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Topic: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

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  1. #1

    Unhappy Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    O. K. So this isn't exactly a topic about music, or Garritan products, or instrumental library software related, BUT if one wants to live a long and healthy life composing music and use Garritan products and/or other instrumental libraries, please take a little time and effort and take care of yourself!!!

    Just found out that my loving mother has a rather large growth in the sigmoid section of her lower intestine; and, NO, it ain't stool. The gastroenterologist, who will be doing her colonoscopy this coming Tuesday, seems to think that the growth is cancer. Already, this gastroenterologist has a surgeon lined up to take out this growth, this coming Tuesday, in the event it is what he "suspects it is".

    Now. . . I love and adore my mother. She, like many other mothers in this world, has lived a hard life. She worked full-time and worked HARD up until the age of 71. So, this is the time of her life where she should be taking it easy. Like so many other hard-working mothers, she DESERVES to enjoy the rest of her life stress-free. And, up until a couple of weeks ago, she HAS been enjoying her life.

    Actually, her symptoms (lower intestinal problems and pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, etc., etc.) started in January, so these past few months have been less than stress-free, I guess.

    The last time she had a colonoscopy?? 30+ years ago!!

    UGH!!

    I know that having a tube several feet in length go up your butt is far from pleasant. But they give you drugs. . . HAPPY DRUGS!. . . to help you cope with this unpleasant experience! But this tube, this colonoscopy, can be a life saver!! They're looking for anything that's suspicious. It's usually some kind of polyp. The polyp may be cancerous or not, but it is not a healthy growth that belongs in your colon.

    It is recommended that EVERYONE, age 50 or above, have this colonoscopy to screen out cancer. EVERYONE! It's that important! And depending on what they find and your family's history, they also recommend follow-up colonoscopies every 1 or 3 or 5 or so years thereafter.

    It's that important!

    It's MUCH, MUCH better to catch those tiny, suspicious polyps BEFORE larger problems occur. In other words, it is much, much better to undergo this admittedly unpleasant experience than experience the effects of full-blown cancer. Cancer sucks. The treatment for cancer, although possibly a life-save, also sucks! (I used to be an oncology nurse. I can honestly say that all of my patients did not enjoy the cancer nor its treatment against it! )

    I sooooooooooooo do not want my mother to have to experience this horribleness. She does NOT deserve it! My heart is heavy with sadness to know that she will most likely have to undergo (at the very least) abdominal surgery (and its painful recovery), and possible chemotherapy. I think it's the chemotherapy that scares me the most. She already has lost 25+ pounds these past couple of months and has that much less reserve to cope with such treatments. UGH!!

    So. . . . . Be good to yourself! Do a little "screening against cancer"! One significant way to screen against cancer is to have a simple (and admittedly unpleasant) procedure. Get the colonoscopy if you already haven't done so.

    And. . . if you don't mind. . . please hold my mother in your thoughts and prayers.

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    Hi Ted,

    Sorry to hear of your mom's state ... I'll certainly say a prayer for her.

    I agree 1,000% about your reminder to get this potentially life-saving procedure done ... at the least, a base-line @ age 50. I really think it helps to have a friend or family member talk about it ... I feel I've gotten at least five family members to undergo a colonoscopy in the past five years, and then before you know it, the word spreads around. The now widespread use of Propofol (as you know, The Wonder Anesthetic) for this procedure should take all the stigma out of it if you have reservations. The prep is better now also. I've had two and it was a vast improvement when I had the last one this last year.

    This past year, I took my dad to Monday morning chemo sessions. I can tell you that the science of chemotherapy has really become a lot more sophisticated even in the past 10 years. He received anti-nausea drugs along with the cancer-killers and although it would knock him out a bit energy-wise by Wednesday, he rarely lost his appetite and, overall, endured it very well (it also really retarded the spread of his cancer). And Pop was 90 when he went through this ordeal and had had cancer (prostate) for 5 years. He died in January more than halfway to 91, but never regretted the extended and higher quality of life he was afforded by taking the chemo for a year.

    I mention all this very personal info so, if it comes to pass that your mom does have to have chemo, know that together you can get through it. Hopefully, this will all be moot!

