone in similar circumstances might have.

I've also been known to give unsolicited advice so, if that happens, take it for what it's worth.

Happy to be back. :D

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Wow, Twodogs (why not three?), glad to meet you! I bet you and my Dad could become fast buddies. He's 67 now and fighting the same battle. We're not quite sure what his blood levels are in between checkups but he has low energy and sure is a sleeper but always has been.

I'm glad to hear you have remained NED for a couple of years and we are truly hoping my Dad remains so also. If you have time for a buddy, PM me and I'll give you his email address or I'll give him yours.

Sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she starts to feel better from her treatments.

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Hello to you and thanks for the welcome back. Glad your dad is doing well and I can sympathize with his lack of energy. I have the same problem and the dog and I are continually fighting for couch space.

I do vaguely recall an association with southeast Michigan. I was born in Detroit and raised in Brighton. Went to High School at St.Thomas in Ann Arbor. Still have many, many relatives around Dexter and Chelsea. My brother recently retired and moved from Canton down to Tennessee.

We live out here in Wyoming now and still manage to put together a family Deer Safari in the fall when my brother and his boys come out. The boys live in Howell and Pinkney.

Small world isn't it??

Thanks for your concerns for our daughter. She's always been Daddy's Girl and I think she's tougher than the old man.

I'll work on the PM. Not too technologically gifted ya' know.

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We live close to the Chelsea/Dexter area. Dad is very familiar with the area and so am I. He lives in Tecumseh and used to service the Detroit News machines in that area. He also has a dog (a mutt named Bear) that he would sacrifice his dinner for.

We once got the dinners confused and he ate Bears. Don't tell him I told you this.

We look forward to hearing more of your story. If you don't want to mess with the pm stuff, email us at ronot@yahoo.com. It would be great for him to have a true peer to commiserate with.

Keep fighting the good fight!

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Wow! I am so glad you are here. I like finding those who have similar to my dad so I can pick their brains! Congrats on the NED!!!!! This is such a huge winner! Tell me about PCI...dad just started it...what side affects did/do you see?

Glad to have you back!

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If you folks are this far along you've more than likely been told of how the treatment affects the brain. And I hope they also told you about the imminent hair loss.

In my case the hair event was kind of a highlight of all this rigmarole. Going into this I had a fairly thick and heavy mane of white hair. It survived nearly unscathed all through the radiation and chemo treatments with just minor loss of follicles. However, about the second week of PCI, (mid-December), my hair began departing at an accelerated rate. That was when I went to my favorite barber and got a buzz/shave haircut. By Christmas I was bald as a cue ball which I was mentally prepared for so it was no big deal. December in Wyoming though can put an instant hurt on an uncovered bald head so stocking caps became a regular part of my apparel. By the end of February I began noticing that my scalp felt like it had about a three day old beard. Amazingly, to me, my friends and family my hair regrew by summertime but came back in about as dark as it had been when I was in my teens. Not even a sign of the white I was so fond of.

That was a couple years ago and it's starting to thin now but it's still darker than any other time in the last thirty years.

The harder, and more permanent part, I believe is the memory impact. I had always been proud of my memory as that is one of the things old timers do notice as they age. We are sensitive to it with or without influences either self or medically induced. Most old folks joke about their poor memory but I never noticed the deterioration as much as during the past couple years. My doctors advised me about this prior to the PCI and I'm sure you went through the same decision making process as I did. Some folks elect not to have it and that is their decision.

Having access to the Internet has been excellent therapy for me. I write an occasional column for the local newspaper and plagiarize enough material from the net that I can pose as an expert on nearly anything. I also do a couple of radio spots each week giving out local news and homespun humor and comment. Most of my radio bit is scripted beforehand as I'm not nearly as quick with the spontaneous stuff as I used to be. And on another front I've remained very politically active here in our small community. Not extremely eloquent in my dissertations but what I lack in facts I make up in passion and volume. And I have been known to use my failing memory as an alibi on occasion.

None of this has happened overnight. It's been long and sometimes depressing but we chug on.

Overall I believe I made the right decision for me and we are all happy with my current status and outlook for the future.

One last comment if I may. Some folks say all this treatment may have reduced my vocabulary but it hasn't affected my propensity for babbling on and on.

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I don't think I ever read your posts before, however I'm so glad that you're doing well! I was smiling when I read your post. My dad had the same thing: grey hair since his 50's, then after all the treatments it grew in black! I remember he was so proud of his dark hair!

I wish your daughter a quick recovery and a complete cure. Keep us posted.

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Wow. I am a former English teacher, and I must say that while you say your vocabulary may be affected, it certainly doesn't seem so! Haha! Thanks for the notes.

Our doc did in fact discuss the slight dimensia probabilities, and of course that made it a difficult decision. However, I do believe dad's words were, "I don't want to die from the cancer," thus we trudged on! It appears that your profile and my dad's seem rather similar, and thus your story intrigues me. Dad did lose most of his hair after chemo and lung radiation, however, and it was growing in grey, instead of the black it was prior. Ha!

Thanks, and please know I will probably be contacting you with more questions...


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Howdy and welcome back. I enjoyed your post immensely, but enjoyed your longevity even more! My girlfriend has very similar LC and it does my heart good to see such a long term survivor. Keep up the good work and stick around this time! :D


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