Facing Reality: Battling Multiple Cancers with Limited Treatment Options

Hi all,

This is just an update on my situation. After finding out I had a growth that was most probably cancer, I left the Philippines and returned to Australia, again, for the last time to have my bladder, prostate, and lymph nodes removed, to have it checked out properly. After a PET scan, it is confirmed that it is not one but two new cancers growing.

I went along to the oncologist to find out how much chemo I will be getting to rid me of these two little cancers, and she was very open and very clear. They cannot operate for several reasons, radiation treatment is out of the question as they are so far apart, so the only remaining treatment is chemo.

OK, so the good news is: well, that's the problem, there is no real good news. If the chemo works, it could give me more time, but even with it working, two years is a fair estimate as to my remaining time, and half that if the chemo will not work. Not too bad until she adds that there is less than a 40% chance of the chemo working.

So there you have it, I will need to post a lot more of my jokes on here so I don't waste them. Don't get me wrong, I have not given up, I am just facing reality and understand that there is little they can do to help me live a long life. I will do everything possible to extend my life as long as possible, and I intend to be here for quite a few years yet, but that is the doctor's prognosis. But as she said, everyone is different but ......

I am living in Toowoomba in Queensland, and I am very happy here. There are two good hospitals here, and I will have no problems getting great treatment as and when I need it.

So I will be around for some time yet, but how long is a piece of string?


Bob, I'm so sorry for your bad news. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.


I am sorry to hear this news. It's possible that your chemo, if successful, might make other options possible. My wife had chemo for months to shrink a tumor before surgery and radiation. That was 6 years ago and she is still ticking and kicking. To her credit as an RN, she got several opinions from top doctors at several leading cancer care institutions in our region (Sloan-Kettering and Fox Chase). I hope you will do the same in your two good Australian hospitals.

How long is a piece of string? How high is up? Now, how about those jokes.

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Bob....keep your mind positive!!!!!! When dark thoughts creep in, kick them out by thinking of happy days, a sunny day at the beach, a walk in the woods, a great cookout with friends and family, crazy things that happened in high school or college! This is how I've survived 5 major cancer surgeries and who knows what will be attacked next! Your positive attitude is 90% of your cure.. Best of luck and peace be given to you.

I agree......
Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Sorry for the bad news. But stay positive because you never know. A woman I know was diagnosed with metastasized melanoma, which is a very deadly form of cancer. And she was told that she wouldn't survive it. But they treated her with a drug similar to chemo, which made her so sick she stopped her treatments. Well, anyway, I bumped into her the other day and she said that when they checked her cancer, there was no trace of the cancer in her body anymore. She believes it was because of everyone praying for her. I will pray for you. Keep us updated. And have a happy holiday. Donna


Bob, everyone is right. The proper attitude is indeed 90% of your cure - hang in there and keep kicking and screaming and fighting. I will keep you in my prayers. As Primeboy asks, where are those jokes??


Hi, although I agree with everyone else about keeping fighting, remember to be gentle on yourself as well, just sometimes!

Hi Bob, sorry to hear about this further complication in your life. You have made a lot of friends on here and we will all be hopping for a good outcome in the future, there are a few of us on here who were never expected to make it through some nasty maladies but we still survive and will be thinking of you, so try to keep your spirits up, Ed
Hi Bob,

I have, and I have watched others suffer in unbelievable pain and teeter on the threshold of death;
And now I know pain is a bitch ( "female dog" word deleted by site), but death is a mysterious transition;
And I know that transition is inevitable for all I know and love.

I hope the time we each have left is lived fully;
And I know none of us know how long that string really is . . . and that is perfection;
And I look forward to seeing your posts and your jokes.

I share this image because it is both sad and funny at the same time;
And when I look at it I'm not sure what I "should" feel about the interplay of pain and death;
And if it offends some, I hope they can explore the nature of feeling offended;
And finally discover a freedom they never knew was possible.


Hi Bob, like everyone here, I'll include you in my prayers. As DH said about her friend and her experiences with prayer, we'll all be right behind you. You've been responsible for one blowout of mine while reading one of your jokes and we all need a good laugh every now and then. So please keep up the jokes and we'll keep up the prayers........OK? Fair deal I think!! Take good care, Colm

Hi Bob,

So sorry to hear of your illness. You hang in there and keep putting up the jokes.

Take care, mate.

Hi, Bob. Sorry to read your news. I was given a 20% chance that the chemo would work for radiotherapy-induced cancer in my bladder, and the odds were stacked against me. That was 5 years ago, and I am still clear after having the chemo and then my bladder, prostate, and lymph glands removed. Keep your spirits up and never give up. Good luck,


Hey Bob, you are surrounded by the great people on this site. And yeah, odds might be stacked against you, but really they don't know everything. My uncle has inoperable prostate cancer, umm yeah, it's been 8 years now. They want to now make him sick to live 3 months longer. The worst thing is he feels great, but the tests are telling him he isn't? Obviously, you just make the most of everyday, but yes, be kind to yourself.

See us Melbournians are a lovely lot...xxxxx. Take care, Bob. I will check out your jokes and probably steal them, heheheh. And I'm not offended by Three's picture, it's funny and interesting. xxxx


Bob, I find this article interesting and helpful. You might also. Carol




Just when I feel like the 'world' is against me, I see a message like yours. I can't tell you how much I admire your courage and attitude. I also had my bladder, prostate, and lymph nodes removed. It's been 11 months now and I am cancer-free. Yet, sometimes, I still feel sorry for myself. After reading your message, I am going to strive to look at the 'bright' side. Thank you very much.

Hi Michael,

I am glad that my words did inspire you, as they were from my heart and how I feel. I will beat this thing. I could lay down and give up, but where would that get me? Just a long time laying down and missing out on having a good time in the meantime.

I know that when I have been far away from home and my flange starts to leak all over my shirt and pants with many people around me, I feel like I would prefer to be dead. But that is only a short time out of a long time to go, so I have learned to just get past it and love the life I have and to love everyone around me, especially my family, as if it were my last day. But I am not in any way expecting any day to be my last.

There is an airport up the road and light planes often fly around this area. One might crash on my house one day and I might be home, but when and where and how I go has nothing to do with today.

I am glad you are cancer-free so long after your operation and the future looks good for you. But never let that good news let you stop enjoying today as if it were your last one here. There are some very bad drivers out there, and unfortunately, many people younger than I will die in road crashes well before this cancer has a chance to catch me.

I once thought I was bad off because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet, so I took his shoes. Now I have no problems.


Keeping you in my prayers, think positive.


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