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Old 07-29-2015, 07:40 PM   #29
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Sounds familiar. DW was diagnosed with HCC (liver cancer) last month, will start with chemoembolization on Aug 7th and hopefully be on the OHSU liver transplant list soon. Dr. says it's like playing whack a mole, they keep killing one tumor and another pops up so they do it again. And the worry is that the liver gets too damaged before a transplant happens.
All our finances are in order, only thing left is the living will and other docs.

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Old 07-29-2015, 07:59 PM   #30
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Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We hope and pray that your spirit and attitude will help you to come to a full recovery no matter what the Doctors say. They don't make the ultimate choice and the only thing you can do at this point is believe that you will overcome this and spend all the time you can with your loved ones. Good luck and we'll keep you in our prayers.

Mike & Charlotte
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Orange County, California
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:07 PM   #31
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Short Story

I wish that I had some graceful, enlightened comment, but I did want to share this story (true).

Art Buchwald was always a favorite writer of mine. He struggled with severe Type 2 Diabetes for years and years, trying to be "good" and keep all his lab values in the correct range, eating "right", etc. He "fought" his condition mightily.

Eventually, he tired of the incessant struggle, and elected to put himself on hospice service. He could eat what he wanted, sleep when he wanted, so on and so forth. No more being "good." Bring on the ice cream, cake, sausage, whatever.

In the end, he lived 2 happy years on hospice before departing; but he was happy for those 2 years!

I call that success; the biggest point being "ya never know!" (hospice typically means less than 6 months life expectancy)

Just my .02

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Old 07-30-2015, 06:21 PM   #32
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Ken, being a new gal on the block I did not know you when you began this journey, but count myself as blessed to have joined you now. I respect your choices and the way you are choosing to move forward. God Bless.
Lynn & Andy Dudish
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:48 PM   #33
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Ken I too am new to the block. I lost my husband 8 years ago this month in a drowning accident to which I was a witness. Today as I did repeated praying over another issue I have I asked God to show me what it is I need to do. By seeing your story on here I have my answer and I know He intended for me to read it.
You can and will face whatever comes your way with grace,dignity and your head held high!!
Know you helped save me today. I'm sending you the biggest hug through the tears streaming down my face.
Thank you
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:43 PM   #34
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For me, I kind of like having a time limit. I spent enough time wasting time. I don't do that now. It still is difficult to throw 'old' life styles away and go 'all out'. I have provided for my DW, so anything extra goes to those things I said I would like to have(red sports car, Bug-a-salt guns,small lap top. I've gotten in touch with people I haven't seen in a while. I figure now is the time and not at some funeral. I don't wish to go but I now have no regrets, no coulda - shoulda - wouldas. So....walk tall, have no regets and carry on! Best of life to you!
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:49 PM   #35
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Ken, I will send a prayer out for you my Brother. It is good to hear that the VA is treating you right. My hopes are with you. God Bless.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:40 PM   #36
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You folks are in my prayers and dreams...I am so lucky to have had these stories shared with me...we are all in this campground together...
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:12 PM   #37
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Had some quiet time to myself, and got to thinking (I know, I know, what am I doing thinking). But anyway, I may have been a bit premature.

I am feeling great. I am fairly active for an old fart (70), and the Docs are keeping me busy with lots of appointments.

I had an appointment yesterday for a PT scan at SAMMC, and I have an appointment on Monday for chemo if all the numbers are moving in the right direction. They tell me that the chemo called 5FU does not cause my platelets to drop, or my Billerubin to rise, but last time, they cancelled the 5FU chemo because the platelets were low, so I don't know what they are thinking, but plan to ask some more questions on Monday.

My one Doctor at SAMMC is very optimistic, but until yesterday, he was basing his decisions on old scans and lab reports.

On top of all that, I just have too much stuff to do, and there is no way I can get it all done in time, so the Doctors, the scans, and the lab reports are just have to fall in line and keep me alive for awhile.

Next week is going to be interesting. I have the chemo (maybe) on Monday, and Wednesday, I see the SAMMC Doctor on Thursday, and my VA Doctor on Friday, and then, we leave for Denver first thing Saturday morning. Sometime in between all this, I still have a few things to do to the motorhome before we leave. I am gonna need lots of coffee.

