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Old 11-26-2013, 09:39 PM
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b.walker5 b.walker5 is offline
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Back from the brink...

Hi guys. Been out of the loop for a while, so a story is in order.

Not long after selling my SG, which i think has changed hands two times since, I developed an issue with my voice, which turned out to be throat cancer. After a lot of to and fro-ing, I'm just home after 6 weeks of radiation in another city, and feeling like ive been hit by a bus. Oncologist says the outcome will be good, but it doesnt feel like it at the moment. I cant talk, which the wife loves, i'm eating mush, and throwing up every second mouthful. Oh Joy. Never Mind, i'll get over it. I'm far too stubborn for any different outcome.

Ive currently got my eye on an E but the guy wants far too much for it yet. Give him a while, he'll come down. Its almost original as far as i can tell, but it needs some work, and it's got gold wheels, so i guess it's been frankencycled at some point. I'll keep working on him, and get it for what i want to pay. In the meantime ive still got the XJR to play with. (not that i can ride it at the moment, cant get my helmet on due to radiation burns on my throat).

On a much happier note, some of you may remember about 3 years, a post about my daughter recovering from surgery for pancreatic cancer, and going skydiving, and promising that she'd get me to take a jump. Well, it looks like thats going to happen this christmas, providing my own recovery is going okay.

When she got sick she was half way through extra mural papers for corporate/contract law, which she had to give up for a year while she was dealing with her illness. She's been trying to get back to it ever since. For the last year she's been living and working in Australia, making money, and has booked tickets to come home for christmas. I got a text from her last night to say that she's been accepted into Otago University next year to complete her degree. Otago Uni is about 180 miles from home, so i'm over the moon. So proud of her for not letting anything getting in her way, and never loosing site of her goals, and absolutely chuffed she's coming home. My little girl is coming home.

Thats her on the left (blond) in Bali earlier this year.

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1980 SG. (Sold - waiting on replacement)
2000 XJR1300. The Real modern XS11. Others are just pretenders.

Woman (well, my wife anyway) are always on Transmit and never Receive.

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be" Albert Einstien.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:45 PM
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IanDMacDonald IanDMacDonald is offline
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God bless both of you for staying strong!
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:01 PM
MaximPhil MaximPhil is offline
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I missed you Brian. Glad to hear you are back and on the mend. Also good to hear your daughter is doing well.
Phil
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:00 PM
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DGXSER DGXSER is offline
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Wow Brian, well, sorry to hear of your cancer, and your daughters. Life is a MF sometimes. Very glad to hear your on the mend though!!!

I certainly understand your excitement over your daughters accomplishment and getting her back in your proximity.

Glad life is letting the sun back in!! Well, ok, daughter in this case.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:15 AM
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Figured you just left us for good after selling your XS! Sorry to hear of your health issues but glad you are on the mend!
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:00 AM
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Keep up the fight! We're looking forward to reading about your next bike!
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2013, 04:32 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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Good to hear things are lookin' up for ya Brian! BTW, how the three mates(Jim,Mark and IIRC,Dave) I met and rode with couple yrs. back doin? (Mark, I can only guess...).
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:40 PM
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b.walker5 b.walker5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoman View Post
Good to hear things are lookin' up for ya Brian! BTW, how the three mates(Jim,Mark and IIRC,Dave) I met and rode with couple yrs. back doin? (Mark, I can only guess...).
Still as mad as ever. Jim's talking about doing it again next year. Might even join him this time. I have a bit of new perspective on life at the moment, and have decided to start making my own luck.

Thanks Guys, for the kind words, theyre much appreciated.
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1980 SG. (Sold - waiting on replacement)
2000 XJR1300. The Real modern XS11. Others are just pretenders.

Woman (well, my wife anyway) are always on Transmit and never Receive.

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Old 11-27-2013, 09:56 PM
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madmax-im madmax-im is offline
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Brian glad to hear from you and that things are doing better...i pray that continues...
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:15 AM
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jwhughes3 jwhughes3 is offline
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Brian,

Don't forget to pull that cord!

Glad you are thinking about another XS.

Hope you recover better than ever.

Beautiful girl you have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

John
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:30 AM
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All The Best

Your new bike and present should help you regain your thoughts and turn you to real living/fun !

