Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Medical issues, doctors, dentists, opticians and hospitals in Hua Hin and Thailand.
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dtaai-maai
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Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by dtaai-maai » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:25 am

9 years ago, while teaching at a university near Hua Hin, I developed lymphoma, which put me out of action for the best part of a year. A course of chemotherapy did the trick, and although it left its mark in some ways, I was able to get on with my life.

I came back to the UK in May 2017 and was diagnosed shortly afterwards as being type 2 diabetic (i.e. treatable by meds and diet). Earlier this year I was rehearsing for a musical when I lost my voice for 3 weeks. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the “nurse practitioner” arranged an urgent appointment with an ENT consultant.

A short time later, after an examination, scans and a biopsy, I was told I had a malignant growth in my throat at the top of my larynx. It had been caught at an early stage and hadn’t spread. I was given a straight choice between surgery and radiotherapy (“if it wasn’t literally a 50/50 decision we wouldn’t give you the choice”). I opted for radiotherapy. This entails 35 treatments over 7 weeks (Mon-Fri). The technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent decades. The machinery now works to the nearest millimetre, so the radiation can be targeted very closely at the cancer, avoiding damage to surrounding cells. (That’s about as technical as I can get, I’m afraid…).

It’s not all plain sailing. I have good days and bad days; it’s difficult and painful to swallow, I’ve lost my voice completely and I get very tired. Also, I have to drive an hour each way every day. Having said that, after 17 treatments I’m coping quite well. The treatment itself usually only takes 5 minutes. Of course, the effect of the radiation is cumulative, so it will be some weeks after the last treatment before things get back to normal. In the meantime, I’m still working (on a reduced workload) and living a relatively normal life (as long as no one tries to talk to me!).

I’m not counting my chickens, but everything seems to be going well, and I’m hoping to be treading the boards again in the autumn. I’ve had lots of offers of support from various organisations like Macmillan’s and the Citizens Advice Bureau, but I haven’t felt it necessary to follow up on these at this stage.

The reason I’m writing is simply to offer the suggestion that cancer isn’t necessarily the beginning of the end any more. Once you get to a ‘certain age’, if anything goes wrong with your finely-tuned body, see a doctor immediately – don’t put it off. If this happens to you, be positive, accept help from family and friends where necessary, do your best to get on with life.
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by migrant » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:43 pm

I'm glad you have it under control, as much as possible. It's amazing what modern medicine can do now! While I have avoided cancer, so far, I have had a few parts of my body rebuilt, not by choice.

Great advice and continued good luck!!
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by PeteC » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:59 pm

Yes, it seems you're doing everything right, inclusive of being there when it was discovered instead of here. We're all wishing you the best DTM. Keep up the fight. :thumb: Pete :cheers:
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by caller » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:58 pm

Helpful report, DM and the best of luck to you!
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:46 am

I think that one of the most impressive advances have been in " Imaging"
50 years ago there was just X-rays, Now the newer techniques Ultrasound (Invented in Scotland) CAT scan (England) and MRI the ability to see anatomical changes is staggering.

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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by centermid7 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:58 am

^ since the country of origin seems to be important where did the MRI originate?

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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by BOZ » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:50 am

MRI-USA... Google is our friend!!!!
Boz

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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:11 am

Yes the NRI was invented by an American and like U/sound almost entirely by one man.
One footnote--he CAT scanner was developed by a UK compan EMI, they had a big electronic division but also a music division.The Beatles were contracted with EMI and invested in the CAT Scan project.

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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by Takiap » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:25 am

Best of luck mate, and hoping you enjoy a speedy recovery. I know two guys here who were diagnosed with bladder cancer. The one had the tumor removed 5 years ago and has been fine ever since. The other had his tumor removed about 2 months ago and is due for his first check up next month.

:cheers:
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by Vital Spark » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:21 pm

Thank you, DM.

My twin sister is currently going through the process of having some lymphoma zapped with radiotherapy. They've caught it early and the quality (and speed) of care from the NHS has been brilliant. Her future is looking bright.

It sounds like you're coping well with the treatment, and a positive mental attitude hugely helps with the healing process.

Keep us updated on the treatment, and the results.

Sending oodles of good vibes to you from the Land of ....

VS x :cheers:
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by Khundon1975 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:55 am

Had an MRI on my spine 1 week ago and the consultant from Muscular Skeletal clinic rang me this morning with the results. Not good, but not yet life threatening, thank heavens.
However, it did show an abnormal growth on one of my kidneys which doesn’t look good.
Had I not had the spinal MRI, I would have been oblivious of the problem with my kidney.
Good luck with your treatment DM, you’re in the best place for it. :cheers:
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by alansymonds » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:12 pm

All the best from my side, for your treatment.

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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by oakdale160 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:10 am

Surgery, Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy ---- The answer is probably not in these three but in Immunotherapy, getting the body to recognize and reject cancer cells as it does with other invaders. Then the trio of treatments that we use now will go the way of bleeding and blistering.

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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by Vital Spark » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:05 am

Oakdale: It depends on what type of cancer it is. Thanks to the NHS, my twin is getting rapid treatment with the best equipment. She's starting her first zap with radiotherapy on Monday and (hopefully) 15 days later it will be gone.

DM: How does the radiotherapy affect you physically? Does it make you feel sick or tired?

VS
Last edited by Vital Spark on Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cancer - no longer the bogeyman?

Post by oakdale160 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:11 am

Oh yes, the big three are not useless, there are some great successes. Childhood leukemia being one of them but many other cancers are not responsive. It is really sad that Breast, Lung and Colon Cancers are still big killers--The immunio therapy could help attack many if not all resistant cancers.

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