    Regards,

    Frank

  3. #3

    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    Frank -

    First. . . My condolences to you and your family with the loss of you father. It seems that you played a very active and important role as he received his chemotherapy treatments. I would venture to guess that the love and support that you gave meant a lot to him, and that he passed away knowing that he was well loved and supported by his family.

    It's been 10+ years since I worked full-time as an oncology nurse. I can only imagine that there exists a lot of new chemotherapy agents and new supportive medications to help the patient through the treatments. Without a doubt, I'll be doing a lot of research during these next coming weeks!

    Of course. . . we're taking it a step at a time. I want to be prepared. However, I do not necessarily want to spin my mental and emotional wheels in high gear. It is so easy to spin those wheels, though.

    My sister, who is also a nurse, is coming up to be with our mother for these next few days. She'll be well watched, that's for sure! LOL! But more importantly, our mother will be surrounded by those who love and support her. She seems more prepared for this ordeal than either my sister or myself. Anyhow, between my sister, my wife and other family members, we're going to make sure that my mother will be well cared for post-operatively when she leaves the hospital. Mother will be staying with us and we have lots of room in our home.

    Regarding Propofol! It's a great drug! I know it as "Milk of Amnesia"! LOL! We use it all the time for our intubated patients in our happy ICU/CCU (where I work, now).

    By the way, Frank, are you in the healthcare field? Maybe it's your experience with you father, but you seem to talk comfortably with the "healthcare lingo". LOL!

    Anyway. . . thank you for your support. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

    Warmest regards,

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  4. #4

    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    My 86 year old mother was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. She had surgery and that was it . They caught it early enough that she did not need chemo - a very good thing.

    My best to your mom.

    Charles
    MacPro 2.66 - Tiger & Snow Leopard / 16GB RAM / several TB of HD space/ Garritan Libraries / EWQLSO Platinum PLAY / Omnisphere/ Kontakt 2 & 3 / Finale 2010 /DP5/ a VERY patient wife!

  5. #5

    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    Being over 50 I have had experience with colonoscopy - I believe it's a good idea no matter what the comfort level of the procedure. I just asked my doc to buy me dinner first! He was mildly amused.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6

  7. #7

    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    Most of the medical terminology is completely beyond my comprehension, but it sounds serious enough because that one word is there. My thoughts and prayers are with your mother and with you. What is it with mothers? Why bother? Because mothers are the one personality we all fall back to when it comes to loving, good advices, matured and wise being.... that's why we all love our mother and care for her all the way.... All the strenght to you, my musical friend.


    Greetings and my compliments to your mom,

    Raymond

  8. #8

    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    Charles -

    It is good to read that they caught your mother's cancer early so that she did not require chemo. Chemo can be quite nasty. Depending on the situation, of course, sometimes it seems that the "treatment" is worse than the illness. I'm trying not to speculate too much to the type of "treatment" my mother may need for this tumor. At this stage, we're not even sure what type of tumor (benign, malignant) she has in her colon. It's big, though. And, without a doubt, it needs to come out. I am glad that your mother didn't need chemo.

    reberclark -

    I'm glad that you had your colonoscopy! I hope that this particular thread will make a person think twice about NOT having that colonoscopy when they're over 50. It is that important! Yes, it's an unpleasant procedure, but it saves lives. It's easier to catch that small polyp through regularly scheduled colonoscopies BEFORE it (possibly) turns cancerous. Although there is a few choices in treating colon cancer, none are pleasant. Thank you for sharing your colonoscopy story. I hope it will give strength and courage for others to take that important screening test. AND, I am happy to read that your doctor was "mildly amused" with your splendid sense of humor. A good sense of humor can and does help make an uncomfortable test easier to take.

    Randy -

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

    By the way. . . I hope that all is going well with your musical, Randy. I read somewhere here that the production ran into some economic hurdles. How frustrating! I've enjoyed hearing the music that you shared from that musical. I hope for its success. It certainly deserves it, Randy.

