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Old 11-15-2016, 04:42 PM
Frank Frank is offline
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I start my chemotherapy tomorrow

This is not a cure; it's a holding action.

Some of you noticed in my hospital stay thread that I have been diagnosed with lung cancer. It's spread to at least my liver. This is a very severe, very fast acting form of the disease. I have two options.

I can do nothing, and die in a month or two. I'm not quite ready for that.

I can undergo chemo, extend my lifetime for a bit, and have some good days along the way instead of feeling so horribly every minute as I do now. This is what I'm opting for. Eventually this will become useless, the chemo won't have as strong an effect, I'll spend shorter periods of time feeling good, and so on, and at that point I'll probably begin to strongly consider pulling the plug on myself.

I'm trying to deal with this fatalistically. I came into life with my death sentence already issued. It was bound to happen sometime. And I can't pretend that I was ignorant of what all those years of smoking could cause. I wasn't ignorant, and I made my choice.

And you know, I've had a better life--a more comfortable, better fed, better housed, and more free life--than 99% of all humans that have ever lived. I'll complain about my life, of course, but I really shouldn't.

You haven't seen the last of me, either; I expect to be around the board till the bitter end.
  #2  
Old 11-15-2016, 04:43 PM
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IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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I don't know what to say, Frank, but to wish you the best and as much peace and comfort as you can find.
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Old 11-15-2016, 04:44 PM
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Big hugs, Frank. You're a giant around these boards and we're all wishing you the very best.
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Old 11-15-2016, 04:50 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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I think you are an atheist, but I hope you can accept that I will be praying for you in the spirit in which it is offered. Peace be with you.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 11-15-2016, 04:58 PM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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Holy cow Frank. I'm speechless. I hope you have a lot of good days.
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Old 11-15-2016, 05:03 PM
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My gob is smacked. My best to you, your family and your friends.
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Old 11-15-2016, 05:04 PM
Frank Frank is offline
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... I hope you can accept that I will be praying for you in the spirit in which it is offered.
I can. This is not something that bothers me. Ask me to pray with you, and we might have an argument.
  #8  
Old 11-15-2016, 05:08 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I'm so sorry to hear this. I was all set to come in and say chemo is much better than it was twenty years ago, talk to the doctor about side effects, they may be able to give you something to counteract.

Do as much as you can. Make sure your affairs are in order, that your family knows where the important papers are. We'll be here too. Mucho hugs.
  #9  
Old 11-15-2016, 05:11 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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Oh, Frank.
You make a difference here and surely w/ your family and friends. We're glad to hear your voice and share your ear.
  #10  
Old 11-15-2016, 05:25 PM
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I hope you have as many good days as possible. You are in my thoughts. Good luck.
  #11  
Old 11-15-2016, 05:30 PM
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Frank, didn't you once wear jackboots? Too bad you can't use them to stomp on the cancer.

I'll pray for you as well. I've said that to a number of people here and now I sometimes say "Please do the best you can for my friends on the Dope that need it." I figure God will know who all I've said I'll pray for.

Please keep us updated.
  #12  
Old 11-15-2016, 05:49 PM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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Ah hell. As someone who's going through the same thing (but with a longer fuse before I blow, so to speak), welcome to Club Terminal. The food is crappy, but the waitresses are cute.
  #13  
Old 11-15-2016, 05:56 PM
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I hope things go smoothly for you and you don't feel the chemo at all! But just in case, here are a few things that worked for me. Smoothies helped a lot while I was dealing with cancer, surgery, chemo and effects from all of the above. Try to keep your protein intake as high as you can. I went through a lot of protein powder, but found this one from Jarrow to be the most palatable because it isn't overly sweet:

Jarrow Unflavored Whey Protein

I used frozen fruit and yogurt along with the protein powder. Jamba Juice has some good smoothies, too, if you need a little bit of out-of-the-house time, but don't want to do anything major.

The regular protein drinks like Ensure were gross to my tastes, but the clear Ensure was palatable (I think I mentioned this in your original thread). I drank Gatorade for hydration because plain water made me sick (weird). It has sugar but it did the job.

With some pain meds and at least Zofran (anti-nausea), you risk constipation. A daily dose of Miralax worked well. You can put it in any liquid. I put it in my smoothies. I tried it with plain water (juices were burning my stomach), but it was uncomfortable and felt like it just sat there, so in something was much better.

Hugs to you and the best of luck that you're comfortable and able to live your life fully for a long time, still!

Last edited by Helena330; 11-15-2016 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:02 PM
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Just coming by to say you are in my thoughts. Stay strong.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:04 PM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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Frank, I'm at a loss. Jack boots hell, I've always appreciated your Modding.

If you say a holding action is the best you can do... then you do it & you fight it. Hard.
Goals are things we set for ourselves every day, and every day you can find some progress if you look.

Just Keep Fighting!
  #16  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:06 PM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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Also - I highly recommend the people at the Cancer Support Community, which is a national organization. They have support groups (free), lectures about things relevant to cancer patients/survivors (free), and other events (all free).

