NFR The Roller Coaster Ride and the "C" Word

Freestone

Not to be confused with freestoneangler
#31
Larry, I am so happy for your new diagnosis - and that you called 911! I hope that your health continues to improve! Thanks for sharing your story and reminding us all to take good care of ourselves.

Kerry, you continue to be in my prayers my friend.
 

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#33
Holy crap, Kerry! Yours is also quite a story but I'm certainly glad things are looking better! I too will say some prayers!!
 
#34
Scary stuff man! I know for a fact I've been exposed to that shit. Remodeled a lot of houses from the pre-sixties before they realized the danger.
Keep on keeping on, DFL
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#35
I am very happy for you. The thought of having lung cancer is one scary bitch. I know. I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer back in September of last year. Incurable, this stuff is. And yes, some pretty scary crap can go through your mind. I can relate to everything you said. I am somewhat lucky in the fact that the cancer migrated to my brain, they discover 3 tumors on my brain. The largest a little bigger than a golf ball. That one was removed surgically. The other two were blasted with a gamma knife. Now, you may ask how am I lucky that this nasty stuff had migrated to my brain? Well, it all started back in July or August of last year. I began to have problems using my left arm and leg. Also I was having balance issues from time to time. I knew something was up and made some appointments to see a doc. In the meantime I had a business trip to California that could not wait. Off to CA I go. While working in CA the issues with my left arm and leg continued to get worst to the point fellow workers were concerned. One evening after work at the motel I had one of the balance episodes and fell in the bathroom. I couldn't get up. My left side wouldn't work. Ever see the commercial "I have fallen and can't get up."? Well, there I was. I thought shit; they won't find me until morning. Anyway, after about 5 minutes I regained control of my left side and was able to get and go to bed. The next day at work I told some of my fellow workers what had happened and to keep an eye on me. What they did was to gang up on me and ambushed my ass in the parking lot. Hauled me off to the hospital where after almost every test Larry mentioned they told me I had a brain tumor and they had also found a couple of spots on my lung. Whoa! What next? I was flown that afternoon back to Seattle where I was booked into Swedish hospital. The following day I had brain surgery to remove the largest of the three brain tumors. A week later I had the gamma knife treatments on the remaining two. Next, the big stuff. What to do with the spots found on my lungs. One thing they didn't need to was a biopsy. They had the tumor from my brain. So I met with an oncologist at Skagit Regional Cancer Center because it is a lot closer than Swedish. He is the one that told me I had incurable stage 4 lung cancer which consists of 2 tumors on right lung and 2 lymph nodes that are cancerous. He devised a treatment plan consisting of infusion chemo therapy which is a treatment a week for 18 weeks. I have now completed treatment # 12. Since starting chemo I have had an MRI on my brain which confirmed the cancerous tumors are gone or shrunk to be of no real consequence. I just had my second CT scan on my lungs. The first scan was performed in the first of January and showed that the tumors in my lung were shrinking and losing density. The second scan which was done this past Monday showed that both tumors are continuing to shrink and the lymph nodes are returning to normal also. What does all this mean? Well, I ain't dying of lung cancer anytime soon. I will be on some form of chemo treatment for the rest of my life. That may take the form of infusion treatments or oral. We don't know yet. How long will I live? No one knows. Some people that have a similar form of lung cancer that I have are in their 15th year after being diagnosed. The way I think about this we all have a death clause in our contracts here. We all are going to die. The difference between me and you is I have a pretty good idea of what is going to kill me and you don't.

Now, this is a hyjacking.
I'm glad to hear you're getting positive results in your treatment,hope you can make the occupy skagit event this year
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#36
Hang in there Larry, don't forget to keep pushing on the hard questions, i.e. if it ain't tumor what are the calcifications specifically are they inflammations/dormant infections and whether or not they predisposed you to your MI.
Back to you Larry. I am with 'boot on this. What are the spots on your lungs? Don't let up with the docs. As good as the doctors are in the end it is you that needs to take control. Keep us informed and again very happy for you that so far the diagnoses had been good.
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
#37
Sorry to hear you had to experience such a scare and glad to hear things are well. Wishing all of us good health and no more of these stories...
 