Good Luck ! God Bless You Both ! Done };~)
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:08 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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Hey Brian,

Welcome back and glad to hear you were able to beat the beast! Do you mind talking about it, ie., your symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and such?

Are/were you a smoker, or tobacco chewer, snuff user.....and/or did you consume a regular frequent amount of alcohol....beer or hard liquor?

These are the main common risk factors for developing Oral Cancer. What they have also stated is that they have also linked exposure to the Human Papilovirus16 as another factor especially for women under the age of 60. This virus was already linked to increased incidences of Cervical Cancers. Men can have it(the virus) and have no symptoms. With the advent of "other" sexual practices "oral" exposure to this virus is thought to contribute to the increased incidence of Oral Cancers in younger women.

My Swmbo had major back surgery a year ago ~Oct, 2012, went thru several months of recovery, lost her job and eventually her insurance. In Jan, 2013 she noticed a sore in her mouth/cheek that didn't go away. She tried to get a job, but wasn't able to, and it had been too long since she had lost it for me to be able to get her on my insurance...missed both the regular open enrollment dates as well as beyond the time limit of 30 days from the time she had lost hers for me to be able to utilize the emergent addition enrollment option! And she didn't tell me about it either, both hoping it would eventually go away, as well as not wanting me to worry, and thinking that we couldn't have done anything UNTIL she had insurance as well!

She finally acquired employment this Sept, 2013, got insurance, and was finally able to see a Dentist, and he stated that what she had looked quite suspicious, and so referred her to an ORAL SURGEON. The first consultation revealed several locations of lesions, the inside of her left cheek, but also the left side of her tongue, the side of her back teeth/gum line, and even on the soft palate near the back of her throat. The doctor took lots of photos and such, then scheduled her for the biopsies, they were able to take 3 specimens from the 1st 3 locations, but not the back of the throat/palate due to the gag reflex, and the need to have to use an endotrachial tube which she/surgeon wasn't wanting to use at this time. This was last week, and we just got the results back today.

The cheek was a Moderate Hyperplasia, the tongue was at a Severe level of hyperplasia....in otherwords as close to being full blown cancer without actually being full cancer, the 3rd gum line was just a benign abnormality, we don't know what the palate/throat area may be? SO she is going to be referred to the local Teaching Hospital complex ENT Oncology dept for further evaluation and treatment. They have a very good assortment of treatment modalities there, Proton Therapy, Gamma-Knife, etc.!

So....even though she let it go on for way too long IMHO, it looks like we may have still gotten to it early enough to intervene before it possibly advanced to a level with a higher risk of Metastasis...we hope...still don't know about the lesions in the palate/throat?

We're hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst...hoping not to have to get as close to the BRINK!

T.C.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:42 AM
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b.walker5 b.walker5 is offline
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Hi TC, i dont mind talking about it at all (if i could talk ) . I was a smoker, but gave up many years ago, June 18, 1991 to be exact. I am a drinker, but only beer, and not in large amounts, maybe a couple of times a week. Social drinker only. (although, none at all for the last year or so). Snuff... No.

I first noticed my voice changing, getting a little husky etc, about a 18 months ago, and didnt really think much about it. After about six months of it, i finally got fed up with it enough to go and see my GP. He made an initial diagnosis of strep throat, and sent me home with a combination of Lozenges and Mouth Washes. Now, i dont normally question my GP, he's been the family doctor for years, bought both my kids into the world, seen us through most of our troubles, so trust levels are high, but this time it just didnt feel like a strep throat. There was no pain at all, just a deteriorating voice.

I put up with for another month or so, until one of my customers complained that he couldn't understand me, and went back and said 'look again'. He then referred me, through our Public Health System, to an ENT Specialist at my local hospital. I should have went private, but it just didnt seem important enough at the time. Well, the booking system in our public health works a little like triage, except they dont see you first, they base the urgency on what has been written in the GP's referral letter. About 3 months after my GP referred me i got a letter from the hospital stating, that due to a shortage of ENT Specialists, and the low priority of my problem, they were unable to offer me an appointment, and referred my back to my GP.

Now, I dont take kindly to a No, when it should be a Yes, so i phoned the booking clerk and said "not good enough, i'm a tax payer that has paid for service, and now i want that service". It took another six weeks, but i got an appointment. Albiet, after another two month wait.

