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Just a quick update.


DeanCarl

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I haven't posted in a while due to the fact I realy didn't have any new info or questions. Still don't realy but I thought I'd just say "hi" and give what info I do have.

First off: Nothing to do with cancer ... but with fire. I live in Alpine, CA. 30 miles east of San Diego along I-8. We (my wife and I and our 2 cats) were some of the lucky ones. VERY lucky. The fire got within a mile or less from our home. We got a "heads up" notice to be ready to evacuate at 10:30am Sunday. We never did get an manditory evacuation order. The police and other emergancy orginazations were just too overwhelmed to get to every area that need them. I can feel for them. I realized by listening to the radio reports (a battery operated radio. We lost power at 5:30pm Sunday) that we were going to be on our own for a while. At about 2 or 3am on Monday I saw from the glow in the skies around us that we had fire on 3 sides of us and fairly close. I decided it might be a good idea to be elsewhere. Problem was there was no "elswhere" to be. Alpine was completely cut off. All roads in and out were closed and most had fire next to them. I figured if push came to shove I'd head for the on ramp to the freeway and hope to find a sheriff that could help out. My "trigger" for hitting the road was if I saw any embers or flames inside our complex (a 32 acre area with single story duplexes and quadplexes and LOTS of trees and brush). But that never happened. About a half hour later the winds just stopped dead. Anyone who knows Santa Ana winds knows they don't just stop. They taper off over a period of hours. Not this time. It was like someone turned a fan switch to "off". The fires turned away from us and we said some prayers of thanks. All we lost was a refrigerator full of food due to the extended power outage. As I said, we were lucky. Alpine lost 21 homes and had one fatality. Our hearts go out to folks who lost so much, so fast.

Now about the cancer: I had to cancel two appointments at the VA due to the fire. I've rescheduled those (consultations with the oncologist and thorasic surgon) and added a bone scan to the mix. My physical problems are trouble breathing due to the location of the tumor and a partialy collapsed right upper lobe ... and a continuing battle with weight loss. I went from 230lbs and a 42inch waist to 180lbs and a 34inch waist in less than 4 months. Much of that was muscle mass making me a bit weak and taking ALL my stamina. I'm good for about 2hrs of light to moderate exercise (doing chores and such) and then I'm done for the day. I AM able to maintain at that weight now but only by stuffing my face every chance I get. And this is without any chemo or radiation or whatever. They are still working on the diagnostic phase of this. My doc says there's some kind of hormone the cancer creates that can cause muscle loss and to eat .. eat .. eat. If anyone has any ideas about suplements or foods or whatever that can help me boost my stamina while waiting for treatment to start please let me know. I'm not able to work right now and I have never been a "sit around" type of person. Even the work I do is a "moving around" type of job. I'm a bus driver. :)

Anyway, this has been a week I NEVER want to repeat. Please send prayers and good thoughts for the folks who have had their lives so drasticaly uprooted.

Dean

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Dean Go past your place every Wednesday I-8 but last Wednesday highway closed detoured on highway 94 going over to Scripps for treatments. Thought about you I'm glad you only lost meat from your freezer. Couldn't believe all of the destruction even in San Diego both sides of 52 were completely burned out. We were able to come back on highway I-8 going east stopped at the Golden Acorn they were using generators to operate the slot machines. A lot of mountain people at the casino having dinner so that area didn't have electricity either. My husband drinks a couple of Ensures a day to keep his weight stable sometimes more on bad days after chemo. Carolyn

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I'm glad you made it through the fires. I live in Florida and I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the TV! My mother is having a problem with weight loss also and she seems to love protein shakes. I use 8oz. whole milk, one scoop of vanilla whey Protein-(can get at most health food stores) and whatever else you want to throw in- my mother likes 2 scoops of vanilla icecream and 4 scoops of orange sherbet. It's packed with calories and protein.

Kim

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Hey Dean,

For keeping your weight up others have reccomended Weight Gainer 2200 or 2000, can't remember. You get it at the health food stores for people that want to bulk up. Also, Carnation Instant Breakfast will help put on calories and tastes better than Ensure.

Best wishes to you and glad you made it through the fire ok.

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Dean,

I'm so glad you didn't have any further loss in those horrible fires. I know some people from the Borzoi List in the area and we all held our breath for them and for the animals. What a devastating experience.

Do keep your weight on...malnutrition can be serious for us. Because of some of the pre-meds and the chemo, I actually gained a few pounds during treatment.

I hope all goes well with the tests/scans/etc. and that you get on the road with your treatment. I'm sure breathing complications were accelerated with the air quality we had during the fires. Even up the Coast in Carlsbad, we had several days of difficult conditions, albeit, nothing like in your area.

Peace and blessings,

Margaret

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Dean, good to hear from you and especially how fortunate you have been with the fires there. I am sure the air around there right now doesn't help the breathing either. You are very blessed to have the wind stop and the fire not move to you. On eating, you might consider blending up a smoothie with lots of ice cream in it. My wife did that. I wish you well on your treatment. Don

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Dean, either Ensure or Boost Shakes-mix 8-oz can Boost or Ensure with 1/2 cup of your favorite flavor of ice cream. I use vanilla Hi-Protein Boost, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup for my husband. He loves it and gets around 250 calories this way. Try it.

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Dean,

During my treatments, I lost weight and found adding a couple things regularly thru out the day helped. One is ice cream always tastes good and is loaded with calories. Didn't care for Ensure or Boost. We found Nature's Plus Spiru-teen High Protein Energy Meal 176 calories with 8 oz of skim milk. (comes in many different flavors - my favs are chocolate and nutty berry) I use whole milk and add 4 additional oz than what it calls for - due to the thickness and for extra calories. Also used Champion Nutrition MET 2 High Energy meal supplement 260 calories per 2 scoop serving- this can be added to anything with out adding flavor (but it does come in a chocolate flavor)- I especially like it in fruit smoothies with yogurt. Both are best mixed with an electric hand held blender (spoon doesn't mix as well). Still do use both of these for quick energy snacks between meals :lol:. Both products can be found at Health Food or Nature Stores. Carnation Instant Breakfast is a quick one in the A.M. Banana Ice Cream shakes are great, also.

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Hi Dean,

For weight gain I have to keep recommending Scandia Shakes.

Without ice cream, they have 600 calories, 800 with whole milk. Can't get more calories in a liquid supplement than that.

Just my two cents.

Glad you've come through the nightmare of fire okay. Prayers for your neighbors and friends who have suffered losses....

MaryAnn

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Dean Carl... First off thank God you survived the fires out there. Your inquiry got my attention. My father was diagnosed with nslc 1/03 with a nodule, he had a loebctomy in 4/03 and we were given a clear. However in 7/03 at his first follow up ct and pet activity showed in his lymphnodes and the whole picture changed. At that point my sisters and I researched tirelessly for nutritional info. There are so many resources out there for support, nutritionally while going thru treatment or even post /pre treatment. My dad is on about 25 different vitamin therapies. Oct 7 another malignant tumor showed in his trachea :D and a stint was inserted. We now must face Chemo and I truly beleive the vitamins and juicing is keeping him very strong. He has not declined in health at all since January! Some of the supplements we use include: Nonni juice, green vegetable juicing 2x a day, selenium, coQ10 Risheki mushroom , and an entire vitamin therapy regimine by a Dr. Rath, search the web for his site, they will personalize a recipe for your specific condition. My father is on his second round and the pulmonologist sees no advancement from the nodes since 7/03! Good Luck God be with you and try to use nature in conjunction with conventional treatment.

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