• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, the built environment, planning adjacent topics, and anything else that comes to mind. No ads, no spam, and it's free. It's easy to join!

Life-Threatening Illness & Reality Check

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,331
Points
53
Today marks the 3-year anniversary of my pulmonary embolism. I remember sitting on the gurney in the ER and thinking to myself, "huh, there is a good chance I may die." No flashes of my life, no nothing, just sitting there thinking it might be my time.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
...Mrs. Cardinal has been in rehab for a year after surgery on her leg due to a car accident... Her mother is going into the hospital for major surgery in April. My father is having heart problems and will need surgery as well. Our baby girl (dog) who has been with us for 13 years was diagnosed with cancer and is expected to pass by summer...

Mrs Cardinal continues in rehab, but is making progress. Her mother had surgery and all has gone well. We had a scare just before that with my father. He was having chest pains, and a new cardiologist thought that more might be wrong. He had an angiogram the day after Mrs. Cardinal's mom had her surgery. They found a nearly blocked artery and immediately inserted a stent. He is expected to return to normal before long.

Things have not gone as well with our baby girl. We had her leg removed last month and hoped for that slight chance that the cancer had not spread. She has been having problems, though. After initially making great progress she suddenly had problems with her balance. We think that might have just been a sinus infection. Then she has had blood in her urine, which might have been an infection or bladder stone. But today we took her in for x-rays. She has developed several new tumors in her lungs. It is likely that she has one in her bladder. Her time is coming to an end. We are serving her eggs for breakfast, in bed, and she is eating whatever we have for dinner. Last night it was tri-tip. tonight it was a chicken breast. All we can do now is make her comfortable and happy, but I expect we will lose her as soon as next week. :'(
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
12,193
Points
48
Mrs Cardinal continues in rehab, but is making progress. Her mother had surgery and all has gone well. We had a scare just before that with my father. He was having chest pains, and a new cardiologist thought that more might be wrong. He had an angiogram the day after Mrs. Cardinal's mom had her surgery. They found a nearly blocked artery and immediately inserted a stent. He is expected to return to normal before long.

Things have not gone as well with our baby girl. We had her leg removed last month and hoped for that slight chance that the cancer had not spread. She has been having problems, though. After initially making great progress she suddenly had problems with her balance. We think that might have just been a sinus infection. Then she has had blood in her urine, which might have been an infection or bladder stone. But today we took her in for x-rays. She has developed several new tumors in her lungs. It is likely that she has one in her bladder. Her time is coming to an end. We are serving her eggs for breakfast, in bed, and she is eating whatever we have for dinner. Last night it was tri-tip. tonight it was a chicken breast. All we can do now is make her comfortable and happy, but I expect we will lose her as soon as next week. :'(

Sorry to hear about your dog. Sounds like it's be a bit stressful at the Cardinal nest.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Robin Roberts

I don't usually watch Good Morning, America, because my work schedule is such that I am already at the office by 7:00 AM. Katie watches it every morning and enjoys those who present the show. Robin Roberts, one of those on the show, went through breast cancer treatment about five years ago. On Monday's program she told viewers that she has been diagnosed with MDS, a bone marrow disease that (very rarely) can be traced to chemotherapy. Thus, the past couple days they have been discussing bone marrow transplants.....and Robin is scheduled for a transplant later this year.

This Bear had one. So far, after about six years, it saved my ass (and the rest of me, too). I was fortunate, I had a bone marrow transplant that used my own bone marrow. No external donor was needed. Robin's transplant requires an external donor. Her sister is a perfect match. Here's hoping she does well and joins the crowd of those who have had successful BMTs. :)

In the days prior-to my bone marrow transplant they did "high dose" chemotherapy. During the 20-some days I spend in the hospital after the BMT my room smelled like tomatoes. Nurses told me that was normal. Odd.

Bear
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,428
Points
29
Alcohol

I've always considered myself a "drinker".

I partied hard in college and shortly after college. I hit up the bars frequently and attended many house parties. Binge drinking was the norm.

After we had our first daughter 9 years ago, the Frank The Tank side of me went away. No more binge drinking. Over the years this was slowly replaced by having a few cocktails each night at home, with a few extra on the weekends. I rarely ever drank enough to consider it binge drinking by my book. But usually enough that when my head hit the pillow at night, I was sleeping in no time. I rarely go out to bars, so my drinking was mainly at home, unless I had some out at dinner.

