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Thread: Life-Threatening Illness & Reality Check

  1. #26
    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    Best wishes to you Bear. We are all pulling for you.


    A few things have happened to me over the last several years that have given me a reality check.

    The first one was my two boys coming into this world. I never felt much compassion for stories in the news about children who were sick, abused, etc. I felt bad, but the feeling left soon after it came. The momemt I held my oldest after he was born, the world changed for me forever. It breaks my heart to see or hear of children go through something terrible. Case in point - the girl who survived over a week on ramen and gatorade after her mom went over a cliff in their car in California. The mother dies but the girl survived. I see my boys and want to do everything I can to protect them.

    The second was when my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Luckily it was found early enough and so far, everything checks out.

    Finally, my brother is now in Kuwait, waiting to go into Iraq. I called him the day before he left. We did not say much, five minutes, maybe. But I remember what I said last to him. "Do you job and get home." The whole rest of the day all I could think of was if that was the last time I'd every speak to him.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    I haven't experienced a life-threatening illness or reality check.
    Just wait 'till you get married BigEasyKing!

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    You all are keeping it real, Thanks for sharing these very sobering experiences, and to read of the serious diagnoses that young/ not so old people are hearing, so many...I seriously believe the reports that widespread use chemicals(pesticides, etc etc)is a leading environmental factor that affects the human endocrinal system.

  4. #29
          Downtown's avatar
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    Bear - best of luck to you. I had no idea.

    We've been so fortunate that our loved ones have been (knock on wood) so healthy. The closest we've been to dealing with health adversity is - before conceiving, I'd been diagnosed with "unexplained infertility" - which really isn't much of a diagnosis. After 2 years of failed round after round of infertilty drugs and proceedures, I had a breakdown in my doctor's office after yet another negative pregnancy test, and she said to me "Honey - even with us not knowing what is wrong with you - you still have better odds of getting pregnant than 3/4 of the women that walk into this office." That really was a reality check - that I had so much to be grateful and hopeful for compared to these women who were trying with so many more problems.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Doitnow!!'s avatar
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    Off topic:
    But to lighten it a bit. I hope you don't mind Bear Up north!

    bald men are sexy!!
    Or to look at it from another angle does it mean.

    'Bald Men have had a lot of Sex!!"
    "I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them".
    -Isaac Asimov

  6. #31
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Thanx for all the nice words and the prayers.

    Monday, 5-17-04, is the day that Katie and I truck up to the University of Michigan's Cancer Center to meet with the bone marrow transplant specialists.

    I will know much more after that......when, how, how long, risks, blah-blah.

    Bear

  7. #32
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Thanx for all the nice words and the prayers.

    Monday, 5-17-04, is the day that Katie and I truck up to the University of Michigan's Cancer Center to meet with the bone marrow transplant specialists.

    I will know much more after that......when, how, how long, risks, blah-blah.

    Bear
    Have faith there is something more than only yourself. Without that there is no reason.

    I don't have the answere, but I can tell you that every day you wake up and draw breath, is another day to have a chance to do something else.

    Good luck!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  8. #33

    Heart Attack Survivor

    [My two (2) questions:

    Have any of you had experiences with life-threatening illnesses?

    Have any of you ever experienced REALITY CHECKS that seem to make your problems seem insignificant.


    Hi,
    I had a heart attack two and half years ago. I was out for 3 months recovering, I have two stents in my heart now. The heart attack damaged one section of my heart ( I run on 3 valves now instead of four). I excerse regularly, try to eat right, don't smoke but still am a planner in a highly stressful,politically charged atmosphere.
    Reality Checks-- What used to be important just isn't any more, it changes you in ways that are difficult to explain. I had the windows open this morning and before I got up I was listening to the birds. I never did that in the past, i was too involved in getting ahead and getting money and working for the "Man" and trying to become one of them. I listen to the birds now and appreciate that in new way, or I walk in the woods and hear the sounds of the woods, or look at my loved ones and apprciate their love. Its calmed me down a lot, made me more aware of my surroundings, made me more tolerant of others, I don;t want be the like the "Man" anymore. I go home a 5:00 now, its will all be here tomorrow and Western Civilization won;t end if it's not exactly on time like before.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Good luck to you guys. I hope all goes well.

