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thanks for the support

Michele Bellinger

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Hello Everyone

My name is Michele, I joined this site Nov 17 at least that was my first post. I was so shocked and frighten after the initial dx. I needed to reach out to anyone, Finding this web site was a true blessing, it’s brought me back down to earth and give me hope. The advice I received from my first post was right on. I was filled with hope and inspiration; I thank everyone that responded for my change in spirit. I had made an appointment with the Moffitt Cancer center on Dec 6th; I was in the O.R. on the 8th. I had an extrapleural pneumonectomy, my diaphragm was replaced with gortex mesh; my left lung was shot. I know there are many people on this site that are living with one lung, maybe when you get a chance your could help me out with what to expect; for instanced I only sweat on one side of my body ( the side with the lung), is this normal and will it go back to normal.. I start chemo tomorrow, I’ll be taking Carboplatin and Gemcitabine; if any one can give me tips on how to make chemo a less freighting experience I would greatly appreciated it. Since my surgery I have been lurking around the site reading all the posts and even the old ones; I feel like I know all most of the people here. Connie, Randy, Ernie, Nick, Geri, and Frank just to name a few, I thank you all so much for support you feel like my family, I ‘m not sure you know how important you people were to me during my recovery. I also love the Moffitt Center, its not what I thought it would be like (all doom and gloom) it is completely opposite; the first person I talked was a volunteer who walked me to my appt. he turned out to be a cancer survivor himself, he gave me his email address and phone number, the people are just wonderful. Cancer has change my and my husband lives, we want to help other cancer patients, we live 30 minutes ( in heavy traffic ) away from Moffitt Center, we want to donate our guests bedrooms to patients and there families; I’m not sure this can be done, I guess we need to talk to a lawyer. I feel I need to give back. Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

shel[/size] :D:D:D[/size][/size]

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I recall your very first post, Shel, when you hadn't told your family anything yet. I am SO glad to read such an inspiring update. It truly sounds as if you are on the road to recovery and a long life. Congratulations to you and I offer you an 'official' welcome.


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Michele what a wonderful thing you will be doing. Moffitt is my husbands life saver as is DR Sommers. He was our second openion when our first surgeon wasn't sure if Gary should have surgery.He had told us why go through all that pain in your last few months. Dr Sommers told us no problem we can do it and yes he did.We are also about 45 min away and I have to ask Gary if he would also like to put up someone in our house.I never though about it but I will now. God bless


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Hi, Michele -- good to hear from you. You've had quite an ordeal, an understatement to be sure. If you're starting chemo tomorrow you must have made an excellent recovery after those initial surgery complications. Also, the "clean" brain MRI is certainly good news.

I'm not familiar with Gemcitabine, but Carboplatin is one I've been getting -- along with Taxol and Avastin. I believe most of my side effects (which start a couple of days into each cycle) have been from the Taxol, but everyone reacts a little differently. During the infusion you will be watched closely for any allergic reactions, and the nurse and/or oncologist will take immediate action if that occurs. I haven't had any problems at all in that regard.

You'll probably find the chemo session to be a relaxing and pleasant experience. The staffs at most clinics seem to take pride in making it so. At my clinic the best room in the suite is reserved for chemo -- we have our own bathroom and a 180 degree view from shoreline to mountains. Take something to read and eat!

Your desire to offer a guest room to families of patients at Moffitt is a wonderful gesture. I hope you find a way to do it, and believe you will.

My very best wishes and Aloha,


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My mom had Gemzar and Carbo as first line, and it worked well for her with few side effects. She did have some diarrhea and a little nausea, but primarily she had alteration in taste from the Carbo and an acidic feeling in her mouth(not the esophagus, just the mouth) with the Gemzar.

Drink water, eat several meals, even if you don't feel like it to maintain your weight.

The first day of chemo is usually a long one, so be prepared with reading materials or whatever may keep you occupied during that time. You may even doze off while the infusion is going.

Take a positive attitude with you. You'll do fine!


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Hi Michele,

I too remember your first post. I am very glad to hear things are looking up for you. (if that's what you want to call it?!) :roll::wink:

I too am a one lunger. I would be more then happy to offer any help you may need along the way.

I had no major side effects from my chemo and radiation treatments 11+ years ago, and I will hope that you too have nothing to worry about. Many people go through treatments with very few side effects.

Staying postitive seems to help. Mind over matter DOES MATTER! :wink:

Holler if you need my help for anything.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Welcome Michele,

You certainly are an inspiratation and provider of hope. I will certainly be praying for you that your chemo goes well and that you are soon completely recovered.


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Hi Michele,

I had gemcitibine and carboplatin for my first chemo,(after radio surgery for brain mets). I went 11 cycles so it clearly didn't present much of a problem for me. I did have some difficulty with my blood counts and in fact that is why I was taken off the treatment. I also recall nausea once or twice, but I just got in the habit of taking a compazine two days after chemo.

I am also being treated at Moffitt and like you find the place to be great. And I think my doctors are all great.

Hope chemo is as tolerable for you as it has been for me.


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