Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

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RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by CheyenneMoon on Thu Oct 23, 2014 08:45 PM

Quote | Reply

On Oct 22, 2014 6:22 PM Shereeclint wrote:

On Oct 16, 2014 4:41 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

Hi Everyone,  I have been diagnosed with throat cancer related to the HPV 16 virus. I have run the gamment of emotions but yesterday took the cake. I went in for my simulation....where the make your mask...total panic attack. Now I am so scared I won't be able to go through with treatment. I felt like I couldnt breath. They gave me adivan to get through the simulation part. Has anyone else had such and experience and if so how did you handle going in for daily radiation treatments. Please....any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am so afraid I can't get past the panic.

Thanks

Hi Cheyenne,

I have just one request. Please look up Dlynn1210 and send her a message. Diana is a 7 year throat cancer survivor. More importantly, she has a incredible heart for folks like you. When my brother was diagnosed over a year ago her remarks were invaluable, soothing, and trustworthy.

I pray God lays His healing hand on you. "I will never leave you or forsake you", so said Our Lord Jesus Christ. I will pray for you as well.

Clint  

Hey Clint, I replied to you earlier but forgot to quote this message. I appreciated your help and your prayers. There are so many here on this site with incredible hearts. Do you know how I go about looking up Dlynn1210?  I don't see a way to search for someone. I would love to get in touch with her.

Thanks

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by Shereeclint on Thu Oct 23, 2014 08:54 PM

Quote | Reply

On Oct 23, 2014 8:45 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

On Oct 22, 2014 6:22 PM Shereeclint wrote:

On Oct 16, 2014 4:41 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

Hi Everyone,  I have been diagnosed with throat cancer related to the HPV 16 virus. I have run the gamment of emotions but yesterday took the cake. I went in for my simulation....where the make your mask...total panic attack. Now I am so scared I won't be able to go through with treatment. I felt like I couldnt breath. They gave me adivan to get through the simulation part. Has anyone else had such and experience and if so how did you handle going in for daily radiation treatments. Please....any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am so afraid I can't get past the panic.

Thanks

Hi Cheyenne,

I have just one request. Please look up Dlynn1210 and send her a message. Diana is a 7 year throat cancer survivor. More importantly, she has a incredible heart for folks like you. When my brother was diagnosed over a year ago her remarks were invaluable, soothing, and trustworthy.

I pray God lays His healing hand on you. "I will never leave you or forsake you", so said Our Lord Jesus Christ. I will pray for you as well.

Clint  

Hey Clint, I replied to you earlier but forgot to quote this message. I appreciated your help and your prayers. There are so many here on this site with incredible hearts. Do you know how I go about looking up Dlynn1210?  I don't see a way to search for someone. I would love to get in touch with her.

Thanks

Cheyenne,

Let me see if I can alert her for you?

By the way, Susan is also a wonderful caring person and she has already responded. Susan and Diana have been on the same journey you are about to begin. Lean on them, for they both have the heart and the will to serve others. I pray GOD continues to place His hedge of protection around them, for they are serving HIM as well.

Clint  

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by hisprincesstoo on Thu Oct 23, 2014 09:05 PM

Quote | Reply

hey,  wasn't you that terrified me  :)  It was my discussion with my radiation dr.  He was quite straight forward about what I will be going thru, and what I will end up with.  For me, having all that information is powerful.  With God's help I will overcome, and HE will carry me when I can't walk it on my own.  I have a history of not doing any kinds of drugs because this body overreacts to everything.

I didn't know you could friend someone?  is there like a chat room here?  Knowing I can walk by another is a great feeling, and having the ear of others who have walked this path is even greater.  trying to keep track of who is who could be a challenge for me.  Please be patient with me as I get to know you all.  ;)

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by jagerwin on Thu Oct 23, 2014 09:25 PM

Quote | Reply

On the left side of this page you should see options to "Add a friend" and "private reply". At the bottom you can "search for others".

Indeed, you've found a great site for support. I hope you few side effects.

