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Old 07-26-2008, 08:46 PM   #1
Mosca
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Default My family and cancer

First: I'm not sick. I'm not complaining, I'm not asking for sympathy. Prayers for my sister would be nice, but everything will be fine.

But man, my family really has it stacked against us. Let me explain.

I am one of 6 brothers and sisters. The oldest of us is 56, and the youngest is 47. Of the 6 of us, the three oldest have all had cancer. I've had a cancerous kidney removed, my older sister has had 2 types of cervical tumors removed along with a hysterectomy, and now my oldest sister has breast cancer and is having a dual radical mastectomy on Tuesday. It seems that we are doubly cursed. We've inherited Lynch Syndrome from my father, where a genetic flaw allows chromosomal mutations to go uncorrected; and my mother took diethylstilbestrol during her pregnancies, which has been linked to genitourinary cancers in the offspring. To make matters worse, my mother died of breast cancer, her father died of colon cancer, and my father has survived prostate cancer.

Geez. Now my brother and I have been advised to be screened for male breast cancer (via ultrasound), and we are to have colonoscopies yearly instead of every 5 years. As my sister who is having surgery Tuesday told me, "It's not enough to have your doctor tell you everything is OK. INSIST that they keep looking until they find something. It's counterintuitive to keep pressing after the doctor has said, 'don't worry'; but that's what you need to do. I didn't, and now here I am." She had mammograms twice a year, but her particular tumor doesn't show up on a mammogram. It was caught with a blood test for something else.

Having the big C really, really sucks, especially the time in between the diagnosis and the surgery, where you know it's growing inside you and you can't stand it; you just want it to be CUT. OUT. NOW. Of course, that is nothing, compared to the healing, then the radiation and the chemotherapy. But there is something almost unworldly about the dread; it makes life feel much more tenuous and fragile.

When you have an opportunity to help out, with a Poker Run, or a Drive to Survive, or anything where you can give a little bit of yourself, not necessarily money but maybe some time, see if you can give a little. It doesn't have to be much; a little plus a little plus a little is a lot, as a good friend of mine, Dave Sipus, once taught me. Dave died of pancreatic cancer this spring. He was in his mid 40s, but he was one heck of a good guy.

Sorry to go all downer on everyone at the beginning of the season, but this has been on my mind.


Thanks,

Tom
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: My family and cancer

As someone who has had all four of their grandparents taken by cancer (lung cancer in all cases), I can truly empathize. Fortunately, I have personally been healthy up to now (I'm currently 40) and I finally kicked the cigarettes back in January after smoking them for almost 25 years. Your sister will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers and I will also be praying that you and the rest of your siblings will be spared any more dealings with that terrible disease, Tom. God bless.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: My family and cancer

Tom,

To begin, I wish your sister well in her surgery, her recovery and her fight against cancer. She, as well as your entire family, will be in my nightly prayers. Please give her s from your black 'n gold famly here at SF.

As you know, I am a two-time cancer survivor. My second cancer has been in remission for almost 7 years and believe me, I can say with certainty that I know the fear you and your siblings feel. Through no one's fault, you all were dealt a bad hand of cards, but you are in control of how they are played. I'm a 100% believer in maintaining a positive attitude and surrounding myself with people who "inject" me with positive energy - I have no tolerance for negativity with regard to my health. I believe that keeping yourself positive is 95% of the battle.

I know that one day, I will be taken from those I love and who love me, but I refuse to allow the cancer to be what takes me.

You are such a courageous man and I have always received such positive vibes from you with regard to all that you have been through in your life. If you are as blessed as I am to have doctors who not only care about me the patient but me the person, that is a huge motivator to fight right along side them with everything you've got!

Stay strong, Tom and may God bless you and your family.

Please keep us updated and if you ever need a shoulder, my Inbox is always open!

Marianne
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: My family and cancer

Your family has my prayers coming.

The wife mother had a double radical mastectomy, her grandmother had a single radical mastectomy her younger sister had a lumpectomy. Her dad is just grumpy.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: My family and cancer

You, your sister, and your entire family will be in my prayers Tom. There are things you simply can't control in your life, it sucks quite honestly, but you can control how if affects you and how you respond to it. Please keep that positive attitude and please make sure you openly express your feelings to your sister and let her know everything you ever wanted to say, for tomorrow is promised to noone. I consider you a friend Tom, so please feel free to PM me if ever you'd like to talk.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: My family and cancer

My families prayers are with you and yours!
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: My family and cancer

Thoughts and prayers for you and you family.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: My family and cancer

Got you on my prayer list Tom.....thanks for sharing your families story and giving us the opportunity to offer what ever prayers...support...and love that you may need.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: My family and cancer

My prayers are with you and your family, Tom. And especially your sister this week. There's no other way to put it........cancer sucks.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: My family and cancer

Thanks, all, especially for the prayers for my sister; I know that means a lot.

You know, it is a tough break, but it isn't really; the sun comes up, we go to work, we go on vacation, we go to sleep, we make the car payments, we go to the doctor, we make dinner... it's life. And like HTG, I am one of the "100% positive" people; even when I'm down, I'm still optimistic and positive; "down" is really more like "keep on keepin' on".

But who'd have predicted the confluence of events that would give us this increased risk times 10... or, how about the medical advances (diethylstilbestrol notwithstanding) that would allow us to KNOW the increased risk and take precautions? It cuts both ways; it's dark, but there's some good, too.

I was just feeling it both ways a little, and had to write it out and put it up.
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