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Cancer

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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Latest Activity: Jul 28

Cancer

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

Living interminably with terminal cancer

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jul 28. 4 Replies

Psychology Today"Extraordinary advances have turned cancer from an apparent death sentence into…Continue

Tags: cancer

Transmissible Cancer

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by theburningmonk Apr 10. 1 Reply

Leukemia spreads in the ocean among soft-shell clams. This is the fourth example of natural cancer transmission in animals.…Continue

Tags: contagious cancer

A Personal Cancer Blog

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Comment by Joan Denoo on October 19, 2013 at 2:52pm

Analysis finds monsanto GM corn nutritionally dead highly toxic

"Is GMO corn nutritionally equivalent to non-GMO corn? Monsanto will tell you the answer is a big ‘yes’, but the real answer is absolutely not. And the simple reality is that they are continuing to get away with their blatant misinformation. In fact, a 2012 nutritional analysis of genetically modified corn found that not only is GM corn lacking in vitamins and nutrients when compared to non-GM corn, but the genetic creation also poses numerous health risks due to extreme toxicity.

"With the recent passing of the Monsanto Protection Act, there is no question that mega corporations like Monsanto are able to wield enough power to even surpass that of the United States government. The new legislation provides Monsanto with a legal safeguard against federal courts striking down any pending review of dangerous GM crops. It is ironic to see the passing of such a bill in the face of continuous releases of GMO dangers."

Comment by Daniel W on October 19, 2013 at 1:47pm
Joan so glad you are nearing the end of those treatments. You have come so far. Its like the greek legends of the trials of Heracles. Or for lord of the rings readers, the passages and trials in those stories. One step, another step, another.... then you are through the journey, and get to rest and heal, and know that Spring will come again....

So glad you have Cary helping you. That is what family is all about.

Thank you for the update. You are a wonderful woman.
Comment by Joan Denoo on October 19, 2013 at 1:32pm

An update from your friendly participant observer of breast cancer treatment. 

Tuesday will be the last day of 30 radiation treatments and I am so sore, feel like a french fried left breast with a terrible sunburn. 

The technicians put all kinds of strange marks on me as they get me lined up with the rays; everything is precise, to the millimeter. 

The equipment fascinates me. I lie down on a gurney and a big machine that looks like a land-line telephone the size of a VW Beetle envelopes me and then starts shooting rays from different angles. The machine moves, the gurney moves, and I lie there with my feet strapped together and my arms holding handles above my head.

By the time I get home, I feel so tired I just fall into bed and sleep for several hours. Hunger usually awakens me. I eat a dinner Cary has prepared for me or fix a bowl of cereal and go back to sleep soundly until about 9 AM. My sunburn hurts, my energy is -0- and I watch science documentaries until I fall asleep again. 

It doesn't matter what kind of problem I have, physical, mental, or emotional, the staff always has something that makes me feel better. 

If you see a bald headed woman, or a man, that looks like a cancer treatment person, tell them you understand what a gruelling experience they have and wish them well. A nice smile, a gentle word, and an expression of care means so much. I love the kids; some are afraid, some are curious, they all like to rub my head and we have a great laugh.  

The radiation equipment is more rounded than this phone piece  and the ear and speaker face each other. It rotates around the gurney so that one end sends the signal and the other receives it.

The machine is the size of a VW Beetle. 

I lost my last hair of my eyebrow this past week and all my eyelashes are gone. No underarm or pubic hair. Is this too much information? 

The weather is cold, sunny, and no wind. I will sit in the garden for a bit this afternoon when it gets a little warmer. Cary is doing an outstanding job preparing the garden for winter. All is well.

 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 14, 2013 at 12:40am

I just returned 20 minutes ago from a weekend with my daughter's family and celebrating my great-grandson's fifth birthday. He got a shiny new bike ... how can he grow so fast?!

While at my daughter's I used her iPad and had trouble with typing on the screen. If you received  scrambled messages, it is my inexperience with such a device. 

Daniel, thank you for your thorough investigation of cancer treatment effects; they prove to be very useful additions to the information from my doctors and from my research. I placed them in my cancer file. I agree with Mindy, "what an awesome man you are." I send my hugs to you as well. 