John

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by Dlynn1210 on Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:28 PM

Quote | Reply

On Oct 23, 2014 8:45 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

On Oct 22, 2014 6:22 PM Shereeclint wrote:

On Oct 16, 2014 4:41 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

Hi Everyone,  I have been diagnosed with throat cancer related to the HPV 16 virus. I have run the gamment of emotions but yesterday took the cake. I went in for my simulation....where the make your mask...total panic attack. Now I am so scared I won't be able to go through with treatment. I felt like I couldnt breath. They gave me adivan to get through the simulation part. Has anyone else had such and experience and if so how did you handle going in for daily radiation treatments. Please....any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am so afraid I can't get past the panic.

Thanks

Hi Cheyenne,

I have just one request. Please look up Dlynn1210 and send her a message. Diana is a 7 year throat cancer survivor. More importantly, she has a incredible heart for folks like you. When my brother was diagnosed over a year ago her remarks were invaluable, soothing, and trustworthy.

I pray God lays His healing hand on you. "I will never leave you or forsake you", so said Our Lord Jesus Christ. I will pray for you as well.

Clint  

Hey Clint, I replied to you earlier but forgot to quote this message. I appreciated your help and your prayers. There are so many here on this site with incredible hearts. Do you know how I go about looking up Dlynn1210?  I don't see a way to search for someone. I would love to get in touch with her.

Thanks

Hi CheyenneMoon -

I read back through some of the posts after receiving an email from Clint.  I can totally emphathize with those who are having panic attacks resulting from the mask.  I am severely claustrophobic and just thinking about the mask now ties my stomach in knots.  Your panic attacks may very well have been related to the medicine you were taking because to be honest, as claustrophobic as I am, making the mask was not great but doable.  Wearing it during treatments was another matter.  As someone alluded to, having the mask placed over your face and then being snapped to a board to prevent us from moving can be a nightmare for those who are claustrophobic.  I barely made it through my first treatment and flat out told them I couldn't do it again.  My radiation oncologist immediately ordered Ativan for me to take prior to each treatment.  I had two radiation treatments a day - splitting the dose to lessen the side effects.  I took one Ativan an hour before each treatment and I would not have made it through without that tiny pill.  

Focusing your attention on other things helps as well.  For me, it was saying over and over, "Dad would have made it through, Dad would have made it through".  I inherited many wonderful traits from my dad but claustophobia is one I would just as soon have done without - but Dad always did what was necessary.  You see my dad was a mining engineer and often worked below ground in the coal mines.  I once toured a simulated coal mine in a museum in Chicago and as soon as I got out I called Dad and said "Thank you!"  He asked what for and I told him for going below ground all those years to support his family.  I barely made it through that day at the museum. 

It is reported that treatment for head and neck cancer is one of the toughest but the most important thing to keep in mind is that it is also totally cureable.  Some types of cancer are only palatable while others have a very low cure rate.  I have often said that if you have to be diagnosed with cancer, our cancer is the cancer of choice.  I am seven years clear of cancer and when I look back, the mask and the mucous build up that comes midway through treatment are very memorable but the rest almost seems as if it happened to someone else.  I just went for my annual checkup two weeks ago and as I looked around at people who were now going through treatment, I reflected back to when I was the one sitting in a recliner - barely hanging in there.  I remembr my oncology nurse saying after my first clear scan, "Now you know why we kicked your butt all those months."  I sure do - and it was worth every moment of it because I am alive today - and cancer free.  Do I have a few battle scars from treatment - yes, but that is because I fought a battle that I won! 

You will have a tremendous support system here on CC from those who have traveled the road you are about to embark on.  There will always be someone here 24/7 because we have members from around the globe. 

If you do start to panic once the mask is in place you can think about one highly clautrophobic person that made it through 70 - yes 70 treatments (2 a day) wearing that mask - ME!  AND sweetheart, if I can do it, trust me you can as well.  One day you will be where I am now, able to look back on treatment as a distant memory that at times seems to have happened to someone else. 

As for what to do with the mask - I told them to throw both away (I also had a second one made after a significant weight loss) but was told maybe I should keep them.  My basement flooded a few months later and Servpro did the cleanout.  They came out with the masks and asked what they should do with them - I pointed to the dumpster - and then cheered as they were thrown in.  I have a picture of me wearing it that still sends chills down me when I rarely look at it - but that is proof if I could make it through, you can also. 

