Cancer

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  • deem 1 Mar 2008 02:53:55 31,641 posts
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    I know. It's such a melodramatic thread title, but I just wondered if I might get some help here.

    I've had Aunts, Uncles and Nephews etc, that have all been there, but I'm hoping for some responses from people that have been through it on a very close level themselves - or had a wife/girlfriend/partner there.

    A certain forumite who shall remain nameless has already offered much more support than he realises and has helped massively, but I'm hoping I can get more help here.

    I really, really don't want this thread to turn in to a love in, just some practical advice - not that I want to sound ungrateful.

  • Telepathic.Geometry 1 Mar 2008 02:59:35 11,367 posts
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    Only advice I can offer is to remain positive all the time. Shit advice I guess, but I think that ultimately you have to try to raise their quality of life as much as possible regardless of how it all turns out. Not trying to palm this off as veteran advice, but that's my two cents. You'll be upset by it, and it's important to keep that to yourself I think. Good luck with it.

    || PSN Barrysama || NNID Barrysama ||

  • Carrybagma 1 Mar 2008 03:11:16 3,904 posts
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    1. Make sure you're not being fobbed off by the hospital i.e. 'we're short of cash right now, so fuck off and die'. Read up. Question decisions. Seek explanations - especially if you suspect ineffective treatment
    2. Listen to Derek & Clive's version of 'my old man's a dustman'
    3. Consider treatment abroad.
  • Carrybagma 1 Mar 2008 03:14:48 3,904 posts
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    Oh, and the very best advice:

    4. Don't ever feel beaten by it.
  • MetalDog 1 Mar 2008 08:33:26 23,697 posts
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    I don't know how much of a support network you have around you - get as much as you can, so that you don't have to worry about niggly little stupid things that don't matter. You'll be able to deal with the big things a lot better if you're not worrying about the council tax, the leaky boiler, the neighbours bitching about the size of your hedge - whatever stupid nagging problems are flapping around your head.

    You cunt.

    @edit: anti-love-in inserted

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Angel_Treats 1 Mar 2008 09:39:30 11,072 posts
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    Dunno whether you have health insurance but if you do, it's definitely worth reading the policy properly/giving them a call to see exactly what they cover. I had a bit of a scare a year or so ago and they couldn't have been more helpful - it would have drastically cut down waiting times, given me a private room etc etc. Thankfully not needed in the end.

    Probably this is of no help whatsoever but just wanted to say that I've known quite a few people who've had cancer and fought it kicking and screaming and made brilliant recoveries.

    And like MD says, don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it with practical stuff - people will be only too glad to help out.
  • MetalDog 1 Mar 2008 11:04:01 23,697 posts
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    Oh, the added bonus of getting friends and family to help out with the tedious irrelevancies of life is that it stops them from feeling helpless. Makes them feel useful - particulary good for those amongst them who are rubbish at /saying/ what they feel.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • spazmo 1 Mar 2008 11:40:58 2,782 posts
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    Was given the all clear 8 years ago after chemo and radiotherapy. It may seem all doom and gloom at the start but human nature soon takes over and things go back to 'normal'.
  • manuel_garcia 1 Mar 2008 12:12:53 4,079 posts
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    It'll be standard advice but you have to stay positive and happy (not fake happy, but... you know what I mean), at least around the person with the problem. If you can do that, then they'll have a much, much better chance of getting through the difficult stages. It's amazing what a positive mental state can dictate, far beyond physical treatment methods. If you can project positivity and strength, it'll make the world of difference.

    It's difficult to do though, and it helps if you have someone close that you can flake out on every now and then. Never let it get to the stage where you become overwhelmed, and never be afraid to ask friends for help, even for the piffling little things that shouldn't seem like a big issue, but probably will be from time to time.

    As others have stated, feel free to send a PM or an email if I can help in any way, I've been through a similar experience last year.
  • manuel_garcia 1 Mar 2008 12:22:57 4,079 posts
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    Also, on a more practical note, and judging from what I know of your situation you'll be aware of this anyway, but Carrybagma's advice is definitely to be heeded.

    Do not, under any cirumstances automatically believe what the doctors and nurses tell you. Get as many opinions as possible, and challenge everything. Get them to explain things, how they got to a particular diagosis, method of treatment, what exactly they're doing on a daily basis etc.

    The only reason I say that is because of a catalogue of complete fuckups that I saw from the very beginning of the process. Including, but not limited to:

    - 'forgetting' to insert the correct vitamins and fluids into the drip, causing massive physical deterioration over a period of a few days
    - 'forgetting' to administer the correct amount of painkillers after a huge internal operation, leading to the person in question waking up will full sensation in the middle of the night.
    - 'forgetting' special dietary requirements (regularly)
    - Royally screwing up injections and blood samples on a regular basis

    Honestly, check, double check, and check some more. As much as I don't mean to offend any health professionals on here, my experience of this couldn't possibly have left me with a worse impression.
  • BartonFink 1 Mar 2008 12:23:11 34,954 posts
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    manuel_garcia wrote:
    It'll be standard advice but you have to stay positive and happy (not fake happy, but... you know what I mean), at least around the person with the problem. If you can do that, then they'll have a much, much better chance of getting through the difficult stages. It's amazing what a positive mental state can dictate, far beyond physical treatment methods. If you can project positivity and strength, it'll make the world of difference.

