By in Random

The Big C Strikes Again

If I may be so bold to say it: I hate that cancer is even a word, let alone that it is something with which we must deal.

As many know, I have heard the words, "I am sorry to inform you, but..." now twice. In June 2007 it was Stage Zero Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (Early stage breast cancer); May 2012, Stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer.

But yesterday, I heard the words from RGD, who just went through heart surgery in January, as many may remember from my writing. He learned yesterday that he has prostate cancer, and that he has opted for surgery.

He also informed me that he would cancel his month-long fishing trip to Alaska that has been planned since the end of last year. I think that upset me more than learning of the diagnosis. I fussed with him and told him he was going. It is time he LIVES his life, not let other situations dictate his life (negatively).

I wish that someone out there would come up with a cure for all cancers. This is getting really tiresome.

© Copyright 2015 - Coral Levang. All Rights Reserved.

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JohnRoberts wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:11 AM

That word gives me a shutter. Heart disease is still the number one killer yet it's the Big C I fear and worry over. My father went down to it and as you know, it's an experience like no other.

msiduri wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:20 AM

I am sorry. How awful, and as you say, not only threatening his life, but robbing him of something he's looked forward to for so long.

wolfgirl569 wrote on July 9, 2015, 10:16 AM

Sadly I believe the cure is known but then the powers that be would not be making the big bucks that they are on treatments. Hope they are able to get it all from him

Hollyhocks100 wrote on July 9, 2015, 10:31 AM

Dear Coral.
I am so sorry to hear this news, but here´s something that might help brighten the day.
2 of my brothers in law, both had prostate cancer, both had surgery and both survived. They are still going strong now years later. When the younger was told he had it the specialist told him that he could go for years more without needing surgery, and it would do him no harm, but he elected to have it done sooner.

inertia4 wrote on July 9, 2015, 10:37 AM

&CorlLevang I think they do have sure for cancer but refuse to implement them. And the reason why is the money. If they cure it there is no more money is chemo treatments.

MegL wrote on July 9, 2015, 10:47 AM

I am sorry to hear that. They seem to think that all men get it eventually and that if they get it in later years, it is not so aggressive.

alexisann wrote on July 9, 2015, 11:11 AM

That's awful, I'm very sorry to hear that.

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 9, 2015, 11:15 AM

Cancer is such a scary word. I fear hearing it every time I find a mole acting funny, or after a PSA test, or worse, after my wife has a pap smear or mammogram. I think finding out she had cancer would devastate me more than learning I had it myself. Sending up a prayer for RGD.

morilla wrote on July 9, 2015, 11:16 AM

If it's not going to interfere with his treatment, go fishing. You've only got so much life to enjoy and, frankly, his attitude is likely to be better if he goes and attitude is more than half the battle. Besides, he needs new stories to tell while he's recuperating. emoticon :smile:

cmoneyspinner wrote on July 9, 2015, 1:15 PM

Don't go without a fight sis! Don't let the Big C dictate your life. Leave each day to the fullest and count your blessings.

AliCanary wrote on July 9, 2015, 2:07 PM

They are still making good breakthroughs with genetic targeting, so there's always hope. But I am sorry, as well, to hear this.

Kasman wrote on July 9, 2015, 2:50 PM

&AbbyG - Most men over the age of 50 have some degree of enlargement of the prostate gland and if the levels you refer to are of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) then that test is notoriously unreliable. The only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer is a biopsy. As you say it is one of the more treatable cancers and if caught early enough is completely curable.

Kasman wrote on July 9, 2015, 2:54 PM

Sorry to hear that but if it has been caught early enough then it is completely curable. He may need follow-up radiotherapy after his procedure just to make sure but don't worry - and don't let him give up his fishing!

Shellyann36 wrote on July 9, 2015, 4:37 PM

So sorry to hear this about your friend. I too wish that a cure for cancer would be found. Perhaps you can convince him to continue on with his trip.

