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LUNG CANCER


victor

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Gardengirl,

Yes, they are beautiful in every way and totally protective of me. As a breed, they generally are slightly reserved. The standard Poodle we brought with us from D.C. fit into his French life immediately. Charlie loved the hotels, the cafes,restaurants, and most of all, the Med. He was a true water dog. In the States, our country home was surrounded by water on three sides, and when we arrived there, usually on Friday night, the first thing he would do was head for the water.

When groomed, he looked elegant and knew it!

Charlie lived to be 14 which is a good age for a dog that was 60 pounds. He actually was from a highly respected European line.

Our two now, Aramis who is 11 and Victor who is 12 have only been groomed by me as I could not find a good groomer nearby. So, after much studying and practice, I am their groomer for better or worse. Must admit, I do not know how long I will have the energy to continue.

Gardengirl, I absolutely love your name and the sunflower below it. I suspect that both reflect your character.
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Norman,

I received a confirmation call from the ICM on Friday. During the call, I asked if I would be speaking with the radiologist after the scan, and the woman said yes.

So that will give me the opportunity to ask questions. I did make an appointment with the pulmonologist for the following Wednesday.

I will be taking an ambulance as I need oxegen. My fear is that during the scan I will have a breathing problem and start coughing. I will mention this possibility to them.

It seems that now every morning, I now need the more powerful machine to stop the coughing. I do sleep with the oxegan.

Weird but if the wind is not too strong, I can still swim in our pool with the younger dog. Have not tried running yet. LOL! Our older caniche will only go down one step, hates the pool.

My spouse and I are discussing finding a housekeeper who can cook and clean and is not afraid of dogs. We fortunately have a studio next to the house where she/he could live.

Hope all is well with you.
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Just to wish you all the best for tomorrow Victor. I know that scans can be very stressful, so just try and get yourself through tomorrow, and then take matters from there. At least you will see the radiologist after your scan, and the pulmonologist on Wednesday, so they can put in place a treatment plan, if that is your wish.

All the very best.

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THANK YOU ALL for your support! and sharing.

The people at ICM for the scanner were great. Apparently all the paperwork had been done, and the ambulance people just took me directly to the correct area where I was immediately placed in a small room with a bed. Within five minutes, I was being prepared for the procedure.

After it was all over, I spoke to the radiologist, and she told me that I do have a serious large tumor near the top of the left lung. She found no other sites. Furthermore, she confirmed that I have emphasema.

However, I did not ask if the cancer has spread nor did she mention the possibility. I was so exhausted since I had not eaten since 17h yesterday. Too worried. Because she did not mention it, I suspect that it has not.

She did say that I had no other cancer sites in the lungs. I did not receive anything in writing, and she kept the scan that I had done a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday I will see my pumonologist who will have received the full report. We did discuss the fact that nothing can be done about the emphasema. Well, actually that was me that stated that and also that I would probably not do anything further.

Again, I cannot begin to express how much your support has meant to me. We are rather like a family.

Merci mille fois!

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Victor, I'm so glad you came on the forum to let us know how today went. You're bound to be exhausted, it's a tiring thing to go through and you must have been very stressed as well as hungry.

The idea you mentioned earlier about maybe looking for a housekeeper seems really sensible.

Please keep in touch and take care.
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While the fact that there is a tumour is not what you wanted to hear the good news I am pretty certain of is that she did not mention any other site.

The main reason for a PET scan is to look all over the body for other potential problems, since for other sorts of scans to do that is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but a PET scan can give an indication.

The fact she didn't mention any other site can only be good, since it enables what ever treatment you decide to accept to be targetted exactly where it is needed.

While I am not a Doctor I  have read about one recent therapy that doesn't come into the cut/burn/poison categories that you are against. 

You might be able to at least ask about it

http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/how-cancer-treated/immunotherapy-and-vaccines/understanding-immunotherapy

Of course the standard treatments are

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/lung-cancer/treatment/

But I have the feeling you  said you didn't want to go down that route.

I and others here have chosen to be treated like that and I am very grateful for what has been done for me, but of course it is your choice.

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Norman, it's interesting that you gave a link to an article on immunotherapy, as I've only been learning about it recently.

A friend had an operation to remove one of her kidneys last week, as there was a large tumour there. When she is a bit stronger they are going to start her on immunotherapy as she has an inoperable mass on her spine
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I am in the process of reading about the site Norman referred to on immunotherapy. It appears that each type does have its side effects.

Anyway, I did see the pulmonologist again last Wednesday and she had the full report of which she gave me a copy.The tumor is 8 cm. She told me that this coming Tuesday night she will be meeting with the whole consulation group that discusses all the patients and probable treatments. I will see her the next day. Her initial opinion is that I am too weak to have any surgery. I now weigh all of 40 kilo. My two dogs together weigh more that I do. It seems like each day, I am unable to do less and less. It makes me very angry to be in this situation especially knowing how many of you have gone through so much.