I truly believe that God can give us a way to endure - all we have to do is ask Him - and trust He will.  My husband often tells others that he was amazed at how well I made it through treatment - but then I knew that God was with me throughout.  The peace that Ed relays to others that he saw in me was God carrying me when things got too difficult.  I read the Footprints poem daily while going through treatment - and there were many times that only one set of footprints were visible - God's. Many here pray often for others on CC and I know God not only hears those prayers but He answers. 

If you have any questions, we're here.  If you get depressed, remember, we've been there and will understand how you feel. 

Diana

   

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by augustus on Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:35 PM

Quote | Reply

I went through the simulation today at M D Anderson in Houston It went well.  But it did not go well the first time I was fitted in the mask in Dallas before I decided to come here for my treatment. I panicked a couple times and was doubting I could go through 6 and a half weeks of it. This site and Cheyenne's post helped me a lot. Thank you to all the contributors! We are not alone in this and we all are going to make it.  When I was fitted for a mask in Dallas last month prior to coming here and I had to start and stop a couple times. I made it through it, but it was terrible.  I was really dreading having to start over down in Houston. But I have read a good book about the mind by Deepak Chopra since then, done some simple meditation techniques and trained my brain by following some advice on treating claustrophobia. It involves mentally putting yourself into the  situation.With infinite detail. It is terrifying at first, but you do small doses and keep reminding yourself that you really are sitting in a chair at home or laying on the couch and what you are fearing is your imagination. I wasn't too sure it was going to work, but it really helped over time. M D added a mouthpice and i was afraid it might tip the scales against me, but I was okay with it too.  Everybody has a happy place they have to figure out. Mine is kayaking with a good friend that passed away from cancer a couple years ago. It sounds crazy, but it is almost like he knew I needed some help and shows up to get me through it. I can see how a golf course you know would work very well too. 

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by CheyenneMoon on Fri Oct 24, 2014 01:10 AM

Quote | Reply

On Oct 23, 2014 10:28 PM Dlynn1210 wrote:

On Oct 23, 2014 8:45 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

On Oct 22, 2014 6:22 PM Shereeclint wrote:

On Oct 16, 2014 4:41 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

Hi Everyone,  I have been diagnosed with throat cancer related to the HPV 16 virus. I have run the gamment of emotions but yesterday took the cake. I went in for my simulation....where the make your mask...total panic attack. Now I am so scared I won't be able to go through with treatment. I felt like I couldnt breath. They gave me adivan to get through the simulation part. Has anyone else had such and experience and if so how did you handle going in for daily radiation treatments. Please....any advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am so afraid I can't get past the panic.

Thanks

Hi Cheyenne,

I have just one request. Please look up Dlynn1210 and send her a message. Diana is a 7 year throat cancer survivor. More importantly, she has a incredible heart for folks like you. When my brother was diagnosed over a year ago her remarks were invaluable, soothing, and trustworthy.

I pray God lays His healing hand on you. "I will never leave you or forsake you", so said Our Lord Jesus Christ. I will pray for you as well.

Clint  

Hey Clint, I replied to you earlier but forgot to quote this message. I appreciated your help and your prayers. There are so many here on this site with incredible hearts. Do you know how I go about looking up Dlynn1210?  I don't see a way to search for someone. I would love to get in touch with her.

Thanks

Hi CheyenneMoon -

I read back through some of the posts after receiving an email from Clint.  I can totally emphathize with those who are having panic attacks resulting from the mask.  I am severely claustrophobic and just thinking about the mask now ties my stomach in knots.  Your panic attacks may very well have been related to the medicine you were taking because to be honest, as claustrophobic as I am, making the mask was not great but doable.  Wearing it during treatments was another matter.  As someone alluded to, having the mask placed over your face and then being snapped to a board to prevent us from moving can be a nightmare for those who are claustrophobic.  I barely made it through my first treatment and flat out told them I couldn't do it again.  My radiation oncologist immediately ordered Ativan for me to take prior to each treatment.  I had two radiation treatments a day - splitting the dose to lessen the side effects.  I took one Ativan an hour before each treatment and I would not have made it through without that tiny pill.  