Looks like the one in Kettering went out of business, but there are several others in the Ohio/N Kentucky area. They're good people.
  #17  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:11 PM
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Shit man. Sorry to hear it. Take care, as much as you can.

Sent from my adequate mobile device using Tapatalk.
  #18  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:11 PM
Ed Zotti Ed Zotti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
Frank, didn't you once wear jackboots? Too bad you can't use them to stomp on the cancer.
Frank did indeed do a stint as an SDMB moderator. I'm sure I speak for the staff when I say we're shocked and saddened to hear this news. Our thoughts are with you, Frank. Here's wishing we had a way to drop the ban hammer on this disease.
  #19  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:15 PM
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I don't know what to say, Frank, so I won't. Any words I try to say will come out sounding clumsy. Except to say I'm very sorry to hear this. I hope you will have many good days ahead of you still to come.

Last edited by cochrane; 11-15-2016 at 06:16 PM.
  #20  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:18 PM
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I'm really sorry to hear this Frank. I hope things go as well as possible.
  #21  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:32 PM
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You don't know me from Adam, Frank, but I've lurked on this board going back to when you were appointed a mod. From what I've seen and remember of you, even before then, you're a stubborn bastard who isn't afraid to be and say who you are. I like that quality in you, and people in general. It shows a real passion and determination in living, and living life on your terms, not anyone else's.

I sincerely hope you're the stubborn bastard I've seen in the past, now, with the horseshit illness you're dealing with. To back down now serves no one, most importantly yourself. To fight it means whenever the time comes, it's on your terms and you lived life your way until the end.

I wish I were more eloquent in how I write things or I express myself, but my thoughts boil down to what others have already said, my thoughts and prayers are with you. And fight this bitch with the tenacity you fought everything else.

Last edited by HeweyLogan; 11-15-2016 at 06:33 PM.
  #22  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:38 PM
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I'm just here to wish you the best quality of life in the time you have left.

  #23  
Old 11-15-2016, 06:55 PM
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I'm sorry to hear you have lung cancer. I lost my father to lung cancer last summer (as he said, with a 60 year smoking habit it wasn't exactly a surprise). He chose to make the best of what time he had left rather undergoing chemo, but that was his choice, not yours. But do make the best of what time you have left, regardless of what you choose to do.
  #24  
Old 11-15-2016, 07:13 PM
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fucking cancer.

May the days you have left be full of wonder, love and happiness. May the chemo provide many of them.
  #25  
Old 11-15-2016, 07:21 PM
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Dammit Frank. Here is hoping for many many good days.
  #26  
Old 11-15-2016, 07:25 PM
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That's a tough spot to be in, Frank. You do have my condolences.

I've seen a lot of people in that same spot; friends, family, patients. I know you'll still have times of joy and happiness.
  #27  
Old 11-15-2016, 07:27 PM
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Fuck cancer.

I hope you are able to enjoy all and any time you have.

Last edited by Bone; 11-15-2016 at 07:28 PM.
  #28  
Old 11-15-2016, 07:31 PM
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{{{Frank}}}

Fuck cancer!

I don't know the words to say, but I hope that you know that you've been an asset to the Dope, both as a mod and a poster.

Peace be with you and don't hesitate to lean on the folks here when you need to.
  #29  
Old 11-15-2016, 07:48 PM
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Well goddamnit Frank.

I'm really sorry to hear about this.

I hope you can max out on time and good experiences.
  #30  
Old 11-15-2016, 08:14 PM
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Well, I won't be praying for you, Frank, but I'll be looking to see you around here whenever you can find the time. Here's hoping the good days last longer than the bad!
  #31  
Old 11-15-2016, 08:36 PM
not what you'd expect not what you'd expect is online now
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Frank, I'll have you in my thoughts.

I wish you peace.
  #32  
Old 11-15-2016, 08:59 PM
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My mother just did chemo. She lost most of her hair, but other than that and some swelling in her hand and feet, which sleeping with her feet elevated did wonders for, she had very little in the way of symptoms. She said pregnancy was more onerous than chemo, and she wasn't even taking any of the drugs that counteract that side effects. She has had lots of energy-- and she's 77. She even managed a trip to Greece for a wedding, and danced into the night.

She has had a full remission, and has been told that, given the fact that her father lived to 87 and her mother lived to 98 1/2, there's no reason she can't expect to live a minimum of ten more years. She'll see her grandson graduate from high school, and maybe even college.

She had a malignant tumor on her ovary, and ovarian cancer is one of the least survivable cancers, albeit, in her case, the tumor hadn't penetrated-- they could not possibly have caught it earlier.

My point is, she didn't "suffer through chemo" in the hope of gaining more time afterwards, which was the old model of cancer treatment-- she had a high quality of life during treatment.

I hope you have the same.
  #33  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:07 PM
Translucent Daydream Translucent Daydream is offline
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I hope the remaining time you have is peaceful and fulfilling.