Since last writing to the forum, I have contacted a group called CANCER SUPPORT FRANCE LANGUEDOC and have been assigned to an English woman called Karen. I have spoken to her over the phone and feel quite weird about discussing my issues with a stranger. Outside of this Forum, I have not even spoken to any of my friends, all French, about my condition. She has volunteered to go with me to see the pumonologist this Wednesday. Even my husband has never gone to any doctor visits with me. How will my doctor feel about this stranger? Does anyone know about this group or even used them. The reason she would be there is that my medical knowledge in French is quite lacking. I am also a little uncomfortable, but know that I need to make sure I understand everything my doctor says.

Oh, and to make this last week more interesting, I managed to take a tumble on our salon floor which, of course, is all carrelage. Had an x-ray and just some terribly sore muscles and bones.

On a sweet note, my generalist who is on vacation, offered to come and visit me and he lives one village over.
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[quote user="victor"] I now weigh all of 40 kilo. [/quote]

Dear victor, one thing you do need is building up! You'll not be able to fight anything off without being in a better position so eat what you fancy but I would suggest nothing too sugary or with high copper content as tumours use copper to establish new blood supplies.

Sorry not been around much but wishing you good fortune and the establishment may sniff at certain aspects of self help but doing all you can for yourself is not only a positive step it can help the conventional treatments to.  Mrs Teapot was taking 5-10 grams of vitamin C (some laxative issues at 10 grams) and the surgeon was amazed at the speed of her healing post opp.

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Hello Victor, it's good to see you back with news from your meeting.

Like Thérière, I find it worrying that the pulmonologist feels you're too weak for surgery and that you weigh so little. He's right, whatever you decide to do about the cancer in the future, you need building up. I agree with not going to town with sugar, but more protein etc would do you good, with regular meals if you just pick at food at the moment - when you're worried about health problems, the appetite can just disappear. You need more strength for your beloved dogs, not just for yourself.

CSF is a great organisation, extremely helpful and caring; accompanying people for appointments as you're finding, support on the phone, whatever helps. They help anyone who speaks English, whatever their nationality.

I started fundraising for them before I even knew about my first breast cancer, read about the organisation in Languedoc Sun magazine. I held a Macmillan Coffee Morning and decided to split the money between them.

Best wishes for your meeting with the pulmonologist along with your CSF supporter on Wednesday and please pop back here if it helps. Remember to pamper yourself too, very good for your morale! ;0)
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A friend of mine set up Cancer Support Vendee a few years back, and i know its volunteers are a huge support to those who contact them.

However good your French, victor, it is invaluable to have someone else there for the consultations so that you can compare notes afterwards and discuss the implications of what was said.

I used to go to consultations (in England) when my husband had been diagnosed win cancer, and we both found it incredibly useful to be able to talk it over together afterwards.

Angela
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Théière,

I knew about sugar and have never eaten junk food, soda, etc. But I do love to have a good piece of 70% or more of good chocolate once in a while. Actually, in our house we rarely use sugar.

Copper? Now that is something I have never heard. What foods would it be in? Our pans have copper bottoms, but tableware is silver or sterling silver.

Lemon juice freshly squezed (sp) is fanastic and and very healthy. Glad it helped your wife. How is she?

When you have time please let me know about the copper.

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I have two friends who have had serious lung cancer, both in Béziers.

Both were very ill, but both are still around over 5 years after the initial diagnosis.

One is now living in Canada, and has gone on so long he recently went in to a retirement home! He swore by large doses of Vitamin C...

The other was like you extremely slender and she had a tumour too large to operate as it was close to the spinal cord.

It's size was reduced with pre-operative chemo, then she was operated on , then she had post-operative radiation treatment..

That was over 5 years ago and she still smokes[:@]

You must make your own mind up about CSF; some people seem to think they have a purpose but I am not sure what it is.

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Loiseau,

I could not agree more that it is important to be able to discuss consultations and compare notes with your husband. I hope he came through it and that you are both enjoying life together.

Did you use someone from CS at the consultation? If so how did you/they handle it?

A big problem I have is why she will not discuss her training. This is a total stranger and is making a file on what I tell her. I guess the way to look at it is treat her as a translater. Maybe it is best that she is a stranger because I could never burden a close friend about my feelings and what I am planning.

I have never felt helpless like this in my life even when I was in the middle of the Yom Kippur War. I am so embarrassed that I refuse to ever use oxegan in public.
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I am afraid that one of the worst aspects of illness is the way it can make one feel helpless. People imagine it differently but the reality is often one of having to accept situations and adjust to them that previously would have seemed intolerable.

I can only advise you to try to see the humanity in those around you, and even the funny side in some of the gruesome moments.

For example I had always believed it must be impossibly humiliating to have to use a bedpan to defecate. Yet last May I spent 6 days in intensive care in the ICM and there are no toilets in that ward since no-one is in a fit state to get up and use them.

For the first time in my life I had to heave my bulky part-paralysed bottom onto one and do the business. And then the nurse had to clean me...