PeterChase wrote on July 9, 2015, 6:01 PM

The big C has hit my family and friends hard. I have been researching prevention and have two books in the works on substances that are very effective in preventing cancer. Both have to due mainly with the immune system and how it can be supercharged to kill cancer before it spreads. The two main substances are resveratrol and vitamin D. Vitamin D is the most crucial and I think that being deficient in this substance is the main cause for the explosion in the rate of cancer. Resveratrol if the substance in red wine that has positive health effects as discovered by researching the French and Mediterranean lower incidence of disease. I have had nightmares about cancer since I was a kid and unfortunately my nightmares have come true. I lost my mom in 2006 and recently three friends have lost their battle. I believe that big pharma is not concerned with curing and preventing cancer but only finding treatments. They want to treat is as a chronic disease that needs treatment until death like diabetes (there are cures for this) and formerly stomach ulcers which now can be cured with antibiotics. It was know for 20 years that antibiotics would cure 90% of all ulcer cases but it was covered up because drug companies were making so much money on treating it as a chronic disease. I think the same is true with cancer!

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:00 PM

I can honestly say that I do not shudder any longer, because I really that I no longer fear it or worry. It is what it is, and I cannot change it. I LIVE with cancer; I am not dying of it. But it saddens me to know that others have to go through the process in their own way. I would gladly fall on the sword so they don't have to.

Why? Because I already know I can get through it.

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:02 PM

Thank you...Cancer is not robbing him, his attitude about canceling is robbing himself. Though I understand the fear or the worry, nothing has changed between a week ago, and yesterday, except this: He knows today. He didn't know last week.
I get it, and will continue to encourage him. I will not allow him to cancel without him being challenged. Period.

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:08 PM

I disagree with you on this statement, because I do not subscribe to a belief that the PTB are conspiring against us. A cure would provide much more money than the treatments ever will, and if that would be the case, someone would have leaked it and cashed in by now. Do I think that there are some things that we can do/use that are helpful in the prevention or the spread of? Yes.

There is a 98% success rate in the "getting it all" from prostate cancer. So, the odds are great!! His biggest concern is the incontinence issue and having to wear adult aids during that time for several months, or for longer, if it doesn't go away. It's just all part of the growing older and seeing ourselves as not as strong, viable human beings. That is that "WTF?" moment than none of us want to deal with.

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:12 PM

&AbbyG Kasman
Yes, RGD was in the same situation. Been at issue for a while....elevated PSA for a long time...had a biopsy a year and half ago, clear. This time, cancer in two regions. They will do surgery to remove using robotic surgical procedure.

As I mentioned above in response to wolfgirl....the issues are the worries that go along with it. I get it. Been there, done that, though not with my prostate. emoticon :winking:

Now, if you told me that I was going to lose my "balls" by going through more cancer, I would argue with you that I have always had more balls than most men I know. Just ask most of the men I served with in the military. They will tell you how big mine are! emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:14 PM

hollyhocks100 *nods* Similar information. He just wants it gone. Similar situation when I opted for mastectomy with Stage 0 DCIS. It's always about dealing with life and what it dishes....those f***ing lightning bolt moments of life. emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:16 PM

inertia4 Like I responded to wolfgirl, I have to disagree with you.

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:17 PM

Exactly. I'm sorry that he heard it so soon after dealing with the heart issue (defective valve and aneurysm). I think he's feeling bombarded. But I get it about the not so aggressive....

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:17 PM

Thank you alexisann

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:20 PM

Thank you, DWDavisRSL I certainly understand that first hand. Each time I get a mammogram of my real breast, I go through a moment where I am on pins and Needles until I hear that I can come back next year. Same, each year, when I am having these f/u MRIs. I can no longer live in fear of the ball dropping. It robs me of life.

Thank you. We all need positive thoughts, healing energy, prayers.

