If you have cancer.

If you had cancer.

If you know someone with cancer.

If you want to talk about cancer.

We won't pray.  We won't blame gods.  We won't give credit to gods.  

We face the diagnosis and know, it is what it is.  

To the extent that we can, we will define our own course.

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Cancer changes lives.

We have to deal with medical profession.

We have to deal with medications.

We have to deal with new discomfort and pain.

We have to create dignity, where there is indignity.

We have to deal with family members, friends, coworkers, and strangers, in a changed way.

We resolve to go forward with strength, resilience, purpose, pride, and integrity.

We define ourselves. Cancer does not define us.

Discussion Forum

Metastasis Visualized

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Daniel Wachenheim Jun 27. 3 Replies

This video makes it easier to grasp how metastasis occurs.Continue

Tags: metastasis, cancer spread

Sean Parker to Donate $250,000,000 to Fight Cancer

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Michael Penn Apr 13. 1 Reply

Billionaire Sean Parker who was the first president of Facebook and a co-founder of Napster will donate $250,000,000 to fund immunotherapy research to fight cancer. This type of therapy fights cancer…Continue

New Hope for Hard-to-Treat Cancers

Started by Qiana-Maieev. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 7. 2 Replies

Ancient Algae Offer New Hope for Hard-to-Treat CancersPosted: 06 Apr 2016 01:57 PM PDTIn one of the oldest life…Continue

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Comment by Joan Denoo on October 14, 2016 at 2:29am

Yes, I know you are right, Cary's rages are induced by his meds or by his anger at such an early death. 

Daniel, thanks for that information, I will ask Laura to see what she can find out. She won't do anything until and unless Cary gives his OK. 

Spud, I have been through this several times, with my mother, father, and a couple of aunts. I know what is happening as their bodies close down. When Mom died, she was in the hospital with all kinds of tubes coming out of and into her body. She was hooked up to monitors that we could watch. Doctors and nurses explained what each meter meant and we saw the organs close down, one by one. 

Dad died in my bed in my bedroom and I could tell that his systems were shutting down. With my aunts, I just comforted my cousins as we watched them die. 

I can't say I hate being part of death; it is kind of like being part of birth. With birth, it is watching excruciation pain and the joyful moment when the crowning event takes place, and then the shoulders, and the rest is a great sigh of relief and joy at a healthy baby coming into the world. With death, it is the opposite, shutting down of systems, a coma like state, and then the eyes turn blank. Deep grief, soul wrenching crying, and then there is nothing but memories. 

My mother and father lived during such a transformative time, they grew up poor in a small farming village and knew nothing of the outside words. Their only connection in those early days was the radio. Then, cars, toilets inside, electricity, telephones, the Great Depression, WW II, the men gone for years at a time and the mothers working in war industries. Grandparents cared for the kids, Then Dads came home, and Moms, and a new normal became our reality. 

I am at a time in my life when I see a lot of births and deaths!

The deepest of joys and profoundest of grief seem to be a part of my new normal. 

It feels good to write.

Comment by Plinius on October 14, 2016 at 12:48am

Glad of the update, Joan, I was wondering how you two were. Keep reminding yourself that the rages are medicine induced and that Cary loves you as always.

Comment by k.h. ky on October 13, 2016 at 3:36pm
We're with you Joan. You can only do what you feel is right for your son and yourself.
My mom was on a daily stool softener. Something over the counter. My thoughts stay with you. Take a break when you need it. And we're all here for you.
Comment by Idaho Spud on October 13, 2016 at 3:31pm

Sounds like you're in a tough place now Joan.  I don't know how I would handle it.

When my wonderful dad was dying, I was glad I was far enough away that I didn't have to handle it on a daily basis.  Felt guilty about that, but that's the way it was.

Hope you can get through it OK Joan.

Comment by Daniel Wachenheim on October 13, 2016 at 2:41pm

My heart goes out to you.  You are right about not needing those rages.  There is nothing wrong with making use of a fake happy place, if it helps you cope.

Steroids shrink tumors that pinch nerves and press on the brain, which is the role of hydrocortisone.  The steroids help with pain.  They also cause heightened anxiety and rages.  Maybe they can give an anxiety medication in the tube, if not already doing so.  Also, prunes or pureed prunes in the feeding solution, ir miralax, or a laxative.  Not all at once, could cause diarrhea.

Is hospice involved?

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 13, 2016 at 2:30pm

Thank you, Daniel, Quiana, Chris, Bertold, Spud, Grinning Cat, and Kathy! I can't find the words to express how helpful you are with your sentiments and ideas. I know I am not alone, and I don't mean in the religious sense. I mean having friends, even from so many different places. 

Comment by Qiana-Maieev on October 13, 2016 at 2:27pm

Couldn't agree more. Things are tough enough.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 13, 2016 at 2:25pm

You are right, Qiana. I don't need his rages either! 

Comment by Qiana-Maieev on October 13, 2016 at 2:17pm

You have to follow his wishes in something like this, & rages he doesn't need.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 13, 2016 at 1:53pm

We settle into a new normal in our household. Craig came from Colorado to say "Goodbye" to his older brother, Cary. We keep the environment a happy one, with lots of smiles, affirmations, positive feedback for Cary. We all know it is a fake happy place, but we do it for me; I tend to wilt in negative environments.

To bring everyone up to date, Cary had a bad cough since last spring. The neighbors and I tried to get him to go to a doctor, he refused. In mid-Sept.Laura and Larry persuaded him to go and Laura went with him. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer that spread to his lymph glands, lungs, stomach, and brain. He was given a month to live. It has now been five weeks. 

I make a small batch of soup using a different vegetable each day, I put them through a food processor, the blender and then a fine sieve. I pour them into small freezer jars and freeze all but one jar. Each day he has a choice of four or five different vegetable soups. 

He had a feeding tube put in; he wanted Laura to take him and learn the process of maintaining the formulas, tubes, and hygiene. He doesn't want me fussing over him, so I expect to be expending much energy writing and staying out of his way. 

I called an old family friend and asked him to come by; he was like a father to Cary when we first moved here in 1974-5. Cary came down to see him and asked him not to stop by any more. Cary wants no company. I guess I would't either if I were facing a certain death. 

Cary is in excruciating pain, is now terribly constipated. I haven't called the doctor because Cary goes into a rage when I make suggestions or take any action. Others do the interventions for me. I suggested to him that he is on hydrocortisone and that is what put me into the hospital after my fall and multiple fractures. He raged at me for intruding.

Cary just informed me that the doctor said to stop the pills and drink more water. 

Well, I guess he does listen to me, after all. 


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