Message Board User's Guide, Rules of Engagement, Posting Photos

 
Register  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Note: This topic is locked. No new replies will be accepted.


Reply
  Author   Comment  
TonyCasamento69

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 1,762
Reply with quote  #1 
All,

A few months ago I stopped participating in web forums (fora? Three years of Latin and I still do not know). However, I recently learned an important health lesson I wish to share. This might save your life, or the life of someone you love.

Two months ago I was diagnosed with lymphoma. It is a treatable, curable cancer, and my oncologist fully expects me to achieve a complete cure. I am undergoing chemotherapy. Although I would certainly appreciate prayers, I am not writing this to solicit sympathy. I want to relay the aforementioned lesson about dealing with your health.

This is the lesson: Don't ignore lumps.

Six months before I knew I had cancer, I got a lump on my shoulder. My primary care provider told me, "It's a cyst. Let's not do anything about it unless it becomes infected."

Because my brother-in-law, Doug Gensinger, died of leukemia, I have been active with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I researched my lump. Since I did not have any overt symtoms of cancer, I remained unconcerned.

Fast forward six months. More lumps and a biopsy. After I got my cancer diagnosis, the surgeon who did the biopsy on my groin lump called the thing on my shoulder a cyst, another primary care provider called it a cyst, two radiologists called it a cyst, the surgeon who put in my chemo port called it a cyst. My oncologist called it a cyst.

Then I had my PET scan. Guess what. It's a cancerous lymph node. My second opinion oncologist said, "I'm not buying the diagnosis until we biopsy the thing on your shoulder. It looks like a cyst, but the PET scan does not lie."

The surgeon who biopsied the shoulder lump said, "Sure looks like a cyst, but if the oncologists want it biopsied, that's what I get paid to do."

The good news is, this did not change the diagnosis, nor the treatment, nor the prognosis. The surgeon who did the biopsy on my shoulder said, "I knew it was a lymph node 30 seconds after I made the first cut."

The moral: I could have begun treatment six months earlier and been done by now. The good news is, I have an indolent form of cancer. If I had an aggressive cancer, the six months could have meant the difference between life and death. I am one lucky sumbitch.

So, if you get a lump, and your primary care doctor says, "Let's wait a bit before we do anything," Your reply should be, "Let's do a biopsy tomorrow." Remember, I had NO other cancer symptoms!

- Rich Colarco '66


__________________
"Everything in moderation, including moderation"
Tony Casamento '69
tom70

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,231
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm glad things worked out well.

Got a problem , get it checked it could save your life.

Haven't been checked in awhile do it could save your life, saved mine !!

__________________
If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself ! Mick #7
Joyce

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 132
Reply with quote  #3 
GOOD FOR YOU!  GLAD TO SEE YOU'LL BE AROUND LONGER TO KEEP THE WEB SITE GOING>  JOYCE

__________________
Sincerely,
Joyce
Andrea

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 973
Reply with quote  #4 
Sorry, but I'm confused.  Is it Rich or Tony who has cancer?  Either way, it's good to know that you're doing well and have such a positive prognosis. 

__________________
Andrea DeBergalis 67
Andrea

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 973
Reply with quote  #5 
sorry...just read the title.

rich, it's good to hear you're doing well.


__________________
Andrea DeBergalis 67
JanetP67

Avatar / Picture

Century Club
Registered:
Posts: 621
Reply with quote  #6 
To Rich (I don't see your name in the guestbook, so no e-mail address):

My son was diagnosed with hodgkins disease 5-1/2 years ago.  He was just going on 21 years of age.  He showed me a lump in his collarbone area and I immediately got him an appointment with our doctor, who in turn immediately sent him to a surgeon who scheduled a biopsy.  This all happened within a week's time.  The biopsy indicated hodgkins and the doctor set us up with an oncologist at NY Hospital.  He was stage two....neck, under arm and chest, luckily none below his chest, as proven via cat scan and pet scan.  He went through 6 months of chemo every other week and today, 5 years later, he's considered cured.  (All signs of lymphoma was gone after just two chemo treatments.)  I was concerned immediately with the lump because, strangely enough, my daughter's roommate at the time was diagnosed with hodgkins, just about 6 months prior to my son....and her first sympton was a lump in her neck/collarbone area.  So, yes, it is important to get to a doctor immediately and request additional testing.  We need to take our health into our own hands.

God bless, Rich, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Janet
BroJoe

SPONSOR
Registered:
Posts: 1,262
Reply with quote  #7 
Rich,
I'm very glad to hear that your persistence paid off, and that you can face the future with confidence.  Its scary to realize that so many professionals would fail to recognize the lymphoma for what it was.  I hope and pray that your  recovery is swift and complete.
  
I just had a biopsy on the collar bone 'mole' 3wks ago  that got referred to a plastic surgeon last week for removal.  After a 10 yr vacation from my dermatologist, I returned a  year+ ago with a head sore that would not heal.  Talk about catching hell!  She then went over the rest of me - now residing in Qwest Labs - and sent me to the MOHS man for 2 jobs on the head and one on the shoulder(2nd) - reinfection from back when.  The second head MOHS covered a $.25 size of the dome, and, instead of skin graft covering it, the Dr. suggested a porcine graft, which would allow my own skin to grow back underneath and it and the pigskin eventually disappear.  The movie 'Leatherhead' was out then and one of the Bros at the house thought it an apt nickname.  Dressing changes were easy with the Cmty members doing the honors.  Nary a trace of the MOHS man's artistry can be found.  All excisions were out on the first pass.   I also had a 'Blu light' treatment at the dermatologist's for the face and head which cleaned up possible problems.  I go back to the dermatologist with the '98 pics for a full  body scan in October.  I have the feeling she's booking another year for me.  My bandage and ointment collection is at the ready.

The Drs say that the damage was done in the early childhood+ years, but I'm sure my sunbathing whenever/wherever(rooftops - yes MC, Loughlin, LSA,LSMA) didn't help over the years, nor did sprawling on benches  at Orchard Beach, Rockaway w/ my walkman in recent years after some peregrinations there.  Farewell to all that and hello to floppy hat for that outdoor walkman walk now.  I guess the Vitamin D will have to come from pharmaceuticals from now on. 

Janet, glad to hear of your  prompt intervention with your son and the very successful outcome there also. 



__________________
Bro. Joe
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:


Create your own forum with Website Toolbox!