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:24 PM

You're preaching to the choir, morilla ! LOL I told him I want damned pictures. I'm pushing him to go, because if he doesn't, I don't want to talk with him for the month he was supposed to be gone. I also told him if he quit the trip and scheduled his surgery during that time, I would not take him; he could find another option for ride/aftercare. If he scheduled the week after Labor Day, I would do anything to help that he needed, even if it were to get him Strawberry Shortcake Depends.
He laughed. He sent me a copy of his Alaska visitor's fishing license today. He paid $120 or something like that. No script in the email, just the attachment. LOL emoticon :grin:

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:25 PM

I know that, cmoneyspinner ! emoticon :winking: I have been fighting my entire life. Cancer is a piece of cake compared to some of it. LOL

inertia4 wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:26 PM

Well, I still believe they have a cure hidden away somewhere. And it lies within a natural cure, not some made up medicine. There is no money in curing cancer. Think about it for a moment.

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:26 PM

Agreed, AliCanary . Thanks so much.

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:31 PM

Kasman See above in my responses to the other comments.

He's a stubborn person. What I know about him, as much as he says he'll "do whatever he damned well pleases" when I challenge him, he looks at it. Will never say to me that I was "right." Or that he might have been "wrong." But will often change his tune. Of course, he is the one that has "thought about it and ...." *RME* What he doesn't realize is that I play him in that regard like a fiddle. I've known him since 1981. He is SO predictable. But he still holds on to some of his Navy Master Chief ways, even though he retired from the Navy back in 1992. emoticon :grin:

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:31 PM

Shellyann... See above re: fishing license. emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:39 PM

Though I can appreciate the validity of the argument, I am not necessary in agreement with the veracity of the premise, when it comes to the drug companies.

I'm sorry to hear of your own family and friends. It hits home.
I am also of the belief that there are things we can do to help prevent and bolster the immune system. I think, too, that we do not always advocate for our selves well enough when we hear information from the docs, as in my case. Probably had this indolent cancer for 30+ years. Metastasized at least 15 years ago, that we have definitive evidence now three years ago. We go for the quick response as medical professionals. It's why there is the zebra reference that you will find when I share information ....
We need awareness. And we need NOT to FEAR cancer, but learn to LIVE with it, when we get the diagnosis. Can't change what is; Can change how we approach it.

I with cancer, not dying of it.
I heard recently this about someone who has diabetes. "I am not living with diabetes, it's living with me."

CoralLevang wrote on July 9, 2015, 9:42 PM

You make an assumption that I have not thought about it, for a moment or otherwise.
I have also been in sales in my past. I understand the argument, I just don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories that some do.
So either one of is wrong or we both are, and there are other options that we are both missing.

LeaPea2417 wrote on July 9, 2015, 11:39 PM

I am very sorry to read this. Cancer is such a bad thing. My sister in law died from it earlier this year. She had rectal cancer. She was only 58 when she died.

cheri wrote on July 10, 2015, 1:54 AM

At this age of mine, I am getting paranoid with that same word as well. I also hope that the cure is just out there waiting to be discovered.

Paulie wrote on July 10, 2015, 3:19 AM

Yes, cancer is a dreadful diagnosis and I found out on March 25 that I had a large mass on my left kidney which was probably cancerous. After my kidney was removed on April 26, it was confirmed that the tumor was cancerous. i go back for another ultrasound on August 1 and can only hope and pray that everything is okay inside my body. If the prostate cancer was caught early enough, there should not be much to worry about.

inertia4 wrote on July 10, 2015, 6:46 AM

I know where you're coming from, I do. But there has been cover ups in governments in the past and I am sure it still goose today. Thats why I say they have a cure that they will not share. Not yet at least.