Mindy, I am so very sorry to learn of the sad news of your son's 20 year old friend from childhood. I can't even imagine what their family experiences right now. I understand the connection you have with the family because of their involvement with you during your son's diagnosis of diabetes.  Starting with "9 weeks of chemo, 6 hours a day evokes some onerous reaction in me. How can a human body endure such chemo?  I do hope he and his family have good support teams. That makes all the difference in the world. Yes, feeling off kilter seems like a healthy response to me. That is dreadful news. 

Religion offers comfort for some people, if not solutions. I do not understand finding comfort in a superstition, but then, who am I to judge another? My reaction would be to be available for whatever support one can be in such dire circumstances, and reflect hopeful concern and attention to supporting the family.  

Being someone who offers comfort, such as cards, or freshly baked goods, or offering to help with transport, or listening to them when they need a shoulder, or giving of your time and effort to fight against cancer, makes a whole lot more sense than saying, "I will pray for you!" Such cheap grace just does not cut it with me. Encouragement, compassion, and little gestures make a big difference. 

Patricia, you expressed this situation well, "AW shit!!"

Comment by Daniel W on October 4, 2013 at 10:33pm

Joan,

Here is some info and a link from Mayo Clinic.  I find Mayo to be generally reliable and without biases that I can see.  Here is some of their info about fatigue and cancer treatment:

"Cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, bone marrow transplantation and biological therapy may all cause fatigue. You may experience fatigue when chemotherapy or radiation therapy destroys healthy cells in addition to the targeted cancer cells. Fatigue may occur as your body tries to repair the damage to healthy cells and tissue. Some treatment side effects — such as anemia, nausea, vomiting, pain, insomnia and changes in mood — also may cause fatigue."  The reference has a lot of info, including coping strategies.

Here is a link to a question on breastcancer.orgMost women who get whole breast radiation over 6 weeks have very mild symptoms. Fatigue is the most common, but generally doesn't start until about week 3 and then persists for a few weeks after radiation.

And on about.comnausea, diarrhea, and hair loss usually catch a person's attention first ...  it is actually fatigue that affects people the most. Lack of energy and excessive tiredness seem to plague all cancer patients, but those going through radiation therapy do experience frequently and often chronically.  The article goes on to give coping strategies, that you might find helpful. 

From webmd:  " Early side effects, such as nausea or fatigue, are usually temporary. They develop during or right after treatment and last for several weeks after treatment ends, but then improve."

i think your daughter's advice is sage.

My oncologist seemed pretty clueless about the fatigue I experience, and wanted to stop my treatment as an experiment.  Instead, I have been working around it.  One reason I declined nausea medication is it can cause spaciness and fatigue, and I didn't want to make those worse.

I hope those links are helpful.  Their information looks reliable and in general seem to be in clear terms.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 4, 2013 at 2:37pm

Daniel, as usual you have kind words of encouragement and resources to answer questions that don't seem to have answers. I talked to the radiologist and he said these changes are different for each person. I felt left out in Zombieland. My daughter reminds me what is, is, and we just have to live through it. That I can do. 

Comment by Daniel W on October 4, 2013 at 2:28pm
Joan, you have been on a long and difficult journey! And you are so near the end! Hang in there!

The answer in general is yes, thosevsymptoms are expected. The fatigue effects especially build up with time of treatment. Cells thst are injured by radiation, require nutrients and the bodys energy supplies to rebuild.

I will plan on supplying some info for you later. At the moment Im on ipad where ability to link is beyond my skills.

Everyone has a different situation. But I think your symptoms are not too surprising and should improve as you recover from the treatments.
Comment by Joan Denoo on October 4, 2013 at 11:52am

Patricia, I need your fine counsel again. I have only two full weeks left of radiation, and I am beginning to feel nauseous, pain, and just general lethargy. Is that to be expected? 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 4, 2013 at 11:50am

Spud, welcome to this group. I know you will have some fine things to share with us. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 1, 2013 at 12:11pm

I will pick up Align probiotic this week. Thank you all for the information.

 

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