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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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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 yesterday. 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

Comment Wall

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Comment by Joan Denoo on October 1, 2013 at 12:07pm

Sentient, your "Keypad version of 'motormouth'" is full of information and pertinent questions. Thanks. 

Comment by Daniel W on October 1, 2013 at 11:35am

Sorry I'm so verbose today  Keypad version of "motormouth".

Comment by Daniel W on October 1, 2013 at 11:34am

I did some reading about probiotics.   I don't think the answers are all in. 

The bacterial population of the colon is highly diverse.  More than 5,000 different species or strains.   Many of them can not survive the presence of oxygen, or drying out.  That leads to how they get there in the first place.  It is a gradual process, months and years, and the bacteria come from the people closest to us, for the most part.  But also from foods and maybe aerosolization in toilets.  Rare, and controversial is the idea of a fecal transplant from a known healthy, related donor.  That is still very experimental.

Taking antibiotics, having surgery, having chemotherapy - those would be expected to disrupt an ecosystem like clearcutting a forest.  Then it needs to be repopulated.  For some people, that's easy and fast and doesn't require any effort.  For others, it's a more difficult thing.

One question is, would adding back just one or a few species be beneficial, when there are thousands of species?  Some of those thousands, doubtless, self-repopulate from traces not killed off in the first place, or intimate exposures.   Others, maybe not.

The studies have been limited.  They don't seem to concentrate on the chemotherapy  patient.  They seem to have been helpful for irritable bowel syndrome.    Also CNN article.   From the studies, there is some benefit for some patients, but not all.

The other issue is, if the  probiotic is there to replenish the population of that particular species - what is the benefit of continuing to take it?  That would assume it does not take hold and proliferate in the colon.  Understood if there are antibiotics of chemotherapy ongoing, but after they  stop?  I don't know.

Bottom line is, I think if it helps, it's reasonable to take, and if it doesn't, it's reasonable to stop.  That's just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

I don't have the link, but the species in Align was considered the only really beneficial species, in some studies.

There is also the issue of "Prebiotic" - foods that replenish the colon bacterial ecosystem by specifically nourishing those bacterial.  The lists usually include onions and garlic (which I love), and a number of foods I don't eat.  Whole wheat and honey are on lists of prebiotic foods, also some of the usual"you know they are good for you foods" like legumes, broccoli and cauliflower. 

I think a food diary, either i writing or in the mind, can be helpful.  That way we learn what helps and what exacerbates symptoms.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 30, 2013 at 12:45am
Yes, I have been taking a probiotic from the beginning of my process, and before starting chemo. The M.D. asks me each time I see her if I am taking it, so it appears to be important to her. I have no idea if it helps, or not. When I was feeling so wretched, everything was suspect, at least for me. I faithfully staid on the regimen, and I am sure I benefited by it all.
Comment by Daniel W on September 29, 2013 at 10:41pm

Joan,

Hang in there!  You have come such a long way!  The worst is behind you.

I've seen Dave's Killer bread at Safeway but haven't tried it.  I hope it's good!

Are you using a probiotic to help replenish your system?  Some people find them helpful.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 29, 2013 at 6:45pm
I tried different fruits and vegetables this past week and handled them just fine. This coming week I will try Dave's Killer bread ... a bite at a time to see how my gastric system handles it.

My eyebrows and lashes completely disappeared and now a funny little fuzz is growing on one lower eye lid. My nose is still bald inside, and all the nasal stuff continues to flow onto my upper lip. YUK! I don't see any fuzz growth in there, even when I use a lit magnifying mirror. Oh Jeez! I just have to learn patience.

I talked to a lady on Friday who had celebrated the end of her chemo-cocktail treatment. She said she had to stop after five treatments because her heart couldn't stand the strain. I guess I was lucky being able to go through the sixth on Sept 4, although it made me terribly sick.

I talked to another lady who is terminal and she and her partner have the brightest smiles and countenances. Each day is a blessing to them, and they celebrate.

I talked to another who is the wife of a man who has been on the same schedule as I and he is not doing well. They, too, grasp each moment as a treasure.

There is something about cancer that puts life and living into perspective. My dear family continues to steadfastly offer more assistance than I need.
Comment by Joan Denoo on September 22, 2013 at 11:11pm

Daniel, you speak the truth. To willingly take on the poison, knowing it offers some probability of survival makes it all worth while. Lots of bother and inconvenience. The alternative provides excellent motivation. Is that white cap calcium by any chance? The others don't look familiar. 

I found out Friday that my tear drain down my cheeks and nasal drain onto my upper lip is because of not having eye lashes or nose hairs. The good part of that is I don't facial hair either. Some bad/some good.

Ah! Patricia, you have been through it and know of which we speak!

I fell so much better getting past the four-chemical cocktail; Keep us posted, Daniel on how you get along. We provide virtual emotional support, or at least we/I want to.

Mindy, I suspect this is going to be like having a baby, it hurts like blazes during labor and all is forgotten when it is over. 

Good night everyone, sweet dreams, may gratitude, joy and peace be with each one.  

Comment by Daniel W on September 22, 2013 at 9:07pm

Joan, your Taco Adventure means you are improving by leaps and bounds!   I think you will get energy back too. 

They don't talk much about the energy sapping effects.  The nausea, mouth sores, lack of taste, diarrhea, yes.  I suppose the energy issue sort of goes without saying.  I think it's a big deal.  

A lot of my life now revolves around this little box.  I have a timer set so I take them at the right time every day.  I have to get lab tests the day before refill, and have to arrange the refill for when I can take the afternoon to go to the pharmacy.  They use only the oncology pharmacy, I can't get it down the street.  Kind of a big project.  

Not complaining.  Just expressing the change.  I'm fortunate to have these life-saving little tidbits. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 20, 2013 at 6:41am

Glad to hear about your great tasting taco treats Joan, and especially glad it stayed with you just fine.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 20, 2013 at 2:10am

Starved for flavor, yesterday I stopped at a mom and pop Mexican restaurant for a taco. OH! It was so good. Today I went back for a taco dinner with rice and beans! I ate the taco, divided the rice and beans into three portion, I later ate the first third and it was absolutely delicious and stayed with me just fine. I am on my way!

I ran across this article today, and I shall gently and slowly experiment with flavors. I am continuing to lose weight, and that is fine; I just don't want to put it back on. 

Boost Metabolism with Spicy Foods for Weight Loss

I had a discussion with my radiologist today and he said my stomach problems will most likely ease over the next month after stopping the four chemical cocktail, and my fatigue will probably continue until radiation and Herceptin (chemo) is completed. He said it is important to let my body heal from all the killed cells chemo and radiation produce and that rest works best. Well, I have lots of books to read as the weather cools and winter arrives. Spring should bring back my energy. 

Cary and I had a discussion this afternoon and we realize I may not be able to do the fall cleanup, my favorite season, and he will step in and take care of it if I am not able. 

It is cold, and I am going to have to get a hat!

 

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