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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: Apr 10

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

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 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.

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.

 

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