My wife isn't a drinker (maybe a glass a wine once a month), so I usually had my nightly cocktails alone.

Over the years, my "few" cocktails at night turned into more and more. Now, I never drank to the point of blacking out, missing work, harming relationships, and I absolutely never drove drunk. And I would even made sure I got 7-8 hours of sleep at night. But I would wake up on some mornings still feeling the lingering effect. Although I would not directly hide my nightly cocktails from my wife, I typically would buy some alcholic beverages on my own time and not during our grocery runs. My wife would ocassionaly bring up my habits.

Well last week she confronted my about it more seriously than ever before. Not necessarly about the drinking itself, but about me being scretive about it. I told her she was right and that I felt guilty because she wasn't a drinker and that I knew it wasn't healthy.

Needless to say, I had moment of clarity. I realized that she was right, and that my behavior and amount I was drinking was either borderline alcoholic, or very unhealthy, or both.

Now, I'm not here to say that I'm becoming a teetotaler. But rather, I realized my behavior was unhealthy and that I wasn't even really enjoying my nightly cocktails. It had simply become a habit.

I'm also not here to make some grand declaration about my intentions, but simply to say that I plan on cutting back how much I drink, knowing that I'll be so much healthier for it.
 

imaplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
6,672
Points
28
Alcohol

Not really a life trheatening illness. but a reality check maybe btrage?

I too tend to drink too much - at least according to the doctors. But my tolerance and size is such that I can have four beers and probably still be around the legal limit. No negative effects or negative personality effects that I am aware of, and I definitely enjoy my beer. Plus- I'm Irish! But I am always honset when the doc asks me how much I drink and he always lectures me. I tend to be of the opinion that if its under control and not causing any health or life problems, why not indulge a little if you enjoy? who do those doctors think they are anyways? Personally, I try to keep my drinks to less than 4 a night, with an occassional day off and an occasional bender with friends. Having known some true alcoholics, even if you are at 6 drinks a night but its not causing too many problems for you I would say you are still nowhere close to having a serious alcohol problem IMO. True alcoholism is scary stuff.
 

beach_bum

Cyburbian
Messages
3,427
Points
21
Good for you and your wife for recognizing something before it became a problem and getting on a path to stopping it before it 'took over' your life. I agree that when you become secretive about something and you are trying to hide something, whether the reasons are good or bad, problems tend to follow. It's always good to come clean.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Here We Go Again

For the past few months this Bear has been ailing and showing some of the symptoms of Hodgkin's Lymphoma (thought eradicated with my bone marrow transplant about 6 years ago). In addition to extreme fatigue I have been experiencing periodic night sweats (and some daytime sweats) and I have a cough that just will not go away. And, the scary part, I have a growing lump just below the surface of the skin, right groin area. Katie and I talked with the surgeon who is going to remove it this Monday. During this pre-op examination I broke out in a drenching sweat AND he indicated that the lump is a concern. Based on his observations he ordered an immediate Cat Scan and some blood tests. I have no CT Scan results, yet.

In the summer of 1996 I had a golf ball sized lump under the left arm. It was surgically removed and even before I re-entered Earth as the drugs wore off the doc talked with Katie and told her that the biopsy was clearly Hodgkin's. Of course, massive multiple raditions, chemo, high-dose chemo, and the bone marrow transplant have kept Mr. C at bay. I am quite sure that the surgeon on Monday will know right away, as he rips more lymph node tissue from a hopeful Bruin. :-c

So, here we go again. Raise a Rolling Rock in the air, yell out "Nastrovia", and wish me luck. :)

If it is not the return of Mr. C my guess is that they will do other tests to find out what exactly ails me. Other than propensity for silly.
_____

I wonder how much coffee the biopsy surgeon will drink Monday prior to my walk with a really sharp knife? Right groin, dangerously close to "the hang gang". Eeek! :-c On the bright side, if I would finish my life as a woman I would get to hang around women-only places. Maybe I'll wiggle a bit during the slicing and dicing. ;)

Bear
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,377
Points
37
BUN - I'll keep my fingers crossed all day for you! Positive thoughts are flowing your way already!
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,011
Points
52
Hoping you didn't wiggle and everything went okay today, Bear.
 