Focusing your attention on other things helps as well.  For me, it was saying over and over, "Dad would have made it through, Dad would have made it through".  I inherited many wonderful traits from my dad but claustophobia is one I would just as soon have done without - but Dad always did what was necessary.  You see my dad was a mining engineer and often worked below ground in the coal mines.  I once toured a simulated coal mine in a museum in Chicago and as soon as I got out I called Dad and said "Thank you!"  He asked what for and I told him for going below ground all those years to support his family.  I barely made it through that day at the museum. 

It is reported that treatment for head and neck cancer is one of the toughest but the most important thing to keep in mind is that it is also totally cureable.  Some types of cancer are only palatable while others have a very low cure rate.  I have often said that if you have to be diagnosed with cancer, our cancer is the cancer of choice.  I am seven years clear of cancer and when I look back, the mask and the mucous build up that comes midway through treatment are very memorable but the rest almost seems as if it happened to someone else.  I just went for my annual checkup two weeks ago and as I looked around at people who were now going through treatment, I reflected back to when I was the one sitting in a recliner - barely hanging in there.  I remembr my oncology nurse saying after my first clear scan, "Now you know why we kicked your butt all those months."  I sure do - and it was worth every moment of it because I am alive today - and cancer free.  Do I have a few battle scars from treatment - yes, but that is because I fought a battle that I won! 

You will have a tremendous support system here on CC from those who have traveled the road you are about to embark on.  There will always be someone here 24/7 because we have members from around the globe. 

If you do start to panic once the mask is in place you can think about one highly clautrophobic person that made it through 70 - yes 70 treatments (2 a day) wearing that mask - ME!  AND sweetheart, if I can do it, trust me you can as well.  One day you will be where I am now, able to look back on treatment as a distant memory that at times seems to have happened to someone else. 

As for what to do with the mask - I told them to throw both away (I also had a second one made after a significant weight loss) but was told maybe I should keep them.  My basement flooded a few months later and Servpro did the cleanout.  They came out with the masks and asked what they should do with them - I pointed to the dumpster - and then cheered as they were thrown in.  I have a picture of me wearing it that still sends chills down me when I rarely look at it - but that is proof if I could make it through, you can also. 

I truly believe that God can give us a way to endure - all we have to do is ask Him - and trust He will.  My husband often tells others that he was amazed at how well I made it through treatment - but then I knew that God was with me throughout.  The peace that Ed relays to others that he saw in me was God carrying me when things got too difficult.  I read the Footprints poem daily while going through treatment - and there were many times that only one set of footprints were visible - God's. Many here pray often for others on CC and I know God not only hears those prayers but He answers. 

If you have any questions, we're here.  If you get depressed, remember, we've been there and will understand how you feel. 

Diana

   

I don't even know how to respond. You brought tears to my eyes. God bless you! Thank you for sharing your experience and words of encouragement. I need to look up the Footprints poem and may be reading it as well. I pray that God helps keep me strong so I can win the battle. I have never been very religious but I do believe. I am starting a new and improved relationship with God.  I know there is a lot of mind over matter involved and that being optimistic and positive is a key to getting better.

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by Dlynn1210 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 01:43 AM

Quote | Reply

Footprints in the Sand was always a favorite of mine but took on special meaning during my treatment. 

http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe

Reading Footprints was a reminder that God was with me throughout!  There was another patient being treated at the same time as I was who told his wife that he didn't know how I did it but every time I was knocked down I crawled back out of the ditch.  And that when I crawled out of that ditch I brought him along with me.  I got him a bookmark with Footprints in the Sand printed on it and shared with him that it was really God bringing us both out of that ditch.  I hope this poem brings you as much comfort as it still does me today. I will keep you in my daily prayers.  