#39
Glad to hear the positive news, Larry. I've been exposed to asbestos as well, about 3 months in a warehouse full of it in 1978. Supposedly the stuff was banned before then, but the pipe insulators I was working with pointed out some of the product still had it. Got 2 serious strep-throat cases in that time frame.
Just had a chest x-ray last October and it's clean, knock on wood.

Kerry S, keep up the fight, my friend. You are one tough SOB. Best wishes.
 

fredaevans

Active Member
#41
Glad your diagnoses was negative. But does bring up a some interesting concerns of what is wrong with our health care system.
Not in the least LD. Most folks see a GP for general stuff and these folks know when 'the situation' is beyond their training ... and that's why you get referred to a 'specialist.' Their training takes them down the GP road then a few more years of training .

Let's not forget Doctor's are not "God's," they're just damned good at what they do.
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#42
Lest we forget, medicine is as much an art as it is science. While it's tempting to grouse because docs don't get a diagnosis exactly right the first time, it's worth remembering that they're also human and subject to biases, misconceptions, hubris and errors. They're also incredibly smart and dedicated to caring for their patients. They take medicine seriously and approach a diagnosis in a rational, logical way - much the way Sherlock Holmes or Hurcule Poirot solves a mystery.

As some of you already know, several years ago, a routine x-ray turned up a large, unidentified mass in my neck. After several more x-rays, a CT scan and a needle biopsy, more scans turned up another three unidentified masses in my chest. Two were the size of tennis balls flanking my heart, while a third the size of my thumb was wrapped around the large vein returning to my heart from my right shoulder.

In consulting with two surgeons (including the chief of surgery at Overlake Hospital), they threw out a number of possibilities, most of which were fancy words for cancer. The process, which took about 3 days nearly scared the shit out of my wife and I.

Fortunately, a dear friend and neighbor is a doc with an 'open door' policy to offer a little professional perspective when called for. Over coffee, he told me about a standard medical process called a 'differential diagnosis'. Basically, it involves making a long list of everything that could possibly be causing the symptoms, then systematically crossing them off the list as tests and observations rule each one out. Whatever is left is the cause.

His reassuring advice: My docs HAD to include cancer as a possibility until they could ABSOLUTELY eliminate it.

Just 5 days after the initial x-ray, I had a 5 hour, 'beating heart' surgery that removed nearly 2 kilos of mass from my neck and chest. The mass in my neck was the size of a chicken breast and had constricted my trachea down to just 5mm. I could have died from a stroke at any moment. The recovery from having my sternum sawed open then stapled back together took nearly a year.

But it only took the pathologists two days to confirm the masses were just an extremely hyperactive thyroid gland that had spawned itself remotely in my chest. A kind of goiter on steroids.

It was only then that the docs could absolutely rule out any form of cancer. It was a tough way to get there, but it was exactly the outcome we were praying for.

Nobody should ever expect a doc to come up with a precise diagnosis without first ruling out all the other possibilities. That's not medicine, it's guessing.

