Have you got cancer?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Cornet Nev., May 20, 2015.

  1. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    The beginning onset of this is one of the many reasons for leaving brass banding, regardless of those other reasons, this is important to everyone.
    How many of our older members are finding it either difficult to relieve yourself, finding the frequency of needing to do so is going up with ever shorter times between, at the worst, are you seeing blood?
    It is definitely not a sign of just growing older if you answer yes to any of the above.

    I urge you to go and see your doctor and as soon as possible, if you are lucky, it may just be a minor infection quickly cleared up with antibiotics. A little less lucky, it may be a benign growth that can be easily removed with keyhole surgery, even less lucky it may be a cancerous tumour, which if caught early enough can also be easily removed.

    If you are already under the doctor about these things, then I hope all is well, if not, please, please, please, do go see the doctor.

    Otherwise you will most certainly finish up in my situation as I did leave it all too late.

    By the time it had got to needing to go and empty my bladder once an hour, therefore actually restricting my movements to places where I knew there would be a toilet or restroom (for other countries understanding) that is when I finally went to see my doctor as also I had seen blood in what came out too.

    First off was a course of antibiotics, which in my case did nothing, so My doctor referred me then to the urology department of our local hospital.

    After a cystoscopy examination a tumour was discovered inside my bladder and quite a large one, I then went for a CT scan so they could determine a bit more. Then the next course of action was keyhole surgery under the knock out drops (I cant spell anaesthetic [​IMG] ) to see if it was possible to remove the tumour, which proved that only a small part could, which was then sent for analysis. It turned out to be an aggressive form of cancer that had grown into and become part of my bladder.
    It was then decided at that point that it would be best to have chemotherapy, followed by removal of the entire bladder.
    However from the CT scan, a small anomaly was also discovered in the shape of some fluid at the back and outside my right lung, so a sample of that was taken. The results showed things were a good bit more serious than at first thought, as there was some small amount of the same cancer cells in it.

    That has changed the ball game considerably, the chemotherapy course was altered, and also extended from the original three cycles to now six cycles, and my bladder will no longer be removed. (Not much point as it is too late)
    At the very best, the cancer can only be sent into remission and never totally killed off by the present treatments, in turn that can now be a limiting factor on how much longer I will be here to post my usual rubbish on here.
    There is still hope though, as there is a promising new trial treatment available soon and that will be looked into after the present course of chemotherapy is finished.

    I am staying positive, I promise to post my brand of oddball humour now and then where appropriate, and try to carry on living for as long as I can.
    The hopefully good thing about the chemo should be that at least I might get a bit more bladder space back and not be tied down to somewhere I can go empty it at the by now every half hour intervals. Quality of life isn't good when it is like that, so I hope to get at least some of it back.

    So to conclude, and back to my opening sentences, for all, both male and female, have some serious thoughts about your frequency of bladder emptying needs, if more than twice in the morning or afternoon, think back, when you were younger that it wasn't like that then, so be aware that may be the first warning signs that all is not well. Do not hesitate, please don't finish up with a similar tale to tell as mine above.

    Nev. (Ex Darwen Brass)
  2. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Great advice and a timely warning for everybody Nev. I sincerely hope things go well for you and you can get your quality of life back.
    Looking forward to enjoying more of your posts in the future.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  3. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    A very important post. I wish you the very best Nev.
    Pauli Walnuts likes this.
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    You have my deepest and most sincere wishes for a good outcome. I know they are developing new treatments all the time. I have two sister who have had cancer, one of whom has Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma which cannot be cured and I understand something of what you and your family are going through. You are in all our thoughts, I am sure.
  5. David Evans

    David Evans Active Member

    Yes that's bad luck. I would concur with not procrastinating. Men tend to, either they ignore symptoms or are scared or can't be bothered, woman less so. But blood from anywhere is a symptom that should be checked within a week or two, by and large any other symptom, especially chest or tummy, if it's there for three weeks or deteriorating should be checked by your GP. Other symptoms, if they interfere with your sleep should be looked into, for instance if you are passing urine 3 or 4 times a night they may be significant, but not always as there are other normal ageing causes that may apply.

    However remember that Cancer of any sort is not the biggest killer, it takes time to progress depending on the type, most people in the world will die from pneumonia, from multiple causes and in the UK far more people die abruptly from heart attacks or strokes, around 150,000 pa without any time to sort one's affairs. So please try and walk, getting a little bit short of breath for 30 mins 3-5 x a week and if you are over 50 then your personal life expectancy will be doubled if you can give up smoking. The old adage, eat less, walk more will still add years to your life.
  6. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Wise words, and very sorry to hear your story. Best of luck with the treatment, here's hoping you're not 'resting from banding' for too long.
  7. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Well a couple of months on, and a time for an update perhaps.
    After many scans, tests and analysis of various bits removed, it turns out the cancer had spread and was found in some fluid at the outside and back of my right lung.
    That meant that an original plan of three cycles of chemotherapy and a total removal of my bladder was no longer a worthwhile option as it was too late.
    I am now on a full six cycle chemotherapy course. This course of six cycles will hopefully send the cancer into some form of remission and give some breathing space.
    To explain what a cycle is which is three weeks in length, means the first day of the first week, two different chemo drugs are pumped in to me, the first for those interested is called carboplatin and is pumped in over a period of one hour, the second is called gemsitabine and takes half an hour.
    Twenty four hours after the last chemo drug I then have a district nurse coming to give me an injection over the next five days, I also have to take four pills for three days.
    The injection is a drug called Filgrastim, this is a drug to help boost the white blood cell count which takes a bit of a bashing with the previous chemo so the injection is to make my system replace the cells. The pills are a form of steroid called dextramethasone, not too sure about the purpose of those, however they are again something to counteract one of the side effects of the chemo. Any medically trained folk who read this will have a good idea now of the treatment regime.
    To carry on explaining the cycle, the second week I have just the gemsitabine pumped in for the half hour with no further medication. The third week of the cycle is a rest week. Before each treatment week I have to provide a blood sample the day previous to the start day so that progress can be monitored and also if the red blood cell count is below a certain level, I may need a transfusion as that red cell count is also knocked back by the chemo, that means I am short of breath when doing anything of exertion such as walking up the rather steep hill I live on. It used to be a pleasant stroll, it is now a near mountain and I need a rest at the top.
    As it happens, each cycle starts on a Wednesday and I started the third cycle two days ago on the 1st of July.
    It does seem to be doing some good as the required need of a loo is getting better, at its worst it was every half hour, now it is stretching to a three quarter hour period so the tumour itself must now be shrinking.