Diana   

 

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by CheyenneMoon on Fri Oct 24, 2014 05:57 PM

Quote | Reply

On Oct 24, 2014 1:43 AM Dlynn1210 wrote:

Footprints in the Sand was always a favorite of mine but took on special meaning during my treatment. 

http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe m.html"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe

Reading Footprints was a reminder that God was with me throughout!  There was another patient being treated at the same time as I was who told his wife that he didn't know how I did it but every time I was knocked down I crawled back out of the ditch.  And that when I crawled out of that ditch I brought him along with me.  I got him a bookmark with Footprints in the Sand printed on it and shared with him that it was really God bringing us both out of that ditch.  I hope this poem brings you as much comfort as it still does me today. I will keep you in my daily prayers.  

Diana   

 

Thank you for the link to the poem and the prayers. I have such admiration for you. I have so many questions to ask you but haven't had time to formulate them. You must have incredible strength to have undergone 70 treatments. I found out treatment will start on Monday Oct 27 and they are using VMAT for radiation. Did you have chemo with your treatment? I have people trying to get me to take a holistic natural approach to defeating this cancer. Maybe if I lived in Sedona or back on Kauai I might consider it as there are many healers. Over the past few years I have been changing all the things in my life that need to be changed. Getting healthier. I quit smoking 1 year 1month and 5 days ago. Never had any luck before but God must have been preparing me for battle. I also had to change the way I eat due to menieres disease so lots of fruits and veggies mostly salad form, low sodium everything. Joined a gym and started yoga. Actually I haven't felt this good in years and then this happens. I am afraid of the unknown, side effects and if I will be able to eat again or speak. I am going to ask doctors about exercises to help with the muscles as I do not want them to atrophy. Even though I haven't started treatment I am finding food not very appealing but am making sure I eat.

No one has approached the topic of cost to me yet or what my insurance will cover. Lucky for me I was able to get insurance with blue cross through the marketplace. Once I met my deductible all my meds have been no copay. I have no idea what they will cover. I am the main breadwinner in the family as my husband is pretty much retired so I have no idea how we are gonna manage but I am sure God will help us find a way.

I am going for my filming today before we start actual treatment. Got my Ativan in my pocket so hopefully the trauma I felt when making the mask will dissipate since I believe in part it was a reaction to the Marinol. I have decided to visualize that the mask is God holding me in his arms while repeating Psalm 23. Trying to stay positive cause I know that is part of getting through this.

God bless and love to all

RE: Scared!! Diagonosed with throat cancer

by Dlynn1210 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 09:02 PM

Quote | Reply

On Oct 24, 2014 5:57 PM CheyenneMoon wrote:

On Oct 24, 2014 1:43 AM Dlynn1210 wrote:

Footprints in the Sand was always a favorite of mine but took on special meaning during my treatment. 

http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe "" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poe 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Reading Footprints was a reminder that God was with me throughout!  There was another patient being treated at the same time as I was who told his wife that he didn't know how I did it but every time I was knocked down I crawled back out of the ditch.  And that when I crawled out of that ditch I brought him along with me.  I got him a bookmark with Footprints in the Sand printed on it and shared with him that it was really God bringing us both out of that ditch.  I hope this poem brings you as much comfort as it still does me today. I will keep you in my daily prayers.  

Diana   

 

Thank you for the link to the poem and the prayers. I have such admiration for you. I have so many questions to ask you but haven't had time to formulate them. You must have incredible strength to have undergone 70 treatments. I found out treatment will start on Monday Oct 27 and they are using VMAT for radiation. Did you have chemo with your treatment? I have people trying to get me to take a holistic natural approach to defeating this cancer. Maybe if I lived in Sedona or back on Kauai I might consider it as there are many healers. Over the past few years I have been changing all the things in my life that need to be changed. Getting healthier. I quit smoking 1 year 1month and 5 days ago. Never had any luck before but God must have been preparing me for battle. I also had to change the way I eat due to menieres disease so lots of fruits and veggies mostly salad form, low sodium everything. Joined a gym and started yoga. Actually I haven't felt this good in years and then this happens. I am afraid of the unknown, side effects and if I will be able to eat again or speak. I am going to ask doctors about exercises to help with the muscles as I do not want them to atrophy. Even though I haven't started treatment I am finding food not very appealing but am making sure I eat.