K
 
#44
Christ, Larry, I'm sorry. That sounds like a horrible ordeal, thank the gods you came out in the clear. Many more coho and Searuns ahead my friend, and I look forward to seeing you on the beach this spring... if you stay off those damn lakes!
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#45
I am very happy for you. The thought of having lung cancer is one scary bitch. I know. I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer back in September of last year. Incurable, this stuff is. And yes, some pretty scary crap can go through your mind. I can relate to everything you said. I am somewhat lucky in the fact that the cancer migrated to my brain, they discover 3 tumors on my brain. The largest a little bigger than a golf ball. That one was removed surgically. The other two were blasted with a gamma knife. Now, you may ask how am I lucky that this nasty stuff had migrated to my brain? Well, it all started back in July or August of last year. I began to have problems using my left arm and leg. Also I was having balance issues from time to time. I knew something was up and made some appointments to see a doc. In the meantime I had a business trip to California that could not wait. Off to CA I go. While working in CA the issues with my left arm and leg continued to get worst to the point fellow workers were concerned. One evening after work at the motel I had one of the balance episodes and fell in the bathroom. I couldn't get up. My left side wouldn't work. Ever see the commercial "I have fallen and can't get up."? Well, there I was. I thought shit; they won't find me until morning. Anyway, after about 5 minutes I regained control of my left side and was able to get and go to bed. The next day at work I told some of my fellow workers what had happened and to keep an eye on me. What they did was to gang up on me and ambushed my ass in the parking lot. Hauled me off to the hospital where after almost every test Larry mentioned they told me I had a brain tumor and they had also found a couple of spots on my lung. Whoa! What next? I was flown that afternoon back to Seattle where I was booked into Swedish hospital. The following day I had brain surgery to remove the largest of the three brain tumors. A week later I had the gamma knife treatments on the remaining two. Next, the big stuff. What to do with the spots found on my lungs. One thing they didn't need to was a biopsy. They had the tumor from my brain. So I met with an oncologist at Skagit Regional Cancer Center because it is a lot closer than Swedish. He is the one that told me I had incurable stage 4 lung cancer which consists of 2 tumors on right lung and 2 lymph nodes that are cancerous. He devised a treatment plan consisting of infusion chemo therapy which is a treatment a week for 18 weeks. I have now completed treatment # 12. Since starting chemo I have had an MRI on my brain which confirmed the cancerous tumors are gone or shrunk to be of no real consequence. I just had my second CT scan on my lungs. The first scan was performed in the first of January and showed that the tumors in my lung were shrinking and losing density. The second scan which was done this past Monday showed that both tumors are continuing to shrink and the lymph nodes are returning to normal also. What does all this mean? Well, I ain't dying of lung cancer anytime soon. I will be on some form of chemo treatment for the rest of my life. That may take the form of infusion treatments or oral. We don't know yet. How long will I live? No one knows. Some people that have a similar form of lung cancer that I have are in their 15th year after being diagnosed. The way I think about this we all have a death clause in our contracts here. We all are going to die. The difference between me and you is I have a pretty good idea of what is going to kill me and you don't.

Now, this is a hyjacking.

Wow! And I thought I had an "ordeal" Kerry. You take care, and I will have a talk with the same fish god spirit that I did, for you. Yes, it is some scary stuff eh? Sounds like you are coping well and hopefully beating this stuff. That positive attitude helps a lot, including your friends support. I had even seen an oncologist once, until all of this ended up being negative tests. Hopefully, this lung thing remains as is or clears up come my test in June. If this pulmonologist doesn't give me some good news, I will probably go for the 2nd opinion route. Here is an interesting side note to all of this. On the final report from the Mayo Clinic, there was a sentence that read, "I would have a concern for occult aspiration injury as a potential etiology for the patient's chronic airways remodeling." My friends neighbor, who is an RN, asked me whether the pulmonologist asked me about what my hobbies were. When I told her about tying flies for 50 plus years (feathers, synthetics, etc.) she said that if that doesn't raise the eyebrows of my pulmonologtist, it should!! So, perhaps "snorting" all of this fly tying material just may not be a good thing!! Geesus, never thought of that being a bad thing for our lungs have we?! My 3 month asbestos exposure may not be a big deal, but the fly tying materials….well who knows. So, when I see this guy in June, I will see what sort of reaction he has about my hobby/sport.
So, the heart attack thing doesn't even seem real, and I feel great. Heart attack? What heart attack?! There is nothing stopping me from doing what I want to do, so, Steve Knapp and everyone, I'll see you on the beaches chasing coho and cutthroat this year!! As a matter of fact, I'll be on the beach in a couple of hours!! I'm back!!! Again, thank you all for the kind words.
 

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