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,170
Points
31
BUN, today, in solidariry with you, I am a BOW. Good luck, and I'm pulling for you. I imagine there are some BBE, BDS, and many BITM wishing you the best.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,959
Points
23
To the Bear! <raising green bottle> *clink!*

To a happy outcome. Good luck with everything. Very sorry to hear about it all!
 

Brocktoon

Cyburbian
Messages
3,725
Points
22
Best of luck Bear!!! My youngest brother ( he will be 20 in November) had his first PET scan today after his his 4th chemo treatment. He also has Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Also, my best to Katie, I am sure this is taking a toll on her as well!
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
27
I know we'll all be thinking about you, Bear, hoping it goes well.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Thank You

Thank you for all the warm responses. Makes me feel good. :):):)
_____

The surgery went well. Minor pain this morning, 21 hours later. I am still carrying "the hang gang" so my plans to inhabit women-only places faded. The surgeon did indicate it appears that Hodgkin's Lymphoma has returned. The Cat Scan showed an A-OK chest and neck area but some growths in the abdomen. I will be seeing the oncology doctor on Monday to see what the next step is. Taking a couple days off to give the surgical spot a chance to begin healing (with not a lot of body movement). I will probably go back to the workplace on Thursday but stay in my office. Next week I am on vacation but we are not traveling, other than to the oncology doc.

Bear
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
Glad to hear that the procedure went well but concerned about the results. You know we'll all be hoping for the best possible outcome for you.
 

imaplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
6,672
Points
28
Thank you for all the warm responses. Makes me feel good. :):):)
_____

The surgery went well. Minor pain this morning, 21 hours later. I am still carrying "the hang gang" so my plans to inhabit women-only places faded. The surgeon did indicate it appears that Hodgkin's Lymphoma has returned. The Cat Scan showed an A-OK chest and neck area but some growths in the abdomen. I will be seeing the oncology doctor on Monday to see what the next step is. Taking a couple days off to give the surgical spot a chance to begin healing (with not a lot of body movement). I will probably go back to the workplace on Thursday but stay in my office. Next week I am on vacation but we are not traveling, other than to the oncology doc.

Bear

Best wishes to you Bear. It seems kind of strange that hodgkins would return after so many years, here is hoping the pathology results show something different. Keep us up to date!
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,707
Points
46
Best wishes for a speedy recovery from the surgery and I will be thinking about you for the upcoming doc visits.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,959
Points
23
Thinking about you, Bear! That's some heavy stuff, but glad the surgery went well. One step at a time...
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,011
Points
52
Bear, ain't noway De Noc doesn't get finished. You're going to fine, my Bruin friend,and De Noc is going to reach planning 'Valhalla'.:)
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
6,094
Points
38
It's only a meniscus repair...

Thanks to Obamacare, I am getting something done about my wearing-out knees, starting tomorrow. Thinking I'll celebrate with a new bike, and a road trip.

(Trying to not think about the former League of Michigan Bicyclists executive director who had this surgery and ended up not surviving. I bought her bike trailer at the estate sale.)

A church friend from our singles group is being an angel, doing the car tripping and putting me up overnight.
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,165
Points
45
Thank you for all the warm responses. Makes me feel good. :):):)
_____

The surgery went well. Minor pain this morning, 21 hours later. I am still carrying "the hang gang" so my plans to inhabit women-only places faded. The surgeon did indicate it appears that Hodgkin's Lymphoma has returned. The Cat Scan showed an A-OK chest and neck area but some growths in the abdomen. I will be seeing the oncology doctor on Monday to see what the next step is. Taking a couple days off to give the surgical spot a chance to begin healing (with not a lot of body movement). I will probably go back to the workplace on Thursday but stay in my office. Next week I am on vacation but we are not traveling, other than to the oncology doc.

Bear
Hang in there, broddah
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
BUN, I am hoping things turn out well. Last year Mr C dealt me a glancing blow. In another month and a half it will be a year since my surgery. Mine, though scary at the time, was not much of anything really. Just a big divot of flesh to make sure the dermatologist got it all the first time. You're sick. There is no comparison.

Get well. Stay strong. My best wishes are with you and yours.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,496
Points
38
You keep yourself clean up there, Bear. After all, somebody has to fill me in on the latest happenings in greater metropolitan Swanton!:p
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Up(bear)date

Went to see my oncologist on Monday. The biopsy is still at an "undetermined state". The University of Michigan Hospital has the most-detailed cancer records for this Bear so the biopsy results and the Cat Scan results have been forwarded to doctors dressed in Wolverine garb, for further evaluation. I have a Pet Scan scheduled later this week (or early next week, still waiting for confimation). Oncology doc says that "something is brewing" and the Pet will help the doc figure it out.