No one has approached the topic of cost to me yet or what my insurance will cover. Lucky for me I was able to get insurance with blue cross through the marketplace. Once I met my deductible all my meds have been no copay. I have no idea what they will cover. I am the main breadwinner in the family as my husband is pretty much retired so I have no idea how we are gonna manage but I am sure God will help us find a way.

I am going for my filming today before we start actual treatment. Got my Ativan in my pocket so hopefully the trauma I felt when making the mask will dissipate since I believe in part it was a reaction to the Marinol. I have decided to visualize that the mask is God holding me in his arms while repeating Psalm 23. Trying to stay positive cause I know that is part of getting through this.

God bless and love to all

You are very welcome - I know the poem brought me a lot of comfort when things got a little overwhelming.  You will have questions as you move forward and I will be here - as will many others who have been through this.  I suppose it does look like I had incredible strength but the minute that I placed my trust in God, such an empowering calm came over me.  God is there for us - all we have to do is ask and believe. 

Yes, I also had Cisplatin chemo along with TOMO radiation. 

As for holistic natural appoach, my oncologist said that ten years ago our type of cancer was a death sentence but with the advent of Cisplatin it was now totally cureable.  I don't believe if anyone when asked to decide between a tried and proven treatment or an unproven holisitic approach would choose an  unproven treatment when it is their life on the line. 

We share more than being diagnosed with cancer.  I also ate well, exercised, and generally felt great.  I also had menieres for several years prior to diagnosis.  The only symtom I had was feeling a fatique that just didn't seem to leave me. The oncologist at the hospital where I was diagnosed said "other than having cancer, you are in good health".  I remember thinking "other than - other than having cancer - isn't that a little bit of an oxymoron?"  I later came to understand that he meant that I was a good weight and in relatively good health so was in better physical shape going into treatment.  Anyone who hadn't taken care of their bodies would not withstand treatment as well.

Sweetie - the unknown is always scarey - knowledge is power.  I will be totally honest with you throughout and answer any questions I can.  On the other side, I won't say anything just to make you feel better because I don't believe that helps.  My degree is in Communications Sciences and Disorders (Speech Pathology) so I can give you a few exercises to do a little farther down the road. Make sure you eat and drink as long as you can - even drinking water (which is so important to flush out the meds) works the muscles along your esophagus.   

Keeping in mind I will not tell you anything just to make you feel better - you WILL eat again even though it will take a little longer and it takes a while to get back CLOSELY to normal eating (almost everyone has a new normal post treatment - but no biggie).  My speech is affected a tiny bit (not common for most but I now have a tiny bit of a lisp but again no biggie).  Enjoy all your favorite foods as long as you can - even those fatty foods we generally eat in moderation.  My grandson was worried that I might gain weight and then find everyone was wrong about losing weight.  I did lose almost 20 lbs until I agreed to a PEG tube two weeks into treatment - and wished I had gotten one before treatment as advised.  I lived on Wendy's Chocolate Frosties for weeks - the only thing that tasted good and went down smoothly. 

As for cost, you might check with the hospital where you are going for treatment to see if they have a maximum out of pocket per occurrence.  CTCA did have one!  The majority of your expenses should be covered minus deductibles and co-pays. 

I love your visualization - and if you let me know what time you are scheduled for treatment I will visualize along with you - Matthew 18:20.  Going into treatment with a positive attitude and maintaining that positive attitude will definitely affect how well you come through it - as far as side effects, etc.  I was very fortunate and had Mark who was there for me every step of the way.  When I felt absolutely horrible he would talk about preparing for an upcoming marathon.  He was two years out and doing very well (of course, he was 14 years younger than me).

I made it through as did so many others here.  I know I have more of an appreciation for life now.  I was given a 50/50 chance of suriving by my ENT but CTCA refused to talk about survival rates.  If it was God's Will that I survive I knew I would.  If it wasn't I accepted that and knew I was still a winner.  I made God a promise going into this - that if He saw me through treatment I would do more in His name.  There is no doubt God was with me and now I try to keep my promise wherever I can. 

Whenever you need a question answered or just emotional support, we are here for you.  I'm glad you already have Ativan so you are prepared.  There is no reason why we have to make treatment even more difficult than it has to be.

God Bless you - I know He does me every day!

Diana 

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