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

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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

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 Dr. Terence Meaden on December 20, 2013 at 9:23am


There is a lesson for everyone else in this.

Resolve to get tested for everything every January.

If the doctor says that he won't bother with the Prostate Antigen test, ask him why--then say, what does it cost?--and then say if he dodges the question, I'LL PAY FOR IT MYSELF BUT I WANT IT DONE. 

Comment by Plinius on December 20, 2013 at 8:33am

I lack the words to say anything useful - as usual - but this group is often in my thoughts.

Comment by Plinius on December 20, 2013 at 8:28am

What a backward way of saving your doctor had, Dr. Meaden! Small wonder you're angry!

Comment by Idaho Spud on December 20, 2013 at 7:33am

The young man is in my thoughts also, and like Joan said, it is especially heart-wrenching to see young people go through that.

I'm also sad that they didn't catch your cancer as early as they should have Dr. Meaden.

I joined this group to see how you guys are doing.  I've had a few cancers, but they required no treatment so I've been reticent to mention them because they're nothing compared to the rest of you.

Nevertheless, despite feeling a little selfish, I'm going to mention them anyway.  I've had 5 skin cancers removed.  Just the Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinomas.  No biggie.  

My PSA has been high and rising since I first had it tested 20 years ago.  I think it was all or mostly because of prostate enlargement.  However, I did have a prostate biopsy about 5 years ago, and they said I had a very small very slow growing cancer in there.  One doctor wanted to do radical surgery but 3 others recommended I watch and wait, which made more sense to me.

I had a second biopsy over a year later and nothing was found.  The pleasant humorous doctor my age that did that one said it was probably there still, but so small he didn't find it, even though he took extra samples from that area.  

Because of my age and the size & slow progression of the cancer, he recommended no further action.  A conclusion I had already come to.  He just put me on a drug to reduce the size of the prostate so urination was easier.  I'm off the drug now because the prostate has been reduced in size enough that urination is no problem.

Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on December 20, 2013 at 3:38am

What is so important in all the cases of cancer is recognising it early. I hope that in the young man's case it was found rather early. It makes so much difference---so we are are 'rooting' for him.

The reason I am angry about my cancer is not because I got it (that matter is hereditary--a fault in a gene in the genome somewhere) but because I went annually to the doctor (every January: it began as New Year's resolution 20 years ago) and asked him to "test me for everything".

I did not know he was missing out the PSA test because he said later it is not a wholly satisfactory test, "the PSA can be high for all sorts of other reasons". And I claimed that if it is high, then, although it might not be prostate cancer, it could be testicular cancer or something quite different but nevertheless a serious illness.

So my PSA was 34 when found, and rising at a rate that was doubling every 12 months. This proved that I had had the cancer for three years already. It should have been found when I was 69, and operable by removal of the prostate. Instead, it was found when I was 72, which is too old to operate (so they said) and because the cancer was now locally-advanced (i.e. with microscopic spots in the bones etc).

So, after the initial radiotherapy I am swallowing 5 drugs daily (and two more for the heart) and having an abdominal injection every 3 months. So the doctor saved a tiny bit of money by omitting the annual PSA test, but is chucking far more away with all these drugs. The main one is very expensive, and that will start failing 3 years after it began, which was two years ago. Heigh ho.


Comment by Joan Denoo on December 19, 2013 at 10:40pm

My heart ached for the young 20 something women and men in the recliner chairs in Chemo. So young; so bald; so vulnerable! I do hope all goes well for your friend's son. 

Comment by Daniel W on December 19, 2013 at 9:10pm

I hope he does well.  A young person like that shouldn't have to go through this.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2013 at 8:23pm
Charlie sniffing pig's nose, sniffing Charlie's nose. Interesting image!
Comment by Daniel W on November 13, 2013 at 6:04pm

Just got bag of pig noses aat the pet store.  They love pig noses and pig ears.  Thinking too much about it - while Charlie was sniffing the nose, I thought about the nose sniffing back. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 12, 2013 at 5:16pm

Happy to learn your nurse practitioner appointment went well, with you feeling treated with respect and professionalism. I like your photo of Stonehenge and we all exist as Homo sapiens.  Further, we are part of all living things. Get goose bumps just thinking about that. 


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