First step was a camera down on my throat, which showed a growth on my right vocal cord. Four days later I was in Day Surgery for a biopsy. The results of that took another two weeks, but the final diagnosis was Carcinoma of the Larynx, but offered no clue as to the cause. I'm no doctor, and probably guilty of not asking enough question, but the med report called it SCC of right vocal cord stage T1 N0 M0, whatever that means. After numerous xrays, ct scans etc, they decided it hadn't traveled any further and that intensive Radiation Therapy was the best way of dealing with it.

And so began the daily ritual of sticking my head in a very large microwave, while it proceeded to cook my throat from the outside in. This was five days a week for six weeks, and, for the first three or four weeks, was a breeze. The last two weeks, and week subsequent, are the absolute pits. As i write this, I have lost 16 kilos, i have no voice at all, the only food i can eat comes from a tube, and i take morphine twice a day to prevent continuous coughing, which as you may imagine, re-writes the definition of pain. Externally, i have the most foul smelling cream slathered on my neck, which is reapplied twice a day, to protect and heal my skin after the third degree burns inflicted by the treatment. I'm told to expect to be this way for the next two to three weeks, and then start voice therapy to get my voice back.

I wont know for sure if its been successful for at least another month, until the internal swelling goes down, but at least i'm alive, and according to my Oncologist, have a high chance of staying that way.

Sorry to hear about your wife's diagnosis. It sounds pretty positive, so hopefully will have a good outcome. One thing this has taught me, is dont wait, and cancer is very common these days. Statistics say that one in three will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. Hope for the best, by all means, but Dont prepare for the worst. Its counter productive, and will only bring you, and her down. Put the worst to the back of your mind, and only think positive. Whatever the cost, treatment is cheaper than a life, but then i suppose its pretty easy for me to say, because we generally have a pretty good tax payer funded public health system to deal with this stuff. The only thing this has directly cost me so far is a time off work.

If your wife has to undergo radiation on her mouth, i can tell you it's not very nice, and she will be very uncomfortable for a while. Pray that surgery is all thats required. I was offered laser surgery, but given no guarantee that i would retain my voice, so i chose radiation. Had i knew what i was in for i would have chosen the laser.

On the upside, any treatment is better than no treatment, and im truly grateful for having received it, but on the pain scale of 1 to 10 of the most un-enjoyable things ive ever done in my life, it currently sits at 10.
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1980 SG. (Sold - waiting on replacement)
2000 XJR1300. The Real modern XS11. Others are just pretenders.

Woman (well, my wife anyway) are always on Transmit and never Receive.

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be" Albert Einstien.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:13 AM
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Hey B.W. and TC. -Good luck and prayers for your (B.W.) and your wife's (TC) recovery and healing. Life's twisties are never foreseen. I do know that prayer, a positive attitude, and not letting stress overtake your heart are key to healing and longevity. Modern medicine is really different from not too long ago, and seems to give the patient a chance to heal and fight for their life. i suppose the fight includes all I mentioned, and of course, support from others. Cancer sucks, kick its butt. We're pullin' for ya.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:02 AM
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Hey again Brian,

Thanks for your candor and willingness to "discuss" this experience. Well, yes you did smoke and then quit some 20 years ago, just curious how many years you did smoke before quitting? Most folks usually start when they were teenagers...good for you that you were able to quit....you've preserved your LUNGS so that you won't have to carry around an Oxygen bottle in your later years due to COPD(Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) more often called Emphysema....which is a stiffending of the small tubules that lead to the little air pockets(alveoli) in the lungs. They loose their elasiticity due to the chronic exposure to the toxins and such in cigarette smoke. When we breath in primarily the diaphragm on the bottom of the lungs contracts which creates a negative pressure(vacuum) in the chest, which creates the vac. effect INSIDE the lungs...the tubes and alveoli expand to create more volume for the incoming air, then the carbon dioxide/oxygen gas exchange occurs within the alveoli pockets, and then the diaphragm relaxes which then allows the elastic bags/pouches/alveoli to contract to squeeze/push the Co2 back out thru those little tube and finally out of the lungs. But with COPD, these little tubes are NOT elastic, and do not expand, so the air that was sucked in can't easily get out....like squeezing the neck of an inflated balloon! Folks with COPD develop a technique where they PURSE/squeeze their lips together to create a small restriction of airflow...increases the pressure in the lungs which helps to expand those little tubes so that the air can then escape the little alveoli pouches.They are called Puffers. Other physicologic changes that occur are increased accessory lung/chest muscles...the ones that contract to enlarge the chest cavity/rib cage...to help create more vac. pressure to overcome the restriction of the small alveoli tubules. This is called a barrel chest. But eventually these folks just can not move enough of the 12% oxygen atmospheric air, so they don't get the required minimum 6% oxygen level in their lungs, and so they have to breath ~100% oxygen to increase the actual percentage amount of free available O2 that eventually gets to their lungs/alveoli.

