Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Learning To Live Life As A Laryngectomee

by GregP_WN

In December, I had what was supposed to be a quick, fairly routine, laryngoscopy with a biopsy of a suspicious lesion looking thing on the side of my throat. In and out, 15 minutes, tops. Over an hour later I was in recovery. When I woke one of the residents came to my bed with a long face to give me some bad news. When the conversation starts with "unfortunately", it's not going to be good. 

Laryngectomy

I was told what my diagnosis was, where it was at, and what had to be removed to fix it. None...

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Crazy Things People Say To Cancer Patients

by Jane Ashley

Almost all of us have experienced this — a friend or co-worker or acquaintance acknowledges our cancer diagnosis with an “off-the-wall” comment.

Crazy Things People Say To Cancer Patients 2

What does “off-the-wall” mean? Here are some of the meanings:

• Far out
• Freaky
• Quirky
• Highly unusual
• Bizarre
• Strange in an amusing or entertaining way
• Oddball
• Totally unexpected
• Crazy

Most people aren’t sure what to say so many times, they repeat what they’ve heard someone else say. Many times, they don’t realize how inappropriate or...

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2 Weeks Out From Life Saving, Life Altering Surgery

by GregP_WN

I'm not sure what I expected going into surgery at Vanderbilt 2 weeks ago today. Leading up to it I was anxious and in a hurry to get it done and get it out of me. I was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer that required having a complete laryngectomy and bilateral neck dissection.

Me Pre Op

Sweetie waiting with me for the docs to come get me for surgery

That morning started like so many other mornings that we have been at Vanderbilt for me to have a procedure. Until this one, I have had several...

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Gratitude And Humility - How To Get It

by GregP_WN

How do you get gratitude and humility? First, get yourself a life threatening disease, maybe 4 different versions of it to be sure you get the message that you are not invincible. Then get together with a big group of your closest friends and family just before you go in for a forever life changing, hopefully life saving surgery. 

Dinner Donna's Shirt

This is going to take a minute to cover all of this, so get some popcorn and a drink.

First, I should explain a little background for anyone that doesn't...

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Random Thoughts While Waiting For Cancer Surgery

by GregP_WN

This is the situation. You've been diagnosed with cancer, again, for the 4th time, if that's not bad enough, you have to wait two months to have surgery to remove the tumors from your neck. If you have never had to endure this unfortunate experience you probably don't have any idea how slow time drags on while waiting for your date to show up. For Donna and I, it's Jan. 28th.

You Learn Two Things From A Cancer Diagnosis

While I'm not looking forward to the recovery part of this, I'm past ready to have the surgery since surgery is my...

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Diagnosis #4 Just Got Real

by GregP_WN

If you know Donna and I, you probably know my history about having had cancer three times over the last 32 years, and then being diagnosed again on December 3rd of this year with my fourth. Up until now we have been talking about it, looking at alternatives, all the possibilities. Can we do radiation again? If so it would be the third time, so that is almost impossible to do after all the damage I have from the first two.

Me Sweetie Maine

Chemo is another tool, but again, not for me. Chemo only works on this...

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An Awakening - 2 Time Survivor's Story

by GregP_WN

Today's Guest Blog Post is from Karen Rice, a two-time cancer survivor of breast and colon cancer. This is her story in her words. 

K. Rice 63years Of Age

When I was diagnosed with Breast cancer I reacted like many do; first thing came to mind was "a death sentence". However, I found out later it was truly "an awakening" for me, especially when I received bad news again later down the line. I was diagnosed with "colon cancer" a few years later, yet I'm still here to tell about them both. I first began...

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Cancer Care - Reflections From A Caregiver

by Miguel Barron

In 2019, I published a book entitled The Boxer’s Corner. The book was a semi-real time account of my experience as a caregiver during my late wife’s battle with metastatic cancer. In the book I recount the pain, frustration and isolation I felt in my role as husband, father and caregiver during my wife’s agonizing battle.

Cancer Care Miguel

But in addition to the human component of our experience, the book also touched on a number of issues relating to her treatment that I believe exposed shortcomings in her...

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Surviving Stage IV Tonsil Cancer - 7 Years and Counting

by Debbie Pepin

Editor's note: Our Guest Blog Post today is from Debbie Pepin, a 7 year survivor of head and neck cancer. (tonsil) She shares her story from going to an annual health exam to being a cancer patient fighting for her life. 

Debbie Pepin3

Healthy, happy and busy, at an annual exam my GP suggested I show my enlarged right tonsil to an ENT in February 2011. I hadn’t known that we have 3 sets of tonsils – the palatine are what people usually refer to that are on both sides of the back of our throat. The...

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From Prostate Cancer Patient to Prostate Cancer Coach

by GregP_WN

Editor's note: Our Guest Blog Post today is from Dennis Golden, a 7 year survivor of two diagnoses of prostate cancer. This is his story in his own words. 

Image001

On the face of it, I was a healthy and physically active 70-year-old, 168-pound male. A 25-mile daily bike ride and a wholesome diet resulted in a 32-inch waistline and body fat readings of 14%. Except for the occasional cold, all indications pointed to a guy who was healthy and in great shape.

Like many males, I saw no need to ask...

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