surviving survival is not easy
I was dx in 1998 with aggressive stage 3 colon cancer. I lost quite a bit of my colon and had six cancerous regional lymph nodes amongst the thirteen removed. My surgery was followed up with 48 weekly doses of chemo enhanced every second week with 9 tablets of levamisole,an anti-parasitic cattle drench. My surgeon did not believe I could beat the cancer,too aggressive,too many lymph nodes, you may make three years with chemo.
Well for whatever reason, I did not die as expected and I am now past 14 years. I was 48 at dx. I was not well off financially so I returned to work at 3 months post surgery. It was tough working whilst on chemo but you do what you have to. Since ca I don't drink or smoke (haven't for 30 yrs). A couple of years after chemo I started to get really fit. I was walking an average of fifty miles a week and lost34 kg.
I don't think I have ever felt worse. I finished up in hospital and was dx with acute pancreatitis. The cause was a small black stone from my gallbladder blocking my pancreatic duct. I lost my gallbladder soon after.
I no longer have gallbladder but now the stones are forming in my kidney and I regularly have bouts of renal colic(kidney stone attacks). I have had three kidney biopsies to find out why my kidneys leak up to three gramms of protein a day. 150mg is the max for normal kidneys. I have been dosed with high doses of prednisone,methotrexate ,sulfasalazine ,arava,lyrica,neurontin and any number of drugs to treat severe psoriatic arthritis and peripheral neuropathy.
In the midst of all of that my wife got sick of me being ill and asked me to leave. I did,so now I live alone. I applied for a disability pension but they insist I am not ill ,so at age 62 I have to get thru a weeks work just to keep a roof over my head.
Has ca changed the way I look at life,certainly...A good day now is when nothing really bad happens..
I have had discussions with my kidney and joint specialists. The kidney guy doesn't know what caused my problems , the rheumatologist on the other hand is an ex oncologist and believes that chemo and subsequent immuno-suppresants and steroids have left me in my current state. It doesn't really matter what causes it ,it's not going away. At the moment my gp is a bit worried about rising blood glucose levels so soon I may have to add type 2 diabetes to my resume. At one stage I used to worry about dying now I worry that I might go on living.
There is a line from the Black Sorrows song harley and rose.Life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone! I guess that says it all. Ron.