CoralLevang wrote on July 10, 2015, 9:20 AM

LeaPea2417 Thank you. I am sorry to hear of the loss in your family. Not easy. She was rather young, too.
I appreciate your sharing the type of cancer, as well. I remember when Farrah Fawcett's documentary was out when she was fighting her battle with rectal cancer. It was right before my friend, Kim, passed away from breast cancer that went to her brain. Kim did not look like herself anymore. One of our last conversations was about that documentary and a comment that Farrah made. Her friend was filming her when Farrah started to retch and vomit; her friend went to turn off the camera and Ms. Fawcett said (paraphrased): "Leave the camera rolling. I want people to see what cancer looks like."
Cancer is not pleasant in any sense of the word, but we will freely talk about one type, and be embarrassed to talk of others. The stigma and shame is something that we must get over so that we can build more awareness and help others get through that shame of being human. It has been done with breast cancer, but I still see the world shy away from willingness to want to understand other illnesses.
To build awareness is the best gift one can give the world, and the best way to honor those who have fought that battle and lost. As one who lives with cancer, I get out there and share wherever I can. I know it's not always comfortable, but people need to see that cancer (or death) isn't something that we need to fear, or be ashamed of, but to stand up to and live abundantly in spite of it. (Unless I share, no one knows.)
Again, my condolences and wish for peace to those of you who have had to deal with the loss of your SiL.

CoralLevang wrote on July 10, 2015, 9:24 AM

cheri I will be 60 next month, and I was told at 56 that I "had six months to a year." For two years, I was paranoid, and waiting for the ball to drop. This past year and a couple of months, I decided I was LIVING WITH this monster, not dying from it. I would encourage you to not let fear, worry, and paranoia be the liars that rob you of joy in your any age. *hugs*

CoralLevang wrote on July 10, 2015, 9:31 AM

Paulie You are in my heartfelt thoughts and prayers as you go in for your scans. I SO "get" what you are going through. I hope that you will let me know how you fare. If you want to stay in touch, I will offer whatever encouragement and support that I can. I have a blog, where you can leave a message and contact me. I also have several men in my blog circle who are dealing with cancers and the fears and frustrations. Different ailments, but similar concerns.

Thank you for sharing a part of your story. It's courageous to be open about it. I honor you in that courage. You are not alone.
And start picturing in your mind right now, your body kicking some cancer butt!!!

Feisty56 wrote on July 10, 2015, 10:37 AM

I'm sorry to learn of RGD's prostate cancer diagnosis, and like you, even sadder to hear that he may cancel his Alaskan trip. I hope you're able to convince him of its importance to him and his quality of life.

LeaPea2417 wrote on July 10, 2015, 11:49 AM

Yes, when she told us she had rectal cancer and I started thinking about it, I told my husband and Mom, "she has what Farrah Fawcett had". And, prayers , courage and strength to you as you live with cancer. I hope I am not to nosy to ask, but what kind of cancer are you living with?

CoralLevang wrote on July 10, 2015, 12:01 PM

Feisty56 Thanks. I have tried for many years to get him to "lighten up" about many things. I am not sure of my ability to convince him of anything that is important, which is why I moved out nearly 19 years ago. He's got to take some ownership about his worrisome attitude. I don't mean to sound cold, but it drives me crazy.

CoralLevang wrote on July 10, 2015, 2:20 PM

LeaPea2417 I have stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer/Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs). I was diagnosed in May 2012. I was diagnosed in 2007 with early stage breast cancer. I write a lot about it. Any reference I make to "zebra" is about this cancer. You can read here, as well as my blog.

Thank you for your kind words.

GemOfAGirl wrote on July 10, 2015, 4:51 PM

A friend of mine beat prostate cancer two years ago, but he said the process was exhausting. He's a bicyclist, and he stopped riding for awhile, but made a point of getting back on his bike as soon as he felt ready. He said that first ride was "a killer" (his word, not mine), and it took a long time to get back to a point where he didn't feel so weak anymore. RGD will fight it, I'm sure; perhaps he can reschedule the trip for a time when he feels like treatment won't get in the way of enjoying it.

CoralLevang wrote on July 10, 2015, 4:59 PM

GemOfAGirl He puts his life on hold and has for the 30+ years I have known him. The trip, as it is, will be last of its kind with the person who is hosting it. When he had his heart aneurysm, I told him he's going on the trip. When this came up, though I understand the fear, I told him if he cancelled he could find someone else to take him to the hospital and help him during his recovery. If he makes the trip, surgery after the fact, I will. That's my deal. If he doesn't go now, he will not go. Like he has not done much of anything in his life, except be responsible and worry.
Although I value that responsibility, he is not always good to be around, because of the other, which is on reason why I left 19 yrs ago. He doesn't live...he frets. No can do. Will not be party to it. That being said, I (more than anyone) know about fear, so no one can accuse me of being heartless and not understanding. He will fight this...or he won't. I can't change his decision. I can only influence it.