    I guess I had a little bit of both last summer. Last year I was diagnosed with a condition that needed to be treated by what my doctor thought was a simple laporoscopic surgery where I would be in and out of the hospital the same day. During pre-surgery blood tests, I tested positive for cancer. Despite that, I went into the hospital thinking and hoping that I would go home later that day. Well, I woke up about 7 hrs later to have the nurse tell me that I didn't have cancer as suspected, but my condition was much worse than what my doctor had originally thought so I had to be cut open and have some stuff taken out. 4 days later I went home.

    A week later, I went to my doctor to have my staples removed. Unfortunately, the incision didn't heal as quickly expected and it split open while the staples were being removed. Since it couldn't be stitched closed, I had to let it heal and close on its own. That meant 5+ weeks of painful daily treatment and bandaging by home health care nurses.

    It eventually healed and I went back to work and slowly resumed my regular routine. That scar serves as my reality check of how important it is to take care of my health as well as a testament to my personal strength.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Update.....

    Last week I spent three (3) days in the hospital, getting a different blend of chemotherapy drugs (.....rasberry flavor, anyone?.....) for 24-7. The drugs made me tired but not sick. I did return to work on Friday, much to my wife's dismay.

    In three (3) weeks I get the same treatment again.

    These two blasts are to "prepare" my bone marrow. They will then do a bone marrow biopsy (I have had four....they hurt...whine whine whine). That biopsy will tell them if my bone marrow is positive or negative for Hodgkins. I pray, of course, for negative.....which would mean that I will be my own donor for the bone marrow transplant.

    If positive, the two (2) 3-day treatments were a waste, and I get to find some other donor. My two (2) brothers are first in line, ready and willing to test. There is a 25% chance of one (1) of them being a match.

    If they are not a match.....the donor would then be somebody who donated to a bone marrow donation program. (I'm hoping for Uma Thurman or Cameron Diaz.)
    The risks increase substantially when the donor is not me. I don't like risks, but it is my lot in what has been a long and fun life.

    I'm confident (staying positive is most of the battle) that everything will turn-out OK and I'll be back on the basketball court, back in the office, back at the drawing table (continual development of De Noc, you know), back in the saddle (heh heh) again.

    Oddly enough, my wife, Katie, became very sick just as I was released from this latest chemo batch. I gave her a lot of static, telling her she couldn't handle it. (It has been quite the stressful time.....she has a 16-year old teenager, you know.)

    Can't wait to get past this and open a bottle of Rolling Rock, cheer on the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Red Wings, and converse somewhat civil-like with my friends at beautiful downtown Cyburbia.

    Bear

  11. #36
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    I pray, of course, for negative.....
    And many Cyburbians will be joining you. If there is a supreme being, he needs to get on the good side of planners after that gaff of creating Earth without the proper permits.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  12. #37
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    We wish you and Mrs. Bear all the best and I do hope you can be your own donor.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  13. #38
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Advice from my sister:
    When in chemotherapy, take your vitamins (and fairly high doses of them) -- expecially your B vitamins! She has no numbness in her extremities, a common permanent outcome.

    I don't "pray". But I will hold you in the light.
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 06 Jul 2004 at 11:22 PM.

  14. #39
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    I pray, of course, for negative.....

    I'm confident (staying positive is most of the battle) that everything will turn-out OK

    Can't wait to get past this
    I like your attitude - Keep it high.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  15. #40
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Good luck mate.

  16. #41
    maudit anglais
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    Crossing my fingers for you Bear!

  17. #42
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Bear Health Update

    Went thru three (3) days of 24-hour chemothrapy, late June. Did not affect me as much as the 9-months of chemo that I had mid-2003 thru early-2004. I did lose all my hair, except my hair in the ears. My wife is having a ball with that fact!