    There is also further possible treatment after the end of the six cycles of chemotherapy there may be a need for a short dose of radiotherapy.

    However there is also the chance of what is still on a trial period, a newer treatment for many different types of cancer called Immunotherapy, this is a treatment that exposes the cancer to your own immune system by removing certain protections that the cancer hides behind, to put it in laymans terms.

    These trials have had some remarkable success in a lot of cases, even effecting a full cure and destruction of the cancer in quite a lot of patients, so there is a lot of good positive hope yet.
    I am still plodding forwards, tiredly due to the chemo and its effects, but plodding onwards and upwards. Fortunately apart from feeling tired all the time, there are as yet no other side effects being seen.
  8. wife divine

    wife divine Supporting Member

    I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing you all the best for a positive outcome.
  9. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    :tup Plus one.
  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    And two. The best of luck going forward with this, Nev. Very difficult stuff.
  11. pedaller

    pedaller Member

    All the best from your old friends at Darwen, Nev.
  12. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Everyone's good wishes are appreciated and thank you for them.
    Now for an update.

    Well, now into September and now mid way through the last cycle of the chemotherapy. Due to the normal blood tests at the start and second week of the last chemo cycle it was found that my red cell count was well down due to the chemo and I needed a transfusion, that in turn put things back a couple of days so these last cycles have had to start on a Friday and no longer the Wednesday, so I now have the second part of the last cycle to come on Friday. Another two or three weeks after that I will be back in for a third CT scan to see what progress there is in removal of the tumour. Depending on that result I may have radio therapy, or other treatment so all a bit up in the air till the result of that scan is known.
    However the good news is that over these weeks of chemotherapy there has been noticeable changes in a positive direction and hopefully they will continue going better as time goes on. The chemotherapy continues to work for several weeks or even months after the treatment sessions finish so hopefully I will be able to have some better quality of life. All I know so far is that 2015 has not been too good a year for me.
    mikelyons likes this.
  13. wife divine

    wife divine Supporting Member

    There's still time for 2015 to improve for you though. Let's hope that it does. Your news sounds quite positive.
    All the best with your continued treatment and for a really good outcome. Keeping fingers crossed for you.
    mikelyons likes this.
  14. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    I wish you all the very best Cornet Nev. X
  15. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    All the best with the treatments Nev. Let's continue in the positive direction!
  16. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Another update,
    Way back in the earlier part of the year when the first CT scan was done, I might have mentioned that some fluid was found outside and at the back of my right lung, the fact that some of the cancer had been found in samples from that fluid had dictated the course of chemotherapy to be used.
    However now that the chemotherapy has finished and another CT scan done, that showed a slight increase in the amount of fluid, so further investigations were required to ascertain what was in the fluid and why was it there before any further treatment of the cancer could be given.
    Consequently, I saw the chest doctor again who quite willingly showed me all of the CT scans, the previous and most recent. Up till then, as I hadn't been properly informed, I was under the impression that there was only a small amount of fluid present, however as the doctor said, there was between one and a half litres and two litres there, a quite massive amount.
    I was directed to go over to Burnley general to have a procedure done to drain it and also some biopsies taken which along with the fluid, all would be analysed so as to determine what happens next. I won't go into the procedure itself except to say taking the biopsies was quite painful.
    The actual amount of fluid removed turned out to be just about a full two litres, and I had been carrying that around without really knowing it. I am now due to see the oncologist doctor again on Tuesday where I hope the results of the analysis will be known and therefore what direction and course of treatment I will face next.

    On a slightly lighter note, I am a little disappointed that I was unaware of how much fluid there actually was, if I had known, I could have kept a couple of goldfish in there. :D
    mikelyons, iancwilx and pedaller like this.
  17. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I wish you well in your treatment and also for insight for the doctor's who are diagnosing and determining your treatment. May they experience wisdom beyond their own understanding.
    mikelyons likes this.
  18. wife divine

    wife divine Supporting Member

    It's good to see that you still have a sense of humour despite the worrying times that you're going through. Let's hope that there will be good news when you see the oncologist tomorrow.
    Here's a pair of lucky goldfish ! <o))))>( <0))))>(
    Mesmerist and mikelyons like this.
  19. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    After seeing the oncologist, the next thing is going to be radio therapy, so I might just glow in the dark. Just waiting now for the appointment to come through the post. I mentioned the idea of keeping goldfish in the fluid and the doctor couldn't stop laughing for a few minutes. No doubt that one will be added to the hospital humour lists.
  20. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    At least if you glow in the dark you can save on your electric bills.

    All the best Cornet Nev. X

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