Odd, I am more stressed this time than when I wandered through all the "stuff" back a few years ago. Katie is a great caregiver and helps to relieve the stress.

Over and out.

Bear
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,331
Points
53
Went to see my oncologist on Monday. The biopsy is still at an "undetermined state". The University of Michigan Hospital has the most-detailed cancer records for this Bear so the biopsy results and the Cat Scan results have been forwarded to doctors dressed in Wolverine garb, for further evaluation. I have a Pet Scan scheduled later this week (or early next week, still waiting for confimation). Oncology doc says that "something is brewing" and the Pet will help the doc figure it out.

Odd, I am more stressed this time than when I wandered through all the "stuff" back a few years ago. Katie is a great caregiver and helps to relieve the stress.

Over and out.

Bear

Sending good thoughts and healthy vibes! I hope they can figure it out quickly and determine the best course of action.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Oh Oh

Met with my oncologist today to go over the recents scans (CAT) (PET). The surgical biopsy was ok. No C brewing at that location. However, the PET Scan was not so good. We viewed the images with the doc and he pointed out a number of locations in bones that glowed yellow.....a PET image, created by radioactive material that was pumped in to me about an hour before the actual scan, that is likely to show yellow when cancer cells are present. Later this week or early next week they will stick a needle in one of my bones that are showing yellow. That should help the docs get a handle on whether or not it is C and if it is, what type. The doc said that it might be something different than the Hodgkin's Lymphoma that I have been fighting for years.

Stress continues to tear away my shallow "not concerned" covering.

I am a fighter (15 years, baby) and I plan to continue the fight.

Bear
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,331
Points
53
Met with my oncologist today to go over the recents scans (CAT) (PET). The surgical biopsy was ok. No C brewing at that location. However, the PET Scan was not so good. We viewed the images with the doc and he pointed out a number of locations in bones that glowed yellow.....a PET image, created by radioactive material that was pumped in to me about an hour before the actual scan, that is likely to show yellow when cancer cells are present. Later this week or early next week they will stick a needle in one of my bones that are showing yellow. That should help the docs get a handle on whether or not it is C and if it is, what type. The doc said that it might be something different than the Hodgkin's Lymphoma that I have been fighting for years.

Stress continues to tear away my shallow "not concerned" covering.

I am a fighter (15 years, baby) and I plan to continue the fight.

Bear

Every fighter needs a support team. We're here for you and sending strength, peace, and calm. *hands BUN spittoon"
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
27
There isn't a double chest thump emoticon, but you know what I mean. We're thinking of you.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Tick Tick Tick

Well, tomorrow is what I consider "the most important day in my life". A week and a half after both my oncologist and my family doctor, in seperate appointments, both used the same sentence as they viewed my Pet Scan: "Michael, this is not good. Not good." Katie and I will meet with my oncologist to get the scoop. Because my scan lit up like a Christmas tree I am prepared to face what is next.....and I am fully aware that it could be along the line of "It has spread throughout your body. Too late for treatment. You have _____ months."

I am taking it better than Katie. I expect her to be more nervous during the doc visit than me. We are both hoping for some sort of treatment alternative......chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplant, native dance with witch doctor sprinkling Dakota Dust in my face.

I have had some trouble sleeping because this uncertainty has pushed aside most everything else in my brain. I also have a question but that question will be in an opening salvo on a new thread. It is a topic that many of us will face and I need some opinions/thoughts.
_____

Ex-Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector and this Bear are following similar paths. We both were diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, both fought it off and had it return only to fight it off again and then WHAMMO it returns again. He is a tad older than me, though.
_____

Tick tick tick.

Bear (Fighting The Fight)
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,331
Points
53
:( So sorry BUN. I hope tomorrow's meeting goes better than expected and that you can come up with a treatment plan. You've fought it twice, who's to say you can't do it again?
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
Bear, I'm praying for the best possible outcome for you and Katie. Also being married to a significantly younger spouse, I think that I can probably appreciate some of the thoughts that you must be having. If I ever have make those decisions, I hope it will be with as much grace as yours seem to have been done.
 
Top