Gathering of the Clan

A Gathering of Fly Fishermen
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Last week I cancelled a surgery scheduled on my bladder today. This morning, the head of urology called me clearly irritated I'd cancelled. I told him I'd been told conflicting things by the urology doctors. One said if the got all the bumps they saw when they operated in mid-January my follow up would be a look see every three months. After the surgery, another doc said they'd gotten all the bad stuff but wanted me to have a second operation to double check followed by weekly infusions to turn on my immune system. She said there was a 30% chance they'd missed some cancer cells.

I told the head doc who called me about it that I was leery of the whole business. He told me the medical literature says there is a 30% miss rate and the procedure they planned for me was the recommended way to go. The proposal was not based on anything personal to me. He convinced me to reschedule but I'm having second thoughts

The first surgery wasn't painful, only the catheter afterward was. The oxycodone they gave me and of which I took four doses more in fear of pain than from pain scared the poo-poo out of me. I am not concerned about pain from the proposed procedure. I am concerned about having one day a week ruined by going to Richmond for the infusions which only mildly irritating. The trip ends up taking all day. I am not much inclined to do the routine. I already have an aneurysm that could ill me sooner or later and am constantly checked for cancerous polyps in my intestines. I am resigned that if the aneurysm doesn't get me they'll miss a polyp and it'll metastasize to someplace that will do me in. The possibility of a bladder cancer doing the same doesn't overly concern me.

Other than my hips hurting me making walking any distance without pausing a pain, I'm in good shape altho I tend to depression from so many of my companions having gone on ahead of me. At 74, I'm not inclined to throw away good days so I might have some later bad days. If I was 50, I'd feel differently.

What do y'all think? Should I let these aggravators follow the procedure they want?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:46 pm
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I would. Not being a doctor, I tend to take their advice.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:18 pm
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Location: Leo, IN.
Being from the medical field for the last 27 years I can't tell you what to do. You must make that choice for yourself. I can tell you that from what you've written here that I can't disagree with the things you've brought up. I tend to think the same way. Doctors are educated to maximize the life of their patients to the very end. They do not consider quality of life as one of their primary concerns, only life itself.

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Nurses can't fix stupid, but we can sedate it.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:43 pm
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Colston, I wont answer "who cares". Cuz we all do. But I don't think anybody can give you good advice on this issue. The right answer resides in your brain and absolutely nowhere else. I don't say that to skip answering your question. I say it as someone who occasionally has the same questions. Golden years, my patootie!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:22 pm 
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Well, you're not all that old. You asked for advice and I gave it, but I also agree with others to do what you think is best. Consider (as I was recently told) you're not going to get any stronger than you are now. Surgery may extend your life, but it will probably be a few bad days...maybe lots of bad days. You're a skilled poker player, and in far better than I am at playing the odds.

I've had three serious operations the last of which was when I was about 60 or so, and without that operation I would be either a dead man or restricted to a nursing home. I doubt I could survived if I'd been my age now, kinda surprised everyone when I survived that one.

I didn't have any doubts, but you do. I'd rather be dead than debilitated. Play it like a poker hand.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:47 am
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" I'd rather be dead than debilitated. Play it like a poker hand."

I think I will. I'll let you now whether I call or fold.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:33 am 
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Colston, friend: the last 10 years, I've had four family members die with leukemia, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and heart failure. Another has Stage IIb pancreatic cancer now. And another had and beat bladder cancer.

I watched one of them who was so obsessed about squeezing another day out of life, yet that person was so debilitated, they never left the house unless it was to go to the doctor.

My brother basically ignored it all until it was at the stage where he was having chemo every week just to control the pain...it was so painful he would writhe on the floor.

And one went to Egypt and rode camels and took a small ship cruise to Alaska and basically rode the horse until the end. She went out the great lady she had always been.

You'll make the right choice for you. It does not matter what any one else thinks. It's your life. You're 74. You've earned that right.

In the meantime, I'm praying you'll be around for a while, and ambulatory.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:19 am
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Tough call, but I'd give up some pain-free time now to have the chance at longer and better time later. It's surprising that you have to go all the way to Richmond for an infusion, though.

Good luck, whichever way you go.

John, 80 and counting


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:30 am 
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I have to go to Richmond because that's where the closest VA hospital is.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:44 am 
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Colston Newton wrote:
I have to go to Richmond because that's where the closest VA hospital is.


John, Colston lives in as remote a place as you can be and be on the Eastern Seaboard...except for inland Maine. One road in and one road out.

If you look at this map, you can see the compass star on the right side. Look to the left of the star and you'll see Heathsville. That's Colston's hometown.

You can get there, but it won't be quick.

Image


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