YET...there was a couple, the nurse who was female and a male assistant who made me feel so normal and unembarrassed about it that when it was over I had a sort of glow of relaxation. Something I had dreaded had happened and they had made it all alright.

When I came out of that ward I felt that not only had the cared for my body, but that I had met some very special people who had also cared for my spirit.

Look out for the positive. That is one place where you can still make a choice.

This video, while it is nothing to do with health, has something to say about how our attitude is within our own control:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tIk4IOOeco

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[quote user="victor"]Copper? Now that is something I have never heard. What foods would it be in? Our pans have copper bottoms, but tableware is silver or sterling silver.

Lemon juice freshly squezed (sp) is fanastic and and very healthy. Glad it helped your wife. How is she?

When you have time please let me know about the copper.[/quote]

Surprisingly citrus fruit isn't as high in vitamin C as other things like green and red peppers, problem is cooking ruins it.  We are now using raw juicing (Nutriblast) which originally I thought was a gimmick but after 4 days I noticed how much better I felt and energy level had increased so now that's everyday. After 5 years of less energy post my own cancer I felt I got back to where I was before, great!  Wife is doing well, a few twinges still after surgery and the tablets are messing her about a bit as they are hormone inhibitors and hormones are very powerful on the body.

Copper,

 http://www.longevitymedical.com/2016/02/inhibiting-cancer-growth-by-targeting-copper/

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I have quietly, for once, followed this thread and want to wish you all the luck in the world Victor.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 18 months back. Not a lot of it and I have been on 'watchful waiting' since then. SWMBO is doing a serling job of guiding and supporting me and she is a total jem. I too am taking a lot of vitamin C, 25 grams a day, along with a few PomiT capsules as well. My vitamin C is in powder form and I have 1/2, a heaped teaspoon full, in the morning in a glass of water. I drink 1/2 of that and the other 1/2 at lunch time. Then the same just before dinner and finish the last 1/2 just before bed. That spreads the load across the complete day. The only way you can OD on it is it will clear you out and you will get through a couple of books in the smallest room in the house [:-))]

I love a small amount of chocolate too and go for the organic 75% or above, ginger, orange ort other fruit flavoured jobbies mainly, but just a couple or 3 squares every now and them. I am also trying to avoid wheat and the other grains that cancer love. Barley is the most difficult for me because of my love of a beer or 2, but I do my best?

I remember well how I felt when I had the result of the biopsy! I was convinced that it couldn't happen to me as we don't eat rubbish either and spend a fortune in the 3 organic supermarkets here in Carcassonne. I remember the feeling well even although my case is not really serious and it wasn't NOT a good feeling.

I have known one of the guys in the CSF for our region for a good while now and he is one of the nicest people you could wish to meet. He has 'been there, done that' as far as 'poison, burn, cut' is concerned and he can give a good insight to the positives at a time when all that's in view are the negatiives due to being in the unknown and I think that that is where they can be such a good thing Norman. Just knowning that the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't necessarly mean that it's a train?

Our CSF web site is here

And if you want to find out about the PomiT it's here

Good luck

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QUOTE victor

.... Did you use someone from CS at the consultation? If so how did you/they handle it? ....

END QUOTE

No, victor, it was all in the UK.

So I have no direct experience of CSF, apart from knowing that the volunteers all have to go to training before being allowed to speak to/accompany any clients. They are not medically trained in any way; it's more practical and emotional support, and maybe helping you to ask the right questions and to understand the implications of the answers. Plus perhaps being aware of what financial or other help might be available towards transport etc.

Angela
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Well Victor I am glad to read that you will be offered a treatment plan next Wednesday, I know none of us want to be put in your situation, but up to now I think you have been really brave and have managed to get this far. Once I was offered my treatment plan, I started feeling much more positive, and just took it one day at a time.

I too lost weight before my operation and my surgeon prescribed high energy drinks, I think it was something like 350 calories in each drink, I had to drink three a day. I am surprised that you have not been prescribed a similar thing, I would contact your own doctor and maybe ask for a prescription. As others have mentioned try and build up your strength the best that you can, easy to say I know.

I too used CSF, and as Norman mentioned in his last post the lady dealing with me was not exactly brilliant, she needed constant prodding to make the telephone calls that I asked her to make for me. Saying that CSF certainly did help, I only used them to make telephone calls on my behalf, as have you mentioned trying to understand French medical terms can be very daunting. So yes she helped, and made any telephone calls that I asked of her, but could have been better, maybe that is being a little harsh as she was a volunteer, but at the same time if she is putting herself forward to be offering people help, then she should do it in a professional way.

Try and hang in there Victor, I know it is hard but if it is only for the sake of your two dogs that you care so much about, then do it for them if not yourself. The people on this forum really helped pull me through a very stressful period in my life, and I am sure you will find the same for you. In the end my initial post turned in to a blog, something that I would never have considered doing, or have done since, but reporting every stage of my 'journey' really helped me through the whole experience. So if you feel it will do the same for you, then please feel free to post anything that you want to.

Wishing you all the very best Victor.

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