Round Two: Battling Cancer Again

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TassieDevil

Well, here we go again. I had my original colorectal surgery at Launceston General Hospital, Tasmania, in Aug 2007 for removal of the large intestine and rectal removal with a permanent stoma. The tumor had attached to the prostate, so part of that was taken as well. All has been well since, and I have enjoyed life pretty much as before until June 2011... Blood tests then confirmed that there was bad activity happening, and subsequent tests have proved that I have a cancer tumor growing on the prostate, and lymphoma has been diagnosed as well. I was referred to the Peter Mac Cancer Institute in Melbourne, which means interstate travel for me. Since June 2011, I have been backwards and forwards to Melbourne for tests, radiation, and chemo treatment. I have now got to the stage where I am to spend another week at Peter Mac, from the 13th Feb 2012, getting to meet colorectal surgeons, urologist, plastic surgeon, and other assorted professionals who will take a part in my looming operation. The operation to take place has been confirmed where there will be the removal of the prostate, bladder removal, and part of the tailbone... Major surgery which will be an all-day surgery. It seems that I will have "one of each" bags to contend with after all this, but as with the colostomy bag, I am sure I can handle the "bag" side of things. At this stage, the surgery will take place late Feb/early March 2012.

Cheers to all you lovely people out there.... Mike aka TassieDevil

Steve947

Mike, we are continuing to pray for God's healing in your life.

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Past Member

Here's wishing you the very best of luck for next month, and as Steve says, we'll count you in our prayers for your speedy recovery. Take good care, Colm.

Primeboy

The good news here, Mike, is twofold. First, all your doctors are teaming up to address your needs in a coordinated fashion. Unfortunately, some specialists operate in silos and think of patients as body parts. Second, and this should come as no surprise, our prayers are effective. You're in good hands. Get well fast. PB

Past Member

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Mike, for a speedy recovery. Ambies...

 
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TassieDevil

Thank you, folks... The latest appointment for my week in Melbourne is a bone marrow biopsy... Cheers... Mike

TotallySurprised

Godspeed and best wishes!

TassieDevil

Well, here it is near the end of March and my latest appointment for the big chop is now 26th April. Bone marrow biopsy confirmed CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia). Watch and wait on that score and look at that after the main op. I have had the go-ahead from the cardiologist for the big chop, so that's a relief.

TassieDevil

I got through the op OK. They took the prostate, bladder, and tailbone. I now have an ileal conduit as well as the colostomy. They used my belly button and surrounding skin for a flap, so I now have a belly button on my bum. 15 months later, here I am now facing another major surgery: laparotomy, removal of two more cancer tumors in the pelvis, and a penectomy. They have said they are going to fast-track the op date, so it should be soon. Cheers to all... Tassie Devil

TassieDevil

Operation...Confirmed .... 7am admission 24th Oct. Laparotomy, Excision Pelvic Tumour, Penectomy, IORT, +/- Orchidectomy/Scrotectomy

TassieDevil

Well, here it is December 16th. I had the big operation on October 24th. They took everything except the scrotum. I contracted the VRE bug in the hospital and an infection. I spent 7 weeks in the hospital, the first 3 of which I cannot remember due to being delirious while they found an antibiotic that would work with the VRE. I am back home again now, weak as a kitten as I lost so much muscle tissue, etc. I now have three bags: a colostomy bag, an Ileal Conduit Bag, and a ball bag. If they decide to take the ball bag, I'm buying myself a handbag! It is so hard trying to build up the muscles and get back to a reasonable level of fitness, but time will heal. Cheers to all.

TassieDevil

Well, as usual, the good soon turns to bad. Nov 2014....I have been given 2 to 3 months to live. The cancers have now traveled to the lungs, liver, and kidney. Trying another chemo but not expecting much. Cheers to all.

Primeboy

I am sorry to hear this bad news, Mike. I suspect that in the remaining days ahead the need for some quality of life for you and your family will lead your doctors to back off with their experimental treatments which are often far more debilitating and painful than the direct effects of the progressing cancer. At some point you may need to say to your oncologist, "Enough already!" My wife is close to that point now after 10 years of surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer. Today she told her doctor to put her infusions on hold for several weeks until she felt better. She wants some good time with her family at Thanksgiving but she accepts the inevitable. Her doctor understands and agrees. Good luck to you in the days and weeks ahead, whatever you decide. All of us, sooner or later, will join you in your next journey. PB

Zywie

What does one say to that? I don't know you, so it makes it impossible to comment. Only wanted you to know I read it and hope your remaining time is as painless as possible and gives you some smiles.

TassieDevil

Thanks Zywie, Steve947, Primeboy, and others for your replies and comments. I know it is hard to know what to say, and believe me, it is just as hard for me. Primeboy, I have decided to pull the plug on future chemo and go for a little quality to finish off. It is so much harder for my wife and friends to deal with. I have accepted the inevitable, but it is so hard to see what it is doing to my wife. Cheers to you all....Mike

Primeboy

Hi Mike. How are you making out? I hope you are finding some quality of life without the chemo. Let us know. Thanks. PB

TassieDevil

Hi Primeboy, well made it through Christmas. Had a great time with family and friends. Health-wise, I am deteriorating and getting quite a bit more pain to contend with. At present, I am still getting up and about but only just as the pain drives me back to bed. The main pain is in the back of my leg from the pelvis to the knee. They damaged a lot of nerves when they did the penectomy. Apart from that, all is well and I try to enjoy as much as possible. The dysentery and other chemo-related side effects have subsided quite substantially, so I am happy with my decision to forgo the chemo and take the shorter term with some dignity. I know it is only temporary, but I feel so well I wonder if it has all been a nightmare! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and look forward to a happy New Year....Mike

Primeboy

Hi Mike. You are very brave and I know your decision was not easy. No doubt you have a lot to reflect on in whatever time you have left. Are you taking anything effective for the pain? My wife has a prescription for morphine drops which cuts out the pain but does not leave her drowsy. I am glad you are feeling well now, apart from the onset of pain; and it's good that you are living now on your terms. Happy new year to you and your family. John

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