GemOfAGirl wrote on July 10, 2015, 5:13 PM

I know that you're not heartless, and you definitely have a much greater perspective on this than anybody. I wouldn't want you take on too much of his fight when you've already got plenty of fighting that you're already doing for yourself. He needs to fight for himself, too - you can't be the only one fighting for him.

CoralLevang wrote on July 10, 2015, 6:20 PM

GemOfAGirl And I won't be. I can no longer allow others' stresses become my own.

PeterChase wrote on July 11, 2015, 2:18 PM

There is a very informative book on this subject which I highly recommend: "Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher" by Gwen Olsen. You are correct that many people do not advocate for their own health. My mom didn't. She ignored the signs of her cancer for a long time until a general checkup at her GP suggested that she have some tests. She had swelling in her neck and reasoned it was just because she was getting older. She called it old ladies neck. It was Mantle Cell Lymphoma! Always fatal with a poor 2 year survival rate. She fought for five years and was only very sick the last six months. She was lucky that she received some experimental chemo that helped. She had a healthy lifestyle but did not take supplements. I believe that she was deficient in vitamin D since she lived in New Hampshire. What is known now about vitamin D could have prevented or delayed her cancer if she had started maintaining her D levels. It is now estimated that 40% of all cancer could be prevented if proper D levels were the norm, but a much a 60% of American have deficient levels. A standard low cost pin prick test is all that is needed to check levels. Many doctor are not aware of this. I am currently writing a book about this subject.

GemOfAGirl wrote on July 11, 2015, 6:02 PM

OK. I feel better about it now, emoticon :smile:

jiangliu1949 wrote on July 12, 2015, 3:13 AM

Sorry to learn about it ! Cancer is such a terrible word that one would turn pale at the mention of it ,not to speak of suffering from it .They say,there will be certain cure for most of cancers in 50 years .Isn't it too long ?

Last Edited: July 12, 2015, 3:14 AM

bestwriter wrote on July 12, 2015, 6:31 AM

I like your spirit and with your encouragement and conviction that trip will be there as planned. I wrote an article about my accident and the title was 'Happy Moments'

CoralLevang wrote on July 12, 2015, 1:17 PM

jiangliu1949 There are some people (conspiracy theorists) who believe there is a cure, but that the pharmaceutical companies and the money they earn is buying off the persons with the cures to quiet them. I do not subscribe to that.
But I agree with you. Much too long

CoralLevang wrote on July 12, 2015, 1:23 PM

Thank you, bestwriter . I appreciate it, more than you know. The trip may not go as planned, after yesterday. We had a big argument that I and another person "forced (him) into something (he ) never really wanted to do" and that was "it" for me. I've washed my hands of trying to get him to see beyond. I cannot fight a losing battle. My response: "I want to support you in the only way I know how, which is to be positive through all of this and try to get you to see that LIVING life is not living if you choose to constantly take fear to the worry mode. I get that you are afraid of uncertainty. When you want to talk, you know my number. Make your own decisions, cancel the trip, and do not dare to blame me or anyone else for any decision you make. I did NOT twist your arm." emoticon :sad:

CoralLevang wrote on July 12, 2015, 1:32 PM

Thank you. I will look into this further.

jiangliu1949 wrote on July 13, 2015, 3:32 AM

Now what they should do is how to deliver cancer sufferers from pain.

hanvanmeegerin wrote on July 14, 2015, 9:43 PM

CoralLevang I'm sorry to hear that cancer has stepped in and robbrd RGD of his fishing trip and more. My condolences to all others that checked in here and shared their own cancer stories.

CoralLevang wrote on July 15, 2015, 3:50 AM

hanvanmeegerin Thank you. BTW...I did get your note, but have been swamped this week.

hanvanmeegerin wrote on July 16, 2015, 10:27 AM

CoralLevang no hurries. Get back to me if and when you are able.