Right now, I am gonna take a nap to get rested up before bed time. I get lazier and lazier with each day. Maybe we should hire a tall, leggy college girl to look after me. Hey, you don't know, it could help.

Ken Gasbarri
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:51 PM   #38
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Well, we have run the gauntlet of Doctors, Scans, and Labs. As usual, it is a mixed result. My numbers were going in the right direction until I had the chemo, and then they took a dive. The only chemo I am doing right now is the 5FU, and that is as minimal as it gets, but, it is also minimally effective, and seems to adversely affect the platelet count and bilirubin level, even though it is not suppose to affect those. So I have refused any additional 5FU for the time being. The problem is: the VA has nothing else to offer. There are drugs out there that may or may not help, but with my Liver in the shape it is in, I am not eligible for those drugs as they are experimental.

My two Doctors at the VA seem to think the smart money is between 3 and 6 months, with 6 months being somewhat optimistic.

My Army Doctor seems to think I will be around for another PT Scan in 3 months, with a possible third procedure a month later.

From what I understand, the Cancer is not the problem. The problem is that my Liver has been abused so much by the radiation and 5 years of chemo, that Liver failure is what's gonna get me.

I am thinking if I stay off the chemo, my bilirubin and platelets might return to normal or near normal before the tumor start to grow again.
and we can rethink the whole process. I am not counting on it, but hoping that I have enough time to get a few more things done.

I am not sure what to do with Peg. I have been very fortunate to be a bit handy around the house/motorhome/cars. I've tried to show her how to do some of the easier fix-it tasks, but she is not very interested. I hope she can effectively deal with repair services and the such, so that she doesn't get taken advantage of. Her income will drop quite a bit, which will be difficult for her. I've told all the kids to send her $400.00 a month, or she will come live with them. They all are given serious consideration to it.

Anyway, tomorrow we leave town to visit our youngest Daughter, and take care of some business in Denver and South Dakota. Then back in town for a week or two to see how well I am doing or not doing before we head to Georgia to visit another of the kids. After that, if things are not going well, I will make arrangements to donate my remains to science. One of those places that dump your body in the forest somewhere and see what happens.

Either way, the next few months will be interesting.

Well, gotta go pack for the trip. Peg is trying to do it for me, but she has no idea how to pack for a man. Gotta Go

Ken Gasbarri
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:43 PM   #39
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Well, a bit more drama in ours lives. Visited with the Docs on Thursday and Friday. Latest tests show the plattlets and the biliruben are both moving in the right direction, but ever so slowly. Hopefully, staying off the chemo and radiation for now will allow the numbers to continue moving in the right direction.

On the other hand, the tumors are not growing or spreading, so that in itself is good news. Don't know how long that will last, but one can hope.

So now the Doctors have given up making any predictions for the time being. Our Oncallagist is frustrated. He tells me I should have been dead for a long time by now, but I just won't cooperate and roll over. Other than the cancer, and some digestive issues, I don't seem to have much wrong with me now that I am off the chemo.

So, for now, we are back to the old routine of weekly tests and appointments.

But, we have been talking about relocating for Peg, and had already decided to move back to Rockport TX for the foreseeable future. Rockport is about equal distance between our family in Colorado and Georgia. ShannOn is here with us, and plans on following us to Rockport. (probably Corpus)

Anyway, it appears I won't have any excuses for laying around the house all day. Gonna have to get out there and get some things done.

Ken Gasbarri

Oh, by the way. That donating my body to science just may not happen. Seems you can't be over weight, under weight, haver suffered trauma of any kind (homocide, auto accident, fire, drowning, or angry wife). You pretty much have to die of good health before they will take you. Pretty picky for people in need of study material.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:52 AM   #40
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Ken I have been following this thread and keeping an eye on you... keep beating the odds and smiling, you are a remarkable human being
Some of the most asinine things people do are typically preceded by the two words "Watch this".
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:15 AM   #41
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Same here Ken. Screw em'. Defy the odds, Doctors kill you stay away all you can. God's peace.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:49 PM   #42
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Hang in there Ken, God is giving you the extra time to be with your loved ones, and hopefully the Doctors will see they are not the deciding factor. You are beating the odds even in despite of their treatment. Take care and you are in our prayers.

Mike & Charlotte
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Orange County, California
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