Okay, back on topic/track. SCC of right vocal cord stage T1 N0 M0. The type of tissue that's inside our mouths/throat and such are Squamous Cells. Our external Skin is more layered, and so it has both Basal Cells and Squamous cells. In the skin...the BCC type is less likely to spread/metasticize, but can still cause considerable damage to surrrounding tissue, and can require extensive surgery and even reconstruction if they are allowed to progress too much before diagnosed and treated.

The Squamous Cell Carcinoma(SCC) type is more aggressive and more likely to spread when not treated, or found later and allowed to grow more. I had a small spot on my right forearm that was just a scaly few mm's sized blotch for a few years(Actinic Keratosis), and then it seemed like overnight it changed to a round slightly raised spot with a darker red center! Knowing how difficult it can be to get an appointment to a Dermatologist...like months away...I decided to take action myself. IT helps that I work for an Eye Doctor and we perform biopsies on eyelids and such, so I had my doctor assist me and we removed my lesion ourselves, and submitted it to the lab for analysis...expecting it to be just a BCC. To my/our surprise, it came back a SCC(Squamous Cell Carcinoma), but with that diagnosis I was then able to get my dermatologist appt much more expediently!! I was then able to have a few other suspicious spots on my face Frozen treated just in the office, no needles or scalpels!!

SO....according to the information on this site: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/larynge...cancer-staging

The T1 designation was a Tumor that was isolated/limited to one of the upper layers of the supraglottis/vocal chord...your tests revealed full functionality of the chords so the tumor hadn't penetrated into the deeper nerve/muscle layers of the chord. The N0 means that they did not find any evidence of tumor cells in the Lymph "N"odes...this is the path the tumors usually take when they start to spread. And the M0 says that they did not find any evidence of Metastatic spread to other major Organs of the body. So that staging was about the best you could get, and that site also states that Radiation treatment was/is the standard of care to be able to destroy the tumor without damaging the vocal chords too badly to help retain the ability to speak! Folks who have to have a total Laryngectomy..their voice box then have to utilize that little "Darth Vader" type vibration device that they hold against their throat which creates vibrations in the air while they exhale so that they can then speak.

Nancy/Swmbo hasn't had the Staging process done yet, but we're pretty sure that she will be undergoing similar test like you had, CT Scans, possibly biopsies of lymph nodes, etc. prior to determining her treatment options. And yes Mark/Brian, we are keeping a very positive attitude towards BEATING this thing!!!

I'm sorry for your pain, burns in general are some of the most painful type of injuries we experience, the skin has lots of nerves to tell us when it's been hurt, and with radiation burns, it can take quite some time for it to heal, so you have my utmost wishes for as speedy a recovery as you can. I would expect/hope that they also have you on fairly high doses of Vitamin "C" which is very important for Cell growth/regeneration and overall healing, Vitamin B complex would be good also for energy and such...and it can be acquired in liquid form.. that's how I take it because I hate pills!!! These 2 types of vitamins are water soluble which means your body can't get too much of them, whatever the body doesn't use/need it just expels in the urine. The other vitamins...A, D, E, are FAT soluble which means your body can STORE them, and so you can develop excess/toxic levels if you take too much for too long...the body can't expel the excess very easily. So...that's why folks need to be CAREFUL when taking Multivitamins....as we age we don't necessarily need the same amounts as when we were younger, our metabolism is slower and can't process them as quickly or as well as before and that's when they can cause problems!

Okay, I'll shut up now, again thanks for sharing. Hopefully this thread will also get folks here to thinking more about their lifestyle choices, ie. smoking/chewing and daily alcohol consumption, as well as just to improve their self awareness about their body/ skin, and to be observant with regards to changes to their body/skin and to NOT wait to get things checked out, the earlier these can be detected, the better the successful outcomes can be, as well as the reduced level of trauma/treatment they will have to endure.

T.C.
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