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Old 08-25-2021, 08:03 AM
 
29,509 posts, read 22,630,868 times
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This was a hard article to read. It was sad to see how hard he fought and the results.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opini...ly/7773772002/

Quote:
I asked a nurse what the timeline was. Cathy said my brothers were coming to see us on Sept. 9. The nurse said I should still be alive then. That was hard to swallow. In other words, we’re counting weeks, not months.

I was supposed to have a procedure to relieve some of the pain. This morning, the hospitals in the state said they weren’t doing elective procedures because the ERs were swamped by COVID-19 patients and soon the operating rooms will be swamped and then there will be a shortage of ventilators. So I can’t get a procedure that would significantly improve my quality of life because some people didn’t take care of their health needs when we’ve all known that masks, social distancing and vaccines would protect them and others in their community.

My future is set, though. I will be at home, watching television and popping pain killers.
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Old 08-25-2021, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Redwood City, CA
15,250 posts, read 12,952,205 times
Reputation: 54051
Yes, that was certainly bad luck. Some prostate cancers are slow-growing. His was not. Impossible to predict.

I concluded a long time ago that all you can really do is keep on top of doctor appointments and annual screenings. My sister skipped yearly mammograms for five years. Then she found her own 6 cm tumor.
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:01 PM
 
6,340 posts, read 2,892,672 times
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Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer. Only 52.
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
42,839 posts, read 26,247,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Yes, that was certainly bad luck. Some prostate cancers are slow-growing. His was not. Impossible to predict.

I concluded a long time ago that all you can really do is keep on top of doctor appointments and annual screenings. My sister skipped yearly mammograms for five years. Then she found her own 6 cm tumor.
My brother died of prostate cancer when he was 66, he was diagnosed at 61, he had radiation and some kind of hormonal drugs and for about 3 years they told him he was in remission, but then it metastasized and he had to have a drain put in his gallbladder, then it spread to his bones, he fell down a flight of stairs and got numerous fractures on his spine, they operated and put screws and plates up and down his spine and he lived for maybe a year after that. What shocked me is that he didn't realize he was terminal until his last hospitalization when they told him that he should contact any family members or friends who he wanted to say goodbye to. I was sure he knew, who wouldn't? But apparently he convinced himself that he wasn't going to die. It was tough watching him try to come to terms with what was happening to him
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Old 09-21-2021, 04:04 AM
 
2,391 posts, read 1,404,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
My brother died of prostate cancer when he was 66, he was diagnosed at 61, he had radiation and some kind of hormonal drugs and for about 3 years they told him he was in remission, but then it metastasized and he had to have a drain put in his gallbladder, then it spread to his bones, he fell down a flight of stairs and got numerous fractures on his spine, they operated and put screws and plates up and down his spine and he lived for maybe a year after that. What shocked me is that he didn't realize he was terminal until his last hospitalization when they told him that he should contact any family members or friends who he wanted to say goodbye to. I was sure he knew, who wouldn't? But apparently he convinced himself that he wasn't going to die. It was tough watching him try to come to terms with what was happening to him
Well, that’s the problem with “positive thinking.” As a cancer survivor myself, I see way too much of this in the cancer community. I just resisted posting on a FB thread about positive thinking. Scrolling though the 800+ comments, I mostly saw people saying that positive thinking (praying, often) was really helpful for them and many others saying they were doing their best to “stay positive.” There were a sprinkling of comments about accepting loss and recognizing and processing grief.

Anyway, I think that instead of trying to “think positive,” there are different better ways of being at various moments in the cancer journey. More particularly, I think it is really helpful to try to be as objective as possible when it comes to choosing among various treatments, tests, what have you. Essentially, whenever you need to make an important choice, it really helps to at least attempt to be as realistic as possible, listen to your doctors, listen to yourself, look at the research, communicate openly with others, then make the choice you think is best, based on that reflection.

Then, once the choice has been made, instead of “thinking positive,” I think it is best to compartmentalize — accept the reality of cancer (and maybe realizing you are terminal), mourn the loss, then “forget” again and enjoy life and love it to the fullest to the best of your ability every hour and every day. Maybe “living life to the fullest,” will mean lying in bed exhausted instead of being guilted into doing something you don’t want to do when you are exhausted. Or maybe it will mean doing something you need to do when you are literally “sick and tired,” but minus the self-pity and anger you might have otherwise added to the mix of negative emotions. Or maybe it will mean having unexpected moments of grace.

