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I just discovered this group this morning and like the Grief and Loss Group (my youngest son was killed in an auto accident in 2004) I am hoping there are people here I can relate to. Seeing the names of some of the members tells me this will not be a problem. Lot's of Good People here.
I have dealt with cancer victims all my life with my first connection to the word being my Grandfather on my mothers side. Dad Dad as we called him had Prostate Ca and died in Sept 1956 just before my 6th birthday.
I have lived my entire life in a county that population wise is small with it's 18,500 residents but in Cancer Stats we have the highest Cancer incidence rate per capita than any county in the U S. I doubt there is a family in this county that has not been touched. I certainly do not know any. I have lost my dad, age 69 (lung, kidney, thyroid, more) to Asbestosis related cancer. I myself have a checkup for this every six months as I worked in the stuf for some time. My sister, age51, to Lung ca and breast, spinal, brain. Mother-in law, age60, Brain,ca. Ex father-in-law, age 81, Prostate ca. Ex mother-in-law, age 63, lung and stomach, along with three of her sisters who died with various types. Two Gr. Grandmothers died with cancer, one stomach and one colon. Both Gr Grandfathers on my dad's side, one kidney and one lung.One Gr Grandfather on mom's side with Prostate. I have had two of my nine cousins die from cancer one at 50 and one at 27, and two aunts out of four.
I never thought much about it other than to attempt to donate whenever I could to all the different drives, even when working with terminally ill cancer patients in the hospital and being there on two seperate occasions to pick up the lit cigarettes that had fallen from the hands of two different women I had known all my life as they simply had to have one last smoke. Both of these were definately their LAST smoke. My ex mother-in-law at 68 pounds was the very same.
In September of this year it took on a personal meaning as Iwas doing some routine lab work for pre-admission before having another back surgery to remove spurs and a fusion, but I just happened to be passing a little dark blood in my urine. Something I had done every few months for several years. After the cancling of the back surgery and several doctors chastising me for not saying anything I have a CT. I knew both kidneys were full of cysts from many years of different blood pressure meds. Then I have a CT and an MRI bot with and without contrast and nothing really sticks out. My Urologist waves his Magic Wand (UretheaScope) in front of me and says "We have to take a closer Look" About ten min. later I hear, "A-HA, There it is" and turns on the monitor for me to see. A Piliary Cyst which is actually a small polyp that has ruptured. They are cancerous abput 98% of the time but are non-invasive. Easy to remove but they are similar to skin cancers as they have a very high rate of reccurring. After the Roto Rooter job to shave it out I get put on a schedule to have the Scope done every six months from now on out. Week before last I was passing the old coffee colored blood in my urine again and was set for theprocedure last Tuesday but ice on the roads prevented this and now it is set for the first of Jan.
I keep hearing from people who do not have cancer nor have they ever say, "Well, if you got to have it, it's a good one to have." or "At least you have a GOOD cancer" I wasn't aware they came in Good and Bad.
I have other problems, high blood pressue, Diabetes, Arthritis, Sleep Apnea and a host of other breathing and lung problems but it is taking quite some time for this to fully sink in. The worst part of the whole thing is, it was totally preventable. This is asmokers cancer and I don't even smoke, never have. SECOND HAND SMOKE is dangerous. My wife smokes and I could not even get her to do it outside while my oxygen concentrator was on. Now she does smoke ourside at least. The Urologist gave her a few words I did not hear, but they were effective. I have been in the denial part and was about to accept the fact that yes it can happen to me and then this comes along. More blood and not six months or more, three months. OH well. I suppose I'm in for the long haul now. But just as my sister was, I'l face every day with the thought, "I'm living with Cancer, not dying with it" Not much else I can do is there?
ONE THING IS FOR SURE, SECOND HAND SMOKE DOES KILL!!! PLEASE HELP ME GET THAT MESSAGE OUT THERE>
Having lived in Tennessee all my life has led me to be proud in some ways and ashamed in others. For a state that has such a great diversity in it's ecological makeup and citizenry, we have done a lousy job of protecting either at times. We have let one of our (in this county) local industries because of their worldwide impact poison our aguifer by injecting into the ground some 7500 feet below to seep upward and outward some of the most dangerous chemicals we have. We have been blinded by the high paying jobs and benefits that the Fossil Fueled TVA Power Plant at Johnsonville has provided since 1951 and at Cumberland City 14 miles to my north has since 1973. DuPont's Johnsonville plant has been listed as the #1 poluter in this nation by volumn on several occasions. We have the Paper Mills, one in this county because of the cheap TVA Elec. and the Oak Ridge Labs. Who knows what comes from there other than Nuclear Bomb components.
We have always ranked near the top with the tourism industry but a couple years back when the statewidw smoking ban was being voted on, this very issue almost defeated it. The argument was, "No one wants to come to a place/state where they have to stand in the rain or out in the cold 100 feet from any public building to smoke". Well it passed and now they have to stand 50 feet away from ANY public business or Govt building except one whose primary source of income is derived from alcohol, i.e. bars. Some of these are included. All jails are smoke free as are all state universities. Of course people will defy these rules or laws until someone charges them with a crime but where it cost the patron $50 it will cost the business $100 on the first offense and $500 thereafter. Pretty good incentive. We are begining to clean up our streams and lakes, a source of so much recreation in the past that was in rapid decline. We rank near the bottom on expenditures for public education and I'm sure that this coupled with the strong Scot-Irish background from which I came was a big part of the sluggishness to react. I am glad that future generations can at least go into any business they wish and be smoke free once they get past the smoking cigarette butts lying on the ground.
As for me, I'm begining to view my own case as just another of "Life's little Anoyances" that I seem to have taken more than my share of while no one was looking, least of all me, thinking I was reaching into the barrel of "Life's little Luxuries". Added with the Diabetes, ADHD, Arthritis, HBP, Sleep Apnea, Fibromyalgia, Vision and Hearing loss, Way too much metal holding me together resulting in far too many places which causes too much pain caused by way,way too many Accidents or Momentary Lapses of Reason. I blame the ADD or the OCD, Hey it sounds good to me. I've been told I was lucky I was not a cat. They only have "Nine" lives. I will face this as all else. I'll be down for a while and then push on. But I'm begining to try to educate people on more than the trash they leave behind. Hope I'm not too late. TOMMY