    It's difficult to do though, and it helps if you have someone close that you can flake out on every now and then. Never let it get to the stage where you become overwhelmed, and never be afraid to ask friends for help, even for the piffling little things that shouldn't seem like a big issue, but probably will be from time to time.

    As others have stated, feel free to send a PM or an email if I can help in any way, I've been through a similar experience last year.
    Great advice.

    We (the wife and I) have a really good friend that was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. They removed something the size of a melon from her and all her bits. We are still working towards normal but getting there.
  • Fonzie 1 Mar 2008 14:48:46 1,859 posts
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    Having been through this with a couple of close family members and a couple of friends - most recently my dad, I'm more than happy to offer any advice or help I can.
  • Arcadiian 1 Mar 2008 16:53:52 830 posts
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    This isn't exactly on topic, but when my Grandad was in hospital with cancer, the elderly man in the bed next to him didn't like the food on the menu (who does?). So he ticked off what he didn't want that day, and all that he left on was potato. At dinner time his food was brought up, and under the metal lid was a cooked, unpeeled potato rolling around on the plate. They hadn't added anything else. I think you had to be there, but it was fucking hilarious, and he cried laughing. I got to know him quite well, and he said it was his humour that helps him through. It's important to remain upbeat, if you can. :)
  • Stickman 1 Mar 2008 17:10:08 29,666 posts
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    Postitive thinking has been absolutely proven to help in treatment and recovery, along with having a strong help network around you, so do all you can as others have said to aid that.

    THIS SPACE FOR RENT

  • Angel_Treats 1 Mar 2008 17:10:48 11,072 posts
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    FS - Deem asked for practical advice - while your post might have been true, it was hardly useful/constructive, was it?
  • Timmy 1 Mar 2008 19:46:27 9,031 posts
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    Fruit_Salad wrote:
    I think you'll find that cancer is the the f**king prick, not me.

    Tit.
  • Pirotic Moderator 1 Mar 2008 19:46:57 20,647 posts
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    A few months ago my dad was diagnosed with it (prostate), then a few weeks later my mum (breast). Now they've both had it removed, and have been given the all clear. So it went from "omg this is terrible" to "omg, that's it sorted already?" in a matter of months.

    To be fair after they tested what they removed, it turned out only my dad had cancer, my mum just had a malignant lump.
  • Carrybagma 21 Mar 2008 01:02:23 3,904 posts
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    Probably the wrong time of night to bump this, but how's it going?
  • Master_Miller 21 Mar 2008 01:18:45 1,642 posts
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    Only read this now, but that's utterly brilliant Piro. Congratulations.
  • Deleted user 13 November 2008 23:16:25
    Post deleted
  • ecureuil 11 Dec 2008 15:26:11 76,877 posts
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    Fuck cancer. :(
  • malteaserhead 11 Dec 2008 15:26:58 13,444 posts
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    :( indeed
  • smoothpete 11 Dec 2008 15:32:19 31,536 posts
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    Yes, fuck cancer, but why the bump? Had bad news ecu?
  • Deleted user 11 December 2008 15:36:01
    Hope not.
  • ecureuil 11 Dec 2008 15:39:09 76,877 posts
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    Yeah, just got back from the hospital with my grandmother, who's been told there's nothing the doctors can do for her, and she's only got a few months to live. I've been pretty close with her over the past couple of years as I've been helping to look after her cause she's been through a lot with this. She gave me a homemade Christmas card today, that has clearly taken her a while, that says "Happy Christmas, thanks for everything" inside, which is really tugging at the heart strings after the news today. /sigh
  • pjmaybe 11 Dec 2008 15:39:58 70,676 posts
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    ;_;

    Sad to hear that, Ecu...
  • Psychotext 11 Dec 2008 15:40:27 54,311 posts
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    :(
  • Tonka 11 Dec 2008 15:41:40 20,570 posts
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    Fuck cancer to hell.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • ecureuil 11 Dec 2008 15:45:00 76,877 posts
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    She'd been given the all clear twice as well, which makes it all the more frustrating. Because we've been through the emotions before, and then happiness when told the operation cleared all the cancer. Then a less than a month ago she had a problem again, and today we find out it's spread to her brain and lymph nodes. It's frightening how quickly things can turn around, she doesn't even look visibly sick. More than half of my family has had cancer, too. It probably sounds negative but I'm completely expecting this to get at least one of my parents, and at least one of me and my brother.
  • smoothpete 11 Dec 2008 15:52:22 31,536 posts
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    Shit, really sorry to hear that :(
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