The problem with “thinking positive” (or refusing to accept the reality that you are terminal) is that paradoxically in hoping and trying to think positively about the cancer and your treatment, you are still focused on the cancer. And why focus on the cancer at all (once your decisions are made)? Is always thinking about your cancer and your treatment (even if “posivitely”) really a great way to live?

[Steps down from soapbox]
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Redwood City, CA
15,250 posts, read 12,952,205 times
Reputation: 54051
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
My brother died of prostate cancer when he was 66, he was diagnosed at 61, he had radiation and some kind of hormonal drugs and for about 3 years they told him he was in remission, but then it metastasized and he had to have a drain put in his gallbladder, then it spread to his bones, he fell down a flight of stairs and got numerous fractures on his spine, they operated and put screws and plates up and down his spine and he lived for maybe a year after that. What shocked me is that he didn't realize he was terminal until his last hospitalization when they told him that he should contact any family members or friends who he wanted to say goodbye to. I was sure he knew, who wouldn't? But apparently he convinced himself that he wasn't going to die. It was tough watching him try to come to terms with what was happening to him
That's awful. I'm sorry your family had to go through that.

Still, denial can be useful if it helps you live in the moment.
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:32 AM
 
Location: USA
9,115 posts, read 6,165,173 times
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Denying the most probable outcome is tragic for the person and the family. There are many practical facets to dying that should be addressed. Once people accept the situation, they are better prepared to face these issues and questions.

I'm not saying people should give up fighting or stop treatment, but they should think about alternative endings. If the treatments work and the cancer goes into remission, life if good. Start that vacation planning!

However, even highly successful treatments don't work for everyone. So there is a chance that there will not be a positive outcome. This needs a full discussion with patient, doctors, and family. What does this mean?

From seemingly trivial questions such as "What is your password?" to frightening ones such as "What can we expect in terms of pain and discomfort?"

As a society, we are pressured and taught to ignore death. Death is a failure. Life however is not a circle; there is a beginning and there is an end. I don't understand people who are loath to make a will and other end of life decisions before they become critical.
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Plymouth, England
234 posts, read 99,430 times
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I'm 73 and occasionally pee blood, it might be bladder cancer and my doctor wanted to refer me to hospital for tests but I declined because if it is cancer, the procedure for operating and/or treatment sounds very uncomfortable and too much hassle. At the moment there's no pain, just occasional twinges of discomfort.
At my age I've had a good innings and have no family or dependents so i'm quite prepared if the grim reaper comes looking for me.
My only hope is that there'll be drugs for the pain if it later goes painfully terminal and i'll be able to slip peacefully away..
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Old 09-28-2021, 09:16 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,550 posts, read 81,117,303 times
Reputation: 57750
I'm a survivor, for almost two years now, and I can verify that the treatment (8 surgeries, a year of chemo) is not fun. As many times as I was hospitalized, this current situation would have made it rough. Besides treatment, I spent 3-7 days in the hospital 5 times for serious UTIs, due to the effect of the chemo on my white blood cells. There is no problem with the staff at the Oncology department, it's the related procedures that require hospitalization. I was lucky enough to finish just before Covid.
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:19 PM
 
15,638 posts, read 26,247,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorOldSpike View Post
I'm 73 and occasionally pee blood, it might be bladder cancer and my doctor wanted to refer me to hospital for tests but I declined because if it is cancer, the procedure for operating and/or treatment sounds very uncomfortable and too much hassle. At the moment there's no pain, just occasional twinges of discomfort.
At my age I've had a good innings and have no family or dependents so i'm quite prepared if the grim reaper comes looking for me.
My only hope is that there'll be drugs for the pain if it later goes painfully terminal and i'll be able to slip peacefully away..
My husband had a low-grade bladder cancer, and they took it out and there was no issues and it was not a big deal at all in any way.

It also had absolutely nothing to do with the brain cancer he got about six years later. The amusing part of the story is when they did the full body scan to make sure he didn’t have cancer anywhere else the doctor blew our HIPAA laws by telling me that the cancer in his bladder six years was truly gone.

I said there must be some sort of mistake because my husband never had bladder cancer. The doctor just sort of looked at me and read the papers and said yes he did I’m sorry and then sort of took off.

So my husband who I loved very very much never told me he had bladder cancer. Since the brain cancer was automatically terminal and very very serious, the bladder cancer conversation never happened. I think I probably would’ve yelled a little.
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