    Actually, she was sicker than I was.....stress, probably.....as I mentioned in a previous post.

    This coming Monday I go back in for another three (3) days. I get to watch the Democratic Convention, from gavel slam to gavel slam. Mmmmmmm......

    Maybe the Detroit Tigers will be on the tube.....or, I will re-read THE STAND, by Steve King.

    Mid-August they run tests and then determine when I slide up to Ann Arbor for the bone marrow transplant.

    Bear

  18. #43
    Cyburbian yaff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Bear Health Update

    Went thru three (3) days of 24-hour chemothrapy, late June. Did not affect me as much as the 9-months of chemo that I had mid-2003 thru early-2004. I did lose all my hair, except my hair in the ears. My wife is having a ball with that fact!

    Actually, she was sicker than I was.....stress, probably.....as I mentioned in a previous post.

    This coming Monday I go back in for another three (3) days. I get to watch the Democratic Convention, from gavel slam to gavel slam. Mmmmmmm......

    Maybe the Detroit Tigers will be on the tube.....or, I will re-read THE STAND, by Steve King.

    Mid-August they run tests and then determine when I slide up to Ann Arbor for the bone marrow transplant.

    Bear
    Bear,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are a real soldier!! Keep your eye on the mission (or remission as the case may be )

  19. #44
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Bear health update.....

    Four (4) months of radiation therapy.....DONE.
    Nine (9) months of chemotherapy, administered every three (3) weeks.....DONE.
    Two (2) fun episodes of 24-hour 3-day chemotherapy.....DONE.
    Another Cat-Scan.....DONE.

    Scheduled.....

    Another bone marrow biopsy.

    To Be Scheduled.....

    Consultation with oncology docs at University of Michigan Cancer Center.
    Bone marrow (stem cell) transplant.
    2-6 months of recovery.
    Return to work.
    Return to basketball court.
    Return to taverns (with friends).
    Living long enough to more than beat actuary tables.
    Getting to work on that long to-list for Amish Sim City.....De Noc.

    Ticking Clock Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  20. #45
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    You go Bear
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  21. #46
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    It sounds "All Good" - keep doing whatever it is that's working.

  22. #47
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    Had Spinal Menigitis (sp?) at 6 and ran a 104.6 fever for over 12 hours went into a coma and should have died-damn happy to be alive.
    I had Viral Meningitis as a teen, ran 104+ temperature for 3 days and was hospitalized for 10 days. Went in and out of sleep (consciousness). Half the time I didn't know if I was awake or dreaming. It all ran together.

    Bear, I would not even pretend to understand your view of life. I have respect for people who understand what is truly important in life. Inner stength and understand comes from dealing with adversity. Your statement about transferring what is left of your life to victims younger than you is profound and will be with me for a very long time. Thank you.

  23. #48
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Everybody in beautiful downtown Cyburbia, wish me luck.....

    Thursday, 9-9-04, should be getting results from last Friday's bone marrow biopsy. Hopefully, this Bear will be his own donor for transplant.

    I'm not superstitious, but a black cat crossed my path. Heh heh heh......

    Bear by the Phone :-P
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  24. #49
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    All the very best, BUN. The remaining luck that I carry in my pocket is hereby conveyed to you.

    Jake, pulling on a bottle of Yuengling...
    Last edited by Richmond Jake; 08 Sep 2004 at 11:05 PM. Reason: reporting on beer consumption

  25. #50
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Perhaps I was taking the wrong medicine. A few weeks ago, even though I wasn't supposed to because of my chemotherapy, I had a couple draft beers. It certainly wasn't ROLLING ROCK, this Bear's brand of choice.

    But it was beer.

    And.....today I just received the message from my oncology docs that I can be my own bone marrow stem cell donor for my BMSTC transplant. This is great news because of the serious risks involved if one (1) is NOT their own donor.

    Bear and Mrs. Bear plan to celebrate Thursday night at a local establishment, Loma Linda's. Bear will probably not have any beer.

    It still is a long road ahead....but a little less bumpy.

    Bear In The Air
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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