    Raymond -

    Thank you, Raymond, for your thoughts and prayers for my mother. You are correct in saying that mothers can be that "one personality we all fall back to when it comes to loving, good advices, matured and wise being." This is why it pains to to think about ANY suffering she might experience in the near future. In many and very unique ways, my mother is a role model for me in dealing with life in general. In the past, life has dealt her some pretty tough blows. She survived those painful blows and became even stronger for enduring those experiences. She's actually taking this one significant blow rather well. (I'm finding it hard to take. I just don't want to see my mother suffer. ) So, even now, my loving mother serves as a role model. Thankfully, she is well assured that she is surrounded by her loving son, daughter and daughter-in-law (my wife). I am and will continue to be her advocate. Why?? Because she's my mother.

    Ern -

    Going through the experience of seeing your mother ill and then pass away must have been very painful, Ern! And then having your first step-mother pass away from cancer too! UGH!! I can appreciate your father ensuring that your newer step-mother is in good health! "Twice bitten" is twice too much! It is good to read that your father is well cared for by your new step-mom as he lives through his "later years", though. Hopefully both will remain relatively healthy for a long time.

    Also. . . Glad to read that YOU had your colonoscopy as well! Most certainly am glad to read that all is o.k.! It is good to have that little Peace of Mind!

    Don't worry. I don't smoke. As you know through your grandfather, smoking really, really, really sucks! Although no cancer is fun, lung cancer especially sucks because of that "oxygen starved" feeling most lung cancer patients experience. Our body likes its oxygen and when it doesn't get it lets us know in no uncertain terms.

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, Ern. You're a good person.

    -----------

    Peace, to everyone here. . . .

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by efiebke View Post
    Frank -

    First. . . My condolences to you and your family with the loss of you father. It seems that you played a very active and important role as he received his chemotherapy treatments. I would venture to guess that the love and support that you gave meant a lot to him, and that he passed away knowing that he was well loved and supported by his family.
    Well Ted, that's what it's all about, no? I learned an awful lot about both living and dying in '08. In retrospect, I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything ... it really was special.

    And thank you for your very kind words for my dad. He was a lion the way he braved this past year. I always used to tease him about being born in 1918, the last time the Red Sox had won the World series for a long time. Finally, in 2004, when Pop was 85, they won again. Both of us being life-long Yankee fans, this was a real father-son joke we shared

    Quote Originally Posted by efiebke View Post
    Mother will be staying with us and we have lots of room in our home.
    Sounds like your mother will be in GREAT hands between you, your wife, and your sister. No matter what the path forward is for your mom, its great that she will be supported with all that love.

    Quote Originally Posted by efiebke View Post
    Regarding Propofol! It's a great drug! I know it as "Milk of Amnesia"! LOL! .
    Well, you got ME LOL with that one ... I'll have to tell my six sisters-in-law that one ... they're all nurses (my wife is the only one who isn't!).

    Quote Originally Posted by efiebke View Post
    By the way, Frank, are you in the healthcare field? Maybe it's your experience with you father, but you seem to talk comfortably with the "healthcare lingo". LOL! .
    No, actually I'm just a card-carrying hypochondriac LOL. Actually, I learned many years ago that although there is the best medical care of all time out there available, you really need to manage your own healthcare.
    Doctors love me ... when I show up for my annual physical, I bring a list with me of all the Rx's I may need renewed, a list of the docs I need a referral to see, and a list of any special blood tests I may need in advance of seeing those specialists. I also have a list of any items I want to go over with him. Lets face it ... his time is valuable, my time is valuable, and I want to optimize my short time with him ... and if at all possible, not have to go back for some little thing I forgot to go over with him!

    As you get older, you end up with a bunch of things, some minor, some you're trying to keep from becoming major, and I try and educate myself so I know what the hell the docs are saying to me

    Quote Originally Posted by efiebke View Post
    Anyway. . . thank you for your support. I appreciate you sharing your experience.
    You're most welcome ... there is always some solace in community and I'm glad to help in some small way. I'll keep a good thought for your mom, you and your family this week ... keep the faith.

    Regards,

    Frank

  10. #10

    Re: Way, Way OT - Preventing Cancer. . .

    Ted, thank you for the advice too!

    You are a sensitive and loving person, and it is the love that
    your Mom has for you that has made you more sensitive towards her comfort.

    I appreciate you!
    Let your Mom know that a lot of folks are praying for her and your family.
    A lot more than you know.

    Dan

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