- TD
  #34  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:13 PM
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I am praying for you as well, Frank. I hope you have many lovely days ahead.

the ONE thing that is good about knowing a diagnosis such as yours is it gives one a chance to settle things: say things that might need to be said, build bridges, cram as many happy things into your life as you can, spread all the love you have, eat the ice cream for breakfast, make prank calls. You get the idea!
  #35  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:18 PM
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Wishes for peace and happiness already sent.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:28 PM
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That's so horrible and unfair. I'm sorry it's happening to you. I'm sorry when and if it happens to anyone, but being someone I know of and a person like you, it's almost unbelievable. I don't know what to say, I feel like there's nothing I could say that even comes close to making a person feel better about something like this. I can't imagine.

I hope things go well for you, Frank...and that if it happens, that it is painless and peaceful.

But most of all I hope a miracle will happen and that you will somehow defy the odds. I will hope for it, and you can't stop me.

  #37  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:37 PM
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Wishing you all the best.
  #38  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:37 PM
Frank Frank is offline
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Frank did indeed do a stint as an SDMB moderator. I'm sure I speak for the staff when I say we're shocked and saddened to hear this news. Our thoughts are with you, Frank. Here's wishing we had a way to drop the ban hammer on this disease.
Thank you, Ed.
  #39  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:38 PM
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I hope you have some really really good days.
  #40  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:38 PM
Skinnybones Lampshade Skinnybones Lampshade is offline
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Whatever happens, Frank, know that many, many people have you in their warmest, most encouraging thoughts.

LJ
  #41  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:38 PM
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Damn, Frank, sorry to hear that. Wishing you the best.
  #42  
Old 11-15-2016, 09:39 PM
Frank Frank is offline
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She lost most of her hair,...
Heh. My mother is going to have one of her minor wishes granted--she's going to get to see what I look like without a beard again.
  #43  
Old 11-15-2016, 10:28 PM
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Good luck! Here's to many more good days!
  #44  
Old 11-15-2016, 10:30 PM
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Fucking cancer.

I'm so, so sorry, Frank. I swear that evil fucking disease is going to get us all in the end and it pains me terribly that you'll have to go through it all. When my husband was dying, chemo was the only thing that helped. I'll be praying for the same for you and that whatever time is ahead of, is peaceful, happy and without sickness.

And you were a damn fine mod. I appreciated your service here and hope we get to see you around for a long time to come.
  #45  
Old 11-15-2016, 10:35 PM
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Damn.

I hope it works out for you, Frank. Fingers crossed.
  #46  
Old 11-15-2016, 11:54 PM
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Best of wishes.

If I try to say much more, I will sound idiotic. Everything coming to mind falls under "Duh".

(at least I won't be praying...)
  #47  
Old 11-16-2016, 01:17 AM
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Just starting? I talked to my relative recently about her experience with chemo. She said that if she had to go through it again, she would have chosen to have a PICC line installed in her upper arm, as that would have been an easy long-term access for the drugs (she chose to just alternate arms every few days with a regular needle... eventually they had to go hunting through her hand veins, and other places, as her arms got too bruised and veins collapsed).

Also, eat all the tomato based products you can enjoy for the first week or two; after that, anything even vaguely acidic burned like fire and started acid reflux. Prilosec is your friend, later on she needed 3 different kinds of prescriptions like that just to find the concept of eating vaguely appealing, and to keep it all down. Apples/pears/(pasteurized) cheese/peanut butter were the most palatable to her. Things that smelled strongly, even home-made chicken soup, turned unappetizing after a month.

On that note, tell your doctors all of your symptoms, the medicine they gave her for home use to boost her immune system made her feel as if there were balloons expanding inside all of her bones; but once she got some codine the pain was barely felt. Also, expect your eyesight to get suddenly -and steadily- much worse during chemo (still tell the docs when it happens, of course, so they can help you) so try not to need to drive yourself places.

Even though your hair will fall out, if you never-ever touch your eyebrows (sleep face up, donít even wear your glasses all the way up, etc) there is a good chance that they will stay in place. So start sleeping on a towel, no need to shower your true bedding/pillows with molting hair.

While you can use the hospital internet to while away the hours, it is still a good idea to sandbox your laptop and never type any important passwords/information while there. At least with a Kindle and 6 hours a day every other week, you finally have an excuse to catch up on all your favorite authors.
  #48  
Old 11-16-2016, 01:44 AM
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Jesus Christ, Frank. I am so sorry. Please accept my good wishes and prayers. Fuck.
  #49  
Old 11-16-2016, 03:01 AM
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I'm very sorry to hear this, Frank. Here's to hoping you have as many good days as possible.
  #50  
Old 11-16-2016, 03:01 AM
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Frank, I'm really awfully sorry you've got this horrible disease and diagnosis, but I hope there are a plentiful number of good days ahead and that we can enjoy your company for some time to come.
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